Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

I’m Hermana Jackson from Provo Utah.
I had just gotten to a new area and we were weekly planning. As we were seeking more people with whom we could share the restored gospel, I mentioned the idea of going through the list of former investigators. My companion had been in this newer area for a while and had been through the short list of “formers” many times. Toward the top of the list, I still remember quite vividly the name “Denise Brown” popping out at me.
It turns out we came at a pivotal moment for Denise. She had been struggling to decide if fully embracing Judaism after a long journey of searching was what would finally feel like home. In the beginning she often shared with us a feeling of being a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. She had even met with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 11 years ago, but it had ended unpleasantly. After this Denise had thought her name would be crossed out with a bold red “x” in our records. Although that wasn’t the case, we were glad to at least have her address. It was a blessing that her sister and brother-in-law were members of the church and happened to be in the process of moving to an area close by. They became a huge part of Sister Brown’s conversion!
The real turning point was when she attended church! Denise recounts, “I felt the spirit immediately as I walked into the chapel and my decision was made.” The following Sunday my companion and I were worried as she had to stay home due to some health concerns. We stopped by later that evening and when the door opened a peaceful spirit hit me! I recognized the Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing while she explained that she had been listening to General Conference all day! I will never forget how her home lit up that night and how excited and changed she seemed to be. I received a confirmation of how special it is that we have a living prophet and apostles chosen by God of whom we are privileged to hear from often! When we do listen it brings a spirit so tangible and sweet.
Denise Brown was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December and continues to be excited about her new journey. In fact, she recently bought her temple dress so she has something to remind her daily of the real goal! What JOY this gospel brings! As Sister Brown says, “it FILLS me”.

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

Florida, Orlando. Home to sunshine, theme parks, the sand and surf, and so much more! Most people never would suspect just 45 minutes North East is one of the Nation’s smallest cities, Lake Helen. This city does not contain a single traffic light. It is also home to central Florida’s only horse arena. Being so quaint it is the perfect setting for the Holy Spirit to be felt and followed. I met a family of five in this small town who made the move from the state of Illinois last spring. God prepared this family to receive the gospel. The wife was open and immediately accepted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She was baptized a couple of weeks after their move and the landlord invited them to church for the first time. When I met this family, the husband was still learning and overcoming the obstacles in his path. They invited my companion and I over for their youngest son’s birthday party. At the party, of course chaos reigned with kids running through the home and people crowded everywhere. The dad started serving pizza and unprompted by anything noticeable to anyone else, he all of a sudden stopped and loudly announced to the chaos and fun “We need to have a prayer.” Immediately people quieted, gathered the kids, and bowed their heads. The Dad shocked a little by the response then bowed his head. He looked around, glanced over at my companion and I as we sat with smiles on our bowed faces, and offered a heartfelt blessing. Chaos immediately erupted following the prayer. The dad stopping his actions to offer a blessing on the food and to give thanks was a testimony builder to all in attendance at the party that this family is taking the small steps needed to change and have their family come closer to Christ. They are developing the habits of a Christ centered home. Almost all in attendance at the party were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know they noticed the dad unprompted by anyone who could be seen. I know they noticed the difference in him and his family as they learned and accepted the truths of the restored gospel. In early fall, he overcame the obstacles he faced and was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (This experience is shared by Sister Daphne Lynch from Kearns, Utah)
Sister Lynch and Hermana Fisi

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the coming year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support, may you all be blessed in the coming New Year.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

I’m Sister Kreiberg from Denmark, Europe.
I would love to share with you a spiritual experience I had as we prepared one of God’s children to be baptized. I had just arrived in a new area, I was filled with the spirit and a certain sense of urgency. My companion and I talked to everyone we saw and prayed to find those who were prepared.One day as we were checking the mail we met, Richard. It was a short encounter, but there we were able to testify of the happiness of this message. We scheduled an appointment to share more. When we returned, Richard explained that he had a desire to obtain the happiness he saw in us. After a couple of months of learning and making necessary changes, he still didn’t feel as though he was ready for baptism. We struggled to know how to help him, but we continued to testify that if he asked God, with a sincere heart, God would answer him.
One day as he was driving he saw a beautiful white building and was impressed to take a closer look. As Richard arrived he noticed the church’s name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and remembered what we had testified of. He offered a prayer to God asking if the things we had taught were true. Richard received an answer to his prayers, he explained, “Never in my life have I felt such an overwhelming and warm feeling, I knew it was true! I couldn’t deny it. My heart was filled with such love, that it even brought me to tears.”
I had never felt such joy as I did when Richard recounted his experience. Two weeks later he was baptized, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father answers all of His children’s prayers. I’m thankful to be an instrument in His great work and witness such beautiful miracles! There is no greater joy! :)

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,
As the Holiday Season approaches, we extend to each of you our love and gratitude for all the love, prayers and support you continue to give to each of our Missionaries. Please accept our wishes for a wonderful Christmas season with our love and thanks!

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and speak it again. Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning – with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most. ”

President Howard W. Hunter

This Christmas season may we remember that Christmas means more than packages, boxes and bows. May the true meaning of Christmas reside in our hearts and change us.

Merry Christmas,
President and Sister Berry

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

Sister Berry and I continue to thank you all for your love, support, and prayers on behalf of our missionaries here in the FOM as well as around the world. This is a great and inspired work these Elders and Sisters have been called to do, but without the encouragement and prayers from all of you, what they continue to do would not be possible. We send you our deepest love and gratitude
We hope each of you have taken the opportunity to see “Meet the Mormons”. Our missionaries are not allowed to go to the movies, knowing this is a church wide policy, the church provided the mission with a copy and we were able to meet with all the missionaries and view the movie together. “Meet the Mormons” is intended to provide an overview of who Mormons are and a chance for people to get the know the LDS Church by going right to the source, those members of our faith that live their Christ-centered lives as everyday people. People may not realize we have more members outside of Utah and the United States than inside, the movie showed that diverse representation. A lot of the world knows us through our missionaries, but they don’t know the background or understand there is a family attached to that missionary, and the sacrifice they are making. As the movie builds understanding of the LDS, that was an important component. Our missionaries loved the movie, and although it was not intended to be used as a proselyting tool, the missionaries have enjoyed discussions with members, part member, in actives as well as investigators concerning the movie and its content. We know it will continue to be a point of discussion as our missionaries meet and teach people here in Orlando.
We are grateful for the commitment that each of our missionaries serving here with us has made to the Savior and his precious work. We ask each of you to re commit yourself in helping hasten the Lord’s work, to lift someone to a higher road and a better way.

Happy Thanksgiving,
President and Sister Berry

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

Now is the moment in the timetable of the Lord to carry the gospel farther than it has ever been carried before. Many a person in this world is crying, knowingly and unknowingly, ‘Come over….and help us.’ He might be your neighbor, she might be your friend, he might be a relative, she might be someone you met only yesterday. We have what they need, let us take courage from our studies and pray, as did Peter, ‘And now, Lord,….grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.’ (Acts 4:29) We must share the gospel with others. That is our responsibility – every member a missionary. Member missionary work is one of the great keys to the individual growth of our members. President Joseph Smith stated, “Let the Saints remember that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be co-workers with us and the Holy Spirit in accomplishing this great work.” Our challenge to each of you as friends and family is to step outside your comfort zone and to speak with everyone you met, share the gospel, be bold, help lift them to a higher ground and a better way, you can change their lives and the lives of their families for eternity. Every member a Missionary!

We appreciate your love, support and prayers for each of us and the missionaries around the world, may God continue to bless each of you and your families.

President and Sister Berry