"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 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.

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