Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meet Jess and Arlene Thomas

Jess and Arlene Thomas met through a mutual friend who played Cupid in efforts to get her two friends together.  Married in November 2007, they lived fulltime in Providence, Utah until they decided spending the winter in St. George might be more fun.  They moved into the Temple Apartments, served in the Temple and soon decided to buy a townhouse. "Snowbirds" for a year or two, they were 'prompted' to make the peace and serenity of the Vintage their permanent residence. They report a warm welcome into the B7 Ward and are looking forward to years of service and many friendships in this ward.  Arlene loves power walking, exercising, studying nutrition---anything to do with personal fitness and health -  loves reading and education. 

Arlene and her first husband opened a cosmetology school in Astoria, OR in 1965 where they also reared their three children.  She calls her career in business management “very challenging but so very rewarding, with many changes over the years.”  Widowed in 1987, Arlene continued until 2003 when she sold the college and was 'prompted' to move to Providence where she raised her grandson.  “It was a great environment for him to complete high school and prepare for a mission,” she notes of the decision to move to northern Utah.  While on his mission to England, Jess and Arlene found each other, realizing many common interests such as temple attendance, music, books, cultural events, travel, and most importantly love of family and the Gospel.

Arlene has been active in the church most of her adult life, serving as Relief Society President and as a Visiting Teaching Supervisor, Ward Missionary, Young Women advisor, Stake Singles Representative and the most fun—many years in Primary, including time as President.  “Working with children has so enriched my life,” she states.  Her last callings were as Relief Society Counselor and three years as Compassionate Service leader. “What a total joy for me. I so look forward to serving in the B7 Ward. There is nothing that brings more joy than serving in the Church.”

Jess and his first wife were married in Malad, Idaho in 1954, where she helped convert Jess to the gospel after the birth of their first of six children.  Jess’ first career was as a data analysis specialist in the chemistry lab at NRTS near Idaho Falls, but he had a great desire to become an accountant, so for many years he took night classes toward that goal.  In 1969 he enrolled full time at USU from which he received his degree about a year later and started his 25 year career at Bear River Associations of Government as head comptroller. The family lived in Hyrum from which all four sons served missions. His wife passed away in 1996, the result of a car accident. Jess retired in 1998. He has 24 grandchildren and 8 greats, which are a joy to the couple but require “never ending travel as we attempt to stay close to our families!!”

Jess has been very active in the church, serving in a bishopric as the 2nd counselor, as stake auditor, and as a YM advisor. In his spare time he also enjoys reading, cross stitch, watching westerns and Turner Classic movies. He also enjoys quilting, building bird houses, and golfing.

Arlene and Jess are currently serving a part-time mission at the St. George Member Location Center and attend the Temple each week. They also enjoy indexing, writing family and personal history, and geneology.  They both love learning and taking Family History classes and studying the scriptures together, especially the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet Laurie Hafen

Laurie Hafen recently moved from Las Vegas to Bloomington where she lives with and cares for her 92-year-old father Banard Hafen while also working as a court reporter.  Of her years taking depositions in attorney offices in California, Nevada and Utah, she notes,  “It has been a wonderful career where I have learned something new every day . . . mostly things NOT to do.” 

Sister Hafen’s roots run deep in Dixie.  “My father is a Hafen and my mother was a Holt from Enterprise.  It doesn’t get more ‘Southern Utah’ than that,” she laughs. 

As a lifelong member of the Church she has had numerous callings including Primary teacher and counselor, nursery teacher, family history consultant, a counselor in the Young Women’s program, and in her stake in Las Vegas, she was dubbed “indexing queen” because she LOVES indexing!

Her busy life - including rearing two daughters and three sons, who have produced 9 beautiful grandchildren – has left her little time to develop any regular hobbies, “though I’ve tried my hand at quilting, crocheting and family history.”

“I very much appreciate how welcoming the members of the Bloomington 7th Ward have been to me. I didn't know anyone here, except my dad, and now I have some wonderful sisters I can call my friends!!!”  states Sister Hafen.

For all she has done in life, Laurie says, of the two of them, her dad has had the more interesting life.  A graduate from Dixie High School where he was an All Star in both basketball and football, he went on to play football at the University of Utah until he was called into the service of his country during WWII.  After the war he finished his degree then played pro-football for the Detroit Lions (1947-49) but decided he needed a more stable job to support his growing family, so applied for a position as an FBI agent.  In 1967, with a young family and a desire to be closer to his southern Utah home, he was finally transferred from St. Louis, MO to Las Vegas.  In 1975 he left the FBI after 25 years to begin a new career as head of security for Howard Hughes.  He has lived in Bloomington since his retirement in 1982.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bloomington Stake Picnic

Based on the number of people in attendance and the amount of rice, pulled pork, bar-be-qued chicken, salad and cookies consumed, the perfect late summer weather, the excitement of children waiting in line for the jump houses and the sociable chit-chat around each table, the annual Bloomington Stake Picnic was a HUGE success.  Thanks to the members of the Bloomington 9th Ward for taking on this monumental assignment.  The food was excellent and the island entertainment was exciting and fun!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Scout Court-of-Honor

A well-organized and well attended Court of Honor was held in the evening of Sunday, September 16 to recognize the exceptional efforts of Boy Scouts in the Bloomington 7th Ward thanks to ward scouting leaders Matthew Chappell, Gary Anderson, Steve Gwilliam, Rob Wilkes, Aaron Larson, Roy Stephen and other members of the Troop Committee and of course, Bishop John Goldhardt and Jackie Dodart, Stake Advancement Chair.  

Eddie Edwards, a former fighter pilot in the U. S. Air Force shared some of his military experiences reminding the boys to “leave your fear behind and rely on your training” in life!  

Following is the impressive list of scouts and the merit badges (awards earned based on activities within an area of study by completing a list of periodically updated requirements) each completed over the summer, as well as their rank advancements:
Matthew Clark                         7 + Snokeling                          Star Rank
Cache Bertschi                       6 + Snorkeling                         Tenderfoot
Dallin Forsyth                          8                                              2nd and 1st Class
McKay Goldhardt                   11                                            Scout through 1st Class
Adam Gwilliam                       7                                              Tenderfoot through 1st Class
Luke Gwilliam                         5 (to go with the 37 he already has on his sash) + Snorkling
Bryce Nelson                          6 + Snorkeling                         Tenderfoot through 1st Class
Mitchell Smith                         1
Christian Spangler                  1
Jacob Stokes                          6 + Snorkeling
Luke Wilkes                            5
Jarett Thomas                        1                                              Scout Rank
Noah Forsyth                                                                         Scout Rank
Steven Larson                                                                        Scout Rank
Steve Gwilliam         Bronze Palm (5 additional Merit Badges beyond 21 required for Eagle)

Congratulations to all the boys for their hard work and thanks to their leaders and their parents who have supported their efforts.

In other scouting news, Olene Walker, president of the Bloomington 7th Ward Primary organization and Utah’s former governor (#15) is the most recent recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, presented last week by the National Parks Council in Provo.  The Silver Beaver Award is the Boy Scouts of America’s council-level distinguished service award given only to those who do not actively seek it.  Recipients are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service to the council and the community by hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service.  Congratulations to President Walker for this recognition.