"Grand as it is, planet Earth is part of something even grander- that great plan of God. Simply summarized, the Earth was created that families might be." Elder Russell M. Nelson
Monday, January 4, 2016

Today was our District P Day where we went to a Koala refuge.  The place had lots of birds, kangaroos, emus, deer, wombats and six Koalas. We took the sister missionaries with us and met the other elders at the refuge.  It was a 5 hour drive going and returning.  We had left-over meatloaf when we got home.  Ground beef is called mince here.

Rick with Koala at the top of the tree

Sheila with Koala

I would buy this if I could!

Sleepy Koalas

Look, he woke up!

Two Wallabees

The endangered Bilby

Sheila with a new friend.

Sister Going feeding a kangaroo

The claws are sharp!

Big old Kangaroo

A much younger one.

Colorful Peafowl


Elder Berger at the Koala park with the Sister Missionaries and the 5 dollar bill that he got from Virgil Steele who got it from Gary Green at the dinner party thrown by Alice Steele. There will be photos of this 5 dollar bill throughout our mission posted on this blog. That was President Lyman Hafen's idea and it is a good one. The Jayhawk hat will also be along for the trip.

Sleepy nocturnal Koala. The Koalas were so sweet and very sleepy, nocturnal that they are. 

This is what we call ground beef. Pay no attention to the kangaroo silhouette on the label.  I know, it freaked me out a little too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2015

Today I tested out the oven and made chocolate chip cookies which turned our rather well, and we visited two of the sisters in our branch.  It was pouring rain and it would have been fun to get a picture of the two of us under one umbrella, considering our height differences,  One of the sisters lives in a small flat and has done for fourteen years.  We enjoyed talking to her and finding out what some of her interests are.  She said this is the third time she has returned to activity.  We hope we can assist her as she works on strengthening her testimony.

The other sister rents a house and has two children living with her some of the week and with their father some of the week.  She is very smart and we really enjoyed our visit with her as well.

After our visits we went back to the flat and I made spaghetti and Rick had some of that and more of Kentucky Fried chicken.  We have found an Artisan bread we like to get fresh in the morning and it really complemented the spaghetti.

Wednesday, January 6, 2015

Today we visited the Public Library and signed up for a card.  We talked to a young man who gave us information about a website showing Armidale activities which I was hoping for.  We want to get involved volunteering in the community.

We took cookies and visited a single young man in the branch who loves American football teams and works at a tomato factory. They grow tomatoes hydroponically, and they employ several people who live here. The plant is in Guyra, NSW. He gave us tomatoes, peaches and plums which were much appreciated by us. The tomatoes are picture perfect and taste great.

At 7:00 we attended a correlation meeting with President Sully and the sister missionaries and went over the entire branch address list correlating who knew what.  The sisters have tried to visit all those living in Armidale and determine their activity levels.  It was productive  After, we cleaned President Sully's office as we have not had a key and been able to clean it with our previous cleaning. It seems that when you don't know what to do all of the time, there are always things to be cleaned. The Branch President said that the Chapel has never looked better.

Thursday, January 7, 2015

Today we took the branch address list and looked for members who have not been at Sunday meetings.  We confirmed some had moved and did not have forwarding addresses.  After, we drove outside Armidale confirming another incorrect address and then met with an investigator who had particular questions about baptism and taught him about the restoration and Elder Berger did a fine job explaining the difference between baptism in the Pentecostal  church of the investigator's youth and baptism in the LDS church.

Friday, January 8, 2015

In the midst of many challenging days in life, once in a while there is a wonderful day.  Today was such a day.  We awoke to a quite cool morning after a good night's sleep, feeling really good, took a walk, got ready to visit some branch members and headed out.  Sunglasses on our faces, a destination in mind, I felt like the Blues Brothers. 

The sky was so gorgeous, very blue with tons of white clouds Rick referred to as the Simpson's clouds from the cartoon show. Please do not get the idea that I watch The Simpsons TV show. I just recognize the cloud intro because when I see it I leap to my feet, find the remote, and change the channel. No, I do not appreciate their subtle humor.  The air was warm but the breeze remained cool.  We met with an elderly couple in the branch who are active but dealing with stress in their lives.  We drove out of town and met with another family.  We had a subway sandwich in the little town and walked the streets.  Elder Berger, much to his pleasure, found a gun shop and was able to converse with the owner.  

This was their Sign, Safari World, optimistic indeed!

These are the toys.
Once home, we purchased some needed items and back home to prepare for our talks in nine days.  

   No, we chose not to partake.


Ground up Kangaroo just seems like it would probably be prohibited by the Word of Wisdom if the early Apostles were eating it in Emma's house. It may taste great, I will never know.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Today after cleaning the church and me practicing the organ for tomorrow, we drove my an active branch member house whose occupants have been away for the holiday and two of their children, Lucy, who is 7 and Jeremy 5, were selling honey (1 kilogram) for $10.00 and a bag of peaches off their tree for $2.00,  outside their home.  It was a perfect time to introduce ourselves as Rick has been really enjoying the Australian honey on his bread. Australian honey has a different flavor than what we are used to in Utah. It is a very subtle difference but it is real. You see, north of the equator, the bees move their wings up and down whereas down under they move their wings down and up creating a difference that the truly pure in heart can detect. When you put the honey on a piece of toast that has been buttered with Australian butter (Australian cows swish their tales left to right and Utah cows go right to left) you are in for a real treat. I try and eat some every day. Sometime I will describe how the wheat for the bread waves in the breeze and is affected by the Latitude and how the taste is somewhat more delicate. 

Their grandfather owns a bee farm in Brisbane and happily talked to us and told Lucy to give us the missionary discount of honey and peaches for $10.00 for both which we were happy to pay. Lucy's parents had just driven away so we will meet them and their two other children at church tomorrow. Their mother is in the Masters program getting a teaching degree an their father is in the first year of Medical school at our local university.  

Oh, by the way, the water does swirl in the other direction when it goes down the drain.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Today our District President, President Owen spoke along with his wife at our Sacrament meeting.  He asked to meet with Elder Berger at 9:15 a.m. and called him to be the second counselor in the Branch Presidency.  Elder Berger was set apart after the block.  I play the organ in Sacrament meeting and in Relief Society.  Sister Sully, the Relief Society president, asked if I would teach Relief Society every few weeks and my first lesson to teach will be next week the same day I am speaking in church so the women, at least, will probably have their fill of hearing Sister Berger talk.

Our investigator attended church today.  He has been investigating for seven years so only time will tell what he ends up doing,  

1 comment:

  1. Dear Elder & Sis. Berger -- love reading about all your adventures 'down under.' It is amazing how we are doing the same thing in such totally different ways. Remember: GO FORTH & SERVE!