Monday, October 19, 2015

Last week was a sad one as we had to say goodbye to Gordon and Wileen Henderson.  Gordon discovered some lumps on his neck and they tested positive for cancer.  They were advised to seek immediate treatment so they left quickly.  We love the Hendersons and had so much fun with them both in our shared responsibilities in the ward and also seeing the wonders of Sydney together.

We had two wonderful baptisms last week.  Gary from China is so committed and involved and excited about this new step in his life.  Angelica from Brazil is a bit more hesitant and has some language issues, so I kind of fear for her commitment.  But it was a beautiful baptism.  We have such great support from ward members and they bring great excitement to the baptisms.  We went to the baptism with Alex and Alexis, who seem to be developing a cute relationship which we hope will flourish.

We love walking across the street and relax and enjoy the beauty of Hyde Park.  For the past 2 weeks there has been a "Friends" movie set in the park that people could go inside and get their picture taken and have a coffee.  There has literally been a long line from 8 am to 10 pm waiting to get in.  The flowers and trees are in full bloom and we feel like we are in the Garden of Eden at times.  How blessed we are with such beauty all around.

We had a Relief Society Day of Service on Saturday that turned out so well.  There were about 20 sisters in attendance.  We met first and folded origami birds to take to the Senior Center.  These Asian sisters are pretty amazing in their folding abilities.  Then we  took the train to the Center and sang for the patients and then gave the birds and visited.  It was so beautiful to watch these sweet sisters interact with the patients.  They are so kind and tender even though communication was somewhat difficult at times.  Then we went to the park for lunch.  It was a really great service experience and I am so grateful for these sweet young girls.

Our Family Home Evenings are so fun here.  We have about 25-30 attending, with usually 5 or more investigators.  We have a great YSA committee  who plan the lesson, activity and treats.  Last night we celebrated a birthday and someone's acceptance at BYUI.  It certainly is much more exciting than the FHE's Allan and I used to have.  Once a month Allan and I attend FHE with 8 other missionary couples and Pres and Sis Checketts and that is really a fun time together.  We are planning the couples FHE in the city in Nov.

Can you get a feeling of how much we love this mission.  It is such a blessing in our lives to support the 12 young missionaries and all the young adults here.  What joy we feel at the end of each day!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

This week we had a "mini" couples outing with Pres. & Sis. Checketts to the Blue Mountains and Julolan Caves.  It was a really fun day with about 14 of us together.  The drive through the Blue Mountains and valleys was amazing.  We saw lots of kangaroos along the way and at one point two hopped onto the road, one just crossing in front of us and the other literally hopping beside the car and and one leap over the fence.  The caves were pretty cool and located in a very European setting.

So Sis. Checketts, Wileen and I all showed up in our "amazing" Sydney sweatshirts.  Someone has good taste.......

Last Monday was Labor Day here so we went out for a Ferry ride to Watson Bay.  It is about 30 minute ride out of Sydney Harbour.  It was such a fun place with a beautiful bay on one side and steep cliffs overlooking the ocean on the other.  The Ferrys are so fun to ride because the ride to and fro are also amazing.  We hope this is "enticing" those of you contemplating a visit.

The white boat is like the Ferry we were riding and of course we come in and out under the Sydney Bridge.  A bit of paradise.

And just so you might not think we are on a mission.......
We had a wonderful week of activities.  Monday is always fun with FHE and the young adults do such a superb job teaching and planning the activity and treats.  We usually have about 30 attending.  We watch conference this weekend here and they had it in English/Australian (haha), Chinese and Korean.  We had a pretty good number both days and Sat ordered pizza for lunch between and Sunday we had a nice lunch prepared by the R.S. between sessions.  It is so amazing to listen to the  conference messages as a missionary as I felt so many of them were personal and pertinent.  Some of my most favorite thoughts were:
We must see others through a parent's eyes (Heavenly Father's).  This expands our perspective and enables us to serve as true followers of Christ.
God's laws are a manifestation of His love for me and my obedience is my manifestation of my love for Him.
When you can't do what you've always done, do that which is of most importance.