Dear Alpine Stake members,
We want to express our gratitude to you as members of our stake for all that you have done to help with our stake service project throughout this last year. We worried that tackling such a large project—building an entire home for a family in need– would perhaps be too much and that we might not be able to see it through to completion. But you have responded so generously in giving of your time, money, and effort to help the project move forward. On December 10th we held a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the home, and the Rodriguez family—a single mother and her two daughters—have been able to move into their new home before Christmas.
We are humbled by and grateful for the time that so many of you have given in coordinating, working on the home itself, and helping raise funds for the project. Many have contributed to make the needed funds available. Even our Primary children have worked and sacrificed to provide money for the project and collect items for the home. As a stake, we were able to raise all of the money and provide all of the volunteer labor for the home—that is remarkable. Bro. Todd Barney, as the supervising High Councilor, has done a wonderful job overseeing the project, and many others have provided dedicated help and frequent service as ward supervisors, newsletter writers, photographers, and more. Many of our members, families, youth groups, and quorums have spent time working on the home—from digging foundations all the way through to painting and installing cabinets and doors.
We hope that this opportunity to sacrifice and serve has been helpful. You have given much, and for that we are extremely grateful. We pray that the Lord will bless you for the ongoing service you give in church callings, welfare assignments, missionary work, temple service, and all the other things you are doing to help the Lord’s work move forward. We hope and pray that the spirit of service will continue to bless our stake, and that the Lord will bless each of you as you continue to strive to follow the Savior’s example to love and serve each other.
Alpine Utah Stake Presidency
Many stake members joined the Rodriguez Family and others for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, Dec 10. Janae Rodriguez was given the keys to the house, and then stake members helped her and her daughters move in—finally home for Christmas. President Moon emphasized the service and human warmth of the project, and how fitting it was that it culminated at Christmastime. He observed that when we remember our real home is with our Father in Heaven, and we yearn for and serve Him through the holiday season, it gives special meaning to the sentiment, “I’ll be home for Christmas.”
These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. (D&C 76:62)
From December Newsletters:
Even with months of effort and care from our volunteers, until this month, the house has been just an empty shell. Without people living inside, it isn’t complete. Once the family moves in, however, their activity, energy, and spirit will fill the house and make it a home, a place full of life—which has been the purpose of the project all along.
Similarly, our bodies are not finished without our spirits, and the power of God connects them to make us complete. The scriptures talk about the idea of “quickening,” where the Spirit binds body and spirit to create an eternal, living soul. The idea of quickening goes beyond that as well: although we may be “alive” by definition—a spirit in a body—the quickening of the Holy Spirit brings life to our spirits, giving us light, meaning, and fullness. To be whole and complete, we need God in our lives.
And the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things. (D&C 33:16)
Quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness. (Psalms 119: 159)
We expect to start painting at the end of this week. As we paint and finish a polished new home, we can ponder the many gospel themes of being made new through Christ.
First, through Christ our natural selves are remade. We may have the same frame and structure, but we are completed and given a new purpose. Second, Christ invites us to seek daily renewal through activities that connect us to His spirit. Repentance also gives us a way to be renewed, like having a fresh coat of paint, no longer marred by the scratches and marks of the world. Finally, we look forward to the resurrection, when we will all be restored and made new again, as will the entire earth.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
How things looked on those great end-of-September days. No snow, no wind. Just a nice little house preparing for the upcoming drama.
See if you can spot where Alpine is in the mountain views.
Click on any picture for a larger view.