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Thursday, June 30, 2016

To Pack or not to pack - that is the question!! not to mention new luggage

As our saga continues I wish I could say that we had packed lots of more boxes. But that would be a lie. Steve packed up a box with his model airplanes that used to hang from the ceiling of our office. But that still only makes 7 boxes packed.  Although I did wash my blue glass so it is ready to be packed.

Life seems to get in the way of serious packing!!!

And we have to decide what we really want to come home to after a 2 year absence. It is hard to decide. Do we want the expense of replacing a number of items when we get back - but I will want new pots and pans since mine are getting worn out, even though it seems I do not do much cooking any more. And of course our towels and linens will not store well. But what else should we store and come back to use again? What furniture do we really want to keep?

And what about our hundreds of books? Will we read them again or should we just pass them on. But I have worked hard to create a good library, so...

And then we also have to decide what to bring with us for 2 years. We are each allowed 2 check through suitcases not to weigh over 50 pounds each as well as our carryon and personal item. We looked over our luggage and realized we needed to buy new luggage that was lightweight to give us maximum opportunity to bring what we need without paying extra for exceeding the weight limits.

This week our Macy's store had luggage on sale and closeout. We found 3 matching 29" cases in our local Bellingham store. The helpful sales staff located more in the Burlington store and the next day we drove that short distance to pick up the 4th piece.
And yes, they are ORANGE!!! Not really our first color choice but we think they will be easy to spot on the luggage carousel at the airports. :) And the price was right!! Now we just have to figure out what we will pack into these cases for our 2 year adventure!

A special shout out to the staff at the Bellingham Macy's Home store. They were so helpful and friendly!!

Our education continues as we read booklets called "Study Buddy Group", "Mum's Preschool", "English Study Group", and "Leadership Guide" all of which have been developed for use in the self reliance program. 

There is much for us to learn so we can have a storehouse of knowledge to use to help those who want and need our help. I love that the Church invests so much time and effort in lifting and strengthening its members. I love that educational opportunities are available for all.

I love that there is a spiritual basis for all that is offered and that people are not just "given". I love that there is a way for everyone to learn and to grow and to be productive and to increase their feelings of self worth. I love the concept of everyone doing all they can for themselves and then sharing what they know so that others can follow their example. I love that Heavenly Father loves all of His children and wants us all to be the best we can be.

Elder Bednar said: "Our individual responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become what the Master would have us become."

Galations 6:7 states: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

The adventure continues.... hopefully with more boxes being packed soon!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Australians in Whistler BC - definition of Self Reliance

Disclaimer: reading over some of my past posts I have noticed typos and misspellings - sorry! Hope my meaning still comes through.

Well here I am again. Time keeps marching forward at an amazing pace. We have just returned from a few days of a badly needed break in Whistler BC. Such a beautiful place to sooth the soul.

We were surprised to be checked in to our room by a nice young Australian man named Simon. His accent was a dead give away verified by his name tag that he was from Australia. He is from Sydney, Australia working in Whistler on a 2 year visa, so we had something to talk about. He was surprised to learn we would be going to his home area come December. We hope he will keep in touch.

It continued to be a shock to discover that there were MANY international visitors and workers in that area. We learned that almost 60% are from Australia. Everywhere we went we heard that distinctive accent and often struck up a conversation. On  a hiking trail we met Eddy and Pat who are from Terrigal on the beach a bit NE of Sydney. We had a delightful conversation with them and explained what our mission entailed. They asked if our service was the same kind of service given by the young men with black names tags. :)  They knew we had a center in Carlingford and have probably driven by the Temple there. I was brought to tears as Pat explained the things they had been doing in their family to help those who are less fortunate. There are so many good people who are trying to help others.

The people we have met from Australia have been warm and friendly which causes us to look forward to our time there with even greater anticipation.

I am sure we will be busy as we try to work with those who need our help. We studied more of our materials and watched more videos discussing our responsibilities.  There is so much to learn and I am grateful we will have the Lord's help as we move forward in our responsibilities. Here is a definition of self -reliance found in some of our training materials:

Self-reliance is the "ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family."

Wow! first we need to make sure we are self-reliant so we can feel comfortable encouraging others to be the same.

The organizing continues. Some furniture and canning jars left our house this weekend. This upcoming week should end with many more boxes getting packed. Grateful for friends who are saving boxes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"No Record of Arrests" and the Aged Visitor Health Check

The FBI reports came back to show that I passed - no record of arrests. That is reassuring since I have never been arrested. Then as we scrambled to send in our visa application we learned that there was one other form we needed to submit.

Apparently the Australian government wants to know if anyone over 70 years old is well enough to be in the country. Hence the "Aged Visitor Health Check" form. Yep, Steve is 70 and they want to know things like:

Does the applicant require assistance in day-to-day living?

Is mobility limited by shortness of breath, joint pain or musculoskeletal problems?

Do you consider the applicant will stay fit enough to undertake the long, unaccompanied and unassisted journey home?

And the doctor had  to certify that Steve was really Steve by "writing across the top of photo and running onto the page that this was a true liking"

See, he really is him :)

So we finally got all of our papers gathered and took the completed visa application to the Post Office to get it mailed. It should arrive in Salt Lake on Friday so the process can begin. Here is our sweet post office lady who is always to cheerful when she helps us.  

We were told that "no news is good news" regarding the issuing of our visa. We do not expect to see it until we are in the Mission Training Center as it can only be issued for 24 months. So, now we wait - again.  

And while we wait there is so much to learn! We have a very long list of readings to read and videos to watch to help us learn more about how the Self Reliance program works to help people lift themselves to a better temporal level. And how spiritual self reliance works hand in hard with temporarily successful living. We are trying to read a little each day and work our way through the videos. I am constantly amazed at the information I am learning! Wow! I look forward to working with people in this amazing program.

We are still trying to get our house packed up for storage. What a job! What do we want to keep enough to put it into storage for 2 years? It is almost like we have to interview every book and item to see if it is worth holding onto. I mean who knows what we will really want after we have been gone for 2 years? We are gathering boxes. We gave away a bed so now we have room in one of the bedrooms to stack boxes as they are packed. I think we have 6 boxes in there so far.

As Steve says "we make our plans and then life happens". There always seems to be so much of "life" going on. We are beginning to realize the Lord's wisdom in setting our reporting date in November instead of August when we had indicated we could be available. As always the Lord knows what we need. And knowing that I have to believe we actually will get everything packed and be ready regardless of what else is going on. :)