Bishopric – Gratitude

Another month come and gone.  2017 is quickly drawing to a close.  October was a great month!  General Conference provides such a spiritual boost.  I love that all of the uplifting talks are available for us to re-read and re-watch. We ended October on a high note with our Ward Social and Cub Scout Cake auction.  There was a great turnout with delicious soups and chilis, amazing cakes and baked goods, in the beautifully decorated Cultural Hall.  A big thanks to all who participated.  It’s always so nice to mingle with this wonderful ward.

The topic for November, appropriately enough, is Gratitude.  One thing I missed this last Conference was listening to President Thomas S. Monson.  Looking back at some of his previous talks there are several about gratitude.  I’d like to share a few quotes from one entitled “The Divine Gift of Gratitude”

“My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

“This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.”

-Thomas S. Monson

I’m excited to learn more about this important virtue in the coming month.  As we approach Thanksgiving I hope we’ll take a minute to be truly grateful for the blessings we have.  Then with grateful hearts, we can look around us for those who we might serve.

Brother Walker 2nd Counselor

Reflections on Gratitude

When I think of Gratitude I think of the old saying “Gratitude is an Attitude”, which I definitely agree with. As I reflect on what I am most grateful for many of them were difficult times in my life. I am grateful that I was born with a spine deformity making me ineligible for military service which enabled me to serve a mission for the church instead. I am grateful for my son. Even with all his special needs he brings a joy and happiness into my life that I don’t know what I would do without it. I am grateful that I have moved around a lot, not that I want to move again, but I have found many places I dont want to live.

Over the last thirty years of my life I have put a lot of thought into what I would change in my past, if I had the power. I have come to realize that I would not change a moment of it; I would not do anything different. I am who I am because of what I have been through, and I am grateful for it all. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the trials and hardships I have faced, and I am grateful that God has gifted them to me – the good times and the tough ones.

I am most grateful for my wife. These last seven years we have spent together have been the best, and hardest, of my life. Becky is my rock. Her love helps me to get through anything. I don’t know who/what I would be without her. I look forward to many wonderful, and stretching years with her at my side.

Calvin Zundel

Elder Applegarth – November 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer had an exciting month.  There were 6 baptisms, which were the first baptisms in the history of Koidu.  The elders have also found a couple of members of the church that were excited to find out a new branch has started in Koidu.  The work is moving forward.

Another exciting event is that Spencer hit his year mark.  To celebrate, Spencer bought a goat for $26.  With the help of the branch president, he killed and butchered the goat.  The branch came together for dinner.  They enjoyed the goat meat.  A soup was made from the guts, the hide was consumed as was the brain.  There wasn’t anything that went to waste.

Spencer is loving Sierra Leone, he loves his mission.

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Ison – November 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

Elder Ison is doing great and loves the Great Falls area.  His new companion is Elder Bennett and he absolutely loves him! He thinks that he will finish his mission with Elder Bennet and he is happy about that because he’s a great missionary who likes to work.  Elder Ison is still serving as Zone leader and with those responsibilities has been traveling a lot to different areas, training missionaries doing zone conferences & exchanges and interviews so he was excited to get back to Great Falls this week to their area to continue their work with their investigators.  But because of exchanges he was able to go to Billings this week and attend the temple so he was very grateful for that.  They are teaching a woman named Dana and she is so prepared and wanting to change her life and they have set her for baptism in a couple of weeks.  Elder Ison loves being a missionary and I am starting to see that sadness in him knowing that his mission is coming to an end, but he is working hard to be able to leave knowing he served his Father in Heaven well.

Kristie Ison

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Sister Ison – November 2017

Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665

Sister Ison has made it to Vancouver.  She absolutely loved the MTC and although she had some homesickness the first week, she has worked through it and is loving being a missionary.  While in the MTC she had a couple of tender mercies to help her through her homesickness, one of her roomies had played basketball for Snow College so they were excited that they were both Snow players and her other roomie had actually met her brother Elder Ison in Montana so she felt like the Lord had blessed her by them being her roomies.  She was also able to see and talk to my cousin Julene who serves in the MTC and able to give her a big mom hug and reassure that she would be fine.  Her companion at the MTC was sister Young and she loved her.  She made it to Vancouver and was assigned as Sister Phillips trainee.  Sister Phillips is from St. George and Sister Ison loves her to death.  She says she is an awesome trainer and such a sweet person.  They are in the Vancouver area and it is a biking/walking area so they are spending a lot of time in the rain. Sister Ison says it’s so beautiful and green!  They have hit the ground running and have several people they are teaching and a baptism scheduled in November.  She loves Washington and the people there but mostly loves serving her Heavenly Father as a missionary.

Kristie Ison

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November 2017 – Lesson Schedule

November 5th – Gospel Doctrine 40: Finding Joy in Temple and Family History Work, 3rd Hour By Quorum/Group Presidency

November 12th – Gospel Doctrine 41: Every Member a Missionary, 3rd Hour Chapter 21: The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work

November 19th – Gospel Doctrine 42: Continuing Revelation to Latter-day Prophets, 3rd Hour Chapter 22: Reaching Out with Love to New Converts and Less-Active Members

November 26th – Gospel Doctrine 43: Take upon You My Whole Armor, 3rd Hour The Sabbath is a day to remember what God has done for us.

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson is a compilation of true women pioneer stories. With candor and cleverness the author weaves these magical tales that inspire the grit and perseverance that can be found in each of us. Though there are around a dozen stories only a couple are of LDS women. They are all interesting. You can read about a woman who dressed as a man and became a well-known stage coach driver. A woman from Hawaii who joined the LDS church, but saw separation and tragedy in her life due to leprosy. A woman who rescued Chinese slave girls in California. An LDS woman who became a famous Physician, Senator, and a polygamous wife. A woman who traveled in the wilds of Canada to rescue a group of men who had become stuck by winter weather. From the gold rush to women’s suffrage, you are sure to find a story and a person who inspires you to become more.

It is available to borrow online on OverDrive from the Utah Public Library in audio book format. The reader did a wonderful job bringing the stories to life. Many critical reviews on Amazon and GoodReads make listening to the audio book the best choice, in my opinion.

Becky Zundel

Fall Social – November 2017

On October 25th we had a great Ward Party. There were lots of great costumes including a dinosaur, and Chewbacca even showed up. There was a chili/soup cook-off with lots of tasty entries. The winners were 1st Delbecq 2nd Molly Anderson and 3rd Gunderson for chili. Soups were 1st Sister Staker 2nd Sister Honey and 3rd Sanders. The Cub Scouts had a bake sale and cake auction. The cakes sold anywhere from $55 for Sister Staker’s volcano to $5 for a batch of brownies.

Brother Zundel

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Fall Ward Social

On October 25th we will be having our ward fall social.  The cub scouts will bake and decorate cakes to auction at the social.  This is a long-standing tradition in the Mount Pleasant fourth ward, it’s also a great fundraiser and it’s a lot of fun.  There will be trick or treating at the social, so come dressed in your favorite costumes.

Bishopric – Prophets

I’m really excited to watch and listen to general conference.  What a great event to be able to listen to the prophets.  It is a busy time of year and easy to miss the opportunity to engage in general conference.  As a young man, I enjoyed going to Priesthood session with my father.  He would always take us out to dinner afterwards.  It became a strong family tradition, one that we really looked forward to.  Now I enjoy going to Priesthood session with my own boys.  It is great to listen to the prophets as a family.  To enjoy the spirit that comes with general conference.  Our Sacrament meeting theme this month is Prophets.  I’m excited to hear our speakers talk about prophets.

We will have another busy month.  On October 25th we will be having our ward fall social.  The cub scouts will bake and decorate cakes to auction at the social.  This is a long-standing tradition in the Mount Pleasant fourth ward, it’s also a great fundraiser and it’s a lot of fun.  There will be trick or treating at the social, so come dressed in your favorite costumes.

This month Ryker Erickson was scheduled to report to the MTC in England.  Unfortunately, he broke his arm in a skateboarding accident, so he will report in a couple of months from now.  Ryker is a great young man and he will do an amazing job as a missionary.  He is following the example of his father and two older brothers, all of whom served foreign missions.  We are excited as a ward to have seven full-time missionaries in the field, when Ryker reports, he will make that eight.

I’m so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m grateful for the loving members of the Mount Pleasant fourth ward.  I’m grateful for prophets.  I’m grateful for the knowledge that I can learn and progress infinitely.  That I can live with my family forever.  I’m grateful for my Savior.

Bishop Applegarth

Testimony of Prophets

When I was investigating the church in the late 1990’s President Gordon B. Hinckley was the prophet. I felt an immediate trust in him when I watched General Conference. Even today, when I view videos his talks, his kind, wise, loving voice still inspires me to do the right, keep my covenants, and deepen my testimony. I can actually hear his voice in my mind at times; I always feel comforted when I think of him and remember his counsel. I trusted who he was (and who he is!) and the message he imparted; that was part of what led me to my baptism in December of 1998.

My first real introduction to President Thomas S. Monson was through one of his talks during an April General Conference. I remember clearly when he asked a question of the viewing audience. He looked straight into the camera and asked if any among us were lonely, if we were struggling, etc. He invited us all to “Come unto Christ.” I still reflect on that moment – I was, indeed, lonely at that time, and (of course) it seemed as though he were speaking directly to me. When I get down or discouraged, I still remember his invitation to “Come unto Christ,” and I pray to be open to the unconditional love and peace “which passeth all understanding.”

I think all of us have prophets and apostles with whom we connect most directly. For me, having been baptized in 1998, the only two prophets I’ve “known” in a direct way while still alive were/are Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson. Both hold a very dear place in my heart because of the good counsel and love they have extended to all of us and the world.

 Alyssa Wolf


Testimony of President Gordon B. Hinkley

Testimonies of Thomas S. Monson (throughout the years: from 1965-2009)


“The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Gordon B. Hinkley

“This Is the Work of the Master,” in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 95.


“Come from your wandering way, weary traveler. Come to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Come to that heavenly haven called home. Here you will discover the truth. Here you will learn the reality of the Godhead, the comfort of the plan of salvation, the sanctity of the marriage covenant, the power of personal prayer. Come home.” Thomas S. Monson

“Dedication Day,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 66.

Elder Applegarth – October 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer is still serving in Koidu, Sierra Leone.  He is deep into the jungle, working in a town that is famous for its diamonds.  Spencer and three other missionaries are the first elders to serve in Koidu in this dispensation.  He is excited to have the first baptisms in this small branch.  In October, Spencer is expecting to have 4 baptisms.  With Spencer and his companion and the other companionship that is serving in Koidu, they expect to triple the size of the small branch during October.  The people in Africa continue to be kind and loving to Spencer.  Members and nonmembers alike feed Spencer every night.  He has learned to love rice and whatever they put on top of the rice.  The season is now changing from rainy to dry, which means that it will get hot again.  This week Spencer will travel to another city for Zone Conference.  He will then get to watch General Conference live.  This is the first time he will have the chance to see general conference on his mission.

Bishop Applegarth

Applegarth 3Applegarth 2

Elder Jessee – October 2017

Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea

This week was awesome! First I transferred to a new area. I went outside of Seoul for the first time in my mission. It is still a pretty city, but a lot more countryside than Seoul. I got a new companion Elder Miller. Great guy, we are opening a team here so we have no investigators, zero contacts on our phone, and even had to make our own area book. We have been proselyting pretty hard, getting a bunch of phone numbers and have had one appointment with a guy that lives out of our area, so we have to refer him to another set of Elders. We are doing the best we can, it’s a great experience.

Yesterday, I traveled back to my old area to baptize Brother 김호영 (Kim hoe young) The 24 year old guy I met on the subway back in June. It was a great experience. I sent this to President through email,

“How humbling, to see the workings of God, Christ and the Spirit in his life. While teaching this brother for the last 3 months I truly learned a lot. There were times I was frustrated, times I didn’t show my love as much as I should have, so many ways in which I failed. That is how I came to realize last night, that Elder Yates and I were in no way the reason of his baptism. Sure we taught him and truly tried the best we could to teach by the power of the Spirit, but God, Christ and the Spirit are the driving force behind it all. It’s so amazing to me how God, takes a person like me, very imperfect, insufficient and weak in so many ways, and trusts me and my companion with the duty to teach the doctrines of the Kingdom. That’s how I know that God was so much in the framework of this Brother’s life. Even before Elder Lydon and I first met him in the subway. Only through the Spirit are people converted and brought unto Christ, we just show them the way.”

After the baptism he said he felt clean. He said he never thought he would ever be baptized but he was very happy. I really hope and pray that he remains active in the church. That later on with his future family, he will build a home based on the teachings of Christ.”

This week since moving to Sheengar I have eaten nothing but ramen, spam, and rice. I now have heartburn. But I have tried mixing and matching different condiments just for some color and to spice things up. I used ketchup once just to fit in my daily intake of fruits, and ate some of the peas that came in the ramen pack just to get my daily needed veggies.

This morning I studied Matthew 27:39-46. From these scriptures I learned a great deal on patience. Christ now hanging on the cross, completing all he had to do for the children of men, in saving souls and bringing them, back to the Father was asked, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Then He said “He saved others, himself he cannot save.” Saying they will believe Him to be the Son of God if he come down from the cross, mocking him with “He trusted in God, let him deliver him now” We all know Christ had the power, the strength, the godliness and the glory at that moment to show the world that He truly was the Son of God by delivering himself from the cross to answer their pathetic questions intended to mock, but He had patience. Even in His darkest hour when He asked God why He had forsaken Him Christ had patience. He knew God still loved Him, and had trust in the Plan.

We too in our times of trial and hardship or feelings of being forsaken need to have patience. A patience and a hope that it will all be alright, to bear our trials with more patience and knowledge that God and Christ are always there.

                                                                                                                           Elder Jessee

Jessee 2Jessee 1

Elder Talbot – October 2017

Trinidad Port of Spain Mission Office Address PO Bag 543 Valsayn Trinidad and Tobago

This week has been okay, but crazy. I had no time to do anything so that was really fun.

I love it here the people are so ready for the gospel and I really love seeing them grow to love it. I don’t have a lot of time so I will just share something amazing with you.

Faith is useless without doing something with it!!

The Rabbi and the Soap Maker

There is an old Jewish tale about a soap maker who did not believe in God. One day as he was walking with a rabbi, he said, “There is something I cannot understand. We have had religion for thousands of years. But everywhere you look there is evil, corruption, dishonesty, injustice, pain, hunger, and violence. It appears that religion has not improved the world at all. So I ask you, what good is it?”

The rabbi did not answer for a time but continued walking with the soap maker. Eventually they approached a playground where children, covered in dust, were playing in the dirt.

“There is something I don’t understand,” the rabbi said. “Look at those children. We have had soap for thousands of years, and yet those children are filthy. What good is soap?”

The soap maker replied, “But rabbi, it isn’t fair to blame soap for these dirty children. Soap has to be used before it can accomplish its purpose.”

The rabbi smiled and said, “Exactly.”

We need to use our faith to help others change the world and through us we can act on our faith and change someone’s world!!!

Keep it up out there!!

Elder Talbot

Talbot 3Talbot 2

Lesson Schedule – October 2017

1st- General Conference

8th- Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 36: The Desert Shall Rejoice, & Blossom as the Rose, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: Chapter 17: Continue in the Great Process of Learning(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley)

15th- Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 37: We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: Chapter 18: Virtue – A Cornerstone on Which to Build Our Lives (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley)

22nd- Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 38: In Mine Own Way, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: Perfect love casteth out fear by President Dieter F Uchtdorf

29th- Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 39: The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers, , Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: Bishopric Message

Anne of Green Gables

This month has been a busy one for me and my family. One thing that we enjoy doing to help long car trips is to listen to audio books. As we have traveled around this month we have been listening to the LibriVox dramatized versions of L.M. Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables series. It is such a wonderful tale of a girl and how she effects so many lives, and how they affect her.

All of these books, except number 4, have expired copyrights and are in the public domain. You can obtain legal free copies here from Project Gutenberg.

Happy Reading 🙂

Brother Zundel