Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Unto Every Nation

We attend the Brisbane Ward. It is as internationally diverse as the cityof Brisbane. The Bishop is American but there are many nationalities here. For Sunday School we attend the gospel essentials class. We love it, there are usually about fifteen to twenty people. We are not the only missionaries. We have four young missionaries assigned to the ward. And there are more young missionaries (Chinese speaking missionaries) assigned to the YSA ward that meets in the same building, who occasionally come to our ward if their investigators are older. The missionaries bring their investigators to our class. We often have people from all over the globe. It is common to have people from India, Vietnam, China, Poland, Peru, Thailand and more. In the past few weeks we have had five baptisms in our ward. Men we have gotten to know a little from our Sunday School class. One week Mohammad who is from India, Niroshan who is from Sri Lanka and Kumar who used to live in New Zealand were baptised. Muhamond was Muslim, his brother is visiting him here soon and he is so excited to share the gospel with him. Niroshan is a refugee, the missionaries found him crying in the middle of the street. They forced him to the sidewalk and started talking to him. They had a friendly young adult with them that day and he was inspired to invite him to a family home evening, he accepted, he loved it and they started teaching him. When Kumar, the third gentleman, lived in New Zealand he was married. His wife died and he started drinking. When the missionaries found him and taught him the word of wisdom he quit drinking that very day. All three of these men are friendly and love the gospel. We can only imagine how many others might be brought to the gospel because of them. This picture was taken on Sunday after they were confirmed. Some of our great missionaries are in the image too. There is a story behind every baptism, we are honoured to be witnessing the hastening of the work. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mission Tour

This past week we had Mission Tour. Elder Hamula of the First Quorum of Seventy is the area president. He and his wife spent the week with the Australia Brisbane mission. President and Sister Henderson and Elder and Sister Hamula spent two days in the northern part of the mission. They held meetings with missionaries in the north, held a family home evening and enjoyed meeting saints from that part of Queensland. They flew from the north to Brisbane and met with all the missionaries here over three days. They gave instruction, interviewed some missionaries, held a leadership counsel and inspired all of us! It was a wonderful week for all involved and every missionary in the mission got to take part.
We had the opportunity to use some of our skills to organize and take large group photos each day in the Brisbane area. We arrived early and got all the missionaries organized. Each morning when the Hendersons and Hamulas arrived the missionaries greeted them with song. Then we would take the group photo. The song always brought a beautiful spirit and set the tone for the day. We love being with the young missionaries. We always feel of their spirit, marvel at their enthusiasm and enjoy the kindness they always show us. 
This first photo was taken before the Hamulas and Hendersons arrived. We are in the middle, there are three zones here including our zone which is the Brisbane Zone. Just having a little fun!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flowers for Mothers Day

In Brisbane,the merry month of May, is not spring but autumn. The weather has cooled, the humidity has backed off and it feels a lot like spring in Utah, lovely! Sometimes we have to force ourselves out of the office for a short walk just to enjoy the day. It is dark now when we get up and often dark when we leave work, so daylight is getting shorter, unlike spring in Utah where it is getting longer. Through the summer we have enjoyed the flowers here. There are flowers still blooming and everything is still green even though winter is around the corner. I understand if you go to higher areas like Mt. Tambourine some trees do change colors. 
Mother's Day is celebrated here. At the farmers market this morning it seemed that everyone bought flowers and there were more flower vendors than ever. We are including a picture of the Gerber daisy plant we bought for Mother's Day, we also bought a scarf. It is getting cool enough I might be able to wear it soon. 
As a small Mother's Day gift to all the wonderful mothers we know, enjoy a few flower photos!