Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five Signs of Fall in Australia

 We are now in the fall season and we have been here almost a year. We are experts at recognizing the various signs of the seasons and feel we should share some of this knowledge with those of you who live in other parts of the world.  So the first sign of fall - it rains more!  This past week has been rain every day.  We are trying to get the weather stations to post an 80% chance of rain instead of 20% chance when we receive more than 3 inches in a single day.  Our other challenge is how to get 28 boxes of copy paper from the warehouse to the office when it just keeps pouring rain.  We have two old men and two old ladies working in the office and no one to bring up the paper until the young missionaries show up, so they answered our call for help, and ran to the warehouse for the paper - in the 20% chance of rain.  They were so fast it all stayed dry - almost.  
They are the most handsome bunch of go-phers around and assured us that their ties were water repellant.

The second sign of fall in Aussie-land:  Senior missionaries wear more orange and brown clothes.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules, and we have learned that since there is no Memorial Day or Labor Day here, Aussies have no rules about when you can or can't wear white.  They wear it all year round.  So some of the Americans have adopted that practice! Case in point, the Senior Elders.  :)

This was our final FHE with the Tanners who leave this Monday so of course we played  a game - Mormon Pictionary.  

Our biggest challenge was understanding the drawings of other Seniors - we come from varied backgrounds and experiences and we are not such great artists.  But that was also the fun of the game an we laughed alot at ourselves.
On Saturday, the clouds broke, the sun came out and we headed for Paddington Market.  This is an older part of Sydney with victorian architecture for the buildings.  We don't have pharmacies here, we have chemists.  That name seems much more appropriate.

The third sign of fall - some leaves fall from some trees and some leaves turn yellow, but don't fall.  But regardless of what the leaves do, the outdoor markets on Saturday are always in full swing.  We enjoy shopping at them where you can buy everything
from soup to nuts, literally.  We do enjoy just being outdoors again after all of the rain and that is the only "bad" weather we have to speak of.    

One of these birds is not like the others......

Waverly Council Offices which has now become the cinemas building.  Notice the blue skies of Fall.

After shopping, we took the Smiths, a Senior Couple working in PEF Self Reliance, to Bondi Beach.  We decided to have a picnic lunch and Sister Smith chose to throw out a small piece of bread.  Having lived in Jersey for 19 years, I knew that one piece of bread attracts 30 seagulls and of course that happened. 

Number 4 on our countdown list is less people at the beach.  This seems to vary depending on the beach, the weather, and the day.  Saturdays are always exceptions to the rule.  This picture is showing the "cool" hats the beach patrol wears.  Don't rush ahead to the picture below; stay focused on the orange and yellow in the above picture.  Another curious fact, Speedos started at Bondi Beach in the 1950's.  We are always looking to expand your knowledge!

As Senior Missionaries, we usually stand out no matter what we wear.  I told the men they could wear shorts, but they like the flip flops and jeans attire.  
Rocks always attract climbers, and water always attracts kids.

The plaque above explains that this rock was moved to this beach by a storm in 1912.  If it gets moved again, at least they will know where it came from.  We have heard of tagging animals so that you can track their migrations, but this is the first time we have heard of tagging rocks.  :)

We love the crashing of the waves and are getting better at taking pictures without getting wet.  They certainly make for a magnificent background.

The mosaic behind us is particularly beautiful and we hope you can zoom in on that.  We look the same - with a few more wrinkles and grey hair.

And finally, #5 is not that they are surfing, but the NRL - Football - season starts in the Fall!!  Just like America.  We have a returned missionary from the Brisbane Mission playing on an NRL team close to our home.  So we decided to go watch him play and get into the Fall Season.  The game is in Parramatta, the team are the Eels and the stadium is the Pirtek Stadium which holds about 16,000 people.  It started at 5:30 and was over in about 2 hours.  The game is non-stop action, with few timeouts except for injuries.  We were rooting for the Blue and Yellow team.

Here we are with all of the local fans.  The rival team are the Penrith Panthers.  That name seems much more vicious than Eels.  But the fans get into it and yell at the refs just like in America.  They boo the bad calls and cheer when a try is successful.  A try is when you score.

Here is our reason for coming - Wil Hopoate.  He is an amazing young man and a great example to all around him.  We were able to listen to him speak at a fireside and in a sacrament meeting.  He has a million dollar contract and we helped pay his salary. :)  He was on the big screen for making a try.  The fire explodes when we score.  That was a novel idea!

That is Wil, grinding it out in the trenches on a Saturday night.  One of the other players, Fui Fui is also LDS.  Because of their great examples both on the field and off,  the Church is receiving lots of attention right now and that always helps missionary work.  We have people asking us if we know these fine young men and we are blessed by their actions.  We hope you are blessed by our actions and we want our grandchildren to know we did not leave them, we are leading them on to a mission.  We love you all and pray for you each day.  So wherever you are, enjoy whatever season you are in both in life and in your world.  The gospel is spreading throughout the world by improbable people doing impossible things. Keep up the good work.
Elder and Sister Feil

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