Left is “Right”

Driving on the left is ALMOST second nature to me now.  The turn signal on the right of the steering wheel though, tricks my brain and the windshield wipers come on.  Left, left, left.  Choose the left and then you will be choosing the right here in Australia (CTR).  On a very chilly but beautiful fall morning walk, after a near smash (smash is Aussie speak for “crash”), I pictured in my mind’s eye a newspaper headline reading; “Mormon Mission President Collides with Senior Sister Missionary Walking on the Dandenong Creek Bike Trail.”  I was walking on my right and he was on his bike coming around a blind corner towards me on his left.  Yikes.  If it were not for his superior, Olympic athletic abilities I might not be sitting here telling this tale. I guess from now on I better remember to always walk on my left!  Repentance in progress.  Walk on the left, drive on the left, bike on the left, think left at all times.  It’s a steep hill to climb but I can do it!
We had another amazing Zone conference and President Vidmar, as usual, gave some inspirational counsel to his nearly 200 missionaries over 3 regions.  As I ponder on his messages, I realize that they are applicable not only to our lives in the Australia Melbourne Mission but throughout our lives wherever we may be and at whatever stage we may be in.  He talked about always setting the bar high.  If we set it high, we will accomplish more along the way.  If we set it low, we will not accomplish as much. He said his gymnastics coach could only think of one thing…getting to the Olympics.  That’s where he set the bar for all his trainees.  If the bar was set to just win a regional competition, then, president said, we would probably never have made it to the Olympics.  So, what I gleaned from that is if you aren’t reaching for a higher bar, your accomplishments in life will be less than what they could be.  I set a goal to stay healthy and lose 40 pounds while on my mission.  That’s kind of a high bar for me but I am keeping it there and working hard towards it.  I think I’m going to make it!  I have lost nearly half thus far.  I am setting Spiritual and other kinds of bars as well.  It is a great journey.  President Vidmar inspires these young missionaries and all of us to reach higher and higher in our work.
The City Branch where we spend a lot of our time helping the missionaries has a couple of rooms that are enclosed by glass from floor to ceiling.  The glass is very clean and sometimes invisible to my aging eyes.  Walking into the room I missed the actual doorway and bounced off of the glass.  According to the laughing onlookers, it was akin to a bird flying into a closed window or sliding door.  I should have been embarrassed but I couldn’t stop laughing about it.  The “DarnCat” is quickly using up her nine lives.  I was glad the investigator we were teaching had just left before seeing my silly move.
Last week Sister King and I gave a presentation as a part of the departing missionary seminar and I asked the missionaries what talents were they blessed with as missionaries that they developed on their missions and they responded….the gift of tongues for those who had to learn Mandarin or Vietnamese or English for those whose English is not their native tongue; the gift of teaching, of listening, of loving, of understanding the scriptures and so forth.  These missionaries will use these talents going forward in their lives.  They will be leaders and great examples to others. In Matthew chapter 25, it relates the parable of the talents ; “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Last weekend we visited the national Rhododendron garden.  Nothing was in bloom but it was beautiful nonetheless and we were able to get in a good bit of hiking.  We will go back in the spring to capture all the flowers in bloom so stay tuned for colorful photos.  For now, I have attached a few photos from the last couple of weeks:
Departing Missionary Seminar:
P-Day hike in the Dandenongs:
Senior Missionary group outing:
I love you all!  Thank you for your love and support and happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing mothers out there!!
Sister Cooper

2 thoughts on “Left is “Right”

  1. Dear Sister Cooper, I love your letters and pictures!!!You look happy and beautiful!! We had a fun celebration for Taylor and Brynna. Christian and Daniela are still here. Christian’s dear friend, Julia, Is getting married this weekend and they are driving Taylor’s car and hanging around for the event. We missed you at the temple and etc. You write so beautifully and I so enjoy reading your letters! Keep to the LEFT!
    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Sister Cooper,
    Thank you for the inspiring letter. You are helping the work go forward for the Church. I love hearing about your weeks! This week the lesson in RS is about Testimony from Pres. Hinckley’s Teachings of the Presidents’ manual. We belong to the most amazing church. How precious is our testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I continue to be amazed at His love and blessings. Thank you for being such a special witness for him. And thanks for inspiring me to lose 20lbs! I better get to work!! You look amazing! Love you dear sister!


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