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" :)

Mission update November 23, 2009

Will you please forward to anyone that you think might be interested.


Elder Heaton

November 23, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Time moves on as we approach the conclusion of six months in the mission field. We can no longer call ourselves “GREENIES”. After six months in the mission field, if we were young missionaries we would have been through about three transfer periods and are getting the routine of missionary work down. They all have taught some type of lesson to prospective members, less active members or encouraged members to fulfill their calling as member missionaries. They have been met with disappointment as people break appointments and commitments and deny themselves the blessings of the gospel in the process. But most have rejoiced in seeing progressing investigators and some the miracle of conversion, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and the joy that it brings to those that receive it. Then they, the missionary, experience that great joy as it is found in the scriptures:
D&C 18: 13, 15-16

13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
• • •

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

The blessing of success encourages them to move on to an even greater joy…

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
More than one fourth of the missionaries that were here when we arrived in the mission field have gone home. To those that thrust in their sickle and labored with all of their strength, they were the ones that realized the great blessing of serving in their Father’s Kingdom and did not want to leave. They are the ones that understand what sacrifice and consecration really means and this great joy that comes from living it. They were the ones that the angels went before them to prepare the way

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.

32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.

How wondrous it is, as a missionary, to find these chosen vessels of the Lord and to help our Father In Heaven fulfill His covenant with the children of men.

I have spoken in the past about a group of refugees from Bhutan that were in the camp in Nepal for seventeen years and somehow found themselves here in America. We have been actively teaching about 40 of these good people. Last night we baptized the first two. Moni and Raj Magar. What sweet spirits they and their two young children are and to have survived in such miserable circumstances is truly a miracle in itself. Just before they were baptized Sister Heaton and I went over to their humble apartment to break bread and enjoy the food of Bhutanese cuisine. While there, Raj told us that he had a plan to bring many of these people into the church. He wanted all too now have what he has and to know what he knows. That is the way with the truly converted; they can’t help but share the true gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone that they come in contact with, as the Lord directs. They are truly chosen vessels of the Lord.

I reflect on William Heaton receiving the gospel over in England; he being the very first convert and missionary on my Heaton side, and how much Raj is like him. I reflect on the joy William must be having as those he brought into the gospel of Jesus Christ have met him on the other side of the veil. How he must rejoice in his posterity and the missionary work that they have been involved with and how those that passed on before him have had their work done for them in the Holy Temples of the Lord, and how literally countless numbers have been affected by his choice to hear the word of the Lord and serve as a missionary for the Lord. He was a chosen vessel of the Lord that I will be ever grateful for. Now Raj has that same opportunity to bless his family and countless numbers that he will come in contact with both the living and the dead and how his posterity will call him blessed.

“ And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!”

I cannot express enough the gratitude that Sister Heaton and I have for each and every one of you that have touched our lives. You have given us great perspective and joy in our service here on our mission and you are a great part of anything that we do here. We feel your love every day and we hope that you feel ours for you as well. We have a constant prayer for you all that the Lord will bless and protect you. We also pray that the Lord’s great work; even a marvelous work and a wonder will roll forth until we kneel at Jesus feet and say, “Lord, here am I.” And that He who is all merciful will say, “Well done my true and faithful servant. I have prepared a place for you, enter in”

With all our love,

Elder and Sister Heaton


Please share this with those that have helped.

Good Bishop, relatives and friends,

I wanted to send a personal note to the leaders and the Saints that have contributed to our mission. I wanted them to know that through their contributions we remain here and that without their help that our contribution would not happen in this area of the missionary effort. So far people seem to be pleased with our effort and we hope and pray that the Lord is pleased and accepts our offering.

We pray for your every blessing. I know from personal experience the blessings that come from assisting missionaries in the field. Most of your burdens get lighter and usually personal matters get better. More importantly you know that what you are doing is the Lord's will. This is such an uncertain time when it comes to money matters that it makes me even more appreciative of those efforts. Tell these great Saints that the Oakland/San Francisco area is now the largest mission in the church. Tell them that the brethren must feel the Lord's guidance as we do his will. That there must be more souls to harvest, lives to be touched and more opportunities to gather the elect here than any other part of the world or why would that be?

We feel the Lord's hand in all that we do here. It is a struggle at times especially for Sister Heaton to sometimes even get up in the morning. Sometimes the nights are long as we receive calls from ailing missionaries or President Wade. The Lord knows our limits and as missionaries he tests our metal I think to see what our resolve is. As we sacrifice all that we have, even every ounce of strength, he continues to show us that with the divinity of our Heavenly Father within us that we can do things far beyond our natural capacity for such things. All we have to do is show the faith and resolve to follow Him.

We have been very frugal with those sacred offerings that we have received. Many of the senior missionaries out here are pretty well off financially and even they feel the burden. This is one of the very most expensive places to live but one of the most rewarding for missionary work. I would like to share with you this scripture taken from the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Our bodies are temples of the Lord and with our spirits, the Lord can dwell therein. We can be that light shining on the hill as the Oakland temple is. But it takes many to bring that light to shine. You are the ones that help us try to be that shining light.
D & C 109:77-80

77 O Lord God Almighty, hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, thy holy habitation, where thou sittest enthroned, with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgment, mercy, and an infinity of fulness, from everlasting to everlasting.

78 O hear, O hear, O hear us, O Lord! And answer these petitions, and accept the dedication of this house (or our mission) unto thee, the work of our hands, which we have built (or served) unto thy name;

79 And also this church, to put upon it thy name. And help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around thy throne, with acclamations of praise, singing Hosanna to God and the Lamb!

80 And let these, thine anointed ones (those that have contributed to our mission), be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen.

With eternal gratitude for your sacrifice,

Elder and Sister Heaton