Sunday, April 20, 2014

B7 Welcomes Emma Alldredge

Emma Alldredge, 8-year-old daughter of Russ and Joy Alldredge, was baptized at the Bloomington Stake Center on Saturday, April 19 by her father and confirmed by the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost by her grandfather Edward Alldredge.   Surrounded by family and friends, little Sister Alldredge – a 2nd grader at Bloomington Elementary School - has learned at home and in Primary about the importance of baptism by immersion which represents the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and will always serve as a reminder to Emma of her promise to follow the Savior and keep His commandments.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

B7 Primary Girls Enjoy Activity Days

From painting ornaments to give as gifts to attending Shakespeare's the "Tempest," the B7 Primary Activity Days group has filled their Saturday mornings (and one Friday afternoon) with much learning and lots of laughter.

The girls have worked on "Learning and Living the Gospel" by making Sacrament bread, studying scripture to find their own "superheroes" by choosing any of God's super servants and uncovering his or her super powers. 

Special guest Tina Forsyth shared her interest in genealogy while the girls continued working on their pedigree charts. Then, each girl shared a memento from an ancestor, heard stories about her ancestors, learned more about the meaning of her name and how her name was selected for her and talked about family traditions. 

Rolling a Hawaiian luau, a game show and day of pampering into one, the girls were treated to mini-manicures after playing a question and answer game about food and nutrition. Then, they cleaned and prepped a healthful snack of pineapple, strawberries and grapes, designed their own modest dress wardrobe for paper dolls and learned about why dressing modestly is important.

Finally, in "Serving Others" the group picked up trash and debris at Bloomington Park. Armed with gloves and bags, the girls scoured the park removing litter from the playground and ball park area while remembering the Good Samaritan and Jesus' ultimate role of serving all of us.

The Activity Days group extends a warm welcome to new leader, Joy Alldredge. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I for Elder Selwin Lovell

Elder Selwin Lovell left his Bloomington home, with Ed and Linda Sappington, on Wednesday, April 9 for the MTC in Provo to begin his "best two years" in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  A 21-year resident of Georgetown, Guyana, South America, he and his identical twin brother Simeon, joined the church at age 14. In the United States only since mid-September and in St. George since Halloween “the twins” always knew the next great adventure in their lives was a mission. 

Opening his call to the American south was an exciting moment – not only because “it is finally here” but because his brother Simeon also received his call letter to the Georgia Atlanta Mission on the same day!

The fact there are only 21,760 members in 44 wards and branches – and 16 family history centers - in all of Mississippi does not trouble this elder who just recognizes there are more who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ – and he considers himself up to the challenge.

Early church records indicate missionaries first arrived in Mississippi in 1839 and baptized 13 people amidst much persecution. In April 1842, nearly 90 Mississippi Latter-day Saints in 40 wagons escaped opposition by fleeing to Nauvoo, Illinois. Persecution from enemies in Mississippi continued for the next four decades, culminating in 1880 when an attempt was made to persuade the governor to force Church members from the state. In 1846, a company of Church members left Monroe County expecting to join the main body of Saints in the Rocky Mountains. Instead, they became the first group of Latter-day Saints to cross the plains, wintering with fur trappers in Colorado that year.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Birthday Party Celebrates 172 Years of Scattering Sunshine

Following this year's theme of Scattering His Sunshine, the Relief Society celebrated it's 172nd year with the traditional birthday party. After a prayer by Secretary Anita Knowlton, Relief Society President Elaine Christensen talked briefly. President Christensen thanked all who helped plan, decorate and serve at the event, and added a few facts about the history and role of Relief Society.  "We can scatter His sunshine in small but very important ways," she said. "Even in the little things we do, we can scatter sunshine, she explained, such as giving hugs, laughter, and compliments.  We carry that sunshine in us to give to others." 

What began with 20 members, President Christensen said, has grown into a 5.5 million person entity. It was not always an automatic enrollment process as it is today, she reminded attendees, at one time members petitioned to get in and were enrolled based on "goodness and virtue." The Relief Society was then and is today a "mighty force for good," she said, "Charity never faileth." 

During the annual party held Thursday, March 27, sunshine was evident in the bright yellow decor with beautiful sunshine yellow gladiolas standing tall in mason jar vases, lemons and limes in vases with twisted vines and more glads, pitchers of water with sunny yellow lemon slices, and even dessert, where yellow plates held pieces of chocolate cake complete with lemons made of frosting on top. Complements of and compliments to Jill Jones who was in charge of the beautiful decorations. Sister Jones also recited a poem written by her mother, Lois Baker.

As the party ensued, 2nd Counselor Sophia Ford asked each attendee to select a question from the center of her table, read the question and answer it. Lots of laughter could be heard as questions such as "What did you want to be when you grew up?" and "What is your dream vacation?" or "What is the first thing you do after you wake up?" More fun followed as the sisters were asked to move to another table if she had been to Europe, again if she had ever broken a bone, and once more if she had ever been a Relief Society President. All the switching of seats allowed guests to mingle more and get to know her fellow sisters better.

As the party came to a close, the importance of Visiting Teaching reinforced the idea of helping those in need and scattering sunshine everywhere we go. 

Special thanks to the following who helped prepare and serve food: Jeanine Smith, Elaine Tucker, Carol Stephen, Margo Freeman, Peggy Walbom, Bobby Twitty and Barbara Pinder.