16 December 2015
Our last performance of the Messiah was at the Baulkham Hills Chapel, a good central location for church members in Sydney. It is about an hour northwest of Mortdale and is where both the Mission Conferences with Elder Bednar and with Elder Cook were held.
I had to be there early for a rehearsal before the concert. We were so surprised when we walked in to have Karen, my friend from my Provo High School days, walk up to us. I was delighted to see her. I knew she and her new husband were living in Perth, but that is a 5 hour flight away from Sydney! They heard about the concert at church in the Harbour Young Single Adult ward and one of the members offered them a ride. Elder Kinghorn got to talk with them a lot before the concert while we were rehearsing.
They were in Sydney to go to the US consulate where Keith was interviewed to obtain a green card to live in the US. A little background: after Karen’s first husband died, she moved to Provo and met Keith at a singles activity while he was visiting the US. They liked each other right away and decided to get married. They are so happy. They have homes in both Perth and Provo.
They were so kind to take the train from Sydney down to Mortdale on Monday so we could have lunch together here in our flat and have more time to talk. Keith is retired from serving on the Western Australia Supreme Court. They served a mission in Cyprus, in the Greece Athens Mission! When we finish our mission, they will likely be in Provo, so we may see them again soon!
After the concert, we were again surprised when the Pangs came up to say how much they enjoyed the concert. They are friends in the Chinese Branch. They own a restaurant close to Baulkham Hills and make delicious food for our weekly meals after church. They know Sister Kwok well because she grew up in the Chinese Branch. Sister Kwok (holding the rose) organized all the rehearsals and performances of the Messiah. She was the one who invited each one of us to participate and sent out all the emails giving instructions. she is a very kind, generous person.
The performance went really well and we had a very large, generous audience. But I was most excited about getting to see Karen. Amazing blessings have come while serving our mission!