I am new at blogging and notice I posted the same update twice under different titles. Sorry.
It appears much of our time will be spent working with native Americans who attend or who will attend Church services in the Heritage Park Branch. This is a branch for native Americans. It also includes family members of native Americans.
Last Sunday, Aug 9, 2015, we attended church services in the Heritage Park Branch. We met the branch president, and had a good discussion with him on how we can assist him. We told him we knew he held the keys for proclaiming the gospel for his branch and that we want him to regard us as resources he can use to bless the people. He is a very dedicated, capable leader and has served over eight years as branch president. (He was serving while Larry was serving as a bishop in the Gunlock Ward. They sat together in the Bishops Council of the Ivins Stake).
We were impressed by the spirit emanating from the members of the Heritage Park Branch. They were friendly and reached out to us with a feeling of love and acceptance. Among the speakers in Sacrament Meeting were three young women who appeared to be between 10 and 15 years of age. They were so well prepared and gave their remarks with confidence. We found later that they had prepared their own talks. They were some of the most outstanding Church youth talks we have heard.
Monday we went to a Heritage Park Branch family home evening held at Anasazi Valley where the Branch President has constructed a village of replicas of native American houses. The site is intended to instill within the native Americans an appreciation for their heritage. The structures were replicas of lodging for a number of different American Indian tribes. They include teepees, hogan, long house.... There was a sense of reverence or sacredness in the area. We ate a potluck dinner with the members and one of them gave a spiritual family home evening lesson. The branch president said she was very shy and withdrawn when she was baptized, but you would never know it now! She taught with confidence, reading from the scriptures "as one having authority".
During the week we called on a recent convert who does not yet hold the priesthood. He is shy and reluctant to accept the responsibility of the priesthood. However, he agree to consider preparing himself to be ready to receive the priesthood so his son can ordain him when his son returns from a mission (In about 5 weeks). We sense a wholesomeness and lack of living a facade among the native American members. We love these people and we know God loves them!