Easter is a time of year that all of Christendom celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the savior of the world, the light to which we can turn in times of darkness. He paid the ultimate price for us that we might all live again. He overcame physical and spiritual death. He lives! I have a testimony of this. He has blessed my life and it is because of Him that I am here in Australia.
Normally, in the northern hemisphere, Easter is associated with Spring, flower gardens, bulbs shooting forth bursts of color through the warming soil and “popcorn popping on the apricot tree” as the primary song goes but here in the the Southern Hemisphere it is Autumn. Interestingly, there are very few deciduous trees here that are indigenous to the Melbourne Australia area. In preparation for the dry season, a few native trees lose some or all of their leaves for a part of the year, mostly in the tropical or subtropical areas of Australia…the red cedar, white cedar and boab trees. The deciduous trees are outnumbered by the evergreens. The ancient Australian soil is very poor in nutrients and the ground water is well below the surface. The one true temperate native deciduous tree is the deciduous beech or Fagus which is found in Tasmania and the leaves turn displaying beautiful colors before they all fall off in preparation for the winter cold. We haven’t gotten over to Tasmania yet but hope to do so sometime in the next 15 months that we have left on our mission.
The temple here has been closed for cleaning. I have included a picture of the missionaries who helped to clean the temple including scaling the temple walls to clean angel Moroni:We have met with several missionaries this last week who needed some help with post mission planning. We help with college applications, career discussions, resume writing, administering english tests etc. We had one request this week from a missionary who wanted some help with genealogy. I have gotten very excited about my own genealogy and have finally completed my 5 generations on both my mother’s and father’s ancestral lines.
Last Saturday Sister King and I climbed the 1000 steps in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. It was really only about 750 steps but that was enough for me! The trail and steps are very steep and were formed by the Australian soldiers who followed the Kokoda trail in Paupa New Guinea in World War II. Many soldiers lost their lives as they fought on the trail during the Kokoda campaign of 1942. I can’t imagine how exhausted they must have been going up that steep hill in all their gear. They were in much better shape than me but I made it and I am proud of that.
The coming down was harder than the going up for me.
Happy Easter to all of you. I love you so much and appreciate your love, your prayers and your support while I am over here on the other side of the world!