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. 


Marsha said...

Stake Relief Society really didn't think you would get off that easy, did you? I'm sure the Lord had this planned for you all along and your mission was all a process of training. I know you will be perfect for this calling.

Barb said...

Hi LeAnn~

Wow, what a wonderful post! I know how you feel to end a wonderful, rewarding mission like you had, it's sad, but also happy and fulfilling. You and Roger will be missed. I'm sure that you changed so many hearts with your smile and positive personality, they couldn't help but love you! They photos were fun, I can hardly believe that Sagen is 5 - wasn't he just born last week... ;0) You have such a beautiful family, and I can see that they make you very happy.

Your new calling will keep you on your toes, but it looks like you have a wonderful bunch of sisters to help you, they all look so beautiful and excited to work with you. Philippians 4:31 is one of my favorite scriptures, and I know it's probably one you have lived by for the last couple of years. I use it all the time in my life, and refer to it often in prayer.

Love, love the graphic that you made with, Christian's photo - it 's just beautiful. September is such a time of transition, but even more so for you this year. Love you to pieces sweet friend, I wish I was there to give you a big hug! Have fun with the kids this week-end, they are looking so forward to their week-end getaway (I'm a little jealous, I wish I could stow away with them).

Hugs and Love,

Tracy said...

You've had a quite a big, but beautiful, work load these last two years...I didn't realize just how much you were doing in your mission! It must be a wonderful thing reading out like you do to everyone in the fold, and help keep them there with prayer and practically help. May God continue you to bless you & your husband after such good work for Him and His glory! How exciting about your new adventure as Stake Relief Society President! Looking forward to hearing more about that as you dig in, and this the help of others. God has great plans for you, LeAnn! :) So very sorry to hear of the passing of your Elder Hales... God Bless you, my friend! With LOVE, In Christ ((HUGS))

Christy Monson said...

So excited for this time of transition for you. I'm so happy for the women in your stake. They will be blessed by your love and commitment to the gospel. Sending lots of love and prayers. Blessings will come pouring out for you because of your faithfulness.

We are still enjoying our inner city mission. I'm doing addiction groups and PTSD groups and having lots and lots of rewarding experience and getting lots of pleasure from the service.

Joy from service is wonderful!


Diane said...

I was wondering how you were doing with your release from your mission. I expect the mission will miss you and your husband. But stake relief society president ought to keep you plenty busy and I am sure you will be able to continue to bless many lives.

Marie Rayner said...

LeAnn, it is such an emotional moment taking that badge off for the last time. I shed loads of tears and I still miss it. You and Roger have been amazing Missionaries and I know you have blessed many lives and will continue to do so. Best of luck on your new calling. I know you will be an amazing Stake RS President! I cannot imagine otherwise! Love you! xoxo

Debbie said...

hi leann, i am sure your emotions are all over the place. your service, i'm sure, was rewarding, fulfilling. i am not familiar with what you are moving on to, but i am sure you will shine in the position!!

your service involved so many rewarding roles, you must feel very proud of your service to others!!

Jennifer Wise, Heritage Makers Consultant said...

What a sweet experience. I remember being released from my mission 20+ years ago and what a bittersweet experience that was. There's just absolutely nothing in the world like sharing the gospel full-time and seeing lives change! Congratulations on a beautiful mission.

Galen Pearl said...

Here's a verse I use to remind me of having the ability to do what I'm called to do.

"For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have." 2 Cor. 8:12

I know you will be successful in whatever you do.


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