Elder Applegarth – February 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer continues to enjoy serving the good people in Sierra Leone.  He is continuing to train a new missionary and he really loves his companion.  He indicated that his companion is a hard worker and enjoys the work.  The following is an excerpt from Spencer’s last e-mail:

We had almost a full day of contacting, and man I hate that. Towards the end of the day I was tired, but I saw some little kids playing around so we went over and started playing with them. Playing with a white man started the kids being super loud.  We were having a ton of fun and all of a sudden a man from inside the house yells at us to shut up.  You could hear him walking out to probably beat the kids, but when he saw me he didn’t know what to do.  I said to him “sorry sir I was just having some fun with your kids” then continued to explain to him who I was and what I did.  He invited us into the house and we had an amazing first discussion with him. The spirit was so dang strong! It turns out that he is a catholic but is doubtful about the religion and has been looking for another church for a while.  It just goes to show that God really does use what you love and your talents to bring others unto Christ!!

Bishop Applegarth

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Sister Ison – February 2018

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

She was able to stay one more transfer with her trainer Sister Phillips; and they were ecstatic! They now have 4 people set for baptism, so they knew they needed to stay together because they had work to do.  They are seeing tons of miracles in finding people to teach especially through social media. She is so grateful for the opportunity she has to serve a mission and she absolutely loves Washington.  Here is a little piece of her email…

Things here are honestly so great! I really want to stay here in Mountain View another transfer or two! I wouldn’t mind spending half of my mission in Mountain View! It’s awesome and I love it!  I love this work out here and the people!

Kristie Ison

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Elder Jessee – February 2018

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

새복 많이 받으세요! Happy New Year 2018!! 2017 was a blur, but what an incredible year it was. The year I was a missionary for the full year, what a blessing. I learned so many things that I will be able to take for the rest of my life. It was truly a blessing. This year I was able to see two investigators I taught enter the waters of Baptism and make a covenant with God that as long as they would try to keep His commandments and follow the Savior they would always have the Spirit and receive eternal life. I saw two men change their lives to follow the Savior, and in turn they changed mine.

In the year of 2017, I learned about the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and more about repentance as well as forgiveness. I learned more about: the Saviors’ earthly ministry, the miracles He performed, the temptations He resisted, and the example He set. I came to yearn more to become like Christ in all I do. I learned more of why trials and challenges are necessary in our striving to become better disciples of the Son of God. I came to understand, on a deeper level, why Christ died for us; which increased my gratitude toward our Heavenly Father for sending His Only Begotten Son and how hard it must have been for Him to do so. Because of Their LOVE for us, we are eternally blessed. I have come to love the people of Korea. I pray for them daily which increases my desire for their salvation. I am trying to become like the prophets of old, who literally wet their pillow at night for their people. What a special opportunity I have to be serving a mission and bringing others unto Christ. These things, and so many others, I have learned this year. My gratitude is so full; I love this gospel!

Today we started the New Year by getting up as a house, all 7 of us, at 5:30 am to hike to the top of the highest mountain near our house. Something that a lot of Koreans do on the morning of the New Year is hike to the top of a mountain and watch the sunrise, so that is what we did. Watched the rising of a new year. I brought my Book of Mormon and read a little while waiting for the sun to rise. What a great experience that was.

On Saturday night we received transfer calls! I have been called to a new area! My 4th on my mission. It is called 부천 bucheon. President has asked me to be Zone Leader; and my new companion is a native named elder Kim Ji Heyun. He has been on his mission for about 10 months. It looks like I will be speaking a lot of Korean these days.. haha really excited. I have heard nothing but good things about my next companion. This means I finished training Elder Diaz… Time has flown by. I am in my 11th Transfer now. As missionaries we serve 16, so I have got 6 left. Ready to give it all I got to the Lord.

Elder Jessee

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Elder Seely – February 2018

California Redlands Mission Office Address 7000 Central Ave Highland CA 92346

On Sunday January 28th some of the missionary mothers gave reports about their sons. One of them was Sister Seely. Here are some of the highlights she shared.

Elder Seely has been out for 15 months. He is currently serving in Yucaipa as a zone leader and has 3 people with baptismal dates. The Redlands Mission is participating in a Facebook pilot program for The Church. This has enabled them to integrate technology more into their teaching. An example of this was a lesson he had with a lady on FaceTime that had a member present who was currently driving somewhere else. He is working with one of his investigators with The Word of Wisdom. He promised them if they gave up their habits he would give up Oreos, and he now thinks he is dying from the lack.

He had a great opportunity to give service by cleaning the temple. He had an experience when he was depressed and read The Book of Mormon and it completely changed his outlook. Some of The Church leaders visited Googles headquarters and worked with them to make Mormon.org more prevalent when questions of the soul are searched for. For Thanksgiving he was at a Samoan house. He had a contest with the other elders that went, and won. They bet on who could gain the most from that one meal. He returned to his apartment 6 pounds heavier. He looks forward to continuing bringing gospel to others lives

Elder Applegarth – January 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

We enjoyed Skyping with Spencer for Christmas.  We got to speak to him for about an hour and 20 minutes.  We spoke briefly with Sister Clawson, his mission president’s wife, as well as Spencer’s companion.  Spencer’s companion is from Sierra Leone and is waiting for his visa so he can go serve in Mozambique.  The area Spencer is serving in is fairly well developed.  There are two wards that meet in the building and the building is a nice building.

Spencer wanted us to pass on to both Austin Ison and Brady Wheeler a hearty welcome home.  Attached is an excerpt from Spencer’s last e-mail:

We had a baptism this week, the baptism went really well! It was crazy for sure. We got to our baptism font and the water that had been put in the font was pure brown, it was seriously so nasty. We were freaking out because we didn’t really know what to do, but we heard that some other missionaries were holding a baptism as well at the stake center. So I called them as quick as I could and asked them to wait for us.  The stake center isn’t far from our chapel but the problem was that one of my candidates wasn’t there yet. So my companion and I ran up the hill to her house and she was still getting ready.  At this point it was like an hour after we were supposed to start; ha-ha these people don’t know how to tell time at all!  We did get her to the baptism, it ended up starting 2 hours late, but it was super spiritual and it was a way good experience!!  I’m glad that our Father In Heaven provided a way for us to hold their baptisms! The confirmations on Sunday were also awesome.  The kids from the ward performed the baptisms so it was cool to see a ward that has some priesthood holders that could do that.  I haven’t seen that in a while! Another exciting thing that happened was I got to see president Moi from Koidu this week! He came down for some reason or another and we greeted each other with a huge hug! It was way cool to see him I really love that man!  All in all a hard but a good week!  My companion is still doing way good. He is a total stud and I’m loving training him! 

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Sister Ison – January 2018

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

Sister Ison is doing great in Washington.   She survived her first Christmas away from home and although it was hard she had a great Christmas season in Washington, and even got a little snow for Christmas.  She is grateful for those from the ward that took the time to send her a letter or card for Christmas; she really enjoyed them.

She and her companion Sister Phillips are hoping to get to stay together one more transfer.  Their mission President told them if they could get 2 baptismal dates for January and 2 for February then they could stay together. They are on track for that so please keep their investigators, and that they will continue to progress and set those baptismal dates, in your prayers.  They just know they need to stay together for one more transfer because of the work they know they need to finish together.

She loves being a missionary and even though it’s hard says she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Kristie Ison

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Elder Jessee – January 2018

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

What a week!

We had a few fun festivities with the stake. We had something called a New Friends Party. It was a party for the recent converts, investigators, and less actives members. As missionaries we had to put on some performances so Elder Bratt, the zone leader and one of my best mission friends, choreographed a dance. Get ready everyone, when you become missionaries, making songs and dances the day before or – even the day of – is a common thing (we only practiced twice).

We worked a lot as a district this week to give cookies out to the members and share a Christmas message with them. It has been great to show the members that we really love them, and think about them often. I gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament meeting on trials and the how we can lean on Christ and His Atonement to overcome trials and find peace. I shared 2 scriptures, of course D&C 121:7-9 and Alma 7:11-12. After sacrament meeting I had a newly baptized member, 김주영 kim ju young, come up to me and thank me for my talk and the scripture I shared in D&C. He said that he had something come up during his week that was really tough and that the scripture really helped him. He is such a great guy. This is why I do missionary work, to help other feels more joy and peace and to bring others unto Christ, but something I have realized is that they are bringing me closer to Christ. These people are helping me way more than I could ever help them. Every time we try to serve the Korean people they serve us even more.

We met with some investigators but, they aren’t really progressing. We had to drop a lot, and really don’t have any solid investigators. Trying harder and harder everyday trying to find new people that God has prepared.

I hope that you all have a great break for these next few weeks but make it productive! Do good things. Brighten someone’s life this break, do something to serve someone and help them in their path back to our Father in Heaven; shovel their driveway, make them cookies, and ask them how you can help. Smile, shake their hands, hug them, look them in the eye and share the light of Christ everywhere you go! What a great season, this Christmas time. Full of fun, joy and the Spirit of Christ. Glad you kids are all doing so well! Keep going strong. Love you guys a lot. Thanks for all that you do for me! Great examples to me in my life. Read “The Living Christ”, that the Prophet and apostles wrote, at some point this week; each line has eternal truths and things to think about. Ponder them and come closer to the Savior.

You are all the best! Play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, read your scriptures! Also the holiday donuts at Terrels I remember are pretty good.

Love you all so much!                                                                                                                                             Elder Jessee

 

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Elder Applegarth – December 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer continues to enjoy his service as a missionary to the good people of Sierra Leone.  He recently was transferred from Koidu back to Freetown, where he will train a new missionary.  Below is a short excerpt from his last e-mail:

We had an amazing baptism! The other companionship baptized 6 and we baptized 1 so it was a lot of fun! We went to where we were last time and this time we had to ride in the back of a truck and were packed in tight haha. It reminded me a ton of home and going up the mountains! The baptism went really well and everyone loved it! President Moi baptized everyone, so that was cool. On Sunday I got to confirm Isheka a member and give him the gift of The Holy Ghost. That was a really special experience for me! The spirit was just so strong I can’t even explain. It was just awesome. Then we got transfer news. I am getting transferred to Kontoloh in Freetown, and I will be training!! I’m a little bummed that I am leaving Koidu, but I’m pumped that I’m training that will be a ton of fun – but a lot of hard work for sure!  It was super hard to say goodbye to the people in Koidu. Some were even crying. It was so hard but we have done a lot of work in Koidu and it was so much fun to see the branch progress from nothing to what it is now. From going to super apostate to not really any apostasy at all! It has been a good run that’s for sure!  So we will see what the next area brings! Everything else is going good just love being on the lords errand!!

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Jessee – December 2017

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

Elder Jessee is currently a District Leader and Trainer in a brand new area that he is loving! Following is from one of Elder Jessee’s letters:

This week was a lot of fun. We didn’t get to meet with our investigators but we proselyted a lot, had a few meeting, and met a lot of people on the street.

A few days ago Elder Diaz and I met with some Jehovah’s Witnesses. I saw a man named Kim Chan Ho on an old record and decided to give him a call to see if we could meet. After we talked on the phone, and scheduled the appointment, I read more into his record and saw that he was a JW. He told us to meet him at Giheug subway station. When we got off at the station he called me and told me he is in a coffee shop. Elder Diaz and I walked there and see 3 very old men. They stood up and begin to greet us bowing and shaking our hands. One of them had a big blue button pinned to his suit coat that said “JW.org”. I thought we were only meeting with one man, but I mean the more the merrier … right? Hahah!

The leader asked one of his assistants to get us some coffee. We told him we don’t drink coffee, which I am sure he knew. They asked why and I told them it was revelation received by God to not drink strong drinks, which coffee is. He then told them to get some bread instead, which was coffee bread.. haha! I know there is some coffee bread you can eat, but I didn’t feel right about it. I could feel the Spirit tell us not to – so we didn’t. They got us some egg bread instead, which was delicious. He began to talk to us and tell us that he wanted a 편견 없이 discussion, which means without prejudice. We talked for a little, just some small talk, during which I asked them if I could translate for my companion. He Then started the conversation by asking me what we thought happens after we die. I told him that we are resurrected and live with God and Jesus Christ again if we lived a righteous life. Then he asked where will we go, heaven or earth? I told him “with God, where that will be exactly I don’t know but we will live with Him”. He then opened up scriptures to share with me their doctrine. He told me of how we will live on earth for the rest of eternity. Told me how when we die we are really dead and cannot think, see, hear, move, and that is the end – until God comes back to the earth. They did this for about 20 minutes. This whole time Elder Diaz has no idea what is going on, so I translated for him here and there. I thanked them for the bread and began to bear testimony to them that God loves them, that he loves all people, and that is why I came to Korea to tell others this great message. I testified to them that I knew we lived with God and Christ before this life and will again after if we follow his teachings and live a righteous life. I told him I know we can live with our families forever and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I explained to them that as missionaries we don’t fight with others, but we teach our message and invited them that if they wanted to learn these simple truths, we teach 5 lessons. I told them I would answer all their questions and then we left them with a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet. We said thank you and parted ways.

God really helped me that day through the Spirit to avoid any conflict. This was a huge testimony builder for me. The words “You will not be confounded before men” came into my head. I am grateful for the Spirit, the Priesthood, and the power of God on my side. Truly without Him I am nothing.

Elder Jessee

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Elder Ison – December 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

Elder Ison is finishing up his mission in Missoula.  He was released as a Zone Leader and transferred there on November 15th. He will spend the last month of his mission training a new missionary Elder Johnson.   He absolutely loved Great Falls and said it was hard to leave but he was excited to be back in Missoula serving in the YSA ward, especially while to training again.  Time and goodbyes are becoming bittersweet. He is excited to come home and see his family again, but he is heartbroken leaving his mission and the people of Montana.  He was also in a car accident Thanksgiving evening. Everyone is ok and he knows that all involved were being watched over, however as a result of the accident he has lost driving privileges for that remainder of his mission.

He has loved serving the Lord and serving the people of Montana and knows he will be leaving a piece of his heart there.  As he reflects on his mission he says that it has been the best 2 years of his life and he is so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve.  His testimony and love for the gospel has increased and he can’t imagine his life without it.  He is so grateful to those in the ward that have supported him throughout his mission and he is focused and just wanting to give it all he has these last few weeks.

Elder Ison will return home December 16th and will give his report home talk the following day the 17th.

Kristie Ison

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Sister Ison – December 2017

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

Sister Ison is doing amazingly!  She is just finishing up her first transfer this week and will be staying in Vancouver with Sister Phillips for at least another transfer which she is so excited about.  She loves Sister Phillips and is so grateful that she is her trainer.  She had her first baptism 2 weeks ago and they have several people that they are teaching including Sister Phillips’ father who left the church years ago when she was a little girl, and they are just so excited to get to teach him and her step mom via social media.  They are so grateful for the new ways they are getting to use social media to “hasten the work”

Sister Ison encourages us all to be member missionaries.

Kristie Ison

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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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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

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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

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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

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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