Sunday, June 29, 2014


Dear Family,

Our new housemates are here.  We drove up to Birmingham to meet the Sisters and show them the way to Camden.  We had not been to Transfer Meetings before.  WOW!  What a spiritual HIGH.  We drove up to the building and the whole front entry inside and out is filled with suitcases and stuff!  We went inside the door and the buzz of excitement was electrifying.  The Young Missionaries talking and laughing like they hadn’t seen each other in years.  Once we entered the chapel, excite4d chatter changed to an excited anticipation.  At this point, each Missionary just knew he/she was to be transferred to a new area, but they didn’t know where.  As we waited to start the meeting, President Hanks told us there had been a big accident on the freeway ( No injuries) but that two companionships had not yet arrived.  He asked that we sing some hymns while we waited.  Grandpa and I were sitting on the second row, just behind the NEW Missionaries that had just arrived the night before.  We started to sing, then Grandpa leaned over and said “Don’t sing...just listen”  What a beautiful heavenly choir of Missionaries.  We just sat there with tears rolling down our cheeks.  In this world were there is so much unhappiness and such unrest....and there we were with about 150 wonderful, happy young brothers and sisters in the Gospel.  It was so wonderful; I can’t even begin to explain. At one point in the meeting, the AP stands at the pulpit and on the screen behind him, he pulls up the pictures of the new companionships and announces where they will serve for the next 6 weeks.  In this quite room, the two names called, stand up and find each other with a hug and a strong pat on the back and move to their new seats together.   After a very powerful and motivating meeting, we have the final song and prayer and move outside to the parking lot.  It looks like a Stake Camping trip as the missionaries get all their gear, match up with their drivers and help each other pack BIG suitcases and all their other stuff into TOO small of cars....but every piece gets tugged, pulled and punched till everything is packed in.  Slowly the cars and vans leave the parking lot and TRANSFER is completed.  For 6 weeks.!   We will NOT miss another Transfer meeting while we are here....even though it is  2 ½ hours away.   
Our Sisters are terrific!  Sister Conant is from Bothel, Washington and Sister Houston is from Kaysville.  They are diligent and hard working.  Right this minute, they are in the other room singing a hymn before they start their planning meeting for tomorrow.  They went out tracting after we had our Sunday dinner and found a Lady and her son who want to hear more about the Gospel.  Saturday they had a wonderful experience with one of our less active couples.  The Camden Branch and the Town of Camden are blessed to have all of us here.   
Again, we thank you for keeping us posted with pictures and texts.  It was great to see Derek arrive home and watch as you each welcomed him.  We could feel of your love and excitement to see him.  Aunt Marilyn said his Homecoming was wonderful and how good it was to be there with family and friends.  We love you!!  Grandma and Grandpa

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Dear Family,

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

We Keep Working!

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Old Piano

Alabama’s weather is sort of like Oregon....”Wait a few days and it will change”. We have had gloriously sunny days, followed by dreary rainy days.   But talk about beautiful scenery.  There are so many shades of green and the foliage along the roadways is so green and dense, you can hardly see a home that is back off the road a bit.  Every place we drive is so scenic and beautiful.  We do quite a bit of driving....90 miles round trip for District Meeting once a week, 180 miles round trip for Zone Meeting  once a month and 240 miles round trip to the Temple once a month.  Our Branch members are quite spread out, most of them about 15 minutes away.  We are averaging 2,200 miles a month.  Lots of miles, and  lots of beauty......and wonderful members and missionaries to be with.
We had a wonderful trip to the temple yesterday.  If you recall, Edward ( our Trapper) had asked us to take him to the temple enough times that he felt confident and could relax and enjoy the spirit.  Yesterday we did the sealing for his wife’s grandparents.  His wife Darlene died from Cancer last October.  We were able to help him with getting all of their Temple work completed. He really enjoyed the day yesterday. 
We spent some time on Thursday with the Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Spect from Greenville. They complete their mission this Saturday.  We went over to Magnolia where there is a 100 year old LDS Church.  The Magnolia Church was dedicated June 21, 1914.  They won’t be here for the Centennial Celebration, so we took them over for a tour.  I will share more about that after the Celebration event.  I got to sit at the OLD piano and play a hymn; the piano had surprisingly good sound.  Check out the pictures.

It was a quiet week as far as anything to share with you, but Dad said “  We had a wonderful Testimony Meeting today, we have the best Gospel Doctrine Teacher in the Church AND we feel so loved by our Branch. “   I would add to that, “we feel so loved and supported by you, our loving family!”    Thank you for that, it means such a lot to us to know that you are there for us.  We hope you know our hearts are with you and love every picture, text, face book, and call.  Stay close to the Gospel and to each other!!  With much love, Grandma and Grandpa