Monday, October 21, 2013

Busier than a Bucket of Bugs and Happy Birthday Tom Feil

 One of these three is not like the others.....We drove to Taree for our speaking assignment on Saturday.  Taree has just opened up to missionaries again.  They closed the area for 2+ years and the Branch President has been begging for missionaries.  So we finally had enough to give.  These are two of our finest - Elders Imeson and Watts.  The Taree members are so excited and have already given them food and are working hard to keep them busy teaching and finding.  Sister Feil even had a referral for them to check on and when they went to the house, a young girl answered the door and said, "Oh great, my Dad has been waiting for you!"  They are already teaching them and have a dinner appointment with them on Monday.  It is very exciting to be a part of this work.  

We did not stay in Taree but drove to Forster which is by the ocean.  We walked this path which leads to lookouts of the bay and Tasman Sea.  Along the way we found 1 Mile Beach.  There is a HUGE sand mountain that was such fun to climb.

 The camera doesn't give the perspective we would like - but we understand the kids like to slide down this on a piece of cardboard or plastic. And of course we had to try out the temperature of the water - still cold!  But there were kids surfing without wet suits.  So  we guess you become accustomed to the temperature.  

We were told that whale watching was easy - not so - it takes a lot of patience to wait for them to turn up!  

This is definitely a non-contact sport and requires much sitting and watching.  But it is pretty exciting when you actually see them. While these pictures are not so great - we were taking them from 300 yards away and then cropping them on the computer.

 This was the moon on the water.  After a birthday dinner at The Aztec restaurant, we headed back up to the lookout for this picture.  At the end of the day we were "flat out like a drinkin' lizard" or shall we say "very tired". On Sunday, we drove back to Taree to speak in Church.  

The sisters wanted you to know they are the "Old Aussies". They are all between 70-80 and were pretty funny. Sister Feil mentioned in her talk that Elder Feil was celebrating his 89th birthday.  One of the Sisters asked if he was really 89??  This young mother was also celebrating her birthday - but only 25 years.  They even had a cake for them at the Sandwich Sunday get-together after Church.  

Jacaranda trees are our new favorites - they are not native to Australia, but were transplanted from Brazil.  They bloom every spring and are magnificent and smell amazing.

 After Church, President McNab asked us to visit an elderly couple in Gloucester - only 2 hours out of our way but we accommodated.  This is cattle country but very dry for this time of year.  We were able to visit them for an hour and enjoyed getting to know them.  They made us feel welcome.
 This is called a blow hole - the water comes through the rocks from the Tasman Sea. 
 As we headed home, we decided to stop at Seal Rock which has a working and well maintained Light House.  You can spend the night for the low low price of $650 so we decided to eat Elder Feil's birthday picnic dinner there.  A birthday he will never forget!!

The views were spectacular but the wind was powerful!  We were trying to take pictures and  hanging on for dear life!  You can hear the waves crashing into the rocks below.  It is great symbolism for a talk about the gospel.  

No Elder Feil was not born in 1875 but he was out of the wind.  Sister Feil is actually hanging on to the railing while her stomach is doing flip flops.  Just a little scary! 

 We were alone for a bit and then 3 nice ladies showed up and willingly took our picture after Sister Feil told them about Elder's birthday.  There was no birthday cake here but there were sandwiches, cookies, water, fruit, and chocolate!  A feast for a king and queen.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.  We love being able to serve, help, and bless.  We are so inspired by the people we meet who are dedicated, knowledgable, accepting and willing to do many good things.

Not only is this photo inspiring, but Sister Alvarado, after receiving stitches following a bike accident asked the doctor if he liked to read.  He answered, "Not the Bible".  She said "that's good" then left a Book of Mormon with her testimony in it for him to read.  We run to keep up with the young missionaries and are learning to not be so fearful about sharing the gospel with others, as Elder Ballard counseled in General Conference.  The Book of Mormon is true.  We are sharing an Arabic version with a security guard at a nearby apartment building.  We are anxiously engaged and know that you all are, too. We love you all,
Older Elder and Not as Old Sister Feil

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