I guess the only thing you can count on in life is that it will change. We’ve had a couple of minor changes for our mission. Two weeks ago, the Sydney Mission was split into two missions: Sydney North and Sydney South. The exact moment that took place was the when our new Mission President and his wife arrived on Australian soil. We didn’t know much of the details right away. We are aware, now, that we are officially in the Sydney South Mission. Our assignment here will not change. We are still CES Missionaries and we will continue to serve here in Canberra. Actually, we weren’t worried about it all, but it was good to feel a connection. There is a new mission home and office and we have contact information (which I will put at the end of the post), but it may be awhile before we get there or meet the office couple serving there. We did get to meet our new Mission President, President Lew and his wife at a recent zone conference here in Canberra. They are from Lehi Utah and are really terrific! I wanted a picture with them and us, but their time was minimal and so I will post the photo that Sister Lew took with my camera of the whole zone. President Lew is standing in the back and Sister Lew was behind the shutter! The zone conference was terrific and we gained so much by being there. We had to leave for an hour or so when we went to teach Institute at UC which was nearby. But hurried back and finished the conference, including a brief interview with President and Sister Lew.
Another fun thing for us at the conference was meeting one of the other senior couples serving in our mission. There are not many Senior couples, and it was a pleasant surprise to find the McAry’s there all the way from Narooma. Narooma is a small town on the coast south of Sydney. It’s about 3.5 hours from here and even farther from Sydney, so they are pretty isolated there. Elder McAry is the branch president there and Sister McAry teaches the Seminary class, as well as supports her husband in his calling. They were spending a few days in Canberra, so we had them over to our flat for lunch the next day. It was so fun getting to know them better. We found out they were the ones who picked out our flat and I couldn’t thank them enough for what a good job they did in doing so! They have also served the Chinese ward in Sydney until they got their current assignment. We laughed and talked for a couple of hours and then helped Sister McAry with some of her Seminary things. It was good to serve her and also enjoy some good company. I am enclosing a picture of the four of us that we took here in the flat. They were dressed for travel. We had to say goodbye to one of our sweet YSA’s here just recently. Tiana is a professional basketball player for Australia and has been based here in Canberra for two years playing with her team. She started at age 16, so she is only 18 now, and plays all over the world. Some professional teams in Australia are supported by the government. (I don’t totally understand how it works, but I think that’s right). She’s very good, even though she is not as tall as some other players. She is heading North to be based in another city. We attended her going away party and that very evening she was heading home (near Brisbane) and then on to the Canary Islands and Lithuania to play. Here’s our memory picture of Tiana.It is clear to us that we will be saying goodbye quite frequently here. One of our sweet sister YSA’s got her mission call this week. She’s actually American and is living here with her family. Her Dad is an attorney here. She will be serving in the Macon Georgia mission and leaves the third week of August. I promise a photo of her before she departs. Congratulations to Lauren. We have another sister YSA ( Dallas) who is waiting for her call to arrive. Probably within the next week or two. Her Dad is the bishop of one of the four wards here. She and her younger sister ( Georgia) and two of other YSA girls (Tash and her sister Nadija) play on a local rugby team. We were able to go to their game just yesterday. They are tough (!) and play hard, incurring bumps, bruises, and Dallas sustained a minor concussion with a bump to her head. Rugby is a rough sport and they wear little to no protective gear. I’ll enclose a couple of photos for you to enjoy. You can see Dallas on the front left with her quickly swelling eye! A week ago we attended a Fast Breaker at Dallas’s home where we were treated to an outdoor barbecue and lesson from her Dad (the bishop) and her Mom. It was so fun, and the turnout was great, but because it was outside and in the evening it was sure cold. When we got in the car to come home the temperature was near the freezing mark. (0*C and 32*F) Everyone was bundled up and they had a “campfire” of sorts, but it took a bit to warm up after we got home. I took a few pictures, but none were really good enough to post here. iPhone photos in the dark with the tiny flash just don’t work well and I didn’t have my regular camera with me. I think the YSA’s had a great time.
We also continue to teach our three Institute classes each week. We enjoy this opportunity and we feel we learn more than the students. They teach us as we teach them. We are so grateful for being here and continue to learn a lot about ourselves and how we can improve our mission. So grateful for life’s lessons and what they teach us.
Our new Mission home address is:
Elder and Sister Larkin, Australia Sydney South Mission, P.O. Box 456, 2 Breakwell St., Mortdale NSW 2223, Australia
HOWEVER…IT’S BEST TO MAIL ALL THINGS DIRECTLY TO US HERE IN CANBERRA
Thanks for reading
Until next time…