Friday, July 28, 2017

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Our last week at Hyde Park - sad times.
Monday - we had breakfast with Cristina de Godos.  Met with and cried with Sariah Sun at lunch.  Then we went to Carlingford for Home Evening with Elder & Sister Haleck, Area President and member of the Seventy.
We held our last IELTS class on Tuesday. Taught our last English classes with the Elders & Sisters. Then used Wednesday & Thursday to pack up the flat and get everything stuffed in the car.
Wednesday evening we had dinner with Bishop & Sister Akroyd at "Pancakes at the Rocks", along with the other members of the Bishopric.
Thursday was pack up the flat day.  That was an all day experience, especially deciding what to take/not take.
Friday - we helped with & attended a Zone Conference at which Elder & Sister Haleck presented part of the teaching & instructions.  Then we left about 2 pm (after lunch) and headed to Rhonda Crosbie's for the night.
Saturday - we drove back to Hyde Park and cleaned up the flat.  Saw the Lems and made arrangements to get keys to them and see them on 4 August.  Then we drove back to Rhonda's and spent the rest of the evening with her. Margaret finished the table runner for Sister Lems - the colours are really nice.
Sunday - We went to Dural ward meetings.  We saw Dennis & Paulette Phillips, Tom & Virginia Anderson, Keith & Anita Thompson.  We had lunch with Keith & Anita after Church meetings. We then headed back to Rhonda's and spent the evening with her.
Monday - flew out of Sydney, headed for Isaac Oscar Thompson (and parents) for a week.  Sydney - See you later.

Our office "decorated" by the sister missionaries

Elder Su, Haleys, Elder Yang

Elder Finlinson, Haleys, Elder Graffe

Sister Antenorcruz, Margaret, Sister Lu

Margaret & Helen Tang

Elder & Sister Haley
Summer & Hanna Lu

Claudia & Margaret

Our sign telling everyone when the last IELTS class will be.  So Sad

Berta & Haleys

Some of our neighborhood from the veranda at our flat

more neighborhood.  Downing Bldg in the center

More neighborhood

Akroyds, Haleys, Ahipenis, Dycuecos, Michael Wilson

Sister Lems table runner - made by Margaret

Other side of the table runner

House near Greenwich meeting house that we like

Our old home area in the 1990s

Christmas in July present to Margaret from Rhonda Crosbie

frost/ice on the windscreen of our car - Rouse Hill, NSW

Wentworth Towers - our home for the last year. Level 9, Flat 59

Haleys, Sister Chen, Sister Cooksen

Haleys, Sisters Antenorcruz & Lu

Our flat living room

Flat kitchen

Flat bathroom

College Street headed towards St. Mary's.  On our way out of town

The street that Luke, Judy & Ambika live on

Back by popular demand

Something a bit more serious pertaining to women

A sign that Margaret likes

Sydney Harbour

Sydney CBD & environs

Sunday, 16 July 2017

This past week has almost been forgotten.  I will need to look at the calendar on my phone to remember what happened.  With the move to Grafton coming up closer, we had had a lot of things to do and also started to stop things that we normally do.
We still taught/worked with missionaries, YSA & others on English and the IELTS practice tests.  It was a sad thing to put up a sign on the whiteboard that we would be stopping IELTS the following week. We have really enjoyed working with all of the people who have come to the IELTS practice classes, but (to be honest) we are also looking forward to a change from teaching English.  Teaching English has brought us very close to several people and we would not trade that for all the world - we have developed some very good, long term relationships with people from all over the world, different backgrounds and religious beliefs.  We have been able to learn from them and also share why we are serving a mission and what we believe - we hope that all have gained a better appreciation and respect for each other.
Leaving the YSA kids will be hard.  They have wiggled their way into our hearts.  There are a lot of nice kids at Hyde Park and the stories of their lives is most interesting.  We have learned a lot from them about their home countries, but more importantly we have learned from their faith in accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is amazing how they can go from not believing in God to accepting Heavenly Father & His Son, Jesus Christ.
Margaret went to Wendy's Secret Garden near Milson's Point with Hanna Lu - just a girl's outing.
We went to the Sydney Fish Market with the Lems for lunch.
We were able to attend Kodi & Mika Akroyd's wedding reception, resplendent with New Zealand/island traditions - lots of music, the Hakka to the groom (instead of tossing a garter).
Taking our "last" walk in the domain & Royal botanical gardens.

Sydney Fish Market - lunch selection

More fish to choose from

Finally - a decision has been made, and almost eaten

Ikuko-san, Margaret, Jamie Costello. Costello's is the source of all of our opals over the past 20+ years.

Mike with Ikuko-san & Jamie Costello

The bird cage street in CBD near Wynyard Station

Wombat books teasing Margaret

Opal looking like a "stretched" Australia.  A gift from Jamie Costello to Margaret.

Mike, Elder Monteiro & Jeong

Don't leave us!!!!!!

Wendy's secret garden

Secret Garden 

More Secret Garden

Margaret in the Secret Garden

Hanna Lu in Secret Garden

And more Secret Garden

Hanna Lu in Secret Garden

Flower in Secret Garden

Sisters Antenorcruz, Cooksen, Lu, Chen - Hyde Park YSA Game Night

Game Night - stomp on the balloon

Game Night - grab your neighbor's finger

Ok, try grabbing again

Elder & Sister Haley - Sydney Temple with YSA for baptisms

Hyde Park YSA at Temple

Sister & Elder Merrill

Moroni - Sydney Temple

Bishop Akroyd's granddaughter doing an island dance

Sister & Elder Haley - Kodi & Mika Akroyd reception

The reception hall beginning to fill up

Groom "hakka"

Mika, Kodi Akroyd & Elder/Sister Haley

Haleys, Mika/Kodi Akroyd, Sister/Bishop Akroyd, Lems

Vivian, Katie, sister Haley

Margaret with fig tree in Royal Botanical Gardens

Harbour Bridge, Opera House from Royal Botanical Gardens

Panorama from Botanical Gardens overlooking Sydeny Harbour

Sydney Harbour crashing on rocks at Royal Botanical Gardens