Thursday, July 21, 2016

Maligayang Pagdating, Elder Jones

Elder Stetson Jones (who now prefers using his middle name of Slade), son of Teak Jones and Corwin and Diana Smith is newly home from 2-years of missionary service in the Philippines Cebu Mission.  He writes the following as his days of fulltime missionary service come to an end:

My heart aches thinking about the end of my mission ... I don't really want to leave... as much as I want to go. Only a missionary will understand that sentence.

Really, I don't want my last words to be ones of sadness and heartache, but of peace, hope and encouragement.

I wish to testify above all else I have learned here on my mission … our Savior Jesus Christ LIVES! He loves us. He knows us. We are children of the divine, of a loving Father in heaven, with potential exceeding all human comprehension. I testify we have a purpose here on Earth! It is to prepare us for greater things to come.. I know without a doubt God loves us and because of His love he gave his son to us, that through him, and by him, and of him, all good things will come. I know families can live together forever in happiness if we just follow His plan. I fear above all the waves and torrents and temptations of the world it will never dull or drain the truths I have come to cherish so deeply and fully here in my mission.... because I know the adversary will try with all his might to estrange me from the path I have started down. I pray we all may receive the strength to see above and through those "mists of darkness" which sometimes cloud our judgment.

I have loved being set apart from that which is worldly. It has showed me more fully how to enjoy what is in the world and how to reject and avoid those things which would take me from enjoying the fullness of it.

I testify to you this church was established by the Lord himself, through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know him to be a prophet, the very instrument of the Lord in doing this great work. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is the very word of our living father in Heaven.  He gave it to us that we might more fully come to know him and know of his love and the plan he has for us. READ IT! It has brought me more peace and comfort among the raging torrents of depression and uncertainty the world has to throw at us. There is no question which remains unanswered to me. They have all been answered here though study and prayer... I will never be confused again about what is right and what is not.

Brothers and Sisters my mission has been sacred to me... It has given me the greatest foundation for a happy life I recommend it very highly to all.

I have said this many a time in my email, but I say it again ... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY and I WILL ALWAYS BE A MISSIONARY!

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and thus shall I remain till the day I behold his face and feel his palms and kiss his feet myself.

This is His work. And, I will forever be in debt to have been so blessed to be a part of it.  This nametag may be taken off but the name which it bears will always remain in my heart. Jesus is the Christ, and I am His servant. Now. Tomorrow. Forever.

Mission is over? Nah, it is just starting!

What are Slade's plans for the future?  He is jumping into the real estate field following his mother’s advice hoping to earn enough money quickly to be able to attend BYU-Hawaii for the upcoming winter semester.  He is also make the necessary arrangements to test at DSU to hopefully earn at least a semester of college credit for his proficiency in the two Filipino languages of Tagolog and Cebuano.  Most importantly, Slade is helping his younger brother Haus get ready for his mission.

Glad to have you back safe and sound, Br. Jones.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cub Scouts Triumph in Raingutter Regatta

In a combined activity with the Bloomington 3rd Ward, Noah Wilkes took 4th place in the Raingutter Regatta, a racing event for Cub Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America.  Held in the Manzanita pavilion on Thursday, July 14, the Raingutter Regatta is the sailboat equivalent of the pinewood derby

The sailboat kit consists of a 7" long balsa wood hull, a 6 1/2 inch mast, plastic sail, plastic rudder, and metal keelThe boats are usually propelled through a standard rain gutter - though in the case of the this Bloomington event in a blow up waterway - by blowing on the sail, either directly or through a drinking straw. The first boat to reach the end of the gutter is the winner. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Te Extrañaremos, Hermana Summer Simkins

Summer Simkins, oldest of 6 kids who live at the home of Randy and Shar Simkins, has been called to serve in the Argentina Neuguén Mission.  The tall, stately blond, who has just completed her freshman year at Dixie State University where she played on the women Trailblazers’ softball team, entered the MTC on Wednesday, July 13.  In Provo for six weeks before flying off to South America, she will experience total immersion training in the Spanish language to prepare her for 18-months of service to the Lord’s children in Argentina. 

When completing her missionary application, she expressed an interest in learning a language, but expected to serve in a foreign language speaking mission in the United States.  Still she is excited about being called by a prophet of God and knows Argentina is where she is supposed to serve.  Although her mom is nervous and pretty emotional about things, the young Sister Simkins is looking forward to her new adventure.

There are currently nearly 450,000 Church members in 767 congregations in Argentina.  Two temples serve members in 14 missions.  The Buenos Aires Temple, the 1st in Argentina and the 4th in South America, was built in 1983, and re-dedicated in 2011 after an extensive 3-year renovation. The Córdoba Temple was dedicated in May 2015 by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. 

We will miss you, Sister Simkins.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Baptism Times Two!

Sophia Anderson
Sophia Anderson, 3rd child of Dustin and Jandee Anderson, was baptized by her father and confirmed by her grandfather Richard Anderson on Saturday, June 25, 2016 in the Cedar Hills area of Utah County, near the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.  Almost a 3rd grader in the Chinese dual immersion language program at Bloomington Elementary School, Sophia enjoys tumbling, swimming and playing with her brother and two sisters.

Maeven Taylor (her name means "expert" or "connoisseur") the middle child of Adam and Maurene Taylor’s three little ones, stepped into the baptismal font at the Bloomington Stake Center on Saturday, June 25, 2016 to be baptized and confirmed by her father, in the presence of family from as far away as Virginia.  Maeven, who will enter the 3rd grade at Vista Elementary School in Ivins in the fall, is said to be a "bright personality" who loves reading and her pets, especially the family's chocolate Lab, Hank.

Through their baptisms and confirmations, these two beautiful 8-year-olds - as do all members of Church – have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and have also covenanted to abide by the laws and principles of the new and everlasting covenant.  They have “come into the fold of God” to become the newest members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and promise to “serve God and keep His commandments” throughout their lifetimes.