Greetings to everyone! This has been a very busy two weeks since my last post. But being busy is very good for us! We like to have much to do!
Since my last post we enjoyed the Stake Roadshow right here in Canberra. We had seen it in Merimbula and everyone improved a great deal after two more weeks of rehearsal. There were several hundred there to watch and we even helped a little with the judging (most improved…since we had seen the previous performance) and got to stand on the stage and hand out those awards. So proud of our YSA’s and their dedication to the event. They worked hard and we are now enjoying them back at Institute full-time!
Following the Roadshow, was an amazing weekend of Stake Conference. Wonderful meetings and talks were given. Elder Larkin was asked to speak in the Saturday evening session and he did great. He had been troubled by a severe stiff neck the whole week before, but was feeling much better by that evening…gratefully! We especially enjoyed the remarks of Pres. Larkin in the evening session. It was so uplifting!
The following weekend, we traveled to Sydney. We met up with several of our YSA’s and they were able to attend the Multi Stake YSA baptisms that were held on Saturday. They enjoyed walking the grounds the evening before. We enjoyed meeting the Temple President and his wife as they locked up the Temple on Saturday evening, and having a chat. We continued our walk around the grounds until the President found us and gently cautioned us to accompany him through the gate so he could lock it! We were grateful that we didn’t have to scale the fence! Here are some pictures of our time on the beautiful Temple grounds.
As you can see, it was a lovely, warm, early spring day in Sydney that day! Couldn’t resist having a picture taken in front of this blossoming tree! Canberra, however is a little slower to start feeling Spring just yet. It’s still pretty cold most days, but we’ve had some lovely warm afternoons. There are signs that Spring is not far away. A few trees and bushes have started to bloom and some of the trees are starting to bud out a little. Here is a picture of a tree near our flat. The left side is last April on Easter Sunday. The right side was taken today, showing the tiny white blossoms that are now covering the tree. I can almost taste the warmer weather!
After our evening visit to the Temple with the YSA’s, we again went to the Temple the next morning. After getting the YSA’s settled in their baptisms, we traveled to a nearby stake and witnessed the baptism of the 8-year-old daughter of our CES director. She was radiantly happy and we enjoyed spending several hours afterward with their family and close friends. Sophie is a sweetheart and we enjoyed taking this picture of her with us after the baptism. She is the second oldest of 5 and her little sister, Amelia wanted to also be in the photo! So sweet. And, yes, FYI, Sophie is REALLY tall for her age. She is nearly as tall as I am and just turned 8!
After visiting with Sophie’s family and friends, we headed back to Canberra, arriving with just enough time to finish cleaning our flat after having dinner. The reason is the very next evening (Sunday) we hosted the Stake YSA Family Home Evening here at the flat. A lot of fun was had by all who came and we had pretty good attendance. It was a squeeze to fit everyone in, but after an excellent lesson and game activities (prepared by one of the wards), the kids broke into smaller groups and played games and enjoyed socializing. We ate good refreshments (also provided by everyone) and the evening ended about 9:00 pm! Here are a few pictures from the evening.
We are so happy to be getting so close with so many of the YSA’s and also the other members of the Stake. It feels like home here and we are so blessed to share so many wonderful things with so many wonderful people! We LOVE it here!
We are still teaching our three classes a week. This next week we will be teaching the Book of Revelation! And that will end our New Testament classes. It has been wonderful to study and get to know the scriptures in such depth! Our next course of study will be a course of “Teachings of the Living Prophets”. And then, after that we will begin our courses on The Book of Mormon. Teaching has been a joy and we LOVE it!
Today, we witnessed the baptism of another YSA! His name is Cena Park. He is here from Korea and is still working on his English, but he has felt the spirit and made the great choice to be baptised today. He has already been attending our Institute class and we hope to get him to our activities, also. Here are some pictures from the baptism today.
The second photo shows all the missionaries here in the Canberra Stake, except the ones from Merimbula. They are a terrific group of missionaries. We love working with them! And Elder Larkin enjoys practicing his Tongan with the Tongan elders!
Well, that is about it for a while. Know this…the work of the Lord goes forth! We are grateful to be a part of it here in the Sydney South Mission and here in Canberra! We love it here and we love the work!
Until next time…