Saturday, August 16, 2014

Harvey the Hitchhiking Huntsman and Other Miracles

Dear Family, Friends, and Possible Friends,  We are having a quiet week in the mission.  The rain has come in earnest, it is mid transfers, and we are adept at our office tasks which means less stress and more pondering.  We have arrived at 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and are still on target to make it to page 531 by the 31st of August.  Because of our slow week, we have some experiences that remind us of Heavenly Father's hand in our lives and as always he has a plan for us as well as each and every person on this earth.  So the picture above is of the "newlyweds" at Sussanah Place Museum where all the brides and grooms have their pictures taken in Sydney.  We have not been traveling much the past few weeks and have become very familiar with Sydney.  If any family decide to visit, we are fast becoming the top tour guides  in knowing and understanding "wars and perplexities of the nations... countries and of kingdoms".  So on to our tour of this week's events and miracles.  We are ever mindful of our growing audience and hope that we give you a sense of our week to week escapades.

 We never tire of the birds - listening to them, taking pictures of them - and we are always hoping for the perfect picture of the Kookaburras and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.  We definitely need a miracle when it comes to photographing these fellows because they move when you don't want them to, appear when the lighting is poor and so we keep on practicing.  Hey this sounds like parenthood...

The museum of the week was the Police and Justice museum in Sydney.  These implements are from the Aborigines when the first convicts arrived.  And of course, the first Police uniform and weaponry. 

Smith and Wesson was even popular in Australia.  

The hardened criminal - oh wait, they would never wear a tie!  

And of course, the trusty court clerk doing all the paperwork.  No matter what the job, there is always paperwork.  Computers are supposed to fix that problem!  And the Smiths are with us again.  We have enjoyed their company - we have the same disposition to walk fast, positive attitude, talk to people, and just enjoy learning and discovering.  We really enjoy their friendship.

So, here we learned why, in a court room, it is called the bench-it's because it literally is a bench.  Also, this is the reason that what we call in the United States counter tops, are called bench tops in Australia.

The magistrates wore some interesting head gear to formalize and honor their position.  They still wear the wigs today in the courtrooms.  We hope to be outside the courts one day with a camera and will show you these same wigs on the heads of the magistrates.  
 The mask was used so fellow criminals couldn't identify who was testifying against whom. Plus, the "gag" order may be related to this device used to keep criminals from verbally disrupting the proceedings.
Interesting old keys and locks.

Here we are in the Harbor Bridge Pylon Museum.  This has some great photos and history of how the bridge was built over 8 years.  This is our second visit and absolutely the best $17.00 spent.  

Most wonderful are the views from the pylon observation deck.
We have just about given up on doing the walk - $240.00 seems a bit steep per person and our view is pretty good from the pylon.
She has important places in hand!  The Sydney Opera House is a unique icon representing the area.  The stained glass windows are in the pylon walls.  

The view of the bridge from the Rocks.  Those are all tour busses turning around and heading back out - The Rocks area today is a place to live and work close to Sydney.  They have maintained the old and the new, much like other large old cities.  Urban Renewal is alive and well in Sydney.  

These are various views from the Cahill Expressway Walk above and near the Circular Quay (pronounced "key").  

The wharf at Circular Quay is a very busy place taking people all over the Sydney Harbor to various destinations for shopping, hiking, just cruising, whale watching, site seeing, etc.

Here's the Cahill Walkway next to the expressway and above the wharf area.  We drive this freeway on the right everytime we come to the city and have admired the views. Today was our first time walking so that we could actually take pictures of the view.  That was a small miracle that we found our way to this path.

This appears to be a junk yard of sorts.  We could identify that many of these pieces once belonged to buildings that were demolished in order for new ones to be built.  Quite the outdoor museum.  The title of the photo is "Old Relics"  - you decide which are the relics. :)

 Funny word changes - we call them speed bumps and Aussies call them speed humps.  These always make us smile. 

We had seen this guy walking on the drivers' side window as we were leaving Carlingford.  We were almost certain he got blown off the car as we drove the motorway 20 kilometers to downtown Sydney.  But this is what we saw as we were pulling out of the parking garage to make our return trip, two hours later.

For quite some time Harvey was content staying on the windscreen.  He had patiently waited for the return trip in the warm car park.  This was a little miracle.  The greater miracle was observing the missionaries teach a young couple from China and Malaysia.  We were privileged to be the "members present" and help with fellowshipping.  At the teaching center missionaries are busy all evening long teaching the humble seekers of truth.  Since our assignment is working in the office we appreciate the opportunities to assist the missionaries as they teach.  That's a big miracle for us.  We are grateful to the missionaries who invite us to participate in these miracles.

Harvey is a scholarly tourist as we pass several historic buildings and museums as we drive to the motorway...

...he doesn't even mind the normal, heavy downtown traffic.  We don't know if he made it back to Carlingford.  We noticed that he went down the back window and probably tried to hide in a space by the boot after about 5 kilometers in heavy traffic.  We didn't have the camera with us.  The miracle of cell phone cameras is a very useful tool with these surprising encounters.  Elder Feil actually didn't hit anything while keeping one eye on Harvey and one on the road!  Sister Feil exhibited enough excitement for both.  Harvey was just as cool as a ... spider.

As the sun sets, we aren't sure if we will see Harvey again.  He may be a permanent resident of our car.  So, tune in again to learn if the miracle continues.  Speaking of miracles, we had a missionary who lost his planner which contained his driver license, personal credit card, ministerial certificate and mission debit card. We talked him through all the possible solutions to this and nothing seemed liked it would work out.  We all prayed for a miracle recovery of these important items.  About 6 days latter the elder called us and said all was found by a family he and his companion had visited!  We were all excited about this result and felt grateful and blessed by this great miracle.  Miracles do happen all around us.  Some may not seem like miracles, but they are, whether a small or great thing.  We feel very blessed to witness miracles as the gospel is taught and spread among wonderful people in this area.  We know that the word of the restored gospel will continue to fill the whole earth prior to the Second Coming of the Savior.  We love you and wish Heavenly Father's greatest blessings upon you.  From the "relics",  and friends of Harvey, Elder and Sister Feil

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