Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The ward FHE group has picked up now that the holidays are over.  Last week we had a really fun activity - "Us-ie" scavenger hunt in Hyde Park.  Each group had a list of places they had to find and take an Usie picture.  It was quite hilarious to follow them around that huge park.

We were so happy for the baptism of Maria who has been one of Allan's english students for several months.  She is from Spain and is a beautiful gal who is a bit older and very religious and serious about the gospel.  She will be a strong one.

We had a fun R.S. activity this month.  We had the Thai sister missionaries teach us how to make Pad Thai noodles.  It was a fun activity and the noodles were yummy.  Because we had so many missionaries completing their service and others being transferred we made Brunch for them this week.  We made scrambled eggs and 80 strawberry pancakes.  We love these missionaries.

This was a tough transfer.  We lost some of our "trainers" who were here when we began.  Goodbye to Sister Pragang, Sister Bua-in, and Elder Watson from Syracuse and Elder Brown from N.Z.  Sister Nelson also got transferred and we will miss her.

AUSTRALIA DAY - January 27
Today we celebrated with such a fun party with the ward.  Bishop Akroyd and his family really know how to throw a party.  We did Aussie trivia competition, and lots of other fun games.  They decorated so cute and prepared a yummy lunch.  There were about 60 in attendance.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year 2016
It is always good to move into a new year and have fond memories of the past.  We have been so blessed during 2015.  It was an amazing year with good changes for us an our family.
We took the challenge of trying to see the world famous New Years eve fireworks in the Sydney Harbour and bridge.  It was estimated that almost 2 million people viewed the festivities live.  We took our chairs, lunch and books at noon to get a spot on Observation Hill (Millers Point) and waited for 8 hrs for the fireworks.  It was a beautiful warm day and we had a spectacular view of the Harbour and bridge.  So it was a good wait and we were not disappointed.  There were 6 locations in the harbour that shot off fireworks at 9 pm.  We then fought the small crowds to get home and watched the 12 midnight show on TV.  So it was another once in a lifetime experience.

During the holidays our good friends Kim and Vicki Rowlands invited us to join them at their sisters home in Luera, in the Blue Mountains.  It was a lovely 2 days away from the crowds, noise and hustle of the city.  We went on a wonderful hike to Gordon Falls (and talked about Gordon & Wileen of course).  We also loved Luera Cascades which was very tropical with water "cascading" down a mountain.  And the views of the Blue Mountains were breath taking.  It is literally carpeted with trees and goes on forever.  We also visited the cute little town of Luera with its cute shops and European flavor.  We think we will take our upcoming guests to this great location.  We love the Rowlands---they are so kind and terrific hosts.  

Last week we had another wonderful friend baptized.  Tina is from China and is doing research here.  We met her doing IELTS prep. and the missionaries began teaching her about 6 months ago.  We were able to join in several lessons with her and she is so sincere and took the time she needed to discover for herself the truth of the restored gospel and came to know Jesus Christ.  It was a long and thoughtful journey for her and a beautiful baptism.  She will be a solid member of the church.