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.