Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adios Amigos

The Spanish people In Louisiana will miss Elder Jensen, Payne, and Knight. These three great elders mastered the Spanish language and loved the people and their culture. They truly had become loyal servants of Jesus Christ.

Our time together after the temple was especially nice because we were able to share it with two Spanish brothers. One was Lazero who elder Payne had baptized and Lazaro’s friend who is now taking the lessons. Way to do missionary work until you walk out the door. We love you.

Small in Number Mighty in Spirit

These three amigos met their fourth compadre, Elder Sandres who arrived from Texas earlier that day. We enjoyed the day together and felt their great spirits immediately.

It didn't take us long to discover Sister Jack's beautiful voice and she and President enjoyed singing Nearer My God to Thee

How Great Shall be Your Joy

Meet the Barringtons. This is a family that was Baptized this Spring. They are an amazing family. They are like "add water only " and stir and you have perfect pancakes. All they needed was the waters of Baptism and they were off an running. Sister Barrington is a counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, they have both had their Patriarchal blessings and have found ancestors and have been to the temple to have their work done. They do everything they are asked to do and look for every opportunity to serve anyone and everyone. That has been a life habit.

The sweet love and support of the Barringtons reach far beyond their own ward or community. The little angel in this next picture is someone that has become a dear friend of ours. She lives in Alexandria. She is 80 years old, and one of the most fun and lively people I know. She like the Barringtons, has lived a life of service and generosity. Now for the joy of this entry. Sister Beverly was baptized on August 16. I was sharing with Sister Barrington how wonderful Sister Beverly was and how thrilled we all were that she was going to be Baptized and President and I were coming up to Alexandria for the Baptism. She said "we would love to come to her baptism." It was an hour and half drive for them to come. I couldn't believe they were going to come so far to support someone they didn't really know. They came and joined us for this very special baptism. I don't know if I can explain the sprit that was there as this family brought their spirit of love and joy and joined it with the humble and joyful spirit of this sweet little sister. We all went to dinner after and we were all truly hearts knit together in love. It was so wonderful. It made me happy to see our missionaries experience the joy and sweetness of their labors.

Elder Gay Visits with our Zone Leaders

In August elder Gay, who is our area authority, came to conduct a coordinating council. He wanted to spend some time with our zone leaders. We met in the high council room of the Baton Rouge stake center. We lined the whole room. There was a powerful feeling when all of those great young men came in an took their seats. I thought to myself, " If your mothers could see you now." Elder Gay talked with them for 2 1/2 hours. He allowed them to ask questions. Among some of the things he taught them was that they have the power to astonish, which is the power to solve every challenge that confronts them. He asked them why they were endowed before they came here. His answer was so they would have all of the powers and blessings from their covenants to solve life's problems and teach their investigator that through ordinances the powers of heaven come into their lives to help them solve life's challenges. He told them not to think they have ever hit a mountain they can not go over, because they have been endowed to go over. Through obedience, faith to ask for revelation and the work to do what you are told all things can be accomplished. He also, through a powerful personal story, told them that it was no mistake that they were where they were and if they would ask the Lord he would in his time unfold their individual purpose for being in Louisiana. Spending that time with Elder Gay blessed all of us. We love him and thank him for his love and counsel. President Epperson of the Alexandria Stake joined us also.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Gospel Changes lives

I'm sure most of you have heard by now that we have doubled our baptisms for the month of July and August. It truly is a miracle. It is the miracle of conversion that is taking place in the hearts of our missionaries. They are becoming converted to their power and majesty as servants of Jesus Christ. They are understanding that they can go forth with confidence knowing that they are friends of the Savior and that he has promised to "fight their battles" and "be on their right side and on their left." They are not longer "hanging out" at the member's homes. They are committed in their purpose of Bringing souls unto Christ. They are converted to the principle of being a zion mission, understanding that it is no longer "about them," that their faith and obedience effects the miracles and blessings of every fellow missionary, and that obedience is "greater than to sacrifice." They are faith filled and theLord knows He can count on them.

I thought you would like to see the light in the faces of these good people that now know who's they are and know that they have a perfect plan to follow with a Heavenly Father that knows them by name and will help them every step of the way.


WE had a great time bringing the church “out of obscurity “ with our BYU Fooball Team. With the help of the New Orleans stake, hosted a fireside that the team puts on at every away game. We had it at the JW Marriott in down town New Orleans. It was a venue that would accommodate 800 people. We printed 5000 “pass along cards” that our members and missionaries could give out to invite and notify everyone. WE FILLED THE PLACE.!! It was well worth the effort. We had at least 50 people there not of our faith. It was so uplifting and inspiring to hear two of the team members stand and talk about being disciples of Jesus Christ. One of which was the line backer in the picture with little Raymond Barrington.

Little Raymond Barrington, who is 10 years old is a new member of the church that was baptized in March. He plays football and his new goal is to play at BYU. Coach Tidwell is a friend of ours so we arranged for him to get on the field before the game. Needless to say the fireside touched him. He said “momma, those players really honor their priesthood don’t they?” Two members of the team sang “I Wonder When He Comes Again” while a teammate accompanied them. Later in the meeting the whole team stood and sang “Armies of Helaman.” Sister Mendenhal spoke and gave a real down to earth perspective on not allowing the world to convince you that you are “all that” because of football, music, or any other accomplishment. Her counsel was that you are only successful when you are helping others come unto Christ. The concluding speaker was Coach Mendenhal. He said “this is not about football,” Sure we like to win and play the game, but that is secondary to developing these young men into disciples of Jesus Christ and helping them bring others to Christ. His remarks were brief but he was very passionate about what qualities will serve his team for a life time. He was passionate about them serving each other and those around them. The next day we had a “tailgate Party” for anyone that wanted to come in the parking lot of the Uptown Chapel. BYU brought the bookstore items to sell, provided the tents incase of rain(which we had). Our wonderful Brother Fontenau from Baton Rouge volunteered his time and amazing smoke grill to cook, a menu of sausage, Burgers, and Red Beans and Rice. We had 300 or more attend. It was a great event for our members to invite their friends to. The game spoke for itself.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Gospel Changes Lives

Departures Aug 09(I hate goodbyes)

WE lost some dear friends this transfer. Elder Taylor who was our assistant for 7 months of our first 12 went home this transfer. These were missionaries that definitely made a difference in the Lord’s kingdom In Louisiana. They will continue to bless the Lord’s kingdom wherever they go. WE LOVE YOU!

The batterie on my camera went dead just as it was time to take the traditional "waving goodbye" pictures so I used Sister Pillette's camera. I am waiting for her to email me the pictures so if you don't see your picture here don't feel bad, I will include them in the album of Departures Aug 09 on the other website.