Sunday, February 23, 2014

Apostle Visits - North meets South

Missionaries arriving at the conference held at the Baulkhams Hills Stake Center.  It was time to hear from a visiting Apostle (Elder Russell M Nelson), the Asia Pacific Area President and an Area Authority Seventy and their wives.  Before the meeting started, all the missionaries went up row by row to be given a welcoming handshake by the visiting authorities and their spouses.  The words they shared with the missionaries were very kind, uplifting and encouraging.  Missionaries from the Australia Sydney North and South Missions attending this nice event. When the mission was divided on 1 July 2013 there were about 220 missionaries.  Now between the 2 missions there are more than 400 missionaries.

A Zone Leader was assigned to direct traffic to the right parking area.

The excitement and enthusiasm of the young missionaries is obvious.  They are always happy to be gathered together to hear instruction from the Lord's servants.

Association after the meeting shows the friendships among the missionaries.

These sisters performed a special musical number.  One plays the piano and the other sings.  It was lovely.  One of our elders accompanied the hymns.

The Senior Couples also enjoy the association with each other and the young missionaries.

 You can't beat these smiles.  From all over the world they come together in the work of the Lord.  This program is so much better than the United Nations.  These missionaries proclaim peace to the world.

The two shortest missionaries in the mission - one from Hong Kong and one from Japan.

We love learning from our leaders and the association with the missionaries helps us appreciate the wonderful opportunity we have to serve them.

There are so many scenic places along the rivers as they flow to the ocean.  Here is yet another very beautiful place.  This little out of the way town has a swimming beach on the river.

The rivers, streams and bays contribute to the growth of the trees, bushes and flowers.  Plus the people here enjoy all the activities associated with water-boating, sailing, surfing, fishing, etc.  Does this remind you of a scene from a movie????

We enjoyed some very nice pastries at the Wauchope (Pron. Warhope) market.  These nice ladies showed their skills at baking these goodies.  On Saturdays, there are many small markets where people come to sell their wares. We had scones, whipped cream, and jam.  This is a typical tea time treat both in England and in Australia.  The scones are more like our biscuits.  Everyday around 10:30 am it is morning tea and in the afternoon around 3 it is afternoon tea.  We are not so much for tea but certainly enjoy the treats. :)

The scenery we see everywhere we travel is always incredibly beautiful.  Have we taken a bad photo yet in Australia?

Which way should we go?

Looking down to the bottom of the falls. These photos are all related to the hiking to and seeing the impressive Ellenborough Falls.  What could be said more?  A picture is truly worth a thousand words! 

 The headwaters aren't extremely impressive.  But it's still a beautiful scene.
A new friend has been added to our group.  Nice and interesting tree stump.

The view is a bit different at the bottom of the falls.

We are glad to be here and that we are able to take self-portraits.  We are also happy we weren't here when these rocks fell!!!

Going down was the easy part.  Going back up 641 metres, now that's work.  We got our exercise for the day on this hike.  This is the bush.  The outback is the desert.  So we are bush walking.

There's something strange in the neighborhood.  Who ya gonna call?  Termite busters!

We are still learning how to use the timer and take self portraits.  We are not always sure what the camera is "seeing" until after it shoots.

Because of the water and canyons, there are always bridges.  Some look safer than others.  Sister Feil is getting more comfortable with bridge crossing. 

Does anyone remember the wood carvings in Port Republic, NJ???  Eagles vs. Kookaburras ( a new NFL team)

Our newest past time - bush driving.

Houses on stilts is typical construction - especially in the country.  Apparently it helps keep houses cool in the heat of the summer.  Also it helps with not getting flooded.  Not sure how this compares to the wise man building his house upon the rock. 

Mooooove over.  A study in black and white.

We crossed a lot of bridges this week.  We are half way through our mission, we were able to listen to  two apostles speak, we drove north to Port Macquarie for the second time, and we had the great blessing of seeing another grandchild join our family.  We welcome Peyton and send all of our love and hugs to her.  Elder Nelson taught us that the Lord uses the unlikely to do the impossible.  We are living proof that is true.  The story of Gideon in the Old Testament, Paul in the New Testament, and Joseph Smith in the latter days are all examples of this truth.  Nothing is impossible with God on our side and so we will continue to move forward with faith, knowing that He will make up the difference for our weaknesses and accomplish His work.  That is our testimony.
Love to all,
Tired but happy, Elder and Sister Feil

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