October is a great time of year, with the leaves changing, football, volleyball, tennis, and soccer games to attend, and the mountains to enjoy. We as a bishopric are grateful for this beautiful Sanpete valley. We are grateful for the Mount Pleasant 4th ward family. We are grateful for all the love and support we receive from each of you. This month is particularly exciting for my family as Spencer leaves to go on his mission to Sierra Leone Freetown mission. What a great opportunity for Spencer and for our family. As a family we are feeling nervous and a little worried, but we are excited. We know that Spencer will be blessed as he serves. We know that our family will receive blessings because of Spencer’s service. We as a family have a testimony of service. The theme in sacrament meeting this month is service. I want each of you to know that I’m happiest when I’m serving others. I look at all the opportunities my father in heaven gives me to serve, and those are the areas of my life that mean the most to me. Starting with my family, when I put my wife Kathryn first, I’m happy. My kids have provided me with opportunities to serve. They have all required a great deal of sacrifice, but the return on investment is a great deal of happiness. They fill Kathryn and my life with incredible joy. I have enjoyed my church callings over the years and know that when I’m magnifying my callings, I’m happy. As we serve each other, we are blessed with strong relationships and the satisfaction that can only come from service. I’m grateful for this gospel and for all that it requires. I love Jesus Christ and his example of the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate service. As the gospel requires a great deal of service from each of us, in return it becomes the most important thing in our lives.
I signed up to clean the church one Saturday in April and little did I know that doing that service would change my life. I had recently purchased my Grandma’s house, and I was finally able to have access to all the rooms in the basement. I was working on trying to get my basement cleaned and finished so I could move the kids down there. My first step was to enlarge the windows so it didn’t seem like such a dark and gloomy hole. I needed help with that and couldn’t seem to find anyone until the Saturday when I went to clean the church. Kevin and his mom were also there cleaning, and I told his mom about my dilemma. She introduced me to Kevin, and he said he could help. He unselfishly gave of his time and talents and helped me with my house. It was the beginning of a great friendship that became more—a marriage. Kevin came into my kids’ and my life just when we needed him. He has been an example of service and love for both my kids and me.
Elder Davis He has been transferred and is serving as a technology elder. He works a lot in the mission home. He misses the traditional tracking and teaching, but is enjoying his new service role. Once things slow down he will be out teaching more. Elder Davis will be home December 28. It is an earlier release date so he can start college in January. A lady named Wilma from his first area is being baptized September 24.
Elder Ison is doing great! Transfers were this past week he is staying in Lockwood, but will be getting a brand new missionary! So he is now training! He has also been selected by his Mission President as 1 of 3 Elders who will be working with a sister from Church headquarters who is coming to do some monitoring of trainings and in the mission field. He was a little nervous about all the changes but excited to do the work that is being asked of him. He loves his mission and the people of Montana that he gets to serve.
The Chapmans are my wife’s aunt and uncle who are currently serving a temple mission in Nauvoo. They are part of the Spring City 1st Ward and the owners of The Osborne Inn. These are an update that they sent me, Brother Zundel, about their mission and experiences I found interesting that I decided to share it with you.
Sister Chapman and I have been asked to present the 12 principles of self-reliance to the Hannibal Branch. At first it was to be a separate Sunday School class, but then right before our first lesson, the Branch Presidency decided that all should attend, so we are teaching everyone who can come. The branch has been struggling and the Branch Presidency felt impressed to present this new program. While it has been a challenge for us to commit to travel 90min each way every Sunday, we have been blessed and we see how the entire branch has as well. We are all learning together the simple principles of how to become self-reliant in all aspects of our lives. We just presented principle 7 today. You can download the handbook we are using on-line. There is a video that goes with each chapter which are very cute and excellent. The Branch President bore his testimony of the program and thanked us for teaching it, when he had a few minutes left in Sacrament meeting. Also he mentioned how much he had been learning. We all have room to grow.
There were some GREAT talks today on Self-Reliance. 2 sisters gave them. The first talk was on spiritual self-reliance. She told a true story about a young man who was a diligent church goer and he left home to join the army. Several weeks go by and his dad calls a general authority because his son has not gone to church. The young man says no one has invited him to go. There are bulletins posted, chaplain has info, but this guy chose to sit on his bunk, head on pillow and feet up, waiting for an invitation. Was he self-reliant? The other speaker talked about her goal driven life from a young age (which I think is a great attribute). How she came to have the job that she has now, was not an easy road! (Anything worthwhile is usually NOT easy! right?) But, she kept pressing forward and being humble. I really liked what she said about adversity. She learned to “Take a breath-the Lord is teaching me again.” Be dependent on God. Then President Gibbons asked 2 youth to bear their testimonies. (I thought that was pretty bold! where else can you do that just cold like that?) One was a girl about 16, she told how grateful she was that she got to visit her grandmother for a month in June. She had the most fun then she ever had.(I thought wow, wish my grandkids would say that about me one day!!) She has lots of extended family in UT and had felt so alone out in Hannibal. But she came back and realized that she actually missed her immediate family and friends and living in Hannibal wasn’t so bad. The next was a young man about 16, whose dad died suddenly about a month ago. He is the oldest child in the family. He said that even though his dad died he felt strengthened by the spirit and realized that everything was going to We gave our lesson, principle #7, Become One, Work Together. These lessons are really simple but effective if you apply them into your own unique life. “When we work together cooperatively, we can accomplish anything. When we do so, we eliminate the weakness of one person standing alone and substitute the strength of many serving together.” President Monson It sparked so much discussion that we were crunched for time. We are to practice: -Help your family increase in unity and work together. -Talk to people who are self reliant. Ask what people or resources helped them. (People love to be asked how they made it!) Ask if they will mentor you! -Go to 3 places in your community that have resources to help you become more self-reliant. Write down the services they can provide. Start to use them!! I thought wow, such simple, but great ideas! These come at a timely point in our lives as we are soon returning from our mission and are thinking about our next step. For me these self-reliance steps are a foundation for the rest of my life. I love them!!! We learn so much in the temple on a daily basis. It is difficult to express so I won’t! I don’t want it to become commonplace.
Have you ever needed to get a new set of scriptures because yours look like they are a rainbow with all the highlighting, underlining, and notes? Have you ever been asked to teach or sub a class, and not had the manual? Have you ever prepared a talk or a lesson and wished you could get all your quotes in one place? LDS.org has powerful tools that you can access from anywhere to help you with these problems, and many more! On the website you go to the icon in the upper right corner, like you would if you were accessing the Ward Directory or this newsletter, and press Notes (second to last option in the My Account section). Once you have logged in it will take you to a page with 5 options across the top; Scriptures and Study, Families and Individuals, Share the Gospel, Inspiration and News, and Serve and Teach. The Scriptures and Study tab gives you access to all the standard works, as well as giving links to the words of modern Prophets – such as General Conference, and more. Families and Individuals gives you links for/about Family Home Evening and doctrine about Families; as well as resources for Young Adults, Youth, and Children. Share the Gospel has missionary resources. Inspiration and News lets you access Magazines, General Conference, Music, Church News, Social Media, and more. Serve and Teach has resources for every opportunity to teach, and includes a link to the Media Library where you can not only find all the manuals for every class – but also lots of audio, video, and picture supplements to help your students learn. The best part, in my opinion, is that all this content is available off-line in an app for Android and i-Phone called Gospel Library. With this app you don’t need to haul around several volumes of scripture and a couple lesson manuals each Sunday for classes, it is all in you pocket on a device you would keep on you anyway. Once you have downloaded content to the app it is available to you anywhere anytime you have that device. One of the most useful, and powerful, tools with all of this is the ability to have personal highlights, bookmarks, journals, notes, and cross references – that if used with your LDS.org account you can have access to no matter what device or computer you use. To highlight on a computer click and drag over the section you want highlighted and a menu will pop-up that will let you personalize it, like change its color or add notes. To highlight on a mobile device long press on a word and the menu will change from general tools to highlighting tools, then you can drag your stylus(usually your finger) to highlight the desired passage. One of the most under used feature of this system is the notebook and journal section. The first page that we visited, Notes, has a menu on the left side that the first option says NOTEBOOKS. By default it only has one entry “unassigned”, but there is a plus sign next to NOTEBOOKS that will let you add more. Once you have a notebook you can add highlights and journal entries to it. If you have trouble finding a pen and writing in a traditional journal, but could remember to jot down a quick note each time you plugged in your phone before bed, this could be very useful for you. It is also a great way to keep a study journal as you read and highlight your scriptures. What I have found this is most useful for is preparing talks. I can gather quotes and then add them to a notebook, then add journal entries with what I want to say, and I can even reorder things once they are all in the notebook. As I have used these tools they have helped me out immensely in my gospel study, callings and assignments, and overall Sunday/church experience. Next month’s Tech-Talk will be about how to use the tools we have been discussing for the last 2 months on a daily basis. I will also help you effectively use your time in the car, like a daily commute.
On September 28th the ward got together for some great food and games. After Bishop Applegarth got the event started, and apologized for some logistical snafus – he admitted that it probably would have benefited from a womans touch, the event was opened by a prayer. Then we all enjoyed getting to know our neighbors better while having a potluck and a roast pig. The primary kids also were able to enjoy sack races, donuts on strings, and an Oreo challenge. All the games were put together by the Young Women.
“To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves,” President Thomas S. Monson teaches. “No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”