Service

March will be a busy month for the Mount Pleasant 4th Ward.  On March 12th, we will have Ward Conference.  On March 17th-18th the youth are invited to attend Youth Conference, which will be held at Aspen Grove near Sundance.  I’m excited for these events, for an opportunity to strengthen each other.  For the blessings that come when we invite the spirit into our lives.  I’m grateful for all the people that sacrifice their time and talents in service to other members of the ward.  I’m grateful for the love that I feel from everyone in the ward.

The theme for Sacrament Meeting this month is Charity.  One of the greatest blessings of my calling is that I get to see many little acts of charity between ward members.  A couple of weeks ago, a member of the ward gave me a bunch of ground beef to distribute to families that could use it.  What a great night that was, I absolutely loved being the messenger and seeing how this act of charity was able to positively impact so many people.  The spirit of charity instantly invited the Holy Ghost into the lives and homes of the families that were visited.

I love seeing how a compassionate home or visiting teacher impacts positively the lives of ward members.  It is common to see the love of a primary teacher, a scout leader, or a young women’s leader impact positively the youth in our ward.  To me, these small acts is what makes all the difference in the world.  These small acts of charity, where nothing is expected in return, make Mount Pleasant a great place to live.  I’m grateful for the Savior and his influence in the lives of all of the members of the 4th Ward.  I’m grateful for the kindness we show each other.  I’m grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  For knowledge that there is a living prophet on the earth today.  I’m grateful for continual revelation, for the knowledge that families are together forever, for the priesthood power, and this month I’m particularly grateful for the principle of charity.

Bishop Applegarth

A Family of Service

As children, we learned about joy. True joy can be found in loving and serving others. We pulled our red wagon around collecting Sub for Santa donations for years. One year, we collected enough for three station wagon loads!

My sister has been battling cancer for ten years. One family took soup to her every Monday night for a year. Heather told them she was feeling a bit better and didn’t “need” it at one point. Her neighbor said that her own family “needed” to do it because she noticed a lack of charity in her own family. Each of her four teenagers was in charge of buying ingredients, making, and delivering soup one week a month, boys included. Grumbling turned to joy as they served, and they actually looked for others to serve as well. One neighbor towed his trailer with a fully stocked fridge to Willard Bay so Heather’s family could have a three-day vacation after one of her many hospital stays. Even my sister found a way to serve. After her four-hour chemo sessions (five days a week for the first week of every month for three and a half years), she would often take a ward member in for a chemo session immediately after her own. Her doctor was astounded.

My brother Bryce always served others with his many talents and friendship to those seeming to be left out by others. Our family motto was “All for one and one for all” and our family truly lived it. My dad once bought tires for a down-and-out family we met on vacation, knowing they couldn’t pay him back. Bryce was like my dad. So many people have helped me because they say they could never pay Bryce back. They will pay him back by fixing my car or things outside. As sick as he was, Bryce still served me. I found his bucket list. Every line on two pages was for me. He supervised while his friends did for me what he could not do.

Through this time, I have been the recipient of the pure love of God – charity. Moroni states in Ether 12:33-34 that Christ loved us even to the laying down of his life for the world. Then he states, “Now I know that this love which thou has for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity, they cannot inherit that place thou has prepared in the mansions of thy Father.”                               

Heidi Jensen

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

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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

Lesson Schedules March

March 5th  Gospel Doctrine (Chapter 9:   The Only True and Living Church) Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum (By Quorum/Group Presidency)

March 12th   Gospel Doctrine (Chapter 10: This Is My Voice unto All) Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum (Chapter 4 Gordon B. Hinckley: The Pioneer Heritage of Faith and Sacrifice)

March 19th   Gospel Doctrine (Chapter 11: The Field Is White Already to Harvest) Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum (Chapter 5 Gordon B. Hinckley: Daughters of God)

March 26th   Gospel Doctrine (Chapter 12: The Gathering of My People) Relief Society/ High Priests/ Elder’s Quorum (Am I good enough?  Will I make it? – Elder J. Devn Cornish)

Youth – The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Aronic Preisthood   Young Women

Book Highlight – Mister Rodgers

As you saw last month this section is dedicated to good clean books, preferably by Christian Authors, but not necessarily Church History like last months selection. If you do read one of these Highlighted Books please post a comment with your feelings and reactions. If you have a book that you would like to highlight, so that others can enjoy it as much as you do, please contact me by phone or email 🙂

This month I would like to highlight the author of “The World According to Mister Rodgers: Important Things to Remember”, “You Are Special: Neighborly Wit and Wisdom From Mister Rodgers”, “The Mister Rodgers’ Parenting Book: Helping to Understand Your Young Child”, “Mister Rodgers Talks with Parents”, “Mister Rodgers Playbook”, and many many more – Fred Rogers. I recently watched a 3 hour documentary about him entitled “Fred Rogers, America’s Favorite Neighbor”, which is available at the Mt. Pleasant Public Library. It is amazing how he dedicated his life to helping people communicate and express their feelings. He was a minister and shared his simple faith with millions over the 50 years in television, 35 of them on PBS. He believed that what children watch on TV helps shape who they are which he expressed in his acceptance speech when he was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame entitled “Fame is a 4 Letter Word”. In a world where family values are becoming increasingly hard to find we need more people like Fred Rogers.

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