“For the beauty of the skies….Lord of all to thee we raise, joyful hymns of grateful praise.” I never cease to be amazed at the natural wonders and beauty of the world in which we live. I have been privileged to live in and visit different areas of the world that have touched my spirit, strengthened my being, enlivened my demeanor and given me pause to ponder what exists beyond the veil of this earthly life. The Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite, the Redwood forests, the Pacific coastline, the Swiss Alps, the Mountains in Slovakia, the countryside in England and on and on. Australia is no exception. It is the sixth largest country in the world with approximately 2.9 million square miles. It is a huge island country and continent. It has a wide range of habitats. There are tropical forests, mountain ranges and coastal wonders. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The Timur, Tasman and Coral Seas are also close by. We have been able to visit some beautiful areas around Melbourne on our Saturday outings. The sky in Australia is amazing. The clouds hang so low; sometimes I feel like I could just reach up and touch them.
It is still cold. The temperature ranges from upper 30’s to mid 50’s which is not terrible but the wind chill brings it lower and the damp cold goes right through me. I am toughening up, bundling up and looking up through it all.
The work moves forward in the Australia Melbourne Mission. We love working with the young missionaries. They are dedicated, humble and filled with a great spirit as they bring those who are interested to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Those who do not have english as their as their native language continue to struggle to pass the english proficiency exams but are miraculously able to teach their investigators in English…..wow, the gift of tongues and the power of the Holy Ghost! Some of them did not speak a speck of English before leaving for their mission.
At the last zone conference, I was inspired by a young missionary who said that his trainer told him; “There is no comfort in the growth zone and there is no growth in the comfort zone.” That rang so true with me. I know, for me, I have to go outside of my comfort zone to learn and grow and sometimes stumble and make mistakes but I inevitably discover what I can really do, my potential, my purpose, my mission. Sometimes it is painful to be in that growth zone but I can testify that the blessings are great and the experience and lessons learned bring great joy, peace and health to my body and spirit.
I know my body is 68 years old but in my mind I am, maybe, 48. Reality hits when I get on the crowded commuter train and younger folks stand immediately to offer this old lady a seat!😄😜. Ok, I just can’t fake it anymore so I’m just succumbing and enjoying the benefits of old age. All is well. I can, however, still stand on the path railings in the forest:
Well, that’s all for now folks. I love you all and my heart is eternally grateful for your love, your support and your prayers.
P.S …a bit of Melbourne trivia: Melbourne used to be called “Batmania” after one of the founders, John Batman! Ha!