Elder Applegarth – August 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

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

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

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

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Elder Jessee – August 2017

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

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

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

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

Elder Jessee

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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

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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

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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!!

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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              

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

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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

Elder Applegarth – May 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer has hit his sixth month mark.  In his last letter he shared with us how easy it is to love the people in Sierra Leone.  Spencer says that everybody is friendly.  They always have a kind word.  Even if they are not interested in learning about the church, they are a polite and kind people.  Spencer has learned a lot from this kindness and hopes that when he returns to the USA that he is able to bring that culture back with him.  Spencer has several baptisms coming up this month.  He has been working hard and because of the great people that he teaches, they are ready to receive the gospel.  He continues to serve with a missionary from Ghana.  He also lives with two elders that are the zone leaders.  They are both from Nigeria.  Spencer is really starting to enjoy the food in Sierra Leone.  He wasn’t much of a rice eater when he was home, but now he really loves rice.  The month of May will start the Rainy Season in Sierra Leone.  He goes from no rain, to an average of 6 inches in May and then it escalates to an average of 20+ inches each month during the summer.  The mission home has issued him rubber boots.  With the roads being dusty today, soon they will all be one big mud puddle.  He is excited to see the rainy season, he says he is ready for a change from the dry heat that he has experienced over the past six months.

We have enjoyed the pictures Spencer has sent us.  We have been fascinated that the people in Sierra Leone carry everything on their head.  Spencer has tried to imitate this while doing service, I guess it is easier than carrying things with your arms?  Spencer points out that there a lot of people that carry some heavy loads on their head.  The mission has made a huge impact on Spencer’s life and although the past six months have been a challenge, he loves what he is doing and is looking forward to the next 18 months.

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Ison – May 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He has been transferred to the Bozeman area and will continue serving as Zone Leader there with his new companion Elder Tippets and is super excited because they will be serving in the YSA ward. He continues to grow and I am amazed at the man he is becoming. He loves Montana and how beautiful it is. They have several people they are working with right now that are progressing well and they hope to set for baptism soon. Please keep him in your prayers and those that they are teaching. He is super excited to be in the area with his trainer Elder Rich and that he will get to serve around him for the next transfer or 2 before Elder Rich goes home. He loves being a missionary and serving in Montana.

Kristie Ison

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Elder Jessee – May 2017

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

Just got back from a mission activity, it was a pretty good time. The mission activity was a 5k “run” as well as some kickball. While run/walking my first lap of 7, I thought of my mom…. how she completed a full marathon, at a high level on a big stage and it gave me motivation. I thought in my mind… if my mom could run 20+ miles, of course I can finish the rest of lap 1 in a jog. I began running, with all motivation but ended the first lap in a brisk walk. After completing the first lap, and knowing the 5k was optional I battled within my mind whether to continue on with the next 6 laps. Just then I realized I needed water and then found myself getting distracted with playing football and eating some kimbap (Korean sushi). Well, there goes the extent of my running career. Glad to see Mom’s race was a lot more successful!

This week we had transfer calls, my companion got called to a different area far away and I am staying in the same area. President called me to be an Assistant Zone Leader so I will be serving with someone named Elder Lydon. He was my Zone Leader this transfer and now we will be working together as Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader. Elder Lydon has about 6 months left on his mission. Really great guy from Texas and was a quarterback in high school and has been Zone Leader for about 5 months. It will be a fun time. Also not yesterday but the week before I gave my first blessing to a woman in Korean. It was a mix of English toward the end but it was really cool to be able to do that.

I hope you are all striving to become closer to God and Christ through prayer and reading the scriptures. I love you all so much. Try to acquire as much “Light” as you possibly can. While in the world, there are things that increase the light of Christ within us and some things that decrease it. Always strive to be in those places and do those things that will increase your light and as you do so, you will shine as a light to others. Love you all so much. You guys are the best!Jessee1

Elder Talbot – May 2017

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

Current Address 243 ceder court lamaha gardens, georgetown, Guyana

This week has been short and sweet. We have not done a lot, but we do what we can. I went on an exchange and it went very well. Taking charge of stuff is pretty scary but is also very fun, and really crazy. The exchange was with Elder Batista who is a really cool guy (no he is not related to the wrestler). He is super funny and loads of fun. He really has lots of things to talk about and has had a pretty rough life. He is such a good kid, though he is from Idaho, and is really lucky to have what he does – but he is none the less a really great guy.

This week has been a lot of teaching. We just go from house to house teaching everything that we feel. We are really working hard to help one of our investigators, Latoya, get ready for baptism. She is scared of how everything works and wants to be positive that she will not fall away.

Sorry this letter is so short but the next one will be really good with zone conference coming up, and soon transfers. I love you so much and know that the things this church teaches are really from God. Look at Romans 8:16 for an example of how God loves us so much – we are all his children no matter what we do and say. We are always going to be that!

Week of April 17th

This week has been crazy. To start off we had a great Tuesday but we didn’t have district meeting because of zone conference. We had a lot of fall throughs which I am used to so I am over it. We taught a lot of really good people that day.

Wednesday was sad. We had such a great day planned – and no one was home. We had planned on teaching a lot of people and they told us to not come by that day or just weren’t home. Thursday has been sad as well but pretty good. We had a lot of lessons planned but only like 3 actually happened; but I know that when you make contacts you find the elect that are ready to hear the gospel.

Friday was soooooo cool we had zone conference and it was so good. Our Mission President talked about the blessings and covenant of Abraham, I learned so much. Our President is the coolest man I have ever met, and he really works alongside the Lord in teaching and running this mission.

Saturday we got up and didn’t even have time to study before we had to go to interviews with the Mission President. Those went really well and the spirit was so strong, especially as we talked about how much he loves me. This showed me how much he represents Jesus Christ in all that he does. He is so amazing and has such a big heart.

Sunday was the coolest. We got up and helped all of the members and investigators get on a bus to travel over the river to go to a multi-branch conference. When we got there President Egbert announced that the branch I am in is being shut down and is being combined with Rosignal to form a new branch. This side of the world is working very hard to get a temple in Guyana, and it is working towards that pretty fast. The missionaries are so great in this country and the people that are here are so loving and humble.

Today has been great, and I know that it is only going to be get better. I love you so much it is insane. You are the best. I want you to know that this gospel can change anyone as long as they know why they are doing it. I want you to all smile more and love the reason you are alive. I know that this church is true and The Book of Mormon is what is needed the most at this time in the world!!!!!!

Week of April 24th

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this was what the church looked like till it got shut down.
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Elder Wells

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Elder Applegarth – April 2017

Elder Applegarth Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer recently celebrated his 19th birthday.  He said his birthday party included some awesome food that he has no idea what it was.  The people of Sierra Leone are so kind to Spencer.  They always greet him with a smile.  Spencer said Friday’s are an interesting day as most of the people in Sierra Leone are Muslim.  They worship on Friday, so the Mosques are full and there are a lot of people praying.

Spencer is excited that he will get to watch a couple of sessions of general conference live.  He is really enjoying his area and enjoys living in an apartment with 4 missionaries.  He is the only American missionary, his companion is from Ghana and the other two missionaries are from Nigeria.

Spencer continues to get more and more comfortable in Africa.  Although, he did tell us this week, he is really grateful for the small fan Kathryn sent him for his birthday.

Bishop Applegarth

Elder Ison – April 2017

Elder Ison Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He is keeping busy in Missoula.  They have several investigators as well as less actives that they have been working with lately and are excited about the progress that they are all making.  He is asking that everyone keep the missionaries & those they are working with in their prayers!   He loves Missoula and loves serving as a Zone Leader.  He loves that it is starting to warm up and that they can get out and ride their bikes to find people.   I thought I would share with all of you his testimony that he shared with me in his email this week….

I just want you to know that I KNOW this is Christ’s church restored again upon the earth, the Priesthood power of God is restored and it’s real, I have personally felt it bless and help change me, and with that Priesthood power we are able to receive the saving ordinances which will get us to exaltation. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father, and his son Jesus Christ, they did speak to him and that they called him to be a prophet and Restored Christ’s Gospel through him. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon we will grow closer to our Father and that he teaches us through that book, how we can return to live with him some day. I know our Prophet President Thomas S. Monson is the Lords mouth piece on the earth today and that he is truly a prophet called of God. I am grateful we get the amazing opportunity to hear from him, the apostles, and other General authorities and leaders of the church this weekend. I invite you all to write down specific questions you have and listen and watch Conference and your questions WILL be answered. I Love the Gospel, I Love our Savior, I know he suffered and died for us and that his Atonement is infinite and eternal and provides us a way to be forgiven and return to our Heavenly Father. I Love being a missionary, even when it’s hard the blessings are still amazing and it’s truly been an amazing blessing in my life, I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen. 

 Kristy Ison

Missionary Update – April 2017

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

Elder Jorgensen North Carolina Raleigh Mission Office Address 5060 Six Forks Rd Raleigh NC 27609-4428

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

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

Current Address 243 ceder court lamaha gardens, georgetown, guyana

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

Elder Applegarth – Mar 2017

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Sierra Leone Freetown

Spencer is doing great.  He has been out four months and because of some unusual circumstances in his mission he is in his third area.  He is enjoying serving in the Waterloo section of Freetown.  He is inland about 20 miles or so and it is a little warmer than his other areas.  Spencer continues to adjust to Africa and has gotten so he likes most of the food.  He is still trying to adjust to the hot and humid conditions.  His companion joined the church three years ago in Ghana.  His companion was in a significant automobile accident last August as a missionary and has fully recovered. He is an inspiration to Spencer.

Spencer continues to love the people of Sierra Leone.  He is grateful for how kind everyone is.  He particularly loves the kids.  The kids are so beautiful and they are always happy.   In his last letter he said there was a group of kids that were pointing at him because he is white.  Spencer’s companion told him to run at the kids and see what they would do.  Spencer started running and he said all the kids scattered except for one, who was so scared he fell on the ground and started to cry.  Spencer said when he got to the kid and began laughing all the other kids came out of their hiding places and wanted to touch and hug him.  Any place where the kids all want to touch and hug you must be a great place.

Spencer continues to teach a lot of discussions and is having quite a bit of success.  He is working on speaking Krio; even though he understands it he struggles speaking it.  The biggest issue continues to be retaining converts and helping to strengthen his existing branch.  He hopes he can spend several months in Waterloo.  He loves his companion, loves the branch he is serving in, and is grateful for all the love and support he receives from the Mount Pleasant 4th Ward.

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Jessee – Mar 2017

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

This week Elder Jeffery R. Holland came to Korea with his wife. He had 3 addresses and we as missionaries were able to go to 2. The other one was exclusively for members in Korea. He said some pretty profound things that not only is a great lesson for missionaries but everyone in their life. At first I was sitting in the back and was pretty far from Elder Holland but one of the office elders told me, my companion, and my zone leaders that there were 4 seats available in the front row. We quickly grabbed our things and headed up to the front. Our seats were actually right next to the door. As Elder Holland walked in we all stood up. I was right next to the door as he walked in with his wife and body guard. He touched the arm of the elder sitting next to me then shook my hand quickly and in passing said “Hey Elder”. He then took his place on the stand. Needless to say I was star struck. He then said that he wanted to shake the hands of each one of us in the room. It was the Seoul and Seoul South missions, so close to 230 people, but he did it. As he went around we each said our names and where we were from, it was a cool experience.

There were also two members of the 70 that spoke to us. They had great talks, though as they were talking I was watching Elder Holland closely – an apostle of our Savior Jesus Christ. He looked so in tune with the spirit, very reverent, and looked as though he was constantly searching for revelation. It was interesting to me. After Sister Holland finished speaking, Elder Holland stood up got to the pulpit and expressed his love for Sister Holland. Wow, I have never heard someone speak of their wife like that. He told a story that he says he rarely has shared, when he nearly lost his wife about 4 years ago. She was literally on her death bed but he said God spared her life. Then he said, “with all things you don’t realize what you have until you almost lose it”. That was a great source of personal revelation to me. He then told us to be happy, that in our darkest moments we can choose to be happy. He said “We need to live after the manner of happiness”, even if your life tells you otherwise. He then said he interviewed every one of us. I was confused for a moment and then he explained that when we shook his hand he didn’t care what our name was or where we were from, he wanted to search deep into our souls. He expressed that he was pleased with how our two missions are doing. He congratulated the two mission presidents saying that we had 2 fine missions with no big problems, but he saw some that were struggling. He then said “If you are struggling, welcome to the Church.” He explained that he has had his fair share of struggles in his life and that all will be well.

That is a message to all of you. If you are struggling do not worry, Jesus is there to lift you up – He loves you. I saw that love of Christ in Elder Holland. He said sooooo many things that touched me and so many funny things saying that the stupidest recorded question in all of scripture is John 3:4 and that all of us Elders are just escapees from the Aaronic Priesthood. There were 2 things that spoke louder to me than all the rest. I have pondered these things since he has said them. First he said as missionaries we don’t understand what we are really doing. When he was a young missionary he understood he was bringing the gospel to others, but he didn’t really understand the impact of what he was doing. He said we don’t understand what we are truly doing on our missions, the work of God is too great for us to imagine. The other thing was when he shouted “IT REALLY DOES MATTER THAT HE LIVES”. It was profound. He said it so loud, and with so much power, that I can’t help but constantly think of it. People are searching for happiness. People are searching for joy, peace and comfort in this life. That is why it matters. There is so much more to this life. I want you to all find out why it matters that He lives. Our Savior Jesus Christ. As I search for this question myself, I really want you all to do the same. It really does matter, and it matters to all of us; every single person that walks the earth, some just need to realize that He lives.

Many other things were said. Elder Holland said the decisions that you make from the ages of 12-22 effect the rest of your eternity. Unfortunately, just like everyone, I made bad decisions in those years that have had a negative impact on me, but how grateful I am for the loving correction of our Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him, and Because of Him, I have made decisions that have changed my life currently – and will for the rest of eternity. My thoughts and my decisions now and in the future will be focused on Christ. I want each and every one of you to be careful in your decision making. The friends you have, the things you do, the things you focus on. Satan is working harder and harder every day, acknowledge that and continue to fight the battle of righteousness. You will not be disappointed if you constantly seek the Lord in all things. I promise you that with all of my heart. As Elder Holland left, he grabbed my arm on the way out. I then said, “Thank You, Elder Holland.” The other Elders thought that was a big thing because he only grabbed my arm, and I felt the love and comfort of our Savior so strongly. After He left a hush fell over the chapel for a while, the spirit was present.  I am grateful for God, Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Elder Jessee

Elder Ison – Mar 2017

Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102

He is currently serving in Missoula and absolutely loves the area.  He is serving as Zone Leader right now and loves the opportunity to serve the missionaries as well as work closely with President and Sister Wadsworth.  This week he was able to speak at Zone conference and was grateful for the experience.  A little piece of his email today I felt would be good to share…

We need to show Heavenly Father that he is our God, do we really Love him enough to put him first in all aspects of our life?

We know the Plan our Father has for us, he Loves us more than anything. And all he wants is for us to return to live with him again someday. Do we Love him enough to put him first? I know that as we do we will be Sanctified and Sealed and can return to him, and that we will find true, joy, peace and happiness. I know this is God’s work and Glory, that he Loves us, and that this is the true church and that if we live the principles we are taught in the Gospel we can achieve all happiness and joy. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

He was also very grateful that he was able to see Sister Kendall from the ward who happened to be in Missoula for work and walked into the same restaurant that the missionaries were eating at.

Kristie Ison

ison1

Elder Jorgensen – Mar 2017

North Carolina Raleigh Mission Office Address 5060 Six Forks Rd Raleigh NC 27609-4428

I want to share an experience with you I had when I was younger.  My dad and I had saddled up our horses and headed out on a ride in the hills by our house.  It was a cold morning and the sun was just coming up!  I was all bundled up in 2 sweat shirts, a coat and gloves and was still just freezing riding my horse Buck!  As we were going my horse Buck got itchy and stopped and shook, I wasn’t hanging on and fell right off!  Good thing I was wearing all those coats, it made the landing softer 😉  My dad saw and came running back to make sure I was okay.  As soon as he found out I wasn’t hurt he said “well get back on let’s go!”  He threw me back on and we finished the ride.

As I look back on this experience I learned a valuable life lesson: don’t be easily defeated!  At times on the mission it feels like we fall off and hit the ground when we are out tracting and people don’t want to listen, or when investigators don’t keep commitments.  But the key is don’t be easily defeated!  If they don’t want to listen, or do the things they need to find out that the gospel is true go find someone who will!  As we are out teaching fight hard to give them the opportunity to accept the truth.  Teach and testify boldly of the truthfulness of the gospel, but if they don’t accept don’t let that effect you. Get back on the path to find the elect and let’s go baptize!

Elders and Sisters we only have 18 months to 2 years to be here in North Carolina to find, teach, and baptize the people Heavenly Father is preparing for us!  Stay positive!!  Don’t get caught feeling discouraged, or down because people don’t want to listen. I promise you that there are families here in your area that are searching for the happiness and the peace that the gospel brings. Heavenly Father is preparing them to receive you.  So get back up and get back on your feet, bikes, and cars. Let’s go reach the goal of bringing 600 of our Heavenly Father’s children closer to Him through baptism!  I know that this gospel is true!  Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God and Jesus Christ’s church has been restored here on the earth today!  Let’s go tell everyone about it!! LET’S DO IT!!

 Elder Jorgensen