Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Abschied, bis wir uns wiedersehen, Elder Mitchell Smith

As a fulltime missionary in the German Frankfurt Mission, Mitchell Smith, son of Eric and Karin Smith, is “going home to the land of my birth where I will be teaching my family and where my brother also served."

Soon after his father Eric Smith received an MBA from BYU (where he had met his German bride after both had returned from full-time missionary service), he also received an offer of employment with a subsidiary of General Motors in Germany, where both Martin, our second son and Mitchell, our fourth were born," states Karin Smith.

Because some German is spoken in his home, Mitchell already speaks the language fluently, but even as a native language speaker he will still be required to do two weeks of language training at the MTC in England beginning on Wednesday, March 30.  

The first congregation of Latter-day Saints was organized in Germany in 1843, but due to strong persecution from their countrymen, many early members emigrated to Utah.

Despite problems associated with two world wars, the Church continued to grow gradually in Germany. During the 1920s, there were three congregations in Chemnitz with more than 600 members. At the time, this was the highest concentration of members in any city outside of the United States.

Shortly after the conclusion of the most widespread war in history, Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and later U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, organized a charitable operation – later known as CARE - to help the starving people in Germany.

After WWII, faithful members maintained contact with Church headquarters, where their ongoing efforts eventually made it possible to dedicate the Freiberg Temple (Saxony) in 1985, the first temple on German soil and the first in a (then) Communist country. Two years later, another temple – located in Friedrichsdorf (Hessia) - was dedicated.

Today, Latter-day Saints in Germany total approximately 39,500, many of them second, third, and fourth generation members of the Church.  Young men and women – as well as senior couples - serve in three German missions headquartered in Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Matthew is Baptized

Matthew Alldredge, 8-year-old middle child of Russel and Joy Alldredge, was baptized by his father and confirmed by his grandfather Ed Alldredge on Saturday, March 26 at the Bloomington Stake Center.  Surrounded by his dad’s entire family from all around Utah and others from as far away as California, Matt willingly stepped into the waters of baptism to take upon himself the name of his Savior Jesus Christ and to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Bloomington Elementary School 2nd grader, his mother calls “just the sweetest little guy,” likes to build things, to work in the family’s backyard vegetable garden with his father, and play soccer.

In taking this important step and completing these ordinances, Matthew has entered the gate to the path of eternal life, has been given the gift of the Holy Ghost and is also the newest member of the Bloomington 7th Ward.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

B7 Sisters Gather for Women's Conference

Sisters of the Southgate Stake gathered together on Saturday, March 26 in the first session of the 186th Annual General Conference to hear messages of service and love from leaders of the General Boards of the Relief Society, Young Women’s Program and Primary.  The gathering at the Southgate chapel was relatively small, no doubt because the event was available online at – but the BL7 Ward was well represented. 

The proceedings were conducted by Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary General President with President Thomas S. Monson presiding. Strong counsel was received from Sisters Cheryl A. Esplin (1st Counselor, Primary General Presidency); Neill F. Marriott ( 2nd Counselor, YW General Presidency) and Linda K. Burton (Relief Society General President) who all spoke on one theme … that of loving and serving those in need.  "Love is making a place in your life for someone else," said Sister Marriott, and Sister Burton, pleading with the sisters "to prayerfully determine what you can do — according to your own time and circumstance — to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities."  She also introduced a new program entitled "I Was A Stranger," designed to provide relief for the more than 60 million refugees around the world.

The choir – consisting of Relief Society, Primary and Young Women representing 50 countries – emphasized the message in music.

President Henry B. Eyring offered three suggestions answering the question: “did I do enough?”

1.  Go forth and serve to provide comfort to those in need.
2.  Remember the Lord as we give service to others asking “what would the Lord have me do for those I am called upon to succor?”
3.  Do not seek reward for your good deeds.  The Lord recognizes your acts of service.
The meeting was followed by light refreshments and an opportunity to socialize among the sisters.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pinewood Derby is Fun for Cub Scouts

The popular annual Pinewood Derby, on Saturday, March 19 was a successful and eagerly anticipated combined activity with scouts from both the B7 and B3 Wards building their own car and racing them down an official derby track.

First place winner was Drew Blazzard with second prize awarded to Garrett Bishop from the B3 Ward and Carter Anderson coming in third. All other scouts received a certificate of recognition including Brodie Olsen (Most Artistic), Gavin Bishop from B3 (Best in Show), Beau Broadbent from B3 (Most Innovative), Hunter Carter (Best Classic Design), Paris Lamb from B3 (Most Colorful), Luke Tharp (CubMasters Pick), Carter Nelson (Primary President's Pick), Noah Wilkes (Most Decals) and Cole Schnaubelt (Most Original).

Thanks to B7’s Cub Master Scott Daniel, who made fun car-themed neckerchief slides for each boy, and B3’s Cub Committee Chair Adrienne Lamb. Thanks, too, to Rebecca Larson who provided treats following the racing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carter Anderson is Baptized

Carter Anderson, 2nd of Michael and Kristin Anderson's four children, had a very full day on Saturday, March 19.  The Bloomington Elementary School 2nd grader was baptized and confirmed by his father in the morning, then in the afternoon he placed 3rd overall in his very first Pine Wood Derby.

The 8-year-old, described by his mother as "obedient, big-hearted and nearly perfect," loves learning - especially science - his family and cousins, and being a scout.

Carter - one of the newest members of the Bloomington 7th Ward, knows, when we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Taking upon us His name is one of the most significant experiences we have in life.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Welcome Home, Elder Simeon Lovell

Elder Simeon Lovell, Guyanese son of Ed and Linda Sappington, arrived home to St. George from two years of fulltime missionary service in the Georgia Atlanta Mission on Thursday, March 10.  Serving as both a District Leader and a Zone Leader under two mission presidents, Elder Lovell calls his time in Atlanta “life-changing,” “testimony building” and “transforming” in numerous ways.  “I thought I knew how to love my brothers and sisters before but through my missionary service, the Lord has shown me a better way.”

GAM President David Foote wrote, in a letter to Sister Sappington, "It has been a great privilege for Sister Foote and me to serve with Elder Lovell here in the Georgia Atlanta Mission.  He has done hard things during his time in Georgia and you should be proud of the manner in which he just kept putting one foot in front of the other with great faith, humble prayer, dedication and love on days when it was just plain hard.  The good news is those days were quickly forgotten and Elder Lovell was only strengthened because of all the great miracles he witnessed and helped to facilitate.  His mission will be the foundation of the Christ-like attributes of Charity and Obedience as he has learned to follow the Spirit and lose himself in finding the Lord.

"Conversion is continual, and when I had the opportunity to interview Elder Lovell as he prepares to leave, I invitedhim to continue to feast upon the words of Christ and to always pray to be led to the truth as he returns home and continues to serve the Lord and learn of Him.

"Elder Lovell has not just served a mission but he has faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ and become more like Him.  Thank you for sharing Elder Lovell with us.  We love him now and will always love him."

What’s next for Brother Lovell now that he has taken off his black name tag?  “I need to get my GED so I can go on to school and I have a couple of good prospects for fulltime employment,” states the convert who joined the church in Guyana, South America with his identical twin at age 13. “Of course, I’m also counting down the days until my brother comes home, too." (Selwin Lovell is currently serving in the Mississippi Jackson Mission and due to be released on April 13).  

The Georgia Atlanta Mission is one of three missions in the “Peach“ state – Atlanta, Atlanta North and Macon – where 82,857 members live and serve in 151 wards and branches.  The Atlanta Temple became the first temple built in the Southern states when it was dedicated in 1983.

“Well done, thy good and faithful” Elder Lovell … and welcome back to the B7 Ward. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Farewell and Goodnight, Sister Marjorie Partridge

Sister Marjorie Smith Partridge, a neighbor and longtime member of the Bloomington 7th Ward, passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 12, 2016.  She was born in 1933 in the central Utah community of Circleville and at age 24 became a June 1957 bride to Keith Partridge.  Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, 6 grandchildren and 2 “greats.”

Condolences to the family of this lovely sister.  You are missed in our company.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Farewell, Sisters

The time has come – as it often does for many of our ward members – for Barbara Pinder, Carol Simillion and Darlene Rice, to move to northern Utah to be closer to family.  A party at the home of Paul and Lynda Hallman on Monday, February 29, celebrated the lives and service of these three beautiful sisters and gave ward members the chance to say goodbye.

Barbara Pinder, a former school teacher and longtime temple worker on the early morning shift at the St. George Temple, has lived in Bloomington for more than 21 years, in fact, “I had plans to die here” she states with her usual good humor.  She will soon be moving into a new home in Draper.

Carol Simillion, a resident of St. George since moving from Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1993, jokes she came from the snow to the desert and “from a ski area job to the Senior Games.”  Sister Simillion will soon be relocating to Centerville to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.

Darlene Rice, a familiar face who has been leading the music in the B7 Ward Relief Society for many years and a Bloomington resident for 23 years, will have a new address in Draper.

All three say they will miss the B7 Ward and the many people they have come to know and love.  No question, their sweet spirits and deep testimonies have made an impression on us all.  They will be missed among our membership.