Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Graduates Moving On

Graduating from high school is a milestone event … tangible proof an important life goal has been achieved ... and the first step into adulthood. In the B7 Ward, three young women have achieved this momentous objective, graduating in the Burns Arena on May 23, 2017.

Grace Bown, the 4th of five daughters (and one son) of James and Paula Bown, not only graduated top-of-the-class at Dixie High School but was also named Valedictorian. She was also named to Academic All-State which recognizes students who have excelled in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. With over 85,000 students participating in high school activities, this award is the most prestigious honor the UHSAA presents to senior students. This well-rounded young woman plays volleyball, piano and maintains a 4.0 gpa and states her most memorable high school experience involves the whole journey to becoming valedictorian.

Hannah Kerr, oldest of Charlie and Sarah Kerr’s four offspring, has now graduated from Dixie High School where her grades earned her scholarships to her choice of  either Dixie State University or Southern Utah University. Her future plans include a semester at DSU, after which she hopes to serve a fulltime mission. Her most memorable high school experience is – unquestionably – being part of DHS's two time winning Utah state championship drill team!!!

Aspen Honey Bair, one of three B7 Ward graduates and 3rd of Bishop Mike and Lori Bair’s four children, was also recently awarded Dixie High School’s 2017 Atlas Award Female Athlete of the Year. The main criteria for her selection was participation in multiple sports. Aspen has played volleyball, basketball, and track and field at Dixie High School for 4 years. She has been an ambassador for the past two years at Dixie High and her academic GPA puts her on the high honor roll and earned her several scholarships. She will be attending Dixie State University in the fall and will be DHS’s 9th grade volleyball coach this coming year.

Congratulations to these amazing young women!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mantenerse a salvo y godspeed, Elder Haus Jones

Elder Hauser Jones, youngest of Corwin and Diana Smith's combined 13 children, will serve 2 years as a full-time missionary in the Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission, one of 4 missions in this Central American country.

Originally called to serve in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission, Elder Jones was delayed due to problems navigating the difficult waters of immigration to get a visa, so attended a semester at BYU until his travel plans could be resolved. "It's been quite a journey," he noted of the lengthy process, “but I am better prepared and eager to serve.”

The Church has a relatively short history in Honduras where Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles first visited in the early 1950s. These Church emissaries left literature with a hotel waiter who not only read what he had been given, but was later baptized. Missionaries were first called came to Honduras in December 1952, baptizing the first converts and organizing the first congregation in March 1953.

 In 1980, Church membership in Honduras was 6,300. Today Honduras has 172,253 members in 235 congregations in four missions. The first temple in Honduras was built in Tegucigalpa, a 28,254 square foot structure dedicated by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on March 17, 2013 enabling members to take part in sacred ordinances which before had required a 12-hour trip to the Guatemala City Temple.

Elder Jones enters the Provo MTC on Wednesday, May 24.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Activity Girls Celebrate Mothers Day

Fourteen B7 Primary girls enjoyed their Activity Day in May at the Wood Connection on Riverside Drive where they made Mothers Day gifts. The girls had fun sanding, gluing, painting and creating computer generated messages expressing their love and appreciation for Mom, Momma, Ma or whoever it is who cares, nurtures, teaches and loves them on the home front. Thanks to Activity Day leaders Elaine Christensen, Anne Sterner, and Donna Ortiz for organizing this fun activity.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Welcome Home, Elder Gwilliam

Elder Steve Gwilliam "returned with honor" on Thursday, May 4 from his 2+ years of service to the Lord and His people in the Kansas Wichita Mission.  The "plus" of his service came as the result of an injury - a badly broken left leg sustained during a sports activity only about 60 days after entering the MTC - which required him to come home for nearly five months to recover.  Told he could count this as time served, he opted instead to finish what he started, serving from January 7, 2015 until May 4, 2017.

What's next for this tall, hardworking and dedicated RM?  "Earning a degree in forensic science or criminology is what I hope will launch my future career," he states.  He hopes to study at Dixie State University, but his father, commercial airline pilot Steve Gwilliam, Sr., must take mandatory retirement from United Airlines in September.  To continue flying Steve, Sr. will likely need to move to a larger area with more employment options.  As such, Steve, Jr. may have to look at furthering his career goals at Utah State University or Utah Valley University, depending on where his family lands!

In the meantime, he will continue sharing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ in every way he can.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bloomington Teens Sang as They Walked, and Walked, and Walked ...

B7's Young Men, Young Women and their leaders took their annual walk to the temple, an event started several years ago by Sister Cheryl Kanenwisher for the combined purposes of "just a fun way to be together," a chance to talk about the importance of temples in God's Plan of Happiness and how lucky we are to have this beautiful "House of the Lord" - the first built in the West - so close by.  Once on the grounds of the temple, the youth enjoyed a speaker who shared his thoughts and testimony about the importance of perseverance and setting goals.  Of course, the afternoon ended with pizza and drinks before everyone was transported home.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breakfast and Service on a Beautiful Spring Morning

The Community Breakfast and Humanitarian Day of Service on Saturday, May 6 was another huge success for the Southgate Stake.  The weather was perfect, the breakfast was exceptional - with scrambled eggs and hash browns, bacon, sausage and pancakes - and the crowd of all ages was large and enthusiastic.  The humanitarian service options included tying quilts, knotting fleece blankets, creating hygiene kits for those in need, and stuffing toys reminding all those with busy hands, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Youth Conference for Southgate Stake Youth

The Southgate Stake Youth Conference was held this year on the weekend of April 21-22 at Quail Creek where young men and women, ages 14-18 camped overnight on the big lawn at the Marion D. Hanks Scout Camp.  Friday night was filled with fun, games, dancing and ended with a devotional around the campfire where Br. Steve Gwilliam spoke about "holding to the rod."

Saturday morning was filled with workshops, special speakers and team building experiences.  In the afternoon, there was a hike and an activity where youth were blindfolded and had to "hold to the rod" tightly while listening to a cacophony of voices trying to persuade them to go the wrong way ... but only one was "the right voice."  The experience ended with a meeting with their YM/YW presidents followed by a luau complete with entertainment provided by the youth of the 9th Ward who put on a great show!

It was a fun weekend where lots of good memories were made among friends.  Thanks to the leaders of the Southgate Stake for planning such a wonderful event.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Rachel Long Is Baptized

Rachel Long, daughter of Rhett and Suzie Long, stepped into the baptismal font at the Bloomington Stake Center on Saturday, April 29 to receive the blessings of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from her father, after which she was confirmed by her uncle Markay Johnson. 

The 2nd grader at Vista School in Ivins enjoyed a program for her special day including a solo by little brother Zach of “I Am A Child of God” followed by his leading the audience in the 2nd and 3rd verses accompanied by Maureen Taylor on her ukelele.  Sally Fraser sang “When I Am Baptized.”

Through her baptism and confirmation, this beautiful 8-year-old - as do all members of the Church – has now received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and has also covenanted to abide by the laws and principles of the new and everlasting covenant.  She has “come into the fold of God” to become one of the newest members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and promises to “serve God and keep His commandments” throughout her lifetime.