Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday School Goes to Italy

The 12-14 year old Sunday School class held a celebration-of-their-heritage party Friday night, April 25 at the home of Ron and Vanda Lawson.  The class is celebrating their heritage by having ancestry-themed parties.  This first such get-together was an Italian night with food prepared by David Biasi, one of the teachers and who served as a young missionary in Italy where “the people share their loe and culture through their food.”  Brother Biasi prepared a variety of dishes including tortellini with rich alfredo sauce, cantelope wrapped in prosciutto, mortadella, toast with mostarda, steamed carrots in rich cream sauce, spaghetti and for dessert, torta margherita (Queen Margaret’s Cake).  The Aaron and Rebecca Larson family also contributed lasagna, made from an old family recipe, handed down for generations.  According to Brother Biasi, the purpose of the evening, which ended with a rousing playing of “Do You Love Your Neighbor,”  was “to engage the kids."

Class members and teachers hope to meet every couple of months as a way to fellowship classmates and sample the foods of their ancestors.  The next celebration will feature foods from the United Kingdom. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Welcome Home, Elder Selwin Lovell

Elder Selwin Lovell was reunited on Wednesday, April 13, with his twin brother Simeon and the rest of his St. George family after an honorable release from two years of full-time missionary service in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  The Guyanese "son" of Ed and Linda Sappington called his experiences in Mississippi, Louisiana and parts of Arkansas and Texas "awesome," "life-changing," "exciting,"  "full of fun adventures," and "a great opportunity to meet amazing and one-of-a-kind, beautiful people."

The best part of his mission, he says, was "finding the Lord's lost sheep." Only slightly less enjoyable was the last 2 1/2 months when he was assigned as a Special Assistant to the President while on crutches because of a broken leg.  Although he was able to travel the mission and work closely with the missionaries, his limitations prevented him from the joy of "finding."

The most important lesson learned in his "best two years" is "the importance of following the Spirit in everything you do" while also having the "wonderful opportunity to get to know my Savior."

Selwin's mission president Bruce L. Olson wrote:  "We are grateful to have had Elder Lovell in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  Sister Olson and I have loved serving with Elder Lovell. We have watched him grow in his faith and love for the Savior.  We have seen him strengthen the missionaries and members around him.  He has been an outstanding missionary and will be missed."

The MJM is the only mission in the Magnolia State where Church membership now totals 21,630 in 44 wards and branches.

What's next for Elder Lovell?  "My Plan," which missionaries are expected to complete prior to release includes, "work, school and - for my eternal welfare - to find a wife."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hats Off to Relief Society Celebrates 174 Years

Hats Off to Relief Society, B7 Ward’s celebration of the 174th anniversary of the organization its first president Emma Smith called “something extraordinary," was held on Thursday, April 7.

The evening included delicious salads and cakes, socializing around each table and an outstanding raising-the-roof program by the John Houston Gospel Choir, including B7 Ward members Lauretta Swansboro and Janet Labrum.

2nd Counselor Cheryl Kanenwisher, spoke to the theme for the evening, noting, "The phrase 'hats off' wasn't chosen just because it made a cute theme for decorating and celebrating the birthday of Relief Society. It means something! The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase 'hats off' as showing respect and admiration for something or someone.
"Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society 174 years ago for 'the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes.” In addition, he taught the Relief Society was 'not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.' The larger part of the work of Relief Society today is 'to look after the spiritual welfare and salvation … of all the female members of the Church.'

"I believe the Relief Society not only blesses the sisters in the church but all the sisters in the world. Millions of women have been impacted by this great and inspired organization.

"My hat is off to the Relief Society organization in the Church and to all sisters, including you.

Hats off to the many meals prepared and delivered. 
Hats off to those who tirelessly serve one another and give service in your neighborhoods and communities. 
Hats off to visiting teachers who faithfully fulfill their responsibilities each month. 
Hats off to the many hours of temple attendance, family history and work of salvation of souls. 
Hats off to those who accept and fulfill callings and duties associated with membership in the Church. 
Hats off to sisters who quietly and faithfully endure to the end. 
My hat is off to all of you and the Relief Society organization! Thank you for all you do and are."

“Hats off” also goes to those sisters who brought salads and cakes; to Linda Lowe for her 100 delicious and made-from-scratch rolls; to Nancy and Aleia Anderson for the invitations; to Joy Alldredge, Donna Ortiz and Suzie Long who created the beautiful decorations and special thanks to 2nd Counselor Cheryl Kanenwisher for overseeing Relief Society activities – especially this memorable birthday party celebration.