Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seventy Frank Fry's East Africa Mission

Here are a couple pages from Bro. Frank's 46 page diary of his recent two month missionary trip to East Africa. Watch for future postings from his diary.

Sun Jul 4
Last night, even though my eyes were closed, there was no sleep for me at all. After
eliminating that pesky mosquito inside the netting, my mind was directed to Revelation 14:6–8 and the many peoples and languages that need to have the Gospel. It continued to roll through my memory for the rest of the night. The Lord has kept me from sleeping before and given me new ideas that He wanted me to consider.
Apparently this was one of those nights. However, he has never given me a scripture
verse like that to keep me awake all night. I finally gave up trying to go to sleep and just began prioritizing languages. I lay there the rest of the night considering the different languages into which we need to translate information about the “everlasting gospel” that was brought to the earth as a result of the Restoration angel message. It was impressed strongly on me that if we as a Church do not begin to do something different and make a real effort to put the Gospel into these other languages, that we are just kidding ourselves and playing church.

Iʼve heard some people say “when the Endowment comes”, the Lord will give these
languages to us as on the day of Pentecost. Yes, the Lord has and will continue to
bless us with the gift of tongues when the occasion requires it, but even in New
Testament times the Scriptures had to be translated into the different languages of the world. It took a lot of work and sweat to get that job done. It has been said that the Bible had been translated into several hundred languages before the year A.D. 500. That was done without the aid of computers or the printing press. Iʼm not sure all the Lord will require of us, but it certainly will be more than what weʼve been doing up until now. We truly have much more responsibility now because of the technological marvels that He has blessed us with, as well as much more of His word.

We got up at 5:00 a.m. and a parade of family members carefully made its way down
the steep, rocky hill in the dark, carrying all of our luggage, to where Paul had called a taxi to meet us about a quarter of a mile down the road. From there we went to the bus station and left Mwanza a little after 6:00 a.m. As the sun finally came up, I took out my small booklet I had found at a bookstore here and wrote down the languages that I had been considering in the night. We rode until about 10:00 a.m. and got off the bus in the middle of nowhere. Paul led us back to a place where we left part of our luggage in some kind of official hut and then we walked down the road perhaps a half mile or more and then turned off on a dirt path and walked about a quarter of a mile to where someone met us. We then walked on further to a small building where there were some people gathered. We waited inside for more people to arrive and then Paul was asked to speak. He spoke in either Luo or Swahili.

This was a small village near the city of Msoma where Paul was born. There had been
seven baptisms a couple of months before and today they were to be confirmed. I was
asked to speak and then six of the newly baptized people were confirmed. After the
service, we traveled back to Msoma by matatu. We walked to a “guest house” that
turned out to be full. Joab and I waited there while Paul and one of his friends looked for another guest house that had space for us. While they were gone I took advantage of the time and caught up on my diary.

Mon Jul 5
Got a good nightʼs sleep last night and woke up at 7:00 a.m. Tried to catch up on a little more writing, but Paul knocked on my door at 7:30 and we had to get ready to leave. We had a short planning session so I would know what his plans were. I did a
recalculation to verify if we had sufficient Tanzanian Shillings to finish the trip back to Mwanza. We then left the guest house and went toward the bus station. Paul told me about an incident in the night. The guard had come around and made him pay some more Shillings because there is a law in Tanzania that only one man may sleep in the same room at a time. I had told them to get separate rooms, because there is only one bed in each room, but they were trying to save money and only got one for themselves and one for me.

After breakfast we found a matatu to go to the town of Tarime. We rode the bus from
about 10:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Then we took a small station wagon to the village
Utegi. Then we unloaded everyone else and used the same vehicle to arrive in
Nyanduga, a tiny village a couple of kilometers outside of Utegi. We got
there at about 2:30 p.m. We walked another half kilometer to the home of Brother
Albert Okumu and visited for a while in his home and began teaching a class. We had
just begun the class when there was a knock at our door. Three men dressed in suits
told us that they had been waiting all day for our arrival and that we were to go with them to teach them about the Restored Gospel.

I looked at Paul, and he said, “Weʼve got to go”. We immediately prepared to go and
followed them on foot for about a kilometer where there were about a dozen adults
waiting for us. There were a number of others who had gone home before we got there
because it was getting late. Paul told me that I should teach about the Body of Christ, the Apostasy and the Restoration. The class started at about 4:30 p.m. and I finished as it was getting too dark to be able to read at about 7:30. I had very good liberty and wore out two interpreters, but the Lordʼs Spirit blessed us all. All were very attentive and the Pastor responded very warmly and asked me to return within six months as he gave me a letter. I told him that I could give him no promises as to when I could return, but that I would send him material that they could use to teach with and that Brother Paul lived in this country and that they should rely on his ministry.

We came back to Brother Alfredʼs home in the dark. One of the men from the previous
class accompanied me and held my arm to keep me from falling in the dark on the very
irregular and chuck holed path. I had not thought to bring my small LED flashlight,
which I did regret. After arriving back at the house, we had a supper of rice and beans.

Paul asked me to teach another class. It was about 10:00 p.m. After beginning the
class, two other groups of adults arrived and the class finally consisted of 15 people packed into a tiny one room house. There was a double bed at one side of the room that several sat on. I shot a couple of photos afterward to remember all who were there. I decided to close the class with a short video clip where a choir and a blind man sing the Lordʼs Prayer. Paul ended with a prayer in Swahili. We were led from that house to another house, perhaps 100 yards away, where there were two beds where we are to spend the night. As I am finishing writing (sitting on the only chair in the hut), I just realized that the young children who were intently watching what I was doing, were waiting for me to go to bed so that they could lay out their mat on the floor so that they could go to bed. Paul and Joab had a mat on the floor (with a mosquito net) on the right side of the hut, and my raised bed (with a mosquito net) was on the left side. The boys in the middle did not have a mosquito net.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seventy Aric Turner Ministers In Texas, Oklahoma & Missouri

Seventy Aric Turner of Garland, TX has been bringing ministry to branches and isolated saints in Texas and Oklahoma. Bro. Aric shares the gospel in preaching, teaching and also shares communion.

Bro. Aric has had recent success in bringing cottage meetings to non-members and speaking of a new convert, reports, “I get the feeling that many saints do not testify with energy or excitement about our church and this one person who is not yet a member has made many other people interested with just her enthusiasm.”

In September, Bro. Aric traveled to Independence, Missouri to be one of the presenters at the Book of Mormon Festival that was organized by Seventy Patrick McKay.

Several Seventy Minister in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky

Seventy George Mefferd and his companion, Sr. Annece traveled to Depauw, IN where they visited in the homes of the saints and on Sunday morning Bro. George shared the news of the recent missionary trip to India, (Seventy Steve DeVera, Seventy Bill Leutzinger and Seventy Ananda Rao), during the Sunday School hour and brought the sermon for the morning worship service and shared some church literature with those in attendance. A gentleman present during the days worship and study activities requested baptism and Seventy Greg Thomas is following up on this.

They traveled from Depauw, IN to Franklin, TN, and met Seventy Steve DeVera, Seventy Bill Leutzinger, Seventy Greg Thomas and his family and High Priest Sherman Phipps where they brought ministry and teaching to Restoration saints and some COC saints who have made the decision to join the Restoration. Seventy Greg Thomas and his family have been giving ministry in the Franklin area for some time now.

Leaving Franklin, TN, Bro. George and Sr. Annece traveled to Booneville, KY where they met and ministered to several members and non-members for several days. Ministry in Booneville included a sacrament service, preaching and teaching.

Bro. George and Sr. Annece traveled 1,857 miles on this missionary trip. Before departing on this trip, Bro. George preached at Saints Haven Restoration Branch and participated in the ordination of Bro. Vance Kellinger to the office of Elder and after returning home, he preached at Devon Park Restoration Branch.

Vacation Church School - Mexico City

From the newsletter of Seventy William Baker and Katrina Baker.

In May Dalia Castillo and Katrina Baker started discussing ideas for youth activities to help with spreading the gospel and growing the work in Mexico City and decided on organizing a Vacation Church School. Dalia expressed how much her family
has appreciated the camps and reunions that they’ve attended in the States, and her desire for the people in Mexico to experience the same joy and Spirit.

The date was set for July 12-16. Over the next couple months plans were finalized, and
the parents in Mexico City were eager to help in any way they could: one donated an empty house for us to use and the mothers brought snacks for the kids every day and even help with the craft classes. The camp was to include English as well as Spanish and also music, art, games, and Bible classes. Each day had a different theme: Monday - -Crea t ion, Tuesday--Prayer, Wednesday—10 Commandments, Thursday--Armor of God, Friday--Program.

Most of the kids who came to the camp had never even heard of God before or knew
anything about the Bible, though the majority of them were from Catholic backgrounds. We prayed to begin the camp and each day and prayed over our snacks as well. This also was new to many of them; and some even scoffed during prayer time.
During our class on prayer, we talked about the nature of God, how he wants a personal
relationship with us, and how he answers our prayers and helps us when we’re in need. We had a prayer request for a boy named Raul, who has severe heart problems. He wanted to come to the camp but was too sick; so we started praying that he would
feel better so he could participate with us. Later we stopped by his house and talked with his mother and shared with her that we had been praying for her son. She then told us that just that morning she had taken Raul to the emergency room because of a high
fever and other problems; but by the time they arrived, the fever was gone and the doctors said the boy was fine. (That was during the same time that we were praying for him.) The next day Raul was able to join the camp and run and play with the kids as if he had no problems at all. And the mother shared her testimony with the kids of how the
Lord had answered their prayers. After that the attitudes of a lot of the children changed; and those who had before been scoffers were the first to raise their hands to pray. Also every morning we gave the kids a short verse to memorize in English and Spanish which pertained to the daily theme. And each one who memorized their verse received a little prize. On Friday we had a program for the parents in the afternoon after the
camp was finished. The whole building was decorated with the crafts that the kids had made during the week; and the kids shared the campfire songs that they had learned during the week mainly: King of Kings, He’s got the whole world in His Hands, I have Peace like a River, Kum-by-Yah (both in English and Spanish) as well as their memory
verses. Dalia also had taught the children a little French, which they shared with their parents as part of the program; and afterwards we had time to visit with the parents and eat together. We were thrilled with the participation and enthusiasm of the kids and especially how the Lord worked in their hearts during the week. We look forward to many such activities in the future.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Seventy Gary Whiting Ministering in Honduras

Seventy Gary Whiting leaves September 25, 2010 for Siguatepeque, Honduras to serve for a couple of weeks with Elder Charles Sperry and his family, who reside there providing full time ministy.  Please keep the Saints in Honduras in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book of Mormon Event at Graceland University

We had a wonderful Book of Mormon event last night (Sunday, Sept 19).  The MacLean family from Independence, MO started us off with wonderful singing. JulieAnn Smith (Graceland Book of Mormon Club) gave a welcome.  Les Gardner led the service.  Seventy Ron Smith and Faye Shaw teamed up for a scripture and slide presentation, Jesus Christ IS the Book of Mormon Message.   There were three powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon from Nick Hartwig (Lamoni Community of Christ), High Priest Sherman Phipps (Mt Ayr Restoration Branch), and Bishop James Bair (Osceola Latter-day Saints).  Richard Jackel did a dramatic presentation of Moroni.  A quintet from the Lamoni Community of Christ sang, and Jack Ergo accompanied the singing of a number of hymns, one of which was written by Francis Ackland.  The spirit of the Lord was there in power. There were 170 present. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Saints Thoughts on the Book of Mormon Festival

The saints in and around the Centerplace were blessed this past weekend to be able to sit in comfort and learn more about the special book that is the very keystone of our religion, The Book of Mormon.

 I cannot imagine the work that must have gone into putting an event of this kind together. Gods servants from diverse groups, worked together, so those of us who attended might be able to learn more about various aspects of the book. For approximately fourteen hours last weekend we were able to put our differences aside and become one. This was another one of the very important blessings of the weekend.

What a joy it was to sit together once again, with brothers and sisters we no longer  worship with on a regular basis, and hear the men who had agreed to be part of this historic weekend. I say historic because we were blessed to hear from a representative of the Remnant Church (Fred Larsen), the Community of Christ (Richard Rupe), the Temple Lot Church (Peter Gould) as well as men from the Restoration Branch Movement. Elder Lyle Smith (Oak Grove), Seventy Neil Simmons( Zarahemla), Seventy Aric Turner( Dallas RB) and  Patrick McKay also from Zarahemla. Subjects included, The Book of Mormon, A Dynamic Unfolding Model of Revelation and a Harbinger of Things to Come, The Restoration of The House of Israel,   The Curse,   An Account of These Ancient Inhabitants,  Why I Believe in The Book of Mormon,  The Allegory of The Olive Tree and Book of Mormon Geography.

Seventy Jim McKay presided over the weekend gathering,  making announcements, acting as the bridge between presenters and keeping things moving along.  We were blessed with special music as well as great hymn singing.  Lunch was served on the premises, which enabled us to share in special fellowship with our brothers and sisters.

Personally I would not have missed this event for anything. It was enlightening and brought a new appreciation for the Book of Mormon. We are so blessed to be the people who have this second witness to share with the world. 

The turnout was smaller then anticipated but folks who came,  wanting to be fed, were fed. It was a wonderful weekend. Interestingly, I have had a number of requests for DVD's of the weekend, from folks who really don't support us.
 I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to Seventies Patrick and  Jim for all the  work they did. God bless you both.
Joy Muir

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jesus Christ IS the Book of Mormon message

All are invited to a Book of Mormon event Sunday, September 19, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Graceland University Shaw Center Auditorium. The theme is: Jesus Christ IS the Book of Mormon message. The evening will feature songs, scriptures, and drama. The event is sponsored by the Graceland Book of Mormon club, the Community of Christ (Lamoni and Bloomington), the Church of Jesus Christ (Decatur City Branch, Mt Ayr Branch, and Lamoni), and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Osceola).

Ron Smith East Africa Trip

Seventy Ron Smith returned from a four week trip to East Africa on the 23 of August. He visited Rwanda at tje end of July, and then joined with Elder Doug Smith, Sister Karen Bates, and Seventy Frank Frye, along with local Priesthood from Kenya in a women's retreat in Oyugis, Kenya, August 7 - 10. There were over 80 in attendance. The next weekend they all held a youth retreat, also at Oyugis, August 13-16. There were over 120 participants. The following weekend Doug and Ron went to Mbale, Uganda for a Priesthood/Youth retreat, August 18-22. There were 84 registered attendees.