"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, March 5, 2017
We have been slow in getting this blog done so this one will cover two weeks.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

After teaching Seminary, the Parable of the Sower, we travelled to Tamworth for our District Training and joined the six elders in our district at the Tamworth chapel.  It is so sad that the chapel was built when there were about 125 members.  It is large and very nice.  However, the membership has dwindled to about 20 to 25 members.

We had a wonderful training and enjoyed the spirit of these wonderful young missionaries.

If you forget to bring your suit jacket to District conference, you are made to kneel in front and your companion has to take his jacket off also.

We all drive white Toyota corollas, and here we leave our training to head for home

After the training, we went to the Hogs Breath cafe which is supposed to be a popular place with very good food.  My hamburger was FILLED with meat, lettuce, onions, cheese, pickled beets, tomato, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw that I declined.  It wasn't something I care to have again but was fun for a one time trial.

Elder Berger had steak with mushrooms. The ones that he cooks at home are far better at about a quarter of the cost.

I seem to have the look of a man who does not know quite what is going on.

The effects of insomnia plague me frequently

Tamworth is big on country western music and has a festival every year with many of the great ones performing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today was Seminary, Elder Berger's temporary dental crown broke and he went in today to have it replaced and my visiting teachers came.  It is always interesting to have my visiting teachers becasue they talk about the history of this little branch.  Sometimes they have operated without a branch president and the elders of the area conduct the meetings and deal with what is needed.  Sometimes a senior couple from another area visits twice a month to hold a meeting.  It is so foreign to us having lived our whole lives among many members of the church.

This evening Elder Berger and Kate MacDonald practiced a song for sacrament meeting Sunday.  I, of course, play the piano.  They are singing Mary's Lullaby with an interlude of Lucy singing a verse of Jesus Once Was a Little Child. It sounded nice, they harmonize beautifully.

There is really no feeling that is just the same as singing in close harmony with someone. When the pitch is right the vibrations are so sweet and when the melody is this beautiful and simple with a message from scripture the spirit seems to have to be there. I think that almost nothing invites the spirit more than this type of music.

I made French bread and shared a small loaf with the MacDonalds.

\Saturday, February 25, 2017

President and Sister Checketts are speaking tomorrow in Sacrament meeting.  They joined us this evening for one of Elder Berger's tasty steaks, (I have found that if I watch closely, I can find great steaks at our local supermarket. Mostly they have tough, grass fed beef, but occasionaly there will be some nicely marbled grain fed beef in the case.) baked potato, salad, green beans and chocolate sundae. We had a wonderful time talking to these wonderful servants of the Lord.

President Checketts was good enough to share with us some feelings that he had for the Mission, the Missionaries, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister Checketts also shared her feelings. We could not have hoped for a better Mission President and Mission Mother. We love associating with them.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

After a wonderful Sacrament meeting with talks by the Checketts and a musical number of Mary's Lullaby and Jesus Once Was a Little Child, sung by Elder Berger, Kate and Lucy MacDonald, we had a lovely branch potluck meal.

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Jeremy, Kristin and Josh

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So much good food

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Busy in the kitchen dishing up: Sister Benesh, Sister Tan, Brother Hoffman, Sister  Clarkson, Sister Betts, Sister  Sully and Sister Berger waiting for room to come in

The thoughtful Elders went last. Luckily, we had plenty and they were well fed.

Some of our wonderful sisters enjoying each others company.

Elder Childs and Dransfield with Lucy MacDonald.

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The MacDonald children: Jeremy, Toby, Lucy and Tessa

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Elder Dransfield and Elder Childs:  They share everything

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Michael and Kate MacDonald

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Sister Mueller and President Sully

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Michael and Helen Dickson

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Frank and Narelle  Benesch

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The MacDonalds and Sister Berger discussing recipes

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Brother Smith, President Checketts, Sister Checketts

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Having a good visit

Monday, February 27, 2017

Today was my Primary Girl monthly activity.  I printed up cartoon girls in full knight armour with "I will be armed and ready to choose the right every day" and had Sister Tan transpose photos of their faces into the pictures.  Today they colored their picture and we will laminate and hang in our primary room.  I took grapes, buttered popcorn I popped and Tim Tam cookies for snacks. The girls LOVE these monthly activities and as two of them get no spiritual or religious training at home, the activity is really important to them.  I am so thankful they enjoy them.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We drove to Ben Lomond to see Sister Benesch and drop off  Primary materials.  She is second counselor in the Primary.  It rained and has been raining for a couple of days.  We decided to have the next Primary girl activity at her farm and let the girls play with the lambs and talk to them about when Brother Benesch blessed his lamb who was dying and the lamb improved and is a fat, happy lamb today.

My little garden spot has now bloomed with these white flowers in the middle of the alyssum.  They not only are "cute" but have a very strong perfumed scent.

Alyssum and marigolds are happy in my little garden

Clouds moving in for another shower

Friday, March 3, 2017

After seminary we attended our District Training meeting via phone.  Elder Childs did the training part and told of a Family Home Evening message his father had given.  His father read in Luke 18 and 19.  In Luke 18:35-43 there is the story of a blind man sitting on the side of the road as Jesus passed by and hearing the noise of the multitude, he asked what was going on and the response was that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. The blind man cried out "Jesus of Nazareth have mercy on me" and the crowd told him to be quiet but it says he cried so much the more and Christ asked what he wanted and the result was the man was healed of his blindness.  Then Elder Bell's father told in Luke 19:2-3,  where it tells of Zachaeus who wanted to see Jesus who was passing by but  Zachaeus was little of stature and so he climbed a tree to see Him and Jesus saw him and said "Today i mujst abide in thy house".  Elder Bell's father told his children, and repeated it often, YELL LOUDER AND STAND TALLER.  I think that is good advice for we members.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Today we fed the elders a tasty steak dinner.  I think Elder Berger is getting a reputation among the missionaries for his yummy steak. I was a little dissapointed with the steak I bought at Woolworths but Harmons meat department is 10,000 miles away and I couldn't have made it back in time.

It is so fun to spend time with the elders, such great young men

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fast Sunday, playing the organ, the wonderful spirit of testimony bearing, teaching the importance of knowing the prophet speaks for Heavenly Father and Jesus to active, easily distracted children and Elder Berger teaching the history of the church and about "the elect lady"!   It was a wonderful day.  We are blessed with a special spirit here in the Armidale Branch during testimony bearing.

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