Monday morning Dec. 10, 2012
We want to give you a report on the “Kingdom” here in Slavonia—not to be confused with Slovenia. You may need to be reminded that we are in the flat plains (between a few hills and mountains) of south central Europe. I was surprised to find out that our elevation here in Osijek is less than 300 feet and our river, the Drava, runs (down) into the Danube about 10 miles from here. The Danube, the major river in central Europe running about 1800 miles, starting in the Black Forest of Germany runs and passes through the capital city of 4 countries, Vienna Austria, Bratislava Slovakia, Budapest Hungary and Beograd Serbia. It also runs through or touches Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania. The two main rivers in Croatia end up in the Danube. Zagreb, which sits at the foot of a ski mountain, is only about 500 feet over the sea (above sea level) and its’ river, the Sava, runs into the Danube at Beograd, Serbia, about 200 miles further down the river. You get the idea that there isn’t a lot of slope on the Danube, especially between here and the Black Sea (sea level). Next time we’ll learn a little about population distribution if anybody asks.
We prepared to teach a Sunday School lesson yesterday about fasting and the blessings that come from it. We are grateful we could talk with each of you (we couldn’t reach you, Jonny and Lindsay) and help you recall times we fasted together and times you fasted on your own for a specific purpose. We read together the 3rd paragraph of the “Proclamation on the Family” that starts with “In the pre-mortal realm… “and details why we are here and how we plan to remain as an Eternal Family. We didn’t spend much time on talking about fasting yesterday, but we are prepared to talk more about fasting in a later lesson. It was so nice to hear your recollections that we want to share them with you. You might recall more as you read the memories shared. We would encourage each of you to fill in the details from you own memories and return them if you choose to and we can create a “Small Plates of Ivins” of our most moving memories.
· Grandpa and Grandma Babbel asked all of their children and grandchildren to fast and pray for Mike Babbel to get a job. He got a really good job and is still happy with it.
· Christian remembers fasting for Robyn and Jason while we were living in our old house to get pregnant. Following the fast, we knelt in prayer and went around the circle, each of us asking a prayer.
· Grandpa and Grandma Babbel asked all the family fast and pray for Lee Brundage to get a job.
· Our family had a fast with the Back family for the future of Meridian Title. Allen started his own title co.
· Michael remembered fasting on his mission to have a greater testimony of the gospel. He said he remembered the card Richard Wilson carried in his wallet that says: “Nothing is more important than my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.” Michael said he felt that his testimony helped support Betsy through her parent’s divorce.
· Betsy said the prayer following Rosie’s baptismal interview with the Bishop. Betsy said she felt a witness of the spirit that Rosie was doing the right thing.
· Tasha and Geremy asked us all to fast and pray for them to get pregnant. They knew they would if they were patient and waited for the Lord’s timing.
· Peter remembered that we asked all of our family to pray for Dad and me to be healthy enough to serve a mission.
· Amy said she and Christian fasted and then prayed about their decision to get married. She felt peace and complete confidence to go ahead with their decision.
· Just this summer Bishop Mott asked the ward to fast and pray for Gabe Stout following his serious motorcycle accident. Amy said still today people in the ward talk about what a bonding opportunity it was for the ward. New members to the ward felt a connection to all during the fast.
· Robyn fasted and prayed for her friend that had quit coming to Church. Over the next several weeks some of their common friends asked Robyn what they could do to help their friend. Jason felt the friends wanting to help was an answer to Robyn’s fast, a different answer than Robyn expected.
· Christian remembered two elders fasting for a lady in the hospital. Following their fast the elders went to visit the lady in the hospital. The elders both fainted during their visit and replaced the lady in bed.
· While Tasha was the Relief Society president in Africa one of the sisters lost her place at the market where she sold her wares. She didn’t have much and her livelihood came from what she could sell. A fellow Congolese had taken over her place. She fasted for a couple of days and when Tasha heard she was fasting she went to take her some food from the Church. The sister told her she was fasting because she didn’t want to be angry at the man. She went to the man and told him she forgave him. A few weeks later she found another spot to sell her wares.
· Tiffany went to Nauvoo for a semester with BYU. While there she began to question if Joseph Smith was a prophet. She called Dad to talk to him and he was in a meeting and couldn’t talk right then. She fasted to know if Joseph really was a prophet. She said it was so good for her to find out on her own that he was indeed a prophet.
· When I was called to be the Stake Young Women president for the Bountiful Stake I fasted and then went to the temple to know who I should serve with. I had the impression that Carole Ann should be the secretary. I sat in the Celestial room of the Bountiful Temple and after pondering and praying, I knew who should be my counselors. It was an incredible experience. Dad had driven me to the temple because I wanted to walk home after being there. During my walk home it was confirmed to me over and over again that these were the sisters who should serve with me.
· Tanya emotionally recalled how all of our family (Babbels and Ivins), her entire ward, friends and friends of friends had fasted and prayed for her when she had her heart attack. She remembered one less-active man from her ward told her that he had fasted and prayed for her. She was filled with gratitude and love that so many cared about her.
· We can’t write down even the thousandth part of what we have cumulatively fasted and prayed for over the past 50 years. We could estimate that about 20 of us have fasted 10 times a year for 25 years. That is a lot of fasting.
It’s our “P” day and we’re going to go for a walk. We love you. We fast and we pray for each of you. Thanks for your faith and prayers for each other and also in our behalf. We feel them and know that each of you feel a greater confidence in asking Heavenly Father for the things you want and need knowing that there is great power in joining together in doing this. We are praying right now for Tanya and her Doctor as she has her wrist operated on. We love you.
Bok. We love you! Mom and Dad/Mutti and Bumpa xoxo
Elder and Sister Ivins
Matije Gupca 7a
31000 Osijek, Croatia
385 (0) 91 444-8114 (Elder Ivins)
385 (0) 91 444-8115 (Sister Ivins)