Today was President Maxwell’s birthday! To celebrate, Sister Maxwell planned an excursion for the office staff up to a place called Craig’s Hut. It is a shack that is in a movie called, "The Man from Snowy River.” I haven’t seen it but after our great outing it really made me gain a desire to watch it. Does this look familiar to anyone who has seen the movie? Everyone told me it is probably one of my mom's favorite movies!
The Man From Snowy River Scenery!
It will be one of the first movies I queue up when I get home in August. It was amazingly beautiful! Because it is quite a ways from Melbourne we all loaded up about 6:00 am in the morning and we drove for about two hours to a place called Mansfield.This is where we switched our van for an Oka with a personal tour guide! It was so much fun!
Four wheeling in the Oka! It is an 11 seater that can climb anything!
The Oka climbed up to a ski resort called Mt. Buller and we saw some snow! We did a bunch of four wheeling to get to this hut on the top of a mountain.
Meet Craig....of Craig's hut!
It was an amazing day spent with people that I really love. We quickly returned to reality though…on the way back from Craig’s Hut, we got a call from the Tazzy (Tasmania) Zone Leaders. They reported to us that three missionaries had missed their flights! So we ended up the day by making two unexpected trips to the airport. The first one was to pick up a missionary who didn’t really speak English. Poor guy... he ended up getting lost in the Airport. It was quite the adventure to find him! After lots of prayers and searching we finally found him after we had searched for about an hour! When we finally found him, we took some time to get him calmed down from his airport ordeal and we worked out a place for him to stay with some other Elders. Immediately after we got him settled we made our second trip BACK to the Airport to pick up the Tazzie missionaries that had missed their flight. But wouldn’t you know it? Their flight ended up being late and it didn’t arrive until 11:30 pm. So by the time we got home, it was about 2:00 o’clock in the morning and we had an early morning coming for us tomorrow! Sometimes the things that happen are crazy but it is all about serving the Lord in whatever way He needs us. Serving a mission has really helped me understand how powerful the enabling power of the atonement truly is. The Lord lifts us when we are sick, tired, confused…..we can always receive peace and comfort from the Lord.
We were able to go to the Temple this morning and it was super great! It was a little bit sad for Elder Eyring and I because it was our last temple trip together until he goes home next transfer! It really has been so awesome to be serve with him. We have formed a close bond of brotherhood in just the short amount of time we were able to serve together. After we got out of the temple, we went to the “Train the Trainers” and “Train the Leaders” meetings scheduled for today. President Maxwell agreed to let Elder Eyring and I stay together the rest of the and work with my new AP Companion, Elder Jensen. We had a great day together. After the meeting we helped with transfers and all the craziness that goes along with administering transfers for over 220 missionaries! When we finished with those details it was off to the departing missionary dinner with Elder Eyring and Elder Jensen. There are about 15 missionaries going home this transfer and four of them were senior missionaries. After the dinner we always have a very special testimony meeting. We finished with the testimony meeting around 9:30 pm and then Elder Jensen, Eyring and I ran back to our AP flat in Dandenong to help Elder Eyring pack for his move back to the Chinese zone in the city. By the time we got Elder Eyring packed and dropped him off in the city it was another very late night. But none of us minded because it was a great surprise that Elder Eyring and I were able to be together one last day! I know it will be great with Elder Jensen as my companion as well, I really am VERY blessed!
We had to leave for the airport with the departing missionaries and the Tazzy missionaries bright and early around 6:30 am to make it on time for some of the early departing flights that the missionaries had to take! Then it was off to get the Tazzy missionaries to their terminal and we raced back to say goodbye to some of the Elders that were leaving.
Missionaries on their way to Tasmania!
After we finished with all the departing missionaries it was time to wait to pick up our 12 new Goldens (new missionaries are called goldens in the Australia Melbourne mission not the more familiar term….greenies). Sister Maxwell got us some yummy Nandos to munch on while we waited, Sister Maxwell is just so good to us. She always knows what we need!
We were so blessed to be able to receive such an amazing group of Goldens this transfer! It is truly an amazing experience…we see their pictures and we look at the pictures many, many times trying to know how to best help them as they begin their mission but you just never know until the day you see them. After we got them back from the airport we jetted right to the Golden Orientation meeting and had a wonderful lunch with them. This meeting is good but everyone is like a deer in headlights….they are SO tired from travelling and the emotion of the day! I remember feeling that way too! After we finished all the meetings and getting the Goldens settled with their trainers Elder Jensen and I went to dinner with the Maxwells to discuss some of the things we planned to do for our Zone Conference in Tasmania the next day! Then we raced home and packed for the trip.
We raced to the office first thing in the morning so we could prepare our zone conference trainings before we got to go down to Tasmania. Our flight left around 1:00 pm and we arrived in Tazzy around 2:00 pm.
Traditional selfie on the way to Tasmania!
After we arrived in Tasmania, we went straight to one of the Maxwell’s favorite spots. It is the chair lift place called Cataract Gorge. It was really fun to be there with them again. I did feel a bit of déjà vu remembering being here with Elder Eyring and the Maxwells.
The beautiful Cataract Gorge!
Bonding with my new companion Elder Jensen!
After we finished at Cataract Gorge, we went walking around and talking with people in the city of Launceston. I LOVE to GQ anywhere I can!
We ran onto some random baboons in the city center!
I love President Maxwell and Elder Jensen!
Today was the Tasmania Zone Conference. It went REALLY well. The Spirit was very strong and it was great to be with all the missionaries that we love so much. Zone conference meetings usually run about seven to eight hours and this one got over around 4:30 pm.
The fabulous Tasmania Zone! These are wonderful missionaries!
After our zone conference President Maxwell had a meeting with one of the stake presidents in Tasmania. After his meeting was over we went to a great Chinese restaurant. Then it was time to go to dinner and we went to a Chinese Restaurant. My training today at zone conference was on the importance of prayer and why we need to pray. I taught the missionaries that an essential step after prayer is expecting to receive the things that we have prayed for as long as it is the will of God. I felt like it went well but I will be going over it and fasting and praying for direction of how I can make it even better.
We made an early trip to the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for breakfast! This is the place where I ordered that amazing Eggs Benedict and Raspberry Waffles.
I love Christmas Hills, think about it.....raspberries and Christmas! Can there be a better combination?
Later that morning we visited a Cheese Farm! It was really yummy but we were all stuffed from breakfast and couldn’t eat as much cheese as we wanted to. This will be a place that we will go FOR SURE when we come back to Melbourne as a family after my mission. Our flight back to Melbourne was around 5:00 pm. We went straight to the mission office to get caught up on some work. It was a great day and I loved every minute of it!
We went to church this morning and and then it was off to the Kumarnasamys for a lunch! We have turned it into a tradition. We have lunch with them every Sunday! It works perfect for us and we are so grateful they want us to eat with them in their home! Today happened to be the 22nd Fast Sunday on my mission. I am not sure how to feel about it. I love my mission so much and there is still so much I want to accomplish! After lunch we went to the mission home to help President and Sister Maxwell with some preparations on the computer because the internet isn’t working at the mission home.
I love the Mission Home!
After we finished helping them we went straight to the Mission President’s Devotional. It was bittersweet because this was the Maxwells last one. Everyone wanted to talk with them and thank them so it took a little longer than usual. It went really well though and it was great to be with them for one last time. President Maxwell asked if Elder Eyring and I would sing for their last devotional and we were honored to do it. When it was over we drove te Maxwells home and talked a bit about the MLC (Mission Leadership Council) agenda for the upcoming week! Things are going very well. I love my new companion Elder Jensen and I know we will keep getting closer and closer every day!