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Elder Bill Atkinson
Sister Joan Atkinson
Cell (Elder Atkinson):
Cell (Sister Atkinson):
Bill and Joan had to come to California to find each other at a singles dance (non-LDS) in 1974, each of us finding our way from previous marriages. Bill was raised in the east in several states, due to his dad being a traveling salesman. Bill’s family came to Studio City, California in 1958 where his father was assigned to Lear Romic Pump Corp. Bill grew up going to different denominational churches, never meeting a Mormon before nor ever seeing a Mormon building. Only once did he read in the history book that Brigham Young led a bunch of folks to Utah as pioneers. Looking back at the past, Bill was fortunate to meet a man (Perry Frank Johnson) that was a leader and guide for the UMCA and later worked as a Regional Naturalist in the Sate of Ohio and the US Government.
In California, Bill finished his education in the field of engineering and graduated from junior college with an AA, while serving in the California Army National Guard and later finished college with a BA in mechanical engineering from California State Long Beach University.
Bill is a convert to the LDS Church November 1974, thanks to his lovely wife, Joan. Bill’s callings in the church include but not limited to: Scoutmaster, Ward membership Clerk, Executive Secretary, High Priest 2nd Asst, Ward and Stake Employment Specialist.
Bill and Joan were called to the Wellington, New Zealand Mission in Dec. 2006-June. 2008. We worked as office missionaries. There were one hundred and sixty missionaries from all over the world who served with us. Every day was something new and challenging. Our last four months were served on the south Island as genuine door knocking missionaries. We served in a small branch. The service opportunities were amazing and we love it all.
Joan’s family (father, mother & 4 sisters) were baptized when she was ten years old living in Kansas City Missouri. My family stayed active for about a year. My dad had a year of sobriety. When my dad started drinking we went to church infrequently and then became totally inactive. I never went to young women’s, seminary or any of the youth programs. Later in life the church found me and I was activated. I was called to be Laurel advisor, I did not have a clue what that meant. After a year of teaching I was Young Women’s president. I moved from California to Florida to a small branch and was made 2nd counselor in the R.S. I had yet to ever attend R.S. that was another whole adventure. Upon returning to California I have served as Primary teacher, primary president, R.S. teacher, counselor and I am currently R.S. President along the way I have been den leader, ward missionary leader. Bill and I were foster parents when the church had the Indian Placement program. We also took in other foster children. I had a day care in my home for many years then went back to college and got my certificate to teach. I taught preschool and kindergarten at a private Methodist church school for twenty eight years. I was the assistant director for twenty of those year. I loved teaching children and it was really good because I could openly teach about God and Jesus Christ. I still tutor children in reading.