Thursday, September 24, 2015

One of the most beautiful places in our "neighborhood" is the Sydney Botanical Gardens which is a short 15 minute walk.  It is a huge garden which is just beginning to bloom and green up for the summer.  We had a leisurely hour stroll through a small portion of the gardens and ended at the Opera House.  Could you ask for anything more???

About one month ago a cute Chinese couple in our ward were sealed and they had their "wedding party" last Saturday.  They were so cute as they exchanged rings and said short vows to each other.  There is something so naive and innocent about their culture that is quite rewarding.

This week was transfers and saying good bye is always so hard.  We develop such love and appreciation for these amazing Elders and Sisters.  Two of our favorite long timers completed their missions and we have a fun farewell meeting where we express qualities we admire about those leaving.

Don't you feel the enthusiasm and love with this group??

We had a ward temple day recently that a lot of the young adults attended.  They love to do baptisms and the new converts are encouraged to get there very soon.

Last week the senior couples were invited to a dinner at the mission home with a member of our Area Presidency from Samoa.  It was a wonderful evening together and Pres. and Sis. Checkouts are always the life of the party, despite the fact that they had been gone that day for 12 hrs.  Love them.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Well this will look like a tourist post but we had a great trip to Featherdale Wildlife Preserve and we just have to share the pictures with the grandkids.  This place is a bit like a zoo but better in that you can interact much more with some of the animals; excluding of course the crocodiles, snakes and tasmanian devils.  As the name would indicate there are a huge variety of big and small birds.

We saw many koala bears as the trainers were feeding and telling about their habits.  They have very sharp claws and will scratch any exposed skin if given the chance so they must be held and moved in a very specific manner.  Hence we did not hold them but we were able to pet them and observe.  They really are so cute and soft, but definitely NOT cuddly.

We only saw one tasmanian devil and he was totally asleep (which greatly disappointed Grandpa).  Another animal found here is the wombat, which are rather creepy because they look like a rat but are the size of a dog.

Meet the wallaby , which is a smaller part of the kangaroo family.  They were quite friendly and wanted to be fed and played with.  They were found walking and hopping throughout the preserve.

And of course the highlight of our day was playing with the kangaroos.  We could get in their play areas and feed them and watch them hop around.  Grandpa didn't even get "box" with any.  We learned that the joeys are the size of a peanut when born and they stay in their mother's pouch for 120 days as they develop and grow hair.  We did not see any peeking out of the pouch--DARN!!

Grandma and Grandpa wanted to take one of these kangas home for YOUR backyard pet but we didn't think they would like the long plane ride home.  So pictures will have to suffice for now.

On the way back to the big city we stopped for some relaxation at Whale Beach (but saw no whales). The beaches here are absolutely beautiful.

Grandma and Grandpa love serving our mission here in Australia.  The Lord has created a beautiful land of kangaroos here down under.