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Newly Called Sister Missionaries Unite and Create EPIC Video

Since President Monson's historic October General Conference announcement that Mormon women are now eligible to serve fulltime missions beginning at age 19, there has been a flurry of excitement as instantly eligible female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have eagerly submitted applications and are now receiving calls to serve throughout the world in what is speculated to be record breaking numbers!

One sister on Facebook reported, "In our tiny branch of less than 100 people, we have 5 sisters who have been called since Pres. Monson's announcement, and one more who is expecting her call this week! None of them were old enough to go before Oct."

Another friend reported that his daughter, currently serving  in the Florida Tampa Mission, wrote to say that over the next three months 80 new sister missionaries will be arriving and she will be involved with their initial training.


And yet another friend shared that his sister ,who is serving in the California San Diego Mission, reports that 120 new sister missionaries are scheduled to arrive during the months of December and January.

If you've been paying attention to what's going on with these faithful younger women of the LDS Church and how they are responding to a prophet's invitation to serve the Lord as fulltime missionaries, you've got to be blown away by their faithfulness, enthusiasm and willingness to jump right in and get to work. These young sisters seem to have come from the pre-mortal world wired to respond spontaneously to the voice of the Lord at this very time when He is hastening His work, and in need of all hands on deck. One has to believe that this generation of Mormon women were truly sent to earth "for such a time as this"!

One of these incredibly valiant women is Ali Nicole Vincent, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, newly called to serve in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission. (pictured above) Ali will report to the MTC on February 13, 2013. Ali recently joined a brand new Facebook group: Many Are Called... But Few Are Sisters. (Don't you just love that!) The group description: "For those sisters about to submit papers or those who have already received calls, so we can share our experiences and help each other prepare". Well, I'll let Ali tell you what happened next...

In a period of about 4 days over 1900 future sister missionaries joined the group from all over the world. We shared our mission calls with each other and some advice on where to shop, what to study, etc. One girl, Anna Finneran, had the fantastic idea that we should all meet up together at Temple Square to send a picture to the First Presidency to show how excited we are to serve. About 50 other sisters gathered at the Rexburg Temple at the same time in Idaho as well. As we gathered we sang hymns, took the picture, and found other girls going to our same missions. It really was such a spiritual experience to be surrounded by so many worthy young sisters who are so enthusiastic about serving the Lord in their designated area. The world is changing and the work is hastening. We are all needed in God's army whether we're going on missions or not. I honestly am so excited about my call that I received to Bahia Blanca Argentina. I can't wait to get out and serve the people there and I'm sure all the other sisters feel the same way!

FYI: To date the group formed on December 5, 2012  has now 2231 members and growing...

I asked Ali if she wouldn't mind inviting this outsider into the group so that I could have a quick look around, and I have to tell you it was an amazing spiritual experience! Truly a vision! Scanning down the news feed, entry after entry, it read something like a beauty pageant roll call of sorts, but of course these were daughters of the King, officially called to His service... (They have even created a Google Doc where each girl has recorded her name and mission.)

Newly Called Sister Missionaries Roll Call:


Meghan DeLee Simonson, Peru Lima North Mission

Jessica Tew, Colorado Denver South, Spanish Speaking

Loa Chantelle Thompson, Billings, Montana

Ariel Halton, Finland Helsinki

Sara Nicole Hansen, Guatemala, Guatemala City Central Mission

Emily Warren, California San Fernando 

Lauren Simpson, Beijing, China Mission - Update: I have no excuse for not questioning this, other than the fact that I was writing this post at 1am. But it seems as though Lauren is somewhat of a prankster and basically punked me, so to speak, by posting this as her mission call prior to posting the actual call right below --  which is to... drum roll please....  California San Fernando! All I can say is San Fernando is going to have their hands full with Sister Simpson! ; )

Madeline Macey, Vina del Mar Chile

Kelsie Jo Anderson, Leeds England Mission

Katie Jensen, California Anaheim Mission

Bryn Lewis, Ukraine, Kyiv Mission

Alli Wright, Montreal Canada Mission

Katelyn Bytheway, Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission

Steffany Dudley, Portugal Lisbon Mission

I wish I could list them all but you get the idea.


Now, stop and watch this amazing video before you read any further....

Video: Called to Serve - Future Sister Missionaries Unite


If that didn't send goosebumps up and down your spine, as it did mine, then I don't know what will! I hope that you will share this video with your family and friends, because we've all got to find our own way to make sure that we, too, are on the Lord's mission to hasten His work -- and this new force of missionaries, male and female, are going to require a great deal of member assistance to accomplish their task.

Here's something else you might find interesting to know about Ali: A year ago she actually wrote the First Presidency, requesting that they consider lowering the age requirement for women to serve fulltime missions. Oh yes she did! You can read more about that on her personal blog, here. Thank you Ali, for sharing your story with my readers and for making this wonderful video, certain to go viral throughout the LDS community. You are an inspiration to us all, along with all of these wonderful, newly called sister missionaries who will be serving throughout the world.

I'd also like to introduce you to Jessica Carlson, who was with Ali on the day they made the video and who actually took the adorable picture of her that I've used for this post. I tracked her down to get her permission. Jessica is currently waiting to receive her own mission call on Wednesday, and is anxious to see where the Lord needs her to serve. I asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing some of her thoughts about her own experience with the making of the video and for her specific feelings about the lowering of the age for missionary service for women in the Church?
I was in the video Ali made. I am one of the girls who was taking pictures and actually am the one holding the tripod in the first couple of shots with the big cream colored scarf and gray/green backpack. Ali and I were already friends, and we drove up together. 
Being up there with all those future missionaries was, to say the least, incredible. Standing with others fully invested in the Lords work is an amazing feeling and the spirit burned within my heart knowing that what we were all doing was good, and it was right. Being able to serve a mission is a great blessing that I have been offered and I cant wait to get out into the field to let people know there is a Savior and he invites all to come unto his true and everlasting gospel. 
I think that being able to serve at 19 is a great opportunity for girls. Many find it hard to get to 21 with out being seriously involved in a school program or boyfriend relationship. This now gives us the option to go and serve before things, like the ones I mention, get too serious; allowing us to serve but to also come home and not of missed out on anything. And also, as it was said by Elder Holland, "the Lord is hastening his work," and as you saw in the video, we sisters are proud and ready to heed the call.
I'll definitely update this post on Wednesday when we find out where Jessica has been called to serve!

Update as Promised: Sister Carlson has been called to serve in the Germany, Frankfurt Mission! This is where her brother also served. Congratulations Jessica! We are so happy for you!

I think what these sisters are doing is fantastic! I am just so inspired by their goodness and desire to make incredible things happen. I've been reflecting on the words of President Kimball all day as I've thought about this generation of women in the Church, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to observe them in action.

"Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different-in happy ways-from the women of the world."

Photo of Newly Called Sister Missionaries in front of Salt Lake City Temple
Taken for First Presidency

(I'm not sure who to give credit for this photo -- if you know please speak up)




A brief scan of the group right before I published this post turned up this amazing photo, posted by Anna. From what I'm learning, these newly called sister missionaries had similar meet-ups at various locations on the same day as the Salt Lake City group!


Here are all the locations! Salt Lake, Provo, Rexburg, La'ie, and Logan.

God speed to all of our missionaries throughout the world. Our prayers of love and support are with you as you give of yourself in the service of the Lord. Thank you!

tDMg,
Kathryn Skaggs

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37 comments :

  1. My former mission companions are I are just so excited about all of these girls going. My own two neices have just submitted their papers as well. It's an exciting time for many families!

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    1. Yes, there is so much excitement about sending so many sister missionaries out into the field!

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  2. I am so excited to see all of the new sisters going into the field! My younger sister is one who is getting ready to go, and it's great.

    I'm 20 myself and currently in my third year of college. After the announcement, I cried and cried, because I knew at that moment that prophets do receive revelation at the exact time it needs to be given.

    I would love to join the throng of young women going, but I keep feeling like now isn't the time for me. It's kind of hard to see so many going when I'm at home just going to school. Though I am very excited for everyone, it's difficult knowing that I'm not joining them.

    I feel like there's a lot of pressure for girls to go now, and I feel like I let people down by telling them that I haven't felt like it's what I should be doing. It's a new circumstance I never thought I'd experience. What should I do and sisters like me do? As the sisters in the video were saying, serving a mission is one of the most valiant things a girl could do. How do I feel like I'm being valiant, too?

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    1. Ari,

      May I offer some thoughts for you? If you feel like being in school right now is what the Lord would have you do, then feel good about it. A mission, while exciting and perfect for some people, is not what the Lord has in mind for everyone. I honor those women who have had the courage to pray about it and find out for themselves what the Lord needs them doing and then the added courage to be able to do it.

      Just because you aren't serving a full time mission doesn't mean that you aren't valiant. The Church is FILLED with righteous, amazing women throughout time that didn't serve full time missions: prophets wives, women of scripture, many of our mothers and grandmothers and aunts. They instead developed a relationship with their Father in Heaven and learned His will for their lives and moved forward valiantly to accomplish the work at hand. :)

      Choose to do what the Lord has asked you to do and do it to the best of you ability. You will find great peace in this.

      Just my thoughts... :)

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    2. Ari,

      You need to remember that for women in the Church, choosing to serve a fulltime mission is an option, unlike for the men, it is an obligation. In other words, the Lord *wants* you to have the choice. There is absolutely no need to feel that the choice to not serve a mission is in anyway less valiant, simply because the age requirement has been lowered. The option has simply been given to you at a younger age. And in fact, as long as you are single it remains as one of your many options.

      So, continue to do what you feel is best and right for you and honor the choices of other women throughout your life.

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    3. When I was a missionary in Chile, I taught a girl my age who was intelligent and spiritual and friendly and someone who we just plain liked. Someone who was trying to do the right thing by what she knew. But the gospel was a really new idea to her. What she needed was a friend who wasn't a missionary, who was just a person who lived the gospel and showed her in action what that was, what it meant, what the positive consequences were of having that in her life. She needed someone who was valiant *without* a nametag. Maybe there is someone near you who need you to be just where you are. And maybe there is something for you to learn/do/receive by being right where you are. If you follow the Spirit, you won't go wrong, whether it's by staying in college or leaving on a mission right now.

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    4. What a beautiful consideration, Rose. Thank you for reaching out and sharing.

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    5. I love the thoughts that have already been posted. And I want to add that you're not the only one! I know of several women who do not feel that serving a mission is what they should be doing at this time, and none of them are in serious relationships. It's just not what they should be doing. And that's OK! While you're at home, you can still seek to have what Sis. Julie B. Beck calls the most important skill we can gain in this life, which is to qualify for, receive, and act upon personal revelation. Nothing stopping you there!

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    6. Ari,

      I'm 23 and am getting ready to leave for my mission at the end of January. Someone asked me if I would have gone on a mission when I was 19 if the Church had changed its age policy then. My answer was a definite 'no.' I had thought a lot about serving a mission when I was turning 21, and it just didn't feel like the right time. Looking back, I don't think I was quite ready at 21, and for sure not at 19! I'm glad I didn't go earlier. I finished school and grew up a lot. I feel so much more prepared now.

      I understand feeling kind of bad that everyone else is going and you're staying in school, but if you feel like it's not the right time, then that is perfectly ok! And just because now isn't the right time doesn't mean it won't ever be the right time. Maybe your time at school will help prepare you for a mission, just like it did for me. :)

      p.s. Thanks for this blog post! I found it through our sister missionary facebook group!

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    7. Ari,

      I'm 23 and getting ready to leave for my mission at the end of January. Someone asked me if I would have served a mission when I was 19 if the Church had changed its policy then. My answer was a definite 'no.' I had thought a lot about serving when I was turning 21, but it just didn't seem like the right time. Looking back, I don't think I was quite ready to go at 21, and definitely not at 19! I stayed and finished school, and grew up a lot. Now I feel very prepared to serve a mission.

      I understand feeling kind of bad that everyone else is leaving, and you're staying in school, but if you don't feel like it's the right time, then that is perfectly ok! Just because now isn't the right time doesn't mean it will never be the right time. Maybe staying in school will help prepare you for a mission, just like it did for me. :)

      p.s. Thanks for this blog post! I found it through our sister missionary facebook group! :)

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  3. Ari, one of my very best friends feels exactly the same way. She's wanted to serve a mission since she was twelve years old. I've only wanted to serve since this May. After the announcement, I immediately turned in my papers and Sara did not. She felt, like you, that this wasn't the right time for her. Read the talk 'Timing' by Dallin H. Oaks. not only is this talk applicable now, but will be applicable for the rest of your life. I know that the Lord has a plan for you and is aware of you. There is something wonderful that you are to accomplish in your life, just keep faith and work with the Lord on his timing!

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  4. Thank you so much for this post!! My name is Lauren Hungate (soon to be Hermana Hungate). I'm going to Chicago Spanish speaking in February, And This group (Many are called, but few are sisters) is my baby. I decided a couple of weeks ago to start a facebook group with two of my best friends (Lyndsie smith--Rosario Argentina, and Sarah Kemer--awaiting a call)to help others sisters who might be feeling the same things we were. And we had NO CLUE it would become something so huge. Its truly humbling to read call stories and testimonies of other sisters every day. I'm glad to see that others share my excitement and nervousness to leave our families for a short time and serve our Lord. I just wanted to state publicly that I know that this is the Lord's true restored gospel on the earth, there is NO doubt in my mind that we have the full truth, that we have a living prophet who guides us daily. And that the Lord loves us and wants to bless us. I am so excited to go and serve the people of Chicago and bring others to Christ.

    Have a fantastic day, and thanks again for posting this!

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    1. Lauren,

      It is so nice to finally meet you! I'm leaving up both of your comments, since they're a bit different. It was my pleasure to write this post. I've been so inspired by what all of you amazing sisters are doing. I know you didn't know what your group would turn into and the impact you would have, and I think that is what makes your story so charming, exciting and miraculous. It is evidence of the Lord's Hand.

      Thank you for sharing your testimony and for your willingness to serve the Lord. I look forward to reconnecting when your group returns. I'm hoping you girls will organize a reunion picture and video in perhaps October of 2014 at General Conference. I'll be there and I'd love to cover that story! You are apart of our Church history and what an impact you are making in the Church and throughout the world!

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  5. I entered a big comment and it somehow deleted itself, Anyways my name is Lauren Hungate (Soon to be Hermana Hungate--chicago spanish speaking) And "Many are called, but few are sisters" is the group that I started with two of my friends (lyndsie smith--rosario argentina, Sarah kemer--awaiting a call) and we had no idea that it would be this successful Or that others would share our exact same excitement and nervousness to leave our families and serve the Lord for a short time. When I had an idea to help other sisters prepare, I didn't know how much their testimonies and call stories would bless my life. I just wanted to say how much I love the Lord and his restored gospel, and i'm so excited to be able to go serve the people of Chicago so soon. It is such a blessing to be able to witness the making of history,

    Now, Many are called and many are sisters!

    Thank you so much for posting all of this!! Have a great week.

    God speed the right!

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    1. This really was an amazing event, along with all of the other events that have happened along the way for this one to happen! I had the opportunity to look on all of the girls after they were all grouped up for their picture, and I saw something powerful. None of these girls appeared to be hesitant or weak in what they were doing, they all looked to me like natural, strong leaders. Words can't express the strength I saw. Wow! However imperfect, young, or flawed we may be, God has use for us, and He is sending His precious daughters out to every corner of the earth to build up His kingdom, and preach to all of His children. Amazing.

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    2. Lauren,
      Thanks for starting such an incredible group!! I've been touched everytime I get on there and read what others share! This facebook group has lead to many great and marvelous things!!! Again, thank you for touching my life!

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  6. I think this IS my absolute favorite post of all time, Kathryn! What an uplifting and inspiring video of these AMAZING young women. Thank you for capturing an historic moment perfectly through your talents for writing and social media.

    Ali & Jessica and all the future sister missionaries - thank you all for being so awesome and ready to serve. As a mother of daughters, I was delighted when the announcement was made and I'm even more excited seeing this video. You all are forging a new path for many young women to follow from Laurels to Sunbeams...and even those not yet born!

    I know that President Monson received revelation on this inspired decision as a true Prophet of God and that millions around the world will have their lives changed forever as a result. Sending you all much love and prayers as you head out to serve the Lord.

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    1. Thanks, Lori. It's been so thrilling to learn about these newly called sister missionaries and hear what they are up to and how they are preparing to serve. They are an amazing generation of women in the Church. How blessed we are!

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  8. This is so amazing! I was one of the sisters in the photo in front of the Salt Lake City Temple. It was such a great experience to be on those sacred grounds with all of those faithful young women! I have been called to serve in the Florida Tallahassee Mission! I am 20 years old. I have had a desire to serve a mission since I was 16. The new age requirement has come at a perfect time, not only for me, but for thousands of sisters that have a strong desire to serve. Thank you for sharing this! I know that this Church is true, and we indeed have a living prophet that speaks from God! If these sisters all going forward to serve isn't testimony enough of a living prophet and a living God, I'm not sure what is! It is wonderful!

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    1. How EXCITING!!! I served in the Florida Tallahassee Mission 34 years ago. It has been split several times since then and is much smaller, but that just shows the great growth of the church. Tallahassee is a wonderful place and the people are terrific in that mission area. A mission is a great education in spiritual living, human relations, and provident living. Congrats on your call and know, on those days when discouragement sets in, that millions around the world are praying for the missionaries and the Lord hears and answers our prayers. God Bless!

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    2. Congratulations on your mission call. And thank you so much for sharing your sweet testimony!

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  9. My papers are in, just waiting on my call. I'm blessed to be one of the older sisters who will be heading out with that huge group in the next 6 months. I'm 21, and had my papers in just weeks before the announcement. This is so exciting!

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    1. Very exciting! I wish you all the best. Thank you for your willingness to serve!

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  10. hi everyone, my name is louisette esther waiane! realy love this post from newly called sister missionaries.well,i just received my call ☻☻ one month ago and i will be serving in the utah saints george mission!![[mtc date dec 18]] so exited to go and serve the lord's children ...((as a daughter of the king))it is our great blessing in our perilous time to serve the lord with a righteous living by growing our faith,testimony ,hope,charity...and more with the others ...in the lord's vineyard ♥♥♥!!!

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    1. Wonderful! Congratulations and Godspeed as you go forth to serve!

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  11. Thank you for your thoughts, Kathryn. You have summed up my feelings exactly. I turned 19 in August and was amazed at the timing of this historic announcement. At the time I didn't know it, but the Lord had been preparing me this summer to be able to accept the call to serve a mission. I'm looking forward to going to the Baltic mission on March 27th, where I will be speaking Latvian!! I'm so excited, and humbled to be part of this historic change in the church. Thanks again for sharing this experience with everyone in such accurate words!

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    1. You're welcome, Sarah. All my best as you set off on your mission. I know it will be a tremendous experience!

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  12. Oh my heavens! This is such a happy post! :) I'm excited to say that I, too, was there that snowy day! It was truly a remarkable thing to be a part of! The spirit was so strong and it was awesome to get to be up there with hundreds of girls who are going through similar things I am and who have similar goals in mind. I cannot WAIT to serve the people of Perth, Australia! I leave March 13. For those of you who may be interested....here is the link to a blog post I wrote about my journey and decision to serve a mission:

    http://kowsiemooriah.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-it-all-unfolded.html

    And here are the video links for my call opening :) Such happy times!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ustH1HYf5HY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-X2tZAaZ90

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    1. Love, love, loved your blog post and your video! Thank you for sharing and may the Lord bless you and watch over you while you serve in Australia!

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  13. I thought I was convinced and convicted before... My desire to serve has increased because of this article and video. I may be well over 19, but am gladly still single. I can't wait to turn in my papers. I look forward to serving my King! :)

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    1. That is fabulous news, Riana! Promise us you'll come back, right here, and share with all of us where you are called!

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  14. Thank you so much for this post!! I loved the video that went along with it as well. I have a really good friend who just recently got her mission call to Berlin, Germany, and then another friend to Nashville. And with a few other things also happening at the same time in my life, I cannot believe how the timing is just so right.

    I had originally thought for many years that I'd never serve a mission, but with the age change it brings many more opportunities. I've felt many promptings lately, that make me believe that this is going to be the right choice for me to make when the time finally comes! And I cannot tell you how excited I am for all the sister missonarys going, and for myself. Everytime I think about being able to serve a mission I feel so happy. Being able to serve the Lord, especially in this way, is such an honor. Now with the new year coming, I will have about two years to prepare. And having watched this video and read your post, to me it only feels more right that this truly is the work of God, and that President Monson truly received revelation. :)

    --Lexie

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    1. It all sounds so exciting, Lexie. I think it's wonderful that the Lord has given women so many option for deciding what is right for them in what they choose to do. I'm sure you will make excellent choices over the next few years.

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  15. Ha ha! I found it funny that the Sister claiming to be called to Beijing was only pranking you... when the quote that you posted about the tiny branch of less than 100 people... is actually a (foreign national) branch IN CHINA! ;) Perfect!

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  16. Wow Great JOB, it was very successful and I know because God is watching us. if its for the better he will prove us just like what happen to you now.

    Well' I was just pass and Thanks for this wonderful blog. You can check also mind.

    Thanks

    TFI thefamilyinternational

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