Light the World

If you haven’t had a chance to see the newest video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, take a couple of minutes to watch it.  And then share it!  There are so many ways to share it:  email, Facebook, Twitter, texting, word of mouth.  If each member of our stake shared this video, we could be reaching hundreds of thousands of people.  Imagine that many people finding ways to serve each other.  We could spread Christ’s love and light throughout the world.  That is missionary work at it’s finest!

Please share what service you are planning for this Christmas season. Email woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com.  We would love to post your stories.

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Share the Light, Light the World!

By Camille Kerr, Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge Stake Public Affairs Council

In October a friend, a Woodbridge Stake member, gave an open invitation on Facebook to join her in reading the Book of Mormon before Christmas.  She said, “I’ve decided to read the entire Book of Mormon by Christmas Day. I like the idea of focusing on Jesus Christ as we head into the holidays.”

What an amazing eye-opening experience this has been for me personally.  As I have been reading the Book of Mormon this time I’ve been able to see a grand perspective of our Heavenly Father’s plan for all His children and the role of His son, Jesus Christ in that plan for each of us.  Our Father in Heaven simply wants every one of His children to feel of Christ’s Light and then stay close to our Savior so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father someday.

Every prophet in the Book of Mormon testifies of the Savior and His saving power.  Coming unto the Savior brings His light into our lives now and eternally.  And reading the Book of Mormon daily brings His light into our lives each day because it testifies and teaches of Him. No wonder than that President Thomas S. Monson in April 2017 General Conference pleaded with “each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.”

Have you felt the light of Jesus Christ as you read the Book of Mormon?  Have you felt the Light of Jesus Christ in your daily life? Have you felt His love? This feeling of His love and of staying close to the Savior is what He wants for all of us.  When we feel His love, we try even harder to be like Him and help others feel it too. We want to share His Light.

The world needs the light of Christ desperately.  It won’t necessarily be in huge ways that the His Light will spread across the world.  It will be through us, in many little and simple ways, as we share it each day.  In October General Conference Sister Bonnie Oscarson said, “I believe that most members consider service to be at the heart of their covenants and discipleship. But I also think that sometimes it’s easy to miss some of the greatest opportunities to serve others because we are distracted or because we are looking for ambitious ways to change the world and we don’t see that some of the most significant needs we can meet are within our own families, among our friends, in our wards, and in our communities. We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class.”

She adds, “Brothers and sisters, and especially the youth, as you strive to become more like the Savior Jesus Christ and live your covenants, you will continue to be blessed with desires to relieve suffering and to help those who are less fortunate. Remember that some of the greatest needs may be those right in front of you. Begin your service in your own homes and within your own families. These are the relationships that can be eternal….”

It’s that time of year to refocus on the Savior and His light.  It’s that time of year to share His light with the world and with those closest to us.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched an initiative today with a new “Light the World” video and an invitation to Light the World through service during this Christmas season.

I awoke to a surprise this morning.  I knew that the video would be available to see and share, but what I wasn’t expecting was that the entire 25 days of the “Light the World” initiative was automatically imported into Gospel Library. Right on the main page of Gospel Library where you see all the categories, you’ll find one called “Light the World.”   In that category you’ll find the main “Light the World” video and 25 days, each with a scripture, video, and ideas for Lighting the World.  You can also access a calendar on Mormon.org with the daily scriptures and ideas.

We, as the Public Affairs Council of the Woodbridge Stake, hope that you and your family will find joy in Lighting the World the Christmas season.  We would love to post photos, videos, and stories of the ways you are serving and how others are serving you.  Please share by emailing woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com

Can you be an instrument to spread Christ’s light and love to others this Christmas season?

Please Share the Light and in so doing Light the World.

 

Giving Thanks for our Missionaries

We are grateful for our Woodbridge Missionaries serving all over the world and wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing as they share the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.

Final Foreign Missionaries

 

USA Missionaries

 

Gratitude

As you prepare for Thanksgiving with family and friends, consider reading How I Learned to Be Grateful in Every Circumstance from the blog on lds.org.  Perhaps you  might see gratitude in certain situations in your life where you didn’t think you could be grateful.  And perhaps after reading Think to Thank you might also find other situations where you can express your gratitude out loud to others.  Find some time to make gratitude a part of your thoughts this week.personal-prayer-581962-tablet

Elder Gordon Russell

Elder Gordon Russell, Nevada Reno Mission

Elder Gordon Russel and his trainer

Elder Gordon Russell (far right), his trainer, and his trainer’s trainer

The following are a few abbreviated highlights from some of Elder Russell’s emails home to his family.

July 3, 2017
I’m in a very small town smack dab in the middle of the state called Battle Mountain. It’s about 3000 ish people, and has maybe three or four actual brick and mortar buildings. We are 62 miles from the thriving metropolis Winnemucca to the west (abt 8000), and 70 miles from the colossal city of Elko (probably 10k). We’ve had a couple miracles in the work so far.

July 10
Wednesday was a great day for teaching. The weather has been beautiful this whole time (40% humidity) and it hasn’t gotten above 105, so biking is a lot of fun. We taught Danny on kind of the spur of the moment with no prep, but it still went really well. We also taught Teri, our super golden investigator who had just finished the entire Book of Mormon and is incredibly hyped to get baptized. The rest of her family is coming around more and more, and her kids are finally starting to get involved in the discussions.
On Saturday, we worked hard, and did a fair amount of manual labor.  We then got a chance to teach a new investigator, Ricky, who is super excited to learn… We also swung by Teri’s on an impression, and ended up helping them with a plumbing problem. A lot of work, but it felt nice. My sleep schedule is slowly acclimating, and my studies are going incredibly well. Every day in Battle Mountain is so great, so it isn’t hard to stay enthusiastic.
July 17
Saturday was nice because DJ got baptized, which was my first baptism on my mission.
July 31
Well I’ve finally been here a month. We had a pretty successful week, and finally baptized Tery yesterday. We had 9 investigators at the baptism, and it went really well. I gave a short talk and Elder Abbott did the baptism.

Elder Russell baptism

8/7/2017
Tery is still as solid as ever, and is now a temple recommend holder and the Young Women’s secretary. This was actually a cool demonstration of inspired callings. Two weeks ago the ward called a Sister Rios to be the new YW president, but she speaks just about zero English. Neither of her counselors spoke Spanish at all, so we were all pretty confused, but it turns out Tery was to be the secretary (she is completely bilingual). Bishop wouldn’t add a second language to ward council unless there was a need coming up, so it might be an interesting ride.
Truth be told, we are almost never rejected out here. Every difficulty comes from the fact that no one is ever home. The mines are all 12 hour shifts, and each shift runs 4 or 5 days and then gives the same number of days off. On people’s days off, they are almost always out in Reno or Vegas dumping their money down the drain or are out camping. Everyone is friendly enough that if they’re home, we can teach them, it’s just tough to find people at home.
8/14/2017
This week is doing pretty well. All of our converts are so solid, their examples really help us stay focused on the work. Tery and DJ both went with the youth temple trip this Friday, and DJ even spoke in sacrament meeting.

8/21/2017
My current favorite [scripture] would be Alma 31:5-6

I think this is just an awesome scripture for two reasons. The first is verse 5 as a whole, in that the gospel compels people to action in a more powerful manner than violence or coercion. The second is that among all the people Alma took with him in the “dream team” Zeezrom, one of the people who was bashing with Alma and Amulek in the first few chapters, is included. He was pretty much the only lawyer in Ammonihah that felt the Spirit and was converted, and was baptized a few chapters later. Zeezrom is the only person in the Book of Mormon who has a baptismal interview, and was one of the best missionaries to the Zoramites. In fact, he was remembered later in the scriptures ABOVE the sons of Alma and Mosiah in Helaman 5:41
“You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Chist, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom.”
Zeezrom to me is a great example of how the atonement can work for anyone. His conversion is fully shown in Alma 15.
9/25/2017

We had an awesome day at church too! We had 4 investigators at sacrament meeting, and were working with ward members and investigators through all of second hour. We had a bunch of less actives show up for the first time in months, and one of the families brought an investigator with them!
I just passed 3 months in the field.

10/2/2017
Elder Johnson is certainly a cowboy. He has a slight accent a lot of the time, and relates
REALLY well to everyone here with trucks, ranching, and hunting. We set one of our new
investigators, Rachel, with a date! She has been reading and highlighting the Book of Mormon, and saw every session of conference except Saturday Afternoon. We also
got two new investigators this week as well, thanks to Elder Johnson’s cultural influence to help break the ice.

Elder Russell Winnemucca Zone

Elder Gordon Russell (front right) and the Winnemucca Zone

10/16/2017
Hi everyone,
I’m at the point where I am almost through my third transfer. I love the people here and the work we are able to do. Life is going awesome, and a good area and
companion only make it better.
Oct 23, 2017
Hi everyone!
What a week. I can’t believe how quickly this transfer went by….
Rachel has been progressing really well. She has been seeing many miracles in her life recently, and is set on the 28th. We have taught her almost every other day…. and she has had many really good questions we were able to answer. Having an investigator with real intent is so nice.

Elder Russell Hilltop sunset

Hilltop Sunset

Oct 30, 2017
Hoo boy
This week has been wild for sure. Satan was fighting tooth and nail this week all the way to Rachel’s baptism on Saturday. We almost called it off, and President was involved, but when the time rolled around, all was well and she was baptized. It was awesome and the Spirit was stronger there because of [what] we all went through for this to even happen.
We also found Ricky again. He came to church.… he’s getting baptized in like three weeks I guess. However…I won’t be in Battle Mountain come Tuesday. This companionship and area was too perfect to last. I am being double transferred (both me and my companion will be new to the area) into Satellite Hills, a very small biking area on the East side of Sparks (which is the East Side of Reno). This is going to be an adventure for sure. Sunday was an awesome sendoff Sacrament meeting, and I will leave here with fond memories….
Deus Vult, Elder Russell