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Fall colors and brilliant autumn sunshine are still part of the landscape throughout the Inland Northwest. This bright textured grove on Spokane’s South Hill proved that winter is still in the distance. Photo by Craig Howard.

Mullens reflect on rewarding missionary tenure in Spokane

Don and Melonie Mullen are slowly returning to something that resembles a normal life.

When he was in charge of the Spokane, Washington Mission, Pres. Mullen oversaw a group of over 200 missionaries serving in three states and part of Canada. These days, he rounds up college students as the instructor of a business law class.

Sis. Mullen had the daunting task of handling medical issues that cropped up with the full-time missionary crew. Now, she is back at her alma mater, BYU, studying to be a seminary teacher.

Don and Melonie Mullen returned to Utah in July after serving three years in the Spokane, Washington Mission.

Don and Melonie Mullen returned to Utah in July after serving three years in the Spokane, Washington Mission.

The Mullens served as Spokane’s first missionary couple from June 28, 2012 to July 1 of this year. Upon arriving in the Inland Northwest from Orem, UT., Pres. Mullen said the area “felt like home.”

“Our first impression was there were a lot of churches around,” he said. “We found out that our mission has a great Christian base of people, good people who want to do good. We loved how friendly everyone was. We loved how beautiful and diverse the landscape was with trees, rolling hills, wonderful biking and hiking trails.”

Pres. Wayne and Sis. Julie Dymock – also from Utah – took over for the Mullens, beginning their three-year term... Read Full Story →

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Nathan Howard, publisher of the Latter-day Sentinel since October 2010, passed away Aug. 30 after a valiant three-year battle with cancer. Nathanwas a member of the Evergreen Ward in the Spokane East Stake and servedfive missions with his wife, JoAnn, as well as a 30-month mission to Central America when he was 19. The photo above was taken in 2009 whenNathan and JoAnn were serving a temple mission in Nauvoo, Ill. A retrospective of Nathan's life will appear in the next issue of the Sentinel.

Nathan Howard, publisher of the Latter-day Sentinel since October 2010, passed away Aug. 30 after a valiant three-year battle with cancer. Nathan was a member of the Evergreen Ward in the Spokane East Stake and served five missions with his wife, JoAnn, as well as a 30-month mission to Central America when he was 19. The photo above was taken in 2009 when Nathan and JoAnn were serving a temple mission in Nauvoo, Ill. A retrospective of Nathan’s life will appear in the next issue of the Sentinel. Photo by Craig Howard.

Conversion commemoration – Former missionary, local couple reflect on baptism 35 years ago

In 1980, Spokane was still a few years away from a recession that would hamstring the local economy. New construction bloomed in the downtown corridor, including the Seafirst Financial Building which scaled 20 stories into the sky. In Riverfront Park, landmarks from the World’s Fair just six years earlier still seemed relevant, reminders that Spokane was more than a provincial railway city founded on timber and mining.

Mike Toth came to the Inland Northwest in August of 1979 as a 22-year-old missionary representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Toth had joined the LDS Church at the age of 21 after a sojourn across the U.S. that eventually landed him in Mormon-rich Arizona.

“There, I came across the Church and my life has had meaning and direction ever since,” Toth says.

Mike Toth (back row, far left) introduced Ted and Gloria Kisebach (dressed in white) to the LDS Church along with his missionary companion Elder Hopkins (back row, third from left). The Kisebachs were baptized in April of 1980.

Mike Toth (back row, far left) introduced Ted and Gloria Kisebach (dressed in white) to the LDS Church along with his missionary companion Elder Hopkins (back row, third from left). The Kisebachs were baptized in April of 1980.

When Toth reported as an elder, the Washington, Spokane Mission was one of only two... Read Full Story →

Sentinel celebrates sixth anniversary of trumpeting good news

Since the Latter-day Sentinel originated in June 2009 with a mission to share news from the Inland Northwest LDS community, most of the publication’s readers have come from Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Others have followed the Sentinel from the foot of the Andes Mountains.

In 2001, Lynn and Linda Hunt moved to Argentina from their home in Chattaroy for Lynn’s work. The couple heard about the Sentinel from relatives and soon found the stories from back home helped maintain a connection with friends and family nearly 7,000 miles away.

The first story in the Latter-day Sentinel in June 2009 involved a project to replace the Angel Moroni statue on the Spokane Temple.

The first story in the Latter-day Sentinel in June 2009 involved a project to replace the Angel Moroni statue on the Spokane Temple.

“The Sentinel was great reading especially being so far away,” Linda said. “Almost every issue, I recognized someone. News of those living in the Spokane area helped us keep in touch with the USA.”

The Hunts, who arrived in South American not knowing a word of Spanish, served in a variety of church callings in their adopted home. Lynn was a counselor in the Argentina Mendoza Mission presidency; Lynn was part of the stake Primary presidency and served in Relief Society and Young Women’s auxiliaries. For a time, a missionary from the... Read Full Story →

The quest for calm – Reducing stress through spiritual strategies

In a time before cell phones, the Internet, freeways or jet planes, President Brigham Young stepped to the pulpit with some words of wisdom for those caught in the fast lane of the mid-19th century.

“This is the counsel I have for the Latter-day Saints today – stop, do not be in a hurry,” President Young said. “You are in too much of a hurry, you do not go to meetings enough, you do not pray enough, you do not read the scriptures enough, you do not meditate enough, you are all the time on the wing and in such a hurry that you do not know what to do first.”

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The namesake of BYU may have well been preaching to stressed-out members of the Church 150 years in the future. While innovation and technology have delivered new levels of convenience, the pace of the modern-day world has also been known to generate a hailstorm of anxiety uncommon to our predecessors in covered wagons. Today, the living room of stress features all sorts of familiar décor – work deadlines, traffic jams, financial pressures, multi-layered schedules, the endless cycle of laundry and more.

Around the same time President Young was leading the Church from the Salt Lake Valley, physiologist Claude Bernard was in France, forming original theories about the “internal environment” of humans. The quest for internal balance, or what Bernard called “dynamic equilibrium,” meant dealing effectively with all sorts of external changes. His... Read Full Story →

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With baseball season in full swing across the region, unique stadiums like Memorial Field in Coeur d'Alene recall some of the sport's most venerable venues. Photo by Craig Howard.

With baseball season in full swing across the region, unique stadiums like Memorial Field in Coeur d’Alene recall some of the sport’s most venerable venues. Photo by Craig Howard.

Stupendous strings – Commitment to cello pays off for Powell

It’s not often that high school freshmen are named starters for their varsity football team or basketball squad. When that team happens to be the chamber orchestra, an elite ensemble of a school’s best musicians, the odds are even greater.

Yet that’s exactly what Jason Powell accomplished in his first year at Spokane’s Ferris High School.

Jason Powell, a sophomore at Ferris High School, earned a place with the chamber orchestra his freshman year.

Jason Powell, a sophomore at Ferris High School, earned a place with the chamber orchestra his freshman year.

Powell, a cello player, seemed a longshot for such a distinction when he joined the orchestra in fifth grade. Unlike his older brothers, Jeff and Drew, Jason did not gravitate immediately to notes on a page.

“I think the cello was tough for him at first,” said Jason’s mom, Julie. “He didn’t have a natural gift. He worked very hard trying to get better.”

Now a sophomore, Jason spends an average of 15 hours a week on the cello. The time includes participation in the Spokane Youth Symphony, the chamber orchestra, a string quartet at Ferris and plenty of practice far removed from venues like the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in downtown Spokane where the youth symphony plays four concerts each year.

“It’s been gradual, just constantly practicing and improving year... Read Full Story →

BYU vaulter soars to success, stays grounded in principles

Practice, faith and a profound work ethic have lifted Kyle Brown to remarkable heights.

The BYU senior, who hails from Liberty Lake, WA., is currently ranked seventh among NCAA Division 1 vaulters in the Western region and tied for 13th in the nation along with teammates Braydon Bringhurst and Adam Mikkelsen. He set a personal record of 17 feet, 4.5 inches at BYU’s first meet of the season and is gearing up for the regional competition in Austin, TX. just over a month from now where he will vie for a bid to the national championships.

Kyle Brown, a graduate of Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, is a senior on the BYU track and field team and among the top college pole vaulters in the nation.

Kyle Brown, a graduate of Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, is a senior on the BYU track and field team and among the top college pole vaulters in the nation.

“Kyle is a great asset to the team,” said BYU Track and Field Associate Head Coach Mark Robison. “He’s an extremely hard worker. He started here as a walk-on and has just been outstanding.”

Earlier this month, Kyle captured first place at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, AZ., scaling just over 17 feet and collecting 10 points for the Cougars who wound up third as a team. The indoor season found the senior third among competitors from schools like Stanford, Arizona and the University of... Read Full Story →

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