Monday, September 14, 2009

Still catching up!

When we arrived in January it was the middle of the summer in the "Land Down Under" and everything was dry and brown. I made the comment that one match could do a lot of damage, and the next thing we know a bush fire had started and soon had turned into the worst bush fires that had been seen here in many years. They called it "Black Saturday." Many people killed, homes lost, and entire towns lost. Very sad.
We spent time getting acquainted with the members of the Branch, the area, the food, the customs, and our responsibilities. On the 21 of February we held a baptism for Alfred George and Robyn Williams. Robyn is terrified of water and it took about ten minutes for Alfred's son, Chris, to get her to let him put her under the water. Finally she said she felt a calm feeling come over her and she was able to bend her knees.
In March we were thrilled to see Jesse Cutler enter the waters of baptism on March 14, 2009. We had done all the teaching of Jesse and were so happy that he was so eager to be baptized. He has become a strength to the Branch as we have watched him grow in his testimony and his faith. We also had the opportunity to attend the Melbourne Temple with our Relief Society President, Phaedra Barnes as she took out her own endowment. It was a beautiful day for all of us. The Relief Society had a very lovely "Birthday" Celebration. I was lucky enough to get to decorate the cake. We have enjoyed seeing many of the sights in the area, including a visit to the WWI War Memorial, "Lest we Forget" on the hill above Albury and the lovely Botanical Gardens in Albury. David Coleman was baptized on the 28th of March. He is a good man and we have enjoyed being involved with teaching him the Gospel.

Pictures top: Elder & Sister Nielsen, David Coleman, Sister Zhang & Sister Sykes.
RS Birthday cake.
Sister Nielsen at Botanical Gardens, Albury NSW.
Elder & Sister Nielsen & Jesse Cutler.
At the Melbourne Temple
With Alfred George and Robyn Williams
In a tree at the Murray River.