"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 June 19, 2016
Monday, June 13-18, 2016
Sheila writes in black, Rick in blue.

We are going to have to lump this week into one message.  We learned in the MTC that Elder Berger's cousin, Carol Butler, had a son coming to the same mission as us.  We met him in the Sydney office.  He frequently comes to the office with the other Mandarin Chinese speaking missionaries for the Chinese to have English class.  We were able to snap a picture of him today. Meeting Elder Butler was a great blessing to me. We were able to talk about his family and I was able to share some stories with him of his Grandma and her sisters, his great grandparents and their siblings, and about his great great grandpa, James Lawrence Healy who was my grandpa. Most were stories that he had not been told and it was fun for me to relive those times.  

Us with our replacement couple, the Cox's.

Elder Butler, me, and Sister Berger.

Elder Butler, me, Sister Berger, Sister Shen, Sister Money, and Elder Tsai.

Sister Watts spent some time helping to cut out the figures for the Plan of Salvation kits.  She was having a few struggles and we enjoyed talking to her, a very sweet missionary. We found that she is from the Holliday area of the Salt Lake valley.

Walking from our flat to the office one dark evening to practice the piano, I stubbed my toe and fell flat on my face, bruising both knees, both hands and my thumb.  I sat there with as prayer on my lips as I am no spring chicken and was worried about having broken something.  Thankfully, I am recovering and only my thumb still shows the bruising that at one time was quite spectacular.

So this week was full of trying to pass all the information we have been trained to do and have been doing for approximately the last three months into the hands of Elder and Sister Cox. I have always thought training was taxing as you still have to keep the current needs of the job going and at the same time try to teach.  Sister Cox wanted to take very, very detailed notes which is no surprise but did slow the process down. Training Elder Cox was much easier. He had been an accountant before their mission and I had created a file with step by step instructions on how to accomplish 90% of all of the things my job required. The other 10% are things that rarely happen and maybe have never happened that we need to handle in our calling. He will need to figure that part out on his own. 

The Leister's bought Custard pie and Lemingtons (Australia desserts) and had a goodbye party with us after work one evening.  Elder and Sister Black asked us to dinner to say goodbye Friday evening. They have been great friends to us and taken us to see wonderful things in Sydney.  We will miss them.

Friday we spent much of the day cleaning the flat and packing.  Our car packed to capacity but Sister Berger could have found more to take if I could have found the room. We looked like the Joad's, moving from Oklahoma to California in the 1930's (if you don't get the reference, watch "The Grapes of Wrath" sometime soon).  Saturday we managed to finish up the final packing and leave for Armidale at 9:00 in the morning.  We traveled to Cessnock and dropped off a new phone to the sister missionaries there and arrived to a rainy Armidale about 5:00 pm.

Sunday we went to church and Elder Berger taught Gospel Doctrine and I did sharing time in Primary and played the organ in Sacrament meeting.  Sister Clarkson had us over for tea - sausages - something Australians really like.

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