"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, August 28, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016

After seminary, I created the pudding, Oreo cookie crumb, gummy worm treats for the Primary Girl activity and organized the rainbow fish craft.  I have worked diligently to organize the presence of the three little girls in our branch and they all came!! We called Kristin Smith, who is 15, to be a Primary worker and to specifically work as activity day support.  She came too and I think it was very successful.  We will try to do this monthly and hopefully, it will work toward increasing activity in the families of these little girls.

Our rainbow fish pattern

Kristen made a fish too

 Tuesday, August 23, 2016

After Seminary and having the car serviced, we visited a husband and wife to hand out a birthday card to him and do our home teaching with them.

Beautiful parrots on our way to visit

Cloudy but beautiful

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Movie night - The Best Two Years

Tonight we had twelve attend movie night including us and the elders.  We had a good time.

Elder Berger introducing the movie

Jo brought Pavlova, so beautiful and tasty.

Brother Smith and daughter, Kristen

The MacDonald children love snacks

Friday, August 26, 2016

The new elder since last week's transfer, is Elder Molton, from Texas.  Today Elder Kelley taught our Isaiah lesson which was a nice change.  We had good discussion.  There is so much to learn from Isaiah but it is not an easy read and we are really glad for the lesson helps.  We did a bit of cleaning up from movie night.

Until I train the new people called to Primary, I needed to get lessons prepared today for Nursery, Sunbeams, sharing time, music time and prepare a birthday treat for Tessa MacDonald who turns four this Sunday.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Today I taught Nursery, did sharing time, helped the kids make a father's day tie filled with candy and fed the missionaries.   Elder Berger taught two Gospel Doctrine lessons and the Priesthood lesson.   It was a busy but very good day.  I tried a Pinterest recipe of cinnamon/sugar apple slices dried in the oven for a Primary snack.  After Primary, I opened the apple slices up to the members as they left church and the slices were a big hit.

There are days of difficulty, mortal moments of physical discomfort, challenges with mental exhaustion but there are also wonderful moments when we feel the love and the spirit of our Father in Heaven and the prayers of the members for the missionaries and are so thankful.

Toby, two, Tessa, four today.  We will be moving her into a CTR class with her older brother and probably keeping Toby with them as he is so easy.

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Monday, August 15-Saturday, August 20, 2016
Very busy this week teaching, Preparing, meetings, visits,and Movie nights. Not many photos. We will do better next week.

Spring is beginning in Armidale and little by little trees and bushes are flowering and daffodils are seen in many gardens.  As we have traveled and visited, we have enjoyed the beauty of this area.  We returned to the little cafe we visited last week for a hamburger to enjoy their Tuesday special of a  T-bone steak dinner with what they call pumpkin but we call squash, potatoes and mixed vegetables.

President Sully asked us to be in charge of the branch talent night in September so we worked on programs, announcements and how to persuade the members to look outside the box for talent ideas to share.

As I am hoping a less active mother will bring her nine year old daughter (still not baptized) to the Primary activity once a month, I searched Pinterest for ideas.  I am so impressed at what a great resource it is.  Next Monday the three little girls and I will make woven fish and I will let them make their own pudding, Oreo cookie, gummy worm treats.  I found a quote from Albert Einstein that says: "Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."  I typed up the quote to attach to their fish to go on their wall to remind them that they are each individual daughters of our Heavenly Father who only need to be true to themselves in living the most righteous life they can and doing their best in life.

We had wonderful seminary lessons this week studying Proverbs, Psalms and introducing Isaiah. 

Our deluxe T-bone steak dinner at the Highway Diner in Inverell, NSW.

I opted for the gravy, I did think that it would be put on the mashed potatoes.

The price was right, only $7.50 after the exchange rate works it's magic.

These fields looked like tree graveyards, no doubt room for grazing sheep and/or cows was needed and the trees had to go.

Looking down the Old Armidale Road.

Elder Yang (in the middle), had his last day at Church today as he is being transferred to downtown Sydney to the Hyde Park area. We will miss him.

Sunday, August 14, 2016
Monday-Wednesday August 8, 2016

Three days in Seminary studying the Book of Job.  For so many for so long, this book has been a story of faith, strength, endurance and PATIENCE.  As the class listed world-wide types of adversity, I thought how timely this book of scripture is, to every generation.  All generations of man experience problem and troubles.  Many times, the defining factor of how they deal with adversity, is their attitude.  We can learn also from this book that sometimes, after all we can do, our only course of action is to sit back and wait upon the hand of the Lord to reveal himself.  In our branch there has been job loss, sickness threatening the termination of student visas, a heartbroken father and mother making the difficult decision to send their little boy back to the islands until they finish their school and can take care of him without daycare.  He caught a cold and as they lost a child to dengue fever when he was two they are overly worried about his being sick.

Our community choir practiced with the orchestra for the performance this coming Sunday.  Singing with an orchestra was really a fun experience and one I have not had before.

We traveled and enjoyed the gorgeous skies and huge clouds.  We found a little roadside diner where we had the best lunch we have had in a long time.  In looking over the menu, we decided to return for dinner sometime.

We met with President Sully to discuss the organization of our little Primary.  There is much need and not enough hands.  After our time together, we feel like we have a plan that will work!

Happy are we...Soldiers in the army their's a bright crown in store, we shall win and wear it by and by.

Sometimes it is hard to decide which way to go.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

After seminary and district training meeting, we worked on lessons and I gathered recipes for Primary cookies, Branch potluck after church Sunday and craft ideas for the Primary Girl activity day next week.

Friday-Saturday, August 12, and 13, 2016

The elders taught seminary Friday which was a fun change.  We delivered birthday cards and attended our final choir practice.  President Mackie and Sister Mackie, from the district presidency are speaking in Sacrament meeting Sunday and it is a tradition that we have pot luck after the block so I have been assigned soup and cookies.  We will be leaving immediately after the block for our Choir performance at Lazenby Hall at the University of New England so will not be able to join our branch members for potluck. The tradition is that because members of the District Presidency have to come so far, we want to feed them so that they don't have to stop and buy dinner on the way home. The Mackie's live in Coffs Harbour about 3 hours from Armidale.

Saturday was our final practice and we again joined the orchestra to go through Messa de Gloria.

You have heard of the 3 Tenors? Here are the 4 Basses. What we lack in talent we make up for by being inaccurate. We do have about 275 years of combined experience.

The choir and orchestra assemble for final practice before tomorrow's performance.

On the left side of the picture is the bassoon player. He has an amazing solo in one of the pieces in the performance and he plays it flawlessly. The double reed instruments like the bassoon and oboe are among the most difficult instruments to play well. I have tried to get a sound from a bassoon and it is nearly impossible for me to approach anything resembling a melody. Picture trying to play a song using a giant 4 foot long duck call. That is how it seemed to me. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

After our block and leaving our food assignments with the branch for their potluck lunch, we drove to Lazenby Hall to perform with the Armidale Orchestra.  The tickets are $25.00 per ticket and we wondered how many of the community would attend and were pleased to see a full crowd.

Our music holding our places prior to performing


This is Graham Maddox, our esteemed conductor. He is really better than we deserve. The performance went well with no major faults. The audience seemed to enjoy it. The piece that we are singing praises God and Jesus Christ, the suffering and death on the cross, and the  Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. These are all good things for us to be reminded of. It is too bad that we could not have had someone tell the crowd and the choir about the significance of these events to their Eternal souls. We are making friends and a few of the choir members are asking questions which we do our best to answer. Perhaps one day when the missionaries knock on their door, they will let them in and tell the Missionaries about the Missionary couple that they met while singing in the choir and they will be ready to listen to the wonderful Gospel message..

If you go to youtube you can listen to a performance of the piece that we performed.

Not a bad crowd, considering that they paid $25 each to get in.


The harpist was very, very good and only 16.  Her father makes musical instruments and has made her harps sized according to her age for many years.  This is the latest harp he made for her. She was born with a hair lip and cleft palate and has had 10 facial surgeries in her young life.