Greetings from us to all of you! It has been two weeks again since my last post. I can honestly say we have been very busy, but with the clock ticking down, that’s exactly as we like it! On Sunday, 4th August, we were able to be a part of the Aaronic Priesthood ordination of our friend, Lipou. Elder Larkin stood in the circle as Lipou’s uncle (here from NZ for his baptism) ordained him and gave him a wonderful blessing. Lipou is doing well and everyone has been so good to reach out and fellowship in a good way. Also on that Sunday, we helped teach a Sunday School class for the YSA’s in one of the wards here. Their advisors/teachers have moved South. We also attended our monthly Fast Breaker in the evening at the home of our Stake President. It was a very good evening and we met new people and worked at getting better acquainted. Here are a few photos from that evening:
We had the chance to drive to Sydney on the 4th of August for a Senior missionary couple FHE at the Mission President’s home. These are fun, but the drive can be long. This time, on our way, we stopped briefly in Goulburn which is a little over an hour outside of Canberra. There is a huge sheep statue there and we just had to stop and take the tourist shots with it! So here we are in front of the Big Morino sheep. Also is our photo from our FHE. Our new mission president and his wife (President and Sister Back) are front and center.
Of course, we continue to teach our classes. We are nearing the end of our Book of Mormon course. Our last one is at the end of the month. We are so grateful we have been able to stay long enough to finish the course and we will confirm that our own testimonies of this amazing book have been firmly cemented within us and we hope in our students, too. We love The Book of Mormon and we are thankful we have been able to testify of its truthfulness to our students. The following weekend (8-10 August) was our Stake Conference here. On Friday, the 8th, was a family Stake dance. It was a Carnival theme. This was so much fun! There was a great photo booth set up, face painting, and a great group of stake members who made up the “band”. There are some mighty talented people here. Many of our YSA’s did the decorating as well as one of our talented girls doing all the face painting. Here are some photos of all the fun! And yes, we actually danced a little this time.
Sitting next to the photo booth allowed us a chance to sneak a photo of our wonderful Stake Presidency! What a bunch of clowns! 😉
Following the dance, we had a couple of days of great Stake Conference sessions. It was as wonderful as usual with great messages about many things. Loved every minute of it. We also said goodbye to missionaries that day as it was transfers. We had three from the stake here that we’re going home on Monday, so we said our tearful goodbyes. One was sweet Sister Pea, who went home to Tahiti. She is on the right, in the coat. She and Sister Sauaki (from Tonga) were the ones who taught Lepou. (Along with Sister Sauaki’s previous companion, Sister Burgess…also from Tahiti). We will surely miss her. Here are some photos.
On Saturday of that weekend, we also helped with the Stake Young Men’s and Young Women’s Service project. We helped with the fleece blanket tying while others did the cooking of the meals made for the homeless. I failed to take photos because I spent my time instructing on the blankets, but I caught a couple of the cooking project. Here they are:
That Sunday night we attended a ward YSA FHE. It was a good turnout and an excellent lesson and food. We had several friends there who are not members of the church and this gave our young people a chance to fellowship. Elder Larkin and I had a good discussion about the church with one of the girls visiting that night. She’s from a Muslim background and has some great questions. She also attended our Institute class the following Tuesday. We hope we can have a future opportunity to teach her again. Here’s some photos from that evening.
We met with the Stake Presidency member that guides us here on Wednesday of this week. Since we are leaving in less than 6 weeks (!!!) we had several things to discuss for the transition to the new senior couple coming in to replace us. They won’t arrive until about 2.5 weeks after our departure so we wanted to make sure some things were in place.
The highlight of this week was a baptism last night of one of our YSA’s. His name is Caleb. What a good young man! So proud of him and the choices he’s made. He’s been a regular at Institute and other YSA functions for a while now. I forgot my camera! But I caught a couple of lower quality photos from my iPhone. It’s always a bit tricky when you hand your camera to someone else. Anyway, here’s our photos. Had to include the cute cupcake toppers by one of our YSA girls ,
Ok, that’s it for now. We have a baptism tomorrow night so look for photos of that next week. We are happy and anxiously engaged!
Until next time….