Monday, May 14, 2012


We held a DEPARTING FIRESIDE on April 8, 2012.  This was a wonderful evening. 
We have 8 departing missionaries.  They are:  Elders Sjon Johnson, Odenwalder, Smallcomb, 
and Mower,  Sisters Hardt and Vaitai and Elder and Sister Carrier.
Each of them bore a beautiful testimony to the audience and shared their great love for their missions
and for the members, converts and investigators.  
We invited 2 new converts to share their testimonies.  Tom Forrest told of his long journey to join the church.  He was first introduced to the church in 1985 when 2 elders in Taiwan gave him a Book of Mormon, when he had invited any Americans living there to a Thanksgiving dinner. He said he kept the "book" during every move he made.  He said he knows the book is true and that it "has changed me".   Then Patricia Ortiz shared her
touching story of conversion to the gospel. She was only confirmed today and said she felt it was an honor to speak.  She said the missionaries who came are the "light of my life". She said they touched her son and helped him to become obedient and respectful.  
She said one day "my heart just changed.  I just needed to open my heart and then the changes started.
She said when we teach our kids the ways of God they will not fall apart when they grow up.  She told how she had experienced a lot of pain and reading this book had helped to remove the pain.  Her brother had been murdered over a pair of tennis shoes and she now knew "that I can insure his life thru baptism- I know prayer heals the most broken heart. The Book of Mormon has answered all my questions about life.  I was broken and now I don't recognize that person any more".
What a beautiful testimony.  I was so incredibly touched.

Sister Cynthia Crocket played a beautiful piano solo.

Sisters Vaitai and Patten

Elder Tacaki is our incredible accompianist.

Sister Vaitai with a wonderful family.  This gentleman, Ollie Cantos has taken these 3 
young men, who are triplets and helped them in so many ways.  He has introduced them to 
the gospel and they love it.  
All three of them are blind.  They are just so sweet and it was a blessing to visit with them and feel their 
spirits.  They are Nick, Leo, and Steven.

Sister Caramello and Zimmer from the Burke Ward

Sister Smith, the Carriers, Sisters Taylor, Newman, Moya and Ganbaatar

Elders Sjon Johnson and Odenwalder

Elders Ayala, Harper, Sister Murray, Elder Mower, Aland, and Hussey

Elders Juengling, Mngoma, Smallcomb, Calvert, Aker, and Dastrup

Elders Hill and Tanner Wilson with Nancy 

The Mullins family - extrodinar

Sisters Patten and Vaitai

Sister Hardt and all of her Spanish fans.

Sister Caramello and Vaitai

Elders Calvert and Naylor

Our wonderful new convert speaker, Patricia and her son.

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