Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking Back From The Beginning of a New Year

The past few weeks I have been doing quite a bit of reminiscing.  Some of my thoughts went back 24 years, some stretched back 40 years.........

Jim and I both served in the Australia Perth Mission.  Me - January, 1983 to July, 1984.  Jim - October, 1983 to March, 1985.  Jerold Johnson was our mission president at that time.  President Johnson had been battling cancer for quite some time, it was in remission and then came back with a vengeance.  We received an e-mail telling us that he only had a few months to live and then, just a few days later, we received another e-mail telling us that President Johnson had died on January 20th, 2010.
President Johnson had a great impact and influence on our lives.  He called me his brown-eyed, Australian daughterI suspect he knew I needed a father figure in my life.  I had my Dad, but I needed someone who had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, someone who could guide me spiritually.  My Dad did not believe in God, in fact, that is something that bothered me for a long time, but not anymore.
President Johnson would look at you over the top of his glasses that were down on the end of his nose, and say, "Sister Johns, is there any reason why......".  Sometimes it was to ask if there was any reason why you couldn't be the highest baptizing missionary, or, as I think the Elders found out more than the Sister missionaries, it was to ask why you weren't following a particular mission rule! 

My Mum and I started to go to  
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 
when I was 7-years-old.  There weren't very many member of the church in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia back then.  We lived in Ulverstone, a town about 20 minutes from Devonport.  We actually met in a dance hall in Spreyton, which was just outside of Devonport.  We didn't even meet in the hall part of the hall!!  We met in the kitchen!  They didn't have an organist, and I remember my Mum playing for them from the very first time we went.

Harry Triffitt was the Branch President (minister equivalent).
This is a picture of Harry and his wife Sheila.
They had a farm outside of Deloraine.  5 sons and 1 daughter.
Several of those sons were also my Branch Presidents or Bishops over the years.
Many, many summer days were spent by the youth of the church at Harry's River Flats.  I know that on one of our trips back to Tasmania, someone announced in one of  Sunday's church meetings that Zion was going to be established at Harry's River Flats!  That did raise my husband's eyebrows!!! After wards he asked, "Where and what are Harry's River Flats?"

Harry Triffitt died on the 25th of January 2010, he was in his 89th year.
Harry Triffitt was a good man.  His loving and kind influence touched all those that knew him.  He was Patriarch when it was time for me to get my Patriarchal Blessing.  I remember what a spiritual and special experience that was.
His family has set up a face book page, so if interested, you can visit and see how others can touch lives for the good.

I love both of these men, they have both influenced my life.  They are wonderful examples of magnifying your church callings, of serving others.  I think they truly understood the scripture, "As I have loved you, love one another." 


1 comment:

Jim Purdy said...

Both good men who will be missed.