Friday, May 6, 2016

Great Ocean Road and TONS of pictures!

Monday (4.11.16)
This was a wonderful P-day! Sister Almond is going home this week so President Maxwell gave us permission to take the Dandenong Zone Leaders and Sister Almond and her companion, Sister Tupu, to the Great Ocean Road for Sister Almond's last P-day. It took us about four hours because we kept stopping to see all the beautiful sights. Get ready for picture overload!

Nothing beats a road trip... Especially when it's on the "Great Ocean Road," which twists around the Aussie coast line.

The Great Ocean Road.

One of the many look out points on the Great Ocean Road.

They call this "The Grotto."

One of the amazing things to see on the Great Ocean Road is a place called the Twelve Apostles. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Melbourne and I can see why. 
This will definitely be a place I want to show you when we come back to Melbourne after my mission. 
Dandenong Zone Leadership
L to R: Sister Almond, Sister Tupu, Elder Eyring, Me,
Elder Wiser and Elder Ferris

These beautiful rock formations are known as the 12 Apostles
This has to be a contender for the most scenic "selfie"!

Hey... I'm finally taller than Elder Eyring!

Not the choke hold... I promise never to pretend to be taller than Elder Eyring again!

I'm on top of the world... I mean the bottom of the world?

Tuesday (4.12.16)
We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council – where President and Sister Maxwell, the APs, the Sister Training Leaders and the Zone Leaders have a monthly meeting) all day today! It was really uplifting. We were blessed to have Elder Dudefield meet with us to help instruct us on the transition that will be coming in July when the Maxwells finish their missionary service and the new mission president arrives. Peter Vidmar, the Olympic gold medalist, will be the Australia Melbourne Mission President starting July 2016. I love the Maxwells and I will miss them with all my heart but I will work my hardest to make sure the transition to President Vidmar is super smooth.

I have always loved MLC meetings because it is such a blessing to meet with all the amazing leaders in our mission. However, this MLC as an AP, I looked at it from a bit of a different perspective. I came to the realization that before Elder Eyring and I were Assistants we used to have zones that we looked after and uplifted. Well now, the MLC has turned into our Zone. Elder Eyring and I and President and Sister Maxwell are responsible for uplifting and edifying the MLC. It is a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful for every single missionary in the Australia Melbourne Mission. They are the best!

After the MLC, we went to dinner with the Maxwells and the three Sister Missionaries that were leaving for home the following day. The wonderful Sisters that have finished their missions are: Sister Tihoni from Tahiti, Sister Zhang from China and Sister Almond from Cedar City, Utah

Wednesday (4.13.16)
Today started bright and early! We needed to be at the mission home at 7:30 am to take Sister Almond to the Airport. It is a great thing I like going to the airport. I think we have been there at least 12 times in the past few weeks! We seriously go to the airport about three times a week! But it is great and I love doing the Lord’s work no matter what it is! Transporting missionaries on time and safely is very important!

Saying goodbye to three amazing Sister missionaries at the airport:
Sister Almond, Sister Zhang and Sister Tihoni

We miss all the missionaries that go home, but it was super sad to see Sister Almond leave. She is the senior Sister Training Leader in the mission and all of the Sisters in the mission really look up to her. After we finished at the airport we had to drop off President and Sister Maxwell at a lunch meeting in the city and so while they were busy we decided to go to the Chinese Zone Meeting. It was a really great zone meeting! It is a bit hard for me to understand gospel conversations in Chinese but when they are speaking normal Chinese I can still understand quite a bit of what they are saying thanks to the many years of Chinese classes I took in Junior High and High School... I'm so glad I listened to what my teachers were telling me all those years!

After the Chinese Zone Meeting, we picked up the Maxwells from their lunch appointment and we all went back to the office to finish some work.  The Australia Melbourne Mission office staff is the best in the world and we really like working with them and helping answer their questions.  When we finished at the office if was time for Round 2 at the airport! This time we took Sister Tihoni and Sister Zhang so they could fly home. We ate a bit of dinner with them at the airport and said our goodbyes. It was a great day, but a long day because we didn’t get home until about 10:40 pm.

Thursday (4.14.16)
Today we planned to work on the upcoming transfers for most of the day. We arrived at the mission home around 10:00 am to get started with transfers!!  Unfortunately, a lot of other unexpected things came up so transfers kind of got pushed to the back seat. President Maxwell had an unexpected meeting so we drove him there so we could use the travel time to talk about transfers. Once President Maxwell finished his appointment, Elder Eyring and I had the great blessing of taking him to a baptismal interview for a family of five that will be baptized this week! It was so amazing to see a family come into the gospel:) After that we picked up Sister Maxwell from an outing she was on with some of the Senior Sisters at a beautiful garden in Melbourne. We finished the night by picking up some KFC for dinner and going back to the mission office and buckling down on transfers!

Friday (4.15.16)
WE WORKED ON TRANSFERS ALMOST ALL DAY LONG!!! Wow! It is such an amazing process! We start by taking all the missionaries and we switch them around and we pray about things and it is truly amazing how all the missionaries just go into new areas. 

Looking forward to a GREAT transfer day!

I had no idea how we were going to do things and at times it seemed a daunting task but it was a miracle to watch. It truly seemed as the missionaries were reassigned to different areas everything just fit into the right place. It was a really special experience to witness the Lord’s hand as President Maxwell received revelation for the missionaries. Elder Eyring and I were really just there to give some suggestions and help with some of the logistics of the transfer. 

Saturday (4.16.16)
We finished most of the transfer work on Friday because the Maxwell’s son and daughter in law were flying in today. We wanted to make sure President and Sister Maxwell could spend lots of time with them and not have to worry about transfers. We went over to the mission office early in the morning so we could meet together and discuss transfers. We had all pondered and prayed really hard to know the Lord's will for this transfer and we wanted to talk about it one last time after thinking and praying about it overnight. We made a few last minute changes and then Elder Eyring and I were ready to figure out all the logistics of the transfers. This honestly took the whole rest of the day!!

We needed to figure out how missionaries were going to get down to Tasmania and then how the missionaries who were leaving Tasmania would get up here and who their temporary companions would be. After that, we moved on to the missionaries who were going to be training this transfer. We needed to figure out where they were going to stay temporarily until their new goldens (the Australia Melbourne Mission calls new missionaries…..goldens and not greenies) arrived on transfer day.

Elder Eyring and I working the phones at  "Transfer Headquarters"

After we finished with those logistics we moved on to making the flat changes, the phone changes and then finally on to the car changes!  Before being an AP, I had NO idea how many details there are to consider with transfers. Luckily, the Linders (an awesome senior couple) were at the office helping us. They were so nice to get us some lunch and we had a very enjoyable time with them.

We love the Linders! They helped us so much and even brought us lunch!

Finally, we had to make lots of phone calls to finish up the transfer.  We called all the zone leaders and informed them of the changes so they could call the missionaries in their zones the following night to get the transfer news out. We were also able to call most of the trainers and help encourage them that training a “golden” (brand new missionary) is a calling from the Lord and He had someone special coming to the Australia Melbourne Mission that THEY had been selected to train!!! They were the only ones that would be a perfect fit.

Sunday (4.17.16)
We had a great day visiting another ward today. We were blessed to have dinner with the Tham family from our ward and after that we went back to the office to work on some last minute transfer logistics. It was a wonderful week and I have learned you NEVER know what is going to pop up in the mission:) My life here is just PACKED with missionary adventures and I love it SO much!

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