Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jorgensen's Called to Sharon, VT

Elder Nick and Sister Kim Jorgensen entered the MTC in Provo on July 3 for a year in the New Hampshire Manchester (including Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire) but expect to spend most of their time in Sharon, Vermont, the birthplace of Church founder Joseph Smith. As Church historical site missionaries, they are assigned to oversee the Prophet’s birthplace, including gardening, trail maintenance and occasionally serving in the Visitor Center.

In all, about a dozen early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were born in Vermont. In 1831, one year after the Church was organized, Church member Jared Carter taught and baptized 27 converts in Vermont. But, in 1833, many of these early Latter-day Saints migrated to Ohio.In December 1905, a 100-ton, 38-foot granite monument - one foot for each year of his life - was dedicated to commemorate the centennial of Joseph Smith's birth. During the Christmas season, lights adorn the monument's surroundings. About 70,000 visitors, including those at Christmas, come to the site annually.

There are currently about 4,500 members in 12 congregations scattered around the Green Mountain State.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Activity Girls Enjoy Visitor's Center Outing

B7 Primary Activity Day girls spent the morning of Monday, June 12 with their leaders Elaine Christensen, Donna Ortiz, Tami Sevier and Anita Sterner at the Temple Visitor’s Center where they heard the Savior’s words as they gathered around the Christus; saw a movie “The Entertainers,” and, had fun looking at all the displays. They capped off the morning with a blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Monday, June 12, 2017

B7 RS Celebrates 90's for Twelve

Set to the music of Nat King Cole and Perry Como, the B7 Relief Society honored twelve ward members who are in their ninth decade of life on Friday, June 9 at the Vintage clubhouse.  Thanks to the hard work and amazing talents of Sisters Wanda McEntire and Lynda Hallman, the celebration included lovely decorations, delicious refreshments, corsages for the honorees and memory booklets.

The incredible individuals who have made our world a better place are Beth Foxley, Lucile and Vern Crockett, Betty Kingsbury, Beverly Burton, Myrl Rasband, Doris Hansen, Ruth Anderson, Beverly Briggs, Ray Robinson, Bob Steed and Garth Larsen.

They are truly "unforgettable."

Lutjet tona janë me ju, Presidenti dhe Motra Anderson

Former Bloomington Stake President Hal and recently released Southgate Stake Young Women President Julie Anderson, enter the MTC in Provo on June 24, before flying halfway around the world to report on July 1, 2017 for three years of service as President of the Adriatic South Mission.

Life is full of many twists and turns … something President Hal and Julie Anderson have learned first hand in the past several weeks, particularly when it comes to their mission call, originally to serve as President of the Baltic Mission.  In the middle of April a few months into their preparations – the Andersons were notified their call had been changed and they would now be serving as President of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission. The couple first called to preside over this mission is from the Ukraine, and, as such the Russian government would not issue them a visa. Because of this, the couple was reassigned to the Baltic Mission where their Russian language would be very valuable.

President and Sister Anderson felt good about their new assignment – since both had heavy winter coats – but then, because the former Bloomington Stake President had served in the U. S. military during which time he had been issued High Level Security Clearance, the Missionary Executive Council decided the Russian government would likely not issue a visa to the Andersons either and if they did, the government would make it difficult for the Andersons to accomplish their missionary labors.

By the end of April the Andersons were once again reassigned to preside over the Adriatic South Mission (including the countries of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia). The Latvian language they have been learning for the past several months has now been replaced by Albanian – which they are trying their best to learn at an accelerated pace.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still very much in its infancy in this part of the world. Kosovo and Macedonia (the first part of Europe in which the apostle Paul preached the gospel [Acts 20:1-2]) have barely three branches between them, although Albania has 2888 members in 12 branches. Currently, the missionaries have been busy translating the Book of Mormon into Macedonian as the Church has not yet completed this translation. In fact, the Macedonian language is not taught in the MTC at this time so missionaries called to this country are taught Bulgarian in the MTC and then must learn Macedonian in country.

In preparation for their adventure, the parents of six and grandparents to 13 have been busy shopping for cold winters and warm, humid summer weather; spending countless hours in online training, Skype sessions with mission leaders, being tutored mostly in Albanian and have sold their home.

“We are very, very, very excited, but overwhelmed at the same time,” states Julie Anderson of the call, which came from President Henry B. Eyring. The thoughts of our responsibilities,including keeping track of 70 young missionaries and four senior couples, is consuming us.”

 These dynamic and spiritual members of the B7 Ward will be missed! We wish them love, safety and godspeed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Graduates Moving On

Graduating from high school is a milestone event … tangible proof an important life goal has been achieved ... and the first step into adulthood. In the B7 Ward, three young women have achieved this momentous objective, graduating in the Burns Arena on May 23, 2017.

Grace Bown, the 4th of five daughters (and one son) of James and Paula Bown, not only graduated top-of-the-class at Dixie High School but was also named Valedictorian. She was also named to Academic All-State which recognizes students who have excelled in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. With over 85,000 students participating in high school activities, this award is the most prestigious honor the UHSAA presents to senior students. This well-rounded young woman plays volleyball, piano and maintains a 4.0 gpa and states her most memorable high school experience involves the whole journey to becoming valedictorian.

Hannah Kerr, oldest of Charlie and Sarah Kerr’s four offspring, has now graduated from Dixie High School where her grades earned her scholarships to her choice of  either Dixie State University or Southern Utah University. Her future plans include a semester at DSU, after which she hopes to serve a fulltime mission. Her most memorable high school experience is – unquestionably – being part of DHS's two time winning Utah state championship drill team!!!

Aspen Honey Bair, one of three B7 Ward graduates and 3rd of Bishop Mike and Lori Bair’s four children, was also recently awarded Dixie High School’s 2017 Atlas Award Female Athlete of the Year. The main criteria for her selection was participation in multiple sports. Aspen has played volleyball, basketball, and track and field at Dixie High School for 4 years. She has been an ambassador for the past two years at Dixie High and her academic GPA puts her on the high honor roll and earned her several scholarships. She will be attending Dixie State University in the fall and will be DHS’s 9th grade volleyball coach this coming year.

Congratulations to these amazing young women!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mantenerse a salvo y godspeed, Elder Haus Jones

Elder Hauser Jones, youngest of Corwin and Diana Smith's combined 13 children, will serve 2 years as a full-time missionary in the Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission, one of 4 missions in this Central American country.

Originally called to serve in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission, Elder Jones was delayed due to problems navigating the difficult waters of immigration to get a visa, so attended a semester at BYU until his travel plans could be resolved. "It's been quite a journey," he noted of the lengthy process, “but I am better prepared and eager to serve.”

The Church has a relatively short history in Honduras where Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles first visited in the early 1950s. These Church emissaries left literature with a hotel waiter who not only read what he had been given, but was later baptized. Missionaries were first called came to Honduras in December 1952, baptizing the first converts and organizing the first congregation in March 1953.

 In 1980, Church membership in Honduras was 6,300. Today Honduras has 172,253 members in 235 congregations in four missions. The first temple in Honduras was built in Tegucigalpa, a 28,254 square foot structure dedicated by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on March 17, 2013 enabling members to take part in sacred ordinances which before had required a 12-hour trip to the Guatemala City Temple.

Elder Jones enters the Provo MTC on Wednesday, May 24.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Activity Girls Celebrate Mothers Day

Fourteen B7 Primary girls enjoyed their Activity Day in May at the Wood Connection on Riverside Drive where they made Mothers Day gifts. The girls had fun sanding, gluing, painting and creating computer generated messages expressing their love and appreciation for Mom, Momma, Ma or whoever it is who cares, nurtures, teaches and loves them on the home front. Thanks to Activity Day leaders Elaine Christensen, Anne Sterner, and Donna Ortiz for organizing this fun activity.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Welcome Home, Elder Gwilliam

Elder Steve Gwilliam "returned with honor" on Thursday, May 4 from his 2+ years of service to the Lord and His people in the Kansas Wichita Mission.  The "plus" of his service came as the result of an injury - a badly broken left leg sustained during a sports activity only about 60 days after entering the MTC - which required him to come home for nearly five months to recover.  Told he could count this as time served, he opted instead to finish what he started, serving from January 7, 2015 until May 4, 2017.

What's next for this tall, hardworking and dedicated RM?  "Earning a degree in forensic science or criminology is what I hope will launch my future career," he states.  He hopes to study at Dixie State University, but his father, commercial airline pilot Steve Gwilliam, Sr., must take mandatory retirement from United Airlines in September.  To continue flying Steve, Sr. will likely need to move to a larger area with more employment options.  As such, Steve, Jr. may have to look at furthering his career goals at Utah State University or Utah Valley University, depending on where his family lands!

In the meantime, he will continue sharing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ in every way he can.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bloomington Children Sang as They Walked, and Walked, and Walked ...

B7's Young Men, Young Women and their leaders took their annual walk to the temple, an event started several years ago by Sister Cheryl Kanenwisher for the combined purposes of "just a fun way to be together," a chance to talk about the importance of temples in God's Plan of Happiness and how lucky we are to have this beautiful "House of the Lord" - the first built in the West - so close by.  Once on the grounds of the temple, the youth enjoyed a speaker who shared his thoughts and testimony about the importance of perseverance and setting goals.  Of course, the afternoon ended with pizza and drinks before everyone was transported home.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breakfast and Service on a Beautiful Spring Morning

The Community Breakfast and Humanitarian Day of Service on Saturday, May 6 was another huge success for the Southgate Stake.  The weather was perfect, the breakfast was exceptional - with scrambled eggs and hash browns, bacon, sausage and pancakes - and the crowd of all ages was large and enthusiastic.  The humanitarian service options included tying quilts, knotting fleece blankets, creating hygiene kits for those in need, and stuffing toys reminding all those with busy hands, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)