Sunday, November 10, 2013

General Hospital AU

We had a different week this week because President and Sister Howes were off to Mission President's conference.  So we were left to our own devices (not really because they called every day) but it was definitely quieter in the office as we prepared for Sister's Training Conference on Thursday and Friday.  Because we are getting a significant number of sisters in the next two transfers, most of our sisters will be training and President and Sister Howes want them to be prepared to do that.  We also had a few moments on Saturday to see the polo matches that take place every spring and then drove on to Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains for a short visit.  We were hoping to spend more time there but we lost a day due to a visit to the hospital for Sister Feil.    But we will tell that story in due time.  First things first.

This is the hotel at Jenolan Caves where tourists can stay and below is the entrance to the caves.  Because we were there on Saturday evening, we did not encounter the tourist buses and only had to fight the kangaroos for the road.  The first picture shows one of the large fellows that we saw along the way - and there were numerous.  They are worse than deer for damaging cars, so Elder Feil drove very carefully and Elder Williams rode shotgun and kept a keen eye out for the enemy.  Even with those precautions, one ran into our car.  We were going so slow though it only stunned him and he hopped away.  No damage to him or the car. 

There are 8-10 different caves, but were mostly closed by the time we arrived.  We will go again and spend more time exploring.  We actually wanted to see the platypuses in the lake below the caves.  They are swimming in the water in the picture below but would not come out so that we could get a clear picture.  

 I know Casey, hardly worth the film, but I wanted to show that I tried.  We walked all around the lake seeing various lizards, birds, and waves made by the platypus.  :)  We will come again on our way to another speaking assignment and check out the caves.

The water is blue from the limestone.
 This is for all the grandkids - the lizards were everywhere including the water.  They actually swim quite well.
Sister Feil is trying to show you the platypus.  They were in the water about 20 feet down.

The caves are behind us. 

We look forward to our days off because it gives us some time to rest and rejuvenate.  Our days in the office are pretty hectic and if we stay at our home on the weekends, we just end up continuing to work.  So we need to leave to have some down time.  The Williams below are cattle ranchers from Hamer, Idaho.  They are the family history missionaries and go all over training people on how to do family search.  Elder Williams is teaching us about cattle and horses and we went to the polo match because it is where he likes to spend his days off.  All of our missionary couples are doing things that are very different from the life they led before.  They have been willing to come here because of their testimony of the Gospel and a willingness to show their faith in God and put their lives in His hands.  God is helping all of us develop skills and talents that we never thought we would have or use and we are all becoming more than we thought possible.

The Jacarandas at the Temple.  We think St. George Utah should grow Jacarandas - they would be beautiful.

Every week a different zone comes to the Temple.  This is the Penrith Zone. Elder Vermeulen above, is from South Africa and will be heading home in December.  Elder Somsen from Idaho and Elder Baker from Sweden leave in February.  Other missionaries in the zone are from Vanuatu, Spain, Canada, Philippines, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the US.  These are great missionaries who are faithful and strong in bearing testimony of the Savior and his love for all of us.

More pics for the Grandchildren.  This is a cicada and they make a crazy sound - Elder Feil says it is a referee's whistle with a trill that goes non stop during the heat of the day.  Because they are large, their sound is also large.  So while we have them in the US they are not nearly so noisy.  We can hardly wait for summer - apparently they accompany the sound of Christmas Carols.  We are excited!

Elders Ireland, and Leatua are holding them up to their mouths so that you can appreciate their size.  There is probably someone somewhere that eats them.  But not Sister Feil! 

Yes Alita and Carrie, we know the pictures are out of order, but we can't seem to figure out how to upload them in an order that makes sense.  So maybe on our next video chat you can help us out with that detail.  We are getting much better on all computers and Sister Feil has put together 3 consecutive newsletters for the mission with pictures and all.  Elder Feil has been able to make journal entries after making EFT payments.  We learn something new every day and our old brains are pushed to the max.  

One of these riders saw Sister Feil with her camera and asked her to take some pictures of him and send them.  Lindsay would be proud that Mamoo is back in the swing of taking pictures for one and all.  We could not get very close, but for any who cares to learn about polo, these are thoroughbreds who couldn't make it at the race tracks.  The ball is about the size of a baseball and they hit it through the "goal" at each end of the field.  There is so much running that they change horses halfway through the match.  The temperature was 94 degrees and they are wearing riding boots to the knees.    

The guy with the striped hat is usually the best player and scores most of the goals.  So they want to keep the ball away from him.

This is a referee.  There is only one on the field during the match.

We enjoyed fish and chips at our favorite stand in Windsor.  On this same hot afternoon, all of the cricket fields were filled with players both young and old.  This is a country where everyone loves to play games and they don't care how hot it is.

Finally, these pictures show some of the area that was on fire a few weeks ago.  Because the fires burn so fast, they don't burn up all of the vegetation.  

 So the final tale of the week involves meat.  A piece of meat got stuck in Sister Feil's esophagus on Thursday night.  No she did not chew it enough and tried to swallow too soon because she was doing dishes and cleaning up from the sister's conference dinner.  After Elder Feil did the Heimlich maneuver on her, she could breathe but not swallow anything including her own saliva.  So we knew a trip to the hospital was the only way to solve the problem.  Socialized medicine is not what it is cracked up to be.  The emergency rooms are packed in the public hospitals and the private hospitals don't have emergency services.  After 4 hours of waiting in the emergency room, a CT scan was ordered and the doctors could finally agree that the meat was only coming out with surgery.  They called the gastroenterologist who suggested giving a muscle relaxant to help keep the patient calm because she could not swallow anything and he would be in the next morning to remove the meat. The doctors informed us of how "lucky" it was that it was not stuck in the wind pipe.  But we knew we were blessed from Heavenly Father.  So Elder Feil headed home to get a few hours of sleep and Sister Feil dozed on the completely manually operated bed!  By 8 am they decided to move her to a room for the low low price of $1870.00.  The room had 3 other patients - 2 Maureens and a Mike.  We were surprised co-ed was included in the price!  By 1pm they moved Sister Feil to the surgical area, where she continued to wait her turn until 3pm.  At 3pm, they finally said those magical words, "It's your turn."  She was thinking her doctor was Indian or Pakistani, because that was who asked her if she was doing ok, but when she arrived in the surgery, the Dr.'s name was van Poorten!  A nice blonde dutchman!  She loves the Dutch! By 4pm, they were waking her up, and Elder and Sister Feil waved goodbye to all of their new friends at the hospital.   
We don't want to make a mountain out of an ant hill, but we do want to recognize that Heavenly Father is always in charge and we are grateful for our lives, for every breath we take, and we know that this was a miracle.  We acknowledge His hand in all we do and learn and know that Sister Feil is here today, because of a priesthood blessing from God.  We love you all!
Elder and Sister
Grandpa and Mamoo
Dad and Mom
Tom and Molly

1 comment:

  1. Can't believe this, dear one...multitasking? Again? Love you and glad it all came out! A little humor there...