ANZAC Day, War Memorial and Hulk Fest!

Here we are at the outside of the National War Memorial in Canberra.

Here we are at the outside of the National War Memorial in Canberra.

The reflecting pool at the National War Memorial.

The reflecting pool at the National War Memorial.

Daniel Kuhn and his family (wife Robyn, daughters Sophie, Amelia, Kirrah-Louise, Cozette and son Daniel) with us at the National War Memorial.

Daniel Kuhn and his family (wife Robyn, daughters Sophie, Amelia, Kirrah-Louise, Cozette and son Daniel) with us at the National War Memorial.

Elder Larkin looking with the children at one of their ancestors name on the wall of men who died in War from Australia.

Elder Larkin looking with the children at one of their ancestors name on the wall of men who died in War from Australia.

Saying goodbye to our friend, Todd Hogetts. He's an Olympic Gold Medalist in Shot Put.

Saying goodbye to our friend, Todd Hogetts. He’s an Olympic Gold Medalist in Shot Put.

April 25th is ANZAC Day (Australian New Zealand Army Corps) in Australia. It’s similar to our Memorial Day in the States. In a battle at Gallippili in the first World War, thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops were killed in a difficult battle. The National War Memorial was opened in 1941 to honor those men and others who have fought in wars since then. ANZAC Day is a particularly poignant day here and held in great respect. 35,000 people came to and from Canberra this year to join in the Dawn Ceremony at the Memorial.

On ANZAC Day, our Seminary and Institute director from Sydney came into Canberra with his family. They joined us for dinner that evening. The next day, we met with Daniel and discussed the work we are doing here in Canberra. It is wonderful to work with him and his advice was helpful and enlightening. We enjoyed lunch with him and his family and then joined them on a two-hour visit to the National War Memorial. Our visit there was very sobering and we got a sense of this country’s honor of their fallen soldiers. We enjoyed our time with them and the children, very much. And being with them at the memorial. They are a wonderful family. The older girls told us about the history of ANZAC day. They are bright and cute.

Our evening on Saturday was spent at “Hulk Fest”. It was a farewell party for one of the first YSA friends we made here in Canberra. Todd Hogetts was a Gold Medal winner in the London Paralympic Games in London 2012 in shot put. He has been here in Canberra training for 2016 and has to leave Canberra and go work with a new coach in Melbourne. His nickname is “The Hulk” and he threw a great party! We enjoyed going, seeing many of the YSA there and saying our goodbyes. We will miss him. He’s a terrific young man!

Our classes this week were very well attended and the spirit was felt strongly. I was somewhat forgetful that evening (leaving my materials and part of the food at home) and so I am glad that the lesson went well, in spite of my brain malfunction! Yes, food drives the YSA here, just as much as it does elsewhere. But they are terrific and we are learning to love them so much. We also met with the YSA Committee this week and that, also went very well. Brother Kuhn joined us for that meeting this time. Still so much work to do here with the YSA’s and we still feel like we are barely scratching the surface.

It’s nice to have internet in our flat. It is so much easier to access the church websites and it makes all our communications easier, including the blog, of course. The weather is typical for mid-Autumn. Cool at night and in the morning and fairly warm and moderate during the day. Some of the trees have already lost their leaves, but most are still colorful and some are still green. I’m not afraid to say I am enjoying this weather.

Well, here’s to another week. We are grateful for our service here. We miss our family most, but the sting is a little less when we can Skype them and see their faces. This is where we need to be and the Lord blesses us everyday. We are so grateful.

Until next week…

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