Sunday, December 25, 2016

Welcome to the Australia Melbourne Mission ... and Merry Christmas!

What an incredible, wonderful, whirlwind-of-a-week our first week after leaving the MTC has been! It has taken this long to find a spare minute to write this first blog post from Down Under. So much has happened in the past five days, I can't possibly include it all, but here are some highlights:

We flew (from the MTC) on Monday, skipped a day (crossing the International Time Zone) and arrived at the Melbourne Airport on Wednesday morning. After a somewhat agonizing passport and customs process, we were finally out of the airport and into the warm Aussie air. President and Sister Vidmar were there to personally welcome us! (Bless their hearts for waiting an hour and half for us to get through customs! As if President Vidmar didn't have anything better to do.)

It was wonderful to shake hands with President Vidmar again and meet Sister Vidmar for the first time. They could not have been more gracious, welcoming and loving. Sister Gray and I knew immediately we are going to thoroughly enjoy working with these two incredible people.

Despite some jet lag, that very evening we gathered at the Mission Home for the Senior Couples Christmas  Party. We were grateful for such an immediate opportunity to meet the 15 or so other couples serving in our mission. What an incredible group of people! We already feel like "best friends" with many of them and know that lifetime friendships are in the making.

We have been especially appreciative of Elder and Sister Hyde, with whom we will be working closely in the office. They literally took us under their wing the first 2-3 days and helped us get "settled" in our flat and showed us how to drive on the "wrong" side of the road. (Elder Hyde was a great teacher and by the third day I was comfortable driving.) Trish and I feel like Elder & Sister Hyde are long lost friends with whom we have been reunited! We can't begin to express what their immediate friendship has meant to us.

We've also settled into our new responsibilities in the mission office. Things could change over time, but for now I am in charge of the mission automobile fleet. (That might come as somewhat of a surprise to those of you who know how much I love cars. Not!) But it's going to be a great opportunity to interact and work with the Elders and Sisters who use these cars to further the work and I'm looking forward to diving in. Sister Gray has been assisting Sister Hyde with a variety of office activities, including inputting new baptism records, updating the files and many other things. WE ARE BUSY! And happy to be!

Yesterday was Christmas Eve and our P-Day (preparation  day) and believe it or not, we were in desperate enough need for basic supplies and groceries, that we went shopping. Costco was an absolute zoo! And the grocery store wasn't much better. (Remind me never to do that again!) After three hours of that I was ready for a nap, but we had two parties that evening that we had to get ready for.

The first was at Elder and Sister Myers' flat, where we and four other senior missionary couples ate and visited and just got to know each other. Good times. New memories. Then we went to the Mission Home where President and Sister Vidmar were hosting a Christmas Eve get-together for the missionaries serving in the zone near the Mission Home. It's so great to be with these amazing Elders and Sisters who are here serving the Lord.

Today is Christmas Day here in Australia and it was a wonderful day to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. And the reason we are here. Trish and I are here in Australia, not to sweat it out in Costco, drive on the left side of the road, or go to holiday parties. We're not even here to manage car fleets or enter records into a computer. Those may be interesting things to tell you about, and even important tasks for the mission, but we are here because of Him whose birth we celebrated today. We are grateful to be involved, even in a small way, with the sacred work of bringing others unto the Savior, Jesus Christ. That is the ultimate Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

No comments :

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you and welcome your comments!