Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hooks Off to Ohio ... or Indiana

For the 6th time in their 28-years of married life, Dean and Margaret Hooks will leave their home and family behind to serve the Lord.  This time they will serve as Record Preservation Missionaries in the Ohio Cincinnati Mission where their wardrobe will be "business casual" instead of the usual missionary wear (which means Elder Hooks will not be required to wear a tie - except on Sunday).

As Record Preservation Missionaries, they will work in Indiana with record custodians at churches, county court houses, state and/or national archives to identify, organize, and capture images of records using digital camera equipment so the information they contain can become available on

The Hooks will enter the MTC on August 11 for training on the equipment they will use as fulltime senior missionaries. 

Their first mission together took them to the Dakotas where Elder Hooks served as Mission President (1991-94). After moving from Tucson, Arizona where he had retired after 36 years as a petroleum jobber for Chevron, the Hooks’ served their second mission in the Family History Center in St. George - he for 4 ½ years, she for 5 ½ years.

They had hoped their 5th mission would be an 18-month call to Guyana, South America to replace the Sappington’s as PEF / employment missionaries – an assignment they know well after back-to-back PEF / employment missions (their 3rd and 4th) to South Africa. Alas, the Lord had other plans for them as they were called to serve one year in the Missouri Independence Mission … but came home from the Kansas Topeka Mission (one of 57 new missions created by the Church in 2013 in response to the age change for young missionaries).

The church’s goal is to eventually have 25,000 seniors serving in any of hundreds of assignments in 405 missions.  In this “adventure of a lifetime” there are calls to “preach the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead” in every part of the world - including welfare and humanitarian service; in temples, family history centers, mission offices, and historic sites . . . “and, your grandchildren will still be here when you get back," notes Elder Hooks.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Til We Meet Again, Brother Marlen McGhie

Marlen Dean McGhie, a longtime High Priest in the B7 Ward, passed away at the age of 87 on the beautiful summer afternoon of July 23, 2014 at his Bloomington home.  The 8th of 10 children born to Sigrid Rosalina Johnson and John LeRoy McGhie came into this world on January 20, 1927 in Salt Lake City.

As a young, adventurous 17-year-old, he joined the Military Army Officer’s Program at the University of Utah then served in the U. S. Navy until the end of World War II. As the world settled down after the war ended, he enrolled in and graduated from the University of Utah where he majored in Physical Education and minored in Military Science. When the Korean Conflict called for a return to military service, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force and flew 55 missions over enemy territory as a Navigator.

In November 1951, he married Phyllis Watkins in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. With her love and support he graduated from Stanford University in the field of Physical Therapy and established his own business in the Bay Area of Northern California where they lived and reared their family of seven children for more than 30 years before retiring to St. George.

In addition to family outings and activities, Marlen’s other favorite pastimes were golf, tennis and traveling with Phyllis to far away places, including Russia and China. As a lifelong member of the Church, he faithfully served in many ward and stake callings, including four missions and eight years as an ordinance worker in the St. George Temple. He is survived by his wife, seven children, 29 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren.

Brother McGhie will be missed among the members of the B7 Ward.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stetson is Flying High!

It’s not often anyone gets a comprehensive write-up in their hometown newspaper, including a photo and lots of column inches, but our own Elder Stetson Jones was so featured in the Sunday, August 3 issue of The Spectrum.  

Currently at the MTC in final preparation for his fulltime service in the Philippines Cebu Mission, Stetson was recognized for the completion of requirements for a pilot license and did his final check flight with the famous “jet-powered Navy Blue Angels team flying around while I’m trying to complete my flight in a pokey little Cessna.”

According to the newspaper article Stetson showed “easy confidence but the recent 'Dixie Flyer' alumnus admits he is a bit awed by it all, as well. 'They (the Blue Angels) were flying right behind us, and the airport was just so crazy and busy. … They had one or two planes up at a time, just practicing some of the maneuvers and getting ready for the airshow.'”

“Who else is going to be able to say they flew their check ride with the Blue Angels?” said Retired Air Force Col. Glenn Whicker, chief instructor for Dixie High’s JROTC program where Jones completed preparations for his pilot license during his last year and a half of school.

Have news reports about recent crashes in the area made Jones’ parents nervous?

“Absolutely. Especially my mother, and coming down to the last week to where I’m trying to finish up, when that happened, she started having second thoughts about letting me finish,” he said. “I told her, ‘You know what? We’re this close, I still feel good about it, and I know I do stupid things down here on the ground, but when you’re up there it’s different. … I wouldn’t want anything to happen. I wouldn’t do that to you, Ma.’”

The timing of Jones’ final licensing test and solo flight with his family was critical, because last Wednesday he left home to become an LDS missionary in a region that was one of the hardest hit when the record-sized Typhoon Haiyan bulldozed its way through the country last year.

“They say some of my mission is just a straight service mission, where we just help rebuild and find time to preach the gospel in between,” he said. His instructions included a list of athletic clothing items needed to allow him to wade through mud and do physical labor in reconstruction efforts. In June, the United Nations estimated there are more than 100,000 people still living in tents in the storm-ravaged zone.

He’s already been accepted to two universities once he returns home, and he has ensured both have promising aviation programs and possible training for an Air Force career.

“No matter what I do after the mission, I’ll be flying,” Jones said. “I have two goals. Either fast – really fast – or large. … I’d like to fly off a huge aircraft carrier.”

The process of getting a pilot license involves class time, written tests and up to 40 hours in the air with an instructor and rarely do student pilots receive their license while still in high school.  Congratulations, Stetson on another remarkable accomplishment in your life.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pioneer Day Picnic in Pine Valley

The weather was beautiful and pleasantly cool ... the food delicious and plentiful ... the entertainment delightful and the opportunity to socialize with neighbors and friends was (wait for it) ... priceless!  The annual B7 Ward Pioneer Day picnic in Pine Valley was not held on Pioneer Day but rather on Wednesday, July 30 but not one of more than 100 ward members seemed to mind.  Bishop Mike Bair provided corn-on-the-cob cooked in a unique way, using a (clean) garbage can and a blow torch while the ward also provided chicken and ham with ward members bringing everything else. After the "feasting" an audience gathered around for music provided by Scott Ford, with his guitar, and his performing group including a bass player and a banjo picker were joined by Boyd Kanenwisher and the entire Swansboro family (Lauretta, Pat and Patrick) who brought their guitars and wonderful singing voices to the (picnic) table.  It was a delightful evening with friends and a welcome respite from the July Dixie summer heat.  Thanks to all who participated.