Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Around the Ward

It was Christmas Around the Ward on the evening of Sunday, December 16. Approximately 70 ward members visited the decorated homes of Ray and Linda Lowe, Ed and Linda Sappington, John and Roma Goldhardt and of course Dick and Ruth Graf, in a 3-hour period for fun, food and socializing during the holiday season.  Thanks to Ruth Graf for organizing the event, to those who opened their beautiful homes, to those who donated their favorite holiday dishes and to those who braved the cold winter evening to share in the spirit of the season.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Relief Society Celebrates Christmas

In their usual way, the Relief Society outdid themselves in the planning and presentation of a party to celebrate Christmas.  Thanks to the vocal talent of Boyd Kanenwisher and to Liz Larsen and Aspen Erskine on the piano and flute, the sisters were beautifully entertained.  Thanks, also, to those who generously donated their Christmas d├ęcor as centerpieces and to Jill Jones and Dori Wilkerson for decorating a small tree devoted to ward members who have passed away in 2012 including Dan Clinger, Banard Hafen, Keith Landon, Elwin Cammack, Jim Sevy, Wilson Wright, Jim Reid, Tom Pinder, Bob Golding and Lois Baker.  Special thanks to Jeanine Smith and her food committee, including Deann Hill, Gayle Morowitz, Nancy Church, Carol Stephen, Margo Parker and Betty Kingsbury. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

B7 Youth Enjoy Breakfast with the Bishopric

Sleepy-eyed and hungry, the youth of the Bloomington 7th Ward gathered on Saturday morning, December 8 to share time and good food with members of the Bishopric.  The Beehives and Deacons enjoyed breakfast at the home of 2nd Counselor Roy and Carol Stephen's home.  MIA Maids and Teachers gathered around the table at the home of 1st Counselor Mike and Bobbie Twitty and Bishop John and Roma Goldhardt hosted the early morning get-together with the Laurels and Priests.  Everyone went away filled spiritually and physically - and warmed by the love of the Bishopric!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ashley Wilkes Earns Young Woman Recognition

Ashley Wilkes has faithfully completed all the requirements necessary to receive the Young Womanhood Recognition and was recognized for her accomplishment during a recent Sacrament meeting.

This award recognizes young women in the Bloomington 7th Ward and throughout the church for worthiness and for completing Personal Progress requirements. As a recipient of the award, Ashley has shown she honors her commitment to live the commandments and the standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an established pattern of progress in her life and as stated in For the Strength of Youth. Through her Personal Progress, the daughter of Robert and Chardell Wilkes has committed herself to keeping her baptismal covenants as she prepares to make sacred temple covenants, serve those in need by sharing her gifts and talents, and striving to strengthen her home and family.

YW President Cheryl Kanenwisher states, “Ashley is a wonderful example of a Young Woman who knows her divine nature and individual worth. She lives a life of integrity, faith, and virtue. You will always see her performing good works and seeking ways to increase her knowledge. She understands how important it is to make good choices and be accountable for her decisions. I have loved getting to know this beautiful, wise young lady. She is a joy to me and I am very proud of her. I'm thankful, daily, for her example in my life. Congratulations Ashley!!”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ward Christmas Party

It was still November when members of the Bloomington 7th Ward gathered on Friday, November 30 for the ward Christmas party, but the spirit of the season was clearly evident in the social interaction, the music, and the good food!  Special thanks to James and Anne Bertschi for organizing the event and to Elaine Christensen who stepped in and added her own special touches.  Music was provided by the Dixie State College Vocal Jazz Project and the B7 Primary!  Thanks, too, to the kitchen staff including Cameron Sevier, Pauline Smyly, Shirley Golding, Taj Becker, and the Young Men and Young Women.  Special thanks to Mike Twitty and Shar Simkins for the little extras. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

YW of Excellence Evening

According to the Church Handbook of Administration, “the Young Women in Excellence is an event in which young women are recognized for the good things they are doing and a celebration of Personal Progress.”  On November 28, 2012 the B7 YW in Excellence program for young women, ages 12-18, and their parents followed a theme of “Keep Calm and Marathon On.” 

Annie Green compared her experience as a long-distance runner, who has completed more than one St. George Marathon, with living and strengthening a testimony of the gospel and Jesus Christ. The mother of three and daughter of Becky Peterson, another long-distance runner who has completed “hundreds of races”  told the girls they must “prepare, pace yourself and seek help along the way!”
Caroline Smith sang “Walk Tall, You’re A Daughter of God”

Lisa Carson shared her love and appreciation for the Young Women’s Program and in particular, the Personal Progress Progam as she prepares “for my own marathon as a missionary awaiting my call to serve the Lord somewhere in the world.”
In addition to the beautiful program, many of the B7 Young Women displayed their particular skills and talents and everyone enjoyed light refreshments and the opportunity to socialize together.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farewell, Brother Cammack

Elwin Cammack, a member of the Bloomington 7th Ward since 2010, passed away at home on Sunday, November 25 with his wife, Claire at his side   Both born and reared near the heart of the church - he in Pingree, Idaho and she in Rexburg – they met at Ricks College after he returned from a mission to Great Britain.  They were married in Idaho Falls in 1951.

Brother Cammack earned a Bachelors Degree at Ricks (now called BYU-Idaho), a Masters Degree from BYU, and a doctorate in higher education at Michigan State, he worked as an elementary school principal in Tooele and Wendover and then as a professor and administrator at Weber State University. In 1967, he moved with his family to Madison, Wisconsin where he worked as the associate vice president of policy analysis and research for the University of Wisconsin System, a position he held for more than 25 years. This immensely enjoyable assignment found him managing development contracts in Asia which gave him the opportunity to work closely with administrators at the University of Indonesia and with those in institutes of higher learning in Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Brother Cammack served faithfully in the Church throughout his lifetime, including as a bishop, a high councilman and in a Young Men’s presidency. “In the mission field, there are countless opportunities to serve. It seems, the farther away you get from Church headquarters, the more jobs you get in your ward and stake,” he said of their Church life in the mission field.  In the Bloomington 7th Ward, he most recently served as the Sunday School president.

After Dr. Cammack’s retirement twenty years ago, the couple moved to southern Utah, living in Hurricane on the 10-acre peach and pecan orchard for which her father once traded for a house in Rexburg.

Elwin liked to travel around the United States in his camper, visiting family and seeing the country. One of his great loves was his Wisconsin garden which produced bushels of vegetables he shared with friends and neighbors but most of all, he loved being with his 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Brother Cammack will be missed by those members of the Bloomington 7th Ward with whom he worked and shared his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

B7 Celebrates Halloween

The ward, once again, celebrated Halloween with the annual Trunk or Treat in the church parking lot. Dozens of ward members decorated their car trunks and many also got into the spirit of the holiday donning face paint and costumes to pass out candy to little ghosts and goblins.

But this year, some new elements were added. The Young Men put together a kid-friendly spook alley in James Bertschi’s trailer . . . and the Young Women organized a Chili Cookoff (which also served as dinner for the revelers).
Winners of the Chili Cookoff (as determined by unbiased judges Mike Twitty, Rob Wilkes and Jake Green) were:

·         Carol Hollowell in the Ghost White Chili (Best non-red chili) category

·         Gary and Nancy Anderson won for Hauntingly Hot (most hot) category

·         The Forsyth Family took home the award for the Magical Witches Brew (most unique)

·         Cheryl Kanenwisher won for the Little Pumpkin Preference (most kid friendly)

·         Cole Wilkes won the coveted Best Overall / Spooktacular Chili Award
The Trunk or Treat event is a great ward tradition which is getting better and more fun every year! Thanks to all who put the event together and to all who participated!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Farewell, Brother Hafen

Banard Ervin Hafen, a longtime member of the Bloomington 7th Ward, passed peacefully from this earth at home on Thursday, October 25, just a few weeks short of his 91st birthday.  A descendant of John George Hafen, one of the Swiss founders of Santa Clara, Banard was born in Santa Clara but saw the world as a professional athlete (Detroit Lions – 1949 and 1950 seasons), a special agent with the FBI (where he exemplified the motto of "integrity, loyalty and bravery") for more than 21 years.  Before his retirement to St. George in 1982, Banard worked as the Chief Investigator for hotel security for Howard Hughes’ Summa Corporation in Las Vegas.   

Though 90-years-old, he continued to play golf three days a week until August when he decided he had played long enough. Dad shot an 86 in his last game, and his buddies claimed he was quitting before they had a chance to get back all the money they lost to him over the years. A sportswriter once wrote that Banard was "one of the best athletes to ever come out of Southern Utah." A natural in basketball, baseball and football, he started on teams in junior high and high school as well as Dixie Jr. College. Banard went on to the University of Utah and played football and baseball. He was selected to play in the Shriner's East-West College All-Star football game as a junior and senior. In 1940 he joined the National Guard (because "you got a dollar for only showing up once a month"). In March of 1941, his unit was activated and he, along with many other young Dixie men, went to San Luis Obispo for training. While driving back from California he heard about Pearl Harbor on the car radio. By May, 1943 he was in England with the 351st Engineer battalion, then in France until the end of WWII. Upon his return Banard went back to the U of U to finish his schooling and play football. He came home to St. George for Thanksgiving in 1947 where he met Dixie co-ed McVoy Holt on a blind date and were married on June 11, 1948.  McVoy, his wife of 53 years, passed away in 2002 and Banard was visited often by his daughters, Susan Henderson; Sally Tielemans (Anton); Laurie Hafen; Elaine Krause (Curtis); 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Congratulations on a beautiful posterity and a life well-lived. Brother Hafen will be missed by those who knew and loved him.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Catching Up: Another New Member is Welcomed

Gracie Green, 8-year-old daughter of Jacob and Annie Green and granddaughter to former 7th Warders Joe and Becky Petersen, began “the spiritual journey of a lifetime” when she was baptized and confirmed by her daddy on Saturday, October 13.  Gracie, with her big smile and her big testimony, is big sister to Nellie and Lucie and a 2nd grade student at Bloomington Elementary School.            

In the words of Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles concerning this milestone, “we do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. Our conversion comes step-by-step, line-upon-line. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We treasure the principles and ordinances of repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, then remain steady and patient as we progress through mortality. At times, the Lord’s answer will be, 'You don’t know everything, but you know enough' — enough to keep the commandments and to do what is right."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cub Scout Fun in the Sun

Cub Scouts Scott Stokes, Thomas Larson, Thomas Gierisch and Ashton Gardner, attended a Wild West Day Camp last Saturday on the Sandvic's farm across from Bloomington Park.  Sister Roma Goldhardt and Rebecca Larson went along on this fun-filled day of rock climbing, teepee building, running an obstacle course and enjoying a tasty lunch of grub-in-a-bag.  The boys loved every minute of their fabulous, fun day in the sun while they passed off several scout badges. Thanks to Rebecca Larson for sharing her great photos!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meet the Davies Family

Raelynn Davies recently moved to Bloomington with her family of three sons, including 27-year-old Todd, 16-year-old Trevor, 12-year-old Seth; her delightfully precocious 6-year-old granddaughter Alexis Broberg and Willoughby, the family’s high spirited Pomeranian-mix. 

A transplant from Salt Lake City, Raelynn notes she is currently spending her days unpacking boxes piled high in the garage in an effort to settle in . . . and, like most parents, taxiing kids to their various activities around town. 

Welcome to the ward, Davies family!!!  We look forward to getting better acquainted.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meet the Ward's Newest Member


Brynlee Olsen, daughter of Sunnie Scott Olsen and granddaughter of Allen and Sherry Scott, stepped into the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life when she was baptized by her Grandpa Scott and confirmed by her Uncle Skylar Scott on Saturday, September 29.  The 2nd grader at Bloomington Elementary School  is now the newest member of the Bloomington 7th Ward and a “fellowcitizen with the saints” in the “household of God” following the example of Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meet Jess and Arlene Thomas

Jess and Arlene Thomas met through a mutual friend who played Cupid in efforts to get her two friends together.  Married in November 2007, they lived fulltime in Providence, Utah until they decided spending the winter in St. George might be more fun.  They moved into the Temple Apartments, served in the Temple and soon decided to buy a townhouse. "Snowbirds" for a year or two, they were 'prompted' to make the peace and serenity of the Vintage their permanent residence. They report a warm welcome into the B7 Ward and are looking forward to years of service and many friendships in this ward.  Arlene loves power walking, exercising, studying nutrition---anything to do with personal fitness and health -  loves reading and education. 

Arlene and her first husband opened a cosmetology school in Astoria, OR in 1965 where they also reared their three children.  She calls her career in business management “very challenging but so very rewarding, with many changes over the years.”  Widowed in 1987, Arlene continued until 2003 when she sold the college and was 'prompted' to move to Providence where she raised her grandson.  “It was a great environment for him to complete high school and prepare for a mission,” she notes of the decision to move to northern Utah.  While on his mission to England, Jess and Arlene found each other, realizing many common interests such as temple attendance, music, books, cultural events, travel, and most importantly love of family and the Gospel.

Arlene has been active in the church most of her adult life, serving as Relief Society President and as a Visiting Teaching Supervisor, Ward Missionary, Young Women advisor, Stake Singles Representative and the most fun—many years in Primary, including time as President.  “Working with children has so enriched my life,” she states.  Her last callings were as Relief Society Counselor and three years as Compassionate Service leader. “What a total joy for me. I so look forward to serving in the B7 Ward. There is nothing that brings more joy than serving in the Church.”

Jess and his first wife were married in Malad, Idaho in 1954, where she helped convert Jess to the gospel after the birth of their first of six children.  Jess’ first career was as a data analysis specialist in the chemistry lab at NRTS near Idaho Falls, but he had a great desire to become an accountant, so for many years he took night classes toward that goal.  In 1969 he enrolled full time at USU from which he received his degree about a year later and started his 25 year career at Bear River Associations of Government as head comptroller. The family lived in Hyrum from which all four sons served missions. His wife passed away in 1996, the result of a car accident. Jess retired in 1998. He has 24 grandchildren and 8 greats, which are a joy to the couple but require “never ending travel as we attempt to stay close to our families!!”

Jess has been very active in the church, serving in a bishopric as the 2nd counselor, as stake auditor, and as a YM advisor. In his spare time he also enjoys reading, cross stitch, watching westerns and Turner Classic movies. He also enjoys quilting, building bird houses, and golfing.

Arlene and Jess are currently serving a part-time mission at the St. George Member Location Center and attend the Temple each week. They also enjoy indexing, writing family and personal history, and geneology.  They both love learning and taking Family History classes and studying the scriptures together, especially the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet Laurie Hafen

Laurie Hafen recently moved from Las Vegas to Bloomington where she lives with and cares for her 92-year-old father Banard Hafen while also working as a court reporter.  Of her years taking depositions in attorney offices in California, Nevada and Utah, she notes,  “It has been a wonderful career where I have learned something new every day . . . mostly things NOT to do.” 

Sister Hafen’s roots run deep in Dixie.  “My father is a Hafen and my mother was a Holt from Enterprise.  It doesn’t get more ‘Southern Utah’ than that,” she laughs. 

As a lifelong member of the Church she has had numerous callings including Primary teacher and counselor, nursery teacher, family history consultant, a counselor in the Young Women’s program, and in her stake in Las Vegas, she was dubbed “indexing queen” because she LOVES indexing!

Her busy life - including rearing two daughters and three sons, who have produced 9 beautiful grandchildren – has left her little time to develop any regular hobbies, “though I’ve tried my hand at quilting, crocheting and family history.”

“I very much appreciate how welcoming the members of the Bloomington 7th Ward have been to me. I didn't know anyone here, except my dad, and now I have some wonderful sisters I can call my friends!!!”  states Sister Hafen.

For all she has done in life, Laurie says, of the two of them, her dad has had the more interesting life.  A graduate from Dixie High School where he was an All Star in both basketball and football, he went on to play football at the University of Utah until he was called into the service of his country during WWII.  After the war he finished his degree then played pro-football for the Detroit Lions (1947-49) but decided he needed a more stable job to support his growing family, so applied for a position as an FBI agent.  In 1967, with a young family and a desire to be closer to his southern Utah home, he was finally transferred from St. Louis, MO to Las Vegas.  In 1975 he left the FBI after 25 years to begin a new career as head of security for Howard Hughes.  He has lived in Bloomington since his retirement in 1982.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bloomington Stake Picnic

Based on the number of people in attendance and the amount of rice, pulled pork, bar-be-qued chicken, salad and cookies consumed, the perfect late summer weather, the excitement of children waiting in line for the jump houses and the sociable chit-chat around each table, the annual Bloomington Stake Picnic was a HUGE success.  Thanks to the members of the Bloomington 9th Ward for taking on this monumental assignment.  The food was excellent and the island entertainment was exciting and fun!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Scout Court-of-Honor

A well-organized and well attended Court of Honor was held in the evening of Sunday, September 16 to recognize the exceptional efforts of Boy Scouts in the Bloomington 7th Ward thanks to ward scouting leaders Matthew Chappell, Gary Anderson, Steve Gwilliam, Rob Wilkes, Aaron Larson, Roy Stephen and other members of the Troop Committee and of course, Bishop John Goldhardt and Jackie Dodart, Stake Advancement Chair.  

Eddie Edwards, a former fighter pilot in the U. S. Air Force shared some of his military experiences reminding the boys to “leave your fear behind and rely on your training” in life!  

Following is the impressive list of scouts and the merit badges (awards earned based on activities within an area of study by completing a list of periodically updated requirements) each completed over the summer, as well as their rank advancements:
Matthew Clark                         7 + Snokeling                          Star Rank
Cache Bertschi                       6 + Snorkeling                         Tenderfoot
Dallin Forsyth                          8                                              2nd and 1st Class
McKay Goldhardt                   11                                            Scout through 1st Class
Adam Gwilliam                       7                                              Tenderfoot through 1st Class
Luke Gwilliam                         5 (to go with the 37 he already has on his sash) + Snorkling
Bryce Nelson                          6 + Snorkeling                         Tenderfoot through 1st Class
Mitchell Smith                         1
Christian Spangler                  1
Jacob Stokes                          6 + Snorkeling
Luke Wilkes                            5
Jarett Thomas                        1                                              Scout Rank
Noah Forsyth                                                                         Scout Rank
Steven Larson                                                                        Scout Rank
Steve Gwilliam         Bronze Palm (5 additional Merit Badges beyond 21 required for Eagle)

Congratulations to all the boys for their hard work and thanks to their leaders and their parents who have supported their efforts.

In other scouting news, Olene Walker, president of the Bloomington 7th Ward Primary organization and Utah’s former governor (#15) is the most recent recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, presented last week by the National Parks Council in Provo.  The Silver Beaver Award is the Boy Scouts of America’s council-level distinguished service award given only to those who do not actively seek it.  Recipients are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service to the council and the community by hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service.  Congratulations to President Walker for this recognition.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Farewell, Sister Baker

Our beautiful and fun-loving Lois Baker, a longtime member of the ward, passed away peacefully at her Bloomington home on Sunday morning, August 25 while waiting for her daughter Jill Jones to pick her up for Sacrament meeting. 

This child of the Great Depression and World War II was the 4th of 5 children who spent the first 16 years of her life on the family farm in South Dakota, but at the first opportunity for "escape" she ran off to California where she met and later married her first husband - the father of her two children Greg Anderson and Jill Jones.

After 25 years at the front desk of the Hacienda Hotel in Las Vegas, Lois moved to St. George in 1997 to be closer to family, unaware of the great blessings which would soon come into her life, because it was in St. George she met and married J. Ray Baker and soon after joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lois was never happier than when she was married to and dancing with Ray with whom she spent the summers in Beaver, but also traveled the world, including China, Alaska, Europe and "golfing in every one of the 50 states"  

Her family and friends knew her as opinionated - especially about politics, creative, frugal ("Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it do...or Do without"), competitive and one who participated fully in life!!!  She had a big, infectious laugh and found humor in both the silly and the serious.  In her leisure time, she enjoyed crossword puzzles and researching her family genealogy.  She also took great pleasure in spending time with any of her 31 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.  Everyone who knew Lois considered her their friend and an example of Christ-like love.  True to her character, Lois remained positive and upbeat to the end, despite battling cancer – and requested, in lieu of flowers, those who wish to do so may make a donation in her name to the Humanitarian Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elizabeth Bown Says "Do widzenia"

Elizabeth Bown, 2nd daughter of Jim and Paula Bown, enters the Provo MTC on August 22 where she will develop language skills in preparation for fulltime missionary service in the Poland Warsaw Mission. 

Her decision to serve a mission “did not come like a bolt of lightning,” says Sister Bown.  “I turned 21 in September.  I pondered whether or not I should go and prayed for inspiration as I completed the somewhat complicated and time consuming process.  The process went smoothly and perfectly, but I still had not received an answer.  Then President Anderson helped me realize I had been following the promptings of the Spirit as I completed the process and the Spirit testified to me I was making the right decision by choosing to serve."

This beautiful sister missionary drove home from BYU in order to open her call letter surrounded by her family.  “There was dead silence when I read that I would be serving in Poland and would teach in Polish,” she remembers. “Within five minutes I knew Poland was where I was meant to serve and that it was by divine inspiration I had been called there. The spirit testified this truth to me and my testimony of missionary work was strengthened.” 
Sister Bown's arrival at the MTC is two months earlier than she was originally supposed to report, due to an urgent request from her mission president.  After 9 weeks of language study and spiritual preparation, she will fly to Poland at the end of October just in time for winter – which are notoriously cold.  According to Sister Bown "from November to March the temperature in Warsaw averages -30 degrees with only 4 hours a day of sunlight!"  Brrrrrr!

The Church was officially registered in 1961 in Poland, a country of historic value relating to WWII and to the music of Chopin. A decade later, Poland's only small branch was closed. In May 1977, the Church was again officially registered but only foreign missionaries served until 1989, when the first Polish missionary – Sister Urzula Adamska was called.  In that same year, ground was broken for the first meetinghouse.  In July 1990, the Poland Warsaw Mission was established.  Approximately 89% of the general population is Roman Catholic. Still in its infancy, the LDS Church in Poland currently has less than 2000 members in 13 operating branches located in Warsaw, Lodz, Bialystok, Lublin, Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Poznan, Wroclaw, Katowice and Krakow.   

She will be missed in Bloomington, but Sister Bown will be warmly welcomed in this cold country where she is certain to have many memorable experiences during her 18 months of service to the Lord and His children in Poland.