Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone
Spencer has been transferred to a rural community a couple of hours away from Freetown. It is a town of about 11,000. There is a little more jungle feel in this community, including large snakes and other critters that come into town. They have a pet “Potto” which is kind of like a monkey that hangs out in their compound. Spencer has his first American companion since his trainer. Elder Jones is from Orem and Spencer is enjoying serving with a companion that has a similar background to Spencer. The branch in the area is small about 30 people come to church. However, there seems to be a lot of interest in the gospel and Spencer is busy teaching people. In his last e-mail he stated:
It rained hard Saturday night, well we got to church early but nobody showed up until a little after nine. Even the presiding authority didn’t show up till then. When we finally started the meeting it was around 9:15 and the 1st councilor was conducting since the branch president wasn’t there. He stood up to conduct and said “presiding over this meeting is our lord and savior Jesus Christ and I am conducting.” I rolled my eyes and just about died laughing. Then I got to give a talk and I talked about time management.
Spencer continues to enjoy being in Sierra Leone. He loves the people of Africa and is enjoying the opportunities that full time missionary service provides.
Welcome to the month of June! The Memorial weekend is past so, according to our resident experts, it’s safe to plant our gardens. No more frosty mornings until October.
Our theme for June is on the Covenants we make with our Father in Heaven and the promises He makes with us when we hold them sacred. Covenants we make when we are baptized. Covenants we make when we receive our Endowment. Covenants we make when we are sealed to our Eternal partner. Covenants we make when we do that vicarious work for our ancestors who have passed on. Covenants that are Eternal and will lead us to Immortality and Eternal life.
This month we can look forward to listening to Mariah Hafen, Natalie Jorgensen, Trevor Olson, and Josh Walker in Sacrament Meeting before they are called to their Missions in Paraguay, Arkansas, New Zealand, and Washington State. That’s ten missionaries from the Mt. Pleasant 4th Ward! And if you include Kevin Johansen who will soon submit his Mission papers, that will be an amazing eleven!!!
Our Primary, Sunday School, Young Men, and Young Women teachers can all take pride in teaching correct principles to these fine young men and women. As a Bishopric, we thank you. However most of the praise lands squarely on the shoulders of the Mothers and Fathers who have led their children, through example and inspiration, along the Covenant Path. I love the third Epistle of John where he says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”(3rd John 1:4) As a grandparent, I think it’s appropriate to include grandchildren.
Brother and Sisters, as we look for strength and inspiration to continue on the Covenant path that leads to a loving Heavenly Father, let me quote our Prophet Russell M. Nelson “I declare my devotion to God our Eternal Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. I know them, love them, and pledge to serve them, and you, with every remaining breath of my life.”(As We Go Forward Together – January 16, 2018)
Brother Gunderson 1st Counselor
Since being invited to write this article, I’ve spent some time considering what covenants means to me. It’s fitting that last month’s topic was on the Restoration, because understanding covenants begins by having an understanding of the Restoration.
My early understanding of the Restoration began during my mission on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Currently, there is a Visitors’ Center, restored homes, sculptures, and groomed paths at the Restoration Site in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. But during my time there the Visitors’ Center was not yet built, and only the sculptures alerted those passing by that the location marked something of significance. I remember the peace I felt when visiting the location, but it would be many years before I would grasp a deeper understanding of what the Restoration and making and keeping covenants means for me.
We enter into covenants through the power of the priesthood. Through the Restoration this is possible. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that covenants are important because they demonstrate our commitment to God. For example, our foundational covenant is performed through baptism. This is when we promise to take upon us the name of Christ. We know that each Sunday we can renew this covenant by partaking of the Sacrament. Other covenants can be made in the temple, qualifying us to spending eternal life with Heavenly Father.
Because the priesthood is restored, we can make covenants with God and be deeply affected— we can pledge our commitment to take upon us the name of Christ, family relationships can continue beyond death, and ultimately we can qualify to return to God’s presence. The doctrine of the Restoration and the principles of making and keeping covenants brings me great peace. We are not alone. God’s power is on the Earth today, and through it we can show our willingness to be a disciple of Christ and embrace those tools (covenants) that will qualify us to return to live with Heavenly Father. Though I do not bear the priesthood, I can be affected by its power through the covenants it provides. That is empowering!
Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665
Sister Ison & Sister Perry are seeing great miracles in Battle Ground and are loving every minute of being on the Lord’s errand. They have found new investigators to teach and have a lot of fun while doing it. Jentry is soaking up every opportunity to spread the Gospel and really can’t believe how fast the time is going. She hits the halfway mark this month!!! Here is a little bit from her email this week that I thought would be good to share.
How often do we judge people for things they probably can’t even control? We must always remember to see people through God’s eyes and that is when we will develop that love for them! Yes people make mistakes but if we can be forgiven for our mistakes so can they. A lot of people ask “how do we develop love for them?” You pray and ask Heavenly Father to help you love them, but make sure it’s because you really want to not just because you know you are supposed to. You must be willing to really want to know how you can best help them! One thing that our Relief Society president said to this question was that the commandant “love thy neighbor as thyself” is something that most of the time has to start with us. It does say love them as THYSELF. Sometimes we have to look inward and gain that testimony that we are all God’s children and He loves us, and we have to see that He gave His only begotten son for us and our Savior loves us and suffered for us as well. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ thought you were worth it and so do I. I INVITE each of you to ask Heavenly Father to help you find that inward love for yourself so that once you find that you may love others in any circumstance. We are all God’s children and He loves each of us, He gave his son for each of you individually and your worth is great in His eyes. I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week and thank you for all you do. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea
This week we had transfer day and I am now with Elder Lott! He is from Bountiful Utah, has been on his mission about the same amount of time as Brycen, and is a great guy. We have been working hard visiting members trying to build their faith and asking the leaders of the ward how we can do better as missionaries. We have been having fun and speaking a lot of Korean, we made a goal to speak Korean whenever we are out of the house, and it’s been working pretty well so far!
We were also able to meet with our two recent investigators. They are doing great and progressing pretty well. One of them has come to church the last two weeks. Their names are Jo Hyeun Soo and Nam Seyoung Won. They have some interesting questions mainly because they looked up some stuff about our church on the internet but luckily they ask us before they believe it. The members have been a great support in helping these two. After church one of the members pulled me aside and told me that while Jo Hyeun Soo was reading Alma out loud in one of the classes he felt the spirit strong and feels that he would be a great member. One funny story is that yesterday there was a baptism in the ward and we asked our investigator if he wanted to watch it. He looked very uncomfortable and said no. We asked why and he said that he didn’t want to see naked people. It was pretty funny. We told him that nobody was going to be naked, that they would wear white clothes! Ha-ha! Love these two investigators. They are both 17. I was reading the Book of Mormon this week and came across a scripture, Mosiah 28:3. I have read this scripture many times throughout my mission and evaluated myself based on my desires with the desires of the Sons of Mosiah. Obviously these Sons of Mosiah were very special, dedicated and consecrated missionaries, and in my mission I have tried to be at least a fraction of the missionaries they were. I begin to think of how if one of the sons of Mosiah entered our mission, what he would do, what he would say, what he would even think. It gave me a greater desire to become like them and strive to rely on the Lord to do His work in a more holy way. To desire that every person hear the message of their Savior. This time when I read it, I was able to feel that my desire for other’s salvation has grown through my mission. It was a great feeling. Though I have eons to go I know that each of you, if started now, can develop that love and desire for other people’s happiness. Keep your thoughts elevated and your love strong. Love you a lot!! Have a great week, finish the school year out strong and keep doing your best! Come closer to the Lord through reading the scriptures and prayer daily! They are little things but they do add up!
June 3rd – Stake Conference
June 10th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 20: All the City … Doth Know That Thou Art a Virtuous Woman, Relief Society & Priesthood: April General Conference Message
June 17th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 21: God Will Honor Those Who Honor Him, Relief Society & Priesthood: April General Conference Message
June 24th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 22: The Lord Looketh on the Heart, Relief Society & Priesthood: Ministering to Others – The Savior is our perfect example of ministering
Information for these images were compiled on May 31st. For the most up to date information please visit the Ward Calendar.