Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Elders Quorum Ice Cream Social

The Elders Quorum Ice Cream Social on Saturday, September 20 was short of attendees but long on fun.  This pleasant evening had a goal to get better acquainted with each elder, with new ward members, and with the new Elders Quorum presidency, including President Lorenzo Sperry, 1st Counselor Eric Smith and 2nd Counselor Skylar Hansen.  Those few Priesthood holders and their wives who came out enjoyed ice cream sundaes, lots of laughter and the chance to share life experiences, conversion and mission stories. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bloomington Stake Picnic

There were lots of B7 members and their neighbors, friends and family at the annual Bloomington Stake picnic on the hot, late summer evening of Tuesday, September 16.  The food was fresh and filling.  There were jump houses and other activities for the kids. Because of this end-of-summer event's triple-digit temperature, many came and went, but most came and stayed to enjoy entertainment provided by YM/YW from wards throughout the stake.  Thanks to everyone who helped in anyway make this evening another successful social event.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet the Johnstons

Carl and Wendy Johnston consider themselves just normal, hardworking, 4-wheeling people, who love family, church and the great outdoors.   She grew up in Salt Lake City, he in Spanish Fork and they met at Southern Utah University where he studied police science which eventually turned into a 34-year career with the Spanish Fork Police Department.  At SUU, Wendy studied homemaking  which gave her a good foundation for her career as a homemaker and stay-at-home Mom to two sons and a daughter.  After the kids grew up and he retired from the SFPD, they said goodbye to Spanish Fork in favor of warmer weather and a second career for Carl as a training coordinator for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.  The move also brought them geographically closer to their son and his family in St. George and their daughter and her family in Las Vegas. 

They rented for six months while looking for just the right home but it took nearly 7 months to find the perfect combination of house, yard, garage, neighborhood and price.  They finally found it at 914 Rio Virgin Drive, and luckily for them – and for us – its in the Bloomington 7th Ward.  Speaking of church, Wendy says, as lifelong members they have done just about everything there is to do in the church and are looking forward to serving in whatever capacity the Lord and the ward needs them.

In their spare time, the Johnston’s enjoy golf, camping and grandkids, but Wendy also finds time for sewing and quilting.

Welcome to the B7 Ward.  We look forward to getting to know you better.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcome, Mike and Kam Capik

Mike and Kam Capik reside at 1313 Player Circle, the home previously owned by her parents and longtime B7 Ward members Wellington and Margaret McDonald.  “We just got tired of the responsibility of two homes and were not looking forward to another long cold winter shoveling snow,” she says, so as soon as Br. Mike was released after 4 years at the MTC, where for the last 1 ½ years he served as the branch president to missionaries called to the Philippines, the couple put up a “for sale” sign and headed south.

In his working years, this California native with a masters degree in engineering from Cal State-Long Beach, had a lengthy and successful career as a civil engineer for Nolte Engineering.  His job which took them to Irvine, CA for 12 years and another 13 years in Modesto, CA, eventually brought them back to the Wasatch Front community of Highland for 10 years. 

Kam is a Utah native, a graduate of the University of Utah with a degree in education and a lifetime member of the church, but Mike is a convert who lived all the principles, but waited 7 years after they were married, to join the church.  Kam says of his conversion, “when he knew the time was right, he went into the waters of baptism without reservation and with all his heart.”   Since then, he has served in numerous capacities including as a ward Bishop and later as president of a young single adult branch in Modesto.  Kam, too, has served in many callings, including one year as a YW camp director (although she is quick to point out, “I’m not a camper!”) and  as a counselor in a Stake Relief Society presidency in Highland.  She also had a truly exceptional experience as the manager of a General Women’s Conference Choir which required her time and attention “all day, every day for 3 months for women from 50 different Hiighland and Alpine wards to learn 3 songs.”  She has also served her community as a DUP company president and as president of the Modesto Symphony Guild.  Together they served two years as ordinance workers in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.  Kam notes, “our time at the MTC was the best thing we have ever done in our married life, but we want to continue to serve wherever we are … not be put out to pasture.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ward Welcomes the Alldredge Family

The family of Russel and Joy Alldredge, including 8 year-old Emma; Matthew, age 6; Kaylee, 19 months and Joy's mother Donna Ortiz, moved to 3128 Jacob Hamblin Drive in southern Utah (where a few generations of his family helped build the area) from Corona, CA where "he lived from birth to St. George.”  In southern California, he worked in construction – a job he didn’t particularly enjoy – and she “dabbled” in real estate.  In St. George he loves his “less stressful job” in the shipping department at Orgill Distributing and she works as a floor designer at Tai Pan Trading Company.

Her family is “all converts,” says Joy who was 3-years-old when the sister missionaries found, taught and baptized them.  “I still remember those beautiful sisters and thank them everyday for bringing the gospel to our home.”  Joy served a mission in the Ohio Cleveland Mission, which then included the Kirtland Historic Sites.  Through the years, she has been a teacher and 1st counselor of her Corona ward Primary and a teacher and 1st counselor in the Young Womens program. Currently, she serves as B7 Primary's activity days leader.  Russel served in the England London Mission and since his return has been an advisor in the Young Men’s Program, secretary in the Elders Quorum, a Primary teacher and now, in the B7 Ward, he is the Young Men’s secretary.

Now celebrating 10 years of marriage, Joy says their family looks forward to movie night on Fridays. "We like to go to a Redbox, rent a movie, get popcorn and candy and watch a movie together," Joy says. 

“We are so impressed with this area," states Joy.  "Everyone is so warm and welcoming.  We had about 15 people show up on our front porch within a few days of moving in – with cookies, bread and offers to help in anyway we needed.  In our whole life, that’s never happened before!”

Sister Ortiz lived most of her life in Southern California though she was born in North Carolina.  She married at age 18 but divorced after 13 years and three children - two sons and Joy - all three who served missions!   She and her children lived in Santa Ana and later in Corona until she was "hired on the spot" to be an executive secretary in a family-owned construction company in Clinton, UT.  Not long after  she came to Utah, the housing market collapsed and her employer closed the company doors.  She then took a job with the IRS, while staying in daily contact with Joy in SoCal who invited her mother to "quit and move back here."

Donna says she knew the Church was true from the first time she met with the missionaries.  She was always modest in her dress and communication, and was certain her parents habits did not fit her idea of a healthy lifestyle, so the message of the gospel fell into place.  Since her baptism soon after her divorce, she has served in the Primary, Relief Society and Young Women's program, as well as the single representative on a stake and ward level.  Currently she teaches the 13-14 years old in Sunday School.

This faithful new family is a wonderful addition to the Bloomington 7th Ward family.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Long Overdue Welcome to the Hallmans

If you ask Paul and Lynda Hallman how many of their eleven children are his (6) and how many are hers (5), their answer is sure to be, “all of them!”  Their large family, for many years, lived in Bloomington but work later took the couple to Orem, where they then spent lots of time driving back and forth visiting family on both ends of the state.  One Thanksgiving, with everyone around the dinner table, Paul and Lynda said, “we’ve got to get back to Bloomington.”  Their house on the Wasatch Front sold in a week and when a St. George realtor showed them around, they informed him they needed a BIG house … not a condo!  For her, the selling point of their new home at 1151 Columbine Circle was the large family room.  For him it was the large patio!

Paul started life in Centerville in northern Utah.  He is currently spending six days a week in Enterprise working for the power company installing a line from Richfield to the Utah border while looking forward to retiring in December.  Lynda had her own online business, is a certified midwife and at one time, even operated a wedding business.  Born in Provo, Lynda says, “technically my family is Jewish.”  Her grandmother came to the U. S. at age 10, terrified of the Germans and fearful, for much of her life, the Nazis would find her.  Lynda's mother was introduced to the Savior Jesus Christ through her attendance at Primary with neighbors and was baptized when Lynda was 3-years-old so she grew up with the gospel in her life.

Lynda has held many positions in the church, but her favorite was doing the bulletin every week.  Paul has served numerous times as a ward or stake clerk.

Hallman hobbies include guns, motorcycles, textiles, crafts and, of course, family which now numbers more than 50!

The Hallman's have been members of the Bloomington 7th Ward for more than a year and “we absolutely love this ward,” says Sister Hallman.  “I particularly grow each week from the knowledge and testimonies of the sisters in Relief Society.”

This is a long overdue welcome, but we are pleased to have the Hallman's in our ward.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hooks Report from Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Hooks, who want everyone to know they are safe and well in Fort Wayne, Indiana, started their 6th MTC experience on the morning of Monday, August 11.  “We stayed in the new senior apartments but were not required to attend the ‘Preach My Gospel’ sessions because it had been less than two years since the last time we were at the MTC.  I think it was also because they felt if we hadn’t learned PMG lessons by now, there was a possibility we were too old and decrepit.”

Rather than fight commuter traffic driving to Salt Lake City every morning, the Hooks decided to ride the Front Runner train with MTC personnel dropping them and picking them up each day at the station in downtown Provo.  When arriving in SLC, they transferred to Trax, a city-wide electric rail system, which dropped them 1½ blocks from the Church’s high rise office building where classes, on the Nikon camera they would be using for the next year, were conducted for four days.

The evening before they were to depart for the mission field, they enjoyed dinner with two of their adult grandchildren, after which security personnel at the MTC allowed them through the gate to the drop off point where thousands of families have dropped their sons and daughters. 

“We stood there with our grandchildren hugging, crying and laughing.  How good it that?  Our grandkids dropped us off at the MTC!” notes Sister Hooks.

They traveled across the USA on Interstate 80 with hardly any hassle arriving at their14th floor  apartment at 1401 Three Rivers East, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 on August 19.  “Our apartment oversees the city of Fort Wayne and we are only 4 blocks from the Allen County Courthouse where we will be working throughout our mission.  The space allotted to our work is on the second floor in the records department.  Several long tables are in the center of the room and the records are brought up from the basement.  The rest of the Records Preservation missionaries who live in our apartment building are assigned to the library.”

The countryside is “lush and green because of more rain in the first few weeks than we see in St. George in a year.”

The Hooks do not currently have access to the internet but hope to have this communication tool soon.  In the meantime, they send their love.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Welcome, Sister Janet Benavidez

Janet Benavidez lived in several places before settling in Bloomington.  She began life in Ely but grew up in Henderson, NV.  She attended Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho and BYU in … well, you know … where she graduated with a degree in Business Education!  She then lived and worked in California, Arizona and Saudi Arabia.  She was "Sister" for the four years she taught seminary and again while serving as a senior missionary in the Mexico City Temple (2009-2011) – and hopes “to do a couple more missions before I die!” 

Following a serious accident involving a semi-truck, Janet settled in Toquerville where she lived for eight years before moving to Bloomington to be closer to family, her job at The Learning Center for Families (TLC) and the temple where she can be found in the Spanish-speaking session every Thursday night.  In the B7 Ward, she has recently been called to serve as a Sunday School teacher to the 17-year-olds, where her bubbly personality and her love of teens and the gospel of Jesus Christ is certain to make her a favorite among the young members of the B7 Ward.

Sister Benavidez has five children – a daughter, two sons (and twins who lived only ½ hour after their birth), and three grands.

Welcome to the B7 Ward!  We are so pleased your well-traveled road has brought you to Bloomington.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Primary Says Bye to Summer

The Primary activity on Thursday, September 4 was another well-planned and happy event for B7’s children.  Activities included making covers for the upcoming Primary Sacrament meeting program, creating and delivering a giant get-well card for Carter Nelson, who recently had surgery and has a cast from his ankles to his waist on both legs.  Then the fire truck met up with the kids for the chance to get up-close-and-personal to the fire fighting equipment … and of course, to get squirted down with the hose, followed by more water games.  At the end of the day, there was ice cream for everyone.  This was a great way to celebrate the end of summer!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome, Parkers ... and Sister Reynolds

Gregory and Eva Parker are not newcomers to the Bloomington community – in fact, have lived in the area for more than 20 years.  Their first 10 years found them in the B6 Ward … the next ten in the B4 Ward.  Their move to the B7 Ward was not planned, but has worked out well since finding a home with a comfortable mother-in-law cottage for her mother, 97-year-old Lorene Reynolds.

Greg, came from Michigan, and Eva from Monroe, Utah.  They are Vietnam veterans of the U. S. Air Force, and met at Carswell Air Force Base, while working at the same hospital – she in radiology and he making and fitting orthopedic appliances. After the Air Force, they attended the University of Utah.  He was not a church member at the time they were married, but was baptized later as a result of terrific missionaries and a friendly conversation with N. Eldon Tanner, the uncle of one of his co-workers.       

During their working lives, Gregory’s company manufactured point-of-purchase racks and Eva worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative.  The Parkers are the proud parents of two daughters – one in St. George, the other in Las Vegas - and grandparents to six.

Since their retirement, the Parkers have spent their time raising horses, investing in and flipping rental properties and indulging grandchildren - Grandma’s favorite hobby and pastime.   In addition, Br. Parker enjoys golfing and until her grandson left for college at West Point, Sister Parker looked forward to every Desert Hills High School football game and to Thursday nights when she helped cook dinner for his friends - the entire DHHS football team.

Lorene Reynolds, mother of Eva Parker, was born in the central Utah community of Marysvale.  After high school graduation she attended nursing school in SLC, graduating as an RN, a career which found her working in doctors’ offices and hospitals for more than 40 years until her retirement from the University of Utah Medical Center where her last assignment was as the Assistant Director of Nursing Services.   

Married for the first time in 1942, Eva’s father passed away at age 53.  Six years later, Lorene married a second time then moved to Texas where they lived for 12 years.  They moved to St. George to be closer to family and where he died in 2008.  Her family now includes 4 “kids,” 14 grandchildren, 16 greats and a 3-year-old great, great granddaughter.

In addition to many years in the Relief Society presidency in Texas and later in the Bloomington Hills 1st Ward, Sister Lorene still enjoys crocheting and loves remembering her many years as a volunteer for various non-profit organizations including the American Cancer Society, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and at Dixie College.

Welcome to the Bloomington 7th Ward, Br. and Sister Parker and Sister Reynolds.  We are glad the road has brought you to us!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome, Frank Knowles

Frank Knowles, a single father of two and grandfather to six, has packed a whole lot of living into his lifetime – so much so, it has taken more than 500 pages of writing his personal history to tell the story of just his first 24 years.  The great-great grandson of church president Lorenzo Snow and a grandson of Morris Rosenbaum, the second Jew to join the Church, has researched and documented the deaths at Auschwitz of more than 200 of his family members. 

Br. Frank, a native son of Salt Lake City, attended the University of Utah, served two missions to South Africa – one as a young missionary and a second later in life in the ghettos outside of Johannesburg; and, was the chaplain assistant at the Utah State Prison for 5 ½ years.  For his 35 working years, he made a comfortable living as a franchise developer and has traveled the world, visiting such faraway places as Africa, the Holy Land, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Canada, as well as every state in the USA.

In his church life, Br. Knowles has served in Elders Quorum presidencies, bishoprics, 3 high councils and “taught just about every class in the church.” 

Recently relocated to St. George from Vancouver, Washington, Frank is pleased with the warm welcome he has already received from the members of the Bloomington 7th Ward and looks forward to getting better acquainted with his new neighbors.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sister Carson Home from Tennessee

Lisa Carson, youngest of Kendall and Mary Jean Carson’s two daughters, is home from fulltime missionary service in the “green and gorgeous but hot and humid” Tennessee Nashville Mission.  Despite the many ups and downs and twists and turns of her missionary service, she had 14 baptisms while serving in four different areas of the nation’s Bible belt, where most of the people she met were staunch Baptists.

Her original call as a fulltime missionary was to the Nevada Las Vegas Mission … but 1½ weeks after opening the envelope from Church headquarters, she was reassigned to the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission.  She knocked on many doors and had many favorable experiences in “the Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but two months after she stepped off the plane, she and her companion developed a nasty combination of cryptosporidium - typically an acute, short-term gastrointestinal infection, but which in her case became severe and non-resolving - and e-coli -  from which healthy adults usually recover within a week, but some cases are debilitating and can cause severe complications. While her companion recovered, she did not.  After trying to “wait it out” for several weeks, she returned home to the loving care of her family while waiting for the Lord to decide what course her life should take. 

Four and one-half months later, she was called back into the mission field – this time to Tennessee.

She is now attending Dixie State University, with a goal to complete the requirements for an associates degree this semester.  She is not sure yet whether she will continue to study for a degree in psychology at DSU or transfer to another school, but her longterm goal is to be a school counselor or open a private practice in child psychology.

This beautiful blond returned missionary misses the mission field and those she served.  “Southern hospitality is a ‘for real thing’,” she notes.  “The people are very warm and loving and I now have many more in my family circle, including new nieces, nephews and grandparents I love in Tennessee.”