Greetings from your brothers and sisters in Collins! As it has been awhile since you’ve seen a report from these parts, I’ll do my best to bring you up to date with the happenings from our Local…
Our brother and friend, Al Lind, left this world and the pain he endured, September 8, 2019. We miss him very much but are so grateful that he chose to share his life with us here at Collins. Vicky Pitts, Al’s daughter, recalls how Al felt so comfortable here and enjoyed being able to share his thoughts and testimonies with us. He was a gentle man, filled with a kindly grace not found today in many people. He truly loved the Lord and served Him to the best of his ability.
Also, our brother Greg Kelly from the Preston area left this life March 15th, 2019. Greg had double pneumonia and then a stroke. A memorial was held March 23rd where we were able to meet much of his family. Greg had a willing smile and a good sense of humor. He loved his family and his wife, Beth. He also is missed by all who had the opportunity to know him.
My sister, LaVange Johnson, who lives in Seely Lake, Montana, has been caring for her husband, Steve, who has been in declining health for some time. Steve had a stroke and was taken to the Veteran’s Hospital in Helena, Montana, but was in such a weakened condition that nothing could be done; He passed away March 25th, 2019, leaving Vangie and his five grown children and their families.
Sometimes our understanding is greatly lacking. We pray and plead with our Heavenly Father for our loved ones, knowing that only God can heal the sickness, whether it physical or spiritual. Then we wait, and have to just trust that He will repair and mend as He sees fit… That’s got to be enough—knowing that God is in charge and will always do what is right. My brother and friend, Rodger Bruner wrote a song that declares how when God answers prayer He answers it according to all involved… I believe that—even when I don’t always understand. The beauty of all this is that these who have gone on have lived their lives, made their choices and have been received by our Heavenly Father to behold His glory, and have been given a place of waiting until that day of resurrection and judgement (The Book of Mormon gives a good view of this in Alma 19).
On May 5th, 2019 we were privileged to witness the baptism of Cherylynn Hitt into the body of Christ. Cheryl is the wife of Mike Hitt from Goodman, Missouri. She had a beautiful testimony of her need for baptism that she shared with us through tear-filled eyes. Brother Martin Addie gave some beautiful scriptures, and Sister Janeen Addie had written a poem she gave to Brother Mike to read prior to the baptism. Brother Allen Kauffman had the honor of baptizing Cheryl in our little font in the dining room of our church here at Collins. The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost was conducted by Brothers Albert Leighton-Floyd and Martin Addie. It was a wonderful day and we all thanked the Lord for His abundant mercy!
We here in Missouri have had some serious storms around us, but by the grace of our Heavenly Father, we have been spared any great damage. However, it appears there are more to come. Allen was recently checking out our front door and came back inside saying he believed we should get on our knees and ask God for protection—we did. I am so grateful that God is willing to hear and help when we call…
I have a few sermon quotes to share with you and hope that I am able to express them so that they make sense as I heard them originally:
“Just going to church will not save you, but it WILL lead you to righteousness.”
“The power of God defies the understanding of man.”
“Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!”
“How does it happen that we could dwindle in unbelief?”
“I am not a sinner—I am a “repenter”!”
“Whether you believe you CAN do it or you believe you CAN’T—you’re right!”
“Our past shouldn’t define us; it should prepare us.”
“There’s a difference between getting a job done and getting it done RIGHT.”
“God is still God even when we have, or go through, difficulties.”
“Stop focusing on how stressed you are ad focus on how Blessed you are!”
“God doesn’t want “left-overs”—He must be first.”
“How easy it is to take things for granted.”
“The Sacrament – to remember – so we don’t forget!”
“Do we forget the things that are most precious? Sometimes it’s good to have trials, so He can teach us—so much.”
“Will ye also go away?” (John 6: 67)
Thank you for remembering us, and know that you are in our prayers—may our Great God and Father bless and lead us all to Him.