Surprise! This week’s post came on Saturday rather than Sunday. Elder K and I are picking Jordan, Andrea, and Hyrum up at the Kansas City airport this evening and our time for a few days will be spent sharing with them as much as possible about this area. We are so excited for their visit.
We’ve had another full and wonderful week. Monday we had FHE as a mission. Ron and Jenny Doan spoke to us. They are faithful members as well as the founders of the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Jenny shared details of their story for over 90 minutes, and we were unaware of time. She is bubbly, fun, intelligent, funny and a true entertainer and entrepreneur.
THEIR STORY IN A NUTSHELL: Through a series of divinely orchestrated events, the Doan family with six of their seven children, found themselves in Hamilton, MO. in 1995. Their “new” home had not been lived in for 40 years. There was no running water or indoor source of heat. Their next-door neighbor had openly expressed his desire that no “thieving Mormons” live on his street. An active militia was ever present with the intent to run out any who came.
In 2008, the economy collapsed, and Ron and Jenny lost all of their retirement investments. The family rallied together to find solutions. Jenny was a great seamstress. With an old building and quilting machine, Jenny began her journey as a quilter and opened a business. YouTube was in its infancy, but their son saw its potential. Jenny was soon making “how-to-quilt” videos that became popular. She began teaching people to quilt, and then machine quilted their creations for them. Finally, they provided the fabric needed for quilting projects. They started small, but were ever watchful for ways to improve, ways to expand, and ways to involve more people. They were ever asking, “What if?”
Today Jenny has over 800 tutorials, 450 employees, and fills an average of 10,000 orders per day, with between 200-2000 customers shopping daily in their 14 stores. What started as a family working together following a major economic downturn, has become a huge organization with a construction team, social media team, and marketing team.
No matter what challenges they faced they lived true to what they believed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They truly believed that “you can’t teach others love through hate.” They simply chose to lay on the altar whatever they had, with faith that the Lord could use them for His purposes if they sought His guidance. They did the best they could each day. They reached out in love, moved forward with good will and faith, and transformed a somewhat hostile community that was in an economic recession into a booming town of charm, culture, and beauty. Today, Hamilton is the “Quilt Capital of the World”, the “Disneyland for Quilters.”
Elder and Sister Schwitzer arrived on Monday evening, so interviews were Tuesday morning. It’s a humbling experience to receive very personal counsel on family concerns they know nothing about. That evening was our first GA dinner as the host and hostess. Our mentors, Tim and Doris Bastian, worked with us. We brought two roasts with us in March and shared them at this dinner. They were a hit! It was our first GA dinner and Bastian’s last. That thought makes us deeply sad. We have come to love them so much.
Following the dinner, we were taught by Elder and Sister Schwitzer. I will try to share a point or two that particularly touched me.
Sister Schwitzer shared 2N 25:13 with emphasis on “and after He is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead with healing in His wings.”
She bore her witness that He has risen and spoke of a time while serving in Siberia when she felt that “healing” from the Savior. Her counsel was to identify times we have felt the healing power of the Savior and then pay it forward. There are many who need healing in our world. We can share what we have experienced, help foster hope, trust, and faith. We can lead them to the Savior where they can experience the “healing in His wings” that is available to all who seek Him.
Elder Schwitzer spoke of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. He taught that DNA coding makes us look like and possess the physical traits of our parents. Through the power of the priesthood, we can be sanctified to the “renewing of our bodies.” This renewing changes us from our sinful state to a spiritual state becoming the sons and daughters of God. We can then expect manifestations of our spiritual genetics.
He spoke of Enoch and the Brother of Jared who moved mountains because of their faith and priesthood power. The Brother of Jared moved Mount Zerin. (Ether 12:24) Elder Schwitzer invited us to identify our own Mount Zerin and seek God’s help to move it. He outlined how to do this by referring to President Nelson’s April 2021 Conference address. It was interesting to us that Patriarch Bonnett shared this same talk with the group gathered in his home the week before. That suggests careful consideration.
“Your mountains will vary, yet the answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith. That takes work…To do anything well requires effort. Becoming a disciple of Christ is no exception.”
1. Study-Become an engaged learner.
2. Choose to believe in Jesus Christ and stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters.
3. Act in Faith—Choose to do something that requires greater faith.
4. Partake in sacred ordinances because they unlock the power of God. (D&C 84:20)
5. Ask in Faith- Pray sincerely and with real intent in the name of Jesus Christ.
Elder Schwitzer added an additional step to President Nelson’s counsel. He said, “Listen to the Spirit to know that your “mount” has moved.”
How blessed we are to receive counsel from our inspired directors.
Friday evening, we attended our first ever professional football game in the Kansas City’s GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs played the Minnesota Vikings. We had ground level seats on row six, so we felt a part of the action. The final score was 28-25 with the Chief’s winning, but the game was not as close as the score indicates. It was memorable to be in the huge stadium, but I’ve found the lights, noise, and thrill of the game have lost its appeal for me. I’m glad we went but a repeat experience will not be needed.
Jordan will fly home early next Tuesday, but Andrea and Hyrum will be here for a week. We can’t wait to share the details of their visit next week! Life is better than we ever imaged it could be. How we long for the world to discover the Zion-like existence we enjoy at AOA. We love you all!