For the last two months, we have had a delightful young lady attending our night class. She’s from Mexico. She was here visiting her brother and never missed an Institute class. Her visa ran out, so she headed back home for a short time and then was going to join her parents as they travel to Peru to be the mission President there. We wish her the best as she prepares to serve a mission of her own. We will miss you, Amy!It looks like we will have future opportunities to say goodbye to the YSA’s here in Canberrra, as some are in different stages of preparing to go on missions. This pleases us very much and we are grateful for their strong testimonies and desire to serve. It’s fun to see them grow in the Gospel.
It has been a very busy two weeks for us, here. Much has happened. Last weekend we traveled three hours to Sydney and attended a Multi-stake Mini Convention for the YSA’s. It was four days of non-stop fun and activities. Sports, which included an all star basketball game, recreation in the form of bowling and laser tag, two dances, and a wonderful spiritual Sacrement Meeting, Mini MTC and fireside on Sunday evening, as well as more sports on Monday. There were 19 from the Canberra stake who participated for at least part, if not all of the events. A big commitment, but it seemed there was fun had by all who attended. We were a bit wiped out, but recovered quickly as we had our Tuesday classes to teach the day after we returned. So good to join our YSA’s from here is such fun and uplifting activites. There are 10 stakes in Sydney and they include some Young Adult Wards.
Our second University class is going well. We now teach at both Universities here in Canberra as well as our Stake night class. We have also visited all three Seminary classes in the Stake this month and even had the chance to substitute for one of them while their teacher was attending a wedding out of town. We are so impressed with the Seminary teachers here and find going to their classes very enjoyable. One of the students asked us the following Sunday if we were going to be coming to his class all the time. We took that as a compliment. He’s one of several young men, still in Mutual, who are also preparing for a mission here in this Stake.
I’d love to give you all a day by day idea of what our days are like. But with few exceptions, every day is a bit different. When we are home, we attend to study, email and other communication with the YSA and leaders here in the stake and other daily tasks. We are at our three classes two days a week and other things that have involved our time are High Council meetings for Elder Larkin, meetings and calls with both our Stake leaders as well as our CES director. We also attend different YSA and stake and ward functions. We spoke in one of the wards just two weeks ago and we are speaking in another ward this Sunday. We fit things like laundry and shopping into the times when they best suit us. Speaking of shopping, I took this picture at Costco the other day. We had the opportunity to taste Vegemite when we first arrived. It tastes a bit like beef broth. The natives usually put it on buttered toast or bread in a thin layer. It’s salty. It’s kind of an aquired taste…not awful, but it would take some getting used to. These are fairly big tubs of it, but in the regular grocery it is found in smaller containers.
The Autumn season is almost over. Most of the regular trees are bare and the leaves are fast falling from those that still have them. It’s gotten quite cold. In Farenheit it’s been in the 50’s during the day and the 30’s and 20’s at night. Even though it gets quite cold in the winter here, they rarely get snow. So we bundle up and take our umbrella in case it rains. Our “flat” is older and there is no insulation in the outside walls or padding under the carpet. So it’s cold inside for us. We have become accustomed to wearing slippers and a sweater/sweatshirt when we are at home. We were able to have a new heater installed a few weeks ago. (The old one was the original and it was dying…). It’s quite small and only heats the living room (called the “lounge” here) and kitchen areas. So we bought a small space heater for our bedroom. The best way to “heat” the bathroom is to have the dryer running. 😉 Here’s a photo of a beautiful sunrise I took on the way to Seminary one morning. Note the very bare tree in the center. I will close by inserting a few more photos of the this beautiful city. It sometimes is quite foggy here. These photos of the fog were taken on a recent Sunday morning. The bird is a Crimson Rosella. I took his photo right outside our back door. The yellow hot air baloon was hovering behind the Parlement building. We are loving Canberra very much. I would say it’s not just the scenery, but also the people. This is a wonderful experience.
Until next time…