Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bridge Views

When you live around water, you must accept bridges.  If you go anywhere, you cross a bridge; and if any of you really know Molly Feil, you know that bridges are not usually on her top ten list.  But after living in the east for 19 years, and living in Australia for a year, bridges have become a way of life.  In fact, we are beginning to enjoy the view...
The Circular Quay (pronounced key) is basically a bridge.  We always enjoy the city and when we were invited to a wedding of one of our investigators, we were excited to take the train into the city for the afternoon and evening.

We were waiting for our friends, the Smiths; you can play "Find the Hidden Objects".  Of course, our "uniforms" help us to stand out.

This young couple from China wanted to get married and did not have any family here, so Elder Smith became the favored Uncle who gives the bride away.  

This was a very small affair - maybe 15 people counting the photographers and wedding planners.  It was held at the Gazebo at the Sydney Observatory on the first day of winter - June 1st.

A licensed civil minister performed the marriage.  The Harbour Bridge is always the perfect backdrop for any photo.  We were so cold and this bride was very brave.  We had passing showers, wind, and we were wearing our raincoats and scarves.
After the wedding, we rode the light rail to Darling Harbour for the wedding dinner.  These Sisters from Taiwan have been teaching the bride about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This bridge separates Cockle Bay from Darling Harbour.  

The view from Darling Harbour at sunset with a rainbow truly does look like Oz.  This is the time of year for the light show and while we have shown you Sydney Harbour's Vivid, Darling Harbour also has a light and water show as well as fireworks.  The wedding dinner was at a chinese restaurant right on the Harbour and we had the best view for the show.  They repeated it every hour from 6-9 pm.

This is a small part of our Chinese speaking missionaries.  The four Elders are from the US and do an amazing job with learning Chinese.  The dinner was an 11 course meal.  They would bring small portions - meat, fish, vegetables, noodles, rice, meat, fish, vegetables, soups. We had only chop sticks to use and tried to ask what we were eating at each course.  With so many courses, it was hard to keep track, but we ate abalone, shrimp, scallops, lobster in the shell, pork, beef, chicken.  You should have seen us doing that with chop sticks. That must have been some view!

The marriage was performed wearing western clothes, but they wore traditional Chinese attire for the dinner.  We were honored to have the couple at our table.  The final course was dessert consisting of the wedding cake, some pastries, and red bean soup.  Red bean soup is red beans in a sweet sauce.  Elder did a great job of consuming his, but Sister just couldn't wrap her head around red beans and sugar.  The sweet Chinese sisters told her not to worry, it was an acquired taste.  :)  So the Americans ate the cake and pastries, while the Chinese ate all of the red bean soup.  If our next mission is China, we will acquire the taste!   

We enjoy having missionaries in our home for dinner and a spiritual message.  They always lift our hearts and challenge us to become more like the Saviour.  We still can't post any videos to this site, but if you go to facebook, you can hear the song they sang for us.  One Elder is from Samoa/America and the other is from New Caledonia.  We have learned more geography since coming to Australia and serving a mission.  
 These are the Senior Missionaries with Elder Haleck.  He is in the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy and serves in the Area Presidency.  He joined us for our usual Monday Night Family Home Evening dinner and lesson.  

Elder was having fun with his iphone camera and Sister was busy working!  We were finally able to get the iphone unlocked and use the sim card from our church phone in it.  So Elder is back in business with only one phone - his favorite iphone.  That was another learning experience with electronic gadgets and restoring the phone.  You should all be impressed with what we can do now with computers and phones.

We have enjoyed being the member present as missionaries teach some people at the office.  This great lady from China has taken the lessons and been baptized.  She now comes with her 8 year old son while he takes the missionary lessons.  The Elders are from US and Philippines.  It is a great blessing to be a part of teaching and every one learns.

On our preparation day, we headed north to see - the Brooklyn Bridge and Long Island.  We traveled again with the Smiths.  We always enjoy getting information from locals who help us find places to eat as well as things to see and do. This is the Hawkesbury River just before it joins the ocean.

This is the boat stop - we were told we had enough time to get fish and chips from the local shop and of course enjoyed fresh fish!  Dory is one of the common fish that they use in fresh fish and chips and of course that reminds us of Nemo.  

Waiting patiently and blending in.  We even know to ask for tomato sauce, not ketchup, and we drink ginger beer not root beer.  We have become experts at the cuisine and will miss some of our favorites!  Do they have Bundaberg Ginger Beer in Utah??

There it is, at last - The Brooklyn Bridge!  It was built by the Union company from New York.  The bridge connects Brooklyn and Cogra Bay by railway and was finished in 1888.  We didn't want to test it's durability, so we did not take the train.  We chose instead to take the ferry!  :0  

Dangar Island is a small island in the middle of the Hawkesbury.  We decided to stop and see this small (population 267) community.  These brown boxes are the mail boxes for the town. They are located in the one restaurant/store/art gallery.  There are no private cars on the island.  There was one golf cart that seemed to be their taxi service and  we enjoyed an hour of walking around the island.

This is a poinsettia tree in bloom.  Because it is winter, they are blooming here now.  They seem to grow wild, but not sure they are indigenous to the area.

Once again we found interesting gateways to properties.  We are trying to think of some way to jazz up the entrance to our home in Lehi - here are a few of the ideas we are considering.  
The streets are not paved, but the signs keep us on the straight and narrow - maybe.  We were trying to figure out the right way to go and it is difficult to get four old people to agree!  :)

 How about this entrance for Lehi?? Or maybe the one below with all of the surf boards? That would help our old vinyl fence look more interesting.  We loved our tour of the quaint village and would love to come here again.

The river views and beyond is the ocean.  We were amazed at how quiet and peaceful living here would be.  

 We distrubed this poor man enjoying his back yard and reading a book on a quiet Saturday.  Everyone had some sort of boat.  If you don't want to wait for the ferry, you need your own transportation.
 We puzzled over this sign until we saw the other side.  There is probably a lesson in this - make sure you read all sides of the signs.  The area is subject to the tides from the ocean and the beach is a wonderful soft sand.

Of course we got more information from the locals as well as history and we were escorted by two young men on bikes who kept track of our progress on the island by riding past us numerous times.  

We loved this gate which led to this old water tower which looked like a home for a princess.  Maybe we have been watching too many princess movies! The flowers and foliage were spectacular and very thick.

 This small walk way leads into the "center" of the town.
Because there are no cars, the locals use wheelbarrows to and from the wharf to haul their supplies.  We assume you just recognize your own wheelbarrow.  Public information is posted on a pole by the wharf.  The best part of this agenda is the Attendance/Apologies.  Maybe we should all take a page out of this... :)

Our ferry captain who also took our money and gave us history lessons as well as tour advice about when and what to see.  It doesn't get any better than that.  This was the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the "Captain's Bridge".  There were not very many rules on this ferry.

The last stop on the ferry ride - Little Wobby Beach.  And believe us, it was little.  We passed on this walk, but maybe the next time.

The boat refueling station is a must in this world of water.  And we did not expect to see this type of toilet flusher which is above the toilet.  
At the end of the day, the fishermen are cleaning, descaling, and filleting their fish while the local trash collectors wait...

We stopped at Pie in the Sky for apple rhubarb pie and ice cream.  This shows you where we had spent the day.  
What more can we say?  Sunsets are spectacular and we just keep taking pictures.  That would be a cloud bridge!  Finally, the picture of Kay at her baptism.  We are blessed to be part of this world and work.  At the end of the day, it is the view of seeing others accept the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings so much joy.  We are grateful that two little souls, Grant and Peyton have joined our family and look forward to another sweet baby in November.  We are excited for Brandon, Tommy, and Miriam to be baptized and confirmed in the next few months and Kadin is receiving the Priesthood.  These milestones mark our mortal lives and show our progress as we strive to return to Heavenly Father.
We will continue to cross the bridges and enjoy the sunsets "Down Under".
No Worries,
Elder and Sister


  1. Yes, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is readily available! It's a little pithy & sharp! Also it has a full body bouquet with hints of anis!

  2. Could you be a little more specific please? LOL Who knew you were even reading this?! Love you too and hope all is well for you. Keeping you in our prayers and trying to think of what to bring you from Australia - what size Akubra hat would you wear? Or maybe a Didgeridoo or boomerang? Or maybe you are coming yourself to pick something out and just need a couple of tour guides? Keep us posted!

  3. Oooh! I love the subway shot! Can't wait to see some of these sites when we come.

  4. If you didn't get my message I left on your phone, then be advised that uncle Joy passed away on Thursday morning. I'm kissing & hugging every one twice. Once for me & once for you!....... OK thrice! I don't want to leave Tom out!