Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Young Women Celebrate "New Beginnings"


“I now realize Personal Progress is not about doing . . . its about becoming!” said Emily Forsyth who addressed other Bloomington 7th Ward young women, their parents and leaders during “New Beginnings” on March 20.   

Emily - who finished all Personal Progress requirements 4 months after her 14th birthday – at 16 is going back through the program because she now recognizes the need to “Turn Your Heart to Personal Progress.”    
The evening included the introduction of two 12-year-old girls who are just coming into the Young Women program.   A warm welcome was extended to Maddy Andersen, daughter of new ward members  John and Jennifer Andersen; and, Emily Gierisch, daughter of Brian and Sally Gierisch. 

The Young Women of the ward introduced the Personal Progress Values of Faith (by Bridger Kanenwisher), Divine Nature (Liz Larson), Individual Worth (Caroline Smith), Knowledge (Summer Simkins), Choice and Accountability (Grace Graham), Good Works (Aspin Erskine), Integrity (Grace Bown) and Virtue (Savannah Spangler).
The Personal Progress Program is designed to strengthen a young woman’s faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ as she learns His teachings and regularly applies them in her life. It will help her strengthen both her present – and future - family. It will help her prepare make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple. And it will prepare her to be a faithful, contributing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Thanks to young women willing to  “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5) and to parents and leaders in the Bloomington 7th Ward.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Welcome Home, Sister Bown!

Sarah Bown, daughter of President James and Sister Paula Bown, was the Valentine her family had been waiting for when she stepped from the plane and into their waiting arms on February 15, 2013.  Fresh from fulltime service to the Lord and His children in the Missouri Independence Mission, Sister Bown believes “everyone should go on a mission and always be missionary-minded even when you are not officially serving.  There are people all around us who have been prepared to hear the gospel message.  We just need to prepare ourselves and pray for opportunities to share the gospel, then open our mouths!” 

Calling her mission “life changing,” Sarah now looks toward her future.  She will return to BYU in April where she will complete her studies in English and art towards a bachelor’s degree – “probably another two years,” she thinks, “then I plan to be accepted into the Social Work Master’s Program after which I hope to work in that field.”

Sarah is the first of the Bown children to complete a mission, but certainly not the last.  Her sister Elizabeth is currently serving in Poland and is expected home in February 2014.  Elder Peter Bown will enter the MTC in Provo on May 8 in preparation for two years among the Lord’s children in the Texas Houston Mission.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sisters Celebrate Relief Society

The 171st birthday of the organization of Relief Society was celebrated by the sisters of the Bloomington 7th Ward on Thursday, March 14.  The evening was an opportunity to get to know the sisters in the ward better – and also to know the General Presidents of Relief Society from Emma Smith, the first president of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo to Linda K. Burton, current leader of the largest women's organization in the world.  We were also grateful for the presence of Bishop John Goldhardt who shared his gratitude for and testimony of Relief Society.  Thanks to the organizing committee, chaired by Becky Jones . . . and to Jeanine Smith, who chaired the food committee.  Everything about the evening – including an assortment of delicious cakes for dessert - was well done and delicious.  Thanks to all who assisted in any way to make this delightful evening a success!