The trees across from our flat that lost their leaves 'just a few weeks ago' now have small green buds and will soon be filled with green leaves again. It is just amazing to me that there is always something green and always something blooming here. It is beautiful and I love it!
|The leaves are beginning to bud out.|
The campus is so well cared for and always lovely. Already the plans are progressing for the Christmas lighting of the campus and temple grounds. As Senior Missionaries we will all have a chance to supervise the younger missionaries as they conduct tours over the Christmas season. I think the lights will be up for over a month.
|It is so interesting to see the trees shed their bark.|
Still lots of meetings going on and lots of driving to various locations and meeting with lots of people.
Last Sunday we had a crazy busy schedule. We began with a Stake Self-Reliance Committee meeting at 10:30 AM in Normanhurst. We had to leave early at 11:50 to drive the 45 minutes or so to Manly Ward where we had a speaking assignment at 1 PM. We enjoyed our time there but could not stay for the other meetings because we had to drive back to our flat for a quick bite to eat and then another 40 minutes drive to Claremont Meadows to meet with the bishop about self-reliance. And then our drive home again. A good day's work but a crazy scheduIe!
|We live on Young Road, so you can follow our trek from Young Road to Normanhurst |
to Manly on Harbour Road back to Young Road, out to Claremont Meadows on Archbold Road
and then back to Young Road.
We have been here long enough now that as we travel from congregation to congregation we always see the faces of people we have grown to love whether working with self-reliance or just seeing them in the temple. We always are happy to see them, and they seem to be happy to see us as well.
|Isn't this beautiful?|
And what a great feeling to also be greeted warmly by many of the young missionaries we have taught in past English classes who have now been transferred to a different area of labour. They are all amazing young men and women who work so hard to serve the Lord. I don't think I would have had enough courage to be a missionary when I was younger.
Last night we attended the evening session of the Penrith Stake Conference. It was a great meeting with wonderful talks focusing on the theme of the 13 Articles of Faith. Here is a link to help you know more about the Articles of Faith if you do not know what they are.
The speakers each spoke on one of the articles. Some thoughts I pulled out were: in the 4th article of faith - "if we delay the repentance process we may suffer the consequences"; 13th article of faith - " make Jesus Christ our role model"; 1st article of faith - "God is the Supreme ruler of the universe and the Father of Mankind. We can come to know Him through prayer and scripture study; 9th article of faith - "the Heavens are not closed. Live our lives so we can receive inspiration and revelation for our stewardship, our minds and our hearts need to be in tune, and don't put off obeying promptings." "pray and ask what should I do today? and then follow the promptings when they come."
|Giant Koalas for only $299.00|
Each time we go anywhere Elder Jenkins does his best to give a 'pass along' card to the people we meet. The cards have the link to mormon.org on one side and a question about life, "Does God have a purpose for my life?", "Can our marriage continue after we die?" etc. We never know if the recipients will follow up and go to the website to find the answers to their questions, but we know we have done our best to give them the option.
One day we met a young man who was so hungry to talk of things of God. He was from another country and is trying to make his way in Australia. We have met with him several times now and have given him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was grateful to get it but a couple of days later I felt that he should have it in his own language. Thankfully the office had one available. When we gave it to him he was overcome and just could not believe we could find one in his language. He was so happy. It is hard to describe his reaction as he held it to his heart in gratitude. So, we will see where things will go.
Occasionally we are invited to speak in a Sunday meeting or at an evening meeting and present materials about the Self-Reliance Initiative. We enjoy moving the work forward and are always glad when we see understanding come into the eyes of those who are listening. Today we have been asked to speak in the South Harbour Ward.
Every now and then the Senior Missionaries get together for an activity. Yesterday we took the Rivercat ferry to Circular Quay and then another ferry to Watson's Bay. While we waited for our second ferry we spoke with an Aboriginal man who was busking. We spoke with him for a few moments and Elder Jenkins gave him a pass along card. He told us a sweet experience he had one day when he was about to take his own life but was detoured by a woman who sent him into a chapel to await his turn in the showers. He had never been in a chapel and somehow as he was there he cried his heart out and then felt an overwhelming feeling of being loved. He said that was when he knew there was a God. Especially when he tried to find the woman who had directed him and learned from the people who worked there that there was no such woman. Heavenly Father really does know each of us and is mindful of our sorrows.
He also explained the meanings of the painted symbols on his body, etc. I wish we would have had more time to visit with him but we needed to catch our 2nd ferry. He did say he would have his mates help him get on the website.
I love to ride on the ferries and see things from a different perspective. After arriving in Watson's Bay we ate fish and chips before walking along the path to view the ocean. A beautiful little town with lots of beautiful things to see. The sun and the sea breeze along with the walking pretty much wore us out but it was a great day.
|There was not time for him to do his "clamming" [hip exercises] before we left the flat.|
So, he improvised while we were waiting for the others to arrive at our gathering place.
|This man was playing his didgeridoo and tapping with his boomerang.|
Don't be dismayed at the coins because a smallish gold colored coin in worth $2.
Can you see that he is holding the pass along card? We also contributed some coin.
|Sydney Opera House is always beautiful what ever side we see. |
I hope we can attend a performance of some kind while we are here,
or at least do the tour.
|Where we got our fish and chips at Watson's Bay.|
|A nice pathway to view the ocean.|
|There is just something about the water that feeds my soul.|
|Looking across the ocean towards New Zealand, land of the Kiwis.|
|Love the way the wind burrows out holes in the rock.|
|Red berries along the path.|
|Looking across the bay to Sydney.|
|Along the trail.|
|A busy bay between Sydney and Watson's Bay.|
|Along our walk through town.|
|Detail on top of a fence.|
|One of the lovely homes in town.|
|a tea tree fence in town|
|A beautiful park or reserve. There are so many here.|
They just do them right and keep them clean and lovely!
The beach at Watson's Bay
|leaving Watson's Bay|
|This was our sunset tonight. The earth has tilted so we can see the sun sets |
to the left of the two trees. For awhile it was in-between and then to the right.
Interesting how much difference it makes.
|Late afternoon yesterday but not a sunset yet.|
I can never get enough of the beautiful scenery. We saw the 'heads' which is where the land opens up to become the Sydney Harbour. The sounds of the ocean are always soothing to my soul and I love it! The pathways and the parks [reserves] here are lovely. They really know how to make them user friendly and delightful.
My phone was having issues with the speakers so one day we found the Apple store at a nearby mall and I was able to have it reset. The speaker is fine now and the battery is doing better too. We discovered that they teach classes on macs, iPads, and iPhones for free. So, we decided we would take advantage of the classes since we live so close and they seem to have frequent openings. We actually have now attended the basic and intermediate classes on mac. I think we need a couple of other intermediate classes to really grasp it all but it is kind of cool to have this opportunity right at our finger tips. So we will squeeze in classes whenever we can.
Life is good but we could certainly do with a bit more energy😉 but then I guess we are not spring chickens anymore either. And that is a whole other subject which I will not discuss right now.