Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kael's Conversation with Grandma & April 25th

Grandma: Did you have a good day?
Kael: Yes.
Kael: Store, balloon.
Grandma: Did you go to the store today?
Kael: Yes.
Grandma: Love you Kael.
Kael: Love yooooou Grandma.
Grandma: Bye Kael.
Kael: Bye!
Kael: No no no no no. daba daba daba doo.

Pretty soon this conversation will get to take place face to face because Grandma leaves off her mission in T minus 18 days today.
April 25th is the big day and all the grandkids and kids could not be more excited! We can't wait for some quality Grandma and Grandpa time.
We all LOVE YOU Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Question?


First, my calling as the Mission Phone Coordinator has peaked I think.  To date I have found that a missionary can drop a phone in the water in a parking lot, have two missionaries try to baptize (2) phones in the baptismal font on the same day, put a missionary's phone through a complete wash cycle in the clothes washing machine or even have sister missionaries run over a phone with a mission car and still have them work afterwards.  The Lord does look out for mission equipment as well as the missionaries.  Two of the phones had to be replaced because the car busted one in two and the full cycle wash made the display dim.  The others were resurrected to their previous function by placing the battery in the freezer and phone in a bag of uncooked rice.



My 87 years young dad called me up yesterday to ask me a question.  How are you doing?  Before I get to my response, let me say what a wonderful thing it is to know that someone cares about you and is really interested in the missionary work that the Lord has you doing while you are so far from home and family for what seems a long/short time.  Thanks to all of our wonderful family and friends that offer us such great encouragement. What thrilled me more was what HE was doing.  He has always shared the gospel, most of the time without a formal calling (although he has been a ward mission leader at times), with anyone that he comes in contact with that needs the gospel message. He was telling me about this 17-year-old young man whose grandfather had joined the church about 4 years ago that he was teaching with the full time missionaries in his ward.  His ward just divided so now he is in a new ward for about a week without a calling, which does not seem to slow him down much.  He let me know that this young man's grandfather has not yet received the priesthood even after being in the church for 4 years and how he is going to help the ward become aware of this.  What an inspiration it is to hear him speak of the life changing events in people's lives.


I told my dad about the baptism we had last Sunday.  Truly another miracle as the Lord guided us to this 40-year-old man from Texas to teach.  He asked that I perform the ordinance. My dad served his mission in Texas so I told him that we were just finishing up some of the work he left on his mission.  He thought that was pretty funny.


Just about every missionary reaches a point in their mission where they wonder, "what am I really doing out here?"  It doesn't matter if you are a young missionary or a senior couple.  The world moves on and it almost seems like it is moving without you in it. Your family is getting older, school and work are put behind and here you are in a far away place doing something that is not natural to most people.  Missionary work is hard!  Not necessarily physically, although it can be, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  You question the very core belief system that brought you out in the first place.  For a few they become obsessed with it to the point that they leave early.  Those that make it through to the end have certainly been through the refiner's fire. 


After a teaching appointment late the other night, while walking back to our cars, a young missionary asked if he could speak to me.  He was struggling.  He felt inadequate in his teaching.  He felt less adequate because he was our District Leader and felt the weight of his calling.  He was also feeling guilty because his indicator numbers were low.  He said, "I really do not know why I am here."  This is a great young man because he cares.  I assured him that most everyone goes through this.  I told him what a fine teacher that he is.  How I enjoyed serving with him and what a difference he has made to me and to the rest of our district.  I complimented him on how he had just finished this teaching appointment.  Then I told him to quit sweating the small stuff like indicator numbers.  They would take care of themselves in the Lord's time if they continued to work hard.  I asked if he was working hard? He and his companion said that they were.  I asked if they were praying and studying?  They assured me that they were.  I said, " Elder do you believe that this is the Lord's work?"  He assured me that he did.  I said, " then let the Holy Ghost do His job.  Don't teach another person until you are guided to do so.  Sometimes we take too much on ourselves and show our pearls to swine.  That is not a good thing and makes us feel inadequate as teachers of the gospel."  Then I advised him to testify of Jesus Christ to everyone that he comes in contact with, but not to teach anyone until the Spirit directs him to.  I volunteered to go out street contacting with them the following day. I told him again, do not teach anyone until the Spirit directs you.  The first people we talked to were a couple of women fixing a bike that were obviously Proposition 8 opponents.  I told them that I had a couple of bike experts to assist them.  They said, "Oh, you do not want to talk to us."  I assured them that we did.  While helping them with the bikes we testified that God is no respecter of persons and invited them to come unto Christ. They said well there is that excommunication thing and I said yes, but if you are a non-practicing same sex attraction person that you could repent and be baptized just like anyone else.  We parted shaking hands and feeling good about each other as brothers and sisters.  We did not teach just testified.  Next we came across this young lady sitting on the porch finishing smoking a cigarette.  I asked her if we could share a gospel message with her.  We were a little surprised when she said please do.  Turned out that her father was a Baptist preacher, but she had left home to follow her fiancĂ©, but it didn't work out.  She was in a transitional place in their life.  I looked at this Elder and he looked at me.  He then went on to teach her a powerfully spiritual lesson on the restoration of the gospel. We left her with a Book of Mormon that she was excited to get, a reading assignment that she promised that she would read, and a return appointment.  Next we ran into an old contact on a bike. He was a jolly fellow who was a professor at the University of San Francisco.  We set an appointment to visit with him later. The rest of the hour that we were out heard us testify and greet. When we finished I did not say another word on the way home.  This missionary had once again found his way.


So how are we doing? Missionary work is hard.  It is hard to be away from home.  But I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life.  The world goes by for a time without you and the Lord shows you eternity and what you are really all about.


I will leave you with this last thought that I posted on our face book page.


I think of that sacred grove

Where a boy communed with God

All things ceased to distract.


Peace I leave with you,

My peace I give unto you

Not as the world giveth

Give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled

Neither let it be afraid.


Then I pause….

I know that Heavenly Father,

God of all creation knows me.

He cares enough to hear my simple prayer.

Everything artificial disappears as I close my eyes

And Heaven is heard.


We love you all.



Elder and Sister Heaton

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A mission picture!

****I have been WAY behind in posting what I've been given, so if you're confused about the timeline of the posts I'm sorry, I'll eventually catch up and get on top of things again! Love, Shell****

Hello again maybe way too soon,

Our children have been asking for pictures from our mission. Sister Heaton and I are not really on top of that so one of our good friends forwarded this picture of our Ward that we are serving in. I hope that you do not have a problem remembering what we look like, otherwise it will be a little like "Where's Waldo?"

The lady on the front row 3rd from the left to the right is getting baptized this Sunday. Sister Heaton and I have been helping to teach her. The lady on the 5th row front to back and 2nd from left to right along with her husband are the first of the Bhutan refugees from Nepal to be baptized. Her husband was working the night of the picture.

This ward is very reflective of the population of Oakland. They are as diverse as any in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes. There are deaf ones and blind ones. Here are a few of the countries that I can remember that are in the picture African Americans, Africans, India, The Philippines, Mexico, Bhutan as mentioned, all kinds of Island people like Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, HAweaii etc etc. Not pictured are Cambodians, Vietnamese, or Chinese of all kinds and most Hispanics because all but the Vietnamese have their own Branches to g to etc etc..

We are currently teaching a man from Sri Lanka who has committed to baptism on the 21st of March so add Sri Lanka. He is a refugee that went to Thailand and ran into the missionaries there and then was redirected to Oakland. We get to reap the harvest from the seed that they planted. It is a wonderful thing to watch some of HEavenly Father's children with such different backgrounds work together to bring about His kingdom here on the earth. This is a miracle in itself! The Holy Ghost has touched each one of them just as it has you and I.

We just got back from Mormon Night at Oracle Arena where 25 missionaries sang "The Star Spangled Banner" then Jazz beat the Warriors. Afterward Thurl Bailey spoke to those that wanted to stay and hear him in the arena about what is important to him. Tomorrow he will be speaking up by the Temple. It was great to see the support we received from everyone there. All we heard in Utah about the area was Prop 8 and how bad it made the church look. In reality it has brought the church unbelievable respect from people that we may not have otherwise been able to touch. That is all for now.

With our love as always,

Elder and Sister Heaton

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Picture!

Well, this isn't a picture of Grandma in California, but it was taken of her during her mission! (Thanks to Jake and Nicole's blog for the picture of Mom with the Jake Heaton kids at McDonald's in Phoenix) P.S. don't forget to read dad's post below.

Mission Update December 22, 2009

December 20, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

What stands out most when you are on a mission is not how much you miss your loved ones, and you do, but rather how important it is for you to be doing the work of the Lord. I have recently become aware of some things that clarify why Sister Heaton and I are here.

First of all, Sister Heaton had an opportunity to go to Phoenix and take care of her mother for about a week while she convalesced from surgery on a broken arm. On the way to the airport, just prior to coming back to the mission, she was talking to our youngest daughter Sharice.

Through her tears, she expressed to Sharice how difficult it was to return to the mission field and leave her mother and loved ones behind. She told her to be sure and tell our grandson, Kael, how difficult a sacrifice it was and how much she missed them. Sharice replied that at least we were willing to go and serve. She said that that is what would really matter to him and her more. This moment helped bring a clearer vision of the wonderful blessing of serving. It helps those that you care for most see what matters most in this life and the next. I think of Christ as a young boy in the temple asking questions of the clerics of his day. With his mother’s worries, after being lost to his parents for three days, it reads:

Luke 2:48-49

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (italics added)

That is the question you ask before you go and leave your family on a mission and that is the response that you give to those that do not understand how two people can leave their children and grandchildren for 23 months to serve full time in the Father’s kingdom. “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

We have learned since coming out here exactly what our Father’s business is and who we really are if we stay true and faithful, enduring to the end.

Moroni 7:29,31

29 And because he hath done this, (Christ ascending into heaven to be our advocate) my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

31 And the office of their (the angels) ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.

We learn from this scripture that angels go before His missionaries and prepare the “chosen vessels” of the Lord so that they can bring them into the fold. Then we find out what the “chosen vessels” are supposed to do when they are gathered up…..”bear testimony of him (Christ)” to the world as directed by the Lord.

In essence, the chosen vessels gather other chosen vessels to testify of Christ to the world. There will come a time when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind, the Savior of the world.” They will see him as he is! Sometimes missionaries get discouraged because of the lack of success in baptizing and bringing people into the church. Those that feel that way are not justified in their thinking. What they little realize is that everyone is going to need to know who Jesus and His Father purport that they are; glorified beings that organized this world and worlds without end and that they have a plan for us, His creations. Everyone taught by missionaries and other members of the church and every lesson on the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ stands as a testimony of the Savior and who He and His Father are. When Christ comes the second time in all of His glory everyone will have had an opportunity to see Him as He is. His angels and His missionaries carry that message forward to fulfill the covenant that our Father in Heaven has made to all mankind, that of providing a Savior to this fallen world. We help Him in His work. Not all will accept his gospel, but they will know who He is. For those that do, the chosen vessels of the Lord, will receive all that the Father has…..worlds without end.

Just to show how one of those chosen vessels impacted the world, I quote from Paul’s conversion and how Ananias, the Lord’s disciple (missionary), reacted to this challenge…

Acts 9:10-17

10 ¶ And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

What I have learned since coming out to serve is that the chosen vessels are not always packaged as I or anyone else might think that they should be, that I should not be shy to testify to anyone that the Lord has in mind for me to speak to, that all that I testify to whether they accept the message or not will recognize the message when the Savior comes again.
I ask myself, “What if Ananias had not followed through because of his fear of Paul?” About a third of the New Testament would not have been prepared for us to use in our day. Clearly the Father’s work would have been slowed.

Here in our mission we see similar things going on all of the time. Today we had a group of people that wanted to come to church. Before we could get someone to help bring them to church, they decided to go to their old church. Sometimes it becomes discouraging when you see what could be and then what is. The saving grace is that the Lord has his hand in all things and we know that he gathers His chosen vessels. Some chosen vessels are born into the church and others are gathered through the efforts of his disciples or missionaries after the Lord has prepared them. His work moves on whether we are willing or unwilling to do our part. The choice is ours to either be those chosen vessels that testify of him to the world or not.

Miracles have not ceased! Angels do go before us in the mission field. I know because we get to see it with every baptism that takes place. We see the Holy Ghost help people feel the truth of who the Savior and His Father are as we lend our witness to those in the scriptures and others as well. My prayer is that we might be true and faithful in all that the Lord has us do and that miracles will not cease and I add my testimony to that of Moroni…

Moroni 7:35-37

35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay;

In the name and love of Jesus Christ our Savior.


Elder and Sister Heaton

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My apologies to dad and all of his readers for not getting this most recent post up in a timely matter. As a side note, thank you to everyone for your prayers during Grandma Sapp's surgery. For those who don't know, Grandma's arm had broke again and she had to have major surgery on it again the day before Thanksgiving. Mom left the mission for a little over a week to get Grandma through the surgery and is now back and serving the Lord in Oakland/San Francisco. I might get "Sister Heaton" to give us an update on how things went in Phoenix once she gets a little more caught up with all of her other mission duties. There are two new posts that I have put up so keep reading until you've found something you've already read.


Shell -aka- "The Daughter" :)