Monday, September 20, 2010

Miracles all around

The missionaries shared two miracles with me today. One was when our office elders saw one of their friends out mowing his lawn by himself. In their shirts and ties, they jumped out of their car and helped him finish cutting his and edging his grass. The rest of the story is that our assistants were in men's warehouse today and the manager said," I have seen you guys, you were helping my neighbor mow his lawn. No it wasn't you guys but someone that looked like you." The assistants said, "yes, we live with the missionaries that you saw." The gentleman said it touched his heart so deeply. He couldn't believe two young men would do that for someone. He said he couldn't stop thinking about it. He now has an appointment to be taught by the assistants. How were they lead to the mall to meet the man that lived in the neighborhood where our friend lived? They were lead by the spirit. The other part of that story is that our friend came to church yesterday for the second time and loved it. He said"this will really help my week, I feel so good"
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President preformed this wedding so the husband could get baptized. His best friend from childhood(in the picture with President and I) felt the spirit of the evening and felt the genuine love of President as he took an interest in this young man and was asking him about his life. He later came to us and expressed his desire to make changes in his life. With tears in his eyes he told us that he "had felt a special spirit, and a genuine love and caring." He said that he was tired of his life and wanted what he felt. He said he had tried many times but was not strong enough. We promised him that we could help him make it stick. He has made some major changes in his life and is so happy. He can't believe the blessings that are flowing into his life.

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I wanted to let you all know a few things that have been going on in our mission. Because our missionaries have valiantly reported on %98 of our referrals we have been chosen as one of nine missions for the Church to launch their pilot campaign for Mormon.org. What this means is that the church has bought several spots an hour to show their wonderful new commercials about wonderful people of all back grounds, interests, and accomplishments, that are also members of the church. They have also put up Many large billboards around the city and on the Bus Stops.The objective is to dispel some of the stereotypes that exist about being a member of the Church, bring the church out of obscurity, and peak the interest of the community. It has created a very positive buzz. The first week that the public news saw all of the commercials they wanted to know what it was all about. They visited briefly with President and then we referred them to the church's public media person. That night they had a spot on the news where they showed some of the commercials and told a little bit about the church. It was very favorable This past weekend there was a two full page article in the main Baton Rouge paper about the campaign and about several of our local members. One of our brothers is a Basketball coach for LSU. They interviewed him and his little family, the offensive coach for the LSU Football team is a member and they highlighted him. They talked about other well known members and talked about the reasons behind the campaign and what the church believes and the values we stand for. MR. Taylor the religious editor got acquainted with us during Reflections of Christ and so he called President and spent about an hour with us asking questions and letting us share our beliefs and perspectives with him. He quoted president several times in the article and reported everything very accurately and respectfully.
The important thing is the opportunity it gives our members to go on the website and make a profile about themselves and then they can have fun sending their friends to the website to see their profile. If you haven't had a chance to visit the site i the past 8 weeks please take the opportunity . It is a wonderful tool. You can view the commercials, watch many wonderful videos on our values of family , humanitarian service, and faith. It is a great place to refer your friends. Teenagers will love it because it is a little like Facebook. We have had a baptism from a young man viewing the commercials, going the site , reading everything there was to read, finding the meeting house and time in the information and being taught by the missionaries. He was baptized , saying everything he has felt was missing in all of the religions he has been part of, he found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He is so happy and is very involved in the student ward here in Baton Rouge. President and I took a young woman to church yesterday that first went on Mormon.org three months ago and loved it. She loved church yesterday. "Everyone is so happy" was her first comment. AS our friends and family visit Mormon.org, they will see many happy people that are experiencing many of the financial challenges, and adversities in life that they are, but they know that they have a purpose and that they have the channels of prayer and the Gift of the Holy Ghost to "tell them all things what they should do." They understand the Atonement and that the Savior can heal their hearts and magnify their adversities to their good.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Senior Moment

We decided it was time for all of the Senior couples to take a "Senior Moment " to be together and enjoy one another’s company. WE took walking tour of the French Quarter, had lunch, and then drove around the Garden District to see the beautiful homes. We had such a good time. Starting on the left and going around the table: Ellisons, Worthens, Shroeders, Vances, President, and MaritneausPresident had fun popping Wheelies with Sister Martineau in the wheel chair we got for her so she could last the whole two hours.
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An Evening of Music in Oakdale

Our Creative Sisters in Oakdale decided to have a community "Evening of Music" centered around the Savior. They invited those in the community that had musical talent to participate. They had it at the branch building. They had a wonderful turnout and everyone enjoyed the variety of music that was shared. The treat of the evening was hearing the sisters sing .The Sisters asked President to preform a musical number. He sang "Oh How Lovely was the morning" Sister Porter Is a vital part of the Oakdale Branch. She has a beautiful deep voice and she touched our hearts with her original song about the savior.The Vances had worked hard with the sisters to make this evening happen. It was great to see them enjoy it so much. Notice the "kiss" marks on sister Vance's cheek. She is very loved in the Oakdale Branch.
The Vances had us and the Worthens to their home for a lovely dinner before the evening of Music. It was so fun to visit and be together

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More Leadership Training

We just finished a week of leadership Training. We met with the Zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers in each zone and taught a review of some of our first leadership Training We added instruction and role play on how to help our members talk to people about Mormon.org. We taught the importance of daily contact in helping our brothers and sisters keep their commitments and President taught us that unless we are motivated by Charity and our love for the Savior and these people non of it makes a difference.
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Our Missionaries in Action

This is our friend that owns Italian Pie, a restaurant where President and I eat often. He is our friend. Sam and Brig our sons were in town on Labor Day and were with us the first time He went to church with us. He loved church. He is reading the Book of Mormon in Mandarin and loving it. We are praying for a miracle so his wife and son can join him here in the United States from China. This husband and wife have been members only a short time. They had had a wonderful experience at the Temple with the missionaries this day doing baptisms for the dead.They got a pizza and brought it to the mission home where we ate together and played with their darling little boys. It was a special day and you could feel the love that elder Butikofer and elder Jensen had for this family.
This was a wonderful baptism for sister Riddle and Sister Wingate. Our grand daughter Danielle went and taught with the sisters and then was able to attend the baptism. This brother had a deep and sincere testimony.
This is Elder Decker and Belknap teaching our spanish speaking saints at a fireside we had at the mission home. Elder Decker was pretty new and did a great job.
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Louisiana scenes

I just thought you might enjoy seeing some of the scenes that your missionaries get to enjoy in this beautiful state. These trees are everywhere. They are one of my favorite things about Louisiana. The beautiful skies are the other along with the bridges.
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