Friday, June 24, 2016

Simeon Now a Graduate

Simeon graduated last night from Southwest High School here in St. George.  He signed up to get a GED a couple of weeks after returning from his mission.  He hadn’t finished high school in Guyana – dropped out so he could find a job to help his family – but felt strongly he needed to cross that finish line in his life.  A few days into his studies at SWHS, he decided he wanted to get a diploma instead!  

In an effort to complete the required 22 packets, his studies frequently kept him up until midnight or later after a full work day in the hot sun … but, not only did he complete 13 credits, he did so in record time, finishing faster than any student had EVER done at SWHS - and with 20 A’s and 2 B’s.  Then to cap off his successes, he was asked to be the commencement speaker!!!

We are so proud of this great young man who is hardworking, determined and anxious to succeed in school and in life!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Simeon on the Move

Since arriving home in St. George, Simeon has been busy, busy, busy!  The first order of business was to get a job.  Hours after he got off the airplane, he was hired by Pool Tech to clean swimming pools. Then he signed up at Southwest High School to complete his GED, but decided after a couple of classes, to go for his diploma instead.  He (and Selwin) also enrolled at Dixie State University for the fall semester.
In his limited amount of leisure time, Simeon even participated in the BYU Alumni Association - St. George Chapter's 5K FunRun on Saturday, May 21 ... where he placed 2nd and won a free all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at Golden Corral.  Fun times!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Selwin Saying Goodbye

Top left: The Martin's from Purvis, MS; Sister Matealona and Sister Rose; Troy and Charlotte Spiers of Purvis, MS;
Elder Stokes being Elder Stokes; and the Dennees and the Evans of Purvis, MS.
From left:  Robert Seay of Bossier City, LA; the Parks family of Bossier City, LA; Elder Franklin;
the Osburns of Bossier City, LA and the Reynders,
From left: Jim and Brigitte Arroyo; the Kucks; Charles and Sonia Herrin;
the Austins and the Shan and Karma Thompson family ... all of Purvis, MS
Top left:  on our way to the airport; missionaries all heading for home;
Richard and Candi Thrasher of Purvis, MS; Elder and Sister Campbell; and Elders Hansen, Petersen, Marvin and me
Elder Selwin Lovell was reunited on Wednesday, April 13, with his twin brother Simeon and the rest of his St. George family after an honorable release from two years of full-time missionary service in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  The Guyanese "son" of Ed and Linda Sappington called his experiences in Mississippi, Louisiana and parts of Arkansas and Texas "awesome," "life-changing," "exciting,"  "full of fun adventures," and "a great opportunity to meet amazing and one-of-a-kind, beautiful people."

The best part of his mission, he says, was "finding the Lord's lost sheep." Only slightly less enjoyable was the last 2 1/2 months when he was assigned as a Special Assistant to the President while on crutches because of a broken leg.  Although he was able to travel the mission and work closely with the missionaries, his limitations prevented him from the joy of "finding." 

The most important lesson learned in his "best two years" is "the importance of following the Spirit in everything you do" while also having the "wonderful opportunity to get to know my Savior."

Selwin's mission president Bruce L. Olson wrote:  "We are grateful to have had Elder Lovell in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  Sister Olson and I have loved serving with Elder Lovell. We have watched him grow in his faith and love for the Savior.  We have seen him strengthen the missionaries and members around him.  He has been an outstanding missionary and will be missed."

The MJM is the only mission in the Magnolia State where the Church has seen slower-than-usual growth with Church membership now totaling 21,630 in 44 wards and branches.

What's next for this Elder Lovell?  "My Plan," which missionaries are expected to complete prior to release includes, "work, school and - for my eternal welfare - to find a wife."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Together Again

It was a joyful reunion at the St. George Airport, when on Wednesday, April 13, Elder Selwin Lovell was reunited with his identical twin brother Simeon Lovell after their combined 26 months of full-time missionary service (Selwin in Mississippi Jackson and Simeon in Georgia Atlanta). 

Selwin's mission president Bruce L. Olson wrote:  "We are grateful to have had Elder Lovell in the Mississippi Jackson Mission.  He has been an outstanding missionary.

"Sister Olson and I have loved serving with Elder Lovell.  We have watched him grow in his faith and his love for the Savior.  We have seen him strengthen the missionaries and members around him and he will be missed.  We have encouraged him to continue to be faithful and keep his sacred covenants, to serve where he is called and to continue to bless the lives of all those with whom he comes in contact.  We express our gratitude for your support and love for him during his service.  May the Lord continue to bless you and your family."

To Southgate Stake President James Bown, Selwin's mission president wrote:  "Elder Lovell has served faithfully.  He has studied and applied the gospel and has acquired Christ-like attributes which will bless and benefit himself and others throughout his life.  He has been an example to all of the missionaries with whom he has served and has strengthened the faith of members in wards and branches."

Selwin was also welcomed home by Stacy and Rick, Kendi and her friend Taylor, Taisley, Danielle and our Bishop Mike Bair and his family including wife Lori, daughters Brianna, Cara and Aspen.  Following Selwin's meeting and release by St. George Southgate Stake President James Bown, family and friends gathered for a hamburger cookout at home.

Certainly many stories are still to come from this "exceptional missionary and fine young man" who served in the deep South, but the future is bright for the twins, though certain to include hardwork, school and eventually marriage and families.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Selwin's Last Letter from the Mission Field

The Jason and Krista Grover family in Purvis, MS
So the time has been spent, memories made and awesome adventures had and it has been a blast. This week we had the opportunity of visiting with fourteen or more companionships (I lost count). It was just amazing to say the least. The spirit was our biggest teacher this week and it was awesome. Well, the time has finally come and after two years of full time service as a missionary I'm coming home, but the work continues. 

Well, I don't know what else to write but heres a little something for you:

In the garden He bled for me 
On the cross He died for me
Resurrected He set me free,
Yes, Christ certainly paved a way for me.

Selwin's biggest fans: the Ishee family in Petal, MS
I give Him all the thanks. I give Him all the glory.
Just look at the Bible and Book of Mormon and you'll see this isn't a made up story.
His Father's gospel He taught. The straight and narrow path He walked.
Yes, He was definitely without fault, yet they nailed Him to that cross
Perfect in all attributes worthy to fill every shoe and yes He did it all for me and you.

Well that's all that I've got for you so until I see you later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Selwin is Fired Up by the Words of the Prophet

Top left:  Brookhaven District, Me with Elder Stokes.
Bottom left:  Itinerary for travel to St. George and the Wake Village and Stonewall sisters.
This week we drove for what seemed like forever.  We were also apart of a few meetings and a couple other changes taking place in the mission.  To top it all off General Conference was just awesome!!!

We only met with six (6) companionships this week but it was an awesome experience never the less.  We got to drive home late - yep, no time limit on us though it told on me the next day. General Conference for me was one where chastisement was put on and delivered with love. It was also a call for me at least to keep pressing forward. It was awesome. During the priesthood session, as President Thomas S. Monson spoke, he said something which really hit home.  If it had been the only thing he had said it would have been alright with me.

He said: "You are a child of promise, you are a man of might, you are a son of God."  My soul was engulfed with the spirit and I felt a burning desire to live up to that saying, in fact I'm even more fired up, so look out world! It is another testimony to me of why we need prophets in our day. We are still in need of guidance from God regardless of where we stand in life, because the path needing to be travelled is not an easy one but one that once endured will be well worth it. And the Lord knows it, hence why we have leaders who can tell us of the Lord's will for us as we strive to return to live with Him again and one day we will hear Him say " well done thou good and faithful servant."

We are all in this great work together and the Lord is at the head of it.  This is His church and His gospel and I count it a great honor to be apart of it. The Lord said in Moses 1:39: "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

What a blessing and what a great promise the Lord is bestowing on us becuase of the great love He has for us. I know He lives.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Selwin is Driving, Teaching and Imparting Counsel

Teaching and training in the Jonesboro, Ruston, New Boston and West Monroe Districts
This week was one filled with driving, teaching and imparting advice as we traveled through two zones in the mission.

We visited with seventeen (17) companionships in these two zones as we tried to strengthen, uplift and motivate them and most importantly to help them to build and exercise faith in their Savior Jesus Christ. But the greatest part was watching the Holy Ghost take charge as He helped us discern needs, answer questions and give advice on improving missionary skills. We also talked a lot about member work and of the importance of strengthening those members by teaching with power from the Book of Mormon as well as the missionary discussions. But the thing that stood out the most was our talk on obedience and what really fuels it. Is it fueled by obligation, fear or love.

Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20-21 reads:

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

And so we see blessings come as we are obedient to the Lord and that it was even before the foundation of the world. So are we obedient out of obligation because we know blessings will come or are we obedient because of the love we have for our Heavenly Father? I asked myself that question and realized I didn't even know why I do what I do. So I turned to the Savior and looked as the way He lived His life and I realized every commandment He received from His Father He followed out of love even down to His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane to His Resurrection from the grave, everything was done out of love. So it should be with us. The Savior taught after having been asked the question "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" to which the Savior responded, "Though shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind". Yes everything not just something,but everything we do should be out of love and the Savior said and taught it best by the way He lived His life. Know it!

#The Gospel Is True.