Tag Archives: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Latter-day Saint Missionaries Return from Senior Mission

Senior Mission
Jeffrey & Kathleen Bradshaw

Jeffrey and Kathleen Bradshaw interview upon return from two year senior mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 25, 2018.

The Lord’s work continues around the world. There is a great need for missionaries. The influence you make in the lives of others will extend for more than your life-time. Learn more here.

Senior Mission
Community welcome home dinner

Couple Returns from Mission to Democratic Republic of Congo

Former Pace, FL residents, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and his wife, Kathleen, have spent the last two years serving in the Mission office for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. They lived in an apartment within walking distance of the mission office, paid all their living expenses and had a full-time work schedule. 

Senior Mission Assignments

Elder Bradshaw worked as the financial secretary handling the day to day expenses of the mission. Sister Bradshaw worked with the young full-time missionaries, women and men, serving in the Kinshasa region. Her tasks involved arranging travel, Visas and monthly supplies for them. When on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, missionaries have the Sabbath day for attending church services and a personal day each week.

Senior Mission

Working closely with the younger missionaries, the Bradshaws spent many of their personal days visiting the young missionaries. They made  sure the young sisters and elders had plenty of charcoal for outdoor cooking, and Books of Mormon, among other things. The young missionaries come from Europe and other countries within the African continent. Making arrangements can become very complicated when they are coming to DR Congo or returning home. Sometimes there may be political unrest in an area between where they were serving and where their home is. The Church takes great care to keep all their missionaries safe.

Senior Mission

In addition to their office assignments in the mission, they also had the opportunity to gather information for oral history of church members and family history of some of the village chiefs in the area. On one such trip, the village chief could only remember back to his grand parents. He needed to rely on other village elders for help.

Church History

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in DR Congo since 1986, There are over 60,000 members. About half of these members are men who are long term, active members. Missionaries are baptizing between one hundred sixty-five and one hundred eighty-five members per month. Churches are growing rapidly there and the need for missionaries is great in this region of Africa.

Senior Mission
Baptism class

The city of Kinshasa has about 15 million inhabitants. They have life styles from living in a tin-roofed shack with no electricity or running water to apartments and homes with modern conveniences. There is enough enthusiasm about The Church that a temple is being built in the city. Since the time of Solomon, temples have had the same purposes, including bringing people closer to God.

Holy Temples

Holy temples are as necessary today as they were anciently when they served as sacred locations to make covenants, perform holy ordinances, and to be taught by God. Today in over 140 temples worldwide, Mormons do those same things. In these temples, faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find opportunities for peaceful reflection and for learning more about God’s plan of happiness for His children.

Every person who has lived on the earth is entitled to the opportunity to receive the blessings of eternal life and eternal family relations. Through the power of the priesthood, members are married for time and eternity. They perform proxy baptisms for their ancestors who died without enjoying the blessings of this saving ordinance.

Senior Mission
Kinshasa Temple in progress

“Our apartment was right across the street from where the new temple is being built,” said Elder Bradshaw.  “We got to see daily progress.”

“The people there are very friendly. We felt very safe while we were on our senior mission,” said Sister Bradshaw. “And there were children, lots of children. They are darling. Most families have very little. Families are precious to them.”

Senior Mission

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Local Missionaries Participate in Light the World Day of Service

Light the World

Twenty-seven young men and women, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent the day working on community service projects as they participated in a global initiative, Light the World. This project focuses on celebrating and sharing the light of Jesus Christ, the “Light of the World” (John 8:12) throughout the month of December.

Building Homes

One group of 10 traveled from Pensacola to Century, Florida to work with Habitat for Humanity building a home where recent tornadoes left many homeless. Families are still struggling more than nine months after a storm ripped through Century.  Working together with BRACE, Escambia County, World Renew, and the Escambia Housing Finance Authority, Pensacola Habitat will build sixteen to twenty new homes. Volunteers worked to frame out a new home.

Light the World

Home Improvement Store

Home building is only one of the many facets of Pensacola Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity. ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers. They sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.  Local Habitat for Humanity affiliates own and operate Restore facilities. Proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world. 17 missionaries went to the Pensacola ReStore to help with projects there. They repaired items, built some things, loaded, unloaded cars, organized, cleaned the warehouse and helped customers. The manager expressed gratitude for the group’s efforts, “If everyone just helped out a little more like this, the world would be a better place.”

Light the World

Volunteers at Food Bank

That was all done before lunch! After lunch, all 27 missionaries and two senior missionaries (an older couple) met at Manna Food Pantry. There they worked sorting food, cleaning and organizing recent food drive contributions.

Light the World

Christ is the Light of the World

“It’s the Christmas season,” said David A. Bednar, a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leadership. “We have lights — all kinds of lights on our houses, on our trees, on our dining tables. So if we link those wonderful traditions with the source of truth, even Christ as the source of light, it just made great sense to all of us that we can share Christ’s message by doing simple acts of service to light the world.”


These kinds of projects are never finished. Volunteers are always needed especially during the holiday season. The initiative continues for the entire month. Standby for additional reports, this was just the first day! If you need ideas on how to serve others, visit http://www.JustServe.org.



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Pioneer Day Celebration

Members of Hendersonville’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated its annual Pioneer Day. The celebration commemorates  the 1,000 mile trek that many church members made across the American continent during the late 1800’s. The day began with a wide array of picnic foods, desserts and lemonade. The “OH’s” echoed throughout the shelter when a pickup truck arrived with two roasted pigs laid out for good ‘pickins’!

The celebration took on a more somber and nostalgic flavor when the entire group sang “Come, Come Ye Saints” a traditional song played and sung by the pioneers when crossing the plains in 1848 to escape religious persecution on their trek to Salt Lake City, Utah to establish Zion. The choir then sang ‘Pioneer Lullaby’ featuring the soulful sounds of piano and violin  streaming throughout the park. It is a sad, haunting song of so many pioneers who had to bury their small children crossing the plains.

Hendersonville, NC has its own group of Pioneers. The Hendersonville LDS 2nd Branch congregation has nearly 100 immigrant members from the Micronesian Islands of the western Pacific. Micronesia is a region that includes 2100 islands, some of which are US Territories. The region has no common written language, just many spoken dialects. Communicating even among themselves can be a challenge. They have found a common focus, however, in their love for Our Savior, Jesus Christ.Pioneer

“We the People”IMG_1022©small

On a more upbeat and patriotic note, all of the over 200 attendees (featuring  many of our Micronesian members) sang in unison “We the People”. Composed by Sandy Wilbur for elementary school children, this  song depicts the Preamble of our Constitution of the United States of America. Music Director, Darlene Beasley, hand-painted the “We the People” flag banner. This presentation truly represented the multi-culturism of our wonderful country. The blending of the many melodious voices and smiling faces certainly portrayed the unity and freedom we have in the United States and why we can be called ‘united’ as one, under God.

Modern Day Pioneers

There are no words to express the spirit at this event, especially when so many of the Micronesian families, in their native dress, performed their native dances to beautiful island music. So many wore turquoise and orange tee shirts labeled “LDS Pioneer – Micronesia” and then the rains came…blessings from heaven. They continued to dance as the downpour drenched them all…and they still smiled and danced…and we all cheered with joy and felt our hearts burst with love and appreciation for the unity we felt for our ‘modern day Pioneers’!

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modern day pioneer

Story by Carolyn Meinhardt, 828-458-1504

For additional Information contact: Ben Beasley, Branch President (828) 698-1223

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Making Feminine Hygiene Kits – A Project for Everyone

Girls in developing countries around the world suffer indignities, infection and even exploitation during the menstrual flow times of their life. Without sanitary supplies contained in feminine hygiene kits, girls and young women miss days from school and have their ability to work impacted. Without pads, they may have to use rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers, and cow dung to manage their menstruation.

Often girls miss several days of school each month impacting their education and perpetuating poverty in their lives. In Uganda, where the feminine hygiene kits have been introduced, the school absenteeism has dropped from 36% to 8% in Uganda. Schools in Kenya have reported a change from 25% to 3% .

feminine hygiene kits
Days for Girls

Making Feminine Hygiene Kits for Days for Girls

Days for Girls International is a grassroots 501(c)3 non-profit. Women, and girls discover their potential and self-value, are equal participants and agents of social change. They have opportunities to thrive, grow and contribute to their community’s betterment while ensuring quality sustainable feminine hygiene. Their mission is to create a more dignified, free and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions and health awareness.

The Pensacola congregation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ladies service organization President, Billie Nicholson, said, “Julia Gibson, from Gulf Breeze, FL introduced this program during a church women’s group meeting. She explained how women  in developing  countries have unhealthy feminine hygiene. Many of us were aghast. We had no idea that items we have used each month for years were not available other places.”

Then she told of the international project, Days for Girls,  created to organize volunteers to sew feminine hygiene kits. Julia described how excited young ladies are when they receive the kits. They  are also taught ways to care for the reusable kits so they will last for several years. Following our meeting, many women  wanted to know how to be a part of this sewing project. (Picture chickens chasing June bugs.)
“The excitement was contagious,” Nicholson said.

Work Events Planned

One of our members, Wendi Mihalik, contacted representatives of Days for Girls to get details on how to get started. She learned what types of fabric were needed and how to order some hard-to-get supplies. Within a few days, we scheduled a work event. We posted the project  on  the community service website, www.JustServe.org and on social media pages that were shared over and over. The night of our event, we had thirty women from four different Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wards show up. Women and young girls  cut patterns and fabric. They serged, ironed, and sewed items to create  components of the  feminine hygiene kits.

Days for Girls, Int’l. has designed reusable pads, shields and drawstring bags, which can be sewn by volunteers. They are part of kits that also contain panties, soap and plastic bags for washing them. The kits also include health and hygiene information. Workers inspect each item for quality of construction.

Work Events Go Viral

Needless to say, we didn’t finish that first night.  We scheduled a second event  for the following Saturday. That allowed us time to complete 34 shields and many reusable pads. Some women took drawstring bag sets home to continue working on their own. It didn’t stop there. The desire to work on this project has spread to five more church wards in our Stake (regional organization). Navarre, Fl Ward has a meeting planned Thursday July 21 and Milton Ward is having a meeting on August 25.

Feminine Hygiene Kits Final Destination

As we work together, we take unfinished items from one group to the next. Some of the kits are already on their way to a Days for Girls Uganda chapter in Orem, Utah.

The Pensacola stake sisters finished the following items to send—
59 bags
41 shields
345 liners

We will send more completed kits in November. Working on this project, women across the Florida Panhandle have come together to serve women in other parts of the world.

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Priesthood Restoration Site – Harmony, PA.

In September 2015, the Priesthood Restoration (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) site in Harmony, Pennsylvania was reopened to the public after major reconstruction. We toured the restoration site and created this video.

Priesthood Restoration Site

Located in what was historically known as Harmony, Pennsylvania, the site includes a visitors’ center and meetinghouse, the reconstructed homes of Joseph and Emma Smith and Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. In addition the woods where John the Baptist restored the priesthood, the baptismal site at the Susquehanna River, a trails system, and new statuary have been restored.

Priesthood Restoration – Hale Home

priesthood restoration

Joseph and Emma Smith moved to Harmony in December 1827 to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. They lived with Emma’s parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, until they purchased a nearby home with 13½ acres from Emma’s brother Jesse.

Priesthood Restoration – Smith Home

priesthood restoration

In early April 1829, schoolteacher Oliver Cowdery came to meet Joseph and soon became his scribe. During the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver went into the woods and prayed for guidance on the subject of baptism. In reply, the resurrected John the Baptist visited them on May 15, 1829, and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. He then commanded Joseph and Oliver to baptize each other in the nearby Susquehanna River.

priesthood restoration

 Later,  the two received authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood from apostles Peter, James, and John.

While in Harmony, Joseph received 15 divine revelations.  These are included in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph and Emma Smith moved from Harmony in August 1830. The original home  burned down in 1919 and is now reconstructed as part of the site. ~LDS.org

A nearby cemetery contains the Hales plots and Joseph and Emma Smith’s firstborn son. Restoration of the headstones embedded the old, nearly unreadable stones into one side of new granite ones.

priesthood restoration

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