Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Regular Work Week and Preparation Day

Our week starts on Monday morning.  We usually get up at 6:30, exercise for 30 minutes, get dressed for the day, cook breakfast, eat and head over to the office.  We walk to work which takes about 30 seconds.  The office hours are from 8 am to about 5:30 or 6 pm.  If there is someone to answer the phone, we come home for lunch, but if not Sister Feil makes lunch and brings it over to the office for Elder Feil.  Sister Feil writes letters and mails them.  Written communication from President or Sister Howes is handled by the their secretary - Sister Feil. :)  Missionaries receive their calls to this mission about 4 months prior to arriving and we send them a welcome packet and wait for their travel plans which come about the week before their arrival.  We receive missionaries in about every six weeks and send missionaries home that have finished their missions a day before the arrivals.  In between, we prepare for them to leave and arrive.  We arrange for apartments, buy bedding, furniture and transportation.   We order teaching supplies, materials, and sometimes clothing.  When missionaries need clothing alterations, Sister Feil handles it.  Elder Feil collects and delivers the mail each day and answers any monetary concerns for missionaries.  We coordinate with the service center for special needs and make sure President and Sister are supported in all that they do for the mission.  We handle referrals, baptisms, and answer questions when anyone calls.  Sometimes that includes grumpy people - but we do our best to love them as the Savior would!  :) Tuesday is temple day for the missionaries and we are right by the Sydney Temple.  The missionaries come for a few minutes of love and nourishment.  We have found that popcorn and hot chocolate is a popular and easy treat!  The missionaries are always creative and the first picture is them wishing their mothers and fathers happy birthday.  We love this picture and hope their parents enjoyed it too.

Saturdays are our preparation day.  We clean our house, do the laundry and when not traveling, we take field trips with the other senior missionary couples.  This past Saturday we went to the Auburn Cherry Tree Festival.  L-R The Williams from Idaho, E. Feil, Roberts from Utah, Jorgensens from Washington.

We have lots of fun and develop friendships quickly because like the young missionaries, we are all coming and going at different times.  Jorgensens are the legal couple and will head home in October.  Elder Jorgensen was a judge in his previous life!  We have a lot of fun with that!

Turtle Island - A turtle ran over a snail.  The police asked the snail, "Did you see what happened?"  He responded, "It happened too fast."  This is an Aussie clean joke that one of our Branch Presidents told us.

Sister Feil practicing the Crane!

The cherry blossoms were beautiful and had the most delicate fragrance.

People dress in native costumes for this event.  This little girl looks like a doll - and here she is with Mom.  No we don't know them.  They just allowed us to take the picture.

The cowboys were trying to figure out the sun dial.  Elders Williams and Roberts are real cowboys - they own ranches, grow crops and have herds of cattle. Elder Williams wanted to lasso the  kangaroos that we saw, but was worried he might get arrested and President wouldn't bail him out!  :D

Elder Roberts minored in photography in college and he and I took turns taking photos of one another!  But that is why you actually get photos of Elder and Sister Feil together this week.

I set the camera on a log, focused it and pressed the timer - SNAP!!  A picture of the entire group in the Australian rain forest.  I love technology!

This is a reminder of the New Jersey guinea hens - the Australian bush turkey must be a distant cousin.  We have one of these little darlings running around our mission complex.  Last week he dug up the pansies by our front door.  The count down is on with his nine lives - and November may be the perfect month!

We could not figure out why the water was such a deep blue green but this made for a very unique picture of the Gardens.  Aussies love their Botanical Gardens and every town has one.  They set a great example of nature conservation and preservation.  

This week, Sister Feil was on the phone to a Japanese Elder, who was talking to a Korean lady who needed an address in Korea.  Although all five of these Elders speak Korean, not one of them was available to help Sister Feil! The Japanese Elder, whose companion is from Spain, needed help spelling the Korean name. Elder Feil was able to look at a map and find the name of the place, which we then texted to the missionaries.  WE love the diversity, the challenge, work, associations and stimulation of minds that is involved here in Australia.  Every day brings new opportunities for growth.  We laugh and love each and every day.  The "stone...cut out without hands"(Daniel 2:34) is rolling forth and we feel privileged to be part of this great work.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is true!  Love to all,
Elder and Sister Feil

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