Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baptisms and beautiful places

February 27, 2010 was a wonderful day in the Albury Branch. Sister Helen Williams was baptized! She is a good friend of Rose Velilla who was baptized last month. We are so blessed to know her. She was baptized by Brother Naldo-Rei Casanova, who just recently returned from his mission to the Philippines. He has been a terrific help to these wonderful Filipino Sisters in teaching them the Gospel. L-R Elders Justet and Nielsen, Bro Casanova, Helen Williams, Sister Nielsen and Elder Watts.
Nicholas Cutler was also baptized on the 27th. He is the younger brother of Jesse Cutler who was baptized last March. It was very special that Jesse was able to baptize and confirm his little brother. We are thrilled with the miracles we have seen in this wonderful family. We are looking forward to the baptisms of his sister and his Mum. L-R: Elder and Sister Nielsen, Nicholas O'Brien, Wendy O'Brien, Jesse Cutler, Elder Justet and Elder Watts.
We went out to Wahgunyah to teach the Temple Preparation Class to Alfred George and Robyn Williams. We pass through one of the most important wine producing regions in Australia, so as we went through Rutherglen, noted for it's wine, we stopped to snap some pictures of the beautiful vineyards laden with sweet grapes. Perfectly straight rows go for miles and miles, over and around the rolling hills. Truly a lovely sight.
Elder Watts and Elder Justet overlook the city of Albury. They were both transferred out of our area and as has become the custom, we went to Huon Hill to look at the valley and have a picnic. Shortly after this picture was taken it started pouring rain, so we had our little barbie in the rain. Elder Watts went down to "the city" Melbourne and Elder Justet is now one of the Assistants to the President. They were able to return for the baptisms. We will miss these delightful and dedicated Elders.
February 17, 2010 we were in Wahgunyah. We love to stop by the Murray River and enjoy the beautiful scenery and listen to the cockatoos. The Murray River really is that color. It is the longest river in Australia and winds its way 2500 kilometers through the south eastern part of the country. It is quiet and tranquil and we enjoy stopping to visit it whether we are in Wahgunyah, Echuca or Albury/Wodonga.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baptism, Bush fire 1 year later and a reverent koala

On February 15, 2010, the Wangaratta District went to Oz.e.wildlife animal reserve. You have probably noticed that we go there often. So often, in fact, that they never charge us to go in anymore. This little koala had just been given fresh leaves and took time to "give thanks."
Exactly one year after the fires of Black Saturday, we happened to drive through the area. Notice how the regrowth on the trees grows all around the tree like soft green fuzz.

Last year this very spot was nothing but black.

January 23, 2010 was the day our beloved Hungry Jacks burned down. We had just had our lunch in there three hourse before and the Elders had only left the building 20 minutes before the fire broke out. A vent grill above the broiler grill fell causing the fire to leap up into the ceiling area. There was nothing anyone could do it spread so fast.

January 23, 2010, was also a very happy day. Our dear Rose Velilla was baptized. We all love her so much. Here she is with (L-R) Elders Watts and Nielsen, Helen Williams, Rose, Sister Nielsen and Elder Justet.