Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Almost done

Here it is Oct 1 and we should be finished with our project here in Tasmania today.  We still have to wait around for another week to get the audit results from Salt Lake, so we will take a little "holiday" next week.  We will tell you about it and the transfer in our next blog.

September began with a welcomed visit by two of our most favorite cousins, Dave and Leslie Moore from North Salt Lake, who are on a Public Affairs Mission in Sydney.  They were down in Tassie on church business and managed to squeak out two days for us.  We headed to the east coast and Port Arthur.  We were blessed with beautiful weather, which is usually "iffy" this time of the year.

We absolutely love this area of Tasmania.
Leslie, Kay and Marvin
Remarkable Caves

The beautiful stone church in Port Arthur  built by the prisoners.  The story behind it's demise is that a land owner east of the prison decided to clear some of his land with fire.  The wind came up and blew embers onto the roof of the church which of course burned.  There has been talk about rebuilding and using the church.  Several parts of the prison have been used by the community for different purposes after the prison was closed.  

Two weeks later, a group of Senior Missionaries from our Melbourne Mission came to Tassie for three days of R&R.  We were able to join them for the first day up in the Launceston area which is northern Tasmania.  We met them (about 30 in number) at 8:30 in the morning at the Launceston airport.  We drove out to Ashgroves where we enjoyed watching the cheese making and enjoying the tasting table in the store.

Sister Maxwell giving lots of hugs.

Next stop was Chudley and we visited the Honey store and the Silk and Rose store.  It was raining that day and each day that the missionaries were here.  That didn't stop us though.

There were 99 bees on the Honey store.  We didn't count them, but there were a lot and it was so cute.
Next stop was Trowunna Wildlife Park in Mole Creek.  Because of the rain, the workers brought two of the animals out to us  while we sat under some protection at picnic tables.

This is a darling wombat.  They are big and round with a very shy personality.  This one seemed pretty tame as it walked around the table top.  It is now one of my favourite animals.  (Note the Aussie spelling which the computer likes better than American.)

Next animal was the Tasmanian Devil.  I enjoyed the handler too with his dreadlocks and beard.  These too are very shy (don't know about the handler!) and it kept ducking it's head under the handler's arm.
Sis. Maxwell trying to get
close to the little Devil.
 Notice there is no hair on the Devil's ears.  The story goes that when the explorers were exploring Tasmania, at night while they were camping out, they noticed these animals with red "eyes" and were fearful that they would be eaten alive.  Therefore they named the animals Devils.  What they were actually seeing was their ears lit by the fire from their campfires.

Other little strange animals at the park.

This kangaroo knew what it wanted.  FOOD.  It came up to a
group of us who had no food, but it stayed for quite a while
 hoping that somehow it would get fed.  Here is Sis. Bennion,
Medford, Oregon, Chinese missionary, reaching for her camera.

The last stop was Mole Creek Caves.  We love the beautiful rain forests that we have found in the Bush.

This is the entrance into the Cave.  This cave was certainly different than any other caves we have been to.  There was a good sized stream running through the cave and we walked along side it as we toured.
All of Tasmania is limestone, so there are caves everywhere, but this one was very impressive.  One of the things we couldn't get a picture of was the glow worms.  In one area, the lights were turned off and the worms were on the ceiling and glow a brilliant blue light.  This light attracts insects, thinking this is the way out of the cave, and of course the insects get eaten.
On the way home we noticed this mass of clouds hanging quite close to the hills.  It was an unusual sight.  The rain clouds were high over all the sky and these "extra" clouds over the hills.  Doesn't God create the most beautiful sights!
Thursday evening we met the group at the Horseshoe Inn in Cambridge for dinner after they toured Port Arthur, in the rain!  Pictured is a Chinese couple from China who spoke no English.  We had our fun Chinese sister missionaries with them throughout the trip to interpret and keep them entertained.  Sis Chan is from Taiwan.
We were so impressed that a missionary couple could come out of China.  They are really strong members.  They are working in Melbourne with the Chinese students and Chinese investigators. Wow, they don't have to learn English.
 That's all for this month.  Next will be our big shut down and transfer. Thanks for all the prayers in our behalf.
Elder and Sister Rust

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where Does the Time Go?

How can it be September already.  In Australia, this is the third day of Spring and we have had some rain each day since Sept. 1.  August ended with two weeks of gorgeous cool/warm days.  It really seemed that spring had sprung.  Now, it feels like winter again, but looks like spring.  There are flowers blooming everywhere. 

These are the cherry trees which are along the drive way into our flat complex.  Below the trees are rosemary plants which have a lovely lavender blossom.

Bouquets of flowers from South Africa which were used for our stake conference.

There are so many unusual flowers and I'll have to take more pictures.  Daffodils are up, but tulips are not out yet.  I'll have to wait a few more weeks.

August started on a sad but happy note, with Elder Harvey returning home to England.  He has been such a wonderful missionary and a great teacher.  His "final transfer" came at the same time as Shantel Blackwell's 18th birthday, so the Blackwell family had a dual birthday/goodbye party at their home.  Many of the church members attended as well as friends of the family.

Elder Harvey looking on.  Anya Muir, Bro and Sis Summerfield and friends watching Bro Blackwell light the candles on the cake.

Elder Shepherd (Boston, MA) and Elder Cavanaugh (Queen Creek, AZ) enjoying the party.

Bro Lang, ward mission leader, filling his plate with sausage rolls.  Sausage rolls are served at every social gathering we have been to.  

Elizabeth Wright (YW Pres.), Sue Lownds (Stake Relief Society Counselor),  John Lownds (ward clerk), Archor Funsang (YSA leader) and David Blackwell.

Betty Humes (87 years old and as spry as she can be) visiting with Carrie Fulsang.

Sis Catherine Ross visiting with Elder Rust.

Having only 4 wards in a stake can be advantageous.  On the Friday evening before Stake Conference, the Stake hosts some kind of family activity.  This month it was the Battle of the Wards.  Each ward was assigned a color and had to perform 22 different activities.  Points were assigned to winners and losers and trophys were given to the winning ward.  Glenorchy Ward won the trophys.

Rosy Ward was yellow.

Glen Huon Ward was blue.

Glenorchy Ward was red.

Hobart Ward was green.
Elder Rust looks good with his new red hat which he plans to wear when he is at home playing with the Merry Music Makers.

The next weekend we had a ward party with an international flair.  Samoan baked pig, Wallaby stew, and many different cultural foods and entertainment.

Brianna and Tara Blackwell pose before they did a Philippines
dance with other ward young women. 

Here we are finally finishing with the district registers from the Department of Justice.  We created over 750 folders.  That was quite a feat.

That's all for this blog.  Hope you like it.