Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Quiet Week So to speak....

The Wheels of Time is an interesting piece as part of a  sand sculpture competition held in Windsor. Time marches on! This week was unusual - a conference with an Area Authority, trying to find more apartments for missionaries, celebrating Australia day - the landing of Captain Cook, and a sand sculpture exhibition for our P-day.  In Sacrament Meeting today we sang Hymn 342, Advance Australia Fair.  So, we learned a new hymn and that was a nice thing. We had extra time for study, and temple attendance and with the weather cool and rainy, we enjoyed staying indoors most of the time.  We realize the the rest of our friends and neighbors are enjoying the throes of winter, but down under it is still  the middle of summer.  We feel bad when we read of snow storm after freezing snow storm pounding the US as we put on our summer clothes, and pick up an umbrella for an occasional shower.  Our thoughts are with you, but here we are and will stay for a few more months.

It was a great conference featuring excellent training and uplifting speakers.  We had a special talk by an Area Authority Seventy  who gave an inspiring message to all missionaries.  Most of our missionaries were able to come except those that are stationed too far from the mission office.  Our farthest zone is a 6 hour drive one way and the farthest branch is 8 hours away.  So it is difficult to bring every one here for this special event.

The association with and among the missionaries is enjoyable and uplifting.  We may enjoy another conference in the future with another visiting authority.  We are in the right place at the right time!  

Greeting one another after an uplifting conference.

Some of the most photogenic missionaries enjoy posing.

As soon as they see Sister Feil with a camera they strike a pose and smile - of course there are those that sneak into photos which is always fun!  

This sister is helping us learn Chinese by writing phrases in our weekly planner.  Sister Feil was able to use one phrase when a gentleman called on the phone and spoke only Chinese.  She told him "I don't understand" in Chinese and after several repeats, he hung up!  

Time to return to their areas and get back to the routine of missionary work.

Sister Feil "found" the lost world! This was a community event in Windsor.  The country towns always have great events that are enjoyable to attend.

The archeologist at work. Which one is it?

The original Sea Monster coming through a time portal - very futuristic.

And then there were Vikings.

T-rex from Down Under.  Was that the earthquake?

Near best friends after the earthquake.

Playing with the sand and creating art.

Kids always find water to play in - or "clean" in.

The details are very interesting.

Arrrgh! Matey

Outstanding in his field.

One of our granddaughters found a new pet!
This would be just like Lauren to bring it home. 

Primal scream therapy.  It works!

What more could you ask for? Notice it is the oldest Australian pub and it looks like some of the original customers are still out in front! :)  The old hotels and pubs are still an integral part of each small community.  No we will not be staying in one - we are certain they still have the original beds!

Paper bark trees are very interesting and are seen all over New South Wales.  It reminds us of the variety of experiences we continue to have each day.  Our days are filled with a lot of activities as we try to keep track of and respond to housing needs such as repairs, finding new apartments for all the new missionaries arriving and all the many related details.  We are grateful to serve here with wonderful missionaries.  We are strengthened in our understanding of the gospel as we interact with the people here.  We know the gospel is true and great blessings are in store for those who embrace it fully.  It was somewhat of a quiet week but the future looks "active" already. Love and hugs to all from your mates down under, Elder and Sister Feil

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