Sunday, 22 March 2015

Burnie Branch Conference Weekend 2015

Burnie Branch had its annual Branch Conference on the 22nd of March. Preceding its conference, the branch held a Family History night on the 20th and a family activity on the 21st. It was a busy weekend for Burnie’s members and many stake leaders, but it was well worth the extra time and effort.

On Friday the 20th of March Burnie Branch’s monthly Family History night was run by Sisters Brown, Hatchard and Svedin at the Burnie chapel. There were around 15 members who attended. Each Sister had a different role in teaching how to use Family Search more effectively. There was a teacher, a detective and a builder, each sister dressing appropriately for their role.
Sister Svedin was the teacher, she taught us about the help centre and what was on and how to use and read different governmental and church documents to help us find our ancestors. It was extremely interesting learning about the things you could find out about your ancestors on these records.
Sister Brown was the detective, she taught us about searching for names on the Family Search website and about the Granite Mountain Records Vault. It was fascinating how much work goes into storing and preserving records in this mountain.
Sister Hatchard was the builder, she taught us about the challenge given to members in the Pacific area, ‘15 in 15’. This challenge is to have four generations completed in your Family Tree by the end of 2015. She also taught how to build and attach information and sources to our ancestors and what information we needed for each person.
The night was a success and I loved it how the Sisters dressed up for their roles! I look forward to next month’s Family History night and what it will bring.

The next day, Saturday the 21st, a family activity was held at President and Sister Szekely’s home. Over 32 members and non-members attended and participated in activities such as wellington throwing, a scavenger hunt, tractor rides, egg and spoon races, horseshoe throwing and a piƱata. I never expected to have as much fun as I did, and it was great to be able to get to know one another better in a fun and relaxed environment. The food was also beyond amazing in taste and quantity (as it always is). I would like to thank those who helped organise and run this activity and to all those who took the time out of their busy weekend to attend. Without them it simply wouldn’t have been possible.

To finish off this big weekend was the Burnie branch Conference on Sunday the 22nd. During this meeting President Dean Corona and his counsellors where released and Brother Damon Szekely was called as Branch President with Brother Marcus Svedin and Brother Nicholas Clark as councillors. This was a massive change for Burnie branch and we are all excited to see what the future brings. The youth were also very excited that Brother Corona was called as Seminary teacher. I know that Burnie branch are all very appreciative for all the work that Brother Corona and his counsellors, as well as our previous Seminary teachers, did for our branch.
Due to all these changes we heard testimonies from brother and sister Corona and President and Sister Szekely. It was amazing to see and feel the love that all these people had for everyone in the branch!
We were then privileged to hear from Sister Esther Woolley and Sister Tania Honey. They talked about strengthening the youth and our families and Sister Tania shared a poem called Life is but a Weaving by Corrie Ten Boom. It reads:

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

I love poetry and this was no exception. It really helps you to understand that we must trust God as He sees everything. We don’t always see the why of what God asks of us but He does.
Sunday School was a Q&A session with the Stake Presidency which included all adults, young single adults and youth. We learnt that we all need the input of others, both young and old. I personally learnt that our ward or branch conferences are to unify and to strengthen each other. I also learnt that people are not projects. We don’t want them to just come to church we want their lives to be changed, for them to experience the happiness in their lives as we do. To share the light and joy of Christ. We do not invite others to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32), to fill up our chapels. As the Stake Young Women leaders quoted in our Young Women’s lesson, “There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save.” (President Thomas S. Monson, True Shepherds).

It was a fantastic weekend that I personally thoroughly enjoyed, as I know many others did. I would like to thank all those who helped make this weekend possible and for the amazing food that was provided for the family activity and the lunch Sunday. If our branch were to obtain anything out of this conference it was that in order to see a change we must change. As we strive to grow and strengthen our branch into a ward I know that we will all need to make small and simple changes in our lives. As, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).