|Tuggerah Lake at Sunset|
Some of our ward members would say something like "Do you know where they are building the new Woolworth's" or you know where such and such is? I would always say, "We get off the freeway and drive to the church. That is all we know about this area". Since we now stayed the weekend in the Toukley area we know where a few more things are.
It was nice enough weather that we would open the windows at night and have a nice lake breeze cool off the house. The neighbors were wearing heavy hoodies and long pants like it was cold. Elder Ellison and I thought it was heavenly.
May is here and we are saying goodbye to Elder & Sister Cox. They have served in the office for 2 years. They have been wonderful to work with and will be greatly missed. It seems like yesterday when Elder Ellison and I arrived in Sydney and the Cox's picked us up from the airport. Now it is their turn for us to take them to the airport for their departure. Bittersweet. Elder and Sister Cox I had planned to do some touring of Australia and New Zealand before returning home but unfortunately Elder Cox ended up with a kidney stone and spent last night in the hospital. Not sure how their extended travel plans will work out. Their visas run out in 5 days so they will need to be heading to the States at that time.
Today is 21 May and I am now getting back to the my blog for May. Last night we had an AMAZING Conference with The Sydney North and South Missions, missionaries, Area Presidency, Elder Stevenson, and President Ballard. They were in New South Wales for multiple assignments. A Stake Conference, meeting with Ward and Stake Leaders in the Sydney area, special Mission Conference and and FHE via Facebook. These were very busy men and wives. So many impressive thoughts were taught at our conference.
President Stevenson talked about how he had been called as a Mission President with the assignment to join together THREE Missions, Tokyo North, Tokyo South and another mission that I did not catch the name of. Oh, my, what a job that would be. Maybe our new President won't be too overwhelmed with just two missions?????
President Ballard told when he was the Mission President of the Ontario Canada mission over 50 years ago, he had the following experience.
A senior couple was coming to serve in his Mission. He gave the Zone Leaders the assignment to go and purchase some food items and stock up the fridge for the senior couple as they would be getting in late and might need something to eat over the weekend. This was before credit cards were readily used so the President informed the Elders to use their cash and he would reimburse them in the future. (maybe that was the problem) President Ballard said these missionaries had been out way too long and didn't remember how to stock a fridge let alone for a senior couple. The Elders stocked the fridge with the bare minimum, A loaf of bread, a jar of PB, a jar of jam and a carton of milk. When President Ballard learned of this he was embarrassed, but such is missionary life.
President Ballard interviewed the husband who had been a Patriarch and had also been a missionary as a young man. When he interviewed the wife privately she admitted that she was "scared to death" and did not know the first thing about missionary work. (This was long before Preach My Gospel). President Ballard assured her that all would be well and then practiced a couple of approaches with her. For example if she saw a mother with children in tow she might say, "I see you have beautiful children that you greatly enjoy and love. Would you like to learn how you can be an Eternal Family?" After their meeting she felt a little more comfortable.
They drove to their assigned area in a small town, quite some distance from the Mission home, it was minus 20 degrees. After finding the limited food, they made a quick stop at a little store nearby. They rushed in picked up a few items, the husband paid for the groceries then hurried out to the car. His wife was struggling to work up courage to approach the woman working behind the counter. A few minutes passed by, then the Sister missionary walked up to the counter and said something like this. "My husband and I have come all the way from SLC Ut. to share a message with people we come in contact with. Would you be willing to have us come share this message with you and your husband?" The clerk was taken with the gentle and genuine approach of this missionary and agreed to have them to her home the next evening. When the Sister got out to the car her husband said "where have you been? I am about frozen to death?" "I have been doing what we have been assigned to do and we have an appointment tomorrow night." The husband was shocked. They went the next night and gave the message with another appointment a couple of nights later. When they arrived they found 2 more people the brother and sister in-law in were now in attendance. They gave the next lesson, another appointment was set and they then had 4 more people listening to their message. In the end 18 people were baptized. Just from this one nervous but committed Sister and her Husband. The way President Ballard told the story had everyone laughing and crying at the same time.
President Ballard challenged the missionaries to each talk to 10 people every day. For some of our missionaries that is challenging due to the areas they work in. Other missionaries walk up and down one specific street in different parts of the downtown area. They cross paths with many more pedestrians. Last week Elder Ellison and I were driving down the street in one of these areas (on a furniture run for a new flat being opened). I got to observe 2 of our missionaries at work.
|Sunsets & Clouds were Spectacular!|
Time to end this blog, another busy day in the office, but it sure makes time fly by.