"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, April 30, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017

Yesterday, I finally heard back from the mothers and non-member father, who says he is an athiest and is not interested in his children being religious, and was able to schedule the Primary Girl activity for today.  I am so grateful for the beautiful weather that presented itself and for the graciousness of my counselor, Sister Benesch for letting us bring the girls to their farm.  Brother MacDonald willingly agreed to drive the girls as the church car insurance frowns on missionaries driving members around.

When we arrived at the farm, Sister Benesch showed the girls the three bedrooms which she had decorated so niccely and we talked about what made a good design and how to use color.  Then we went outside to feed the lambs who are getting close to being sheep!  The girls helped round them up and drive them up to the fenced yard where the girls had fun feeding them bread.  We previously hid treat bags and let the girls find them with hot and cold directions.

Next, we had our manners and etiquette lesson and showed clips from Princess Diaries.  The girls had a pretty good understanding of manners.  I showed them the hats that Sister Jackman loaned to us and they picked out their favorites to wear when we have our Queen's Tea next week..  I told them they can dress up and wear their hats and we will practice our table manners.

Sister Benesch provided meat pies and sausage rolls which the kids really liked with cupcakes for dessert.  All in all I think it was successful.

Savannah, Devika and Lucy

    Our favorite lamb from birth, Panda, the only black with white markings, is determined to get his          bread

One candy bag in the flower trough, one in the tree and the final one here in the shed!

Meanwhile, out in the paddock, Brother MacDonald and me were entertaining his kids with a ride in one of the ATV's on the Benesch farm.

Brother Benesch is holding Court with the "city folk".

The kids enjoyed rounding up the lambs for feeding

Brother Benesch taught Jeremy MacDonald how to drive the Can-Am 4 wheeler.

Meat pies and sausage rolls are a favorite here in Australia.  The girls loved them.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We met with the Styles in Uralla and taught a lesson on the saints in Northern Missouri.  Sister Styles asked us to teach them lessons from the restoration period.

After, we joined the Missionary Elders at the MacDonald family to eat dinner and celebrate Toby's third birthday.  I found five fun books in great condition at the Catholic Op shop, Vinnies, and gave those to him as a present.

You are only young once.

 Goodbye Elder Dransfield. The MacDonald's wanted a good picture of their family with the Missionaries because it was Elder Dransfield's last day in the area. He has been here for 12 weeks and he is a wonderful Missionary.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After Seminary, we skyped with Erin and then left for our zone conference in Charlestown, a five hour drive.  At first we had pouring rain and then sprinkling with a sky of rainbows finishing off the trip.  We stayed at our favorite, The Tanterra B&B in Warner Bay, NSW again.  The skies darkened in anticipation of the storm arriving there.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Elder Berger chose an omlette for breakfast and I chose panckes covered in strawberries, cooked by our hostess.

AFter completing breakfast we drove to the chapel for zone conference.  Two zones met today and we were able to see the first missionaries that we worked with in Armidale, Elder Kehler and Elder Peterson, it was so fun.  The conferences are always instructive and the treats and lunch are fun but the spirit of the training from President Checketts is wonderful and well worth the long two day drive.

Gathering missionaries, so happy to see each other 

Elder Berger helping President Checketts get the microphone to cooperate

Special training that President Checketts received permission to tape the remarks of Elder Steven Snow, Church Historian, discussion and question answering.

The mission nurse was there to give us all our flu shots, the look on her face much happier than the looks on the faces of we missionaries awaiting the needle

With Elder Kehler from Henderson, Nevada. He goes home in a week and we will miss him.

These are the "wild and crazy guys" with President Checketts sneaking by on the outside.

Our own Elder Childs is the photographer but he is really the ringleader, we suspect.

Other happy, senior couples in our mission:  Left to right The Browns, Bergers, Swains and Fillmores.  What wonderful people.  The Fillmores will be going home on the same day as us, June 15th, Browns will be going home in July.  We are exchanging contact information hoping to stay in touch.

We received an email and photo from Elder and Sister Pierce, happily at home, who went home in February.  They were in our zone, serving in Narrabri, way out in the bush. We truly loved the Pierces. We got together with them as often as we could arrange it to share a meal in Gunnedah, a town midway between our areas.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

We had some members drive all the way from Inverell (about 90 minutes one way) with two Primary age children. Two cousins of the MacDonalds also attended today. Devika Wilson also attend which was wonderful but rather hectic because we only planned on four children in our Primary.  As always, we were so blessed with the wonderful spirit in this little branch.  It was a tiring but lovely day. The MacDonalds did more than their share today. In Sacrament meeting, Lucy bore her testimony and Sister MacDonald gave a talk. In our combined lesson, Brother MacDonald gave the lesson from "Success in School Begins at Home" manual. He did a wonderful job of leading a great discussion.

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