"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 24, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
Sheila writes in black, Rick in blue.

We enjoyed our wonderful skype time with our children and grandchildren which is always so special to us.  We had a lovely visit for over an hour with Sister Bernadette, the retired nun who lives in our complex.  She is seventy years old but appears much younger.  She has no radio, TV and does not read newspapers.  She said she has had a hard life, always serving where no one else wanted to go and now she just wants peace.  However, she is interested in what Mormons believe so we enjoyed exchanging questions and discussing the common beliefs we have. I gave her some quotes from the Prophets that I used in last week's Sunday School lesson. She seemed reluctant but took the paper when I said "I'm not trying to get you". She replied that she had already been got. She prays several times a day. Maybe she will pray about the words of Latter- Day Prophets and receive a spiritual witness. It would not be the first time it has happened.

Tuesday, July 19,2016

Seminary and English teaching with the elders filled our morning.

During our community choir practice, the lady next to me said she had been singing with that choir for 25 years - amazing. We are finally starting to feel some level poof comfort with this piece and I am now enjoying listening to the harmonies and don't have to concentrate so much on the part.

When we arrived home a huge night crawler greeted us on our doorstep.  The tiles are six inches by six inches. I bet Elder Condie could catch a whopper with bait like this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We have had quite a bit of rain and this morning the sky greeted us with this beautiful display of symmetrical clouds and blue sky.

Today we finally met up with Brother Benesch and were able to home teach him.  He is a very interesting man who has a wonderful testimony of the gospel.  As a young boy he was placed in a Catholic boys' home after his other remarried.  His time there was very difficult and the other boys treated him badly.  As Elders' Quorum president, he has lists of less actives and we have lists so we spent time organizing our information into similar lists.

A gorgeous sunrise

Today was a beautiful winter day here in Armidale. I snapped these pictures as we walked around town running errands and meeting people.

Downtown on the plaza.

An old hotel in the center of town and another below. Blue skies in the forecast.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

After teaching Seminary we babysat the youngest MacDonald children while there mother spent some time working on her practicum for her master's degree.  We enjoyed our time with them.

Tonight we had a branch movie night and showed the movie "Ephraim's Rescue.  I made caramel popcorn and we took punch and ice cream bars.  Sister Ford and her two children and Sister Pearce, our newest member attended along with a family that are not members but are taking the Elder's English class at the library.  The movie is very touching and we have found most of the members we have asked here, are unaware of.the handcart pioneer stories.

Sister Berger and Sister Pearce.

Sister Ford and her daughters really enjoyed movie night.

Elder Yang and yours truly.

A different scene.

Elder Kelly, Elder Yang, Sister Pearce, Sister Berger, Bree, Sister Ford and Devika.

Friday, July 22, 2016

After Seminary we set out to deliver a birthday card to a member two hours away and seek out a less active member an hour further away from the sister who is having a birthday.  Along the highway we observed several dead kangaroos.  We stopped to mail our grandson's birthday card in Bundarra and the post mistress told us a mother kangaroo had hopped in front of a car and been killed and on her way to work. She saw the "Joey" at the side of the road.  He was too young to stand up or hop so she had him inside her jacket waiting until her shift was over to take him to the vet.  We took advantage of the opportunity to take pictures.  Holding him was a bit of a challenge as he thrust all four legs frantically around, which took me back in time to the first occasion that my father handed me a new born calf to hold,  until I held him tightly to me and then he calmed down other than hissing at Elder Berger each time the camera came close to him.

Special delivery in the Bundarra post office.

Me and the Joey

These Kangaroos have exceptionally soft fur. Is almost feels like really high quality brushed suede.

Saturday, July 23, 2014

On our way to Guyra. I don't know why, this sign just amuses me

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It was strange to have a 24th of July that is not celebrated.  We had a lovely spirit in Church.  We had a talk by Joshua Smith who is 11 years old. He did a great job speaking about courage. We had the good fortune to have President Leneham with who gave an inspiring talk on keeping the commandments and enduring to the end. I am amazed at the quality and spirituality of the talks here ion our branch. Today we only had 22 people and there was a wonderfully strong spirit in the chapel.

The family with the Primary children were in Brisbane for a funeral and the other 2 children did not attend today, I was able to attend Relief Society.  I looked around at the six other women who attend, some of whom have been in and out of activity since joining the church.  They are of very different backgrounds and personalities but they continue to gather together to strengthen their faith and to enjoy the fellowship of one another.  Such is the church throughout the world, reaching out to bless the lives of our Heavenly Father's children.  What a blessing it is to be a part of His missionary program.

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