Bishopric – Freedom

I would like to welcome Bradyn Jorgensen home from serving a full-time mission in the Raleigh North Carolina mission.  Bradyn gave a great report to the Mount Pleasant fourth ward.  What a great missionary Bradyn was.  I’m excited to watch him continue to progress.  I’m absolutely certain that Bradyn’s life will be full of happiness and joy.  I would also like to congratulate Ryker Erickson and Jentry Ison for their mission calls.  They will have an opportunity to experience the same growth that Bradyn has experienced over the past two years.

The theme for July is Freedom.  I love the historical events of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Each of the founding fathers that signed that document were guilty of treason to the British Empire.  The founding fathers were all in, if the revolutionary war had been lost, each person that signed the Declaration of Independence would have been put to death by the most powerful country in the world.  I’m grateful for all the people throughout the history of our country that have pursued and protected the idea of Freedom.

I’m grateful for the scriptural accounts of the pre-existence.  We know that there was a war in heaven that was based on the idea of free agency.  Satan was a proponent of eliminating choice.  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knew that we have to have free agency or else we cannot learn, develop, and grow.  We all supported this idea in the pre-existence and we can all recognize how important it is now to be able to choose.

I was teasing one of my kids this week that I love being a parent but I would love it even more if I could make their choices for them.  This obviously would not work.  There are plenty of times where I council with my kids and they make a decision that is different than I would have made.  Sometimes they learn that my advice would have protected them from a bad decision.  Sometimes, I learn that I was giving bad advice.  Either way, everyone involved has an opportunity to learn and to grow because of agency.

The ultimate freedom is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Through the atonement, we are able to learn from our mistakes.  We are able to make bad decisions, learn, and then make better decisions the next time.  This is how we progress eternally until eventually we become like our Heavenly Father.  I am so grateful for the atonement, I’m grateful for Jesus Christ for making the sacrifice for me and my family.  I’m looking forward to the sacrament meetings in July.  I look forward to continuing to serve with each of you.

                                Bishop Applegarth

Freedom From Mistakes

I had an experience on my mission that I will never forget.  I was in the city of Dandenong, Australia. It was a cold and rainy day.  We had tracted all day and had not found much success so we looked forward to our dinner of fish and chips; they taste soBegging good in Australia.  We bought our meal wrapped in brown paper and went to sit down on a bench.  The warmth of the food and the smell made our mouth water with anticipation. Just as we were ready to eat a homeless man, smelling of alcohol and looking very hungry, came over to ask for money for food.  We had spent all of our money and told him so.  We also judged him as one who would spend the money for alcohol so we really did not want to give him any money even if we had any.  He left in a hurry looking embarrassed.  As we sat there, we both realized we could have given him our food!  We did not feel like eating our dinner after this and we got up and looked for him to give him our food.  But he was nowhere to be found.  I thought of the scripture that said people “entertain angels unawares” and felt we had been tested to see if we were truly the Lord’s disciples. As we went to people’s homes that night to teach them about the gospel, we did not feel like His representatives at all.  I will never forget the heart-felt prayers I said that night asking for forgiveness.  I vowed that night that if anyone ever asked me for money for food, I would give them food.  I was grateful for the experience I had a year later when I was visiting San Francisco with friends. A homeless man came BeggingAppleup to me, again smelling of alcohol, and asked for spare change for food.  I did not hesitate at all, even with his alcohol smell, but I immediately jumped at the chance to help him – I think this startled him. We went to a local convenience store and I bought him an apple and some cheese.  He was thankful for the food.  I was grateful for this opportunity to be free of the guilt I felt for that mistake I had made in Australia as a missionary.  Repentance is a great blessing and I am thankful for the gospel, which helps me to be free from the guilt that comes from making mistakes.

Sara Staker

Elder’s Corner – Freedom In The Scriptures

On July 4th 1776, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. It only took him 17 days to write it. After years of war, bloodshed, and suffering, the Constitution was signed in 1787. With God’s help, America was now in charge of her own destiny and with it, the conditions perfect for the restoration of the Gospel (3 Nephi 21:4).

This was all foreseen by our prophets. We read in 1st Nephi 13 about ColumbusShips (1 Nephi 13:12), and the Pilgrims (1 Nephi 13:13-15) and how the English came to war with our Founding Fathers (1 Nephi 13:17) and how the Revolutionaries prevailed against them with the Lords help because of their humbleness and righteousness (1 Nephi 13:16). We also learn from Christ Himself that the creation of the Constitution was His doing (D&C 101:80) and that our Founding Fathers were hand selected by Him to fulfill this purpose. In 1833, the Lord again reminds us that He wanted us to have the Constitution (D&C 98:5-6), but added a warning for us (D&C 98:9-10).

This is a free land that comes with a stipulation, serve the Lord or be swept away (Ether 2:9). It also states that our righteousness determines whether we are blessed or cursed by living in it (2 Nephi 1:7). We learn that two previous civilizations (Nephites/Jaredites) have both been swept off for choosing incorrectly (Ether 2:12).

Are we choosing correctly? As a church we are under condemnation for unbelief, treating lightly the Book of Mormon, and vanity (D&C 84:54-57). We also read that the Lord admonished the early Saints on this as well (D&C 98:19-20). This condemnation has not been lifted. Joseph Smith and Pres Benson have called the Book of Mormon, the keystone of our religion. A keystone is the center piece at the top of a stone arch, and without it, the arch cannot support itself and will crumble. Pres Benson also stated that “God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (see also 2 Nephi 3:12).

ConFlagWe have been warned to protect our freedoms, and how they are slowly being eroded by modern day secret combinations (Ether 8:23-26) just as found in all of the Book of Mormon civilizations. Note that verse 24 indicates a commandment from the Lord to awaken and repent if we are allowing them to exist by our supporting them. Our church leaders were once extremely vocal about warning the Saints to support the principles found in our Constitution. Have they been silenced as Mormon was (Mormon 1:16-17) or as Samuel was (1 Samuel 8) for the Saints not heeding their words? Reading page 36 of the July 2017 Ensign should give you the answer. Every single one of our prophets has paid homage to the Constitution, in conference talks, symposiums, even in Temple dedications. David O McKay once declared, “Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States”.

Are we acting in accordance with the direction of the Lords prophets when it comes to the topic of freedom? We chose correctly in our first estate….will we continue to make the right choice in our second?

Anyone interested in additional quotes or reading material (all church related) please contact anyone in the Elders Quorum presidency.

President Crisp

Elder Applegarth – July 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer has had a bit of a rough month physically.  He has been somewhat sick because of some African bugs.  He also has a kidney stone that he is passing.  So he has gotten a chance to explore the African medical community.  Spencer reports that going to the doctor in Africa is a bit of an adventure.  The medical clinics aren’t as clean as we enjoy and instead of an exam room for just one person, there is an exam room for 100 people.  However, all in all Spencer is grateful for the doctors that have treated him and he reports that he is feeling much better.

Spencer is really enjoying the people of Sierra Leone.  They are always kind to him and they are eager to learn about the gospel.  Last week, he had 7 investigators that came to church.  The local branch is kind and loving to everyone, so Spencer’s investigators were welcomed with big smiles and open arms.  Spencer has been with his current companion for several months.  I think Spencer is ready for a change in companion but has enjoyed living in an apartment with 4 elders.  Spencer is happy and loves serving the lord.

Bishop Applegarth

Applegarth2

Elder Ison – July 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He has remained in Bozeman for another transfer.  He loves serving in the YSA ward even though it’s kind of slow because a lot of them have gone home for the summer.  It’s been fun getting to have FHE with the YSA ward.  He and his companion Elder Blum get to do service quite a bit at a nursery called God’s Garden and he really loves it.  They have found a couple of solid investigators the past couple of weeks and he asks that everyone remember the missionaries in their prayers that they will be able to bring these children of God into the fold.   This month he hit his 18 month mark, and will be home in 6 short months.    This is a little excerpt from his email last Monday concerning the final stretch of his mission….

I hope and pray that this final stretch of the mission, I can “kick it in!” That I can become a better missionary then I now am, that I can continue to repent and change and become the person my Heavenly Father and Savior know I can be. I hope to give it all to the Lord, to work hard with all my might, mind and strength. To let this last 6 months be the best and to work harder than I ever have, to bring souls unto Christ. I LOVE being a missionary and nothing has been more rewarding then this. The Gospel is true and has been restored. I know this is Jesus Christ church and his gospel, I know this is the work of God and that through this great plan and the Savior makes it possible, all things are possible. We can change, and become who we are supposed to be and we can live with our families for time and all eternity. “All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me” Phillipians 4:13

Kristie Ison

Ison1

Elder Jessee – July 2017

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

This was a great week. We met with 3 investigators, all of which have great potential I am very excited for that. One guy I met on the subway the other day. He saw me smiling and waving to everyone in the station and asked me why I was doing that. I said because I am a missionary. He did not believe in God at all and asked why there were so many churches. I began to explain that after Christ’s death, many churches were confused and began to create their own doctrines. I talked about the apostasy and then the restoration. It was like something clicked in his brain, like the spirit testified to his heart of something he already knew to be true, something that was deeply rooted inside him. We met him yesterday and because he has no knowledge of religion, God, or Christ we will take it very slowly with him. He asks great questions and we were able to tell him of the Love that God and Christ have for him. He began to play with the thought that maybe God directed him to meet me on the subway and we affirmed that that was true. A lot of spirit in that meeting. I hope that he allows the spirit to continue to touch his heart. He is a great guy, 22 years old and cares about the typical such as getting rich, looking handsome, and having a lot of girlfriends; but I hope we can – through the spirit – change some of those desires.

I also was able to go through the temple in Seoul this week. The most peaceful session of my life. I received a lot of answers to what I should be doing. I am really grateful to the Lord for the incredible blessing of the temple.

Elder Talbot – July 2017

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

This week has been pretty crazy. We had zone conference on the temple!! I learned so much about the temple I will have to teach you in the future. We had a baptism cancel on us at the last moment so that was sad, but it is on for next week. The church is growing were I am. There are like roughly 80 people at church each week, and it is soooo awesome!! Know that I love you and care a lot about you all!!

Jun 5

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Missionary Update – July 2017

Sister Ison Jentry just received her mission call to the Vancouver Washington mission and reports to the MTC September 27th.

Kristie Ison

 

Elder Jorgensen Finished mission and is safely home.

 

Elder Wheeler Australia Perth Mission Office Address PO Box 185 Tuart Hill WA 6939 Australia

Elder Seely California Redlands Mission Office Address 7000 Central Ave Highland CA 92346              

Lesson Schedule – July 2017

2nd – Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 25: Priesthood: The Power of Godliness, Priesthood/Relief Society: By Quorum/Group Presidency

9th – Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 26: Go Ye into All the World, and Preach My Gospel, Priesthood/Relief Society: Chapter 13: Peace and Contentment through Temporal Self-Reliance

16th – Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 27: They Must Needs Be Chastened and Tried, Even as Abraham, Priesthood/Relief Society: Chapter 14: Losing Ourselves in the Service of Others

23rd – Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 28: O God, Where Art Thou? , Priesthood/Relief Society: Return and Receive: Elder M. Russell Ballard

30th – Gospel Doctrine: Chapter 29: Building the Kingdom of God in Nauvoo, Illinois, Priesthood/Relief Society: By Bishopric

 

Book Highlight – Jessica Day George

Jessica Day George is an LDS author who writes for the national market. Although her books are not overtly religious, they are clean, retellings of fairy tales that illustrate values of kindness, courage, sacrifice, and love.

My favorite book by her is: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. It is a retelling of the Polar Bear King fairy tale. It delves into Norwegian culture and history, and ancient Norse Mythology which is very interesting, especially for those of Scandinavian descent. Her books are light reading for adults, and can be enjoyed by those of all ages.

Becky Zundel

 

Bishop – Study

June is a great time of year for our ward.  The kids are out of school which provides many great opportunities.  Many of our youth and families will participate in the Mormon Miracle Pageant.  Our girls will go to girl’s camp with the Stake.  Our young men will have a camp that they will attend at the end of the month.  Mount Pleasant in June is one of the greatest spots on the planet.  The weather is perfect, the mountain becomes accessible, and the valley is still green.  What a great time to year to celebrate all the wonderful blessings Heavenly Father has blessed us with here in the Sanpete Valley.

This month the theme is Personal Study.  For me and my family, summer is the hardest time to consistently study our scriptures.  Without the routine of school, it is difficult to keep the routine of daily scripture study.  With all the church activities, summer camps, and other activities we as a family will really need to make a conscious effort to schedule our scripture study.  With teenager’s schedules, it can be difficult for family prayer as well.

I know that our family is much happier when we have regular scripture study.  Family prayer brings the spirit into our home.  The effort that it takes to keep the habit of daily scripture study during the summer is well worth the benefits we receive.  I look forward to a great month.  For good weather, good experiences, and the continued spiritual growth that can only come through regular, consistent, personal study.

Bishop Applegarth

Scripture Study

I like to get up early in the morning and study my scriptures. I find my mind is a lot more clear at that time, and I like starting my day off with something spiritual. I feel it helps my day go smoother, also. I can’t think of a specific incident while reading the scriptures that would be considered a big spiritual experience, but the scriptures seem to testify of their truthfulness over and over again to me. There’s an app I like to use called “My Daily Book of Mormon Devotional.” I also use “The Gospel Study Series,” by David J. Ridges. They really help me in my studying.

I try to read a conference talk after reading my scriptures also. A talk that has had an impact on me is Elder Holland’s talk “None Were With Him.” It’s probably my favorite. Another one that really helps me is Elder Christofferson’s talk on trials called “As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten.” It’s a good one to listen to or read often.

I remember the first time I saw the “Praise to the Man” movie at the Legacy Theater. It was so powerful! I don’t think there was a dry eye there. It made my faith and testimony in Joseph Smith grow so much!

I have a testimony that I know if we read and study our scriptures and study the words of our prophet and apostles that they can help with the problems we our having in our daily lives.

Julie Pehrson

Personal Study

About 2 years ago, I was really struggling with some personal things going on in my life.  Prayer has always been difficult for me not because I didn’t believe in it I have just never had those great experiences you hear people talk about where they just felt the Savior’s arms around them while praying.  I have never experienced that.  But I knew that I needed to get some answers to some questions and help how to deal with the issues I was having.  I started for the first time really in my life being very diligent about praying and reading my scriptures every day.  I had never done it consistently I would pray here and there or read my scriptures here and there but never had been consistent every day.

As I began to study and pray, and not just read to get through it but really try to understand what I was reading, I couldn’t believe the difference of things that I was able to understand and actually retain or how something would jog my memory of another scripture, it was amazing!   For the first time in my life I finally completed the Book of Mormon!  And I actually had a desire to keep reading so then I read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price too.  I couldn’t believe it, I had never been able to do that before but something had changed.  I don’t know if it was because I was earnestly trying and needing so much help from my Father in Heaven that I was able to do it but it was wonderful.  I have since slacked off again and I notice the difference, why I can’t keep on rolling is a question I am still wrestling with in my own head, but when I reflect back to that time and how I was really trying to study how the answers came so clear and prayers were answered I know it was because I was doing what needed to be done.  Although Heavenly Father and our Savior already know what we are dealing with it is our responsibility to go to them in prayer and to study and to ask for that help.  They are there and they are willing we just need to do our part, so as I have tried to apply that in my own personal study I have seen the blessings that come from it.  I am grateful that each day we get to start new.  I fail daily on so many levels but the knowledge that I can start again and just a little harder the next day keeps me going, and that is all that they expect of us is to just keep trying, never giving up.

I love the quote by Elder Jeffrey R Holland that says “Don’t you quit.  You keep walking, you keep trying there is help and happiness ahead.”  My testimony is simple of personal study, it works if we just keep trying and applying the principles that we learn while studying and the blessings are there we just need to ask.

Kristie Ison

Elder Applegarth – June 2017

Elder Applegarth Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

The highlight for the month of May for us as a family was speaking with Spencer at Mother’s day.  At Christmas time, we spoke with Spencer for about 20 minutes.  At Mother’s day, we spoke with Spencer for about 1 hour 45 minutes.  We even got to speak to Spencer’s Mission President.  It was so fun to listen to his stories and hear his testimony.  At the end of our conversation, it was hard to hang up.  Lots of tears were shed, tears of missing each other, but also tears of joy for the growth we are all experiencing.  It was fun for all of us to recognize the spiritual growth Spencer has had and also the blessings our family has received from Spencer’s missionary service.

Spencer continues his service in Waterloo, this is his third transfer in Waterloo.  He loves the branch and the people have been so nice and kind to Spencer.  He continues to have a lot of success as the people in Africa are ready for the gospel.  Not many of the saints in the Waterloo branch have had the opportunity to attend the temple.  I asked Spencer if the Branch President has been endowed.  Spencer indicated that he had not yet because it was too expensive to get to the temple.  The branch has been saving money for a group of them to go to the Accra Temple in Ghana.  Spencer continues to point out how blessed we are here in Sanpete.

 Bishop Applegarth

Applegarth2

Elder Talbot – June 2017

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

So this week has been so insanely crazy and has been soooo busy!! We moved apartments from “the Tree House” to “the Pink Palace”! It is the cutest place in all of Guyana, haha. We moved on Thursday and Friday so those days nothing really happened, but then on Saturday we worked the new area. I am still with Elder Hanks and we live in the village called Bath. It is so nice, and we have met a lot of really nice people. It is so cool, and there is a lot going on. We have been having lots of crazy things happen and I am glad I don’t have a problem living with other creatures because we live with lots of them.

Tuesday and Thursday was a lot of working, teaching, and meeting as many people as possible. We worked on that, and are really trying to help people understand that this church can help them with whatever they are going through. I really don’t know how these people live the way that they do. It is so hard to relate to them and help them understand.

I miss you so much and love you so much and want you to know that if you pray for me just know that I pray for you because who you are matters to me – and especially you matter to me more than anything. The people you love and the people you come to love are in your memory and in your heart forever and you are always on my mind and in my heart!

Week of May 1st

This week has been super long and has had lots to do with shoes. We have been walking so much it is crazy. We have been contacting people all week and we have been working on trying to start off this new area right! Bath is such a blessing and the people are so great! We are teaching these girls and they are super interested – and even more so now that they came to church!! That never happens. They showed up really late, but it was better than nothing – so it was all cool. We talked to them after church was all over and they said that was the best service they have ever been to, and will most definitely be back on the next Sunday – haha. We walked and walked and walked. To explain how much I have put huge holes in my shoes. It is the best thing ever to be able to say that I used my shoes all up – haha, it is so great!!!!

I do believe that you get to know a person best by the way they take care of their shoes. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to hear from you as well. Keep looking up when things get hard. Sometimes it is hard to look up when it is raining but it is worth it when you see how much God really does love you!!!

Week of May 8th

This week has been pretty interesting and fun. I really have had some cool stuff happen, and we sadly only had a few people at church – though it was a lot more than usual. We had 67 so we are improving. The best part of this week was with branch President Narine. He came with us on Saturday and we saw a lot of members and investigators. We had some really good lessons and they were very spiritual. We then got a lot of support from him on Sunday as we tried to work and get as many people as possible at church!!!

I really wanted to share a scripture today. Helaman 5:12 “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

Basically if you build a strong foundation on Christ the devil and his mighty whirlwinds won’t be able to knock you down! The way that you build on this foundation is through the various primary answers 🙂  Prayer, Scripture Study, and attending Church! Keep building on that foundation!

Week of May 22nd

Today we had a zone conference on Temples and I want to go back so bad, but it is getting me ready for the future and when I can go one day with my future wife (if there is one, I hope!). BUT I HOPE YOU GO TO THE TEMPLE!! I encourage you go TODAY, if possible, and know that we do the things in the temple for a reason. I hope that you study where things come from and why they are there. When I see you again I would love to talk to you about it – but I don’t have a lot of time. I love you soo soo much and can’t wait to see your stories!!! The next time you go to the temple I want you to take a picture of you putting your hand on the temple and send it to me. It has to happen because I love to see that and because you can feel the power that comes from the temple by even just touching it!!

Week of May 30th

Lesson Schedule – June

June 4th “Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord to Come”, By Quorum/Group Presidency

June 11th The Word of Wisdom: “A Principle with Promise”Home—The Basis of a Righteous Life

June 18th“Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith”Obedience: Simply Live the Gospel

June 25th“Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness”The Power of the Book of Mormon by President Thomas S. Monson