Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Like to Look for Rainbows

It has been a little rainy and cold this week.  We have been wearing our coats to the office, and making sure we have our sweaters and boots on.  The high each day has been 15-18 degrees C and the low some nights has been in the single digits.  We know this is nothing compared to Utah, Nevada, California, WA, Indiana, and Idaho, but when you do not have insulation in the houses, and the heating systems are a dual air con/heater it does get bone chilling!  We drink hot Milo for a snack just to warm up and do our best to eat hot foods.  But as Dane and Carrie have mentioned, the up side of cold weather is your body burns more calories when you are exercising and walking just to keep warm.  So we think of the good this is doing - do we look thinner in our photos??
We had family home evening in our apartment - 18 for dinner again.  The menu was Spectacular Chicken and Broccoli Casserole - reminders of childhood days in Jersey in cold weather.  Elder Smylie, the FH missionary, drew the above picture.  He does time lines for families as well as his own.  We told you about Pres and Sister Barr and their WWII history.  So Elder while teaching a class on family history to the youth, showed them how to draw a time line on butcher paper, making it simple yet informative.  We thought it was a great idea.  He has done this for grandkids when they have gone on vacation, or have a special day of activities and uses the tool to help them remember history and think logically about events.  We thought it a great idea and a "colorful" idea.

 The next event was a baptism for this beautiful girl.  She was with her friend a week ago, and we were asked to teach a lesson to her and her friend when we came out of the temple about family history, temple work, and setting goals for that after her baptism.  We were excited to attend the baptism.  When we arrived, the Elders asked if I could play the piano and I said certainly. Last Sunday, I had the unique experience of leading a room full of polynesians in singing the hymns and this week was just as special as I played the hymns while they sang in Mandarin.  Music is truly the universal language and when 2 sweet sisters in the middle of the program asked me to play for them to sing a Primary song, it was amazing.  I played a song that I couldn't even read any of the words and they could sing in another language.  Very touching.  One of the sweet sisters sat behind Elder and I and offered to translate.  Everyone else there was able to converse in at least 2 languages.  Very humbling.  

 After the baptism, we returned to the car with the Sister Missionaries.  We all got in and buckled up when I noticed someting moving on the front dashboard.  We couldn't get out of that car fast enough and grabbed the camera to get a few shots of this Huntsman Spider climbing all over my seat.  Elder was chasing him valiantly while the Sisters were out of the car hiding behind their bags.  

The spider headed into the trunk but seemed too big to get in.  Elder swept him onto the ground while the rest of us jumped back into the car and slammed the doors.  The perfect ending to a perfect day with lots of laughs and screams.  Oh, by the way, this was a small Huntsman and they are not harmful to humans.  But they eat a lot of other bad insects.  They're just huge!
Baptism #2 was on Saturday.  Anlong and his mother Kaye have been taught at the office by the above Elders.  She joined in April and Anlong waited for his 9th birthday on Friday.  Elder was very surprised by Anlong's request to baptize him but was very happy to have this opportunity.

 I was asked to give the talk on baptism and was asked to use lots of pictures and bring gifts!  So of course, I accommodated!
The Ma Family have a son serving a mission in Hong Kong and have been at some of the lessons as well as reside in the same ward with Anlong and Kaye.  They are truly kind and giving people and have been the perfect friendshippers.

These pictures are from Kronos Hill Lookout.  We have enjoyed plugging in lookouts to the TomTom and letting him give us amazing picture sights.  This one is by the Sydney Olympic Stadium.  We will go back in the daytime and get more pictures.  But these show our progress with night time shots with a tripod.  We have been reading about them on google and learning a few techniques. 

It doesn't hurt that the sunsets are colorful and spectacular.

The timer is such fun to use and when you put it on a tripod it is instant professional!  Well, as long as you put in the correct information.  We just couldn't get the sunset to give us more color.  We enjoy seeing the photos all of you post on Face Book. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

This is all part of the Sydney Olynpic Park.  We finished up here and headed for Haberfield to the Italian Restaurant - Dolcissimo which is a happening place on a Saturday night.  We have learned that spaghetti bolognaise threatened to become the "national dish" of Australia.  So we had some as well as ravioli and finished the night with freshly made chocolate, lemon, and pistachio gelato and ricotta cream cake.  The missionary diet is hard to handle as we eat our way through.  We don't have many dinner appointments and cook for ourselves 90% of the time.    

We ended the night at one more lookout - we are learning where all the great viewing spots are located.  This picture was taken from the Woolwich Marina.  We want to come back here in the daytime but you can see how our shots are improving.  We loved the baptism today.  Kaye and Anlong are wonderful converts.  Anlong loves primary and learning with the children.  He was so excited to get scriptures for his birthday.  We were reminded of our grandchildren who are baptized this year and while we miss attending those baptisms, we felt we were meant to be here for Anlong's baptism.  The Lord always knows where we need to be and what we need to be doing. 

As you can see, we are dancing our way through our mission, this time at Darling Harbour.  Or maybe we should say we are dancing as fast as we can!  We attended a missionary fireside on Sunday and listened to return missionaries talk about their reasons for going on a mission.  Our Mission President spoke about how anyone and everyone can go on missions or support missionaries.  The ward had put together a brilliant video about all of the missionaries in their ward - 50 who had served or were serving missions.  The gospel will be preached through out the world.  We are involved in that great work.  We are the "small means" bringing to pass "great things".  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to all of man's problems.  Of that, we leave our testimony and give our love to all, wherever you are in this great big world.  Look for the rainbows in your lives as a sign from Heavenly Father that he is still mindful of each of us.
Elder and Sister Feil


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