Monday, May 30, 2016

Hasta la Vista, Hermano Bronco Hollowell

Bronco Hollowell, the youngest of Bob and Carol Hollowell's four sons, will enter the MTC in Spain on May 31, where he will spend six weeks studying Spanish prior to serving the Lord and His children in the Spain Malaga Mission.  He had anticipated, before his call letter arrived, he would be called to serve "stateside" like his third brother Montana who served a Spanish-speaking mission in South Dakota rather than his oldest brother Jordan who served in Thailand.  When he was called to Spain, "I cried and had to have my mother finish reading my letter."

Bronco has been told - by friends who have served there - he can expect "the weather to be hot and humid, with great seafood and lots of Catholics!"

The first Spanish member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Melitón Trejo (in about 1870) who emigrated to Utah, where he aided in the first translation into Spanish of portions of the Book of Mormon; and, later accompanied the first Church missionary expedition to Mexico.

The next known conversions in Spain did not occur until 1966, in association with two American congregations meeting for Sunday worship. The Spain Religious Liberty Law, passed in 1967, paved the way for the organization of the Madrid Branch in February 1968. Some 40 people attended, including Spanish wives of American servicemen, other Spanish-speaking members, and investigators. Official recognition for the Church in Spain was formalized in October 1968, and the first mission was organized in July 1970. During this period, many Spanish-speaking members from other nations were transferred by their businesses to Spain and helped to strengthen new congregations. By 1974, 620 members met in 17 wards and branches.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, visited King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in March 1992 and gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon.

Today there are nearly 53,000 members of the Church in Spain, the Church's 56th temple in Madrid, and three missions headquartered in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Congratulations, Graduates

Congratulations to seven members of the B7 Ward family who have recently graduated from three St. George high schools and two universities.  These bright and talented young graduates will now move on to the next phase of their lives, whether it’s more education, missions or employment – or a combination of all three.  Best of luck to each of the following:

Tiana Schall, 8th of Jason and Lori Schall's 8 children, is now a 2016 graduate of Dixie High School with a bright future ahead of her.  She has also been a cosmetology student at Hairitage Hair Academy since July 2015 and hopes to graduate this summer in time to serve a Nauvoo Service Mission before her missionary comes home next year.  Tiana calls "homework" the one thing she will not miss about high school ... while the best experience was her time spent as a member of the state champion Jetettes Drill Team including the thrill of being part of Dixie High School’s “first ever” win over dozens of 3A drill teams around the Beehive State.

Hauser Jones, son of Corwin and Diana Smith and a 2016 graduate of Dixie High School, made a decision about his future when he submitted his mission papers with hopes to serve the Lord and His children somewhere in the world where he can learn a second language.  He won't leave until September so will be at the St. George Airport to see his brother Stetson come home in July, but he will get his hoped-for opportunity to learn a second language while serving for 2-years in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission.  In addition to academics, in high school Haus enjoyed the sports of wrestling, baseball and playing on the state champion Flyers football team in 2015.  Looking back on his high school years, Haus states the only negative he can think of is “classes which did not have any benefit.”  Until he enters the MTC, Haus will continue working at Stephen Wade dealerships where he details cars.

Luke Gwilliam, 2nd son of Steve Gwilliam, graduated this week from Dixie High School with his plans for the future to include working with a friend as a landscaper until the end of the year, then enlisting in either the Navy or the Marine Corps.  What made him decide to serve his country?  Terrorism in the world, particularly the Paris attacks, which he states, "made me want to do something.  Military service will also help pay my way through college."

Thinking back on his time in high school, Luke counts "being a lifter for my overall health ... in the greatest sport on earth" while the "drama" of high school is something he hopes to forget.  The 6'4" graduate was among 316 so honored in DHS's 105th commencement ceremonies.  Congratulations, Luke!

Cole Wilkes, son of Robert and Chardell Wilkes, has big dreams of writing and producing movies and TV … after his mission and studies at LDS Business College, of course.  The recent graduate of Desert Hills High School states what he enjoyed most about high school was making and interacting with friends, excellent teachers and serving as the video editor for the school’s yearbook.

Simeon Lovell, Guyanese son of Ed and Linda Sappington and recently returned from 2 years of full-time service in the Georgia Atlanta Mission, plans to study Information Technology at Dixie State University beginning in the fall of 2016.  A recent graduate of Southwest High School, here in St. George, he earned 20 A's and 2 B's in his studies - and because he was the first student at SWHS to ever finish 13 credits in less than 90 days, Simeon was asked to be the commencement speaker from among 181 student graduates.  Onward and upward, Elder Lovell!

Bryan Owen, son of Brad and Betty Owen, recently graduated with honors from Dixie State University receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with an Organization and Leadership Emphasis.  With his degree in hand, he plans to throw his resume in the air and see where it lands because a career in the broad-based field of communications can take many directions, including public relations, human resources, or business administration.  Bryan noted the best part of his university experience was the fun and friendships and the chance to learn and accomplish hard things every day.  Homeschooled all his life, Bryan says much of the credit for his success goes to his mother and teacher who gave him a solid educational foundation on which to build. 
Elizabeth Bown, second daughter of Southgate Stake President James and Sister Paula Bown, graduated in mid-April from BYU with a Bachelors degree in Human Development and plans to continue her studies toward a Masters in Public Administration.  However, her most important immediate plans have been focused on her marriage (Friday, May 13) in the St. George Temple to her “prince charming” Benjamin Tingey.  Following their wedding and reception in St. George, the new Mr. and Mrs. will make their home in Provo where he has 2 more years of study in the field of statistics and will then work toward a degree in Criminal Law.

Congratulations to these fine young B7 Ward members for reaching these important milestones and much success in your future endeavors.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Nine Awarded Duty to God

(From left, back row) Pete Fraser, Shane Simkins, Jarett Thomas, Wyatt Woodland, Stephen Larson, Luke Wilkes (received two), Leo Biasi, and (not pictured) Matthew Clarke and Adam Gwilliam were recognized by Bishop Mike Bair on Mothers' Day, Sunday, May 8 with a presentation of the Duty to God award "for faithfully fulfilling his duties in the Aaronic Priesthood, developing attributes of spiritual strength, living the standards of the Church, and preparing himself to be ordained to the office of elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood."

Congratulations for doing the hard work of responding to the Savior's question in 3 Nephi 27:27 when he asked, "what manner of men ought ye to be?  Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

Sorry for the blurred picture.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kaylee is Baptized

Kaylee Mae Stokes, youngest of John and Kristina Stokes 3 children - and the only girl - was baptized and confirmed by her Dad on Saturday, April 30 at the Bloomington Stake Center. Friends and family were there in support of the Bloomington Elementary School 2nd grade student's decision to take this important step on her journey back to her Heavenly Father.

The favorite things to do for this 8-year-old are playing with her friends, coloring and reading, but her mom says she is "always right there cheering on her two brothers in their sporting activities and helping around the house - especially in the kitchen."

Mom Kris also notes, "Kaylee is a sweet spirit and a wonderful part of our family.  She is also conscientious, kind and willing to help in any way to make our home and family better."

Congratulations, Kaylee on your decision to follow the Savior's example, to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to receive the Holy Ghost as a guide in your life.