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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real Pioneers 2008

Pioneer Day
In Utah today is a State Holiday Pioneer Day (Utah) commemorating the date when Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley with the main company of Mormon Pioneers in 1847. As Latter-day Saints in Utah on Pioneer Day we think of our ancestors who were converted to the Church in it's infancy and came West with the Saints by wagon, handcart or with the Mormon Battalion march. Joseph's ancestors, including the Taggart, Lambert, Pratt, Cannon, Leavitt, Woods, Rawlins, West and other lines joined the Church in it's infancy. A couple of ancestors joined the Church only two generations ago.

This holiday we wanted to remember a few of Today's Pioneers. The ones leading their own future generations into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We could have selected many who are our dear friends but here are three:

Sunil, Bangalore India
Sunil is the pioneer in his family, leading the way into the Gospel. He is the Material Management Supervisor for India and oversees audiovisual production in the Tamil, Telagu, and Hindi languages for India and now Urdu for Pakistan. Sunil may be the first generation in the Church but more will follow. He is highly educated, extremly intelligent, socially graceful and spiritually in tune. His impact will be felt by all the dynamic second generation of Church members in India: missionaries, seminary and institure students, YM YW and Primary children.

Kim Sang, Phnom Phen, Cambodia
Kim Sang grew up in South Vietnam and lived there until after high school. His father was imprisoned for over two years for political reasons. When he was released the family left for Cambodia. Kim Sang was selling coconuts on the streets of Phnom Phen when he met the LDS missionaries for the first time in April 1997. He was baptised that December. He was the first missionary ever called from Cambodia, serving in country from February 1999-2001. He is now employed by the Church as Materials Management Supervisor with responsibilities over Church production and distribution. He has been our audiovisual producer in Cambodia for several years. He has completed his university training, is married with three beautiful children and enjoys investing in real estate on the side.

Spiritual, warm, engaging and highly competant, he is an example of everything good that is happening in Cambodia in the last decade and a half. Both the Church and the country are in good hands with individuals like Kim Sang. The Church is growing by 25% a year in Cambodia thanks to his efforts and the other pioneers in Cambodia.

Soyolmaa, Ulaan Bataar Mongolia
Soyolmaa is the Materials Management Supervisor for Mongolia. Not only was she the first convert in her family, she was also the first missionary to serve from Mongolia. Her mission in the Utah Provo Mission had a great impact on her and she was an awesome missionary. She is a dynamic and powerful leader with responsibility for Public Affairs in addition to distribution and production of Church Materials. The audiovisual products she is responsible for are some of the finest language productions in the Church (watch Legacy in Mongolian some day, you will see). She and her husband Enkbold are a dynamic force for good in this country that is growing powerful Latter-day Saints (over 40 missionaries are currently serving from Mongolia).

Great Leaders, Saints and Pioneers
If you took any of these three out of their native land and sent them to another place or brought them here, they would still compete with the best. Their God-given gifts and talents are magnified by the Gift of the Holy Ghost and accompanied by hard work, self discipline and commitment. They are intelligent, spiritual and a lot of fun to be with. They could succeed in any area of the world.
Like those pioneer converts of early America and Europe, they have felt the Spirit and at great personal sacrifice have come to Zion. They are establishing Zion in three different areas of Asia that will see future growth like Latin America has the last couple of decades. None of these countries has a Stake or a Temple yet. But because of the efforts of these individuals and others like them the day will come, as surely as daylight breaks in the East.

It is our blessing to know these pioneers personally. Those of us in the established areas of the Church have a need to remember these great people as well as their families and the Church in their lands. We must continually pay our tithes and offerings and prepare our children and ourselves for future missions, because pioneering must continue through our generation and the generatons ahead.


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