I have just LOVED the discussion on this subject!  This is great!  Thanks,
one and all, for your input.  It really helped me out.  Now, somewhat
further on this - and not to toot my own horn, but here goes...the branch
we have moved into has had 51 baptisms thus far during 2003, and a good
many of them have been retained.  What a wonderful time to be here.  I do
know for a fact that things are underway to turn this branch into a ward. 
Back in August, an absolutely GOLDEN family were baptized...father, mother
and one of the children who was old enough.  This past Sunday, I watched
all three of that family's children do an outstanding job participating in
the Children's Sac Mtg program.  I am the wife's visiting teacher and I am
really enjoying getting to know her and her family.  Not only do I want to
be her visiting teacher but her friend as well.  I make a point to sit next
to her in Relief Society.  This Saturday, our branch has a baptismal trip
to the Louisville Temple.  She asked me about it because she thought that
they had to wait a year to go to the temple at all.  I was pleased to be
able to explain to her that she and her husband (who is currently serving
as an adviser in the YM) can both go and participate, and then I offered to
keep their kids for the day so they can go.  I'm so excited about it!  My
kids are excited, too.  I wish I could go along with them, but the time for
that will come late next summer. :-)  When my husband returns from Los
Angeles (he's been out there a few weeks thanks to the grocery strike...he
comes home Sunday night), we plan to have them over for supper.  We'll
probably do it on a Sunday and have them come over in the afternoon so we
can have plenty of time to get to know them better. It's an absolutely
wonderful thing to be in on something like this.  Not only am I helping in
the Lord's work, but I'm gaining friends and that's always a good thing in
my book.

I think that this family has the desire to know more about the gospel and
they are doing their part to learn.  But it does help to have friends in
the branch/ward, to help them with the practical application of gospel
principles in their lives.

Just my thoughts...
Heidi the fair

> [Original Message]
> From: John W. Redelfs <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Date: 10/27/2003 11:36:26 AM
> Subject: Re: [ZION] Tell Heidi
>
> Gerald Smith wrote:
> >A few years ago, they heard the discussions but chose not to join,
because 
> >they didn't want to lose their old traditions/friends/habits. A year or
so 
> >later, they took the discussions again. This time, the branch president 
> >assigned the members to take a turn having this investigator family into 
> >their homes each Sunday for dinner after Church.
>
> We take turns having the missionaries over for dinner.  Why can't we take 
> turns hosting the new members in our homes?  The members ought to do it 
> spontaneously, but if they don't, perhaps the leaders should organize 
> something like we do with the missionaries.  I really believe that having 
> new members over to the house is the key to keeping them active.
>
> And we shouldn't feel a need to provide a lavish sit-down dinner when we 
> have new members over.  Just a bowl of buttered popcorn or a dish of ice 
> cream would do.  I mean, what do we do with our friends?
>
>
> John W. Redelfs                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> ===========================================
> "The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve
> behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve
> behavior."  --Boyd K. Packer
> ===========================================
> All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR 
>
>
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