"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 May 28, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

After Seminary we left for Port MacQuarrie to join with the other senior couples for a picnic and tour of a pottery shop and a wood shop.  After July, only the couple in Port MacQuarrie will still be serving in the mission.  Tomorrow is our zone conference in Charlestown.

We enjoyed barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs and vegetables cooked by Elder Swain.  We really enjoyed talking and laughing and sharing experiences.  The pottery shop is Crystalized pottery and very beautiful.  Sister Fillmore and I loved the lamps that look like ten virgin lamps only MUCH nicer and each ordered one that we can take back on the plane.  We went to the top of a high hill called the Middle Brother overlook to the ocean which was beautiful.  That night we stayed with the Swain's.  We had chile and hotdogs and played Monopoly, the card version which is much shorter.  We had a wonderful time and they insisted we sleep in their bed while they slept on the couches. Before retiring, Elder Swain showed me the nest of a funnelweb spider in his garden.  YUCK!  A bite from one of them can kill within 15 minutes if anti venom isn't administered.

Happy group of the Australia Sydney North senior couples

The building used for church services in Port MacQuarrie, owned by the church.

The master potter himself, at work.

Elder and Sister Fillmore

Elder and Sister Swain intrigued by the creations

Beautiful poinsettia plants adorn the yard of the Pottery shop.

A wild turkey observed us as we walked to the different outlooks to view the beautiful ocean

Friday, May 26, 2017

We all got up at 5 a.m. and left after breakfast burritos also made by Elder Swain, at 6 a.m. for zone conference in Charlestown.  I had too much food that didn't agree with me I guess and had extreme irritable bowel pain for most of the day, happy that I brought a prescription Donnatal to ease the pain.  The conference, as always was a spiritual high and it is always so fun to see how much the missionaries enjoy getting together and having a few minutes during lunch to talk to each other.

After conference, we left at 3:30 for our 6 hour drive back to Armidale.  I dozed on and off but poor Elder Berger had to stay awake and drive.  We were both ready for bed once we arrived home.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today we slept in until 8:30, both being worn out from the previous two days.  We travelled to Ben Lomond to help the Benesch's with the move of the heavy furniture.  Our Tongan members joined us which was WONDERFUL because they are young and strong.  I cleaned the old house during the moves.  We completed the days work at 7:00 p.m. and headed home, picking up KFC for dinner.

One of the seven Tongan brethren that so willingly assisted us

Elder Childs trying on a new look with one of Brother Benesch's hats

Sunday, May 28, 2017

After rather an exhausting weekend, and two days with senior missionaries and zone conference, I lay awake at 3:30 a.m. this morning thinking about my lack of preparation for Primary sharing time.  As is often thecase, my mind filled with ideas.  The theme for today is the Sacrament.  Into my mind came the picture of Michaelangelo's Pieta.  I was privileged to see this beautiful statute when I took my trip with the Ricks College French Club, to Europe..  At that time the statute was only protected with a heavy rope surrounding it.  Soon after, an unemployed geologist from Hungary on Pentecost Sunday of 1972, jumped over the railings at St. Peter's Basilica and attacked the Pieta with a hammer. With 12 blows, Laszlo Tothknocked off Mary's left arm, snapped off the tip of her nose and damaged her cheeck and left eye.

 Master craftsmen picked through the 100 bits of marble broken off of the Pieta and puzzled them back together. In a makeshift lab built around the statue, these workers spent five months identifying pieces as small as fingernails. Next, they used an invisible glue and marble powder to affix the pieces back onto the Pietà and filled any gaps with replacement pieces. And once the integral restoration was completed, the final step was securing the restored work behind bulletproof glass.

I thought I should show the children a picture of the Piata and talk about how this damage was repaired by talented men and the statute looked like it had never been damaged and that the atonement of the Savior would do that for us, repair the  damage of mistakes we make  and make it like the damage had never occurred.  Then I would tell them that when we take the sacrament, we should think about repenting of our mistakes and how wonderful it was that Jesus would repair us. 

During my sharing time, the children were a challenge; they talked, moved around and argued. However, they "listened" to the story of the Pieta and looked at the picture carefully.  I have learned, am learning, that the Holy Ghost often enlightens during the early morning hours.  It is such a blessing and help in situations like this. I had prayed before bed for assistance because I just hadn't had time or energy to be prepared.   

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