"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, February 12, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
Sister Berger writes in black, Elder Berger writes in blue.
Seminary and skyping today and preparation for another seminary in the morning.  It can be somewhat of a challenge, teaching every day. We really enjoy the seminary experience. It is difficult hauling a senior missionary body out of the sack at 6 am but there are 3 people who depend on us to be there ready and able to provide spiritual insight into diverse Gospel topics. We cannot do this without the help of the Spirit and we pray constantly for that help. One of the great blessings of a mission is the abundance of spiritual experiences that we are granted when we seek them. I taught a lesson a few weeks ago on Grace and the spirit was incredibly strong in the room that day. I had the help of a talk given by Brad Wilcox. I think that all of us felt the love of The Savior personally for us during that lesson. We love our class and we have learned so much. Our testimonies have deepened and have stronger roots. We have read more scriptures and heard more talks and prayed more than ever before. Our Mission has been a great experience for us. If anyone does not remember the last time that they had a spiritual experience, they need to get on their knees and into their scriptures and get one. I can listen to a conference talk and feel the spirit. Music is another great spiritual strength and when I hear the Tab choir sing How Firm a Foundation the last verse puts me over the top. Our Father wants us to have spiritual experiences regularly. Regular spiritual experiences help us keep the commandments and love our fellow men. Satan wants to give up and give in. We must not do that. If we stay close to the Lord we will have hope and that is powerful in our lives. I know that this is true.

Kristen, Sister Tan, Sister Betz

I planted one tomato plant in a pot on our patio, look at these beauties!  I guess I just needed to come 8000 miles away from St. George in order to grow perfect tomatoes. 😊 They have a great flavor.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

After seminary we did planning and then skyped with the Condies which was lots of fun.  We really appreciate what wonderful people they are and enjoy our friendship so much.

Decorated the Primary boards with February's theme.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

We had a seminary lesson the the wise men and Joseph and Mary.  After, the new elders came over to get acquainted.  We took them to the Chinese restaurant, "Wonder" for lunch and had a nice time with them.  Elder Dransfield is from Meridian, Idaho and Elder Childs is from St. George. Elder Childs used to come into Harmons with his mother when she went grocery shopping. He has developed very good taste in Grocery stores.

 Elder Childs (left) Elder Dransfield (right)

Crazy guys

Thursday, February 9, 2017

We decided to use some P Day hours and go to Cathedral Rock National Park to hike.  We decided to do what turned out to be the hardest hike, "TO THE ROCK" which took us three hours, grade 5 difficulty.

We took a p-day today to hike to Cathedral Rock. We took lots of pictures. I took the first bunch and Sister Berger took that last bunch. I differentiate only so you will know if you see a shift in our interests. She is in my pictures, I am in hers.

The Adventure Begins.

We met this Kangaroo on the way up the trail. She was skeptical of us but did not run very far away. I have some pictures of her on the way down with a joey in her pouch. 

The trail was lined with huge boulders.

Eucalyptus trees were everywhere and the scent of Eucalyptus was strong This is technically a rain forest and these huge ferns were ubiquitous.

This colorful bird was hopping around. I couldn't get him in focus very well but what great colors.

Lots of these lizards were around.

Here we are nearing the top and the trail is much steeper and more difficult. There was some speculation on how the survivor of the coming accidental death by falling would be required to proceed when we are miles from anyone and cell coverage is a fantasy in the bush.

A giant boulder atop another one.

I confess to not taking this picture. I borrowed from google because when I was dragging my fat self up this rock by the chain I was unable to access the camera.

This is the summit.

There is a big boulder with a bush growing on top of it and another one just to the right and behind it. It is between them that Sister Berger wisely decided not to continue. I left her safely there while I made an assault on the summit.

View from the top.

Yes, I am happy taking this selfie after getting down from the top. Now I need to try and make it back to Sheila. I have hiked Angel's Landing 5 times, it was not as dangerous as this is.

Does she look relieved to see me? I am glad that she stayed in a safe place.

They were not joking about the grade 5. That is the most difficult trail grade.

A beautiful symmetrical plant we encountered on a smooth part of the trail.

Sheila found a perfect walking stick which she said really helped with her aching discs in her back.

This is the trunk of one tree that was burned out and survived. You get some perspective when you can see sister Berger through the opening.

Look closely and you will see the distended pouch and evidence of a joey in the pouch.

The joey wants to see why mom stood up and stopped feeding.

Now they are both feeding simultaneously.
The pictures below this point were taken by Sister Berger.

 As we started our hike we were met by several kangaroo, not worried at all about our presence

Okay, they finally had enough human contact


Lovely  ferns everywhere

Elder Berger forging the way, moving through spider webs so I didn't have to

Mighty missionary, Elder Berger

Yes, we did have to climb up those rocks behind Elder Berger

This is how I felt as we came to the steep climbs over huge rocks and then arrived where only a few steps  separated me from a step out of this mortal realm.

 We made it!

The last part of the hike ending on the highest rock was 80 meters from where I decided I could not stand to fight to stretch my short legs any longer so Elder Berger left me and forged to the top.

             Here Elder Berger is returning to me after reaching the top and taking a few pictures

Taking a few minutes rest before coming down to where I waited.  This was a hike that should only be attempted by the young, fit and/or determined.  We were determined I guess. 


A beautiful tree as we drove out of the Cathedral Rock Park

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I thought as the MacDonald family was out of town today we would not have primary.  I made heart shaped chocolate chip M&M cookies with the scripture, "a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you" for each person.  However, we had a darling little four year old boy, Aizick, who speaks Tagala and is learning English attend which was fantastic as he really needs to attend every week, but I didn't have anything planned for him so I just played with him.

President Owen, the District president, and his wife Penny spoke in Sacrament meeting and we were asked to feed them before they had to drive back to Coffs Harbor.  They were lovely.  We had a chicken, broccoli, rice casserole and fresh peach dumplings with ice cream.  We had a wonderful visit.

Penny and Grant Owen

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