Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

By Greg:

For one week only, the Church has a short clip entitled "Because of Him" on  You can access it on We have been asked to add this to our social media and share it with our friends.  Please look at this and ponder the message. In a way, this is a test of the power of social media for good.  We encourage everyone to participate.  As many missionaries do not have access to social media (some do, but our missionaries do not, yet) the power of this effort rests with members, all of us.  Come join the ranks!

It is a cool, stormy Sunday here in Missouri.  Today is Palm Sunday.  This is the date Christians remember Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem where the children sang praises to him.  Sadly, by Friday, many of the adults were also crying, "Crucify Him!" This is our second Easter as missionaries.

We know that with the help of Jesus Christ, we really can weather any storm.

We loved conference.  We could have done without the several references to tornados, however.  There have been reports of several around here already.  One was in Trenton, Missouri, a little town we have been to several times.  Our dear Elder Allred, also from Hooper, was just recently transferred out of Trenton. All missionaries are safe.

We have our 72 hour kits ready, and all of the missionaries know what to do in case the sirens go off.

This week we sent 3 of our "Visa Waiters" off to their fields of labor in Brazil and India.  We took them to the airport. 

It is fun to see somewhat experienced Elders and Sisters looking forward to additional challenges.  Two of the Elders were going to Brazil. They were Elders Zeitner and Hanley, both from the same town in Wyoming. They are friends, were called to the same mission, went to the MTC together, and came here as Visa Waiters.  We met Elder Zeitner midway so he is not in the picture.  The other three Elders are the Assistants to the President.  Right now, he has 3 assistants.  The mission is so huge, he needs additional help.

We are so happy to see the world around us come back to life.  In just a week things have really changed. 

 They are turning on many of the fountains and the trees have flowers.  This is amazing.  It is a perfect illustration of the rebirth that comes as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which we are so grateful for, and for which we are his witnesses.

Here are a few pictures of the trees:

By Debi

This is the Historic Stone Church, which has been the "pulpit" of the President of the RLDS
Greg and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a concert in this beautiful RLDS Stone Church.  This is the first building the RLDS built when they came back to Independence, Missouri.  It is right across the street from their Temple.  

This picture is off the internet so it is not really clear, but it will give you some perspective
A combined choir and musicians presented Handel's Messiah this last weekend for two nights.  We had to have tickets but it was free.  We were so excited to go because of the significance of Easter and also because we wanted to see the interior of this magnificent building.  We were not disappointed

The building has amazing stain glassed windows. We arrived just before sunset and the light was shinning direct through the windows.

The ceiling is beautifully carved wood beams that have really been preserved through the years.

The organ is very impressive with all of its pipes.  Of course, it isn't as large as our Tabernacle organ but it still is powerful.

The building itself was very similar to a mini tabernacle.  The balcony wraps around the room with columns below holding it up.  

We loved the building and its very interesting history.

I wasn't sure what to expect of this performance of Handel's Messiah with local artists but it was a magnificent production.  The musicians were professional and all of the soloists are graduates in vocal performance and have performed around the country and some even in Europe.  We were very impressed.

As we contemplated the beautiful scriptures that are the text for this production we felt the spirit and knew that these scriptures are truly prophetic and have been fulfilled.  It also reminded us of our decision to follow the Messiah and to believe in Him and in His atonement and resurrection.

As Handel was finishing the composition he said in complete exhaustion "I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself".  Music can come as inspiration and I am sure Handel was truly inspired. Many think of the "Messiah" as a Christmas production but actually Handel produced it many times at the Easter season.  In fact, the last performance that Handel directed was on April 6 and he died 10 days later.  He wanted to die on Palm Sunday which is today.  He came very close to his wish.

Greg and I were both touched by the spirit and I am sure many others through the years have also felt the spirit.

PS by Greg:

The fountain had some really cool statues that I thought my grrandkids might like:

Here an Indian is fighting a male mermaid

Now he is fighting an alligator

While the battle is raging, the children are playing with the fish!

Then he even has to fight a bear

I hope you liked these.

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