A new, yet old sight

It's the 27th of March but my computer says that it is 5:20 AM on the 28th.  It's a bit confused, and so am I, because I'm sitting at my desk, here in Wyoming.  It was just yesterday, literally that we were in Australia. We began our Thursday morning by meeting Elder and Sister Stoker at 4 in the morning to be driven to the Sydney airport.  They dropped us off at the International terminal and we said our farewells.  When we entered the building we realized we were at the wrong terminal, which is not accessible to the domestic side so we took a cab over to the other side.  We watched people buying tickets for the few flights that were scheduled.  We checked our bags and then met a fellow who has spent the last six months in Tasmania, as an ecologist.  He has really long, blonde hair and a beard and a smile a mile wide.  Come to find out, he's actually from Utah and a member of our faith.  Although he's been apart from the church for many years he's not antagon

But a moment

I'm writing this, in the pre-dawn of a Sydney, Australia morning.  We've stayed the past two nights with Elder and Sister Blackham.  President Runia called at 9 pm Sunday and told us to leave Canberra the next morning.  We were on the road at 8:45AM with our car packed up. Evelyn left the flat looking perfect.  Everything was washed and cleaned.  Refrigerator was empty except for a bottle of Hershey's syrup.  The pantry is well stocked and even toilet paper.  (If someone is reading this  blog in a few years they won't understand that joke) It was announced, last evening,  that all missionaries in Australia and New Zealand are being transferred to their home nation.  That means 27 countries will be receiving missionaries that used to be serving in the Australia Sydney Mission. We're supposed to fly out tomorrow,  the 26th of March.   It looks like the  flight arrangements will take nearly 40 hours before we land in Jackson Hole.

mixed emotions

So fast. Everything is happening so fast.  As I sit here and write, five of the young missionaries are standing on our driveway, visiting, after we just said goodbye, from a distance.  Evelyn just handed them bags of food that she's divided up, from our kitchen.  You see, we've determined, in conversations with our Priesthood leaders, that it's time to head back to the states.  Hopefully, this upside down world will be turned back and we'll be able to return.  The missionary travel department is working on our travel and we don't know when we'll leave but I would imagine that it will be in the next few days.  We've contacted our children and my mom and told President Stuart but it doesn't feel real.  My mind is going 100 mph but my heart is calm.  We're putting things in order but I keep thinking about the invitations, in the scriptures, and from Prophets, to be calm in the storm.  The Lord never promises for the storms to be removed, he promises to

new day, new news

Good morning from down under!  I wake up earlier than "normal" and this morning I felt impressed to reach for my phone, rather than a quiet time of study and pondering.  As my phone screen lit up it was with a picture of the angel Moroni, on the Salt Lake Temple, without his trumpet.  My first thought was that somebody was pranking and had photoshopped it out.  Nope, the trumpet fell out when the Salt Lake area suffered an earthquake.  From what I'm reading now, there are no injuries, however, there are several damaged buildings and the airport had to shut down due to a water line break and there will be other discoveries, I'm certain.  Margie, sent me an email and said that she'd been sent home from the Church Administration building at 9am.  There have been several conversations, between our boys, on Marco Polo.  I'm grateful they have the friendship, and companionship, to help them in these interesting times. Last night was our first virtual, online, Inst

Holding On!

It's Monday afternoon and it's not that I don't have anything to report, rather it's that things are changing so quickly I'm not sure what to record.  At this moment, we're still assigned here in Canberra, however, we've been asked to basically, avoid contact and to not gather in groups.  The Institute classes will be held online, hopefully, and we're going to have a virtual FHE tonight.  Joseph Stubbs is coming over in a little while and will try to help us use Zoom to contact the students.  I had a session this morning with Sister Manning and I have a very thin understanding of  how the app works. Yesterday was a bit weird because we stayed here at the flat.  We weren't authorized to have the sacrament so we just stayed in, read and Evelyn took a walk in the evening.  The missionaries came by for a few minutes but they stood on the porch rather than coming inside.  This afternoon we found out that Elder Leishman is being transferred to Orange and

Evelyn's Birthday

It's March 14 in Australia which means it's Evelyn's birthday.  Some people celebrate "pie day" on 3-14 and I wish I were able to bake Evelyn a pie but that would be impossible.  Why impossible?  Because nobody, and I mean nobody, can make a pie to compare to Evelyn's pie.  No, don't message me or text me and tell me how good yours is.  It doesn't stand a chance against hers.  Her crust is magic,  It's just the right amount of flakey, buttery, and the perfect texture.  No, take your hands off of your phones, you won't win! It seems that the world is in a bit of a chaotic state.  The news is in an hourly cycle.  Now, the pandemic is enough that many nations are heavily impacted and it's a global effort to stem the tide.  The church announced that, not only are all meetings cancelled, but the temples are going to be closed for any proxy work.  If someone happens to read this blog that doesn't know what the temples are all about, let me


Although I've been aware of the word "fortnite" all of my life, I'd never heard it used, on a regular basis or spelled this way.  In fact, my computer wants to correct the spelling.  I've seen many words that are spelled differently in Australian signage but this word caught my attention.  It is a part of conversation here and I love it.  It simply means "two weeks".  I was reminded this morning when I was at the gym that a particular section was going to be closed in a fortnite.  The word is apparently an Old English term meaning simply "fourteen nights". I guess my weird mind has been connecting the origin with the counsel regarding the Coronavirus of isolation for 14 days.  To stay put, or isolate yourself for 14 days sounds a bit like putting yourself into a "fort".  You see, I was raised in the western part of the US where historic sites are often forts.  They were built for safety and protection.  There are hundreds of forts t