"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, January 8, 2017
Monday, January 2, 2017

Yesterday a high of 90 degrees F and today a high of 72 degrees F.  The climate here is quite refreshing as intense heat is sprinkled admidst cool temperatures.  I really like that asw compared to day after summer day in St. George with very hot temperatures.  It rained pretty hard today.  We enjoyed skyping with our children and preparing for the week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2016

In Seminary today Elder Berger showed a BYU Education week talk by Brad Wilcox on grace.  After, Sister Tan said how much she had needed that talk.  She said she gets so lonely and fights feeling a lack of belonging in the brach.  She said a week between Sunday, with no socialization with members was a struggle and sometimes she just wanted to back away.  Sister Betz agreed.  There is so much need in these little branches so far away from the major population of the church.  It is hard not to think they should all move closer to the bigger areas.  Some days I wonder if a skyping/conference call association will be needed.

After Seminary, I worked with Elder Hut'ka on improving his English.  After that we did a quick groery shopping, I did my morning walk, and started preparation for Seminary on Thursday and sharing time.

Elder Bell on the left, Elder Hutka on the right.  Elder Hutka is holding our study book and a children's book on Australia we are having him read.

Muy one and only attempt at growing tomatoes.  I have never had a tomato plant grow so tall

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Today we and the elders travelled to Sister Chamber's home so the elders could teach Sister Chamber's daughter, Una.  She is 26 years old with a six year old daughter who is depressed and questioning her beliefs in the church.  They are from Tonga.  They live in the midst of fruit orchards and sell fruit when they have it.

Angie, Una's six year old daughter

We always visit on the front porch which has a lovely breeze and beautiful scenery.

 Sister Chambers and Una

Thursday, January 5, 2017

We drove to President Sully's farm to do home teaching.  President Sully let Elder Berger shoot some kangaroos which are considered a varmint, doing harm to their crops. To alter a phrase borrowed from Oliver Cowdrey, "this was a day not to be forgotten". President Sully did me the great favor of inviting me to accompany him on a drive around his massive farm. The day was perfect, cool and just a little bit of a breeze. We talked about the gospel and how it benefits everyone, even non-belivers. He told me of his concerns for some of the members in our little branch and how much he loves them. As his counselor, I feel inadequate to give advice, but he wanted to know what I thought. President Sully is a great man and it is my privilege to know and serve with him. We spent 2-3 hours culling kangaroos and rabbits from his property. He is required to keep these pests under control and if he doesn't want to do it himself there are professionals that he can hire. I was thrilled to help him with this responsibility. I am an enthusiastic firearms collector and shooter at home but, as you may know, chances to handle firearms are rare while serving a mission. We were very careful and all kills were one shot instant kills. We used a Browning model 81 BLR in .243 Winchester caliber with 85 grain bullets. This round was extremely effective for this task. President Sully is an avid handloader like me and he is good at it. I hope to get the opportunity to do this again before our mission is over here. We had dinner with them after we home taught and enjoyed a wonderful conversation.

The Sully farm is so beautiful and peaceful.  We always enjoy our time there

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fast and Testimony meeting today. Our branch is so blessed with such a strong spirit in these meetings. One sweet sister, who has been excommunicated once and struggled is doing so well and bore a wonderful testimony today.  We had 38 people attend which was a good turnout for our branch. 

In Primary Sharing Time I used a talk give by President Uchtdorf at a BYU devotional.  He talked about airplanes and choices.  He likened an airplane's lift, power and control to choices.  Our theme this year is Choose the Right so it fit very well. We talked about the Wright brothers and the 747 and how flight is a blessing to spreading the gospel. At the end I gave each child a colored paper plane and we went outside and flew them.  It went over well I think.  Elder Berger taught both Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School and then"Success in School begins at Home" during a combined Relief Society /Priesthood meeting.

Beef stew cooked all morning in the crockpot, salad and baking powder biscuits ended the fast.  This experience is a wonderful thing.  

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