"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 3, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Sheila Writes in black, Rick in blue.

The winter cold continues and it is a bit hard crawling out of bed at 6:00 every morning.  We had a lovely Seminary class today, even though the chapel isn't much warmer than outside.  We have a room heater which makes it bearable.  When we got back to the flat we skyped with our children which is always a highlight in our week.  We have five families to home teach and met with one of them today.  They joined the church 3 1/2 years ago and were sealed in the temple 18 months ago.  Last year he was diagnosed with Alzheimers.  It is a sad situation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The heat pump struggled with the cold last night and it was a bit chilly in the flat when we got up.  At seminary everyone seemed to enjoy the continuing discussion about King David.  When we finished the class, we took a walk downtown and ran errands and picked up ingredients to make a chicken soup for the sister that fell down at church Sunday.  Her knee is very sore if she walks on it.  We took a bowl of soup to Jean, the 93 year old lady next door.  Every time I go to see her, she is dressed to the nines, as if she has a special event planned.  She has macular degeneration, hence limited vision, and several other serious problems but a wonderful attitude and very appreciative of a visit.

Once we delivered the rest of the soup, we fixed our own dinner and then attended the community choir which we have re-joined now that we are back from Sydney.  I am sure the average age is about 60 but they all sing as if they were musically trained in their youth. It is a much more enjoyable score than the last one. It is Messa di Gloria by Puccini. It has some great harmonies and they are allowing me to sing bass so my throat won't bleed from the high notes. Sister Berger sings soprano but only mouths the high notes. She is far more cunning than I am. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Freezing temperatures and a bit of fog greeted us this morning on our way to Seminary.  When we completed the class we used the morning to prepare for our church callings and warm up.  Finally, the sun came out and I was able to take my daily walk around the Cathedral and then we visited a craft store to pick up supplies for a Primary girl activity.

Tonight was the branch correlation meeting where the leadership discussed the needs of the branch. The elders joined us and we covered everything in about 1 1/2 hours.  There is great need, especially for more members to fill callings and strengthen the branch. It is always amazing to me to see the genuine love and concern that President Sully has for his Branch family. What a privilege it is to serve with him.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tomorrow we are giving the Seminary test so today we reviewed scripture mastery verses and explained how the test would work tomorrow.  We joined the elders in our district, by phone, for district training which is always a spiritual plus in the week.  We had the elders come over for lunch in order to work with Elder Yang in improving his English.  We skyped with John to see if that interaction would be a plus for both of them, Elder Yang in English, John, revisiting the Mandarin he spoke on his mission even though he told us he had lost some of it. (Use it or lose it, they say.) After the skyping was over we asked Elder Yang how John's Mandarin was and he said "very good".  The elders asked us to join them in teaching a single sister tomorrow which we will enjoy doing.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I just can't believe it is July and freezing temperatures at night.  Facebook posts talk about the 4th of July and in my world it seems like it should be Christmas.  We gave the seminary test this morning and they all did great which made us happy.  It is school break for two weeks so we will not have seminary and will not need to get up so early every morning.

Sadly, the sister the elders planned to teach cancelled her appointment so we did not get to participate.  We took a walk down town in what was a very strong wind. We like to walk around town and talk to people while wearing our Missionary name tags prominently. We always let people know why we are here if there is an opportunity to do so. We have handed out some cards and met some very nice people.

In the mission office, our days were very scheduled.  We worked from 8 to 5 or later, had dinner and went to bed early.  Saturdays were our own and Sunday was church.  Here, we have certain routines but more flexibility of free hours in the daytime which opens up opportunity to look for ways to serve in the community.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Today was a cleaning of the flat and a trip to Glen Innes day.  We have two people we visit there and several we need to locate there.  It is interesting, the different patterns of speech here from the U.S. English.  In the U.S. we "think about" here they  "give it a think" and we do something "right away" they do it "straight away".  The word "proper" is used more often.  The Primary kids were excited to have me bring them bigger, true bubble gum and said, "Now we can blow a "proper" bubble.  We spoke with the elders about implementing a branch family home evening and how to determine how much gospel and how much activity to include and who to include.  With a branch such as ours, these are not easy questions which might be surprising to wards.

I also need to decide how to handle the nursery so that the one little boy is happy with whom teaches him, yet we don't lose the valuable helps of his parents by putting them in the nursery weekly.  This, too, is a difficult decision when there are so few people to call upon.

I cannot really justify asking for someone to help me with sharing and music when again, we have so few to use and there isn't anyone with musical knowledge other than myself and Sister MacDonald, who is needed elsewhere.  All of these are good questions to place in my fasting prayer this Sunday.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

There is such a wonderful spirit in our tiny branch.  The MacDonalds are visiting relatives as it is school break and so no Primary for me.  I had Josh go to Priesthood, he is eleven.  Sister Jackman taught Relief Society.  She had a 3 1/2 hour drive to get here and the same to get home.

        Today was Fast Sunday and I got to conduct. There were many testimonies and we nearly had to go overtime. We always have lots of time because with a small branch the Sacrament takes much less time but almost half of the members bear their testimonies on Fast Sunday. I am thankful for the sweet spirit that these humble members bring to the Branch with their Testimonies.


No matter how I try to stay awake, the need for sleep sometimes wins the battle.


Cows on the way to Inverell.  I commented they were on their way to church but President Thacker said, "no, they have already been, see how contented they are".

Our Seminary Class bundled up in the cold: Me, Sister Pearce, Sister Betts, Kristen Smith, And Sister Berger.

Our Newest Musical Score

A Cardboard Cello in the Art Display Area where out Choir practices on Tuesday evening. 

Detail of the Cardboard Cello. I don't think it maintains it's tuning very well.

There is a little village called Stonehenge just south of Glenn Innes where they have this display sign for their Celtic Country festival that they have every October. The sign is about 16 feet tall. They call this area Stonehenge because of all the rocks that are piled up in the area. Many of them are very large, some as large as houses.

A trip about 90 minutes away to part of our area where the word shire replaces our word for county and they have their own Stonehenge and balancing rocks.

Balancing Rock at Stonehenge. This rock looks to be about 20 feet tall.

Automotive repair shop, called Smash Repairs

Here we are with temperatures below freezing every night and this daffodil insists on living; possibly something we humans can learn from

A colorful Parrot that watches us walk to the car. If we stop to take a picture he flies away so I took his picture I was 

Brother and Sister Malini at President Sully's Ranch.

Rashaad Malini riding one of the Sully's horses.

President Sully with Brother Malini explaining the Equestrian arts.

Even the horse looks happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment