Sunday, November 9, 2014

So Long, Farewell, We Say Adieu...

All missionaries get a final dinner with Pres. and Sister.  Since we were leaving with Elder and Sister Roberts, we had a very quiet dinner for six and then off to the temple for a last session.  Sister Howes is an excellent cook and always does a great job with whatever she fixes.  The menu included a lamb roast which is very traditional Aussie, with roasted vegetables, including pumpkin, carrots with pecans, and of course green salad because as President says, "We are leaving so there must be leaves." For dessert there was homemade strawberry shortcake - for the Americans. It is spring and there are beautiful strawberries in the stores.  

Bye Bye Bondi Beach and all the millions who come to surf.  

Auf wiedersehen to the beautiful blue ocean.  We have loved visiting at will and Sister Feil's hair has actually been curly thanks to the wonderful humidity.  

Hasta luego to the golf courses on the ocean as well as the bush courses that Elder had fun trying out on weekends.  Notice the amazing clubs he has...this is the Bondi Golf Course where dreams come true!

Ciao to the trees - they are so beautiful and green.  Will our trees ever be this big in Utah??  We have noticed that the gardeners around our offices have to blow the leaves and rake them every week.  Now that is job security - and Don Dearborn thinks he has it bad in Jersey!

We will miss Sydney!  Of course, we have at least 100 photos from every angle possible.  Maybe we will consider wall papering with photos.

This is a shot from Sharks Bay.  The name strikes fear into the hearts of the Americans but the Aussies persevere and swim.  A great backdrop which has made us old folks look good.

This sweet family of 5 boys were a great addition to our friends.  Alita and Portia served their mission together in the USA.  Portia helped us via facebook with directions on how to take the train to Sydney, when to take pictures of amazing sunsets.

And a farewell dinner was shared in our last days here.  We hope they will visit us in Utah and glad to know that the friendships missionaries develop last a lifetime as well as cross generations!

Ta Da to our Aussie missionaries who are willing to wear an American flag in our honor.  Good on ya, mate.

Tofa soifua to the many Samoan missionaries and those who are also American but come to Australia to serve the Lord. 

Cheerio to the British missionaries that also humor us with an American flag.  We will miss their stalwart dedication and are grateful to know our ancestors came from their great country.
Later, to the American missionaries that we will see in Utah, because they either live there or will attend school there or will visit US!  YEAAAAA.
The Service Center gave us a plaque for our service, but we could easily give them a plaque for helping us do our job.  We have loved our monthly "Morning Tea"  even though none of us drink tea!  Mark is an excellent Director and is always thoughtful, kind, and considerate.  His secretary Lynne, helped Sister Feil many times and is always willing to accommodate and find a way to make it work.  No Worries!

'Alu a to our loving Tongan missionaries.  We will never forget you and hope you never forget us.  As Elder Kioa says, "Your next mission will be in Tonga!"  We hope so!  We know we would be well taken care of.  
 Love ya Heaps, zone leaders and assistants who work, work, work, and always bring a great spirit of love into our office whenever they come.  We hope to see all of you in Lehi.
One last zone picture - but to all 9 of our Zones -  God be with you until we meet again, and we will meet again.  We will be watching, wondering, and praying for all of our amazing missionaries.

Where would we be without Paul Carnovale and the cannolis from Haberfield?  We would be 5 kilos thinner!  But, no worries, have another cannoli!  Thank you Paul, you are the best!

And to all of those that are departed: we still think of you, follow you on facebook, and are excited to see you moving on with your lives.  We know there is life after missions and it brings us great joy to know that our life will include all of our new friends from all over the world.

Where in the world are Elder and Sister Feil????  CAIRNS!  We flew to Cairns and stayed in an amazing B&B in Clifton Beach.  We were 1/2 block from the beach and left our sliding door open at night to hear the birds and other jungle sounds as well as the ocean waves.  Queensland was definitely hotter than Sydney area so we pulled out the sunnies, shorts, sandals, and other summer wear and enjoyed a week of summer.  

It's a jungle out there, but we are going to sing and dance our way through it.  We took a cable car to the village of Kuranda in the rainforest. 

Signs, Signs, everwhere signs, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind...   from what song and artist?  If you are the first one with the correct answer, you may win an expensive trip to Cairns.  :)
There are crocs everywhere in the jungle, but we did not see a live one.  

More signs - this one is instructive and was on the back of the door of the toilet.  This is how you know we live in a multicultural society.  Yes children, I took this photo in the toilet!
 We also visited the Butterfly Sanctuary.  The one on the left is the Queensland Birdwing, I think.  And the blue one below is called the Ullyses.

They are common to this area of Queensland and were even willing to pose for photos.

 The old plane was built in America in 1942 and given to Australia.  It was used in several old movies.  This miner 49er was willing to listen to Sister Feil tell him about the wonderful missionaries in the Australia Sydney North Mission.  He agreed with everything she said!  
After sightseeing and eating at Annabelle's Cafe in honor of Annabelle, we took the old Kuranda Train back down the mountain to Cairns.

You all know I love bridges and this one is no exception.   The train had 11 cars with two deisel engines to get it up and down the mountain.

This is the harbour of Cairns with a freshwater swimming pool right on the bay.  The bay is not very deep.

The boardwalk had restaurants, shops, exercise areas, along with the swimming pool.  Elder is working on his arms because pushing a pencil has not helped his pecks or deltoids.

 This is one of our many friends at the Service Center who gave us lots of help to do our office assignments.  He officially retired about a week before we "retired" or became "redundant".  We wish him well in his new adventures. He moved to the Brisbane area of Queensland.
This is a perfect example of "in your ear"!  This lovely creature apparently enjoys close up examination of aging humans.
Even though our mission has ended, we hope you will stay with us as we travel around Australia seeing places and things we haven't previously visited.  We have loved this country so much that we can't just leave.  So we are leaving by degrees.  We are grateful for the experiences, learning and the wonderful people we've met.  It has been awesome to associate with the young missionaries and the Senior Couples, with President and Sister Howes leading the Australia Sydney North Mission.  We know that the work will continue to hasten here with the dedicated efforts by all.  We hope that all of you will do your part to help the spreading of the gospel around the world. We bid adieu to you, and you, and youuuuu
Elder and Sister Feil

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