Friday, June 19, 2009

Mission Update June 18, 2009

Dear Family and Friends, June 19, 2009 My brother David sent me an email asking for our mailing address and askedthe Lord to watch over us and bless us. Sister Heaton and I have officiallybeen in the mission field 13 days now and I can attest that the Lord iswatching over and blessing us. It is an amazing thing to watch the Lord'skingdom moving forward using the humble, weak and meek souls of the world.Elder Packer in a talk that the new Apostle Elder Anderson was at said, andI paraphrase, "I am not anything and then looked at Elder Anderson and saidneither are you." Anyone that has served the Lord on a full-time missionunderstands that concept. We are totally dependent on the Lord foreverything we do and say, we are nothing. It has been a happy sad time for our Mission President Jim Beck and hiswife Trudy. They just receivedtheir last set of new missionaries from theM.T.C. ; twenty-two beautiful, young faces with a testimony of the Saviorin their hearts and in their voices. As we sat in testimony with them withmist in our eyes and the Spirit of the Lord so thick that we could not denyit, I thought of the young man that came to Jesus and asked what else heneeded to do as he had kept all of the commandments from his youth and theLord said sell all that thou hast and give it to the poor and come followme. He could not , but these of the Lord have. They have strippedthemselves of all worldliness and come to follow the Savior. What awonderful blessing they are. For the Becks, they have been untiringlyfinishing up three wonderful years of miracles as they put it. They told usthat we would see miracles on this mission and we have. If we and theseyoung ones can finish as the Becks have I believe that the Lord must have aplace for us. They are great examples of strength and perseverance. On FlagDay Sister Heaton and I were down at the English school thatPresident Beck set up about a year ago. There sat 38 Chinese students mostfrom communist China trying to learn enough English so they can pass theexam to become a U.S. citizen. I thought it would be fun to sing the StarSpangled Banner so I began to sing spontaneously. All eyes fixed on me andthen to my surprise an older gentleman that speaks virtually no Englishbrightened up and said, "I know! I know!" Together we sang word perfect andwith great feeling and zeal through the Rocket's red glare then giving wayto the HOME OF THE FREE. Never, in all the times that I have sung thatsong, has it meant more to me as I looked into the faces of those mostrecent immigrants and they all broke out in applause. The Lord guided anddirected Lehi and his family to a promised land and the Lord continues toguide and direct His people to this Promised Land to hear the restoredgospel and restored hope in a world of woe. The wardwe are serving in is the Oakland 9th Ward an inner-city ward.Bishop Linford was called from another ward by the stake to serve a missionas the Bishop. Same thing with the High Priest Group Leader and ReliefSociety President. Sister Heaton and I have been assigned to find some ofthe lost sheep. On our journeys we have had the privilege of meeting FlossyGrant a non-member, Frederika "Freddie" Waters who taught the gospelessentials class Sunday, and Williamson "Chilly Willy" St. George and hiswife Shelley a less active family. These sweet souls are evidence of why wewere called here. To proclaim the restored gospel to those that have notheard it, support the active in their callings while strengthening them andrecover those that have been ignored far too long. Our ward is a beautifulbouquet of faces from around the world. Sister Heaton has been busy with her calling as the Mission MedicalAdvisor. This mission, as was pointed out in our training in the churchofficebuilding by those that know, has the highest cost for medical carein the whole Church. The Church does not have insurance when it comes tomissionary work. The church pays for all of it out of tithes and offerings.Usually any medical is handled by the Mission President's wife who isusually not trained. This mission has not had a mission medical advisorbefore. This has been a further testimony to us of why we were inspired toput our papers in when we did. This is the perfect transition period forher call with the new mission president coming in at the end of the month. I cannot tell you how much we miss our family and our Kaibab Ward family.Your prayers and support have been felt every day that we have been away.We want you to know that we pray for your welfare every day and we knowthat the Lord will bless, guide and protect you in all of your righteousdesires. In the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen Our address is: Elder Joel and Sister Shawn HeatonCA-Oakland/ San Francisco Mission 4945 Lincoln Way Oakland, CA. 94602

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