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Vegas to Llanelli – The Mormon’s Journey

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Suited and booted: Robby and Kurt     Photo: Alan Evans

They are a familiar sight in villages, towns and cities across Wales. Smartly suited and booted fresh faced all American boys on bicycles ready to preach the gospel of Mormon to you. Having passed these boys by on the street or more often than not whizzed past them in the car as they struggle up a 1 in 10 hill on their bicycles The Herald decided to stop a while and have a chat with them to find out, just who are these guys and why are they here.

Elder Robbie began by telling The Herald : “We are missionaries and I am from Seattle Washington and Elder Kurt is from Las Vegas, Nevada. We were called by a prophet to serve in the Midlands of England and South Wales. We fund ourselves by working before we travel. The church has a fund and the church pays out what you need to live wherever you may be. We get a basic allowance and our mission homes are found for us. We begin work by getting up at 6:30 am . We have to be dressed and have eaten breakfast by 8 am. From 8am to 9am we study scriptures. From 9am to 10am we do companion study and after that we go out. We have to be back by 9:30 pm and in bed by 10:30 pm.

Mondays are our preparation day so we can go out and do chores, write to our family or go shopping etc.” The Herald asked the elders how they coped with being away from their families for so long. Elder Kurt said : “It is a big commitment and when we go home we just carry on with where we left off. It is a sacrifice because we don’t see our families. We have recently been given notebooks and they are useful for emailing our families. We volunteer for two years so we are away from our families for that amount of time. I miss my family and I am excited about going back to go to university and starting my career. Our religion is bigger in the States and a lot more people come to the church.” Not being familiar with the work of the Mormons, The Herald asked the elders to shed some light on what they did. Elder Robbie said : “We try to find opportunities to work within communities and that is not easy. We help people with their gardens or with their housework. We also help people trace their family tree. That side of the work is very popular with people. Anyone can come to us for researching their family.”

The elders told The Herald that hey had been Mormons through their family upbringing. Elder Robbie said : “My Mum was taught by missionaries and my Dad was a missionary in Hong Kong in 1984. I was raised in this belief but I didn’t bother with it as a teenager. I saw that I wanted a happiness I didn’t have that my family had.” We asked the elders what their faith was all about. Elder Kurt said : “The bible consists of the writings of the prophets. When Jesus and the apostles were killed there was a time when the full gospel was not on the Earth and we believe that a restoration happened. God called a modern day prophet to restore the gospel and that is why we read from the book of Mormon along with the bible. The prophet’s name was Joseph Smith but the book was written by a number of prophets. Joseph Smith could barely write a letter himself. The book states that it is actually a testament of Jesus Christ. It is not meant to dismiss the bible. They can be seen as two pieces of a puzzle that work together to give us a full picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite men everywhere to read the book. We go around knocking on doors, handing out leaflets books and cards and chatting with people. It is a non paid ministry. We have a base in a chapel in Morfa Llanelli near Lidls. Anyone can come to our chapel from 10 am until 1 pm on Sundays and any denomination is welcome.”

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    David Pootersnoot

    February 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I would be far more impressed if they were not riding their bicycles through a pedestrian precinct where cycling is prohibited.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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