Monday, 2 Oct - Margaret was off to help declutter one of the sister's homes - this is a weekly (every Mondya) event and will probably last until we are released from our mission😀 This afternoon Howard & Helen Jeffree stopped by on their way up to Queensland. It was good to see them for a few hours. Then we left for the Jones' for dinner. We were able to see one of their "pet" kangaroos as we pulled up to the house. They have a few wild kangaroos that come to the house in the evening for hand outs.
Tuesday, 3 Oct - I took the flat tyre into the shop for repair. We went out visiting for a bit in the afternoon. I got a call from the tyre place that the tyre was not fixable - we ran too long on a low pressure and the side wall was broken up on the inside of the tyre. At 8 pm we got a call from one of the sisters asking for some food/nappy assistance and it could not wait until the next day - the nappies were the issue. So I put on my tie and we took off to meet the sister. The grocery stores close at 9 pm, so we just had enough time to meet them and get the needed supplies. We find that many welfare cases tend to call late in the day or need the assistance "now", rather than plan ahead 1 or 2 days. With guidance from the branch president, we are trying to teach them that they need to plan ahead and work within a reasonable schedule - and more importantly to become self sufficient as much as they can. In their defense, the welfare cases are not too bad and are not a weekly occurrence, so they are able to fend for themselves most often.
Wednesday, 4 Oct - We made visits out of the city today. We went to Maclean first (45 minutes out of town) and visited with one of the sisters there. She is in assisted living and visiting with her is a fun time - she has a great sense of humor. Then we went to Iluka (on the ocean and 30 minutes from Maclean)) and visited another sister. This was our first visit and we learned a lot from her. Then we drove back home. The visits were about 180 km total (2 to 2 1/2 hours drive). That makes the trip from Newbury Park to the Oak Park chapel a walk in the park. Ah, but we did get to take the ferries across the Clarence River, so we enjoyed the drive. (PS - Happy 94th Birthday Mom )
Thursday, 5 Oct - Today we drove to Newcastle for a Missionary Zone Conference to be held tomorrow. The drive is 6 hours one way. We stayed in a hotel over a local pub and restaurant - pretty typical of a number of hotels in Australia.
Friday 6 Oct - Zone Conference. We arrived at the Charlestown meeting house just before 9 am. We were able to hear from President Checketts, Australia Sydney North Mission President. He talked on why the LDS Church is different from other Churches and the benefits we get from being members of the LDS Church. His talk was prompted by questions that he gets from some of the missionaries in their weekly letter to him. Then the senior missionaries left the meeting and held flat inspection review meetings. The missionaries had to clean and then inspect/grade their flats; and then share the results with us. This was interesting and we found that most of the missionaries graded themselves harder than we would have. We then had lunch and left the meeting early so we could be on the road and reach home before it was too late. We did get home around 7:30pm and found that the electricity was out in our neighborhood. It did not come back on until about 9:30 am the next day.
Saturday & Sunday, 7-8 Oct - we ran the downloaded videos of the General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. Boy there were a lot of warm fuzzy feelings during the talks as the Spirit touched our hearts to confirm that what was being said was true and what we needed to hear. We are told that during General Conference that some of the talks will be just for us - BUT it seemed that EVERY talk had things just for us. The spiritual feelings were really outstanding during this conference.
One of the Jone's neighbors coming in to borrow a slice of bread
They make it a family affair and bring the kids too
Spring is here and flowering plants are all over the place
The Ulmarra ferry
One of the walk on passengers waiting for the ferry to land
The Ulmarra ferry coming into the load/unload point
Sunset over the bay at Charlestown
Sister Haley looking out over the Charlestown bay
A house near the hotel where we stayed. The house is overlooking the bay
Needless to say - the Big Banana. This is a small fun/theme park in Coffs Harbour. It was closed when we drove through Coffs at 6:30 pm
Elder & Sister Haley
Candle light dinner. It would have been more romantic if the electricity was on and we had just turned out the lights. Electricity was out for 14 hours.
Rainbow Lorikeet in the bottle brush bush outside our computer room. They have all the colours of the rainbow and are really pretty.
A field on the way to Church covered with cockatoos. Not the Sulpher crested ones - just plain cockatoos
One of the first Jacaranda trees to bloom. In the roundabout on Jacaranda Avenue (of course)
Trimming and cleaning out the bushes in the back yard so the neighbor is happy and knows that we do care about our garden (not food garden). Now the work continues as the clippings are cut into smaller pieces so they can be put into the green/organic rubbish bin.
No idea what this tree is, but it is in our front yard. It was green a few days ago but the leaves have turned a pink/purple. It is kind of pretty.
Love the sunsets here in Grafton. The sun is almost below the horizon
A few minutes later. The sun is now below the horizon, but shining up in the clouds.