Woodbridge Stake Engages with Local Muslim Leaders

Representatives of the Woodbridge Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended a Ramadan dinner at the Dar Alnoor Islamic Community Center in Manassas on June 14, 2016.

The gathering brought together a number of different religious faiths, faith based coalitions, community leaders, and government officials during the sacred month for Muslims of Ramadan.

Ian Houston, Woodbridge Stake Director of Public Affairs said, “It was an honor to participate and be so graciously welcomed by our Muslim neighbors and friends and we look forward to continuing to deepen the partnership.”

Mormons and Muslims regularly work together to support family and religious freedom issues. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a long-time partner with Muslim charitable organizations like International Islamic Relief Organization.

Ian Houston and Imam Jemal

Ian Houston and Imam Jemal

A Story of a Journey

By Camille Kerr

“What started as a chat on the doorstep with the two sweet Sister Missionaries became our story,” remembers Christina Leasure Ferrell, a member of the Quantico Ward, in the Woodbridge Stake.

“My fiancé came home after a long, hard day while I was chatting with the Sisters,” explained Christina, but that initial contact with the missionaries must be seen through her then fiancés eyes.

Curtis Ferrell told his side of the story.  “I was tired and had just stopped by the grocery store and was really in no mood to talk to anyone, especially missionaries. After I parked in the driveway, I took in part of the groceries through the garage and then came back out through the front door. The sister missionaries picked up very quickly that I did not want them there, so they prepared to leave, but as I went back out to the truck one of the sisters asked me, “Can we help you with your groceries?” I was astonished and could not believe what I’d heard – especially after the day I had just had… My demeanor immediately changed and I said to her, ‘No thank you, but that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day.’  We then spoke for a few minutes and they asked if they could come back sometime. I said of course. ”

“This began our journey to being married and baptized all in a weekend!”  said Christina.  The sister missionaries, Sister Natalie Seegmiller and Sister Macee Armstrong and later Sister Kaitlyn Johns, began visiting them regularly and teaching them about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the message of the restoration and the commandments and ordinances of the gospel.

Christina said, “My testimony is more of a journey than a single event. Through many specific prayers asking Heavenly Father to let me know if the Book of Mormon was true, if Joseph Smith really was a Prophet of God, and if this Church was the right thing for me, I just started to feel like what I was doing was what I should be doing and where I should be focusing my life – on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

Curtis recalls, “The more we read The Book of Mormon, the more we came to know this church is true. A few months later we were married on a Friday (after being engaged for several years), then baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. I’m so very grateful for our missionaries and all of the peace and joy they have brought into my life.” On that life changing weekend of February 6, 2015 they stepped onto the path of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Curtis and Christina Ferrell at their wedding on February 6, 2015

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Curtis and Christina Ferrell with Sisters Seegmiller, Johns and Armstrong

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The Ferrell’s baptism on February 7, 2015 with Sisters Seegmiller, Johns and Armstrong

They were immediately put to work in callings which helped them learn and grow in the gospel.  Christina served on the committee for the midweek Relief Society meetings and then as the secretary for the Primary, the young children’s program.  Curtis served first as the Assistant Ward Mission Leader and then later he was called to be the Ward Mission Leader.  Christina said, “We help each other with our callings. We often join the missionaries in lessons with people learning about the church. We love to have the missionaries over for dinner as it brings such a wonderful spirit into our home!”

A year later on February 11, 2016 Natalie Seegmiller and Kaitlyn Johns were blessed to be able to come back and be a part of the Ferrell’s journey again as Curtis and Christina went to the Washington, D.C. temple to receive their endowments.  Two days later on a frigid Saturday, February 13, 2016 they were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple, adding even more joy and lengthening their journey together.

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February 13, 2016 at the Washington, D.C. temple

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Kaitlyn Johns and Natalie Seegmiller sharing in the joy of the temple with Curtis and Christina Ferrell

Woodbridge Stake Camporee 2016

Story by Patrick Wells

Campers began arriving on the 23rd of March to BSA Camp Snyder.  There was a total of about 60 campers including adults and youth.

The goal of the Camporee was to give the scouters a chance to learn about mass casualty triaging and treatment.  We were fortunate to have some of Prince William Counties experts provide the training.

Training included: Incident Command systems, How to triage, and first aid including treating burns, transporting of the injured, cardio pulmonary resuscitation and open wound care with tourniquets.

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Scouts were given a short primer on how to be good victims in preparation for the afternoon events.

Two mock mass casualty events were conducted. Scouts were judged on their use of the morning training and leadership uses of the incident command system.

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The night ended with a cooking contest and message from President Price on the importance of the scouting as it helps with missionary preparation and priesthood efforts.