To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
It was a banner day for the Bakersfield California Stake in more ways than one. A special Young Women conference was held to celebrate the anniversary of the organization of the Young Women program, and the young Latter-day Saints and their leaders took the opportunity to highlight the heritage of their hometown.
Walking into the stake center on that special day, participants were greeted by row after row of colorful banners. In preparation for the celebration, each girl in the stake had been asked to make a 2-by-5-foot banner depicting some important concept of her life. The banners were displayed in the cultural hall during the day, and that night at the Grand Ball, each girl, dressed in white, marched and carried her banner in an impressive formation.
During the conference, the stake Young Women learned about the history of Bakersfield. They enjoyed listening to the curator of the local pioneer museum. Even the centerpieces on the tables were antique dolls and toys. As a special speaker, Ruth May Peterson shared stories from the life of her grandmother, Ruth May Fox, who served for nearly 50 years as the general president of the Young Women. A booklet of Sister Fox’s poetry was given to each girl.
To provide a fun insight into the changes in fashion that have taken place since the Young Women organization was organized over one hundred years ago, a fashion show with dresses from 1869 to the present was part of the event. From a private collection, the dresses were modeled by the Young Women advisers as lunch was served.
As part of the celebration, the stake president made a special presentation to the girls who had completed their Young Womanhood medallion award requirements.
The Rupnicki family has reason to be proud of their two children, Royetta and John. Both students at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, have excelled in sports and academics.
Royetta was crowned as the Eagle Princess and was voted most athletic girl in her senior year. Her sports were track and volleyball. She also served as the editor of the student newspaper.
John was elected junior class president, won his Golden Glove division, and is an outstanding wrestler. He enjoys playing chess and excels in math and science.
The Rupnicki family became interested in the Church after touring Temple Square. After requesting that the missionaries be sent, they joined the Church in Winkleman, Arizona.
Several groups have responded to the challenge issued by a story in the May 1981 New Era called “An Author Card for Cindie.” In the article, a young girl became enthused about genealogy work and recorded the information from tombstones in a small cemetery. She made an index of the graves in the cemetery and submitted the names to the Church Genealogical Department in Salt Lake.
Two groups of young people in California and some Scouts in Idaho followed through on their own cemetery projects. The El Centro California Stake set aside a Saturday in February to record information found in the Evergreen Cemetery. Along with their clipboards, pencils, and typewriters, 75 youth and adult advisers arrived at the cemetery carrying rakes and shovels. Working in teams, they probed the ground to search for hidden plaques and, at the same time, cleaned up the area and cleared away overgrown grass. Approximately 7,670 names were recorded. Copies of their work were given to local agencies and a local genealogy library as well as being sent to the Church Genealogical Department in Salt Lake City.
The Young Women of the Seaside Ward, Monterey Bay California Stake, undertook the project of recording the cemeteries on the Monterey Peninsula. They created a slide show to generate enthusiasm for the service project to index the largest cemetery in their area.
Two Eagle Scouts, Scott Christensen and Doug Sutton, from the small town of Robin, Idaho, volunteered to map the Robin cemetery as an Eagle Scout project. They had to research unmarked graves, which included interviewing people who visited the gravesites on Memorial Day. As part of their project, the two planned roads and sections for the cemetery so unmarked graves would not be disturbed.
The Church has recently published Polish and Hebrew editions of the Book of Mormon. The Translation Division of the Church says that the Book of Mormon has now been published wholly or in part in 51 languages. Translators are working on another 30 languages.
The Polish edition will be used primarily by missionaries teaching Polish-speaking people in Chicago and other areas of the United States. Among other languages into which the book has recently been published are Icelandic, Romanian, Arabic, and Navajo.
Kellene Trentham, 14, was awarded an Outstanding Community Service award from the Chief of Police in Chubbuck, Idaho. Kellene has been the editor and publisher of a community newspaper that has been helping the police instruct citizens about crime prevention.
Kellene’s newspaper started as a get-acquainted effort in her subdivision. One of her neighbors was the Crime Prevention Officer from the police department. At that time, the police were attempting to organize a Neighborhood Watch program where neighbors learn to secure their homes and report unusual activities in their residential area. Kellene started including the information in her newspaper. Soon others were interested in receiving the paper, and local merchants began contributing articles on topics of interest or services. The paper, which is printed once a month, is now being delivered to 1,200 homes.
Kellene has expanded her activities to her local junior high school where, with the help of the police, she is organizing a youth crime prevention group.
Kellene is a member of the Seventh Ward, North Pocatello Idaho Stake.
The two youngest sons of Walter and Gaylene Woodring of Hacienda Heights, California, have received their Eagle Scout awards. All five Woodring sons have now achieved that rank. To honor their father, who recently passed away, the Woodring sons donated and erected a flag pole in front of the stake center, landscaped the surrounding area, donated the large flag on the pole, and attached a bronze plaque that said, “Walter H. Woodring, father of five sons—five Eagle Scouts.”
The Young Women and mothers from the San Antonio Eighth Ward, San Antonio Texas Stake, took a step back into time to the days of the Old West. The group scheduled an overnight outing to a reconstructed western town complete with covered wagons and a jail. After the girls cooked dinner for their mothers, they had a special campfire meeting. The following day, they combined a nature study with a service project to clean up the area. Competition in camping skills between mother-daughter teams added to the fun. The outing concluded with a trail ride. Both girls and mothers found that they had come to know each other a little better.
Over 450 young men and women from four states gathered on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, Wisconsin, for a special youth conference. Three days of activities were planned to help young people and chaperons build friendships and testimonies.
Working with the theme “In His Steps,” the youth committee included both fun activities and workshops to help each participant have a positive experience. The careful preparation paid off. Attendance was good, and many testimonies were strengthened and shared. One girl from northern Michigan summed up her reaction: “It was the best conference I’ve ever attended. I’m the only Mormon in my high school, and it’s been great to be here with people you can talk to. I’m going back home a better person.”
Douglas Troy Powelson is the first Scout to receive his Eagle award in Taiwan in the past three years. The Eagle is an award in the Boy Scouts of America program. Troy continues his activity in that program even while living in Taiwan. He is the son of Douglas and Shawna Powelson and is originally from Orem, Utah. Troy and his family are living in Taipei where his father is serving as a mission president.
Troy made his 50-mile hike across the rugged mountains of central Taiwan. He was selected to represent the Alaskan/Asia district for the “Boy Scout of the Year” world competition for 1982.
Troy is in the ninth grade at the Taipei International School where he is an honor student. He is a class officer and is also the only ninth grade starter on the school’s varsity basketball team.
When David Thomas Kelly, 17, was accepted for the Aboriginal Teachers Aide course, his family moved to Perth, Australia, so he could attend school. There his family met the missionaries and was converted to the Church.
David became involved in early morning seminary and played the organ for priesthood meetings. Now he has accepted a call as a labor missionary to work full-time on the renovation of the chapel/community center in Dianella, Western Australia. He is one of the first aborigines to be called to missionary service in Australia. In a couple of years, David hopes to serve a full-time teaching mission.
The sound of a single violin is the opening of a perennial theater favorite, Fiddler on the Roof. The production staged by the Champaign Illinois Stake was not only a success as far as the audience was concerned, it was a life-changing experience for the first violinist, Michelle Davis. Because of the love that the cast members gave her and her subsequent study of gospel teachings, she asked to be baptized. Another nonmember, Aaron Wilhelm, asked to hear the discussions and was convinced of the gospel’s truth but must wait until he turns 18 to be baptized.
The stake president, Joseph R. Larsen, directing from a wheelchair, helped guide stake members and friends in the musical production. Often whole families became involved in acting, singing, dancing, or behind-the-scene activities. The cast put on four performances for large, appreciative audiences.