Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sisters In Service~

Recently, my husband and I were released from our two year full time proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved this opportunity in our lives and learned so much about ourselves and others as we worked to fulfill our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. We had many miracles occur that were amazing. 

About 10 days before we were released, we met with our beloved Stake President and I was called to serve as the Stake Relief Society President in our Stake. Wow, this was such a shock. I was so unprepared for this moment. It was a very spiritual experience in my life as I accepted and went through the process of choosing some choice women to serve with me. I thought I might share with you what that calling entails. 
I belong to one of the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. It is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. There are approximately 7.1 million Relief Society members throughout 170 countries in the world. 
The Relief Society is for women ages 18 and over whose purpose is to provide support for the temporal and spiritual needs of all women in the Church, as well as others who are in need. 
Here is a brief history of it's organization as found in the Newsroom under Relief Society History:
Mormons believe that in 1830 Joseph Smith Jr. was called by God to reestablish the ancient church and its priestly authority, teachings and ordinances. As part of this “Restoration,” an organization of women was established after the order and “pattern of the priesthood” believed to be a part of the ancient church. Joseph Smith declared, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president, later affirmed: “Although the name may be of modern date, the institution is of ancient origin. We were told by our martyred prophet [Joseph Smith] that the same organization existed in the church anciently.”
The Relief Society, as this institution came to be called, was originally organized to administer welfare needs and quickly expanded to encompass the spiritual as well as temporal needs of the Saints. By the 20th century, John Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, summarized the Relief Society’s purpose as pursuing the “relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance — relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.” 

"The mission of Relief Society includes increasing personal faith and righteousness, strengthening homes and families and seeking out and helping those in need. Today, the Relief Society creates a sisterhood for women in the Church and opportunities for rendering service to all members of the congregation, as well as to the global community.
 Our Stake Relief Society Service Project in 2016~
 Relief Society women serve in leadership roles, share the gospel, provide service, teach, train and deliver sermons. The Relief Society women pair together to visit other sisters and families in the congregation to offer service and support as well as to ensure that their temporal and spiritual needs are being met. Local Relief Society presidencies in congregations throughout the world work with the bishopric to help those who have special needs because of old age, physical or emotional illness, emergencies, births, deaths, disability, loneliness and other challenges. They also work to help foster self-reliance, literacy and other needed skills for individuals. At a regional level, Relief Society leaders supervise regional welfare efforts and Relief Society-supported emergency relief. General Relief Society leaders conduct training for local leaders around the globe and assist with general welfare services and Church educational boards, among other responsibilities.
My Stake Relief Society Presidency is made up of myself, two counselors and a secretary; we will be under the direction of our Stake President. 
The New Stake Relief Society Presidency~
We meet with and train all new Relief Society Ward Presidencies. We attend various meetings and host at least two Stake events per year. We visit the ward Relief Society meetings and activities. Currently, we have 9 wards and 1 branch that we will be working with. Once a year we plan and provide a dinner and guest speaker.We attend Ward Conferences and visit individual sisters in the various wards. I will be over Welfare and Emergency Preparedness and will give on-going training in these areas.
I am very excited about this new assignment and very overwhelmed. However, that being said I won't be as busy as our full time mission. I will be able to spend time with family, take trips and other activities. 
I love the sisters in our Stake and look forward to getting to know more of them better. 
I hope that many of you will now have an understanding of this marvelous Women's organization. I will share posts about a few of our activities and service opportunities that will be part of this assignment. 
Love and hugs to all you wonderful women out there. You are marvelous and greatly loved by our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

September A Time Of Transition~

On September 26th, 2017, my husband and I completed two years of full time service in the Utah Salt Lake South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. People often asked what type of mission we were serving. It was a "stay at home" (MLS) Member and Leader Support mission. This is a popular area of service for senior missionaries throughout the world. We served primarily in a proselyting role which included: teaching the gospel to investigators; reactivating less-active members; retaining recent converts; strengthening young single adults, and supporting local leaders in their assignments  We were subject to other assignments as needed or directed by the Mission President. Working in our local area, we received direction from our Stake President and the Bishops of the wards we served in. We spent much of our time assisting the younger full time missionaries to find and teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We assisted with two baptisms earlier in the month of September. The first photo is a inquisitive young boy that we were assigned by the Bishop to teach the missionary lessons to. We had so much fun with him. He was very smart and asked a lot of questions; which was awesome.  As he was preparing for baptism these two beloved sisters; Sister Cox and Sister Casinas gave him a review lesson and he answered all their questions perfectly. These two wonderful young women had been transferred to other areas just a few days before his baptism and they were given permission to come to his baptism.  
 The  second photo is of Elder Luke and Elder Seager that were transferred into our area. They were able to teach this other young boy and he was baptized on that same day.  

We loved being able to celebrate the birthday of our Great Grandson, Sagen. He turned 5 years old. It was an exciting party. He is a delightful Great Grandson and we love him so much. He is very creative, intelligent and fun to be around. I'm amazed by the children of today. They are so curious, intelligent and advanced in their thinking. I feel strongly that our loving Heavenly Father has reserved many of his most valiant spirits for our day. Children  are remarkable. The lower center photo is us with our youngest Great Granddaughter. 

Here we are - the final evening of our mission. Tears were shed as we were released and removed our missionary badges. It was an emotional moment. We loved serving this mission. At times it seemed very difficult. But it was also one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. However, as you can see, we can now wear casual attire on a daily basis. Awesome!
 Our main purpose was to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel though faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  Because we love our Heavenly Father and our divine Savior, Jesus Christ; we want others to draw closer to them. 
We experienced many miracles during our mission. We frequently knew that we were being guided and directed in finding, teaching and reaching out to many. We were able to witness as certain individuals made changes in their lives bringing them closer to the Savior.
 I have journals filled with experiences we had which strengthened our testimonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation of time. We will continue to be "member" missionaries forever. 
 Stake Relief Society Presidency of the Country Park Stake~
 On a side note, just before our release, I was called to serve as the Stake Relief Society President. I was quite surprised and very overwhelmed. Nevertheless, receiving the call was a spiritual experience.. As I seek to learn all that is involved, I feel apprehensive about my abilities.  However the following scriptural verses have given me considerable hope. 
Ether 12:27 “.. for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” 
Isaiah 40:31; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Philippians 4:13; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I recently held my first Stake Relief Society Presidency meeting with the Presidency members, who will assist me. These three sisters are powerful and have strong testimonies of the gospel. They are highly talented and have been well seasoned through many unique life experiences. 

 I want to share my testimony of The Book of Mormon. This book was one of our greatest tools on our mission. As individuals read, ponder and pray about this book; they will find answers to many of life's questions. Those who pray with real intent will receive a confirmation by the power of the Holy Ghost that this book is true. We were recently invited to read ten pages a day, and to continue throughout our lives. In one year we will have read this book six times. Every time I read from it's pages I receive new thoughts, understanding, guidance and answers. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I invite all to read this powerful book. 
This past weekend we had The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference which is held twice a year. We received counsel and direction from our First Presidency,12 Apostles and other leaders in the church. We listened to inspired messages and beautiful music by our Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other choirs. 
We were saddened to hear that our beloved Apostle, Elder Robert D. Hales passed away at the hospital between the Sunday Sessions of conference. He was a wonderful man and an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the years delivered many great sermons that touched my heart. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. 
Here is a link on information from this conference. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

With Change Comes Blessings~

Our Life is about to change. We have 10 left days on our mission. We have enjoyed serving a full time mission in the Utah Salt Lake South Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the past 2 years we have had a fairly structured life.During these two years we have had the privilege to work with a variety of individuals and families. Many are families that are less active in our faith, some are non-members who know nothing about what we believe. We visited several that just needed encouragement in their lives. Our purpose has been to invite them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel and or renew their faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.
I have served with the best companion ever; my eternal husband. We have grown closer as a couple and learned so much from this experience and from each other. We have witnessed many miracles small and large. We know beyond doubt that our loving Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He loves all His Children and that means everyone born on this earth.
We have enjoyed relationships with other Member Leadership Support missionaries like ourselves. We have been blessed to work closely with the younger Elders and Sisters. These young people are incredible. They work hard in spreading the truths of the gospel. We watch as they conduct meetings and guide discussions. We find them to be amazing young adults.
We are finding it difficult to leave all of these brothers and sisters that we have grown to love as we have visited with and taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We hope since we will remain in the same area that we can have continued associations with them. 
We will be now able to spend more quality moments with our beloved children and grandchildren who have supported us in this endeavor. There have been miracle blessings in our family. We know these blessings have come because we were promised that if we served this mission our family would be blessed. 
Many friends have asked me what we will do with our time now that our mission is almost completed. They wonder if we will feel lost without anything to do. Trust me that will never happen. We will embrace the changes in our lives. We will always be involved in some aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
I thought  I would share my bucket list of things I want to accomplish in the next few years. 
 1. Enjoy increased moments with our children and grandchildren. Perhaps attend more of their activities than we have been able to. 
 2. Wake up and be happy that we don't have an agenda for the day. 
 3. Work on Genealogy and Family History.
 4. Do both of our own histories
 5. Organize all the photos and movies we have made through the years. 
 6. Work in the Jordan River Temple when it reopens. 
 7. Travel and go to different temples in Utah and surrounding states. 
 8. Visit other relatives that live out of state. 
 9. Travel to church history sites such as Palmyra, New York. 
10.Travel to Hawaii; this is already a plan for December. 
11. Continue to fulfill callings in our church. 
12. Be a member missionary
13. Catch up on all our house hold needs. 
14. Read some novels.
15. Grow a garden.
I will be sad to leave this marvelous mission but look forward to other changes that will surely come. We do live in a remarkable day with so many wonderful things that we can do and become. I will rise up and continue to be faithful in the work of loving and caring about all of my brothers and sisters throughout this beautiful world of ours. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Our Delightful Month of August~

Wow, this month has flown by so fast that it has left me reeling. We only have 3 1/2 weeks left on our 2 year mission. It has been a huge blessing in our lives. We have learned so much. We have been privileged  to meet, teach and work with some wonderful individuals and families. We are feeling sad that we won't have as much contact with them. However, we will still be able to visit them occasionally  since we all live in the same stake. 
We have also enjoyed our relationship with the other MLS Senior missionaries and younger missionaries. We will probably not see many of them except at Mission reunions. 
We started off the month of August at our monthly Multi-District meeting. Here we all are! I think we have an awesome mixture of young and old serving our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
We received permission to drive to Idaho for a family event. There were some fires burning and the road became very hazy with smoke. The moon was a light red color. The photo didn't pick up the darker shade, but it was unique. 
Our Grandson, Ryley was receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and being ordained to the office of Deacon in our church. My sweet husband, his Grandfather did the ordination. Ryley was so happy to receive the priesthood. It was a wonderful time to be with him. 

We were able to be with both of our sons families for a get together. We were with our second son Travis and Amanda and their 8 children and then with James and Amber and their 3 children. What a blessing all these children and grandchildren are in our lives. It was such an enjoyable time. 
The next week we traveled up to our oldest son Sean's church. Our Grandson, Jonathan was being advanced in the Aaronic Priesthood to the office of a Priest. This is a very important moment for the 16 year old young men. The Priests bless the Sacrament which is a very sacred ordinance in our faith. Regretfully, I didn't get photos, so I am posting pictures of Jonathan and his family that were taken this summer. We love this family of ours. Sean and Mary have some awesome young men. They are also the parents of our two oldest grandsons who are married and our oldest Granddaughter. 

Just a moment to say Happy Birthday to our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He turned 90 on August 21st. We love him and revere him. I loved these photos of him and wanted to share them on this post. 
We have District meetings weekly except for when we have our Multi-District meeting. Here are some photos of just one of our District meetings. We took the group photo because this next week is transfer week and we will probably have some changes. We are hoping that our Sister will not be transferred. 
A new MLS senior couple; Elder and Sister Park started their mission in our Stake.  They are like us and live in our Stake boundaries.  It is called a stay at home mission. We had our Weekly Planning meeting with them and the sisters; Sister Cox and Sister Casinas. They are taking over three of the wards in our Stake so we will just have 6 wards to work in for another three weeks.
Guess What?? Our precious sisters were transferred out. Both of them went to new assignments. This is called Pink Wash. Two Elders will replace them. These two young men will be coming in and not know  the area or the people the Sisters have been teaching. Luckily, the sisters gave us all the information at our weekly meeting so we will be helping the Elders learn their new area 
As you can see Sister Casinas and Sister Cox do not want to leave each other. They have been very hardworking and dedicated Sisters. We are so proud of the work they have been doing. 
Sister Shaw came by to say good by to them. Sister Park and I helped to take them to their new areas. In the bottom two photos Sister Cox's new companion is Sister Pinkham; another sweet sister that we served with. It was fun to see her again. 
 Our endearing Sister Casinas has collected a lot of belongings since being on her mission for 17 months. This is her last transfer. She will be going back to the Philippines the first of October. Our cute Sister Cox has only been in the mission field for 6 weeks, so she hasn't started collecting yet. What marvelous and fun missionaries they have both been. 
saying good by was hard. 

This week we went to the temple with Sister Brown, whom we love very much. We were so happy to have some moments with her. It was a beautiful day to go to the Oquirrh  Mountain Temple. 
It's been another month of marvelous missionary moments and precious family times. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Scriptures Are Living Water~

The Scriptures are Living Water and can quench our thirst by the teachings found therein. I love all of the scriptures that we read and study. The words from the scriptures testify of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I love and worship Him with all my heart and soul. In the scriptures, I find answers to my life questions, solace for my soul in times of trial and feeling from the spirit testifying to me that the scriptures are true.
I thought today that I would share a few thoughts on the different books of scriptures that we study.The following thoughts come from Scriptures topics found on 
"When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words "shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation" (D&C 68:4). The official, canonized scriptures of the Church, often called the standard works, are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price."
"The Bible is a collection of Sacred writings containing God's revelations to man. These writings cover many centuries, from the time of Adam through the time when the Apostles of Jesus Christ lived. They were written by many prophets who lived at various times in the history of the world. 
The Bible is divided into two sections: the Old testament and the New Testament. Many prophecies in the Old Testament foretell the coming of a Savior and Redeemer. The New Testament tells of the life of the Savior and Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ. It also tells of the establishing of His Church in that day. "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." (Articles of Faith 1:8).( Gospel Principles - Chapter 10. Scriptures) 
I love the teachings from the Bible. I love Genesis and the story of the creation. Further thoughts on the creation can also be found in The Pearl of Great Price, in the Book of Moses. I enjoy the stories of Adam and Eve and their posterity. Their experiences with earth and family life teach many lessons that can help us with our own circumstances.
Moses is one of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament. His life story and exodus from Egypt is profound. The miracles that are written there are faith inspiring. 
The New Testament is my favorite part of the Holy Bible because it is the life and teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It records His birth, mortal ministry and most important of all His Atonement, Crucifixion and Resurrection. It concludes with the Ministry of his 12 Apostles. 
When I read the life story of my great Redeemer, my heart is touched and my spirit uplifted. 
When reading of His lonely walk to Gethsemane and his sacrifice for us on Golgotha; my deep love for Him increases. I know that He lives and loves us all and His one true desire is that we return to Him and our loving Heavenly Father. 
The Savior said in Moses 1: 39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39) His invitation is "Come Follow Me."  
Of all the Book of Scriptures; The Book of Mormon is my favorite. I truly love reading from it's pages. I have had  many answers to my questions and uplifting teachings from the prophets of that time. The family stories have helped me raise my children. The profound teachings about our Savior have increased my faith in Him. 
Here are some quotes from Scripture Topics as found on 
"The Book of Mormon came forth in this dispensation by the will of the Lord. It is a record of God’s dealings with the people who lived in the ancient Americas. Prophets of the Lord engraved the original records on gold plates. The Lord declared that the Book of Mormon contains “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9; see also D&C 42:12).
The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people “that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (title page of the Book of Mormon). It teaches that all people “must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:40). Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion, and a man [will] get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (introduction to the Book of Mormon).
The Book of Mormon is another witness for the truths taught in the Bible. It also restores “plain and precious” truths that have been lost from the Bible through errors in translation or “taken away” in attempts to “pervert the right ways of the Lord” (see 1 Nephi 13:24-27, 38-41). The Bible and the Book of Mormon “shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace” (2 Nephi 3:12)."
I have many favorite scriptures that I have memorized from The Book of Mormon. I will share just one as found in 2 Nephi 31: 20-21
20. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21. And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. 
3 Nephi is my favorite section of the Book of Mormon because it tells of Jesus Christ's appearance in the America's to the Book of Mormon people after His resurrection. My all time favorite Chapter is 3 Nephi 17. In this chapter the Savior is teaching the people and then gathers their children and ministers unto them. I always shed tears when I read of this experience.  Take a moment and read this account. 
The Doctrine and Covenants~

"The Doctrine and Covenants contains revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It also includes a few revelations given to other latter-day prophets following Joseph Smith. This book of scripture is unique because it is not a translation of ancient documents. It is a collection of revelations given by the Lord to His chosen prophets in the latter days."(Scripture Topics as found on Wonderful truths are found in the Doctrine and Covenants. This powerful book of scripture was revealed and has wonderful teachings to prepare us for the 2nd coming of the Lord. 
The Pearl of Great Price~
"The Pearl of Great Price contains the book of Moses, the book of Abraham, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of Matthew chapter 24, and some writings of the Prophet Joseph."( Scripture Topics;
In the book of Moses, and the book of Abraham you will find more great teachings from these two prophets that were lost in the translations of the Bible.
The explanation of the creation in the book of Moses is astounding. The book of Abraham is enlightening. Again my testimony of all the prophets through the ages have increased my knowledge of where did we come from? why are we here? and where are we going?
( Scripture Topics;
Words of Our Living Prophets~
Today we have a living Prophet and 12 Apostles. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored exactly like Jesus Christ established His church in His day. 
These humble servants of the Lord Jesus Christ receive revelation and direction from the Savior Himself for our world.Their inspired words come to us through our conferences twice a year and are found in the May and November issues of the Ensign Magazines. 
"We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal may great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" (Articles of Faith 1:9). 
I know that we have a living Prophet today. I love our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Our Prophet and Apostles lead and guide this church. They help us stay centered in following Jesus Christ. Their uplifting messages give us hope and are preparing us for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ.
In closing my thoughts on this post; I want to wish a Happy Birthday to our beloved Prophet and President of our Church, Thomas S. Monson. He will turn 90 years old on August 21st. 
I am grateful for him and his marvelous example.  Although his health is failing due to age; he continues to be a strong directing force in our lives. 
Happy 90th Birthday dearest President Monson!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Joyful July~

To start out our month, my dearest companion decided to do some yard work. I had to laugh when I caught him in his missionary attire. Due to our missionary work we don't have a lot of time to work outside. He feels he has to grab the moments when he can. How I love this man of mine!
On the 4th of July, we attended the pancake breakfast for one of the wards we serve it. We had a great time and were able to visit with ward members and a couple of families that we are  teaching. 
This was our last District meeting before transfers. We always have a great time with the Elders and Sisters. After this meeting a few of them were transferred. 
Transfer day! On this day we said good-by to our sweet Sister Denison. Photo on the left is Sister Casinas and Sister Denison. Middle photo is Sister Casinas, Sister Denison and the companion she is replacing and her new companion.  The photo on the right is Sister Casinas, Sister Denison and Sister Williams

Here is our new Sister Cox with Sister Casinas. They were helping with a wedding for a family that we are currently teaching. 
Here are wedding photos I took of TJ and Aurea's wedding. I asked permission to post them. This was such an awesome event. This is a very dear family that we have been team teaching with the Sister Missionaries for a few months.  We were so excited for their marriage. We were able to help them get ready for it and it was a very special day for us all. They have three adorable sons that we care deeply for. There were a lot of friends and family that attended. His former Elder's Quorum President and now Bishop married them. 
After all the photos they went to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and had a photo taken. In one year they will be able to go to the temple and be sealed as a family forever. 

Bound in Heaven
President Henry B. Eyring
“The Savior in His mortal ministry spoke of the power to seal families in words to Peter, His chief Apostle, when He said, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (Matthew 16:19).
“It is only in the celestial kingdom that we can live in families forever. There we can be in families in the presence of our Heavenly Father and the Savior.”President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Families Can Be Together Forever,” Ensign, June 2015, 4.
On July 29th, TJ was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ on Latter-day Saints. We believe that this is the first step to returning again someday to live with our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have had the privilege to team teach with more than one set of sisters missionaries. Here are all but three of them. This was one of the highlights of our mission. This baptismal service was so special and we could feel the Spirit of the Holy Ghost present. It was an ultimate missionary moment. 
Here are some snapshots of the program. The service was lovely. All of the missionary Sisters, Aurea and her boys sang. TJ was so happy you could see it in his face as we sang.

Here is the words and a video of the song~
When I Am Baptized~ by Nita Dale Milner
I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain. And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again. I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. I want to be the best I can and live with God again. 
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away. And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day. I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. I want to be the best I can and live with God again. 

We had a great Multi-District meeting and these photos were taken. We have so much fun with the younger Elders and Sisters. As you can see in the photo below we do have fun. 
This has been a fantastic month of missionary endeavors and other endearing moment. We love what we are doing and enjoy serving our Heavenly Father to Hasten His Work!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Remembering Our Heritage - July 24th, 1847-2017~

On the 24th of July, the State of Utah celebrates the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. These sturdy pioneers went through tremendous tribulation. As a people they were expelled from  Nauvoo, Illinois following the Martyrdom of their beloved Prophet, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. They had just finished building a beautiful temple thus preparing for Eternal Temple Covenants. They gathered together and made plans to travel west. Many hearts were broken and tears shed as they left their beautiful Nauvoo.
 Brigham Young became their Prophet leader and had seen in a vision the place they were to settle in the west. 
There are countless stories of their faith, spiritual experiences and hardships traveling per wagon and by handcart to this desert valley. We are blessed to have ancestors that paved the way for this marvelous Gospel to thrive. Their stories are poignant and show their deep faith and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When reading of their experiences our faith grows and we revere these stalwart pioneers. 
You can read more about their exodus here. and here
Here is a brief history of my husband's Great Grandfather, George Williams. He left a powerful legacy of faith and commitment to his beliefs.
George Williams was born June 25, 1937, in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England to Enoch and Elizabeth Pride Williams. His parents accepted the Gospel and were baptized in 1843 when George was six years of age. Two years later, when he was eight years old, George was baptized in 1845.
When George was 18 years old, he booked passage on the ship the "Enoch Train" to come to America. On March 22, 1856, under the command of Cpt. Henry P. Rich, the shipload of Saints cleared from Liverpool and sailed on the 23rd, bound for Boston with 534 Saints on board under the Presidency of Elders James Fergeson, Edmund Ellsworth and Daniel D. McArthur. On Thursday, May 1st, at eight a.m. the ship arrived at Constitution Wharf in Boston. At four o'clock p.m. the following day George and the other passengers disembarked and went by nine omnibuses to the railway station. They started by train at 5 p.m. for New York City where they arrived on the 3rd of May. After a short stay in New York, the company continued the journey by rail to Iowa City, where they arrived on the 10th of June, 1856.
George crossed the plains in the first handcart company that took the Saints to Zion. He went in the Edmund Ellsworth Company which left Iowa City June 9th, 1856. They suffered the hardships and privations which all handcart companies suffered, with storms, death and hunger, and tired and weary feet. But this company arrived ahead of the winter storms, arriving in the Valley on Friday, Sept. 26th. About eight miles from the City, the Company was met by Governor Brigham Young and his counselors, the Nauvoo Brass Band, the Lancers and many others. Provisions of all kinds came rolling in to them which caused them much joy.

George eventually settled in Springville, Utah County, Utah, where he met Emma Jane Stevenson who had crossed the plains with her father and mother, James and Martha Stevenson, when she was eight years of age. Emma Jane and George were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on December 28, 1862. In Springville they built their first home, dug in the side of the hill. In it was one window and a heavy door with a heavier log to fasten it as a protection against the Indians.
During those times the Indians were very troublesome. More so in Southern Utah where more of the Black Hawk Indians roamed. They had grown desperate and treacherous, preying on the LDS people's thrift, often plundering their property, driving off their livestock and at times killing entire families or maybe carrying off the women and girls, which led to the Black Hawk War which started in 1865 and continued for several years. This was principally with the Indians under Chief Black Hawk. Some of the scattered colonists were compelled to give up their land claims and move where they were closer together and could better defend themselves from the roving marauders. The Williams family were among those courageous homesteaders.
In 1866 George was called to help fight those Indians. The men left behind their wives and children who were always afraid that Indians would com to their homes. Many nights Emma Jane sat in the dark, fearing to make a light as it might attract some roaming savages. During this trying time two sons were born: George Enoch, Jr. and Joseph Charles. Later came Elizabeth Ann and Esther. Indian agents came into power about this time and they, in a measure, restored some peace and understanding with the Indians. Because of this it was felt that the crisis was over and Cpt. Conover's company along with others was allowed to return home. George had served as teamster of this same company until it was
returned and honorably discharged. Because of his meritorious work, George received a medal of honor for this work.
Because the trouble with the Indians was over and because there was good homesteading further south, the President of the Church called a few dependable families in the summer of 1869 to go and colonize that part of the country. Tiny baby Esther was less than a year and just learning to walk. George and Emma Jane were among the number called to leave their homes and help make another section of the country a pleasant place to live. The family settled in an area that became known as Goshen, Utah. The Saints had to be resourceful if they were to live and thrive. Though there were only logs to build a house, they could make it a nice home. Their cows provided milk and butter which was churned in a wooden churn with a wooden dasher. Pigs grew fat and from the pork rinds they could make soap. To make soap they didn't have lye, so they made their lye from aspen ashes. They made their own candles and baking soda. Of potatoes they made their starch. They refined salt from the Great Salt Lake and of onion skins and rabbit brush they made their dye.
They were very careful that not a thing was wasted. They even followed the shepherds and gathered bits of wool from the brush and fences that caught the sheep's wool as they passed by. Of the wool the entire family was clothed and it also provided their bedding, yard for stockings, mittens, coats and woven into cloth made into suits for men and boys and dresses for the women and underthings for all.
They could raise wheat for their flour and potatoes and other vegetables for food. They dried beans, corn and peas, also pumpkins and apples for winter.
Goshen was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Crops were not always successful and water was sometimes scarce. Reports came of good prospects for homesteads up north. Arriving in Provo they got work and there they decided to remain for a time. Emma Jane was in poor health for awhile and later in the summer, July 20, 1884, baby number ten arrived. They named her Lucy Christina. In the spring of 1886, on April 20, the family started for Idaho. The family of John James was on the same road so they traveled together. In all there was 18 in the party. They had four wagons. It was a pleasant trip of two weeks. When they reached '18 miles mark in Idaho there were dear friends waiting with a warm welcome to greet them. The Higginson family had taken up a homestead so there they lived with their friends. The area was called Mink Creek and also called Chesterfield.
Always George and Emma Jane were faithful supporters of the LDS Church. George was Superintendent of Sunday School there for 19 years and at different times Emma Jane served in the Presidency of the Relief Society and as a Visiting Teacher. They were the parents of ten children: 5 sons and 5 daughters.
George passed away Dec. 29, 1902 and was buried in Chesterfield, but his body was later moved to the Blackfoot Cemetery when Emma Jane and her family moved to Blackfoot. In 1910 Emma Jane remarried. W.W. Priestley and Emma Jane were married about one year before her death on Nov. 19, 1911. At the time of her death she was teacher of the Advanced Senior Class in the Blackfoot Sunday School. She was laid to rest at the side of her beloved George and her son Hubert (Bertie) who had died at age 14 in the Blackfoot Cemetery. She lived to see all adult children married in the Logan Temple, which is the best tribute any mother could have.
Contributed By: sheryloutcelt1 · 8 September 2015 ·

Enjoy this faith promoting video by Elder Rasband of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

I am so grateful for my own pioneer heritage. I love the 24th of July celebrations here in Utah. I love to read the histories of my ancestors. Their steadfast faith helps mine to be firm and true. 
Take a moment and find one of your ancestors histories on  Family History records are being added to this site daily from all over the world. 
If you celebrate this holiday have a wonderful 24th of July!


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