Saturday, October 25, 2014

Redundancy In Australia

In Australia, when someone else does the same job, you are declared Redundant.  So Elder and Sister Feil are now redundant because the Williams have arrived and are doing the same job.  :)  So we will train them and prepare to leave!  They are a wonderful couple from Brisbane.  They speak with the beloved Aussie accent and say things like "Who are these blokes?", or "Righteo, I'll give it a go."  We love them and are finding it easy to train and help them do our job so that we are redundant!  Righteo!  By the way, this is an Oreo Cow, or at least that is what the Barr children named them.

One of our Saturday excursions involved a trip back to Wiseman's Ferry with some of our favorite Senior Couples, Allens, Barrs, and Smiths.  This old cemetary has some of the original immigrants to this area buried here.  It is a peaceful resting place for those souls who gave so much to future generations.  We enjoyed lunch at the old Inn and of course the conversation was sparkling, not the drinks.  :)

 We are not sure why this fellow is residing at this place unless he has something to do with a lost wiseman???? He does make for interesting pictures when you are in the middle of the bush.
This picture was proof positive that Mamoo can still climb a tree!  The trees are so magnificent and we can't imagine why more children aren't climbing them.  We could picture a great tree house built right in the middle - but that would not be good for the tree and Australians value their trees.  You cannot cut any tree down unless you have permission from the local council and can prove there is a need or danger to others.  

The locals did not even know the names of these trees but they were gorgeous enough to stop and take a picture.  This is springtime in the bush!

We saw this old church being restored and thought we would stop and take a look around.  As some of us peered through the main floor windows, we realized someone was living there and quickly made our exit, waving our apologies!  Just a little embarrasing.  :D

We enjoyed a good old fashioned spring thunderstorm with another beautiful sunset.  Elder's unbrella has seen better days and will soon be put to rest in the trash.  The tree is called a frangipani and blooms in the spring/summer.  We would love to have one in our yard, but they like tropical climates best.  All of the polynesian women put the blossoms from this tree in their hair-especially on Sundays.  It is beautiful!

And speaking of Samoans, this Elder brought us a gift of 3 lava lavas.  His mother sent them for us.  This was our lesson on how to tie and wear them.  We are looking pretty snazzy and hoping they don't fall off.  You have to be pretty good at tieing them properly.  

The office staff birthday breakfast for Elder Feil turning 66.  Sister Howes does an amazing breakfast - breakfast burritos, french toast casserole, and real maple syrup.  It was delicious as always.  The Birthday Breakfasts are never redundant!

 President changed transfer transportation and the assistants were working out the details of moving 50 missionaries to various areas of the mission.  Just a little bit of a headache but these Elders were equal to the task and got the job done without a hitch.  
The Harbour Beaches Sisters meet each week to do Preach My Gospel sessions with the zone leaders.  USA, Taiwan, China, Guam and Australia are represented here.

The goodbyes have started in earnest and every missionary wants their picture taken with the Feils.  Everytime they come to the office, we stop work and take more pictures.  We are getting more model poses and learning to love pictures. 

 And the leavers come for final pictures - we are sad but know that New Caledonia will enjoy having this Elder back home.  He has done a brilliant job and will be missed.

 We went to dinner with our friends to the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Sydney.  They built the hotel around this old mint building and were able to retain the original lift.  It is the oldest working lift in the southern hemisphere.  It reminded us of Thoroughly Modern Millie tap dancing in the lift..."shu sho, shu sho".  :) 

We ate at the Opera Cafe buffet - the dinner was magnificent.  We  tried oysters Kilpatrick and sushi as well as lamb stew and pork roast.  We just ate for two hours, testing everything.  Joan would love this place as she can try everything on the menu and wouldn't need to make a choice.  

Restaurant waiters in Australia do not get tips but serve you the whole meal.  They do make great wages though.  This young man named Cameron, (we liked him just because his name reminded us of our Cameron) refolded our napkins each time we left the table for more food.  He was so attentive that we sought out the manager and commended him for his great work.  

 That is running water coming down in perfect sheets.  Who thinks of these things?
Back to our day trip - we have filled up one photo card and had to start another.  Wiseman's Ferry is on the Hawkesbury River which joins the ocean at the Entrance.  ( See previous blogs or google)

We were able to borrow a van for the day.  The Barrs are the local tour guides and provide historical, botanical, and general knowledge about the area.  It was a pleasant day for a drive in the country.  

An empty termite nest provides a home for the local kookaburras.  We watched one go inside but he wouldn't come out for a picture! 

This is Elder with Solomon Wiseman who founded this area and set up the ferry.  Both old gentlemen look good for their age!

This is the Inn - we just love the typical Aussie buildings.  The metal roofs are still going strong.

 This passenger is out of control - we were thinking of leaving her.  

Another Huntsman Hitchhiker!  He was hiding in the tirewell but was found and taken care of before Sister Barr had a stroke.

 The Great North Road - built by convicts, of course, in 1826-1837.  It is now only a hiking trail.

The view of the Ferry area from the Great North Road.

The road bed was built up by the surrounding stone.  President Barr and I climbed down into the bush area to get this magnificent picture!  Of course we were watching for snakes and other venemous bits and pieces.

I left my camera in his care in order to have my picture taken.  Keep in mind that this is about 20 feet high, and was built entirely by hand.  They made drainage ducts, so the water would not flood the road bed.  

Two lizards came out to see what we were doing.

The buttresses helped keep the wall in place and hold the weight.  The picture below shows the drainage window.  

This is a flannel flower - these plants grow in the bush and are so beautiful.  The petals are soft, just like flannel.  Will these grow in Utah?  That is a question for google.

 The skinny-man gate; the large gate was locked and we were glad all of us fit.  No worries.  :)  Guess we can eat a few more Chocolate Cheesecakes from Guylian. 
This is Hangman's Rock.  The legend is that misbehaving convicts were hung from a tree and dropped through the hole.  We were all good boys and girls so no worry about us getting punished.  The area at the top was "small enough to swing a cat around" and we allowed the youngest couple the honor of climbing up there.
So ends another beautiful day in the country.

Our status as full-time missionaries and of being "redundant" are coming to a close this week.  We are very grateful for the opportunity we've had to serve in the Australia Sydney North Mission.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the people and the beautiful country.  We still say we haven't taken a bad photo yet! We treasure the association with the missionaries, young and older and with our fantastic, dedicated leaders, President and Sister Howes.  Helping the Lord's work to grow here has been an opportunity we will remember forever.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  The fullness of the gospel has been restored and is filling the earth.  We invite everyone to study, learn and come to know this.  "Our purpose is to evermore effectively invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end."  Love to all from the "redundants",  Elder and Sister Feil