Bishopric – Resurrection and Atonement

Spring is finally here.  I’m sure most of us are glad to see winter in our rear view mirror.  We saw a significant amount of moisture in our mountains and here in the valley this last month which will benefit us all.  Maybe there’s enough to put a garden in this year.  Watch the Staker and Allen families.  If they start to till their back yards, then we all can!

Our theme for April is the Resurrection and Atonement. In fact, Our General Conference this year will be on the Saturday before and Easter Sunday. Listening to General Conference gives us an opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord.  Along with the messages from the General Authorities and Auxiliary Presidencies, we’ll have the opportunity to sustain Russell M. Nelson as our newly ordained Prophet and President of the Church, along with President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring as his counselors. Their message to the members of the church from our First Presidency is to be “endowed with power in a House of the Lord, sealed as families, faithful to covenants made in a temple,” which are key to “strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary. Your worship in the temple and your service there for your ancestors will bless you with increased personal revelation and peace and will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path.”

We also need to remember the new 2018 materials “Come Follow Me” for Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood meetings will be taken from our General conference messages which will include both Saturday, Sunday, and Priesthood sessions.

We as a Bishopric wish to express our love for all of you and are grateful for your selfless service in the Ward and our community. May the Lord bless you and your families in the coming month and may we all remember “Because of Him, Death is not the end.”

Brother Gunderson 1st Counselor

What the Atonement means to me

When I think of the Atonement I think of my personal conversion. I was raised in the church, but as many teenagers do, I stopped going to church at age 14. During the next 5 years my life went seriously downhill. But at one point I felt something missing in my life. As I started looking into friend’s churches, taking yoga classes, etc. someone close to me had an emotional crisis. He was an emotional wreck, and nothing anyone could say would console him. I remember the conversation that night well. Even though he was the one with the problem, I felt so lost. I wanted to help him, tell him it was going to be alright; but who was I to tell him something like that? What right did I have to comfort someone else when I wasn’t living up to my potential? As I pondered these questions I felt an overwhelming urge to tell my friend that the only way he would find peace was to bring his problem to the Lord.

I never found out whether my friend took my comment to heart, but I felt that was a turning point in my life. My feelings of inadequacy deepened as I went home, but I felt awe as well. It boggled my mind that with my life in shambles God could still use me to try and touch someone else’s, that I could still receive promptings from the Holy Ghost. That night I got on my knees and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever said. The Spirit witnessed to me that The Church of Jesus Christ is true, and directed me how to cleanup my life. It wasn’t easy, but I got my life on track because I knew how much Jesus loved me. That is what the Atonement means to me. That Jesus loved me enough to die for me. That even though I am a sinner He still loves me, and has provided me a way to change – repent.

Calvin Zundel

Atonement and the Resurrection

Thomas S. Monson – I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Easter Resurrection Video

We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. Christ’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others … Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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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Spirit of Spring

March is a great month, what is the old saying, in like a lion and out like a lamb.  I’m not sure that always works out for March, but we will see.  I’m excited that we are finally getting some snow.  I believe that the fast that we will participate in on Fast Sunday with several other stakes in Central and Southern Utah will make a difference.  I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of our circumstances and will bless us with the water that we need.  What a great opportunity to unite in faith and humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father.  I’m grateful for Fast Sundays and the spirit that attends Fast and Testimony meeting.

This month we will participate in Ward Conference.  We are excited to host our stake leadership.  We all know and love President Jorgensen and are grateful for his love and support.  President Walker, President Hansen, and all of the other stake leaders that will visit add a great deal of support to our ward family.  I love the inspired structure that the Lord has revealed to our prophets.  Each ward auxiliary will have an opportunity to meet with and be supported by the stake auxiliary.  I’m excited about the visits that will be made, the love that will be felt, and the opportunities that we will have in connection with Ward Conference.

Early spring is a great time of year as we prepare to send several new missionaries out into the mission field.  We are excited that several young men and women are submitting their papers to serve full time missions.  The young men and women organizations are also planning their summer activities, including girl’s camp, our priest quorum planning a trip to Yellowstone and other fun adventures.  Also at the end of the month we will have a chance to prepare for Easter.  Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of the month.  One tradition that I enjoy is following the savior’s activities each day from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday.  I’m excited to enjoy the month of March with members of the Mount Pleasant fourth ward.

Bishop Applegarth

Listening to the whisper of the Holy Ghost

Listening to the whisper of the Holy Ghost can bring comfort to others. A few years ago, we lost a very close friend and many of us traveled back East for his funeral. One of my friends was unable to attend, but her husband drove back with Roger and me. My friend was very nervous about her husband traveling. Since our friend had just died very suddenly, all she could think about was, “What if I lost my husband?

As we were driving, I had this strong feeling to text her and let her know that we would return her husband home to her safely. She quickly responded, “How did you know I needed to hear that right now? That little act calmed her fears.

Heavenly Father knows each of us and has given us a great gift–the Holy Ghost. We just need to listen.

Melissa Davis

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.

Lesson Schedule – March 2018

March 4th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 8: Living Righteously in a Wicked World, Relief Society, High Priests, & Elder’s Quorum: Council Meeting

March 11th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 9: God Will Provide Himself a Lamb, Relief Society:  A Yearning for Home, Dieter F. Uchtdorf– Priesthood: October General Conference Message

March 18th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 10: Birthright Blessings; Marriage in the Covenant, Relief Society: The Needs before Us, Bonnie L. Oscarson– Priesthood: October General Conference Message

March 25th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 11: How Can I Do This Great Wickedness?, Relief Society, High Priests, & Elder’s Quorum: Sabbath Day Jesus Christ is our example of honoring the Sabbath