Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Birthday # 2 in Sydney Elder Asplund.  It is hard to believe that a year has passed on this mission.  We had a fun day together; a movie and lunch and then FHE with the ward and a rousing happy birthday song and some yummy cake.  He got a lemon meringue pie which is a bit difficult to make here, but that was the highlight of his day.  That should do it for another year.

This week was Zone Conference with about 30 attending.  Pres. & Sis. Checketts do such a great job of teaching, inspiring and having fun with their missionaries.  The day was interesting, uplifting, motivating and fun to spend together.  I helped S. Checketts with the lunch she provided and it was yummy.

We were able to attend the temple this week.  It is a small and very intimate temple with only 3 morning and 3 evening sessions during the week and morning sessions on Sat.  We are always asked to be the witness couple, which we enjoy.  A very handicapped young woman was in the session with her husband and it was so tender to see him help her in the prayer circle and take her through the veil.  We also had a really special connection with a beautiful Chinese girl in our ward named Joanna.  About 5 months ago we went to the temple with her to receive her endowment and have watched her blossom in the gospel.  She has had some doubts lately and has pulled back from church involvement.  We try to contact her every week and we went to dinner together and was able to have a really good discussion about her issues.  We invited her to movie night (which happened to be 17 Miracles).  She said she really felt the spirit and she was at church Sunday.  She is such a great young woman and we feel such a need to support her during this time.(second from the right)

We had a very good baptism on Saturday, Jinhui Li (Eric) .  He has been taught for several month and is quite founded in the gospel.  His baptism was rather interesting---he is over 6 ft. tall and they only filled the font about knee deep.  So he literally got laid on the bottom of the font 3 TIMES.  I didn't know if it would ever happen right.  He is a really cool guy.  Elder Jin baptized him and he has quite a story.  He is the really tall Elder and a little over 2 years ago he was a gang member on the streets of China, always in trouble and fighting.One day he went home and a friend of his mother's told him he needed to find God.  Well he learned more, went to Hong Kong to be taught and baptized and is now an amazing missionary and leader.  His life change is truly a miracle and we know he will one day be a great leader of the church in China.(on the right)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

We gave a baby shower for cute Kristine.  Seems a bit odd to be doing a baby shower in a YSA ward, but Kristine is one of those who "hang on" to this ward.  She was baptized here some time ago, then married a non-member and so continues here.  It was a fun day.

Once a month we have a ward "break-the-fast" dinner.  It is a good time to interact with ward members and missionaries.  I usually cook every other month.  It was fun to have the Cox's join us this month.

We had a big transfer this time and every companionship got changed up.  No one went home but there are many to say farewell to.  We love serving with these wonderful Elders and Sisters from around the world--England, Tonga, Korea, U.S., Samoa, New Zealand, Philippines and China.

We had the most marvelous week with Becky and Bob.  They got here Saturday morning and we hit the ground running and kept them awake and busy for the day.  Circular Quay was an impressive first stop and a ferry to Watson Bay ended the day.

We did the usual things: toured the Opera House and actually went to a concert one night (which turned out to be a dud).  We went to Featherdale Wildlife Park, toured the city and went up the Westfield Tower, went to Darling Harbour and of course Bondi Beach and Manly.

Another really fun visit was to the Wax Museum.  Allan and Bob especially loved meeting "old friends" there.

It was so grand to spend this week with our dear friends.  Becky and Bob have been lifelong friends.  We met more than 40 years ago and even tho we have lived in distant locations for the past 20 years as we have both served missions, we have remained dear friends.  We are so thankful for their friendship and our memories together.