Saturday, October 18, 2014

Not Dead Yet - Just Mostly Dead

As our days are getting numbered, and the sun is setting, we find brief moments in time to visit a beautiful park that we have not been to.  We read an article on Travelocity about 600+ things to do in the Sydney Area.  Of course we don't have that many days free, but we try to use our time wisely and visit what we can.  This is Bradley's Head in Mosman.  When you look at the map, you can see that the Sydney Harbour is made up of multiple inlets.  Each of the inlets has a point of land coming into the harbour.  Because the harbour is huge, we are about 3/4 of the way between the Opera House and the Headlands before you get to the Tasman Sea.

We followed the progress of the huge cruise ship heading out through the headlands.  We also enjoyed our usual Saturday evening wedding party.  And of course, the birds!!  We never tire of hearing all the bird calls, and seeing the usual assortment at the water's edge as well as in the trees.  The sparrows in Utah just won't seem as exciting as the Darter below.  According to our Bird Book, this is probably a female and she can sink under the water to eat fish for up to a minute at a time.  She must have had plenty of food and this was her drying off.  

Sometimes it is just easier to let you read the wealth of information on the tourist signs.  We feel like we are beginning to understand and know more of the history of this beautiful land and we hope that helps in our understanding of people and customs.  

This, is hands down, our favorite bird.  This is a Laughing Kookaburra and there is a Blue-winged Kookaburra.  Hearing them laugh and chatter is absolutely one of the most entertaining sounds in this country.   When we first arrived, I spent weeks looking for one to photograph, even accepting far away, blurry shots.  But now that we are preparing to leave, every time we go anywhere, we hear them, they are close enough to almost touch and they sit quietly and pose.  They must know we are leaving.  :(

Looking across the harbour at Rose Bay.  These little light houses actually work and light the points of land around the harbour.  Shark Island is just off to the right.  Yes, Evan, we plan on going swimming here - just so that we can say we survived the sharks!  Just kidding!

Yes of course more birds!  We love you, Jersey Birds and are always thinking of you!  These are Australian Brush-turkeys.  We have one in our yard, but had not ever seen a herd, or gaggle, or bunches of them.  :)  They can make a mess of a pile of leaves, which would not be fun to have in Jersey.  And no one bothers to eat them here.  Maybe they are too skinny and not very tasty!  

Aunt Norma taught me that photography is 30% skill and 70% luck and these shots teach that lesson.  Heavenly Father provides beautiful sunsets and vistas each day and we just come along with a camera to record them.  There is probably a great sermon in that.  We think we will publish a coffee table book with beautiful sunsets in Australia, or at least a calendar!  

While we were here, a group of young adults started singing How Great Thou Art which was absolutely appropriate.  Our friends, the Smiths, wanted to run down here to see the sunset and it was a perfect evening for that.  Obviously, this is very telling about the time of our mission life and that brings us to the next bunch of pictures.

The Harbour City Zone came to the temple and brought us a huge card with lovely notes wishing us well as we prepare to leave.  This is by far the hardest part of finishing - saying goodbye.  We love each and every one of them and have enjoyed serving here with them.  They are great examples to all of service, dedication, kindness, and patience.  And of course they have a lot more energy than us "old folks".

They love having their picture taken with us and we are learning how to do that easily as well as have some fun.  

This is bits and pieces of the Harbour Suburbs Zone, Sister Training Leaders, and a couple of Elders from the Central Coast Zone.  Some were coming to the temple and some were here to exchange cars.   

We now have 4 missionaries from Nevada with two more on the way!  Look what good comes from Nevada.  

When we travel to England next time, we will have a friend who wants to see us.  That is another amazing miracle of being on a mission, you gain friends all over the world.  What a great way to network.

This sister from Tasmania had a birthday so we all sang happy birthday to her and then she was able to go out and pick up...

A new car!!!  Of course it is not hers, and she doesn't even drive.  But it is an exciting time when we get a few new cars in and the old ones are rotated out.  We have grown used to driving our little Toyota Corolla Ascent.  We started out with 1500 K's and we are now at 34,000+ K's.  We don't even go anywhere most weekdays except when Elder has to open flats or close flats.  

We sit in our office and wave to everyone as they walk by our large picture window.  Every once in a while, they stop in for a visit.
It was meals on wheels again.  We had to travel out for a rehearsal and thought it would be a good time to treat these zone leaders to dinner.  We sat in a park and had a beautiful meal with great conversation.  After which the Elders gave us a great spiritual thought:  Mormon 9:27.  Great reading for all to consider.

Here we are at Kurraba Point looking across to Sydney.  A nice lady was watching us take pictures and she pointed out the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron across the bay.  I said, "Oh yes, the Sydney Yacht Club".  She quickly corrected, "The Royal Sydney Yacht Club".  I again said, "Yes the Sydney Yacht Club".  "No, the ROYAL Sydney Yacht Club which was the first yacht club in Australia," delivered in a beautiful Aussie accent!   I looked very impressed and we went merrily on our way!  

The city always looks different from each point in the harbour.  I guess that is the reason we have 50 different pictures.  Maybe another coffee table book?  or calendar?  We promise not to bore anybody with a slide show of our 7000 photos!  And in true "Molly Fashion"  I will delete!

One last bird - the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.  We are not sure why some of them are tagged and I am still looking for the perfect photo with the crest all sprayed out.   

In this week of goodbyes, our friend Ray left for China.  He has been an amazing leader in the Harbour YSA.  We hope we will see him again in the USA and know that he will continue to do much good wherever he lands.  We have come to really enjoy facebook and keeping track of our friends on that site.  What fun it is to see former missionaries and friends get engaged, married, and start new lives in far away places in this world.  

Baptisms are amazing and when you add in a birthday on the same day, as well as celebrating our anniversary, it is a combination that makes everyone happy.  An entire family came into the church and was the combined efforts of Senior Missionaries as well as young missionaries from 2 missions.  We know that we are all part of a team effort - the Lord's Team.  Baptisms unite countries, generations, and callings as we each try to do our part and invite others to come unto Christ.  No matter where we live, or what we do, no matter our age, or our weaknesses, the Lord invites and expects us to join with him in this great work of the last days.  We know we will continue doing what we have been doing here, serving others.  We will keep going strong as we prepare someone else to take our place here in Australia.
Hugs and big sloppy kisses to all,
From the Living Dead,
Elder and Sister Feil

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