Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ward Talent Show a Delight

The first ever Bloomington 7th Ward Talent Show, held on Friday, April 24 was a rousing success based on the enthusiastic applause for each act! The evening of talent and entertainment, emceed by Janet and Doug Labrum, began with Jessica Stout's vocal solo with guitar accompaniment. Christian Goldhardt was very serious about his performance of the Star Wars theme on the xylophone followed by "Sweet Hour of Prayer" on the piano. Elizabeth Larson, Kendi Hansen and Aspen Erskine represented the ward's Young Women with a skit entitled "Saran Wrap."

The Bown children - Elizabeth, Grace, Peter and Caroline - displayed their considerable talents on the piano with solo performances. Barbara Pinder (the original Barbie Doll) and Beth Foxley Iverson (Bloomington's own Betty Boop) brought down the house with their explanation of aging in the modern day! Diane Miller showed her comedic talents with a delightful "chicken joke" while Janet Labrum and her two grandsons - Rigby and Noah - delighted the audience with a vocal solo accompanied by guitar and harmonica. The Forsythe family gave ward members an inside look into bedtime at their home where "the little ones say 'roll over, roll over'!" Aubrey Forsythe followed the delightful skit with a solo performance of "Homeward Bound." Ruth and Val Swanson performed a grandmother's favorite Swedish folk song. The Dalley family shown with an exceptional performance by Avonlea of "Home" from Beauty and the Beast, followed by a darling performance of "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King by little sisters Mailea, Kiarra and Eden.

The show ended on a high note when Zenda Rawlings performed a vocal solo followed by a stand-up comedy routine by Bishop John Goldhardt and Caroline Smith danced to the music of The Lion King. Before everyone went home singing, refreshments - including brownies in all sizes and shapes and ice cream - were enjoyed by all!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hooks' to Return to South Africa

For the 4th time in their 23-year married life, Don and Margaret Hooks will leave their home, three sons, a daughter and 9 grandchildren behind to serve the Lord as two of the church’s nearly 6000 fulltime senior missionaries - and the best news of all is that they are returning to the very apartment and the very same friendly people they served on their third mission in 2006-08.

On July 13, the Hooks’ will enter the MTC, then return to Johannesburg, South Africa for a second 18-month mission providing educational opportunities (not welfare support) through the Perpetual Education Fund. The PEF is designed to help members living in poverty, lift themselves up by creating a strong foundation of self-reliance through the development of marketable skills.

Their first mission took them to the Dakotas where Elder Hooks served as Mission President (1991-94). After moving from Tucson, Arizona where he had retired after 36 years as a petroleum jobber for Chevron, the Hooks’ served their second mission in the Family History Center in St. George - he for 4 ½ years, she for 5 ½ years. Their third mission was their first time in South Africa.

The church’s goal is to soon have 25,000 seniors serving in any of hundreds of assignments in 334 missions around the world. An enthusiastic Elder Hooks encourages other seniors to consider this "adventure of a lifetime. There are calls to ‘preach the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead’ in every part of the world - including welfare and humanitarian service; in temples, family history centers, mission offices, and historic sites . . . and, your grandchildren will still be here when you get back! Just go!!!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Preparing for 24-Hour Relay for Life

Sharron Miller, a longtime member of the ward, knows better than most that cancer is a non-discriminating disease which affects, not only the one with the diagnosis, but family, friends and neighbors, as well. In 2000, she lost her husband Glenn to prostate cancer and this year, on February 19, her 46-year-old son Bill succumbed after a nearly 3-year battle with glioblastoma multiforme, considered the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor.

She is still grieving but is getting back to a routine of walking four miles a day with Carol Simillion and other friends; and, in her son's memory is making quillows for fundraising and helping to organize two teams to take part in the American Cancer Society’s 24-Hour Relay for Life. On the last weekend in April, she and the members of her team will gather, pitch their tents, roll out sleeping bags and set up lawn chairs beside the track at Dixie State College’s Hansen Stadium where they will run, walk and nap, laugh, cry, reminisce and heal, but will never forget. When asked if she believes there will be a cure for cancer in her lifetime, Sister Miller says emphatically, "I pray it doesn’t take that long . . . I want a cure for this terrible disease tomorrow!!!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Newest Ward Member

On Saturday, April 4, in the morning before the opening session of the church’s 179th General Conference, Stephen Larson took his first step on the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life when he was baptized by his father. Stephen, the second of Aaron and Rebecca’s five children, also received the gift of the Holy Ghost on this, his 8th birthday, when he was confirmed by his maternal grandfather David Thomas.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Members Share Conversion Story

Jim and Patti Reid will be forever grateful to Bishop Jim Bown and the sister missionaries who first introduced them to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. When they speak of the circumstances of their conversion, both smile broadly.

"The ‘hook’ for me was the lesson on the pre-existence," states Jim. "What they told me just made sense . . . there was a beginning, there is a middle and there will be something even more wonderful on the other side when this life ends!"

Jim is a jazz drummer, a water colorist, a golf fanatic, a former substitute teacher at Dixie Middle School and Dixie High School and a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 36 years. He accepts that his drinking negatively impacted his first marriage and resulted in the near loss of his advertising agency. "When 3 guys in Alcoholics Anonymous adopted me, I was $25,000 in debt and struggling in every aspect of my life! AA was a lifesaver because it taught me to shut up and listen." Once sober, Jim approached his debtors one-by-one, to arrange a payment plan. "It took me five years to pay everyone back, but I had finally started doing things right and it felt really good!"

The Reid’s first met across a casino poker table. She was the dealer and he was a player. They were married in a drive-thru wedding chapel in 1993. "My knees were knocking when I said ‘I do’" to Patti and her 10-year-old daughter; but, because of several factors, the marriage didn’t last. Later they met again and after a short courtship, they married a second time in the same drive-thru wedding chapel, though this time it was her legs which were shaking!

In 2005, when the couple, who had lived in Las Vegas for more than 17 years, announced to friends and family they were moving to southern Utah, a surprised co-worker asked, "are you a Mormon?" Though she knew nothing of the church she would soon join, Patti remembers her offhand - but seemingly prophetic - response. "Not yet!" she said.

The Bloomington couple can see clearly the path which brought them to the church. Sister Reid’s only regret is not having the opportunity to grow up in the church, but she takes any and all opportunities to share the gospel message with others, particularly her daughter. States Jim, "what a wonderful thing this church is!"