Sunday, December 8, 2013

Must See Mittagong

Tuesdays are always busy as zones come to the Temple and visit in the office. Check out the Christmas Decorations.  There will be a contest this week and we are hoping to win.  We have added more since these pictures.  Decorating gingerbread houses helped with our total design, and we kept thinking of more and more ideas as we went along.  We now have 2 trees decorated with gingerbread men and women as well as missionary name tags for ornaments.  
Elder Shim from the city drew this great picture of President and Sister Howes.  The missionaries love having their picture taken with it.

Zone Conferences are also happening and we needed to attend on Friday.  That means we are gone from the office from about 9am til 5pm.  We still had work to catch up on because we weren't at the office for a whole day.  But it is always uplifting to be with the other missionaries and receive training. President and Sister gave great talks and we are inspired to do more studying.  

Missionaries love to meet after the conference and get pictures taken.  We had 4 new missionaries arrive this week - 2 from Samoa, 1 from Tahiti and 1 from Germany.  That kept us busy with special intakes.  We are going to need more apartments as we add to our numbers on the next major transfer at the end of the month.  

Elder Feil had the camera and just walked around snapping pictures.  Missionaries are always prepared for the camera and ready to smile!  They all make me laugh!

The serious looks on these missionaries are funny since they knew Elder Feil was right there taking their picture!

We now have 6 missionaries from French Polynesia.  I thought Tahiti was it's own country - I am learning Geography as well! 

And we have numerous missionaries from Samoa.  I would love to visit these islands at the end of our mission. We will see how that all goes.  I have been trying to talk President into sending us over there for some good reason - I just don't have a good reason yet!

On Saturday we went to the Hawkesbury River area.  We went with the Williams and just had a nice day.  They were the tour guides and we provided the car.  These are free ferries that cross the river in 4 different places from 6 am til 11pm. They work by a hydraulic cable system and it takes about 5-10 minutes to make the crossing.  We stopped for lunch at the Convict Kiosk at Wisemans Ferry.  We had the closest thing to an American Hamburger - even the bun was right.  The only Aussie thing was a sliced pickled beet that they love to put on all of their hamburgers.  They also like to put a fried egg but we didn't do that.  

 We went across the river to see the Roos at the golf course.  They hang around while the golfers play through! Balls landed right next to them and they didn't flinch.
The lazy golfers - including the one in the pouch!

The gallery at the golf course!

Notice the one nursing - some never want to grow up!

The price wasn't right for golfing so this is only imaginary!  Elder Feil never misses an opportunity to practice his swing!
 On the next ferry we saw this unusual sight - a dual wheel Chevy pickup truck with the driver on the left side!  Elder had a nice chat with him and we couldn't resist a picture.  
The Hawkesbury River is a recreational paradise.

Australia's oldest Church and school building

The Newlyweds!

Attentive Parishoners!  These benches were so small and straight that no one could easily sleep during the sermon.

Elder Williams - the new preacher in town!

This little store and a sweet little old lady selling her own canned goods and homemade items.  They were also offering Devonshire Tea.  I jumped on the freshly made lemon curd. 

Sunday found us at the Mittagong Branch speaking and teaching Sunday School.  This was the Relief Society and below are the 4 Elders from the Australia Sydney South Mission.  This is in the south and we are blessed to still be able to travel here and speak.

This is called the Mt. Gibralter lookout in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.  It is a beautiful area with rolling hills, farms, and wineries.

Here is the one building public school of Kangaloon.  We also drove through East Kangaloon.  They were about 5 k's apart with only cows in between.  These rock walls reminded us of England.

This is the town of Robertson where they filmed the movie "Babe".  Apparently this Big Potato is also famous - we are not sure for what and we can't imagine how they made this sculpture.  One of life's mysteries.

They plant trees in these incredibly straight rows.  We think they mark the property lines and also function as wind breaks.  Don't quote us on that!

King of the Road - right in front of our car so we had to stop and get a picture.  Only about a foot long but he took on the car and we went around.  He owned the road! We are thinking he is a Blue Tongue Lizard but not sure.  

The road was just wide enough for 2 cars, but the scenery was spectacular and it was a wonderful Sunday afternoon drive.
We are praying for each of you and missing all of you at this Christmas time.  We have had some opportunities to teach gospel principles to visitors at the Art and Light Show at the Temple grounds. We are grateful to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  He lives and loves each of us.  He knows our needs and challenges and will carry our burdens. We want to leave you with this quote from the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. "May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior." 
With Love,
Elder and Sister
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Mamoo  

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