Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sunday, 9 July

Monday, 3 July - We left Grafton and headed back to Sydney.  We brought Elder Litster with us as he was being transferred to Dural for his last 3 weeks.  We stopped by to see the kangaroos at Morriset, since Elder Litster had not been there.  We left Grafton at 0830 and arrived at Carlingford at 1730.  We were in time for senior missionary FHE - it was a 4th of July picnic dinner.  The Lems taught the lesson and it was on the Constitution of the US.

Tuesday, 4 July - We tried to get our Sydney legs back and recover from the trip.  Jumped back into the English groove in the morning and played catch up in the afternoon.  We helped the Lems with 4th July Institute dinner - hamburgers, hot dogs, root beer floats.  Got home at 11 pm and crashed.

Wednesday, 5 July - My main goal today was to get information on TAFE (vocational training offered by NSW) and to get an appointment with the international admissions person at Torrens University.  The locksmith came in and changed out the locks in the room that the patriarch uses for patriarchal blessings, and sometimes we use for teaching missionary lessons.  We have dinner with Lainey Xu tonight at 6 - going to a Korean BBQ restaurant. The meal was good - love Korean BBQ.

Thursday, 6 July - normal day, except for working with one of the YSA members on their University admissions.  The Uni upped their tuition by 60% and so we were trying to find out why and what could be done.  Ultimately we have decided to pursue a different educational track.

Friday, 7 July - Worked with one of our English students.  Then had lunch with Cristina at a Thai restaurant - good food.   We walked to Darling Harbour with Cristina and then back to the Hyde Park building.  This evening we cleaned level 1 for the "last" time (maybe).  I was able to see the pure love of Christ in action tonight as some sisters from China gathered around a white sister and helped her through some challenges.  Hearts were softened and miracles happened.  It was so good to be able to be with them at the end of their time together.

Saturday, 8 July - We are heading to the temple to see two of the YSA members (Sarah & Simon) come out of the Sydney Temple after having been sealed for time & eternity. They are a great couple and are deserving of each other - special people.  Then off to Greenwich where we will support Katie in her baptism into the Saviour's Church.  Margaret has seen how her countenance has changed over the weeks as she has worked her way towards baptism.  Then finishing the day with a dinner with Helen Tang - one of the ladies Margaret tutors in English. We went to Pancake on the Rocks in Darling Harbour. Ah, we are going to miss all these wonderful people.  Margaret added Wechat to her phone so she can communicate with a few of the Chinese people that she tutors or visit teaches.  It looks like I will continue doing some correction/review of IELTS practice writing papers for some of the people that I work with via email - they need the support and help, so you do what is needed. Then we went home and worked some more on our talks for tomorrow's Sacrament meeting - going to be late again.

Sunday, 9 July - Margaret and I talked in Sacrament meeting today.  Margaret had a nice topic - obedience (and the talk was excellent) and I had a boring topic - Clean the meeting house (which I was finally able to make a bit funny so the message got across without ruffling too many feathers).  But it was good to be in Sacrament meeting and to partake of the Sacrament and renew our covenants with the Saviour, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  We also bore our testimonies to the YSA - we will miss them.  It has been a very good experience to work & serve the YSA at the Hyde Park meetinghouse.  They are a unique set of people and circumstances.  It has been a pleasure & learning experience to see kids from all sorts of countries and backgrounds learn of the Saviour and join His Church.  They are a great bunch of young adults and we will miss them a lot.  But we are also looking forward to serving in Grafton and growing to love the people there as well. We went to Marlon & Fiona's home for dinner with the Lems - lots of nice bbq meats.

A nosey kangaroo at Morriset

Elder Litster & friend

Checking out the joey pouch.  There is an occupant there, but they are not coming out

Two breeds of kangaroos

Momma & child

Scratch just a bit to the left, please

What, no carrots for me?????

The sunset on the way back to Sydney

Celebrating the 4th of July - Karli & Klaus

more 4th celebration -Zizi, Gabby, Teiva

The dynamic duo - Elder Haley & Lems

Elder Finlinson

Tasia Earnest


Amy Chang, Luigi Galesso, Jennifer Fangupo, Brent

Margaret & Fabiola

My favorite (and only) girlfriend with Sydney in the background

Feeding eels in the Royal Botanical Gardens

My Girl

Lainey Xu & Margaret

Isaac & Elder Haley going for a walk at Carlingford Court

Katie Wharfe & Elder Ball - At Katie's baptism

Helen Tang & Margaret

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE.  Sydney and Margaret

Sarah (Stubbs) and Simon Manewell - sealed in the Sydney Temple.  A lovely couple

Haleys & Lems at Marlon & Fiona Zhang's flat

Seni, Elder & Sister Lems, Fiona & Marlon Zhang

Pyrmont Fish Market restaurant

More food at Pyrmont Fish Market

The feast from the Pyrmont Fish Market.  It was good eating.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Monday, 26 Jun -  A busy day working with the YSA & missionaries on English

Tuesday, 27 Jun - Just a normal day working with the missionaries & YSA. Attended bishopric meeting before heading up to Grafton for the weekend.

Wednesday, 28 Jun - A sad day as Margaret met with Serena Sun for the last time before Serena headed to China for a few weeks.  Serena will not return until after we leave Sydney for Grafton.  We are planning on the Suns coming up to Grafton for a visit - if at all possible. Spent most of the day in Carlingford picking up the car and getting ready to drive to Grafton on Thursday.

Thursday, 29 Jun - drove up to Grafton.  It is just over 600 km.  The drive is on 4 lane & 2 lane highway and goes through some towns.  We left at 0930 and arrived at 1730.  We are now in banana country. We grabbed dinner at KFC and then drove over to the Brown's house - soon to be our new home.

Friday, 30 Jun  -  Elder Steve Brown, Scott Howard & myself took a morning walk from the house to the Clarence River.  It was good to see Scott again, as he moved from Hyde Park to Grafton.  We helped the Brown's fix food for the Grafton branch talent show activity. Then off to the talent show and to meet many of the branch members.  The talent show was fun and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Saturday, 1 July - We cleaned up the meeting house after the party.  The Elders did MOST of the work before we got back to the building.  Margaret & I walked from the house down to the Clarence river.  We went over to Maclean (a Scottish town) and visited with Joan _____, who is in one of the nursing homes there.  We took Joan out to lunch at the local fishing coop and had a good fish & chips. We will take her to the Scottish games there on Easter next year.   We will try to visit with Joan at least 1 time/month.

Sunday, 2 July - I attended the branch council meeting at 0830.  Then sacrament at 10 am, sunday school & Priesthood.  Margaret made the 3 hours, but did not have to attend the branch council. We had late lunch/break the fast with President Norman, the branch President, his family & the Browns. Then back to the Browns and catch up with them on what they have been doing and what they want us to look out for and keep going.

School kids out in Hyde Park on a field trip

Eva Gong, Margaret & Mike

Serena Sun, Margaret, Mike, Sam Sun

Port Macquirie meeting house

Our new home in Grafton, NSW

Across the road from our home

Grafton branch activity room

Sister Jones

Playing "the house of the rising sun"

Singing a song with Clive Best

Beth Norman & the YW dancing

Sister Best & kids

Missionaries doing the "black magic" mind telepathy game

Looking down to the Clarence river

Our new neighbors

Lookout point at Maclean, NSW

The Clarence River

the lane down to the Clarence river

Elder & Sister Brown

Don't fall off the cliff sign at one of the Maclean lookout points

Elder & Sister Brown, Elder Litster, Elder Gibb, Elder Ta'ala Grafton Branch