Elder Applegarth – April 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer celebrated his 20th birthday this past month.  Spencer describes his birthday as follows: “I was able to baptize 6 people this week!!! Every time I put them under the water the spirit filled my heart.  It was so amazing to be able to do that for them.  After they came out of the water each one of them looked me in the eyes and said thank you. That is when tears started to roll down my face because all I could think about is my doing the same thing to our Savior one day.  It was truly a humbling experience.  What better birthday present is there?  Then I got to spend some time with my converts and they made my day special for my birthday we had a lot of fun! On Sunday it was also an amazing day as I stood in the circle the spirit filled the room.  After the confirmations the recent converts that I baptized a while ago all got callings!!! It has truly been amazing to see everyone’s progress!!”

Other exciting news for Spencer is that his companion for the past four months finally got his visa, so he is attending the MTC in Provo where he is learning Portuguese.  He will be preparing to serve in Mozambique.  The final elections happen this week in Sierra Leone.  Hopefully democracy continues as a peaceful event there.

Bishop Applegarth

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Sister Ison – April 2018

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

She has now been out for 6 months!  She is down to 1 year left and it’s crazy how fast the time is flying.  She has grown so much these past 6 months and we are excited to see what happens in the next year for her while serving in Washington.  She will be getting transfer news this coming Sunday and she knows that she will be leaving the Mountain View area after meeting with President Mcateer.  She has absolutely loved her first area and found it difficult knowing Sunday will be her last in that area because she has had so many wonderful experiences and met so many wonderful people there, but she also knows she has work to do and people to find in another area and is excited for the next chapter.  Here is a little bit from her email this week that I wanted to share.

“With Easter coming up it has been weird and cool to see how emotional I have gotten from thinking back on Easter and what our Savior has done for us. It definitely hits you a lot harder and deeper when you’re on your mission and I love it! Before I didn’t think about what the Savior did for us until Easter but I should be thinking about it always and as a missionary you do and that’s why it becomes so important to us.

Sunday was absolutely amazing!! Sister Davidson spoke about hope through the resurrection and it was amazing! And then Brother Thomas spoke about the last week of the Savior’s life and I wish we would’ve had an investigator there but I had never heard our sacrament meeting so quiet and the spirit was so strong!  But when you are a missionary at least for me anyways Easter has hit me harder than it ever has! I have been getting super emotional because I realize everyday what the Savior has done for me! I want to invite you all to study the final week of the Savior’s life because it is absolutely amazing! As we approach general conference weekend and Easter Sunday I invite you all to pray to have questions come to your mind because I know that each of us have questions that we can and will receive answers to! We will be sustaining our new prophet and two new apostles so pray for questions because you will receive answers! I love you all and I know that this gospel is true! I hit 6 months tomorrow and time is flying but I will see you all in one year! I love you all tons!!”

Kristie Ison

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Elder Applegarth – March 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer is serving in Kontollah Freetown area.  He is working hard and enjoying his mission.  It is fun to see Spencer happy and confident.  Spencer reports that there is an election going on in Sierra Leone right now.  There are several rallies and gatherings in the street.  The missionaries are asked to not get anywhere near any rallies or political gatherings.  Spencer said that people are really excited about the election, which will happen March 7.  He expects to spend the day in his apartment on March 7 and may need to spend several days in his apartment, depending on how the election goes.

Here is an excerpt from Spencer’s e-mail this week:  “ya this election will be pretty crazy … I will for sure not take my vote for granted when I get home.  I can’t even begin to explain how many things I have gained appreciation for back home that a normal US citizen takes for granted.  Like grass, carpet, 24/7 light, a shower, a fridge just simple things like that but man I sure do love it here, my heart goes out to these people for sure!”.  Spencer is teaching several people right now including a 12 year old girl that he just loves.  We are so grateful for the life lessons Spencer is learning.

Bishop Applegarth

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Sister Ison – March 2018

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

She is doing awesome and loves being a missionary.  She just started her 4th transfer and is staying in Vancouver but has a new companion Sister Davidson who she already just loves.  They have found a couple of new investigators and are excited to get out and work hard together.

This is a little bit of her email: “So at zone conference Elder Cook talked about not just enduring to the end but enjoying to the end! Whether you are on a mission or not and you are home remember to enjoy life because this is an amazing time to learn and grow and become closer to our savior Jesus Christ! This is an amazing opportunity we have been given to return to him! So remember to enjoy to the end and not just endure! I love you all and I know this email wasn’t much but I want you to know that I know this is the true church on the earth today! I love my savior Jesus Christ so much! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.“

Kristie Ison

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Elder Jessee – March 2018

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

This week we had interviews with the Mission President, I celebrated my birthday by eating some delicious Korean chicken, and we were able to meet with some investigators!  We taught the first lesson and the spirit was surely felt! We were teaching this investigator in both English and Korean, but he said he really did want to learn about Jesus Christ. Even though he goes to church every week at a Methodist church he said that he really didn’t know much about Jesus Christ and that he wants to learn more. It was really cool to see that and hear him say that because I was thinking he was just meeting to learn English. His name is Kang Tae Rang, but his English name is Thomas.

Also Alex Boye is here in Korea. He had a fireside last night that we could have gone to if we had an investigator there, but all of our investigators were busy last night. He is having a concert on Thursday so hopefully our investigators will be able to go! Also yesterday at church the two kids that were baptized received the Priesthood. Pretty awesome thing! They are doing really well!

One thing that I read in the Book of Mormon this morning, that I want to share with you all, is in 1Nephi 16:22-23. Nephi broke his steel bow. So with no effective way to kill food Laman and Lemuel, and even Lehi, begin to murmur against the Lord. I think this shows us the faithfulness of Nephi and how we should be in our moments of hardship. In these two verses he tells his brethren to stop hardening their hearts. God had led them out of every trial, and even led them from the hands of Laban, Nephi tells them to remember that. Then, instead of just waiting for a miracle from the Lord, he works to fix the problem by making a bow of wood; and that is when the Lord provides the miracle and blessing of leading him to the beast. We too shouldn’t just wait and do nothing when a problem arises, but rather work to find a solution, that is when the Lord blesses us!

LOVE YOU ALL!

 Elder Jessee

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Elder Erickson – March 2018

On Sunday February 11th some of the missionary mothers gave reports about their sons. The following are excerpts about Elder Erickson:

England Birmingham Mission Office Address 187 Penns Lane Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands England B76 1JU United Kingdom.

He learned a lot during his time at the MTC. He enjoyed the great member support he had in Virginia. One of the members helped him weather a “blizzard” of 5 inches of snow. While in Virginia he learned that prayer is necessary, and we can do hard things with the Lord. He received a visa and is now in England and his current companion is from Ghana. Elder Erickson’s favorite book of scripture is currently Enos. As he has studied and learned he now thinks of his mission is like life condensed. He knows that Heavenly Father wants him to learn and grow. He also wants to e ward to read the Book of Mormon.

Elder Talbot – March 2018

On Sunday February 11th some of the missionary mothers gave reports about their sons. The following are excerpts about Elder Talbot:

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

He is enjoying his out of country experience. The area he is now in is known as the Island of flowers and has 6 inch snails. The mission is just like any journey, you take it one step at a time. Had the opportunity to bless a child with seizures. During the blessing he felt taught by the Holy Ghost strongly. He loves the fact that he gets to pray frequently. He has learned that life is about love – not money. He now knows that you must change yourself before you can help others. He has also learned how hard it is to be alone. He knows that studying the Book of Mormon, and his companions, have changed him. He now realizes that we must treat others with love.

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! 

Bishop ApplegarthApplegarth1

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

Applegarth2

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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