Monday, July 29, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods......

This week we traveled to Armidale - over the Great Divide.  These are the mountains that divide the coast from the Outback.  So over the rivers, down Waterfall Way, and through the Bush to Armidale we went.  The Bush is aptly named and if you can't tell from these pictures, there is so much green and trees that sometimes you can't see for forest for the trees - literally.

 The farmlands were magnificent.  We traveled up through the World Heritage Forest of Dorrigo and then on top and down the other side are the stations - cattle as well as sheep and farming.  Every few minutes we would stop and take yet another picture.  Can you imagine the Man from Snowy River here?  I kept looking for him - but they seem to drive utility trucks now days and the horses just look good in the pasture lands.

On Sunday mornings, after checking with the Branch President, we are given an assignment to speak.  I usually have 15-20 minutes and Elder Feil finishes up with 15-20 minutes.  We have been choosing our own topics and we have been focusing on Prayer and Sacrifice.  These small "country branches" are filled with wonderful, faithful saints who are striving to live the Gospel,  and work the programs of the Church. 

Welcome to Relief Society!  Armidale is a University town - the University of New England - wait a minute, that sounds familiar. Am I in the Northeastern United States again???  The three younger girls are students at the "Uni" as they say here.  They are top notch and strive to be good representatives of the Savior by keeping his commandments and living his gospel.

This good brother works at the "Uni".

After church, everyone cleans up, including the counselor in the Branch Presidency.  It is a 2 phase building similar to what we had in NJ.  I felt right at home.

The Young Single Adults.  The sweet lady third from the left is waiting for her mission call.  Her brother is already serving in the Marshall Islands.  

And of course we check on our beloved missionaries - Elder Stergios and Elder Robbins from Australia.  Elder Stergios speaks French so maybe he is from French Polynesia.  We are still learning all the interesting facts about 120 missionaries.  The old brain is getting a workout.

Yea for Primary.  What a sweet face!

The cute little chapel.  It looks like home.

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego????

Picnic time so that we don't have to buy food on Sundays while we travel home.  I know it is winter, but this weather makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors.

Picnic time was held at Brigadoon :)  How are things in Glocca Morra.......I kept waiting for something magical to happen - oh that's right, I'm living in "magical" every day!

Over the river and through the woods, back over the Great Divide, on Thunderbolts Way we followed the sleigh - oops, reverse that, because there is no snow in this part of Australia.  It gets cold, but no snow, just rain.  Brilliant!!

Cleaning and visiting after Church.  Part of the social scene.

And this is the remains of Primary - It was so nice hearing them sing the Primary songs and remember the 36th ward at home and all my friends.  We are all children of God - how nice to be reminded. :)

Once again, where are we?? The street and town names all reflect that British Heritage that we have in common.  We even went across the river Avon and the very next town was named Stratford.  We are so blessed to have been in both England and Australia within a year's time.
 While we miss our children and grandchildren, we know this is where we need to be right now.  We are learning great lessons about love, sacrifice, patience, gratitude, and we thank Heavenly Father each day for making this possible.  I have the perfect companion, the perfect job, and live in a wonderful land called Oz!

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