News from the Branches and Congregations – Issue 78

Center Place of Zion

Blue Springs Congregation – by Ardyce Nordeen

The early spring of this year found us wondering if we were in a time warp of some kind. We had missed so many Sundays during the winter months that it reminded us of last year when we were out of our church home for ten weeks due to flooding from a frozen pipe. Happily, spring made its appearance on schedule, and we have been blessed with an abundant season as we moved into summer.

Part of that abundance has been the arrival of three new babies in our church family! Alex and Ashlon Vun Cannon welcomed Henry Chapman Vun Cannon into their family on March 1st. Aurora and Judah are enjoying being the “big kids” in their home now. On April 10th, twins were born to Josh and Cassie Turner. James Patrick Ryan Turner and Aria Alexandra Turner made their debut and created an instant family of four in the Turner household. We join these young families in prayers of thanksgiving for these precious gifts! James and Aria Turner were blessed at a service on Memorial Day weekend.

We mourned with the Scott and Cline family with the passing of Vera Cline on March 20th. Vera and her late husband, Harold, were charter members of the Blue Springs Congregation and served the church in many, many ways. Her sweet smile and quick wit will be missed among us.

On May 18, 2019, David Tims and Shayna Roush were joined in marriage at a lovely service in Blue Springs. Presiding Patriarch Carl Vun Cannon, Jr., was the officiating minister, and prayers were offered by Shayna’s father, Lonnie
Roush, and David’s father, Steve Tims. Dave and Shayna will be making their home in Blue Springs.

The Blue Springs Women’s Department began a friendly visiting program this spring. Each month, on the first and third Mondays, the women meet at the church, divide into teams of two, and go out to visit those who are homebound or in hospitals or nursing homes. The response has been wonderfully positive, and the visiting teams feel they are blessed to be a blessing when they make these visits. They hope to continue this program and possibly expand its scope in
the coming months.

Our high school graduate, Daisy Hasselman, will be honored at an open house at the church on June 15th. Daisy plans to continue her education in the field of business, with an emphasis in e-commerce, next fall at community college and will assist in her family’s business.

Our congregation, along with the church as a whole, deeply mourns the death of our dear brother, President Fred Larsen. He was a member of the Blue Springs Congregation, and we have been blessed by his ministry for many years. One of our favorite memories of him is of the times he was able to attend our mid-week prayer and testimony services. We often did not realize he had come in until we would hear his deep, rich voice lifted in fervent prayer. There was no mistaking the authority in that voice! Our love and prayers continue for Mary Lou and their family.

Bountiful Congregation – by Annie Williams

Springtime is the best time around Bountiful. The Hoover farm is buzzing with new life, Eden’s Garden is in full bloom, and the children are out biking, enjoying the weather, or working in the cleaning business they have started!

The Bountiful saints are appreciating our newly installed sound system and new blinds for our windows in the church building. Being able to hear (even in the nursery!) and see makes services even that much more enjoyable.

As a congregation, Bountiful has been collecting care packages for Timothy Durant who is in the service. He loves the snacks we send, but his peers are most jealous of the homemade cards and pictures the Bountiful children have made for him.

In March, the congregation had a chili cook-off and game night. After a delicious, spicy meal that tested our tummies, all ages joined in a game of Jeopardy that tested our brains.

Building has started on Brian and Annie Williams’ heating and air conditioning shop where several saints are employed . Annie and Brian are thrilled to be able to walk to work soon!

Bountiful looks forward to a beautiful spring and summer and thanks the Lord for His blessings!

Center Congregation – by Cindy Patience

We have received an abundance of God’s blessings as we have experienced both joy, and also moments of pain and sadness, within the past few months.

Early this spring, we lost a good friend, Jim Patrick, father of David Patrick. He was often a quiet, but sweet, participant in our Sunday worship together. After a long life of working hard and serving his family, he went home to be with the Lord. He was lovingly cared for by David and Dani and their children until his death in their home. He will be missed.

Many members of our congregation enjoyed participating in the Priesthood Assembly and the Women’s Retreat early in April. The spirit and the fellowship at these events were wonderful and uplifting, as always.

On Palm Sunday, we had the privilege of witnessing the ordination of Raymond Clough III to the office of teacher by his father-in-law, High Priest Tom Moats. His family attended the ordination, and his father, Raymond Clough, Jr., stood in attendance behind him during the ordination. President James Vun Cannon gave the message and charge, and the priesthood, including Brothers Clough and Vun Cannon, stood to sing for us after the ordination. It was a very
moving moment. We welcome Brother Clough to the priesthood and want him to know that his ministry will be appreciated.

We have some very welcome news that will increase our numbers and bolster our spirits. The Millet family, a wonderful family of nine, from Idaho Falls, Idaho, packed up, brought their many talents, moved to Independence, and were baptized here in May. They have already found a suitable home and have several jobs lined up. Their deepest desire is to consecrate and to serve the Lord in building up His Zion. It will be a blessing and a joy to have them among us.

We continue to pray for the dear wife or our departed prophet and others as they face health issues and hopefully return to be with us soon.

First Congregation – by Brenda Evans

After a snowy, blustery winter that caused several church cancellations, it has been a very welcome spring with regular church services again. Praise the Lord!

Resurrection Sunday services included the baby blessing of Anthony Michael Petentler, son of Michael and Sumiko Petentler. Patriarch Pete Petentler, the baby’s great-grandfather administered the blessing assisted by High Priest David Van Fleet. Baby Anthony’s maternal grandparents, Maria and Corneleo Villalobos-Soto, traveled from Chihuahua, Mexico, to witness the blessing and visited our church for the first time. They are a lovely Christian couple who
speak only their native language, but they were able to express their appreciation and enjoyment of the beautiful music and the godly spirit of the service. The baby’s father, Michael, is the grandson of Sue and Pete Petentler. We hope this delightful family will be able to again visit our congregation in the future.

First Congregation has appreciated all the efforts of the women who are developing the children’s choir and hand bell ensemble. The children performed on Palm Sunday and Mother’s Day and blessed the congregation with their abilities and their enthusiasm. The Adult Bell Choir also brings their ministry of delightful music to our services at various times. Three of our teenagers, Sarah Bass, Haleigh Wilson, and Keilah Zahner have developed their musical talents and are scheduled providers of music ministry, which is always enjoyed immensely. Another special gift our branch enjoys is the gift of song by the young Baker children. Samuel, Jeremiah, and Abigail, children of William and Katrina Baker, have graced our services several times with their joyful voices, often accompanied by Katrina on her guitar. We are blessed to have such gifted musicians who so willingly share their talents.

A dear member of First Congregation returned to her home with the Lord on May 1st. The memorial service for Patricia (Heide) Taylor, mother of Kay Van Fleet, was held May 8th at the church. High Priest Mike Hogan presided, and the message was given by High Priest Ammon VerDught. Dan and Suzi Keleher and daughter, Alisa Friedrich, provided music ministry. “A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.… let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs31:30–31).

On Saturday, May 11th, in the Fellowship Hall, nearly 80 women and young girls enjoyed a Mother’s Day Tea. It was a lovely occasion for all mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, and friends of the church to come together for a wonderful morning of fellowship and a beautiful buffet. The tables were beautifully and artistically decorated, and the brunch included tea or punch served in china cups, finger sandwiches, chicken salad croissants, various fruits, cookies, and delicious crème puffs. Many thanks to the dedicated ladies who planned and prepared this delightful event. They said that no one was “in charge”—they just came together with their ideas and it evolved into a fun time together as they spontaneously came up with suggestions—such as collecting the china cups and decorating straw hats for the young girls to wear. Anyone was welcomed to come with their ideas and help put it together. Everyone
was welcomed to come and enjoy the result. Their goal was to have a fun event that honored mothers and friends, daughters, and grandmas with the pleasantries of a simple, but beautiful, old fashioned “Tea Party.”
Mission accomplished, ladies!


Carthage Branch – by Robin Bayless

On March 24th we hosted our South Central District combined meeting. We had around 22 people present from Ava, Blackgum, Carthage, Rogers, and Sperry. Our guest minister was Seventy Darrin Moore and his wife, Melody. We were truly fed by the Spirit and blessed to all be together. Lunch was prepared for all to continue our fellowship.

We have had Patrick Meladeo, Alex Tibbets, and Corwyn Mercer as our visiting ministers, also. We so appreciate them and their families coming and the good spirit they share with us.

We are a congregation of mostly older members. We know the Lord continues to bless us every day. We ask for your continued prayers that we may do His will.

Sperry Branch – by Debbie Eastin

In this season of heavy storms, our members have been blessed with little damage. As we reach out to others less fortunate, hopefully we will have the opportunity to share a message of hope in the Lord. Our community outreach continues with Priest Dean Holt and Teacher Alex Tibbitts visiting homes. On Wednesdays, before evening service, hot dogs are provided free to members of the community. Some participants come to simply fill their empty stomachs but find much more.

A few happy events and announcements have taken place these past months. Patriarch Leland Collins was our guest speaker in April. Jack William Teel was blessed by grandfather Elder Alan Teel and Apostle Roger Tracy. Joshua and Haruna Holt announced that they are expecting their first child. Samantha Holt joined the Navy and is presently completing basic training in Chicago. Parker Tibbitts has been called to the office of deacon.

On a very sad note, member Lisa Heilman, 41, went to be with the Lord on May 4, 2019. Her light on earth diminished far too soon; she will certainly be missed by us all. We ask for continued prayers for her family, especially young daughter, Scarlett.

Outlying Branches

First Michigan Branch – by Kathleen Haley

We have had a rough start to our church services this year. Many of our people are in need of prayers for blessings of all kinds. We had two great communion services and one preaching service through March, but the rest had to be cancelled due to weather and health problems. We pray that things will be better.

We also pray for those who live in areas of wind and rain and snow and ice and tornadoes and fires and mudslides. May they be blessed.

Elder Jim Malmgren brought us a beautiful communion message. As a surprise to him, his daughter, Renee, and granddaughter, Ana, came in just as the service started. Before Jim started his sermon, he went and gave them a pat on the shoulder and a hug in a beautiful display of his love for them. His wife, Joyce, was in British Columbia, Canada, helping to care for their daughter, Heidi, and their new grandson, Beau Brady Paterson. They are very excited to have Heidi and Beau come home in July. 

Little did any of us know that would be Jim’s last sermon. Jim passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2019. What a shock it was to all of us. Jim was a true and devoted elder who served the Lord very faithfully. He is now able to talk to the Lord face to face.

Our prayers and love are with his family and his church family. We are really going to miss him very much. Thank you, Lord, for calling him home quickly with no prolonged illness.

Iowa Branch – by Vicki Argotsinger

Hello from the Iowa Branch. We want to begin by apologizing for not communicating with the Remnant people on a regular basis. We are doing very well as a branch. We have ten members who attend our Sunday service on a regular basis, and eight of those ten attend our Wednesday night class. We no longer meet for worship in Missouri Valley. Because all of our members are from Woodbine, we have found a wonderful place to worship in Woodbine. We are renting the Senior Center, and it fills our needs very well. We meet there every Sunday and in Gary and Vicki Argotsinger’s home every Wednesday night.

Study is our main emphasis in our branch, and we feel the Lord has put books and information into our hands for study. We study books from authors who were spiritually guided to write words for our benefit and also study many articles that have appeared in old editions of the The Saints’ Herald. We feel we are growing spiritually and will continue on that path.

We are active in our community of Woodbine. We are in charge of the Sunday morning church service for the residents of Rose Vista Nursing Home in Woodbine once a month and have a Bible study with the residents on Monday morning once a month. Individuals in the branch volunteer at the nursing home by being on a hospice team, volunteering in the beauty shop, and visiting residents on a regular basis. Our members are active in our local school activities and are on various boards within Woodbine. Our small branch is a part of our community, and we are recognized as being a prayerful people. We have been asked by residents of Woodbine and surrounding areas to pray for people and
have witnessed the blessings of our Lord abundantly.

Our priesthood visit and give spiritual guidance to members who are from Decatur, Nebraska, and Des Moines and Missouri Valley, Iowa. Sacrament is taken to these residents and visits, both in person and by telephone, are made. We are blessed with four priesthood members and witness the Lord working in their lives.

Our goal is to be a “leaven” in our part of the vineyard. We are studying to become eligible to be a part of the Kingdom of God. We love our neighbors of the community where we reside and are attempting to be an example of a disciple of Christ.

Southern Indiana Branch – by Rebecca Paris

The Southern Indiana Branch suffered a great loss with the passing of Jeff Byrne. Our hearts are heavy missing him. Jeff was always ready to share a big smile and hug every time you saw him. Jeff shared an amazing testimony about the love of God and showed God’s love in all that he did. Jeff’s pride and joy were his family. He loved attending all their sporting events, babysitting, and spending time together. Jeff will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We ask for your prayers for his family and especially his wife, Barbara.

Rachel Paris had a busy and exciting year. We will greatly miss having Rachel in Indiana and ask an interest in your prayers as she starts her career in Florida.

Nathan Paris loved his first year at Indiana University! He played in the Marching Hundred, Intramural Sports, joined a professional fraternity, and made lots of new amazing friends. Nathan is interning this summer at Raymond James as well as taking summer classes. It is a blessing to have Nathan back in our branch for the summer.

Riley Woodruff had an amazing senior year at Floyd Central High School! We wish Riley all the best as she heads to college in August. She will be missed in the branch and we ask an interest in your prayers for her future.

Kevin Woodruff had another successful year at Floyd Central High School. He went from basketball season to volleyball season where his team finished 3rd in the state! Kevin brings our branch a lot of joy in his willingness to serve. We look forward to seeing what his junior year in high school brings.

The Southern Indiana Branch wishes to express our deepest condolences and sympathy to our sister, Mary Lou Larsen, and her family on the passing of our beloved prophet and dear friend, Brother Fred Larsen. We will always remember Brother Fred’s passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ, his ability to call us all by name, and the way his face would light up talking about the future of the church. Brother Fred leaves us eager to strive to build the Kingdom of God on Earth as his legacy of brotherly love and unity lives on through each of us.

Treasure Valley Branch and Magic Valley Mission – by Elder Tony Hill

We in the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley areas continue to meet jointly twice a month, once in each location.

On the evening of May 10th, we held a Fellowship in the Park. Morgan Wigle advertised it on social media, and most of us invited others to come and share the evening with us. We provided burgers and dogs, and the ladies brought additional dishes to round out the buffet. I believe we had 22 people attend, at least half from other churches, or unchurched, and we had a great evening together. It was a true zionic effort even from those with no understanding of Zion, and the Spirit was most definitely present with us. Some who came were even strangers, having only just met, but were welcomed into our fellowship and enjoyed being a part of the games. Everyone pitched in to share in the set up
and cleanup, and I was amazed at the inclusiveness by all. People moved from table to table, conversation to conversation, event to event, with none left out. It was a true evening of fellowship among the children of the Lord and we plan to continue it on the second Friday of each month.

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