Monday, 5 Feb - It was nice to have a few days off and be able to sleep in a bit. Seminary today was good. We doubled the seminary attendance today - we now have 2 seminary students. That is good, as it is always good if more than 1 student is in the class. Then home work on some personal stuff and administrative things for Church. This afternoon we went visiting and playing taxi.
Tues, 6 Feb - the exciting thing today was that one of the sisters in the branch was evacuated by emergency plane to Newcastle as she was experiencing contractions, but she still has 3 months to go before the baby is full term. We will be in Newcastle this Thursday and will check in with her. The other, not quite as exciting, thing today was that Mike used his fruit picker with one of the members to pick mangoes from some of the trees down the road from our house. Then there were all the normal things like Primary activity day
Wed, 7 Feb - Another trip to Coffs Harbour for some medical checkups for one of the sisters. As mentioned earlier it is about 1 1/2 hours one way to Coffs from our home. District Training Meeting (DTM) tonight and dinner for the missionaries before DTM.
Thur, 8 Feb - Seminary and then leave for Newcastle which is a 6 hour drive. We have a Missionary Zone Conference on Friday. We stopped by the John Hunter hospital and visited the sister who is expecting. She is doing well and the hospital is trying to help her keep the baby in for as long as she can. The hospital staff is really quite kind. The Church sisters in Newcastle have rallied round and have visited the sister and are taking SUPER good care of her. God bless the Relief Society (RS).
Fri, 9 Feb - we attended the morning part of the Zone Conference and then Mike took Margaret to the hospital so she could spend time with the pregnant sister. Mike went back to the zone meetings. The Book of Mormon musical is coming to Sydney from Melbourne and so we were being instructed on how to behave and take advantage of the additional attention this would bring to the Church. The musical is one of the most highly attended musicals in history so there is a lot of interest in the real thing as well. Mike picked up Margaret in the afternoon and we headed back to Grafton as we had a building clean up on Saturday.
Sat, 10 Feb - We helped do a deep clean of the meetinghouse this morning for a few hours. Then a nap to recover from the trip and lack of sleep. We took a few hours off and went to see "Darkest Hour", a movie about Winston Churchill and his initial decision to NOT negotiate peace with Hitler. It included the Dunkirk small boat rescue. Interestingly, it included a phone call between Churchill and Roosevelt in which they discussed the USA taking planes near the border of Canada for the UK to pick up and pull across the border into Canada and then take back to the UK. Mike's Aunt Edy was one of the people to fly the planes to the border and then walk away from the plane. Wowee - real history in the making in the Whinery family.
Sun, 11 Feb - A special Area broadcast for the New Zealand and Australia saints out of Salt Lake City. We heard from some of the 70, Sister Bonnie Oscarson and Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Mon, 12 Feb - Seminary (every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday) at 0630. Then Margaret went to help with the Monday declutter. Mike worked around the house and in the yard, and then ran some other errands.
Tue, 13 Feb - A normal day with seminary, Primary activity, plus any other things that always seem to popup unexpectedly. We had Scott over for dinner.
Wed, 14 Feb - Mike's birthday, but nothing special happened -other than he is still alive and kicking. We did a bit of celebration during dinner prior to DTM - there was an apple/sultana pie for the birthday pie. All 4 elders were in Grafton for DTM, so that was really nice. Oh yes, Elder Haley gave a driving test to one of the Elders which had no special exciting moments - thank goodness.
Thurs, 15 Feb - A normal Thursday. Elder Haley did have to wrestle with the real estate agent for the Coffs Harbour elders a bit. This is getting to be a weekly thing as we try to get some compromising done by the agent - a challenge to Elder Haley's patience.
Friday, 16 Feb - Elder Haley helped with the weekly clean up prior to Sunday - something he does each Friday morning. Sister Haley went out to do some visiting of sisters. We then made several visits together in the afternoon and other errands and Church related visits. There are a number of small things that need to be done for the branch each week, but they are different each week and each day - but it has to be done.
Sat, 17 Feb - the sisters in the branch held a RS activity in Maclean. They drove up and visited the Ferry Park Gallery which houses heaps of hand made items. Then off to the Maclean park along the Clarence river for a picnic lunch. After lunch some of the sisters visited with Joan in the nursing home and that was really appreciated by Joan. Poor Mike stayed home and worked around the house, in the yard and worked on his mum's US federal taxes. Oh yes, Mike was able to walk to the local Hanks Kitchen and get himself a steak & bacon pie for lunch. I guess he did ok for himself.
Sun, 18 Feb - We had President & Sister Denley from the District in for meetings today. They were the main speakers. We held a pot luck luncheon afterwards. Then home working on various branch items and the blog.
There are not many pictures from the past 2 weeks, but here is what we have. More should have been taken, but we forgot to take our cameras out and take the pictures.
What it looks like outside at 0500 AM as we are getting ready to go to Seminary
By 0600 when we are leaving for Seminary, the sun is beginning to spread a bit of its light onto our world. Sunrise is now at about 0630.
Tuesday Primary Activity Day. Doing some limbering up before the real action
3 legged race at the beginning. Note the super couple on the left of the photo
Oops. There needs to be some coordination among the team members
Slow and steady loses this race. But it was fun.
This wheelbarrow almost was running himself, but Mason just barely held up Elder Corpany's legs.
And the final race. Get set, Go
And the final sprint to the finish line
Our favourite spotted calf is growing up and is not so small any more.
Sunrise on a cloudy day
This shot was for our friend Mel Roth. We did not know that he had a resting place here in Australia
The beginning of Zone Conference at the Charlestown Ward building
Sister Wang. She is now in Charlestown, but we got to know her in the Sydney YSA ward.
The miracles come after your trial of faith and taking action on your faith
The young missionaries teaching the other missionaries. We are always amazed at how well these young men and women learn and become such good leaders and teachers.
Going across the highway and held up by the telephone poles is a small foot bridge for wildlife.
Here are the ropes and ladders feeding from the bush/trees to the beginning of the walkway
And the beginning of the walkway
Another shot of the ropes and leads from the trees to the walkway across the highway. The highway is fenced off to keep the wildlife off of the road, so we hope that the animals really do use this high wire.
Another shot of the walkway from one side of the highway to the other.
A close up of the netting that makes up the walkway
Our favourite Brahman calf. He is growing up also.
We found this frog on the wall in our garage - right near the door to the house when we came home the other day.
Roos in the cemetery in South Grafton. Maybe they are visiting relatives that did not make it across the road.
Kind of boring watching those humans take our picture. They look harmless as far as humans go.
Roos on the run
Maybe they are doing their family history????
Maybe Granpa Roo is buried in the plot in front of them and they are paying their respects.