Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Monday - The Lems were gracious enough to take us out to our old stomping grounds in the Castle Hill area.  We were able to visit our old home and the kids' schools. We also went to Cherrybrook shopping centre to see where we used to buy groceries, etc.  The clothes shops were having an Easter sale and (of course) Margaret was able to find something to buy - a nice white jacket.

Wednesday - I had my driving certified by the Mission home this morning. Now I can drive a Mission car - if I ever get one for a day or two.  We had lunch at Carlingford Court.  Then we went out finding in the Cheltanham, Beecroft, Epping area. The area is pretty and lots of nice houses.  We were able to visit a few of the members or the families they are living with.

Friday - We attended a special missionary conference where Elder Snow, Church Historian, presided and talked with us.  He & Bro Nielson took questions from the young missionaries and it was quite interesting.  The final part of the meeting was the mission singing the mission song - Hymn 295 with a surprise twist at the end.  The Snows and Nielsons had complete shock on their faces and you could tell that they were SUPER impressed and moved. I could feel tingly feelings run all up & down my spine and the song brought tears to m;y eyes, as well as many others.
The BIG news was that Cristina Maria Garcia de Godos GOT ALL 7s(or more) on her IELTS.  This is a major milestone for her (and an;y person trying to stay in Australia for a prolonged period of time).

Saturday - we took one of the members out to Roseville to meet an LDS family that they might be renting a room from. Then the 3 of us (the member, Margaret & me) had lunch at one of the local cafes in Roseville.  Roseville is a quiet little suburb and it was really nice to visit.  It runs up to Lane Cove reserve and sometimes kangaroos & other wildlife can be seen in the yards of the homes butting up to the reserve.  Then back to Sydney and meeting with one of the members to review their IELTS practice writings and then set up for the webcast of the  fireside with Elder Snow at Villawood.  We are lucky that we can have a webcast link from the Hyde Park meetinghouse, so we do not have to travel out to Villawood.  Elder Snow & Brother Nielson talked about Church History and answered questions asked by the congregation.

Sunday -  We had Elder Hamilton, Area 70, visit today.  The talks in Sacrament were good.  Elder Hamilton pointed out that Repentance has its roots in Hebrew and Greek, meaning "to towards God" or "to turn from wrong ways", so it has a positive, uplifting meaning.
Today was a sad day as Giulia Milani is leaving us.  She is headed back to Italy and then on to BYU.

Mike & Margaret - 6 Westminster, Castle Hill, NSW  Our old "home" from 1990s

T-shirt from Mongolia with old Mongolian, not the Cyrillic

Beecroft -  one of the stops as we were out finding lost sheep

A sign posted in the fabric shop at Pennant Hills

Pennant Hills - The train station where Margaret used to drop me off to catch the train to head into work when we lived here before

The last stop in the area where we were looking for lost sheep

A view of the Parramatta river as we were walking in the Ryde area in our search for a lost sheep

The pattern of one of the fabrics that Margaret bought when we stopped at the fabric store in Pennant Hills.

Elder Haley and Cristina.  A congratulations hug for passing IELTS

Elder Tito, Elder & Sister Haley

Elder & Sister Haley, Sister Money

Elder Haley, Giulia Milani, Sister Haley

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday, 16 April 2017

HAPPY EASTER.  We had a lovely Easter sacrament meeting about the Atonement and Resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  We had a linger longer after the meetings for the YSA to gather and chit-chat with each other.

Monday, 10 April - I finally got around to calling the stove hood repair people and scheduled them to come around on Thursday. We also took some of the Sister missionaries to Costellos to look at opals for their family - as souvenirs from Australia.  Then back to the flat for weekly cleaning and laundry.  FHE that evening was with the ward.
Tuesday I had to get up early and meet the window washing people, so they could get in and clean the windows that they could not reach from the ground.  The 2 levels have some windows that are "protected" by some ledges and the only way to clean them is to come into the building and open the windows (which pivot in the middle), climb out onto the ledge and then wash the outside of the windows. The rest of the day was routine with English teaching and other duites.
Wednesday, thanks to Dennis Phillips, we went to the Royal Easter Show held out at Olympic Park.  It is like a State fair in the US&A. We had a good time and were joined by Rhonda Crosbie in the afternoon.  We had "tea" at the CWA (Country Women's Association) cafe. Hot dogs for lunch and hamburgers for dinner, with deep fried Oreos for a mid-day snack.
Saturday was a full day of baptisms.  We went to the temple in the morning with some of the YSA and performed baptisms for relatives of a few of the YSA.  Margaret took Claudia, a visiting sister from Guatemala, early so they could attend an endowment session.  I went out with the YSA a bit later.  Then lunch and back home in time to get cookies repacked so we could take them to Greenwich Meetinghouse for a linger longer after the convert baptisms.  We were able to catch a ride with the Lems which was nice since we had a bunch of cookie containers to lug around. We had two young people baptised that night. What a way to start Easter. After their baptism, each one bore their testimony which is always interesting and touching as you hear how people learned and embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ - many of them not even knowing that their Heavenly Father existed before the met the missionaries.
Our RAS membership passes, compliments of Dennis Phillips

One of the main walkways at the Royal Easter Show

Wood chopping 

Horse & buggy

judging wool

the wool from one Merino sheep

Spinning wool

Champion Gander Goose

Fluffy Chicken

Nice looking rooster

A fluffy Rooster

looks a lot like Big Bird to me

Fried chicken - if you can wait long enough

Angora goat - the provider of mohair

mom & litter of piglets

Tamworth hogs - taking it easy

Deep fat fried Oreos with powdered sugar & chocolate sauce

Margaret and Rhonda Crosbie looking at decorated cakes

Better than anything I could decorate

A nice dragon cake

Beauty & the Beast

A fruit bat demonstration, and yes the bat is live

Some real, good wool

A panorama created by several high school Ag groups

Margaret & Mike

Margaret & Rhonda Crosbie

Rider with Drizabone

The man from Snowy River cattle drive

The Man from Snowy River finale

World Championship Campdraft competition. Drive the cattle in a figure 8 and then through the far 2 
cones. Harder than you think
Aftter driving the cow (maybe it was a steer, but I could not tell from where I was sitting) through the final 2 cones.

Margaret & Mike


Sunday, 9 April 2017

This week we prepare to hear General Conference on this coming Saturday & Sunday.  We run 1 week behind due to time changes, so we download the general sessions during the week and then show them the week after the live sessions in the USA.

Conference was good and uplifting.  Lots to learn and relearn.  We finished watching conference around 4pm, so we decided to take a walk to the Domain and see the Harbour.  We found cruise ship was in Circular Quay and while we were there we heard it blowing its horns.  We figured that it might be pulling out, so we stayed to watch the ship pull out and sail away.  In the mean time, we also watched the clouds get darker and watched the lightning show as the storm drew ever closer.  We finally got smart and started walking home, but not soon enough. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees in the matter of a minute.  We got caught in the rain and took up temporary residence in a large (but not large enough) fig tree where we could huddle into the large folded roots and be somewhat protected from the rain.   After about 10-15 minutes the rain slowed down, so we decided to walk home in the rain.  The wind was not blowing too hard and the temperature was acceptable so the walk was actually fun.  It took us about 20-25 minutes to walk back to the flat. We were wet,but not fully drenched.  So we laughed and enjoyed ourselves - just like some crazy 20 year olds.  Ahh, but the warm shower sure felt good.

Sister Zhoa as we worked with her on the BYU Hawaii Michigan English Test, earlier in the week

Along the walk way in the Domain and alongside the Sydney Harbour

The waves crashing onto the rocks along the walkway

Sydney Harbour is a favorite gathering place for many people. We never get tired of the view.

A storm is beginning to brew.  So we decided to stay and watch, plus Margaret wanted to see the cruise ship pull out of Circular Quay and sail away.

The clouds are getting more ominous as we watch the cruise ship pull out of Circular Quay

The cruise ship is now turned so it can sail towards us and leave the harbour

The rain storm hit so we took refuge in the large folded roots of a fig tree.  We still got wet , but not as drenched.  After waiting for 10-15 minutes and letting the rain slow down some, we decided to go walking in the rain and head home.

In the lift at the Wentworth Towers where our flat is located.  We are wet, but happy.  Thank goodness the wind was not blowing too hard and the temperature was reasonable.