Another month come and gone. 2017 is quickly drawing to a close. October was a great month! General Conference provides such a spiritual boost. I love that all of the uplifting talks are available for us to re-read and re-watch. We ended October on a high note with our Ward Social and Cub Scout Cake auction. There was a great turnout with delicious soups and chilis, amazing cakes and baked goods, in the beautifully decorated Cultural Hall. A big thanks to all who participated. It’s always so nice to mingle with this wonderful ward.
The topic for November, appropriately enough, is Gratitude. One thing I missed this last Conference was listening to President Thomas S. Monson. Looking back at some of his previous talks there are several about gratitude. I’d like to share a few quotes from one entitled “The Divine Gift of Gratitude”
“My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”
“This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.”
-Thomas S. Monson
I’m excited to learn more about this important virtue in the coming month. As we approach Thanksgiving I hope we’ll take a minute to be truly grateful for the blessings we have. Then with grateful hearts, we can look around us for those who we might serve.
Brother Walker 2nd Counselor
When I think of Gratitude I think of the old saying “Gratitude is an Attitude”, which I definitely agree with. As I reflect on what I am most grateful for many of them were difficult times in my life. I am grateful that I was born with a spine deformity making me ineligible for military service which enabled me to serve a mission for the church instead. I am grateful for my son. Even with all his special needs he brings a joy and happiness into my life that I don’t know what I would do without it. I am grateful that I have moved around a lot, not that I want to move again, but I have found many places I don’t want to live.
Over the last thirty years of my life I have put a lot of thought into what I would change in my past, if I had the power. I have come to realize that I would not change a moment of it; I would not do anything different. I am who I am because of what I have been through, and I am grateful for it all. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the trials and hardships I have faced, and I am grateful that God has gifted them to me – the good times and the tough ones.
I am most grateful for my wife. These last seven years we have spent together have been the best, and hardest, of my life. Becky is my rock. Her love helps me to get through anything. I don’t know who/what I would be without her. I look forward to many wonderful, and stretching years with her at my side.
The Divine Gift of Gratitude
“The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests.”
Elder David A. Bednar, Pray Always, October 2008 General Conference
Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone
Spencer had an exciting month. There were 6 baptisms, which were the first baptisms in the history of Koidu. The elders have also found a couple of members of the church that were excited to find out a new branch has started in Koidu. The work is moving forward.
Another exciting event is that Spencer hit his year mark. To celebrate, Spencer bought a goat for $26. With the help of the branch president, he killed and butchered the goat. The branch came together for dinner. They enjoyed the goat meat. A soup was made from the guts, the hide was consumed as was the brain. There wasn’t anything that went to waste.
Spencer is loving Sierra Leone, he loves his mission.
Montana Billings Mission Office Address 1848 Rimrock Rd Billings MT 59102
Elder Ison is doing great and loves the Great Falls area. His new companion is Elder Bennett and he absolutely loves him! He thinks that he will finish his mission with Elder Bennet and he is happy about that because he’s a great missionary who likes to work. Elder Ison is still serving as Zone leader and with those responsibilities has been traveling a lot to different areas, training missionaries doing zone conferences & exchanges and interviews so he was excited to get back to Great Falls this week to their area to continue their work with their investigators. But because of exchanges he was able to go to Billings this week and attend the temple so he was very grateful for that. They are teaching a woman named Dana and she is so prepared and wanting to change her life and they have set her for baptism in a couple of weeks. Elder Ison loves being a missionary and I am starting to see that sadness in him knowing that his mission is coming to an end, but he is working hard to be able to leave knowing he served his Father in Heaven well.
Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665
Sister Ison has made it to Vancouver. She absolutely loved the MTC and although she had some homesickness the first week, she has worked through it and is loving being a missionary. While in the MTC she had a couple of tender mercies to help her through her homesickness, one of her roomies had played basketball for Snow College so they were excited that they were both Snow players and her other roomie had actually met her brother Elder Ison in Montana so she felt like the Lord had blessed her by them being her roomies. She was also able to see and talk to my cousin Julene who serves in the MTC and able to give her a big mom hug and reassure that she would be fine. Her companion at the MTC was sister Young and she loved her. She made it to Vancouver and was assigned as Sister Phillips trainee. Sister Phillips is from St. George and Sister Ison loves her to death. She says she is an awesome trainer and such a sweet person. They are in the Vancouver area and it is a biking/walking area so they are spending a lot of time in the rain. Sister Ison says it’s so beautiful and green! They have hit the ground running and have several people they are teaching and a baptism scheduled in November. She loves Washington and the people there but mostly loves serving her Heavenly Father as a missionary.
Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson is a compilation of true women pioneer stories. With candor and cleverness the author weaves these magical tales that inspire the grit and perseverance that can be found in each of us. Though there are around a dozen stories only a couple are of LDS women. They are all interesting. You can read about a woman who dressed as a man and became a well-known stage coach driver. A woman from Hawaii who joined the LDS church, but saw separation and tragedy in her life due to leprosy. A woman who rescued Chinese slave girls in California. An LDS woman who became a famous Physician, Senator, and a polygamous wife. A woman who traveled in the wilds of Canada to rescue a group of men who had become stuck by winter weather. From the gold rush to women’s suffrage, you are sure to find a story and a person who inspires you to become more.
It is available to borrow online on OverDrive from the Utah Public Library in audio book format. The reader did a wonderful job bringing the stories to life. Many critical reviews on Amazon and GoodReads make listening to the audio book the best choice, in my opinion.
On October 25th we had a great Ward Party. There were lots of great costumes including a dinosaur, and Chewbacca even showed up. There was a chili/soup cook-off with lots of tasty entries. The winners were 1st Delbecq 2nd Molly Anderson and 3rd Gunderson for chili. Soups were 1st Sister Staker 2nd Sister Honey and 3rd Sanders. The Cub Scouts had a bake sale and cake auction. The cakes sold anywhere from $55 for Sister Staker’s volcano to $5 for a batch of brownies.
Information for this image was compiled on October 31st. For the most up to date information please visit the Ward Calendar.