"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, July 17, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
Sheila writes in black, Rick in blue.

We were finally able to touch base with a less active couple some 20 minutes driving time away.  It is her birthday and we phoned to see if we could bring a birthday card to her.  She is on dialysis from a kidney disease that has destroyed her kidneys. She has her treatments 3 times a week for about 7 hours a day and has the equipment in their home so it can be done there. Her first transplant was when she was 18 years old.  She had another transplant and that went bad so at present is doing the dialysis three times a week.  She also works three days a week.  Her husband works nights and writes country western music and raises show horses. The only day they are not on different schedules or dealing with dialysis is Sunday.

They were a lovely couple and very welcoming.  He told us that he was raised Catholic and one day the thought came to him when he was 17 that he did not know what was going to happen to him when he died.  It really bothered him that he had so many questions unanswered about religion.  A year later he met the missionaries and became friends with them and took the discussions.  He said, "I want you to know the missionaries did not convert me. I decided if  the Mormon religion based its beliefs on the Book of Mormon, I needed to study it and as I did so, I KNEW I was reading the words of Jesus Christ.  I have been less active on and off over the years and right now know I need to get back into activity.  During all these years, no matter what, when I pick up the Book of Mormon and read from it, I know the words come from Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for over 40,000 years and NSW is home to Australia's largest Aboriginal population.  There are many here in Armidale and one of the areas that was and is special to them is the Blue Hole area of Oxley Park which they consider a deeply spiritual place. We stopped there today for a few minutes. This is where Jo, our investigator was baptized when we were in Sydney so we wanted to see it..  We will come back when the weather is better to walk a few of the paths.

The Blue Hole

Too cold for Elder Berger. Sister Berger took this picture from the warm car.

Tuesday evening is community choir.  I am so amazed when in our music of Puccini's Messa di Gloria, the Sopranos have a high A to hit and these 70 year old women hit it with vigor.  I, on the other hand, lip synch the A.

Graham, our conductor, looks somewhat fierce but is a very gentle leader who encourages the choir to do it correctly, please.

Some of the blokes and sheilas in the choir.

Asleep on my feet. The man in the Al Borland shirt holding his coat is a wonderful tenor who can really hit the notes without straining too much. He has asked for one of the solos.

Our pianist is amazing. She is standing next to the piano talking to our secretary in the aqua colored coat. (I would have said bluish but I didn't want the edit)

Two of our basses who travel an hour and forty five minutes one way from Inverell to attend practices and who are desperately trying to get me to sing the correct notes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I checked on Jean, our 93 year old neighbor.  She had given us a tea towel with Australian blue wrens that I hanged on our bedroom wall and I told her how much I liked it and wanted to find a place to get Australian souvenirs to start gathering to take home.  She called her 85 year old sister and gave me some ideas.

We were planning on feeding one of our home teaching persons tonight but they cancelled.  We worked on our branch home evening we are planning for tomorrow and fed lunch to the elders while we worked on Elder Yang's English.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unfortunately, only the elders and us attended our branch home evening.  We will keep trying.  We discussed the situation and decided to perhaps change the name to branch activity night and open it up to all of the branch, not just those without children.  We are thinking we will try showing the movie "Ephraim's Rescue" and see how the attendance is for that.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Elder Berger left with the elders to do a service for one of the less active families - unloading lots of boxes.  They live about 90 minutes away.  While he was gone I prepared for our home teaching dinner tonight. We helped the family unload a large truck full of boxed goods which contained the remaining inventory of his antique and collectibles shop in Tamworth. It was good to help but they still have a lot of sorting to do to get to the point of selling it on E-Bay. We saw several Kangaroos on the trip and talked about the realities of life with the Elders.

We had a family of five join us for dinner.  I made a lovely spinach, and lettuce salad with mandarin oranges, apples, sugared nuts, etc. and home made dressing. We baked potatoes and Elder Berger cooked salmon.  We served cheese cake for dessert.  We played a get acquainted game over dessert and I think everyone had a good time.

They brought us drinks and a hostess gift of chocolate truffles which was so very sweet of them.

 We borrowed these dishes from the flat common area clubhouse as we do not have extra dishes.  We also borrowed chairs.  It makes it so nice to have the facility just steps away that we can use. My poor attempt at a centerpiece came from our two daffodils blooming in spite of freezing temperatures, and the vase is an empty syrup container from Costco, (necessity, the mother of invention)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sacrament meeting speakers cancelled so Elder Berger and I were asked to speak which we did.  We had a good turn out at church, many were late but arrived which was great.  After church we stayed for an hour while I worked on the piano piece Canon in D by Pachebel.  President Sully asked me to play the piano in the branch talent night program. I will need LOTS of practice. Sister Berger gave a great talk. We also had a talk by a 15 year old young woman who talked about virtue and was excellent. Sometimes it seems as though we have a strange bunch of members but we love them all. They come to their meetings because they want to worship the Lord, not because of peer pressure. They study the gospel and know it very well. It is our honor to serve here, and a blessing for us.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Bergers - we love reading your blog and all your adventures. You are truly making a difference in your mission and we can feel your love and dedication to the gospel. Your mission is lucky to have you!!