Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tim's Baptism

Today we had the privilege to see another baptism in the Chapin Branch.  We have been so impressed with this man.  He bore his testimony after the baptism.  He said the God has been trying to get into his life for 23 years, but he managed to shut Him out.  He had no interest in religion.  He said that the missionaries had contacted him probably 20 times and he told them he didn't want to hear their message.  But then, Two elders stopped by and offered him their service.  They asked for nothing in return and that simple act touched his heart.  At that time, they asked again if they could teach him and he agreed.  He said that as they taught, and as his studied and read the Book of Mormon, he knew that what they were teaching him was true.  He's had a great desire to be baptized.  He expressed his appreciation to the members of the Branch who have been so helpful to him and so welcoming.  He wants to lead out in his family.  His wife and their son and also an older son and daughter were at the baptism.  I wouldn't  be surprised if his wife soon follows him into the waters of baptism.  He would love that, but he's not going to push.  I heard him telling someone last week that she had picked up the Book of Mormon and started reading it.  He said, "I didn't even ask her to read."  He was very pleased.

Elder Arnoldsen, Tim, Elder Weston

Friday, August 29, 2014

Why Do We Preach and Teach???

At Zone Conference today, this quote from Elder Oaks stuck out to me...

"We do not preach and teach in order to 'bring people into the Church' or to increase the membership of the Church.  We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives...We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God.  NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THIS!"

Another quote I liked was from one of the missionaries.  He said that an older gentleman in his ward told him, "I strive for spiritual progression, not spiritual perfection."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dinner at the Bass's

The Basses invited us to dinner on Sunday but we couldn't come becaust we were feeding missionaries.  Lucky for us, they invited us on Wednesday.!  We were there with the Duvalls and the Roberts.  What a delightful evening!  Stayed out long past our bedtime, but it was such a good time.

Corryn Bass is from South Africa and she has this amazing British accent!  I could listen to her for hours!  Her husband, Allison, was widowed and Corryn was a single mom with five children.  A mutual acquaintance lined the two up and they have been married a little over a year.  What a beautiful, loving couple!

Corryn and Allison Bass

I had to get a pic of the serving spoon!  It has such a great feel, and the handle is very unique!
I wasn't at all surprised when Sister Bass told me it was a wart hog tusk.  She said, "Think Pumba!"  :o)

Before dinner we sat at a table in the kitchen while Corryn finished up with dinner.  Allison did clean-up and loaded the dishwasher.  They served us crackers with cream cheese.  One block of cheese had a sweet pepper sauce drizzled over the top and the other had a fresh salsa.

Then we moved into the dining room.  The table was set beautifully!  We had spinach, strawberry and citrus salad, lamb curry served with rice, chutney, ba-naw-nas, and finely shredded, unsweetened coconut.  Corryn did a demo of how to build the dish.  I WISH I had recorded her!  I love her beautiful accent and she is just so CUTE!  And she's a great cook!  For those who didn't like curry, she also make chicken a la king!  I didn't taste that, but it looked delicious!  She had nan from Trader Joes, which was also yummy.  

After dinner, we broke to the living room where the rest of us visited while Corryn made melktert and custard for dessert.  I had never eaten it before, but it was delicious!  It is another South African dish.  She made it from scratch while we heard the story of their meeting and courtship from Allison's perspective.  Delightful!

We talked and talked, ate dessert and talked some more.  Corryn asked Sister Roberts to relate her (their ) conversion story, which she did.  I had heard it all before,and have actually written it in this blog but I forgot one part of it.  When Mary was first beginning to investigate the church, she kept praying that God would show her the way she should go.  She also kept saying (aloud), "Joseph, show me the way."  She had no idea who Joseph was or why she would be saying that.  She prayed, asking God, "Who is this Joseph?"  She later found out as she opened a book the SLC Sisters had sent to her and there was a photo of Joseph Smith inside of it.:o)

Our neighbor is on-date!

The Irmo Sisters were telling us Sunday that they've been teaching an Asian man who lives right next to us in Paces Brook.  When we saw them last night, they said they were so excited, because they had asked him if he would like to be baptized, and he accepted!  He is now on date!  We need to find out when so we can be sure to attend his baptism.

Dutch Fork/Lexington Exchange Miracle

So, Sister Bowman went on exchanges with one of the Lexington Sisters yesterday.  They stopped in to visit a woman who had been investigating for quite a while - still showing an interest, but not progressing very quickly.  When they had been there before to teach, the woman's husband never came in the room and showed NO INTEREST at all in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Yesterday, however, when the Sisters knocked on the door, the husband answered and he was beaming!  He said, "Come on in!  We've been waiting for you!  I went on the internet last night to find out about the Mormons and... "  (At this point the Sisters were thinking, "Oh no!"  They thought maybe he had gotten into anti-Mormon stuff online.)  But the man finished, "I was up till midnight listening to videos on!"  He loved what he heard and is ready to learn it all, "right now!" The Sisters told him that they would start teaching him along with his wife, but he said, "I want to learn it all right now!"

Happy Sisters!  They were remarking last night now often miracles happen when they are on exchanges.  Actually, there are plenty of miracles going on every day in the mission.  The Lord is in charge here.  :o)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Relief - Sharing God's Love - Irmo Church

We had seen signs all over Irmo for a Summer Relief Music Festival.  It went from 2-8 PM on Saturday.  It was bloody hot in the early afternoon, so we decided to wait until 6:30 to go over.  I had checked out the bands, and the last one, which started at 6:30 appeared to be the best.  It was very good - very loud, but good.  We stayed till the end of the show.  There was a pretty good crowd of people there, even on a hot summer night.
The Root Doctors - Pretty good band!

I took a selfie to show the crowd at the concert.
I don't think that lady behind us wanted to be in the pic.  Haha!

Time for Sister Barlow

Some of the Sisters from the Chapin Branch met at El Pablanos for lunch today to say goodbye to Sister Barlow.  She leaves the mission in 8 days and will only be at church one more time.  We had a pretty good turnout - about 16 of us there, including Sister Billin and Sister Griffiths.
Sisters Smith, Major, me, Ivie, Barlow, Cash, Maynard, Lee, Jacobs, Gardner, Frowfelter, Griffiths and Billin.
Sister Kubic stopped in and a couple of the kids were also there.  

We took Sister B. to the Farmer's Shed tonight.  I'm glad we did.  She's wanted to go there for a long time.
She bought a cute t-shirt that says, "I was fed at the shed."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Chapin Baptism!

The Elders' investigator, Tim, will be getting baptized next Saturday.  I am so impressed with this man.  He has been to church at the branch 4 times now, and I can see a difference in his countenance every time he comes.  He missed a couple of weeks because he was on vacation in FL, but he went to church both Sundays he was down there.  When he got back, he called the Elders and said, "I'm ready to get baptized!  What do we have to do to make this happen?"  They ended up teaching him 3-4 nights in a row this past week to get all the lessons in, and he is ready to go.  We will NOT miss that baptism!  He kind of bore us his testimony in Sunday School class today, telling us how the gospel has totally changed his outlook on life.  It is very apparent!  He will be a strong member, and his wife, I don't think, will be far behind him.  They have a son too, but I'm not sure how old he is - maybe not eight yet, so he'll have to wait a while...but then, his Dad will be able to baptize him!  I expect that Tim will also be baptizing his wife.  :o)

Last Supper with Sister Barlow's Crew

Sister Derrick will be going home in three weeks.  Today was the last time we'll have her here for supper with us.  She is a darling missionary.  We will miss her!  So glad we got to know her a little better before she leaves.

Sister Derrick with Jack and me

 The Barlow Sisters - Sister Bowman, Sister Daniels, Sister Derrick and Sister Clark

Sister Derrick and Sister Clark (the hip popper and chin dropper)  :o)

Guided by the Spirit Again

This afternoon I had an hour to "kill" before I had to prepare the finishing parts of supper for the Sisters.  I came into the computer, of course, and started to log into FaceBook.  I was prompted to go to Referrals first and see if there were any new names of people who needed to be assigned to missionary areas.  I pulled up referrals and, as always, it went to the first page.  No referrals.  I just knew that there was something there for me, or I wouldn't have felt such a strong prompting to check referrals, so I went to the second page.  Sure enough!  There were two names of people who had requested missionary visits clear back on August 6th.  I have no idea why they took so long to show up in referrals!  One was a woman in Conway and the other was a soldier from Camp LeJeune in the Myrtle Beach area.   I assigned them and sent the cell phone texts out to the missionaries.  I know that the Spirit guided me today.  Every soul is important to Heavenly Father.  He wants us all to return to Him.  :o)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sister Barlow's Farewell Dinner with the Office Staff

It has been a great year with Sister Barlow.  What a blessing she has been to us in the office!  She has helped me so much with the Harvester.  I kind of toss things together and take it in to her and together we work and giggle and work some more to get it "perfected" and ready to go out to the missionaries.  We have had such a great time working together that I'm sure the others in the office a skeptical, wondering if we really ARE working together!  :o)  We will miss Sister Barlow!

Dinner at Bone Fish Grill
l-r Me, Sister Munson, Sister Barton, Sister Barlow, Elder Larsen, Sister Larsen and Jack

Feeding the Greenville Spanish Elders

Elder Parker and Elder Whitchurch stopped at the office for some media after a doctor appointment.  It just happened to be lunchtime, so...

We went to Zaxby's!

Frogmore Stew

I found out after arriving in South Carolina that Frogmore Stew, aka Low Country Boil or Shrimp Boil, originated here.  There is actually a town called Frogmore, SC.  We decided we should serve it to the missionaries, so that's what we did last Sunday for supper...

Sister Roundy and Sister Clemons joined us Sunday, August 17th for Frogmore Stew.

Monday, August 18, 2014

West Columbia Sisters' Miracle

Sister Hart and Sister Johnson had been working with a couple who could not be baptized because they were not living the Law of Chasity.  They wanted to get married, but could not because the woman’s previous husband refused to sign divorce papers.  The Sisters decided the family needed some help. They sent a prayer request out to the mission, and then they fasted and prayed that the woman’s ex-husband’s heart would be softened and he would sign the papers.  The two Sisters had been thinking a lot about this woman and her family.  They knew that it would be good for her to move out of the place where she and her three children lived because it was a bad environment.  They also felt that the ward members needed to fellowship them more.  They fasted and prayed for all those things.  Their fast was on a Sunday.  That evening, just after they broke their fast, the woman’s ex sent her an email.  He told her that he would not only sign the divorce papers, but that he would also sign custody of the children over to her and her fiancĂ©.  The sisters were unaware of the email until they visited with the family the next day.  When they arrived at their home,  they found out about the email, and they also found out that the landlord had evicted the woman and her children that morning.  They had to move out that afternoon.  Ward members were rallying around them.  They got a hotel for them to stay in until they could find another apartment, they brought meals to the family and they have been trying to find her fiancĂ© a job.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Profile of a Prophet - Hugh B. Brown

On Christmas of last year, Elder and Sister Fenton gave us a CD of Hugh B. Brown's BYU speech, given in 1975.  I had never heard it before, but really enjoyed listening to it.  I love listening to President Brown's voice.  He was an attorney by profession and was from Canada.

The Prophet Joseph Smith

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing,  but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."  Amos 3:7

Here is a link to High B. Brown's speech...

Although President Brown's comments are based on the logic of an attorney, our testimonies, His and mine, are not based on logic, but a sure witness by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Greenville Zone Saturday - Laurens, Greenville, Easley, Liberty, Clemson, Seneca, Walhalla, and Boiling Springs

When the Fentons were here, they told us about Isaqueena Falls and Stumphouse Tunnel up in the Greenville Zone, so we decided to go on our p-day.Our first stop was in Laurens.  We dropped off a box of weights that Elder Burk had had delivered to the office.  The box weighed 117 pounds!

Elder Webb and Elder Burk toted the box into the house.  They're developing muscles already!

Nathan and Justin were two young men from the ward that were serving "mini-missions"
with Elder Webb and Elder Burk on Saturday.

Costco in Greenville is one of only two in the State of South Carolina! 
No Costco in Columbia!  We've missed it since we've been out here!

I saw the display of Chicken Jerky and thought we had a find!  Unfortunately, it was the same kind of chicken  jerky my dad had bought in Kamas, UT on the way to the Uintas a few years ago.  Only that jerky was Atta Boy brand. My sister, Dena, LOVED it!  Hahaha!

On the drive up to the falls and the tunnel, we passed through some of the most beautiful parts of the state, in my opinion!  Easley, Liberty, Clemson, Seneca and Walhalla - loved them all!

A small stream by Isaqueena Falls

Looking refreshed

The trail to the falls

We could barely see the falls through the trees - but we could hear it, 
and it sounded so refreshing on a hot summer's day!

At the head of the falls

Looking down the trail that went up to the Stumphouse Tunnel

The entrance of the tunnel

Just outside the tunnel 

Inside the tunnel.  I lightened the photo a bit so it shows the texture of the tunnel walls.

We waled about a quarter mile back into the tunnel, till they had it gated off.  
It was very dark and we only had a small flashlight in our vehicle.  

At the mouth of the tunnel - the light is lousy in this pic, but oh well, it's all we've got.  :o)

Beautiful clapboard church in Easley

Tiger paw prints on the drive into Clemson University

Football stadium at Clemson

Full view of stadium

Baseball stadium entrance

Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Beautiful campus at Clemson University

Tillman Hall

Drive-by of the BMW Plant in Greenville, SC

Spartanburg 3rd East and West Spanish
These Elders have a lot of fun!!!

The Elders and some of the branch members sang Army of Helaman

Branch Mission Leader solo

The Elders song and dance - they were great!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dispelling Myths about Mormons :o)

When Mike Landrum and his daughter met the two girls from SC, they were exchanging pins at the National History Day Competition.  He noticed the girls' southern accents and asked where they were from.  They told him they were from South Carolina.  They then asked Mike and his daughter where they lived.  Mike said, "We're from Idaho.  We live in a little town about half way between Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.  The mother of one of the girls spoke up, "Salt Lake City!  That's the place I've warned you about!  That's where the Mormons live!"

Mike laughed.  He had gone to Kentucky on his mission, and was familiar with the feelings of those who live in the Bible Belt toward " The Mormons."  He said, "Well, you know, there are a lot of Mormons who live in Idaho too, and we are two of them."  He didn't describe the mother's reaction, but he did tell the girls to come and feel his head.  "See?  No horns!"  They all laughed!

He asked the mother what she knew about the Mormons.  Why did she think they were bad and should be avoided?  He said she just sat there and didn't say a word.  Mike and his daughter talked with the girls and their parents for an hour and a half - mostly about the church.  They answered a lot of questions, and dispelled a lot of rumors and myths  During the rest of the week, the girls hung out with his daughter and invited her to join them in several activities.  When they all returned home, they became FaceBook Friends.

The Landrums now want to share the Book of Mormon with the girls from South Carolina and their families, and they want to send them care packages.  They asked if it would be okay if the packages are delivered by missionaries in their area and the girls and their parents agreed.

We will be working with the Landrums in their missionary efforts.  I am referral secretary in the mission, so it will be my job to find out who the missionaries are and how best to get the packages to them for delivery.  :o)

Small, Small World!

A member from Idaho called the office today with two referrals.  He and his daughter had met a couple of girls from SC at a National History High School Competition in DC. The girls expressed some interest in the church, so the family in ID is sending them each care packages that will be delivered by the missionaries in their area.  As he finished telling me his story, I commented on his last name - Landrum.

Me:  I knew a Landrum in UT, but you're in ID, right?
Bro. Landrum:  What was his name?
Me:  Mike Landrum
Bro. Landrum:  I'm Mike! don't happen to be related to Bryan Arrington, do you?
Me:  Yep - I'm his mom.

Small, small world!  Mike Landrum used to live in Plain City and was good friends with Bryan.  He played basketball in the mornings at the church gym with Bryan and our Mike.  It was great fun talking with him about his and his daughter's missionary experience.

APs August 2014 - AKA Life Savers!!!

These two young Elders have truly been life savers for our new mission president!  He has given them so much responsibility this last 6 weeks, since the transition from one president to another!  They have pretty much worked their tails off!  In fact,  they probably haven't had a real P-Day this whole last transfer.  So, President Turner told them yesterday, "You two take a P-Day tomorrow.  I don't want you going to the office.  Go have some fun!

Around 10 AM they came walking in - wearing their play clothes.  They said, "This feels really weird!"  :o)  They borrowed some clubs from a member in the Irmo Ward and went golfing over in Chapin.  I think they had fun.  We saw them at the office again tonight when we went down to clean.  They were back in their suits and back to work.

We LOVE these two Elders!  I would adopt them both in a heartbeat!  I think they both complete their missions before we go home.  Sending them home is going to be HARD!

Sister Barlow snapped this great shot of Elder Willie and Elder Muir outside the SC Temple Wednesday night.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these two Elders!