Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016

Tuesday is a blur in the memory highway.  At the moment, I cannot remember a thing that happened that day, so let me look at the calendar.  Oh yes.  We made a call to one of the sisters that we home taught in Newbury Park since she was in hospital/rehab for a few weeks. It was good to talk with her. Then we needed to talk with one of the USA credit card companies that had sent us replacement cards - that did not make it the first time.  So we were calling to find out the status of the resent cards - they arrived on Thursday, 28 Oct - HALLELUJAH.  Then over to the ward building so we could check the air conditioning and report a problem with one section of the offices - warm air was coming out when the ac was on. Then there was the door closures in the stairway that needed to be reported to the building manager so they could be adjusted to close a bit slower and not cause a loud, banging noise when they closed.  Then we were back on track working with full time missionaries, YSA members or investigators on learning English. Then the IELTS practice tests started at 6 pm.  Then we worked with one of the YSA after IELTS on their English papers.

Wednesday was a different day.  We called Mike's mum via skype video at 8:30 am and talked with her for an hour.  This is a weekly thing for us now.  Then we took some things over to the office and then left for a visit with Rhonda Crosbie, a good friend of ours from the Sydney area.  She just had knee replacement surgery and we went to help cheer her up.  We caught the 607X bus from Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and headed out to Norwest - about 40 minutes away.  We got off the bus and then walked to the hospital.  We spent a few hours at hospital and then caught the bus back to QVB.
We then found the route to use to visit one of the YSA that lived over in the Ultimo area of Sydney, but got sidetracked on the way.

There was a yarn store near the bus stop, so Margaret went in to check it out.  I went into the local hardware store to buy some side cutters.

What an enticing sign for Margaret

We then headed to Ultimo to find our YSA member; however, we did not have as much luck as we would like.  We did find where she lives, but she was not home so we left a note and tried calling her.

On the way home, we went by Hannah's pie shop which is one of the places I used to frequent when I was over in Sydney installing equipment in the Optus telecom hotel in Ultimo.
Meat pie with mushy peas and gravy.  How could anyone resist such a tempting dish?  It was delicious.

you can get the meat pie & mushy peas with a layer of mashed potatoes if you want.  Maybe next time???

The main sign at Hannah's.  We did not go for the chips as the meat/mush peas/gravy was sufficient

Then back to the ward building and home for a few minutes before coming back later for some more English teaching and Bishopric meeting.  I did get out a bit early from Bishopric meeting so we headed home so I could get some rest - I am getting a sore throat and losing my voice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

15 Oct 2016, Saturday

Well, the videos of the kangaroos did not work on the blog, so I am going to post some of the still pictures.  Then I will get back on track and catch up the blog.

Mum with Joey.  Looks like a good way to ride
Time for a short afternoon rest

Just checking things out

If your belly itches, then scratch it

For more videos on the kangaroos, please go to:

Monday, 24 Oct 2016

Today was our day off and the next to last day on her mission for Sister Wilson, so we did what she wanted to do.  At 6 am, we took the train to Circular Quay and then the ferry to Milson's Point.  From there we walked to the North Sydney entrance to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and walked the bridge back to Sydney.

Here in Australia, we keep everything "tidy"

On the ferry headed to Milson's Point

The Harbour Bridge. We are headed to the far end of the bridge

Looking back towards Sydney, under the bridge, from Milson's Point

Luna Park at Milson's Point. The park has been here forever - Just like Coney Island in New York

Mike with some of the full time Sister missionaries at Milson's Point, headed to the base of the bridge

The Harbour bridge from Milson's Point.  Sydney in the back ground

One of the pylons/support towers at each end of the bridge.  The walkway is enclosed, has 24 hour video and security guards on it to prevent people from trying to take a "swim" from the bridge

Margaret talking with one of the full time Sisters

Ferries going into Circular Quay as seen from Harbour bridge

Our limousine service while here in Sydney - haha

We were home by 9am.  By 9:30 am we laid down for a short nap and got up 3 hours later - I guess we were tired.  The rest of the afternoon was spent washing clothes and cleaning the flat. At 7 pm we were back at the ward building for YSA Home Evening.  Home evening is run by the YSA ward activity committee, so we do not have any responsibilities for this activity.

Sunday, 23 Oct 2016

Sundays are a day of rest from our normal labors and to focus on things that help further the work of the Lord.  The day starts with an 8:30 am bishopric meeting.  Then we have sacrament meeting at 10 am - the testimony from some of the newer members and a talk from a longer-time member were good. Then Sunday school, followed by Relief Society & Priesthood meetings.  We are looking at how the Hyde Park meeting house is used, so I was tasked by Bishop Akroyd to take a count of the rooms used and how many people were in each room.  We will do the count again for the next 3 weeks.
1:30pm we had ward council, where all of the organisations of the ward meet to discuss what is going on in the ward and how each organisation can help each other and/or members of the ward.  Then a short break and onto the last meeting of the day which began at 3 pm - the Missionary Committee Meeting (MCM).  I have never seen an MCM held until I came to Hyde Park.  We have all the full time missionaries (16 at the moment), 4 senior missionaries, the bishopric and the ward missionaries (about 6 or 7 at the moment) in attendance, so the room is full.  In the MCM we hear from the full time missionaries on their activities and confirm which converts will be participating in the next ward baptism.  We hold ward baptisms on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at the Greenwich ward building since we do not have a baptismal font at the Hyde Park building.

There was a multi-stake fireside at 7 pm, but our internet link was not good enough to carry a decent video, so hopefully that will get fixed in the future.  The Lems (the other senior couple here) led us in a really neat session by having each of us select one of our favorite hymns and tell about it, including reading the scriptural references that are associated with each hymn.  It was a very touching and spiritually lifting session.

Then home, unwind and head for bed

Saturday, 22 Oct 2016

Today was a day to get wet.  The YSA ward went to the Sydney temple in the morning to perform baptisms.  The occasion was a multi-stake temple trip, so there was FOOD at the end - always a way to get the YSA to anything.

On the train to Epping where we will catch the M54 bus to the Sydney temple.

After the baptismal session, the YSA come out to the front for pictures.  We are waiting on the main group who have wandered off to the distribution centre

The front sign that is where most of the pictures are taken

The Sydney temple (in case you cannot read the sign)

After lunch we caught the bus back to Epping station and the train back to Museum station, which is just across the street from the ward building and our flat.  We went back to the flat and took a short nap before returning to the ward building to meet the YSA at 3:30 pm and head to Greenwich ward building for a convert baptism at 5 pm.

Part of the YSA coming from the front of the train at Woolstonecraft station

The other half of the group coming from the back of the train.  Sometimes we have to split up so we can surround the train

Part of the YSA in the courtyard of the Greenwich ward building where we watch the baptisms.  The baptismal font is in the background in the middle, where the glass is located. The font is in the building, but there is not enough room for all of the YSA to be in the room so there is a mirror installed for those outside to be able to witness the baptism.

After the baptism, we headed back to the flat.  We did catch a bite to eat on the way.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Friday Evening, 21 Oct 2016

Just a bit more about Friday night.  Margaret and I went to Darling Harbour to get a bit of fresh air and have a break from the office.
We walked from the office down Liverpool street to the south side of Darling Harbour and entered into Tumbalong park.  Then walked up the park to Darling Harbour where we walked around and finally settled on Turkish Pide for dinner.  Then home and to bed.

Tumbalong Park playground.  It is quite a playground

Margaret testing out the waterspouts along the water way leading into Darling Harbour

The waterway from Tumbalong Park to Darling Harbour

Turkish Pide with beef

An uninvited guest who was eyeing our dinner.  I did have to shoo him/her away once when he started to fly up to the table and take away our food.

The lights on the other side of Darling Harbour.  In the upper left is the Westfield City Tower - the one with some red colour to it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday, 21 Oct 2016

This morning Elder Haley worked with a young YSA man on his English home work. Then he reviewed the writing of one of the full time Elders who is working on passing the IELTS test. Sister Haley reviewed papers and prepared for some meetings with young YSA girls this afternoon.

We had lunch with old friends from our Castle Hill days - Keith Thompson & one of his kids - Anthony.  We ate at David's Kitchen which specializes in Malaysian and Thai food.  The food was good and the company even better.

on the way back to the office we passed one of the lower local courts and Margaret got this picture of a barrister in his wig.  We saw a lady barrister a bit later, but the camera was not ready so we did not get a picture of her wig

A highlight earlier in the week for Elder Haley was the chance to interview two of the young people (who were baptised 2 weeks ago ) for their limited temple recommends so they can go to the temple with us this coming Saturday and perform baptisms.  These 2 young people were really a joy to interview and for me to learn about their testimonies of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.

This afternoon we are working with more of the young folks on their English and papers.

The office next to us has been vacated by the Lems who have moved down one office.  The office next to us is now being turned into a "Welcome Centre" and will have a multitude of paintings/pictures from the Church.  Below are a few of the pictures that are being set up in the Welcome Centre -

Christ talking with his disciples

The Saviour with some Nephite children, Helaman with the stripling warriors, and Moroni hiding the plates that will be translated by Joseph Smith and become the Book of Mormon

Mormon pioneers burying their dead on the way to Zion

The Saviour appearing to Mary Magdalene at the tomb after His resurrection
John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
I bear testimony that He, Jesus Christ, did rise from the tomb and He lives.  He is our Redeemer, our Saviour and our Advocate with Heavenly Father

Tonight we have the night off and do not need to attend Game Night.  Not sure what we will do, but we will go see some part of Sydney unless we get rained out.

19 Oct 2016, Wednesday

We served lunch to the young missionaries assigned to our ward today.  We made ham&cheese croissant sandwiches - recipe compliments of Pat McIntyre, Newbury Park CA.  Single Adults eat your hearts out.

Lunch table with croissant sandwiches, potato wedges, salad, veggie tray and chocolate cake for dessert

everyone chowing down on the food.  The young ones are the missionaries that go out finding people who they can invite to come unto Christ.  They work hard, but have a good time while they are working.

After lunch we cleaned up and then put on our walking shoes so we could go find some of the lost sheep.  We are in search of 3 YSA today.  We did not find any at home, but were able to talk with 2 of them by phone.  The neighborhood was interesting but not as unique as the earlier neighborhoods we have visited.

Typical Sydney suburb house from the 50-60's.  Most new ones are not much different.  There is normally no central heating or air conditioning, and very little (if any) insulation. 

Jacaranda tree.  Spring has sprung and I am glad.

I liked the roof line of this home

Newer homes, but similar construction as the earlier homes.

Walking home from Central station, we saw these trees in the park we were walking through.  Lots of roots dropping from the limbs and will finally reach the ground. 

What is wrong with this clock?  We could not believe that we were sitting down to eat at such a time.  We have not eaten this early in a long time

For those contemplating a mission, you need to consider what you may be doing.  Our YSA ward runs late into the evening, but the CES/Institute couples run even later that we do, so I am glad we are not called to an Institute position.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, 17 Oct 2016

Today was mainly a personal day.  We headed to the Costco in Lidcombe this morning because we needed some food for a lunch we are preparing for the young missionaries on Wednesday. We also bought a pumpkin pie from Costco and used most of it in FHE - AFTER WE TESTED IT TO MAKE SURE IT WAS OK.  We came back from Costco in the rain and with TWO (2) trolleys full of groceries.  It is a good thing we do not have a car or we would fill it up at Costco.  Actually we find that some things are less expensive at Coles (the local grocery store) - milk, laundry detergent, and a few other staples.

When we got back to the flat it was cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the flat (along with fixing the vacuum cleaner), and then ironing a bunch of white shirts.
We then popped over to the ward building for Family Home Evening (FHE).
After FHE we met with one of the YSA and worked with her in correcting an essay that she had written.  We headed home about 10:30 pm.  So much for a 9 to 5 job as Couple missionaries :)

No pictures today.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Saturday, 15 Oct 2016

Well today started out kind of slow, but started to speed up after I got out of bed.  I met the piano tuner at the ward building at 7:30 and let him into the chapel so he could tune the piano.  Then went back to the flat to help Margaret finish a picnic lunch before meeting the Lems at 8:30.  We then headed to Town Hall train station and caught the train to Epping where Elder Black picked us up and took us to the Mission Admin centre in Carlingford.  At 10 am we headed out in  several cars to Morisset, Australia - home of "wild" kangaroos that live off of the food brought by tourists (like us).  The Kangaroos are wild, but they are definitely used to humans and can be petted, as well as fed.  It took about 2 hours to get to Morisset.  We spent about an hour with the roos and then went over to a nearby beach to have lunch.
Margaret with kangaroos

I think this one has a good picture of a Joey in the pouch

more kangaroos jumping around
A good looking Aussie Bloke, in his Aussie hat (but not an Akubra hat)
this is the size of kangaroo that I can handle

Now you see him,

and now you do not.  The Joey jumped into the pouch head first. Then they will double over so that the feet and head are sticking out

Senior Couple Missionaries having a picnic after seeing the kangaroos. The beach is on an inlet about 1 km from the kangaroos.  We looked for alligators, but we did not see any - this is the wrong area for them.

Bush fire off of the motorway that we were on as we headed back to the mission home from the kangaroo place

Another shot of the bush fire - lots of smoke, but we did not see the fire

After lunch we climbed into the Mission President's car and rode back to Carlingford with him and his wife and the Lems.  When we got to the mission home, we changed clothes - to white shirt & tie and headed over to the Greenwich ward building for the baptisms of 2 new converts - Adam and Bruce.  There were probably about 40 people at the baptism for these 2 young men.  Both of them are from China and are studying here in Sydney.  I had the privilege of presiding at the baptismal program today and was able to greet each of them into the Church and our ward.

The baptism of Adam and Bruce (2 in the middle in white) with the elders that taught them and the 2 members who will baptise them.

After the baptisms, we caught the train back to Town Hall and then headed back to the flat.  We met the Lems at 7:30 pm and walked to the north end of Hyde Park to see the Night Zoo - a parade celebrating the 100 years of the Taronga Zoo.

A frog.  probably some super deadly breed

Sea Turtle

Not a mouse, but some kind of rodent of which I cannot remember the name

A mean looking bird

Platypus (again)

Indian Elephant.  note the flower print on the elephant

Sumatra tiger

Not sure what it is, but I would not mess with it.

After the parade, Margaret and I found a Kabab/pizza place and picked up a couple of pieces of pizza and headed for home.  The pizza tasted like middle eastern Donor kabab, so next time I will just get the donor kabab.

Then off to bed so we can be ready for Church in the morning.