It is amazing how fast the summer goes. August is a great month, the last month of summer. The month that the kids will return to School. This month there are many activities going on in the Mount Pleasant 4th Ward. The activities includes a scout camp for our young men the week of August 7th, hosted at Larry Staker’s cabin. This will be a great opportunity for our young men to earn merit badges and most importantly have fun and feel the spirit. August 20th is Stake Conference, and August 23rd we will have a Ward Party. There is always a lot going on and I’m grateful for all the service that is provided by members of the ward.
This month the theme in sacrament meeting is Faith. I’m so grateful for the many examples of faith that we have in our ward. I have learned a lot watching members of our ward test their faith. It is fun to see people exercise faith as they accept a calling that stretches them out of their comfort zone. It is a blessing to me to see people pay their tithing, having faith that the lord will “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”. I love to observe all the little acts of kindness and love that come because of our ward’s faith in Jesus Christ, faith that moves our members to reach out and love and serve each other.
My testimony continues to grow as I watch those around me exercise their faith and then observe how they are blessed. I have faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. I have faith that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have faith that President Monson is a prophet, who receives revelation for us today. I have faith that through the atonement of Jesus Christ all of us can learn from our mistakes and eventually be ready to return to our Heavenly Father and live in the Celestial kingdom.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve with each of you. I look forward to a great month.
As a child, I always knew there was a God. I knew there was something or someone who was looking over me. Growing up in a home where religion or God was not talked about, I could still always feel His presence. However, I never knew what our Heavenly Father had prepared for me in life!
At the age of 15, my home life had deteriorated to nothing at all. There were drugs, and abuse abounded. I knew that there was something more in life, and I wanted out. I prayed and prayed to God that if He would elevate me from my current position in life, I would always try to serve him. One week before my 16th birthday, that prayer was answered. I was adopted by a family in Sandy, Utah. They took me in as one of their own children and saved my life. I was introduced to the church and quickly gained a testimony of its truthfulness. My life completely turned around. It was a miracle!
I know that all of this was possible because of faith! I knew even amidst all of the craziness of life that there was a God and he knew me. I don’t know how I knew. It was just something that I felt. If we put faith in our Heavenly Father and allow him to bless our lives, he will! All we need to do is ask in faith!
Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice By Elder Neil L. Andersen
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
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!!
August 6th : Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 30: The Prisoners Shall Go Free, Priesthood/Relief Society – By Quorum/Group Presidency
August 13th : Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 31: Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity, Priesthood/Relief Society – Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 15: The Holy Priesthood
August 20th : Stake Conference
August 27th : Gospel Doctrine – Chapter 32: To Seal the Testimony, Priesthood/Relief Society – Let the Holy Spirit Guide by Elder Ronald A. Rasband
This month I have been listening/reading to several classics while traveling around with my family. The one I’ve liked best, so far, has been “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a wonderful story of children making unlikely friends, and discovering “Magic”. It let me see that the blessings of God can seem like magic, and it is all around us.
This book can be checked out from the Mt. Pleasant Public library, or can be downloaded legally from Project Gutenberg. You can check out reviews from Amazon and GoodReads as well.
This information was compiled on 7-27-17. For the most up to date information VISIT THE WARD/STAKE CALENDAR.