Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet the Walboms

Paul and Penny Walbom have a rich history of service in the church and in their community. As a teenager, Paul left friends and family in Idaho Falls, Idaho to serve a mission in Florida. At age 21, Penny said goodbye to her life in Provo to serve a mission in Paris, France. Their life together began in the square dance club at BYU and they were married six months later. In their early years as young marrieds, Paul completed a degree in pharmacy at the University of Utah while Penny worked as the Assistant Chief Dietitian at Cottonwood Hospital in Salt Lake. Penny and Paul both graduated from BYU, as well - he with a Masters Degree in Public Administration and she with a degree in Food and Nutrition. During their 31 years in Salt Lake City, Paul worked as the Director of Pharmacy for Intermountain Health Care; Penny taught aerobics and line dancing and for 19 years, administered health programs and services at the Murray City Senior Center; and, together they reared three children - all who have followed their father into health care careers (two are pharmacists and one, already a Chiropractor, will continue his studies to become an MD). Walbom’s are also the proud grandparents of 8!

After Paul’s early retirement from IHC, the couple moved to Island Park, Idaho and built a home "with our own hands" states Penny. "It was always our dream to summer in Island Park and winter in St. George." In October 2008, the couple purchased their home in the Vintage. "We had been looking at homes in St. George for more than 30 years but got sidetracked on our way to Dixie by a pharmacy job in Sierra Vista, Arizona."

In her spare time, Penny loves to teach, quilt (she has baby quilts for sale), scrapbook, sew, cook, and dance! When he has a few extra minutes in his day, Paul enjoys playing the piano, violin, and guitar, woodworking, biking, and fixing almost anything. They love going dancing and attending concerts and plays. Both lifelong members of the church, the Walboms have each served in a number of callings. He has been an Elders Quorum president, served in a bishopric, as a high counselor and as a financial ward clerk, and has taught in dozens of capacities in all of the church auxiliaries. Penny’s favorite calling was as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, but she has taught in all the auxiliaries and served as ward and stake Primary president, as a Relief Society president and enjoyed twelve years in the baptistry and family file at the Jordan River Temple. Both love attending the temple and are appreciative to be so close to the temple here.

Penny adds, "We already feel very welcome in the ward and in the neighborhood. We appreciate all those who have reached out to make us feel at home in our new community."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Elder Puriri Bids Auf Wiedersehen

Isaac Puriri, son of Rakipaka and Lani Puriri and brother to Rakai (25), Karamea (23), Ammon (17), Asa (13) and Hamilton (10), left November 18, 2009 for the MTC. For the next three months he will become proficient in the German language in preparation for a return to Berlin, this time as a fulltime missionary. Elder Isaac first saw Berlin in August 2007, when at age 17, he traveled halfway around the world as one of 74 Rotary youth exchange students for the ten months of his senior year in high school. The experience of being totally immersed in the language and culture, along with his classroom studies at Dixie High School, set an example of righteousness and honor for his family and friends. It also prepared him in many ways for what is certain to be "the best two years" of his life.

The history of the Church in Deutschland dates back to 1852 when the first missionary traveled there to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through all this nation’s political turmoil in the subsequent 100 years, devout members quietly lived their faith. During the dark days of the Third Reich and under communist rule (which did not end until the mid-1980's), members maintained contact with Church leaders, including President Monson and others, who bolstered the spirits of the members through occasional visits when permitted. Today, the Church in Germany has grown steadily and now includes dozens of stakes and branches, 14 missions, and two temples.

The Freiberg Temple, the 33rd operating temple, is the only temple originally built in a communist country. The church’s smallest temple when it was dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1985, the Freiberg Temple today provides the richest blessings of the gospel to members from Germany, Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Moldova.

In 1945, Elder Ezra Taft Benson was called to minister in Europe following the devastation of World War II. In 1963, he returned as president of the European Mission headquartered in Frankfurt. In August 1987, after he was sustained as the 13th president of the Church, he had the special blessing of being able to return to Frankfurt to dedicate the 41st operating temple.

Follow the spiritual adventures and travels of Elder Puriri on the blog his mother has set up for him at (scroll down on the right side of the ward blog to "Official and Unofficial Links" [the last gadget in the "black" section] . . . then click on Elder Isaac Puriri).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Young Women Achievements Celebrated

On Sunday evening, November 15, in the presence of other young women, parents and church leaders, Lisa Carson, daughter of Kendall and Mary Jean Carson and sister to Stephanie Bangerter, received her Young Womanhood Award. To earn this award - comparable to the Eagle Scout award - Young Women must live the standards outlined in For the Strength of Youth; complete six Value Experiences and one 10-hour Value Project for each of the seven values; keep a personal journal; and, record their testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ.

During the annual Young Woman in Excellence program, Lisa and another 15 young women of the Bloomington 7th Ward also celebrated their personal progress this year and shared their achievements in a variety of presentations. The purposes of the Young Women in Excellence program are to help acquaint parents with the Personal Progress and Young Women programs; give recognition to help each young woman to recognize the value of making Personal Program throughout her lifetime; and share the vision of Personal Progress with parents.

The sisters of the Bloomington 7th Ward Relief Society were also invited to participate in the evening since many have accepted the challenge to work toward completion of the newest Young Woman value of Virtue.

At the conclusion of the evening, testimonies were written on slips of paper which were then attached to a helium-filled balloon before being released into the night sky. Thanks to all those who helped make this a beautiful event.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Student of the Month Named

Elizabeth Bown is having an amazing senior year at Dixie High School. A member of the Laurel class in the Bloomington 7th Ward’s Young Women’s program and an active participant in the Washington County Youth Court, Elizabeth was recently honored by the St. George Exchange Club as one of seven October Students of the Month (one from each high school in Washington County) in recognition of her "hard work to attain high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership."

The 2nd daughter of James and Paula Bown has also been selected to perform as one of six featured soloists in the Southwest Symphony Orchestra’s annual "Salute to Youth" Concert on March 26, 2010 at the Cox Auditorium. Elizabeth has studied piano for 12 years, including 4 years with D’On Snow and eight with Dr. Lynn Dean. She has performed for the State Music Teachers Convention in Salt Lake City and for the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival in St. George where she was a scholarship winner.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Relief Society Celebrates The Plentiful Life

On Wednesday, November 11, the sisters of the Bloomington 7th Ward Relief Society gathered for dinner and a program to usher in the holiday season. The hall was beautifully decorated for an evening focusing on how to have and enjoy "The Plentiful Life." The food was a holiday feast fit for a queen! Each table sparkled with fine china, silver and stemware on loan from sisters in the ward. The sumptuous meal featured Cornish game hens with orange glaze, creamed green beans, sweetened yams, cranberry salad and pumpkin pie, all served by the young women of the Bloomington 7th Ward.
The program included prelude and dinner music by Billie Clinger with the "Star Spangled Banner" sung a cappella by Bill Hobson in honor of America's veterans. Special recognition was given to Barbara Schaerrer and Sherolyn Pederson, who were recently released as President and counselor in the Bloomington 7th Ward Relief Society. Each was presented with a Relief Society necklace by President Mary K. Temple.
The program focused on the various aspects of "The Plentiful Life" in music and the spoken word. Those who participated included Ellen Sorensen on the subject of "Appreciate." Debbie Harrison addressed the need to "Assist." Roma Goldhardt spoke on the topic of "Attitude." Barbara Schaerrer reminded the sisters of the need to "Aim." Lois Baker encouraged appropriate "Association." Tina Forsyth performed her original musical composition entitled "Hannah" written in honor of her great grandmother and the things they have in common. Mary Jean Carson spoke of the need to "Align." Diane Miller encouraged sisters to take "Action" in the important things in life. Stephanie Bangerter shared her thoughts on the need to "Avoid" while Ruth Graf reminded sisters of the importance of "Adapting." Mary K. Temple concluded the outstanding evening with thoughts on "Always."

Thanks to Jill Jones, a counselor in the Relief Society presidency, for all her hard work organizing this exceptional event, to Jeannine Smith who headed up the dinner committee and to everyone who helped make this a memorable evening.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ward Members Celebrate Halloween

Trunk or Treat has gained popularity in communities across the country as a church or community-sponsored Halloween event which invites people to gather in a parking lot where they pass out candy from decorated trunks or backs of vehicles. The event provides a safe, family-friendly environment for trick or treaters. In the Bloomington 7th Ward, the Primary extended an invitation for one-and-all to join in the fun. President Olene Walker did not need to worry about whether ward members would support the Primary's costume-optional "Trunk or Treat" event on Saturday, October 31. From the looks of it, ward members opted to get into the spirit of the day in a big way!