Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Thursday, January 14, 2010, we took the Elders with us to visit with members in Colac Colac and Cudgewa. We spent a little time in Corryong and visited the grave of Jack Riley, the man said to be "The Man from Snowy River"
We visited the Holland family in Cudgewa. They have a wonderful swimming hole in the creek behind their house. We walked out to see it and watched as their girls played and splashed and had a great time. Elder Justet and Elder Watts (L to R) would sure like to have gone in as well.
It was a scorching hot day!
On the second day of our flat inspection trip we took another ride down the Murray River in Echuca. We rode the same boat, the Emmy Lou, that we rode last time. There has been more rain this past year and the river is considerably higher than it was last May. Notice the house boats docked along the bank. People just tie up their house boats and stay there for their vacations swimming in the river and fishing from the boat or the bank. The river used to be the main way goods were taken to Melbourne from the farm lands, vineyards and ranches. The once bustling port in Echuca was the third largest port in Australia. It is inland, nowhere near the ocean.
After we inspected the flats of the Missionaries in Griffith, we took a few minutes to visit the site of the Hermit's Caves on the bluff above the city. The caves were once the home of an Italian immigrant named Valerio Ricetti who lived the life of a hermit in the caves during the 1930's. The flowers painted on the rock to the left of President Nielsen were painted by Valerio. This was his living room. The kitchen area was to the right in front of the rock on the right and the sleeping area was behind President Nielsen. Mr. Ricetti had created lovely gardens and rock walls painstakingly stacked as terraces. Most of those things are gone now.
We took Elder Justet and Elder Watts to oz.e.wildlife on January 4 to see the kangaroos, koalas, black swans, wombats, emus, and so on. Elder Watts was new in the country and thrilled to see these fascinating animals close up. While we were watching the koala bears I noticed this stringy bark gum tree. It struck me that this is a beautiful representation of repentance. When we strip off the sins we have committed and remove them from our lives we are left clean, white and beautiful like the bark on this tree. As the tree grows it continues to shed the stringy bark. Like the tree, we must continually repent every day so that we can stand pure and clean at the last day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Christmas 2009

Our beautiful daughter, Kiera, and her new granddaugher, Chloe. What a wonderful belated Christmas gift! She was born Dec. 28, 2009 to Brittany and James. And now we are GREAT last we are great!
Locklan was baptized on Dec. 26, 2009 by President Nielsen. Here he is with his family and Elders Justet and Watts

We had this wonderful group over to our flat on Christmas Eve for turkey noodle soup and hot rolls. We watched the First Presidency Fireside and enjoyed one another's company. We forgot to take a picutre, so we gathered them all together at Lockey's baptism. Elder and Sister Nielsen, Diana Hawksworth, Don Thickins, Elders Watts and Justet. Chris is not shown, he came as well.

Little Primary Angels

The Albury Primary Nativity. Cutest Primary ever!

Christmas in Albury 2009

Elder Justet and Elder Watts on Christmas Day at the Smith home.

Our cute little Christmas Tree.

The Lindley Children put on the Nativity for the Missionaries at the Mission Christmas Conference in Melbourne. Devin plays the part of the donkey while Brady (Joseph) helps Mary (Alyssa) stay on the donkey. It was a terrific production and made us homesick for our family. The Nativity is one of our favorite traditions.

The main characters in the Albury Branch Christmas Pageant. Dec. 12, 2009. This was taken in our little chapel/cultural hall.

The Albury Branch Christmas Pageant

December 12, 2009. The Albury Branch Christmas Pageant. Everyone participated by being part of the cast either being citizens who witnesssed the events or the main characters.
Here the wise men bring gifts to the young child, Jesus.

The shepherds find the baby Jesus at the stable, the sheep gather around, notice the Angel of the Lord behind the tree, he had just made his appearance and is standing near to watch over the Baby Jesus.

The shepherds keeping watch over their flock.
Some of the "flock" wandered away and had to be rounded up, but they had a good time!
The World's biggest rolling pin is in Wodonga, VIC, Australia.
You cannot tell, by the picture, but it actually rolls!

Kathleen and Joel with Brigham enjoy an after Thanksgiving Dinner
chat with Elder Nielsen.
We treated them to a "Traditional" Thanksgiving feast. Since this holiday is not observed in Australia, we had a difficult time finding a turkey. When we finally did find one, it was about the size of a glorified chicken. We found cranberry sauce in the American Foods store in Melbourne. Now that the Christmas season is here, both of these items are available locally. Our Thanksgiving Dinner was great and we all had a wonderful time. Unfortunately there was so much going on we did not get a group picture.