Saturday, April 25, 2009


Rachel was baptised on the 18th of April 2009 at the Epping Building after taking the lessons from Elder and Sister Rawlins. We were so surprised that she wanted us there, but she said that after hearing our talks at Seymour, she decided it was time to find out more and move forward. We were very honoured and very excited for her and for her family.

One of the great blessings of serving here in Melbourne, is the opportunity to see old friends. Although many are no longer in the area, or have gone, it's great to say hello to Peter Farmer (Elder Farmer), who serves as a service missionary at the Mission Office looking after the fleet of cars and flats. It's also been great to see John Thompson, who used to be of Dandenong (in the really old days!) but is now Branch President of Seymour Branch, one of the loveliest branches we know of.

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Our Zone Conference last week was really great. Elder and Sister Callister of the Area Presidency and President and Sister Lee our Mission President and wife gave us wonderful presentations and the day simply flew by. We have lots of notes to go through and to refer to and so much information to process. Really fabulous day and it was good to meet Elder Callister again. He actually remembered Santa Rosa and the luncheon we fed him when I was Stake Relief Society president. He even asked to be reminded of President Scribner's name and said how much he enjoyed being there with us. He is in the back centre of this picture at Zone Conference.

President and Sister Lee

Elder Rasmussen with Elder Nelson at Zone Conference

Sisters DeCamp, Backshall and Jacob at Zone Conference. DeCamp and Jacob are in our district - Glenroy.

Now, get ready for the piesta resistance!! Elder Nelson's mother sent him the mother of all t-shirts and of course he just HAD to share it with Elder Rasmussen!! And of course, Elder Rasmussen just HAD to have lots of pictures taken of it. After all, U should understand how he feels about U! He is as red as they come! Enjoy.

So, what goes better with red shirts than good red meat! Here's a display at our local Coles Supermarket. Elder Rasmussen just had to have a picture for posterity!

It's always fun to be able to share with Mum and Dad and so on the way home from General Conference at Deer Park, we had them and Elders Nelson and Gerona stop for tea (dinner). We had such a nice day and evening together.

Another really amazing blessing of serving here is the close proximity to so many of my ancestors' homes (or at least where most of them used to be). You can imagine how I felt when taking this picture and then realising it was the home of my 2ndggfather, Charles Russell. I knew it felt special!
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Well, another day is drawing to its close. It's been a very special day here today - ANZAC Day where all the soldiers of Australia who have served in any conflict from the First World War to Afghanistan are honoured and remembered. Every city, town and village have had their march, their ceremonies and their memories revisited. A very special day filled with patriotism, gratitude and moving moments of tender emotion. For those who are not aware, ANZAC is the acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corp - the Diggers who fought and died in Europe during WWI, especially Gallipoli. At 11am on this day everything stops, traffic, merchandising, walking, sports, everything while each in his or her own way takes one minute to remember those who have fallen, those who have given the supreme sacrifice in defending freedom and family. I love ANZAC Day.

Bob and I have had a lovely day together too. We have driven to all corners of Melbourne north of the Yarra River, taking photos of ancestor's homes and enjoying the beauty of this incredibly beautiful city. We had lunch in a wonderful little cafe run by Turkish people. We wandered along tree-lined streets and looked in the windows of all kinds of little shops and boutiques. Mostly we just enjoyed each other's company and exploring together. Then we came home and saw bits and pieces of a very, very, VERY exciting footy game and watched Essendon edge past Collingwood to win in the last 30 seconds! My kind of day. My team. Good on youse Bombers! Perfect ending to a perfect day. And just to top it off, it's even raining a little! Keep praying we need every drop.

Have a wonderful day too! We love you -
Elder and Sister Rasmussen
Mum and Dad
Grandma and Grandpa
Bob and Glenys

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Autumn Time, It's Autumn Time!!

It feels like an age since I last added to this blog - probably because it has been! Where does the time go? It's already almost the middle of April, I never did get a letter written for March and I'm finding it hard to get a minute to write this one. Ah well, they say it's better to be busy than to be looking for things to do. I wonder what that would be like?!

Elder Rasmussen and I have been running like mad to keep up since our last post - or even last big letter - and we are loving it. Our work moves along quickly and well, thanks to our great volunteers and PROV staff. We only have about 200 boxes of probates to go and then we begin the inquests. Our Area Supervisor in Sydney thinks we might want a bonus trip to Tahiti for such good work - he would be right! But Tahiti will have to wait, we are excited to get our project all tucked in.

We have been able to fit in a few trips over the past several weeks, including one to Sydney, which was awesome. We met up with a cousin of mine I had never met except through email and we had the BEST time going around Sydney looking at places our ancestors had lived, as well as a visit to Rookwood Cemetery. Now, I have to say here, if you think you've seen big cemeteries, guess what! Unless you've been to Rookwood you have NOT seen a big cemetery. It is GIGANTIC! It would take days and days to get through even half of it - it is after all the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere and is still in use for burials. They have a lovely cafe too and we enjoyed a nice lunch in the middle of all the graves. Well, I suppose we really weren't in the middle. However, even through all this excitement, Caroline (my cousin) and I had the most remarkable and wonderful experience of all when we were able to go inside the home of our gggrandfather, Edward Lewin. He had lived there in 1845. The owner of the property, was so gracious and so interested in family history herself and when she said, "go on in and have a look" we almost died! As we stood in the two room with a shanty style kitchen home, with a little upstairs, we both were overcome with emotion and so grateful for the experience. I was surprised to find myself hearing Emma Ann, Edward's wife, explain that she tried so hard to make it a beautiful place and had "flowers out the front" a statement she repeated several times to me as if to reinforce the fact that she wanted us to know she did her best. I've felt a remarkable closeness to her ever since that day. Whenever Caroline or I think of those few precious moments we were given in the home of a beloved ancestor, we are thrilled beyond words.

Caroline's family (the living ones!) were wonderful to us as well. We all gathered for dinner at a Thai restaurant and had the best time visiting and laughing and crying and bonding. I'll never be the same again - my life has been touched by amazing people. We're having a BBQ next time we get together!

On our way up to Sydney we stopped in a small town called Holbrook and there in the middle of this quaint little spot is a huge submarine - only in Australia! Got a couple of shots and will share them below. We had a nice drive up and we enjoyed the scenery - it was really something to see how green it got as we drove closer to Sydney. They have had lots of rain and boy does it show! Everything everywhere was green and alive and seemed to even exude a different feeling. I decided it felt like hope and life. Victoria is so drought-stricken, although a little rain has fallen this past week, it's not even remotely close to what is needed. Still, true to Australian form, the grass has greened up and all the plants have perked up their heads and the roses are blooming again. In the fire devastated areas the new growth is already evident and flowers are blooming in the middle of blackened ruins. Gives a heart a lift and gladdens the eye. Heaven is taking care of things.

Coming home from Sydney we went through Canberra and really enjoyed most of our stay. The part that was hardest to enjoy was the part where we couldn't find our way out! We just kept going round and round and round and ... well you get the picture! Good thing Bob is clever with a map, we finally got on the right road at the right level and escaped. It is a very lovely spot notwithstanding. We spent a few hours at the War Memorial and found the tablets containing my two cousins' names - one from WWI and the other from WWII and got some photos. Drove around Parliament House and some other spots of interest before finding ourselves on the 'eternal round'. The one thing that really impressed (surprised maybe) us was that there were no restaurants, fast food or otherwise anywhere in the city. Parks and gardens and places to visit by the score, but I suppose you have to bring your own lunch!

We then went on to Tarcutta in NSW, a really lovely little hamlet in the bush and stayed overnight there. Had interesting visits with the motel owners and landlord, the Church is well known everywhere it seems and we enjoyed our conversations. Our most treasured time though, was sitting outside in the dusky evening, watching the sun go down and listening to every bird in the world settle in for the night. It was gorgeous and we had fun trying to identify the goodnight calls of each set of birds. We had to give up on a couple, but we felt pretty proud of ourselves for identifying so many. Nothing is like the Australian bush as it settles down for the night or as it wakes in the morning. It smells wonderful, it looks wonderful and it sounds incredible!

We were able to attend Zone Conference a few weeks ago and look forward to our next one in a couple of weeks. We have a general authority coming so that will be exciting to look forward to. Last zc was great and we really do appreciate our Mission President and his wife. We don't see much of them at all, they are beyond busy, I don't know how they get it all done and still look happy and sane. We've decided to close the office for these meetings so we can receive the blessings of attending and filling our cups. We are grateful for the spirit that attends these meetings and helps us come away refreshed and rejuvenated.

Went off to Heathcote, about an hour and a half from Melbourne, up toward Echuca (north) last Saturday and had lunch there with Mum and Dad. It was delightful and a needed boost to a couple of tired old folks - and I don't mean Mum and Dad - they are more sprightly and energetic than any 83+ year olds I know! Bob and I wandered through the town and little shops and just enjoyed the ambience of a lovely country town. The food was really good too. Love chicken schnitzel! Went through some beautiful country. Did our usual thing of one way up and another way back, makes for variety and gorgeous scenery.

Much as we love this work we do, it is nice to have a spot of change and we are looking forward to our four day weekend which starts tomorrow! It's General Conference here this weekend, and we look forward to that. We also have plans to go to Melbourne Zoo (just up the road a bit), the new and very beautiful Melbourne Museum actually called Museum Victoria I think, and on Monday we are going to spend the day in the city, go to the new Melbourne Aquarium and hopefully the State Library if it's open. I'm looking forward to seeing my best mate, Phar Lap at the Museum - ever since I was just a little girl of about 9 or so, Phar Lap has been my special memory of Melbourne and the time we would spend together, he in his glass case with his big beautiful gentle brown eyes watching me and me sitting on the ledge around the case talking to him. I loved those times and that horse and I look forward to seeing him again. And to think I met his trainer, Tommy Woodcock, when I exercised race horses so many years ago in Glenroy.

Well, before I continue to wax eloquent and lose myself in a world gone by, I will end this bi-monthly letter. We just want to say that the work we are engaged in is incredible and watched over by our Heavenly Father. We continue to experience very special moments (and sometimes that's just what they are - tiny moments in time)and we continue to know that amid the chaos and confusion the world finds itself, there is calm and peace and goodness. We felt it with our wonderful Lewin cousins, we felt it in Edward and Emma Ann's cottage home in old Sydney, we feel it in the temple, we feel it daily in our work and we feel it in tender mercies given by our loving Saviour Jesus Christ.

May you feel the special blessings of Easter, of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, of joy in the morning to know He knows you and loves you! We love the gospel, we love the church and know that it is true. We love our family and we are so thankful for their support and love for us and for the daily miracles in their lives. We love the Lord and we are grateful to be serving in a small way in the building of the Kingdom of God. We love you and thank you sincerely for your emails and letters and thoughtful acts of love you share with us. We need them and you.

Remember, as you keep your face turned toward the sun, the shadows will fall behind you.

With much love,
Elder and Sister Rasmussen
(Bob and Glenys)
Enjoy the photos below!

Caroline Lewin Beattie with family

Bob, Glenys and Caroline in the Lewin Home. Note the original fireplace behind us.

Lewin Home in the 1920's - car is outside the door.

Glenys and Caroline at front door of Lewin Home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Summer Has Arrived!!

Summer came and hit us with a bang! It's been hovering at the 100 degree F mark now for a couple of days and is supposed to be cooler tonight and tomorrow. By the weekend we go back into the oven again. Glenys is loving it, Bob is tolerating it - we are glad we have an air-con car and an air-con office that's for sure. The only really not-so-good part of summer is that the Huntsman spiders come out and play! We know spiders can get big, but bread-and-butter plate size and bigger are a bit much. Especially when they can squeeze through the smallest hole into the house. This fellow is just outside our sliding glass door. Until he moves the birds will have to wait for their seed, there is no way Glenys will walk under this monster!! Bob has just gone to the store for some spray to discourage entry to the house!

Other than that, things are all good. We are busy capturing images and happy to be back at the PROV. Some of our volunteers are still on holidays, so it's a bit quieter than usual, and it gives us more opportunity to put our skates on and move between jobs - great fun!

Had a truly Australian moment last week on the train. Getting along at a good pace when we looked out the window and there bounding along with us were about 6 kangaroos, no effort, just enjoying the run. It was terrific, even all the dyed in the wool Aussies were impressed! Just wish I could have grabbed my camera (always with me)fast enough, but all of a sudden they veered away and bounded over the fence between us and the paddocks and off they went. It was a magic moment.

We are off to Seymour on Sunday to speak at church and looking forward to the trip to the country. Perhaps we will see some more Aussie icons.

We were thrilled with the news that our niece, Maree, has received her mission call and will be serving in the Sydney North Mission. She leaves on February 12th for the MTC in New Zealand. Talk about fast! Oh well, no time to fuss over what clothes to buy and take, just grab and run. It's really been a wonderful time for their family and we have enjoyed being part of it all.

Thought we would share a couple of experiences we've had at the PROV that shows that the Lord is mindful of those living and those gone before. For my family, apologies, I know you have seen this but good things can always be shared more than once, right?

We see the Lord's hand in the work and now and then some really wonderful things happen. For instance, a few weeks ago when I had finished checking images on the computer, I turned and sitting on the table was a probate. It had not been there when I first sat down and so I asked who put it there. No-one had. I looked at it and noticed that it's numbers didn't tally with anything we were working on. I had Bob check it to make sure I wasn't mistaken. We got on the other computer and began checking the folders to find out where it belonged - it was amazing! It was a probate from a box that had been done months earlier and somehow had been missed. It was very obvious to us that this person wanted to make sure he was included in the image capturing and we know he put that probate on the table for us to find. We imaged the papers and sent them off to SLC with a note to include them in the right folder.

Just as amazing was one other experience we had when we opened a box of probates and lying on the top was one that did not belong to that box. A PROV staff member was in the room at the time, said "Oh, it's just been misfiled", but when we checked it more carefully, we discovered it belonged in a box we had not yet come to, so we ordered that box up and when it arrived we put that probate in its rightful place to be captured. It had not been misfiled at all, it had been placed there, by someone knowing we would make sure it would be put where it belonged and captured.

The other thing that happened was just the day before yesterday - and it was an exciting moment for me: when I started to capture a probate I thought "Gee that name is familiar, oh well" and kept imaging then noticed his wife's name. It was one of my direct lines!! Had no idea where that daughter had gone and she and husband were orchardists in Tyabb - really fun to copy that one and get it on my thumb drive so I can download it to my records.

We know these may seem insignificant to others, but to us it's testimony again and again of how important this work is we are doing and we are grateful for the small part we are playing in such a tremendous undertaking. It really is great and we are really enjoying it. The Lord loves all of His children and really does take good care of us all.

Our other responsibilities are going well and we are thankful for the blessings provided to us.