Sunday, October 13, 2013

Moooooove Over

This week has been one of 15 missionaries moving in, 3 moving out,  senior couples moving in and 2 other senior couples moving around the mission. Because of the moving, Elder and Sister Feil have signed on 13 flats in 3 weeks.  Signing on flats is not a bad job when it takes you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Of course, that only happens once in a harvest moon, for those of you located in the northern hemisphere.  And in the southern hemisphere, it is spring - a time for new beginnings.  The weather is cool one day, hot the next.  Rain is predicted and wind is constant.  And the wind can be fierce.  So, we have had a busy week.  

No one ever mentions our cool beach attire.  About the only thing "beachy" is our shades!  But here we are at Dee Why beach with all of the surfers. We are certain that Casey could tell you all about Dee Why beach - it is famous for surfing, volleyball and the one of the longest organized surf patrol in the world - beach patrol if you are from Jersey. It is called Dee Why because the original British land surveyor and his convict assistant wrote extensive notes.  In the notes, they used "d y" to refer to something in this area.  No one knew what it was supposed to mean but it became the name for this area.  They used to spell it Deewhy, but in the 50's the town started writing its name as Dee Why.  

This pool is right on the beach.  We tested the water - it is the temperature of the ocean, so it must be ocean water.  Little boys below are playing in the sand, just like some of our grandchildren  love to play in the sand at our house.

Sister Cho has everything under control with the newly arrived missionaries.

Elder and Sister Moore are being helped by the wonderful Elder Esplin.

Luggage, luggage, luggage. Oh what to do with the luggage.

The work of the Assistants is never done, right?

A small group of new missionaries is easy to process.  Elder Rencher is from Pahrump Nevada.  And if you think that is amazing, we will get a sister from there in December.  Three Nevadans in one mission!!!  Amazing and Brilliant!!

A Zone choir practicing before a missionary fireside.

Two Zones rehearsing before the fireside.

What a handsome group of hardworking Fleet Elders.  

Elder Nelson is showing Sister Feil his only clean white shirt, for his last day in the mission.  Working in Fleet takes its toll on their white shirts - and yes they wear proselyting clothes to move things around the mission.  Sometimes they change into casual clothes.  But they said they wanted to at least feel like missionaries, even though they do manual labor most of the time.

Now there's something you don't see very often-an Assistant driving the Fleet van.  After new missionaries are picked up they are taken for a photo at Mrs. Macquarie's chair by Sydney Harbour across from the Opera House.  Then they arrive at the office where we greet them, fill out paperwork and give instruction about finances.

We use trailers a lot to haul luggage and furniture and bikes. We have two trailers available for moving stuff.  We used one Saturday to move two Sr Couples to new flats, closer to the office.

Most of the new missionaries, this time, are from the USA.  One is from Taiwan, one is from New Zealand and one is from Perth, Australia.  What a great spirit they bring!  They are happy to be here and are excited to do missionary work.  They have very strong testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Part of the work is doing paperwork!

A mother of a former missionary made this quilt for President and Sister Howes using ties donated by missionaries.  One left his badge attached to the mock white shirt.  Who's the old guy?  And, no, Mamoo is not making one of these for every grandchild serving a mission.  At least, not yet....

This is a group of our trainers.  They are from New Zealand, the USA and Cambodia.  Elder Featherstone is hearing impaired and is helping others learn to use ASL.

This is our single mother Plover, hovering over 2 of her teenagers.  The tiny chicks you saw a couple of weeks ago have grown quickly.  Father Plover forgot to dodge a car and has been laid to rest by President Howes.

Just like some teenagers, one goes his own way and mother must chase him down.  They are very fast.  Mamoo had to resurrect her track skills to get close for a photo.

The colorful insects are never ending.  This is a lace-wing moth on the window sill of the office. We might invest in a macro lens for the camera. ;)

When the missionaries come to the office they love having their picture taken.  The Ashfield District are friendly and loving and we enjoy their company.  We have become their parents/grandparents.  It is fun to be included in all of their group shots. 

A teenage Kookaburra having a rest.  You know it's Spring here because of all the baby birds and the new leaves that have come out on all the deciduous trees.

Mission Leadership Conference

Fleet Elders looking sharp today.  On the right is Elder Nelson,  who was released from his mission.  He will be greatly missed, but he now moves on in his life.

On P-days missionaries pass through the office briefly before they are off to their activities.  This is a Samoan/Tongan District.  We were signing the lease on a new apartment for them in Dee Why.

Elders Vave, Vatuvei, Simeavao, Tupuo, and Salesulu.  We feel pretty good about pronouncing their names correctly now.  Talofa!

Elders Shaffer and Woo having fun with Sister Edwards, a service missionary from here in Sydney.  She comes in two days a week to help out with anything.  We actually have her helping Sister Feil with Referrals.  She calls the missionaries and checks with them to make sure they are checking on the referrals.  When she is in the office, we can head out the door to sign on the leases or attend zone conferences.  She is pretty funny and a joy to work with.

Sisters Campbell and Lowe.  They are such hardworking Sisters and have enjoyed success.  They are loved by their ward as well as fellow missionaries. 

Elder Fu finished his mission and headed back to China.  We were able to spend his last day with him, having lunch and just visiting.  He had 8 ladies show up at the airport to say goodbye!  His father baptized him in China when he was 18 yrs. of age.  He is an amazing missionary with a powerful testimony.  

Elder Fu wore the same shirt on the last day of his mission that he wore on his first day and didn't wash it.  Very significant!???? We weren't sure that was a good idea but it's a good story :s :/ :\

Elder Vave from California is all dressed up for P-Day activities.  

Elders Reyes and Allen are two of our Zone Leaders.  They are great missionaries and when we went to Dee Why to sign on the lease, we saw them in action at the bus stop.  They were doing a great job of "GQing".  ( Sorry we don't know how to spell that slang).

Sister Chen is teaching Sister Feil some Chinese words -Wo eye knee -the phonetic spelling, means I love you.  We can't spell in Chinese yet.

Fleet Elders giving instructions on how to ride and handle a bike.

In our spare time we have been able to help with 2 missionary choirs which sang at firesides.  Elder Featherstone was able to do the song in sign language.  He is also an amazing cook - his cinnamon bread is delicious.

It has been another great week here in the mission.  We have been very busy but are always glad to hear from all of you at home.  As we have been working at memorizing D & C 121:33-46, we are reminded of the blessings of being humble and teachable.  We know that God is waiting to bless us with knowledge as we strive to become clean in thought and deed. This is the Lord's work and He will bless our efforts as we put forth our best effort.  We feel sustained by your prayers and are grateful that you remember us.  We are learning that by memorizing these verses, they become engraven upon our souls.  We pray for long suffering, gentleness and meekness, and love unfeigned.  The missionaries are great examples of those qualities  and by sharing this we hope you can feel the goodness in the restored gospel.  Love you heaps!  Elder and Sister Feil

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