Thursday, April 10, 2014

Selwin's Area of Service

Elder Selwin Lovell left his Bloomington home with Ed and Linda Sappington, on Wednesday, April 9 for the MTC in Provo to begin two years in the Mississippi Jackson Mission. A 21-year resident of Georgetown, Guyana, South America, he and his identical twin brother Simeon, joined the church at age 14. In the United States only since mid-September and in St. George since Halloween “the twins” always knew the next great adventure in their lives was a mission. 

Opening his call to the American south was an exciting moment – not only because “it is finally here” but because his brother Simeon also received his call letter to the Georgia Atlanta Mission on the same day!

The fact there are only 21,760 members in 44 wards and branches – and 16 family history centers - in all of Mississippi does not trouble this elder who just recognizes there are more who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ – and he considers himself up to the challenge.

Early church records indicate missionaries first arrived in Mississippi in 1839 and baptized 13 people amidst much persecution. In April 1842, nearly 90 Mississippi Latter-day Saints in 40 wagons escaped opposition by fleeing to Nauvoo, Illinois. Persecution from enemies in Mississippi continued for the next four decades, culminating in 1880 when an attempt was made to persuade the governor to force Church members from the state. In 1846, a company of Church members left Monroe County expecting to join the main body of Saints in the Rocky Mountains. Instead, they became the first group of Latter-day Saints to cross the plains, wintering with fur trappers in Colorado that year.

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