Thursday, July 23, 2015

First trip up north!

On July 17th we flew with our great Assistants to Alice Springs.  It is a tradition
to stop and take pictures at this awesome welcome rock!  If you've never been to 
Alice Springs, Australia, you are really missing out!  Its winter here and the 
weather was perfect.  We loved being in Alice Springs.

So this is what your really supposed to do at this rock-strike a pose!  President 
Parker will have to practice that.  Here he is with Elder Taylor, our Assistants, Elder 

Pitama and Elder Rigby and the Zone Leader for the Alice Springs Zone, Elder Bush.

This is the view when we landed.  Didn't matter which direction you looked!

Just to make sure we know where we are, this is what our rental car license plate said.
We are in the outback!

Good thing we are flying to Darwin.  That would be one long drive!  
Elder Rigby, Elder Pitama, Elder Bush and Elder Taylor. We were so 
grateful to have our assistants with us on our first trip up north.  They lead this mission
with long hours and hard work but always with a smile on their faces and lots of love.
Elder Bush did a great job conducting the Zone Conference and 
we loved being with Elder Taylor and all the wonderful missionaries who serve there.  Great
dedicated, faithful leaders!

This is the great Alice Springs Zone.  What a great time we had.  The Spirit was with
these wonderful Sisters and Elders and they are working hard to bring others to Christ.  
The wonderful couple in front on the left are the St. John's from Boice, ID.  We are 
instant friends.  They provided us all with a delicious dinner and we love them for all
they do and for their devotion to the Lord.  In back: Elder Taylor, Elder Bush, Elder
Pitama, Elder Rigby, Elder Kata, Elder Skadins, Elder Mannering and Elder Ware.
Front: The St. Johns, President and Sister Parker, Sister Makaya, and Sister Kereama.
We did not want to leave this great group of missionaries.  we love you!

The next morning we flew those 1500 kilometers  to Darwin to meet with this incredibly, 
amazing group of Elders and Sisters who make up the Darwin Zone.  What a wonderful
time we had.  The weather was absolutely wonderful. The church was beautiful with
a baptismal font outside.  Thank you Elder Hartley and Elder Kelese (zone leaders)
for making sure everything ran smoothly.   There was such a great spirit and feeling of 
love with you all.  Thank you for the lovely fireside Sunday evening.  We will never
forget it.  Back row: Elder Pitama, Elder Kelese, Elder Johnson, Elder Wairepo, Elder
Anton, Elder Parilla, Elder Hartley, Elder Foikau, Elder Rigby. Front: Sister Goisisi,
Sister Craig. 

While we were in Darwin we had the great privilege of meeting these two great young 
men, Jason and Jordan.  Jason is getting his mission papers ready but first he's 
competing in Las Vegas, Nevada, our home town, in the world Lifting Competition.
Jordan is 14 years old and is competing in the World Jujitsu Competition.These are
wonderful young men who are great disciples of Christ.  Good luck to both of them.

These are Jordans parents.  They have a wonderful family who strengthen the Branch
in Darwin.  They are raising up a righteous family.  Jordan made the decision to never
compete on Sunday and to honor the Sabbath.  What a great decision!!  

President Parker was grateful for all that the Elders of this mission do to help and 
support him but Sister Goisisi and Sister Craig went above and beyond by naming
a park after him!  Tee hee!!

While I was waiting for President Parker to return the rental car, I took this picture
at the airport.  Its beautiful and tropical here.  We can't wait to return to Darwin.
We love each and every missionary and loved every minute of this trip.  We loved 
meeting the members and the new converts .  The Fireside was a hi-light as well as 
President getting to interview each missionary and I got to visit with each of them. 
We love you!  

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