Sunday, May 4, 2014

The American Fortune Cookie

Downtown Sydney from "a distance".  Who's that guy? CIA, FBI, Men In Black?

On weekends there are lots of things for sale at various markets in New South Wales.  We managed to find some cute things here for grandchildren.
This talented young man was the accompanist on the piano for a baptismal service.  He blessed us with his ability and the music helped the spirit to be present during this important event.
The wonderful young missionaries were present at the service. They are instrumental in helping people understand and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and join His church through baptism by one having the authority to perform this important ordinance.  This young lady was taught, has studied and prayed until she knew the truth of what she learned.  She chose to follow the Savior's example and was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We felt a part of this miracle because Sister Feil is responsible for the referral program and she was referred by her friend in the picture.  

These lovely women sang a beautiful song at the service. We have tried to upload the video of this performance, but it's not working.  Another "technical" problem.  Check it out on FaceBook.

This is the view from the Moonrise Western Sydney Regional Park Lookout.  Seeing the city from the country is amazing.  Plus it is a wonderful look at this beautiful country and my lovely companion :)

The agents at work in their field.

The Harbour Bridge, the Sydney skyline and the surrounding suburbs shows the contrasts of the area.

Somewhere around here there's supposed to be the Tom Uren Lookout.  Guess not! Our Tom Tom tried 3 times to help us - even modern technology doesn't always help you find your way. :)

Haberfield, home of Papa Pasticceria and the best Italian pastries in the world.  Well, they are very good.  Imagine these: canoles stuffed with ricotta, chocolate or vanilla custard, cinnamon and pistachio cookies, ricotta cake.  There's a lot more, including breads, but you can only eat so much of tasty treats.

This young lady even has an Italian accent!  People were speaking Italian in every store.  If we keep going here and buying Italian food, we will get called to Italy on our second mission - we hope, or else New Jersey.

Our day started with the Samoans and a baptism, then off to the Italian area for yummy treats, and finally ended with the Chinese for dinner.

The PEF/Self Reliance couple prepared a great meal of Chinese food for us and several young people from China who are striving to complete school and find jobs in NSW.  It was a fun evening with wonderful people.  Plus, we got to work on our chopsticks skills.  Each of these young adults have graduated with at least one degree and some are working on another.  Their English is excellent and their perseverence is admirable. We hope that with the help of the PEF couple, they can find jobs and move forward with their new life in Australia. 

It was enjoyable to observe the  happy interaction among the participants.  One of the young men is a returned missionary from the Brisbane mission;  2 of the 11 are from the same province in China. We are in awe of what they are accomplishing. 

The couple below is getting married soon.  She was an English teacher in China and has been here for just 3 weeks.  

So, what is this fortune cookie thing?  These young Chinese people had never heard of or seen a "fortune cookie".  A little research on Wikipedia indicates it was "...introduced by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese and ultimately consumed by Americans".  So we had Chinese fortune cookies, that the Chinese had never seen before; Chinese food cooked by an American couple from Idaho, and we have all met together in Australia.  That is what our multi-cultural world is like every day.  
Everyone enjoyed the meal and the company.  All helped with the cleanup.  And some were assistant cooks in the kitchen.

We also had a chance to eat authentic chinese dessert - a rice ball with bean paste inside. It was interesting.... Chinese desserts are not nearly as sweet as American desserts but like most cultures, they enjoy good food, good company, good conversation.  Even though the Americans were outnumbered, our new friends spoke English most of the time.  

When you're hungry, practice makes better!  The food tasted great once it reached the mouth :)
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve with other Sr Couples, in various activities and at different locations and involving lots of people from around NSW.  We know that answers to the important questions about the purpose of life and what happens after our mortal lives end, are answered in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in the scriptures and taught by apostles and prophets.  We testify that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, no matter the country.  Wo 'ai ni!
Feil Jiem'ei & Fa'a Matai Feil  

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