Bishop – Grace

This month will be a busy month for the Mount Pleasant Fourth Ward.  Jentry Ison will report to the Missionary Training Center on September 27 as she prepares to serve the good people in the Vancouver Washington area.  We are really excited for Jentry and know that she will be an amazing missionary.  She is following the example of many great missionaries that have and are serving from our ward, including her older brother Austin.  Jentry and Austin won’t see each other for 3 1/2 years.  It is great to see young people that are so committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It will also be great to have a sister serving from our ward.  We hope this is a trend that we will begin to see with our young sisters.  We would also love to see some older couples serve missions from our ward.

This month the theme in Sacrament Meeting is Grace.  I look forward to many great talks on Grace.  Jentry and Ryker Erickson will share a meeting as they give their farewell talks on September 17.  Ryker will report to the MTC in October, so I look forward to mentioning his service in October’s newsletter.

The greatest Sacrament Meeting of the year happens on September 24 when we will have our primary program.  We all love hearing from our primary and listening to their songs.  Sister Brotherson and the rest of our primary presidency and teachers do such a good job.  We are grateful for the amazing kids and adults in our ward.

Brothers and Sisters, the church is true, Jesus is the Christ.  Through His grace we can all return and live with our Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom.  I believe we will all make it and enjoy the blessings that a loving Heavenly Father have in store for us.  I love serving with each of you and look forward to a great month.

Bishop Applegarth

Token of Grace

At many points during my mission I was given small tokens of grace by Heavenly Father. One point in particular was at a time when I felt like my testimony was at its lowest. Being on my mission I felt like the weight of the mantle I carried plus my questioning of the church, and the scriptures, was almost too much too bear. I felt like I couldn’t find my way.

This came about because before my mission I had never studied the scriptures in depth. On my mission that’s all I was doing. I couldn’t help but ask questions, and find specific things that boggled my mind. The troubling thing was that the answers weren’t always there. I always felt the spirit of the scriptures, and had always trusted in them – but my anxiety over a specific question had overcome me. What scared me the most was not feeling like I could offer anyone a genuine testimony. One Easter Sunday, in Sacrament meeting, I was fasting and praying to receive an answer. I wanted a specific answer to my question regarding the scriptures.

Instead, the Spirit instructed me to get out a pen and paper. Obediently, I found a pen and scrap of paper and started writing the words that came to my hand. I didn’t save the paper so I can’t remember exactly what I was specifically told, but it was to the effect of “Don’t trouble your heart any more with this question; it is not important at this time for you to know it. You need to get back to work and focus on the needs of the investigators and the less-active. Their questions are more important. Be calm and know that in this way, your question has been answered.”

An answer like that normally wouldn’t make me any calmer. However, I felt calm. I felt happy to continue on and not be troubled anymore. His grace in answering my question and calming my anxiety helped me through my mission and has helped me carry my testimony. I can rely on the small miracles I have witnessed in the past so I can be a disciple now. I can genuinely say that prayers are answered in better ways than we expect. I know this church is true and I know that Heavenly Father cares deeply for each of us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Ashley Reid

Inspirational Thoughts – Grace

Link to “The Gift of Grace” talk by President Uchtdorf

“The greatest evidence of our Savior’s love for us is His Atonement. His love overflows with grace, patience, long-suffering, mercy, and forgiveness.”

 “Eternally Encircled in His Love,” October 2006 General Conference

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society General President

“When we offer our broken heart to Jesus Christ, He accepts our offering. He takes us back. No matter what losses, wounds, and rejection we have suffered, His grace and healing are mightier than all. Truly yoked to the Savior, we can say with confidence, ‘It will all work out.’ ”

 “Yielding Our Hearts to God,” October 2015 General Conference

Neill F. Marriott, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency

Elder Applegarth – September 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer has had a busy month.  As many of you know Sierra Leone had some tragic mudslides where over one thousand people lost their lives.  These mud slides were a long way from where Spencer is serving in Koidu.  The mud slides are a reminder of how fragile life is, especially in Africa.  Spencer has seen so many personal tragedies since he has been there, but the common theme for the people in Sierra Leone is how kind and giving they are, even though things don’t always go their way.

The people of Koidu have been very kind to Spencer.  This is the first month in the history of Koidu when there have been missionaries actively serving in the area.  Spencer gets fed every night, he says sometimes they feed him too often.  Spencer is loving the people as they are quick to love him.

Spencer is teaching a lot and is hoping to see people progress to baptism.  Spencer indicates that it is a little different than other areas as there is only one member family in the branch, so the missionaries really need the investigators to understand the gospel, as they will be the leadership in the branch.

Spencer is grateful to be a missionary and is completely enjoying the opportunities he is given in West Africa.

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Ison – September 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He is in the home stretch of his mission.  He can’t believe he only has 4 months left!  He feels like the time is going way to fast but is working hard to accomplish all that he needs to before returning home in December.

He is being transferred this week to the Great Falls area and his new companion is Elder Bredsguard.  He is excited for his new companion he has served around him before and he is a great missionary.  He is sad to leave the YSA ward in Bozeman though, he has come to love the YSA ward and that area                                                                  Kristie Ison

Here is a little piece of his email this past week:

[This] strengthened my testimony that the Lord loves us so much and just wants to bless us and if we do our part, the Lord will provide.

So yesterday was another great day! We had church and it was really good! And man I just realized how much I love this Bozeman YSA Ward. The members and investigators here are just amazing. It was sad because I knew it was my last Sunday there and it just hit me how much I really got to love this place – and these people.

When I first came to Bozeman, my first two transfers, I really struggled here. It wasn’t because of the ward of the people or anything, it was more just me. I struggled personally and it was probably one of the hardest times of the mission. I wasn’t doing too well and wasn’t the missionary I wanted to be. At the end of last transfer I just decided that I was done with that. That no matter what happened I was going to work hard, give it my all, just really try hard, be the best I can, and strive to improve and be the missionary I wanted to be. The Lord helped me every step of the way.

This transfer was amazing. Yes it still had hard times but it was absolutely amazing! Our area went from having no one to teach, and being super slow, to progressing and doing well. We have tripled the number of new investigators we found the transfer before and probably the amount of lessons we taught as well. I could just feel the Lords hands with us every step of the way. I know without a doubt that He was there and He was helping me to improve as well as guide our path. We have seen countless blessings and miracles. Now it’s super hard to leave this area.

Last transfer I was not doing so well and wanted to just leave and move on to another area, but it wasn’t the area – it was me. This transfer I really just tried to turn that around and the Lord in his love and mercy has helped me soo much. I feel like my time here in Bozeman has been a blessing, it was a trial – but also such a great blessing. It increased my testimony that the Lord sees our true desires. If we do our part and show the Lord we want to improve, and want to do His will, He will bless us. He will guide, support, love and comfort us every step of the way. I tried to really work hard and improve. The Lord just has handed me blessing after blessing. He is so loving and so merciful. I’m so thankful for him and this time he has given me here in the Bozeman YSA Ward. It’s been a great change, and I feel like I have learned a lot from being here. But I know I definitely have a lot more to learn and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store. I hope I can just do his will and serve and find the people he wants me to. This is His work and I’m grateful to serve Him and be a part of it. I hope I can improve because I still have a lot to go.

Elder Ison

Lesson Schedule – September 2017

September 3rd– Gospel Doctrine:Chapter 33: President Brigham Young Leads the Saints, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: By Quorum/Group Presidency

September 10th – Stake Conference

September 17th– Gospel Doctrine:Chapter 34: Faith in Every Footstep, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: Chapter 16:The Power of The Book of Mormon(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley)

September 24th– Gospel Doctrine:Chapter 36: The Desert Shall Rejoice, and Blossom as the Rose, Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum: The Godhead and the Plan of Salvation by Elder Dallin H Oaks

Note –

3rd hour lessons for the adults will be changing structure next year. Most of the new curriculum will be based off the most recent General Conference. For More Information See This Article.

Book Highlight – Janette Oke: Canadian West

Janette Oke is a prolific Christian fiction author. I have read many of her works, but recently reread a 4 book series that uplifted and enlightened me more than I expected. Set in Canada in the early 1900’s, Beth commences her journey as a somewhat spoiled, wealthy, and cultured young school teacher from the East. She has a vast journey in which she marries and goes with her husband, who is a North West Mounted Policeman (Mountie), to the frontier west.  Because a Mountie is lawman, doctor, dentist, midwife, etc. to the people he serves, Beth has an adjustment as she supports her husband and finds ways to serve her community. Through good times and bad, from the very beginning of the book, Beth illustrates her trust in God and his plan for her life. Sometimes God’s plan is not what she expected or does not make sense to her, but as she continues to have faith and follow that plan, she sees miracles unfold and the purposes God has for her life realized. The 4 books in the series are: When Calls The Heart, When Comes The Spring, When Breaks The Dawn, and When Hope Springs New.

Becky Zundel


Bishopric – Faith

It is amazing how fast the summer goes.  August is a great month, the last month of summer.  The month that the kids will return to School.  This month there are many activities going on in the Mount Pleasant 4th Ward.  The activities includes a scout camp for our young men the week of August 7th, hosted at Larry Staker’s cabin.  This will be a great opportunity for our young men to earn merit badges and most importantly have fun and feel the spirit.  August 20th is Stake Conference, and August 23rd we will have a Ward Party.  There is always a lot going on and I’m grateful for all the service that is provided by members of the ward.

This month the theme in sacrament meeting is Faith.  I’m so grateful for the many examples of faith that we have in our ward.  I have learned a lot watching members of our ward test their faith.  It is fun to see people exercise faith as they accept a calling that stretches them out of their comfort zone.  It is a blessing to me to see people pay their tithing, having faith that the lord will “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”.  I love to observe all the little acts of kindness and love that come because of our ward’s faith in Jesus Christ, faith that moves our members to reach out and love and serve each other.

My testimony continues to grow as I watch those around me exercise their faith and then observe how they are blessed.  I have faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world.  I have faith that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I have faith that President Monson is a prophet, who receives revelation for us today.  I have faith that through the atonement of Jesus Christ all of us can learn from our mistakes and eventually be ready to return to our Heavenly Father and live in the Celestial kingdom.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve with each of you.  I look forward to a great month.

                                Bishop Applegarth

Finding Faith

As a child, I always knew there was a God. I knew there was something or someone who was looking over me. Growing up in a home where religion or God was not talked about, I could still always feel His presence. However, I never knew what our Heavenly Father had prepared for me in life!

At the age of 15, my home life had deteriorated to nothing at all. There were drugs, and abuse abounded. I knew that there was something more in life, and I wanted out. I prayed and prayed to God that if He would elevate me from my current position in life, I would always try to serve him. One week before my 16th birthday, that prayer was answered. I was adopted by a family in Sandy, Utah. They took me in as one of their own children and saved my life. I was introduced to the church and quickly gained a testimony of its truthfulness. My life completely turned around. It was a miracle!

I know that all of this was possible because of faith! I knew even amidst all of the craziness of life that there was a God and he knew me. I don’t know how I knew. It was just something that I felt. If we put faith in our Heavenly Father and allow him to bless our lives, he will! All we need to do is ask in faith!

Andre Rainey

Elder Applegarth – August 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer is doing great.  His health is much better than it was a month ago.  He just completed serving five months in Waterloo, which is an area in Freetown.  He really enjoyed his time in Waterloo and was sad to leave.  He is now in a new area called Koidu.  Koidu is about a five hour drive from Freetown and is out of the big city.  Koidu is on the eastern edge of Sierra Leone.  Koidu is famous for its diamond mines, it is also famous for its role in financing the civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, this inspired the show called blood diamonds.

Spencer is opening up the Koidu area.  There haven’t been missionaries in this area before.  His companion is from Nigeria.  Koidu does not have a branch yet, there is a family that are members and they have meetings at their home.  Spencer indicated about 50 people show up to church.  He is grateful for the opportunity he has in Koidu and is hopeful that they can establish a functioning branch there.

Spencer continues to enjoy the rainy season.  He said when it rains it is like walking around in a waterfall.  There is over 20 inches of rain on average in the month of July.  We are excited that Spencer is serving in the jungle and look forward to hearing about his adventures in Koidu.                                                        Bishop Applegarth

Applegarth2Applegarth1

Elder Jessee – August 2017

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

This week I had interviews with the Mission President. At the start of the interview he asked me if my parents had gone on some kind of trip. I said yes – to China. He said “I know, I am now friends with them on Facebook…” Hahha wow, love you guys. I also told him that I email each one of my siblings every week and he was in shock that you guys haven’t gotten bored emailing me yet, love you all so much and thanks for always keeping me updated.

Yesterday at church we had 3 investigators there. It was amazing. I sat in sacrament meeting, and began to think of how difficult it must be for these people to try and change their lives, or even come to a sacrament meeting they are unfamiliar with. I said a prayer of gratitude to our Father in Heaven, so grateful for these amazing blessings. I’m grateful that God is in the framework of their lives and continues to help them as they try to gain faith in this message of the restored gospel. It is not easy for investigators to change their lives, but as we know, it is so worth it. It doesn’t automatically get easier after that, may at times get harder, but with the eternal perspective that we have it makes trials easier to bear. I also studied this morning in Jesus the Christ. If you find time go to the book on page 187 in the notes section under something like, “knowledge does not ensure salvation.” give it a read. When we study and read and learn of gospel truths, especially about Jesus Christ, apply these teachings. Many people know the story of Christ, there are many Christians in the world today, but how is it that many people are far from Christ-like. Be different, rise above it and apply the teaching of Christ in our lives. Learn of it of course, but you can’t stop there – you have to try and become it. That’s the difference. Even the devils that Christ cast out in his mortal ministry knew that he was the Son of God (read it in the scriptures) but only those who know Christ is the Son of God, apply his teachings, and believe they can receive salvation really do. Take the apostle Peter as an example. He gave EVERYTHING he had, even his life, because he knew Christ was our Savior – and he had faith on his knowledge to Salvation.

Have a great week! And keep reading the Book of Mormon!!

Elder Jessee

Jessee1

Lesson Schedule – August 2017

August 6th : Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 30: The Prisoners Shall Go Free, Priesthood/Relief Society – By Quorum/Group Presidency

August 13th : Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 31: Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity, Priesthood/Relief Society – Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 15: The Holy Priesthood

August 20th Stake Conference

August 27th Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 32: To Seal the Testimony, Priesthood/Relief Society –  Let the Holy Spirit Guide by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Book Highlight – The Secret Garden

This month I have been listening/reading to several classics while traveling around with my family. The one I’ve liked best, so far, has been “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a wonderful story of children making unlikely friends, and discovering “Magic”. It let me see that the blessings of God can seem like magic, and it is all around us.

This book can be checked out from the Mt. Pleasant Public library, or can be downloaded legally from Project Gutenberg. You can check out reviews from Amazon and GoodReads as well.

Brother Zundel