Sunday, July 30, 2017

Random Happiness

So many things happen during a single month in the mission field that it's impossible to write about it all. Here are some random photos that tell some of the July story...

1) Oh man, it's tough to say goodbye! These 10 great missionaries concluded their missionary service and headed home last week. We wish them well in the next phase of their lives, but will miss them a lot.

2) Sister Gray and Sister Horne helping to send off the departing missionaries at the airport. (Sister Horne is a local Aussie volunteer, not a "called" missionary. She selflessly provides many, many of hours of service and is a huge asset in the Mission Office. To say she is valuable to us office missionaries would be a gigantic understatement! We really love and appreciate her.)

3) They go ... and then they come! The day after we said goodbye to the 10 above, we welcomed 10 more to replace the departing. These 8 Elders and 2 Sisters are going to be amazing missionaries!

4) As we conclude our work for the day and leave the Mission Office each evening, this is what we see. The Melbourne evening sky at around 5:30 p.m. is always a gorgeous dark blue and an amazing backdrop to the beautiful Melbourne Temple.

5) We've been closing down quite a few old flats recently and opening new ones. We "old" people can't lift anything because we all have bad backs, so we recruit the young, strong missionaries to do the heavy lifting. It actually makes for a very fun day because any day you can "hang out" with the missionaries is a very good day indeed! 

6) Not all of the hard work is done by the young ones though! Elder Andersen and Elder Ferris have been a HUGE help getting some of our flats and our mission bikes back into tip-top shape.

7) It was transfer week last week and it was a crazy one when it comes to the movement of our cars. A total of 29 vehicles changed hands in two days! (Vehicle Coordinator Insanity!) And yet somehow, it all worked out. Hmm, I wonder who The Master is that's in charge of all of this?

8) We are short on missionaries who have driver's licenses right now, so we have an overabundance of cars awaiting missionaries that can drive. Please pray for licensed drivers to be called to the Australia Melbourne Mission! (That means you, Skyler Call!)

9) The Mission Home is a beautiful home where I have experienced some of the most spiritual lessons ever taught, and eaten some incredible meals prepared by Sister Vidmar. One of the most interesting rooms in the mission home is the living room/ping pong room. Here is President Vidmar showing some incredible form. (He was a much better gymnast!)  ;-)

10) The Mission Office is a busy place and honestly, we don't get out much, but when we do, Australia has some beautiful sights to see. It's winter here, so we didn't stick our toes in the water, but this sure was a pretty beach.

11) The missionaries helped out as scorekeepers at a Regional LDS Basketball Tournament a couple of weeks ago. The tournament is massive with over 1,000 participants from all over the Melbourne area. They have eight courts going solid for an entire day! It's also a great missionary opportunity as each team is required to have at least one non-member on the team. Our Elders did a great job manning the scoring tables.

12) The missionaries also fielded a pretty serious team of their own and played each other in an exhibition game! It was a fun game to watch and I think the Elders had a good time, too! (Elder Smiler who is from Hamilton, New Zealand (back row second from the left) ended the game with a monstrous dunk after being fed the ball off the backboard. Wow!)

13) To conclude the tournament, they held a Youth Fireside the following evening. Some guy by the name of Peter Vidmar, who is an Olympic Gold Medalist, just happened to be in town and was the featured speaker. It was standing room only! (I wonder if those in attendance realize how lucky they were to be taught that evening by President Vidmar?) 

14) In Australia, a blank wall (anywhere) is an invitation to a graffiti artist. So, many businesses take a preemptive approach and paint the walls of their businesses with their own "graffiti". Some of it is spectacular! This one is on the side of a small grocery store that we drive by on our way to the office every day.

15) Australia loves chocolate! (And so do I.) This bunny is outside of the Lindt factory outlet store in Moorabbin. Trish and I do flat inspections in the Braeside Zone about every 6 weeks, and oh darn, the chocolate factory store just happens to be in our area! What to do?

16) The Sister Missionaries are teaching an 11-year old boy named Matthew (left) who just happens to be a darned good tennis player. So, Elder Knight from Layton, Utah (second from the right) arranged a "Tennis Day" with other members of the ward and invited me. That's Joseph Lavaka on the right; he is the son of the First Counselor in the Narre Warren Stake Presidency and is a very good tennis player.

17) Matthew and I took on Joseph and Elder Knight and came away with a well-fought 7-5 win. Everyone played well and had a lot of fun!

The Victors!

18) OK, so maybe this last one is a little off-color, but I had to post a photo of the most famous car in the Australia Melbourne Mission fleet. That's Elder Muns from Moapa, NV, who is the current designated driver, giving a proud thumbs up!

Life is extremely good in the Australia Melbourne Mission! We feel blessed every day to have this opportunity to serve.


  1. Loved the post, pics, and updates!!!! So grateful you two are serving and loving your mission. Love you guys!!! Whitt

  2. Loved all the pictures and posts. It helps us feel apart of your amazing experience. We miss you tons but this is something that is so worth your taking time out of your regular life to do!


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