Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 2010

Mission Message
    "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, no crying neither pain; for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

    While we teach and testify of the Atonement to as many people as we can, many of us do not actually apply it in our own lives to the extent that we should.
    In Alma 7:311-13, Alma tells us that "...the Savior will take upon Him their infirmities that His bowels may be filled with mercy...that He may to succor His people according to their infirmities." As I studied those words individually, I learned that the word infirmities refers not only to physical ailments, but also to weaknesses of will, character, faults and personal failings; and that succor means to rescue or help.
    So that, clearly, the Atonement applies directly to our weaknesses and failings as well as to our specific sins. The Savior does not care what our sins and failings have been. He only cares that we come unto Him and give Him our hearts and minds; that it be the desire of our hearts tserve and help those around us. He promises that as we do that, His atoning sacrifice will apply directly to each of us, even in our imperfections. He promises that He will make up the difference between where we are and where we need to be to magnify our missionary callings.
    It is my hope that we might pray with all the energy of our hearts to receive this specific testimony of the Atonement and apply it in our own lives, as well as teach it to others.
   The Lord loves us unconditionally, no matter our failings and weaknesses. We must come unto Him and open our hearts. He will help us do the rest. Of that I testify. President Nelson

First Presidency Message
    The following First Presidency Message is found in the introduction of Preach My Gospel, the manual used throughout the world by the Church as the official missionary teaching manual. The following is a message to the missionaries:
     Dear Fellow Missionary:
We compliment you on the great opportunity you have to be a missionary. There is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction.
    "Preach My Gospel" is intended to help you be a better-prepared, more spiritually mature missionary and a more persuasive teacher.
    We challenge you to rise to a anew sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work. Every missionary has an important role in helping "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
    The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His Children. (PMG, introduction)
    Every six weeks, a new group of missionaries arrive here from the Missionary Training Center. They are picked-up at the airport, generally have an hour or so to contact people on the street (to get their missions started properly), and brought to the mission home for dinner, orientation, a sit-down dinner and a "sleep-over." The next day they go to the mission office, 13 miles away, to meet their new companions. They are then sent out to their various areas. The "Arrivals" are as follows:
Elder Joshua Brimhal             Spanish                         
Elder Lenis Frandsen             English
Elder Nathan Gootee             English                           
Sister Killpack                      Spanish                         
Elder Carlos Mendoza            English                           
Elder Michael Mitchell            English                           
Elder Jacob Stewart              Spanish                          
Elder John Hone                   ASL (American Sign Language)

    That same day, the departing missionaries are brought to the mission home for dinner and another "sleep-over" (the mission home has five guest bedrooms--three of them full of bunk beds.)  Early the next morning, they all leave for the airport, except Elder and Sister Hess who drove home to Milad, Idaho.

Elder Andrew Bird                 English                 
Elder Rocky Chang                Mandarin               
Elder Brian Grow                  ASL                       
Sister Joan Heininge             Spanish                 
Elder John Jaech                   Spanish                                  
Elder Abel Johnson               Spanish                  
Elder Kalumbi                      English
Sister Crystal Kevan             English                  
Elder Timothy Law                Cantonese               
Elder Alan Lee                      Spanish                 
Elder Hank Lee                     Korean                   
Elder Justin Maughan             English                 
Elder Thomas Patton             English                   
Elder George Redden             English                 
Elder and Sister Hess, Office
Missionary Couples
    "Along with the need for young elders and sister, there is a growing need for couples in the mission field. Older married couples are doing a wonderful work in the mission. Many more are needed... With a increasing number of people retiring while they are still possessed of health and vitality, there are many who can fill a tremendous need in the work of the Lord.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
    Elder and Sister Hess returned home this month after serving in the Mission Office for 1 1/2 years. Elder Hess managed the finances and Sister Hess managed the front office. In the NY New York South Mission, there are currently eight senior couples. Their services are invaluable.
Areas. There are many types of senior couple missions offered in the Church. Some of them are:
Leadership and Member Support

Visitors Center
Family History
Public Relations
Humanitarian Services
Welfare Services
Farm Management
Church Security
Temple and Project Construction
   Time. A couple specifies the length of time they are available to serve (Elder and Sister Hess had a 1 1/2 year mission). A couple may also indicate where they would like to serve, although the Church makes the final decision.
They finance their own mission. 
Elder and Sister Baum arrived safely in New York from Oregon after driving cross country through snowstorms in poor visibility conditions. They had to stay over two nights in Nebraska. They took the place of the Hess' in the office. We're excited to have them in our mission.

Mission Workshops
     Elders Chang, Law, and Redden, affectionately referred to as "the Three Guapos" extended their missions for two weeks so they could pilot a new mission program. As a trio, they went around to three districts per day presenting workshops to the missionaries. The workshops will be based on Preach my Gospel--the Church's missionary guide.
     The topics of the workshops were (a) Finding (b) Planning and (c) Teahing. Each district chose two of the three to participate in.
     Elders Chang, Law and Redden stayed at the mission home with President and Sister Nelson for two weeks until their return home.
     Note. Elder Grow will be extending his mission to train a New American Sign Language elder, Elder Hone.

Convert Spotlight
One good thing leads to another. This is what happened with the Bahadur family. The "Williams' Fearlaess Threesome" (Elder and Sister Williams, who are a senior couple and their daughter Kimberly), were searching out less-
active members. They visited Winston Downer. At the appointment, they met his son-in-law Richard Bahadur and grandchildren of Richard Bahadur. They are from Guyana. One visit led to several teaching appointments, blessings for healing, baptisms, reactivation, and friendships. The Bahadurs are fine people and a great addition to the Jamaica 1st Ward. They were baptized on Valentines Day. A wonderful holiday to remember sharing love; but of utmost importance is sharing Christ's love for us by sharing His gospel. The Williams
Haitian Members 
     The above is a picture of some of the sisters in our Midwood Ward in Brooklyn. A large portion of the members in this ward are from Haiti. (The main languages spoken by the Haitian people are Creole, French, and English.)

     The news of the terrible earthquake in their country his them very hard. For some, it took a number of days/weeks before they could get any information on their family and friends. 

     In the nation of Haiti (9 million people), the Church is relatively small. There are two stakes and a few districts. Twenty members died in the quake. Meanwhile, some 4,000 people of all religions spent their nights at the half-dozen meetinghouses located in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
     One person said, "While much of the decimated city remained on edge a week after the disaster, the crowded meetinghouse grounds were refuges  of peace and calm."
     In the days following the quake, the Church shipped tens of thousands of pounds of relief supplies from the United States to Haiti. In addition, Church-sponsored trucks laden with food, medical supplies, and other items traveled from the Dominican Republic to its sister nation of Haiti.
     Also, a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in Haiti on January 20. The Comfort generally partners with nongovernment organizations such as the Church to provide professional services in times of dire need. "The Church were partners with us on our last mission, said Navy Cmdr. Mark Marino through the American Forces  Press Service. "They have orthopedic surgeons, emergency surgeons, general surgeons, pediatric, all the specialties in nursing, as well as ancillary services and respiratory technicians. And they are willing to jump in and they've got people standing by."
LDS Church News--Haiti Earthquake, Jan 23, 2010, Deseret News

Long Island Towns
Far Rockaways
Great Kills*
*Great Kills is a neighborhood located in the borough of Staten Island. Kill is an archaic Dutch word with various translations, including "creek" and channel." Actually, many small streams dot the neighborhood, and the name can be interpreted as meaning that a great number of such streams can be found there. The area was settled by the Dutch in the 1600s.
*Gravesend is pronounced Graves-end.

About Our Slide Show. When president Nelson was called to this mission, he asked Sister Nelson to create a mission blog for missionary parents, families and friends. The purpose was to help them learn more about our mission on an ongoing basis.

      As a Christmas present to the missionaries, they sent their slides in and a slide show was made. It is 25 minutes long. We distributed it in our March zone conference. There was an effort to include everybody. We will do the same for Christmas this year. As a part of our mission blog, we will include a short slideshow, but we will not attempt to include everybody. The principle purpose is to share information with family and friends.
     Elders Norman and Nielsen, two of our great missionaries have helped put together some of our mission slideshows. Some of the quotes used in the slideshows come from Elder Norman's collection the Ensign. He has all the copies dating from 1989. He said that he has probably read each one of them 40 or more times.
Note. Some of the hand signs are the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for I love you.
Click Here to view the slideshow!

The Metropolis TV news clip, on things single people do in different parts of the world, has been completed (see January 2010 Blog). To view, click on Metropolis. To view the mission slideshow, click on PhotatoBug.