There was a Seniors Family Home Evening on Monday night where we were treated to a boiled dinner of corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage in honor of St. Patrick's day and then a fruit cobbler. Nice! We also had a lesson about some of the church history here in Australia which we enjoyed.
It will be our turn to cook for everyone in a few weeks. One week a couple is in charge providing the dessert and a lesson. The next week that same couple of is charge of preparing the dinner. There are 13 senior missionary couples and 2 senior sister missionaries. The missionary couples have so many different assignments. We have self-reliance. Other assignments are legal, public relations, office management which has 2 couples and a single sister to keep track of everything from the flats, to the cars, to the mail, to the transfers, of all the young missionaries, etc, then family history, church history, teaching institute for the young people who attend university, member leader support, a nurse and then the mission president and the temple president and their wives as well. It is really amazing that so many people come from all over willing to give up their time and resources to spend 18 - 23 months serving the Lord. And we all love it!
Lots of administrative things accomplished this week. We got our toll road clicker so we can go on the toll roads which are MUCH faster!! Elder Jenkins arranged for the exterminator to come and treat our flat for cockroaches!!! Can I jut say I hate cockroaches!!!
I learned how to send off the test booklets for the Michigan English proficiency test and sent off the tests for 10 missionaries who took it last week. Now we just need to wait for the results. Many of them will need to retake it because they must have a score of 75 to pass.
Next week we will begin teaching English classes to some of these young missionaries. They come from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, as well as America and Canada. Many do not have English as their first language so Australia is a foreign mission for them. They do a great job of learning English to be able to teach the Gospel but there is much more English to learn to be fluent. If these young people can learn English well before they return to their homes they will be better equipped to get a job and/or an education in a world where English if often necessary. They will then be more able to be self reliant. That is why we will be teaching English along with our other responsibilities. I am actually quite excited to begin. We will teach every Wednesday afternoon.
Elder Jenkins was successful in getting everything set up for the nice printer we found in our storage unit, so we can have a printer at home. We signed up for internet in our flat. Previously we had been picking up one of the other couples' but we needed our own. Unfortunately we are having some trouble. It is so slow that it was impossible to upload pictures last night. Hopefully we can work out the issues soon.
We found a place to develop pictures just a couple of miles away. And we are able to get there using left turns so I do not have to cross our busy street. We had several pictures developed of the people we have been meeting. Every time we go to a meeting I take pictures of those we meet. There are many people we will work with and we want to know their names. They are now labeled and gracing our white board so we will know who they are and to which Stake they belong. It has been my dream and effort to get that set up and it is actually coming together. Sunday night we were at a new place and took more pictures and this week we will get many more.
Got our taxes done - finally- there had been a mistake and I had to have our friend get into a storage box and find the correct paper. So grateful for her help. But taxes are done and accepted electronically so I do not have to worry about it anymore. Worked on our finances and got things set up to record our expenses while we are here. So many details to handle.
Wednesday evening we attended another session of the Starting or Growing my Business group and were so happy to observe how things are going! In just 2 weeks the group has progressed and become a cohesive unit. This is so amazing how things just work when the material is trusted! Love it!
Had a man who we worked with on the Accelerated Job Search find a new job which he accepted in less than a week. That was pretty exciting for us.
Checked out a couple of thrift stores looking for pictures for the flat. We found a few things and that was kind of fun. However driving to the thrift stores was stressful! We also got some things from the mission storage where we found a good frame for the picture of the resurrection we bought at the distribution center.
|our updated storage dresser looking into our kitchen|
We also went to IKEA and found a lot of things like a napkin holder, a paper towel holder, a pillow cover, a new dish drainer and lots of other things we just expect to see and use on a regular basis. It was kind of fun to go there.
|our first trip up the elevator with our provisions,|
yes me made 3 trips!
Went back to Costco for a lot of basics like toilet paper, paper towels, bounce, trash bags, tissue, etc. We live on floor 3 which is actually the 4th floor because they count "0" as a floor so we are very grateful for an elevator. But even then getting things up to our apartment was a trick. Thankfully we bought a grocery cart the week before which was VERY helpful.
We live and work in such a beautiful area. I have been wanting to share pictures of the campus. So, on our way home from Church Sunday we stopped by the campus to the most of these pictures.
This complex began with the Buckland House which was built by a grieving father to honor his son who died in WWI. Later it became an orphanage which was closed and the property was eventually purchased by the Church.
The property has several acres and holds the Sydney Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its parking lot, The Buckland House which has become a large rambling administration building with many offices and meeting rooms, a distribution center, a mail room and supply room [that place is like Christmas for those of us who enjoy office supplies, there are LARGE closets of everything we need, dividers, binders, erasers, pencils, markers, etc. And if it is not there and we need it we can order it. In about 2 days it magically appears, like the calendar I needed for our white board.]
There are three other buildings which hold various offices. We are in the end building with the Social Services people. There is also the Mission President's home and a few other apartments near our office as well as a large storage building that holds supplies for missionary apartments.
|the entrance where we drive from our flat - temple on right|
|at the end of the property the sign to our office|
barely visible behind the greenery
|Elder Jenkins at the front of our building|
We have a PROX key which allows us access to pretty much every building on the campus. It is pretty cool to just hold up the card to the lock and hear a click and be able to open the door.
|Sister Jenkins pointing to our office window, |
at the back of the building facing the street.
|the back side of the temple, I love this tree!|
|front side of the temple|
|looking from the temple to the Buckland House|
|a walkway from the temple to the Buckland House|
|the side of the rambling Buckland House office building|
|front of the Buckland House and the street address 756 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford, NSW 2118|
|looking from the front of the Buckland house across the campus. Our building is on the far right|
|walk from the Buckland house towards our office. I love that palm tree!|
|there are so many eucalyptus trees in this area |
and the bark is so interesting
|on the drive from our office, more eucalyptus trees|
|love this bark!|
|more cool trees by the mail/supply room|
|in front of the distribution centre still on our way out|
|bird of paradise near distribution centre|
|another cool tree on the grounds|
So, there you have a tour of our campus and the lovely things we see every day...
The weather has been on the warm side but beautiful even when it rains. We are getting used to the driving on the left side. It is easier on the regular streets but on the busy 3-4 lane roads I still get stressed out. But it is getting better. No one has hit us and we have not hit anyone so that is good thing!
There were a couple of days this week when I struggled with feeling down. I missed our family and being able to feel like I knew what was going on. The learning curve for us is pretty steep. We are responsible for so much material to be effective in the assignment. There are just enough new things that as amazing and wonderful as they are some times become overwhelming to me. After a couple of days Elder Jenkins gave me a Priesthood blessing of strength and I have been doing so much better since then.
This coming week will be intense again. We had a late meeting Sunday night and will have night meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then Saturday morning we have been asked to give a workshop on self reliance as it relates to Family History. There are always so many things to do and places to go and people to meet. We love it and are so glad we are here. We are grateful we can serve the Lord at this time in this place.
|our beautiful sunset off our balcony last night|
Last night we had another beautiful sunset! I don't think I will ever get tired of the beautiful skies here.
|after the sunset - love the streaks!!!|
Oh, and some interesting words:
"let me move your sunnies" as she tried to show me how to wear a certain kind of necklace which I did not buy.[sunglasses]
"you need to caulk up this place because the cockies like to get in here. [cock roaches]
go over there and they will "sort it out for you" [figure it out]
"drive on the left unless overtaking" [passing]
your will need your brellies in the rain. [umbrellas]
I am going to study at the Uni [university]
I'm going to Tasi [Tasmania] where the Tasies live [Tasmanians]
There are more but my mind has gone blank. The accent is thick and fast and sometimes even if we know the words we don't understand the accent. :( But we are trying! HARD!