I don’t think busy missionaries should apologize for not blogging, so I guess this isn’t an apology, but it has been way too long since my last post. And since this is also a record for us for our mission, I figured I better get cracking on it! I was sick for a couple of weeks of my neglect, but I’m not sure that’s a valid excuse. I will use it, as it’s the best I can do aside from “we’re really busy”! Now that I am well, I really don’t have a reason not to catch up!
We had a wonderful two-day experience for our YSA’s on Aug 31-Sept 1. We started that Saturday with a service project. We traveled a short way out of town and helped a brother in the stake plant some water plants around a pond on his farm. The weather was unseasonably warm and we loved doing such a fun service for him and spending time together. The soil was hard and compacted where we were working, so Bro. Laney helped us out with his BIG equipment! (The little guy is Bro. Laney’s grandson…a big helper!)Here’s some pictures for you to enjoy:
Later that evening we joined the YSA’s at an ice skating activity! This was a huge success! Owing to my bad knees, I chose not to skate. But Elder Larkin was brave and headed out onto the ice with the Youth. He did well and only fell twice. Of course, he is also the better skater of the two of us and enjoyed his time on the ice! This allowed me to take photos and videos. Here are a few photos:
The next day was Fast Sunday. We had a wonderful YSA Fast and Testimony meeting followed by a Fast Breaker. I chose to enjoy my time with these wonderful people and didn’t take any photos. These youth are strong and have fine testimonies of the Gospel!
The 7th of October, we had a fantastic event for the Mutual aged youth of the Stake…a Mini MTC. We joined the young missionaries in activities and workshops. It was so inspiring for the Youth! Many wore their “badges” to church the next day and a week later when a follow-up Fireside was held! Lot’s of future missionaries here in this stake!
We said goodbye to another of our YSA’s. Dallas is the daughter of one of the bishops and she left for her mission this last month to serve in New Zealand! She’s a doll (her nickname, by the way). Goodbyes are hard, but it’s easy to send them into the field to serve! Here’s our goodbye picture with Dallas (She’s now wearing the badge!):
One of our big activities last month was a Karaoke and Minute to Win it Game night. We spent days preparing and getting ready for it, but it was so much fun! We rocked until nearly midnight. Unfortunately, I was so busy blowing my whistle and timing things, I got no pictures taken. They took lots of videos and photos but haven’t gotten my hands on any yet. It was a big success!
Last week we enjoyed a wonderful Zone Conference with the entire zone. The Zone includes all of Canberra, Mirimbula, Narooma, Nowra, and other outlying areas. It was great seeing some missionaries who have been transferred out as well as two other senior couples. And visiting with the mission president and his wife was delightful! The Sydney South Mission is larger in area than the size of the state of Utah. When it was formed last July, it had 85 missionaries. By the end of December it will have over 200 missionaries. The work goes forth! This is a huge job for a brand new mission president as well as the good couple that is finding living spaces for all these missionaries and furnishing them all. That wonderful couple even took time to bring us a portable air conditioner for the upcoming summer heat. We were very grateful. Here’s a photo that we took of the whole zone.
I know, lot’s of floor, but the cameras were all on a table with the timers on so we could all be in the photo. Sadly, the Haynes (the couple who take care of the apartments and also work part-time in the mission office did not come in until later, so they were not in this photo. We also failed to get a photo with them. Hopefully, the next time we are in Sydney we can travel to the mission office and get one.) Here is a photo of us with President and Sister Lew:
We also made a trip into Sydney last month to attend a Scripture Mastery event. In part, so we could get ideas for our upcoming Scripture Mastery here in Canberra. We spent the night in Sydney and had a lovely breakfast and morning with the Kuhn’s before going to the temple to do some sealings. It was a wonderful two days. We watched an amazing sunset that went on for an entire hour as we drove Southwest to Canberra. I took many photos, but I will post those at another date.
We have continued to teach our Institute classes three days a week, as well as visiting our Seminary classes. Our extra time has been filled with study and preparations for events and lessons. We did squeeze in a visit to Floriade, a festival of Spring Flowers held annually here in Canberra. We went to Night Fest last week and I took a few photos, but forgot my regular camera and only took some with my iPhone. However, because they are night photos, there was only one decent one. I’ll post it here. We are going to go back to Floriade tomorrow in the daytime. There are acres of flowers there and I will take lots of photos and post them in my next post. Something to look forward to…
Until next time…