Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trying to catch up

We would really like to catch up on this blog thing. Time and knowledge being the greatest factors in our not keeping up. We have some really great pictures we would like to share with all of you. We are loving serving in this beautiful, wonderful country. The people are great and friendly. We are learning new versions of English and driving on the other side of the road. Amazing. Since it has been nearly six months since we arrived and our last entry was from the MTC. Three people responded to the blog and I just discovered it. Sorry, Lance, Kathy and Jami (Marshall! how good to hear from you!)
Here we are on our first day at the MTC in Provo. After an exciting week there we got on our plane to Los Angeles, and then to Australia. We arrived in Melbourne on the 23rd of January, tired and excited. We were greeted warmly by our Mission President, Corry Lindley and taken to the Mission Office. On the way to the Mission Office we were informed that Howard would be the new Branch President of the Albury Branch. There was no save way out of the car at that point. We had our pictures taken, ate lunch and then they took us to the home of one of the Mission Couples to take a much needed nap. The next day we were driven to the edge of Melbourne and then Howard got to drive (our white Toyota Camry) as we followed President Lindley to Wodonga. Howard got to drive, as he has had experience driving on the other side of the road while serving in New Zealand in 1964-66. The next day was Sunday, and he was sustained as the New Branch President of the Albury Branch. We had a great Sacrament Meeting where we both got to speak, noone was there to run the Primary, so I was enlisted to do music, sharing time and class. After the meetings we were left with a set of keys to the Camry, the church, the house and we watched President Lindley's taillights disappear. We felt a bit overwhelmed and alone. We got settled in, acquainted with some of the members and did some visits. We have found some food products that are familiar, and are missing some old stand-bys that we cannot get here, but all-in-all we were starting to feel at home by the first of February. We went with Sister Bowie and Sister Sykes (the missionary sisters serving in our area) to a wildlife reserve near here. We had a wonderful time feeding the kangaroos and enjoying seeing new and strange animals. I will try to catch up on the past six months in short installments if this works. We would like to have this record of our mission, although I have written in my journal evey night. Wish us luck!