Celestial Fusion

Celestial Fusion

As my Christmas gift to my family, I want to share some very personal feelings about my testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I first knew for myself that the Church was true when I was fifteen years old living in American Fork, Utah. I was taking a seminary class where my teacher, Brother Patey, challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. I was not a committed student, but respected my teacher and wanted to please him. He instructed us to pray before reading, then ask as we turned each page if the book were true and if it was translated by the gift and power of God. I was sitting in my dad’s study in our home. I had read to chapter 8 in 1 Nephi (about Lehi’s dream) and was captivated by what I read. As I turned the page, I asked the questions again when a sudden and very clear voice came into my mind which said, Bernell, everything your parents have been teaching you about this Church is true, including this book. For the first time in my life, I knew something for certain. The realization that this was not a pretend story like Santa Claus overwhelmed me with indescribable joy. Tears flooded my face and I nearly sobbed with gratitude. I knew. That testimony created a feeling of warmth throughout my whole body. I was not aware that a spark had been ignited which would never die. From that day until now, I have always known the Church is true. I have not always acted according to that knowledge, for which I am ashamed....
Christmas Week

Christmas Week

It’s safe to say this past week has been eventful and educational. We began with a Christmas sing-along at our apartment. What we experienced was touching. One of our guests confessed that after receiving our invitation she jumped up and down for joy and was amazed that anyone would think of her. She said she has never celebrated Christmas because of her terrible past of painful neglect and abuse. Another guest said she read our text invitation in the middle of the night, then could not sleep for excitement. She calls us her Muzungu (white) parents. During the week we made tons of donuts (called Spudnuts because the recipe includes potatoes) and cinnamon rolls for various parties. I showed our friend Vincent how to make and fry donuts so he can make money. We had a great time. Christmas movie night was a record-breaker. Almost 70 people showed (typically 10). Was it the movie or the Spudnuts? Our Christmas movie night was a hit. We were thrilled that so many showed up. We barely had enough donuts for them. We also sang Christmas songs while we waited for the movie to start. What a fun time it was to be with these wonderful Saints. We had an early Christmas surprise this year. Not only did we add our 22nd grandchild, but we suddenly sold our home in Utah. This wasn’t planned, but happened when our current tenants asked for release from their contract. To our surprise, the house sold in 12 days (yes, miracles still happen). That caused us to contemplate our future since we’ll not have a home to return to. One...
African Safari

African Safari

This week we participated in a real African safari by boat and by land. What we saw of God’s creations was truly breathtaking. Since we don’t know the proper names of many of these animals, we’ll just share them and let you figure it out. We stayed at Paraa resort at Murchison National Park, where we went on two game drives. Then we moved to Chobe game preserve for another day and night. Land Safari River Safari Our Missionary Friends In addition to the adventure, we came to discuss our missions and share our progress. These people are some of the best anywhere and we loved being with...