President Nelson announced that all Elders Quorums and High Priest Groups will be disbanded and reformed as a combined quorum. He also announced that PEC meetings will not be held anymore. For more information on these changes watch the April 2018 Priesthood session of General Conference.
July is a great month for celebrations. We get to celebrate the concept of freedom and we have an opportunity to reflect on the people that pioneered the gospel in the latter days. To help us reflect on these two celebrations, we will devote some time in sacrament meeting to these themes. Brother Wilkey recently participated in an Honor Flight, where he was able to return to Washington DC and be recognized as a Korean War Veteran. What a great honor. We have many people in the ward that have strong pioneer stories from their ancestors that settled the Sanpete Valley. I’m looking forward to some great sacrament meetings this month.
There has been a lot of activity with members of our ward. In the month of June, two young sisters left to go on their missions. Natalie Jorgensen is serving in the Little Rock Arkansas mission. Mariah Hafen is going to the Paraguay Asuncion North mission. In the month of July Trevor Olson will be leaving to serve in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission and Josh Walker will leave to serve in the Yakima Washington mission. With these four missionaries leaving, the total serving from our ward is 10. We have 7 young elders and 3 young sisters. I anticipate two other missionaries submitting their papers and leaving in the next couple of months. What a great opportunity for these young men and young women. I’m so excited that we have both young men and young women serving, I hope that at some point we will have a couple go and serve.
During June our Young Men and Young Women were really busy. The stake hosted youth conference this year at the Heber Valley camp. There were some fun activities which included zip lines and high obstacle courses. There were also some spiritual firesides and activities. The Priests went to Yellowstone, with Ed Staker being an excellent guide. The Deacons and Teachers caught a lot of fish on the Boulders. Glen Olson put together a great campout including some delicious meals. The Young Women went to girl’s camp in Salt Creek Canyon. Allyne Mower did an amazing job of strengthening our girls. The final event was a Fathers and Sons campout at the Staker’s cabins. Graham Jessee did a great job of feeding everyone. Thanks to everyone that attended these events and volunteered their time.
I’m grateful for an amazing ward. I’m grateful for all the love and support from the Mount Pleasant fourth ward. I’m grateful for the Savior and for the infinite atonement. For the opportunity I have to get a little better each day. I’m grateful for the gospel in my life and leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Pioneer heritage is a great topic! As we study our ancestors we can see wonderful examples of Christ-like service and missionary work. The Zundel family has been a part of the LDS church since 1836 when my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Johann Jakob Zundel, was baptized. His son, Isaac Eberhard Zundel is one of my favorite ancestors to learn about. This is an excerpt from his biography written by Elizabeth S. Zundel Gibbs and Alice C. Harding found in “John Jacob Zundel Family Book”.
Isaac Zundel was chosen Bishop over the Shoshone Indians, with Alexander Hunsaker and Moroni Ward as counselors. The white men had learned the Indian language and could converse with them easily. Many of the Indians were now being baptized.
In the summer of 1880 a band of Indians from Fort Washakie came to the Indian farm on Bear River and requested to be baptized. It was not known who converted them, for at that time the Mormon Elders were not permitted to preach the gospel on the reservation. The Indians got permission to go on a hunt for their winter meat. Instead of going on the hunt, they traveled almost day and night, arriving on a Saturday afternoon to tell Isaac Zundel what they had come for. He and the missionaries killed a beef and took them several sacks of flour, which was a customary token of friendship. That evening they held outdoor meetings because the church house was not large enough for the group.
On Sunday afternoon they all assembled by the banks of the Bear River. After a short prayer meeting Bishop Zundel began by baptizing 30 people. Alex Hunsaker and Moroni Ward continued by baptizing 30 Indians apiece. Then 2 of them confirmed and 1 baptized until the ordinance work was completed on all 386 Indians. This was verified by Phebe Zundel Ward, the eldest daughter of Bishop Zundel. She goes on to say, “I can never begin to tell how we all felt. I never again expect to witness the heavenly spirit that was there. It seemed that the spirit of the Heavenly Lord was poured out in great abundance. It was wonderful. When all were baptized the Indians immediately broke camp and left for the reservation.”
Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone
Spencer has hit his 20 month mark. He is loving Moyamba. The following is an excerpt from his last e-mail:
We have really been working hard and we for sure saw the benefits this week. We were walking to an
investigators house and just barley entered into the house when we heard wack wack wack! We ran outside to see what was going on and a guy was beating this black cobra with a long stick! He killed the thing then we got to go up to it and played around with this dead Cobra for a little while and got some cool pics! It’s crazy because if we would have been 1 minute later we would have been face to face with a black cobra. We also had an amazing baptism this week! We had a good opening service in the chapel and then we walked to the river. I was able to baptize Natasha and Elder Jones baptized Abdul and Ramatu. The spirit was so strong. It was so amazing to be able to watch them take the long journey towards baptism and finally reach the checkpoint, now we get to watch them progress to exaltation! It was an awesome experience baptizing in the river and to see the smiles on their faces as they came out of the water. The confirmation was just as spiritual! We also had a dang good sacrament turn out! So as you can see all is well here in Moyamba!
Spencer is doing great, baptisms, eating frogs, pet monkey, cobra killing, giving out CTR rings, and loving the people of Sierra Leone!
Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665
Sister Ison is staying in Battle Ground for another transfer, sadly though she is losing Sister Perry. She has loved serving with Sister Perry and they have had great success! They have been teaching a set of triplets who are on date for baptism in July. They had 8 investigators to church on Sunday and are really seeing the fruits of their labors.
Sister Ison has been so grateful for families in the Battle Ground ward that are member missionaries. The Denfeld family set a goal to do a power week where they would have the missionaries teach a lesson or share a message every night for a week in their home with non-member friends of theirs or their kids. They surpassed that goal and it had reached almost a 3 week period before they left for vacation to Utah. We had the honor of getting to have this wonderful family visit us and attend the Mormon Miracle Pageant with our family and got to hear firsthand of the work of Sister Ison and Sister Perry! What a tender mercy for us! They are an incredible family who know the importance of being member missionaries and set the example of it. It is a great blessing to know wonderful families like them are wrapping their arms around our missionaries and helping them to hasten the work.
Here is a little bit of Sister Ison’s testimony from her email this week.
This week I studied a lot about Happiness! Happiness is a choice! We can choose Happiness! The gospel can and will make you happy if you let it! If you let the gospel of Jesus Christ change you then you will have pure joy! Having faith in Christ gives us hope and we are happy! Do we have any reason to not be happy? No of course not! Life is amazing! Do we make mistakes? Absolutely!! Are we perfect? Never! But the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us happy! I can testify of that! I have never been happier than I am now! I know that is true! I know that you are all sons and daughters of God and he loves you! I say this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, amen!
Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea
This week we had a lot of activities as a mission! We went to the zoo as a mission, had a ward picnic and also had a huge helping hands service activity. A lot of fun things happened! Our investigator was able to come to the ward picnic, and had some fun, until it rained out. Then he got his wisdom teeth out the next day so he wasn’t able to come to church yesterday. I’m so glad that I don’t have wisdom teeth and never had to get them taken out! Seems painful. The service activity was really fun and pretty cool. Korea is such a great country but it is pretty dirty. We just went on the side of a back street and cleaned up all the trash we could see. It consisted of boxing gloves, a bowling ball, golf clubs, chairs and never ending bones. It was a lot of fun though. It really felt great to clean up the community and serve.
We also met to some guys yesterday at their office. One of them is named Sun, such a stud of a guy. He is a high school dropout, when he was 29, he left for America and stayed there for a long time. Also lived in China and Brazil. He has the deepest voice in the world and is one of the most fluent at English I have heard, he sounds like a black guy straight out of the Bronx. It’s been really awesome to talk with him and hear his views. His boss doesn’t speak English so we talk with him in Korean. They became investigators last night and we are planning to go out for dinner and talk about the Restoration next Saturday. Life here in Korea is great. I’m still Zone Leader, it’s been about 6 months, so we are giving a training at zone conference on Wednesday about Obedience. Should be fun! Probably will be my last training. The zone conference will be on a mountain, excited for a pretty spiritual experience.
I love you all a lot. The work of the Lord is moving along, a lot of miracles happening every day. I have been keeping a notebook to record all of my inspiration and revelation for me and my investigators and it’s so cool how much the Lord really wants to guide us in our lives. That is something I learned this week. Listen to President Nelson’s talk again on revelation from last general conference – it is truly inspired!
July 1st – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 23: The Lord Be Between Thee and Me For Ever, Relief Society: How can we prioritize our different responsibilities?, Priesthood – Council Meeting
July 15th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 25: Let Every Thing That Hath Breath Praise the Lord, Relief Society: Meek and Lowly of Heart By Elder David A. Bednar, Priesthood: April General Conference Message
July 29th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 27: The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders, Relief Society & Priesthood: Message by the Bishopric
Information for these images were compiled on June 29th. For the most up to date information please visit the Ward Calendar.
Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone
Spencer has been transferred to a rural community a couple of hours away from Freetown. It is a town of about 11,000. There is a little more jungle feel in this community, including large snakes and other critters that come into town. They have a pet “Potto” which is kind of like a monkey that hangs out in their compound. Spencer has his first American companion since his trainer. Elder Jones is from Orem and Spencer is enjoying serving with a companion that has a similar background to Spencer. The branch in the area is small about 30 people come to church. However, there seems to be a lot of interest in the gospel and Spencer is busy teaching people. In his last e-mail he stated:
It rained hard Saturday night, well we got to church early but nobody showed up until a little after nine. Even the presiding authority didn’t show up till then. When we finally started the meeting it was around 9:15 and the 1st councilor was conducting since the branch president wasn’t there. He stood up to conduct and said “presiding over this meeting is our lord and savior Jesus Christ and I am conducting.” I rolled my eyes and just about died laughing. Then I got to give a talk and I talked about time management.
Spencer continues to enjoy being in Sierra Leone. He loves the people of Africa and is enjoying the opportunities that full time missionary service provides.
Welcome to the month of June! The Memorial weekend is past so, according to our resident experts, it’s safe to plant our gardens. No more frosty mornings until October.
Our theme for June is on the Covenants we make with our Father in Heaven and the promises He makes with us when we hold them sacred. Covenants we make when we are baptized. Covenants we make when we receive our Endowment. Covenants we make when we are sealed to our Eternal partner. Covenants we make when we do that vicarious work for our ancestors who have passed on. Covenants that are Eternal and will lead us to Immortality and Eternal life.
This month we can look forward to listening to Mariah Hafen, Natalie Jorgensen, Trevor Olson, and Josh Walker in Sacrament Meeting before they are called to their Missions in Paraguay, Arkansas, New Zealand, and Washington State. That’s ten missionaries from the Mt. Pleasant 4th Ward! And if you include Kevin Johansen who will soon submit his Mission papers, that will be an amazing eleven!!!
Our Primary, Sunday School, Young Men, and Young Women teachers can all take pride in teaching correct principles to these fine young men and women. As a Bishopric, we thank you. However most of the praise lands squarely on the shoulders of the Mothers and Fathers who have led their children, through example and inspiration, along the Covenant Path. I love the third Epistle of John where he says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”(3rd John 1:4) As a grandparent, I think it’s appropriate to include grandchildren.
Brother and Sisters, as we look for strength and inspiration to continue on the Covenant path that leads to a loving Heavenly Father, let me quote our Prophet Russell M. Nelson “I declare my devotion to God our Eternal Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. I know them, love them, and pledge to serve them, and you, with every remaining breath of my life.”(As We Go Forward Together – January 16, 2018)
Brother Gunderson 1st Counselor
Since being invited to write this article, I’ve spent some time considering what covenants means to me. It’s fitting that last month’s topic was on the Restoration, because understanding covenants begins by having an understanding of the Restoration.
My early understanding of the Restoration began during my mission on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Currently, there is a Visitors’ Center, restored homes, sculptures, and groomed paths at the Restoration Site in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. But during my time there the Visitors’ Center was not yet built, and only the sculptures alerted those passing by that the location marked something of significance. I remember the peace I felt when visiting the location, but it would be many years before I would grasp a deeper understanding of what the Restoration and making and keeping covenants means for me.
We enter into covenants through the power of the priesthood. Through the Restoration this is possible. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that covenants are important because they demonstrate our commitment to God. For example, our foundational covenant is performed through baptism. This is when we promise to take upon us the name of Christ. We know that each Sunday we can renew this covenant by partaking of the Sacrament. Other covenants can be made in the temple, qualifying us to spending eternal life with Heavenly Father.
Because the priesthood is restored, we can make covenants with God and be deeply affected— we can pledge our commitment to take upon us the name of Christ, family relationships can continue beyond death, and ultimately we can qualify to return to God’s presence. The doctrine of the Restoration and the principles of making and keeping covenants brings me great peace. We are not alone. God’s power is on the Earth today, and through it we can show our willingness to be a disciple of Christ and embrace those tools (covenants) that will qualify us to return to live with Heavenly Father. Though I do not bear the priesthood, I can be affected by its power through the covenants it provides. That is empowering!
Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665
Sister Ison & Sister Perry are seeing great miracles in Battle Ground and are loving every minute of being on the Lord’s errand. They have found new investigators to teach and have a lot of fun while doing it. Jentry is soaking up every opportunity to spread the Gospel and really can’t believe how fast the time is going. She hits the halfway mark this month!!! Here is a little bit from her email this week that I thought would be good to share.
How often do we judge people for things they probably can’t even control? We must always remember to see people through God’s eyes and that is when we will develop that love for them! Yes people make mistakes but if we can be forgiven for our mistakes so can they. A lot of people ask “how do we develop love for them?” You pray and ask Heavenly Father to help you love them, but make sure it’s because you really want to not just because you know you are supposed to. You must be willing to really want to know how you can best help them! One thing that our Relief Society president said to this question was that the commandant “love thy neighbor as thyself” is something that most of the time has to start with us. It does say love them as THYSELF. Sometimes we have to look inward and gain that testimony that we are all God’s children and He loves us, and we have to see that He gave His only begotten son for us and our Savior loves us and suffered for us as well. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ thought you were worth it and so do I. I INVITE each of you to ask Heavenly Father to help you find that inward love for yourself so that once you find that you may love others in any circumstance. We are all God’s children and He loves each of us, He gave his son for each of you individually and your worth is great in His eyes. I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week and thank you for all you do. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea
This week we had transfer day and I am now with Elder Lott! He is from Bountiful Utah, has been on his mission about the same amount of time as Brycen, and is a great guy. We have been working hard visiting members trying to build their faith and asking the leaders of the ward how we can do better as missionaries. We have been having fun and speaking a lot of Korean, we made a goal to speak Korean whenever we are out of the house, and it’s been working pretty well so far!
We were also able to meet with our two recent investigators. They are doing great and progressing pretty well. One of them has come to church the last two weeks. Their names are Jo Hyeun Soo and Nam Seyoung Won. They have some interesting questions mainly because they looked up some stuff about our church on the internet but luckily they ask us before they believe it. The members have been a great support in helping these two. After church one of the members pulled me aside and told me that while Jo Hyeun Soo was reading Alma out loud in one of the classes he felt the spirit strong and feels that he would be a great member. One funny story is that yesterday there was a baptism in the ward and we asked our investigator if he wanted to watch it. He looked very uncomfortable and said no. We asked why and he said that he didn’t want to see naked people. It was pretty funny. We told him that nobody was going to be naked, that they would wear white clothes! Ha-ha! Love these two investigators. They are both 17. I was reading the Book of Mormon this week and came across a scripture, Mosiah 28:3. I have read this scripture many times throughout my mission and evaluated myself based on my desires with the desires of the Sons of Mosiah. Obviously these Sons of Mosiah were very special, dedicated and consecrated missionaries, and in my mission I have tried to be at least a fraction of the missionaries they were. I begin to think of how if one of the sons of Mosiah entered our mission, what he would do, what he would say, what he would even think. It gave me a greater desire to become like them and strive to rely on the Lord to do His work in a more holy way. To desire that every person hear the message of their Savior. This time when I read it, I was able to feel that my desire for other’s salvation has grown through my mission. It was a great feeling. Though I have eons to go I know that each of you, if started now, can develop that love and desire for other people’s happiness. Keep your thoughts elevated and your love strong. Love you a lot!! Have a great week, finish the school year out strong and keep doing your best! Come closer to the Lord through reading the scriptures and prayer daily! They are little things but they do add up!
June 3rd – Stake Conference
June 10th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 20: All the City … Doth Know That Thou Art a Virtuous Woman, Relief Society & Priesthood: April General Conference Message
Information for these images were compiled on May 31st. For the most up to date information please visit the Ward Calendar.
“I don’t know how many more “rushes” we can handle this weekend. Some of us have weak hearts.” -Elder Holland
What a great month it’s been! It finally feels like spring has arrived. To start with General Conference and to hear the inspired words of a living prophet was wonderful… but more on that in a moment.
The Young Men and Young Women had the opportunity on the 15th to attend Music and the Spoken Word at the Tabernacle on Temple Square. It was beautiful! Our Ward Game Night on the 18th was great as well. Special Thanks to all who made it such a fun night.
We’re excited to begin with the changes in the Priesthood organization, and the new Ministering program which President Nelson called: “a newer, holier approach”. We hope that the spirit of love will fill our ward as we do so. It’s easy to feel the love that our Prophet has for all of us.
The topic for the month of May is The Restoration. I really like L. Tom Perry’s talk from the April 2007 Conference. I leave you with his words, adding my testimony to his:
“Our message is unique. We declare to the world that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. We declare with boldness that the keys of the priesthood have been restored to man, with the power to seal on earth and in the heavens. The saving ordinances pronounced by the Lord as requirements for entering into eternal life with Him can now be performed with binding authority by those who worthily exercise the power of His holy priesthood. We declare to the world that this is the day referred to by biblical prophets as the latter days. It is the final time, before the coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign over the earth.
We invite all to listen to the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ from us. Then you can compare the glorious message with what you may hear from others, and you can determine which is from God and which is from man.
My witness to you is that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, established in the latter days. In the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.” – L. Tom Perry
Brother Walker 2nd Counselor
The restoration of the church and the true gospel of Jesus Christ has brought many gifts into my life, everything from Relief Society sisters to Priesthood blessings to a Patriarchal blessing to the temple. By far, the greatest gift I received was the sealing of my parents (both deceased) to each other and my sealing to them in the Manti Temple in 2017. That was easily one of the most profound spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. An immeasurable amount of light poured through me, through my two friends who served as proxies for my parents on that day in the sealing room, and through all the people who were present as witnesses–it was a palpable, awe-inspiring experience. Many tears of joy were shed, and Jesus infused all of us with an immense, remarkable amount of love.
In addition, the restoration has allowed me, a Jewish woman, to partake of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ while continuing to embrace my genetic and cultural heritage. I see the gospel as an expansion of my spiritual path, not an “either-or.” I still celebrate Passover and other Jewish holidays–often with my LDS friends–as those holy days align with the gospel, I also can now fully embrace Christmas and the glory of Easter. I have learned that, through the restoration, there is room in this gospel and this church for everyone.