Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Wednesday we went up to Birmingham to the Mission Home for the Senior Couples Luncheon. The first thing when we walked in the door President Hanks said “Elder and Sister Hepworth will you come in my office?” Your mind reels as to what to expect. Then he says, “How would you like Sister Missionaries in Camden? " Ofr course, it will be such a great blessing for the Branch and for us. They will be coming with this next transfer which is this Wednesday. We don’t have an apartment or house for them yet, but one of the members will have a darling little rental home ready for them on July 4th. So we are moving our things around so they can live with us for that time. I asked if there were any instructions for us and he said, just love them like their parents. So we will keep you posted on our new “room mates”.
Yesterday we attended the 100 year Celebration of the Magnolia Chapel. It was dedicated June 21, 1914 by President Charles A. Callis. President Callis served as the President of the Southern States Mission for 30 years prior to becoming a Member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1933. It was a most special event and we felt so blessed to be in attendance. It was a most sacred experience to be on that spot where so many early “pioneers” joined the church and set to work to build a House of Worship.
Our first connection to Magnolia was the day we moved in. Elder Morgan and Elder Cusik came over from Magnolia to help us move in. The town of Magnolia is 35 miles from Camden, so it was a bit of a trip just to help us. They brought with them some homemade rolls and they were so good. They told us they live in the home of Brenda and James (Butch) Martin and that Miss Brenda cooks all the meals and the rolls are a regular. I sent her a thank you note and asked for the recipe. It is one of my first treasures to bring home with me.The Magnolia branch is small and the Saints look so forward to seeing other members of the Church, so we have gone over several times to visit. We have been in the little church: watched a couple of young Elders pull the bell rope to ring the bell all over the country side, stood at the Pulpit built by one of the early Elders with his name and date written on the inside, and I have played the 100 year old piano It is the same kind of feeling as you feel when you go into the Tabernacle.....the faith, the courage and devotion of the early church members and what a legacy they have left for us. We are so grateful for this faith promoting experience and many others that we have had while here in Camden. Thanks you again for the love and support we feel from each of you. We love our family so much and are so grateful that we have the knowledge that our family can be together forever. Love and prayers, Grandma and Grandpa
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Our work here in Camden continues slowly, but it is moving forward. We have decided to extend our Mission Call and will ask for a release date of April 13, 2015. It sounds so far away, but when we look at our less active friends and our hopes for them, it will take all the time, love and prayers we can give. We had a wonderful evening with one family and were invited back again. We taught lesson 4 of the Temple Preparation class to our dear Sister Kay. She was in-active for 18 years, but she self-activated last September. About 5 years ago she started doing Family History and she has been all over Alabama to cities and cemeteries and distant families to gather names, pictures and family stories. She is so happy in her faith and testimony and she shares it with all of us. I just got a text from another dear friend Leah, who too is numbered with the less actives. We had been over to their home earlier and no one was home. She texted us to tell us she was over at the Methodist Church setting up for their Bible School and would we like to come over and see how they have decorated. Of course we went over. So many darling things. They had mini slinkees hanging from the ceiling, boxes wrapped with plain colored paper and same colored paper plates to make Legos. They were stacked all over the halls and foyers. Leah is teaching the Bible study class and she also had Legos on the walls and questions for the children to look up and learn. We met one of the other members and she recognized us from our walks. She also thanked us for coming over to see what they had all done. Leah’s two children were so excited that we came and they ushered us around to see everything. There is a special feeling between Leah and myself and I am sure it is from our Heavenly Father. We have come to love their family and I think they have come to love us too.
We may not accomplish all that we have in our hearts to do, but we are planting and trying to nourish seeds that will let them feel the testimonies they once had. These experiences have reinforced in us how thankful we are for our understanding of the Gospel and especially the Plan of Salvation. That there is more to this life, than just what the world is offering. Please stay close to the Church and to each other. Attend the Temple as often as you can and say your prayers. We LOVE YOU!! Love grandma and grandpa
PS read June Ensign p.63