Message from Kate:
What a wonderful time of year to reflect on the Savior & all the things we’ve learned this year. So happy to have been able to study the Book of Mormon in a whole different way this year. I’ve been blessed, unexpectedly, to be able to spend more time with our grand kids. Last night they were excited to finish reading the last chapter of Moroni & all of them wanted to be the one to read the very last verse. After reading the verse they jumped in the air in excitement for finishing the Book of Mormon. My heart leaped with them knowing that we had definitely been spiritually fed this year. My wish is to keep that excitement always.
As I listened to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional recently, I felt my spirit being fed. I especially loved the words & thoughts of Sister Rebecca Craven as she talked of the “Heavenly Hugs”. The Lamb of God knows each of His Flock...” In our hour of need he often sends earthly angels to wrap and encircle us in His love.... Those hugs can include a kind word, listening ear, understanding heart ...these simple but powerful things can comfort and soothe the troubled souls of others.”
It’s so important to recognize the “Heavenly Hugs” we have received. As we have been doing our ministering interviews, we have loved hearing how you are reaching out to our sisters & loving them & praying for them.
Here is sending all of you Heavenly Hugs this wonderful season. We love you!
Message from Mona:
This question was recently posed as part of a high school final: “Sometimes when people face tough challenges, they learn and grow from those challenges. In what ways have you grown as a person this school year?”
Hearing the question caused me to reflect on my own experience, and I know many of us have experienced unexpected losses and unwelcome levels of loneliness this past year. I truly believe in my heart that each of you has grown, adapted, found ways to reach out, and in short, become more Christlike. I know some of you have been extraordinary in your creativity, ability to listen to the Spirit, and use of extra time at home to do things of importance that otherwise may not have been done. I feel so grateful to be among sisters who inspire me and those around them through their faith, resilience, and resourcefulness. Merry Christmas!
Message from Mara:
I would like to share with the words of my favorite Christmas song as it reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas:
I heard the bells on Christmas day their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth good will to men.
I thought how as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth,” I said,
For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”
Till, ringing, singing, on its way, the world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, of peace on earth, good will to men!”
Message from Barbara:
Over the years during Christmas time, I have always felt the pressure and anxiety when focusing on the temporal side of the Christmas season. I have a picture in my mind of how everything should be--the perfect tree, the perfect lights, the perfect gifts, and the perfect family events. But sooner or later, something happens and my “picture perfect Christmas” dit not happen! As this occurs, I have to remind myself that I have not made my heart and mind focus of the true spirit of Christmas.
I love the Christmas message that Elder Uchtdorf gave a few years ago: He said, “like the Wise Men of old, we should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts: a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We should offer Him our love. We should give Him our willingness to take upon ourselves His name and walk in the path of discipleship. We should promise to remember Him always, to emulate His example, and to go about doing good.”
“We cannot offer perfection, and the Savior does not expect it” (my favorite all time statement!) President Uchtdorf said. “But He does require that we bring as gifts our best efforts to move ourselves, one foot in front of the other, walking in the ways He has prepared and taught.” Have a Merry Christmas
- · Ward Christmas Event: December 19 at 6 pm. Please plan to enjoy and watch this virtually. Should be awesome!
- · We look forward to being able to start having regular Relief Society Zoom discussions again. They will be scheduled once a month on the first Sunday at 10:00 am. We look forward to meeting with you and seeing you again! Please add it to your calendars.
- · Our first Zoom will be January 3rd 10:00-10:30 am. The discussion will be on Elder Quentin L. Cooks’s talk “Hearts Knit in Righteousness & Unity from the Saturday morning session of October 2020 General Conference. Discussion will be led by our President, Kate Epperson,
- · Check out “Just Serve” website (justserve.org) to find wonderful opportunities to do some great service. This morning I just did a search for the 89523 zipcode and found 38 projects that are within 10 miles of us. Lots of opportunities to serve.
We miss seeing you all in person. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
All our love,
Kate, Mona, Mara, Barbara
JustServe Spotlight for February 2021February is a great month to bring cheer to someone in an assisted or independent living or nursing home. You may have signed up last month to be a penpal. The sponsoring staff is overwhelmed and understaffed. It was suggested that we go directly to group homes in our area. I have talked to the volunteer coordinators at the following places and they would be thrilled to receive any notes, letters, valentine cards, or wrapped soft chocolates! You may have a contact at a place of your choice.
Sky Peaks - 1520 Sky Valley Drive Phone 775 204-4928 Contact - Hailey
Stone Valley Assisted Living - 6155 Stone Valley Dr. Phone 775 451-2528 Contact - Lisa Rains
Manor Care - 3101 Plumas St. Phone 775 829-7220 Contact - Bonnie
You can mail your cards or bring them to the reception desk with the name of the contact person. Call before going and they will likely meet you in your car. The receptionist will deliver appropriately. This is a great family or individual activity!
Thanks for your help with the plastic mats for the homeless. This is ongoing!!
Project 150 has for their February Wish List a request for new bedding - new pillows, new twin sheets and new twin comforters and also sleeping bags for the displaced, disadvantaged, or homeless teenagers.
Donations can be taken to 1340 Foster Drive. Check with Liz (775-203-4755) for lock combination.
You are also welcome to call me with questions:
Marilyn Johnson, JustServe Specialist 775-544-0885
"We rise by lifting others." Robert Ingersoll
November Just Serve Spotlight
If you are looking for an opportunity to serve the community, we are again focusing on the St Francis Food Pantry. The missionaries and others in our stake have already volunteered to help stock and restock the shelves and have been greatly appreciated.
When we asked Cindy, the Director, and Founder of the food pantry, what their current needs are, she told us that they would really like donations of Small Frozen Turkeys or Small Frozen Whole Chickens to give to families for Thanksgiving.
Secondly, the food pantry is also in need of Sweaters and Coats for Adults - sizes Med/Lg/XLg and Gloves sizes Med/Lg/XLg. These can be gently used items.
Any of the above donations can be delivered to the St. Francis Food Pantry located at 160 Hubbard Way, Suite F (near the Peppermill) on weekdays Monday - Thursday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. You can text or call Cindy at 775 507-4555. You can also bring any donations to Cheryl Woodman (775 848-1200) or Marilyn Johnson (775 544-0885). For other service ideas, go to just.serve.org
Just Serve October Spotlight - Rancho San Rafael Park
Our October JS Spotlight of the month is an outdoor service opportunity at Rancho San Rafael Park at their Nevada Farms and Families area, formerly known as Great Basin Adventure park. This is an exciting time as the new Park Ranger, Celia Walker, joins Park Ranger, Bob Holland. The two are very enthusiastic about increasing volunteer activity in the NFF to help maintain this beautiful area.
The Parks Volunteer Coordinator, Denise Evans, noted that “the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and the LDS church share a long history of countless service projects and volunteer events together.” If you as an individual or you and your family would like to sign up to serve for one time or more frequently; or if you have an idea for a project or would like to get a group together for a beautification project, please reach out to Denise Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the San Raphael park at 775-785-4512 for more information. Denise Evans would be happy to talk on the phone or meet with you.
Hours and times to serve are flexible. The service projects are suitable for all ages. The Nevada Farms and Families area is open during regular park hours with no admission required. For more details about the NFF area or are looking for other service opportunities go to JustServe.org.
Just Serve At Home October Spotlight - Help Refugees Improve Their English
The Northern Nevada International Center resettles refugees from all over the world. The adults must begin working right away but need English skills to survive and integrate into their new surroundings. The volunteer will present a one hour session 1 - 2x a week online. The NNIC is providing a computer in each home for distant learning. Materials will be provided or you can use your own resources. For further details, you can contact Marilyn Johnson by text or phone 775-544-0885 or email her at email@example.com. You can also find details on justserve.org
Missionary Service Calendar
The missionaries would love to do two hours of service each day. Please sign up for any kind of service they could help you with.
No more than one person sign up per day please