"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
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016

I am finding that teaching the Old Testament every other day is bringing the Prophets in that book to life and I am really enjoying revisiting their faith promoting experiences.  After we finished Seminary, we decided to take a preparation day as there were several things we needed to do. We had a skype session with each of our 4 children, We love to see them and the grandchildren. It would be very hard to be away for almost two years without Skype letting us join our children and grandchildren for a few minutes each week.  Our day turned out to be very enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I taught about Noah and the flood and we had some good discussion.  We found out that in Australia kids start driving with their parents at 16 and earn 120 hours, then the next year a certain number and the next year.  It takes three years before they can get driver's license!  In many ways that seems like it would be a good idea for all teenagers.  I made chocolate crinkle cookies to deliver to less-actives and a flyer announcing our Pacific Area Conference this Sunday.  It is a Satellite broadcast and we are told that either one of the First P residency or the Council of Twelve will be speaking.  We are having a pot luck luncheon afterwards.

Sister MacDonald and I practiced her violin solo that I am accompanying for the area conference and then Elder Berger and I went out to search for new members showing on our updated branch list and delivering cookies and flyers to some less actives.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

After a stimulating lesson on the Tower of Babel taught by Elder Berger this morning, we went for an hour's walk and then went out in search of less actives to invite to our area conference.  We drove to the Gostwyck church for pictures as the leaves start turning.  We will probably go back after the ivy has completely turned.

It is the equivalent of late august here and the leaves are already turning. 

The Famous Gostwyck church


Once again, the mysterious 5 dollar bill makes an appearance.

Beautiful tree lined lanes

Beautiful Sister Berger next to a beautiful tree lined lane

I have always loved yellow and green.  On the farm of my youth we had many trees surrounding the house with changes in the fall from green to yellow and I called it Whispering Gold in my mind.  For our wedding we used yellow and green with orange accents.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

After Seminary we traveled to Tamworth for a Family History training as our district training meeting with and by President and Sister Checketts.  We love them heaps! (that is the Sydney North Mission saying)  The training provided great ideas for encouraging nonmembers here in Armidale to get involved with their family history.  Of course, we hope it will lead to investigating the church and missionary work.  After the training we met at Subway for lunch.


The Elders are contemplating their soon to be full tummies

Here they go!

President and Sister Checketts are once again left to pick up the check.

Mmmmmm, delicious!

I followed Elder Kehler in line and ordered what he did - chicken teryiaki on multi-grain bread - it was VERY good.

Hey Elder Lynch, look this way. Elder Lynch: "Go Away, I'm eating"

Enjoying a sandwich outdoors with the Missionaries.

Do I look like I need a sandwich?

Friday, February 26, 2016

We are having a couple of hot days that should have occurred much earlier in the Australian summer.  We have turning leaves of Autumn and hotter heat than we have seen so far.  We had a lovely time at seminary, cleaned the church as we will be away tomorrow and then delivered flyers about our area conference this coming Sunday.  We head for Inverell tomorrow to meet with the members there.  President Checkett's and President Sully both said Elder Berger should give a religious message and when we see fit, provide the Sacrament for them.  Tomorrow we will get acquainted and then decide when and how often to provide a Sacrament meeting.

Saturday, February 27 2016

We were surprised to find Inverell experiencing a state of heat when we arrived, 95 degrees Fahrenheit.  I have been spoiled with the temperature in Armidale and struggled with the heat and no air conditioning where we gathered.  We visited two inactive members and then joined those who want to be active at Sister Ali's apartment.  She is so sweet and had prepared sandwiches and fruit.  We stopped at Woolworth's and purchased two rotisserie chickens and took them along with our macaroni salad.

Those who attended were so happy to have us there and to have a religious service.  I think they were disappointed that it wasn't longer but now we know what to expect.  There was a ten year old boy and a five year old girl, two babies, two girls in their twenties, an investigator from Nigeria with a 3 month old baby, two other women and a husband and wife who were very active in the Philippines but have become inactive in Australia because they live so far away from the branch and he gets sick and falls asleep when he drives very far. 

Everyone was excited about our coming once a month and providing the Sacrament.  Elder Berger will probably teach one of his Gospel Doctrine lessons on the Book of Mormon next time and I will try to prepare songs and activities to keep the kids entertained My mind keeps brainstorming, wondering how we can enable these lovely people to attend church more often.  Sister Ali's husband drives her and daughter, Michelle, to Armidale for church at the branch once a month and he drives them to Brisbane every six months to attend the temple which is really good of him I think, as he is not a member..  Here are pictures from our Inverell activity:

Sister Chambers and daughter, Una Sika

Una and her daughter, Eva

Sister Ali and son, Rishad

An investigator named Blessing from Nigeria, and Sister Ali with Rishad

Michelle with Blessing's 3 month old baby girl

Brother Ali, and Eva

Sunday, February 28, 2016

We arrived at the church at 9:00 for Elder Berger's branch presidency meeting.  At 9:15 Sister Betts and I went through the hymns and then Sister MacDonald and I practiced her violin/piano number. After our opening with Brother Smith speaking and Kate's violin solo, we enjoyed a wonderful satellite broadcast with the main speaker being Elder Cook, from the Council of the Twelve Apostles. The main themes were trust and faith in the Lord.

We had a visitor from Narrabri with four children attend which made up a bit for several members who did not attend.  After the broadcast we had our potluck with my lasagna, first time made with Australian ingredients, chicken enchiladas, a spinach salad with yams and mint, a fruit/vegetable tray and cheesecake and cupcakes (known here as patty cakes) for dessert.  One thing I've noticed here is that Australians do not make, and bake rolls for their dinners.  Occasionally they serve a slice of bread but usually there is no bread with a meal.  Everything was eaten so now I know if the entire branch attended we would need double the food.  Here are some pictures of our potluck luncheon:

What a great group of members.

Brother MacDonald mugging for the camera.

As usual, the kids table looks like the most fun!

What would we do without Brother Jeremy Hoffman, he was such a help with everything!

Even the cleanup was fun.

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