09246_000_022A once-a-year temple trip became an opportunity for more than temple work.
With Cyclone Charlotte threatening to dump rain and close roads, the youth and leaders of the Cairns Australia District set out on a 1,700-kilometer (1,100-mile) drive to the temple in Brisbane Australia. It took the group of 35 youth and 8 adults over eight months to organise and prepare for the journey. And now, on the morning of departure, it seemed that the storm was putting their trip in danger of being canceled. But with group and individual prayers asking for a delay in the storm, the group loaded onto the bus, which pulled out onto the Pacific highway ahead of the rains.
After the 24-hour journey, the bus arrived safely in Brisbane with those on board thanking the Lord for the blessings and protection they experienced.
The group spent two days attending three baptismal sessions and were baptised and confirmed on behalf of 2,000 people, most of whose names they had researched and added to the family files from their area.
A highlight of their trip was the opportunity 11 teens had of receiving their patriarchal blessings. Because so many youth wanted to receive their blessings, parents and priesthood leaders arranged for four patriarchs from four different stakes to give the youth their much-anticipated patriarchal blessings. Some of the teens were moved to tears by their blessings.
The youth were able to meet in a fireside and hear from the area leaders as well as bear their testimonies. When they returned home, the rains had subsided. The journey, plus the good accomplished personally and in the temple, made for a memorable week.
Editor’s note: Australian spelling has been preserved.
Photograph by Sarah Bell