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Saturday, March 11, 2017


Can it really be that only 7 days ago we were newly here, putting away our groceries and getting ready for some much needed sleep?

So much has been happening I realized I had to write in my journal every night or I would forget what happened. Sunday our trainers took us to a Mount Druitt ward meeting. It was wonderful to feel the amazing spirit of those people with whom we will be working. The testimonies born were uplifting and made us feel happy. After the meeting we visited with the Bishop and a few other people. 

Then we were whisked off to a Stake Committee meeting  45 minutes away in the Sydney South Mission. What an amazing experience that was!!! The Chairman who is a counsellor to the Stake President and the couple who are the Stake Self Reliance Specialists are beyond awesome - I don't even have words to describe them. The love they have for the people in their Stake and their desire to help those people just brought me to tears.

A drive home, dinner fixed [some very nice Atlantic Salmon] and then off to the same building we went to earlier to hear a group of singers from New Zealand who called themselves The Brown Hymnbook. They had lovely mellow voices which lulled me to sleep. 😴 so sad.

I have learned that Jet Lag is very real. I have been tired when we have travelled before but never like this!

Elder Jenkins next to our car in the Normanhurst Chapel parking lot.
Monday we got our car. It is a white 4 door automatic GM Holden with black interior with  about 66,000 KM. And yes, it has the steering wheel on the right side of the car with the windshield wipers and signal arm reversed. Quite often the wipers are turned on when we want to signal a turn. And yes we drive on the LEFT side of the road. Our flat is only about 2 blocks from our office so driving back and forth gives us some experience.

Elder Jenkins at his desk.

We also were given our office keys and were shown around the campus. What a beautiful place it is!!! on another time I will post pictures of the campus but I have not had time to take any yet. Our office is very nice with 2 large desks and 2 computers as well as a shelving unit.  Our computers were set up for our use, Elder Jenkins got a new sim card for his phone with the Australian church phone number, and a lot of other little things that needed to be done. Monday evening we went to the Senior Family Home Evening gathering where we met the Mission President and his wife and 8-10 other senior couples. It was a nice evening but again I fell asleep during the presentation. Each of the other seniors have different and interesting assignments from gathering Australian Church history, to public relations, to legal, etc. It is wonderful to be together with so many people from such different backgrounds who all love the Lord and have a desire to serve. We will meet often with them.

So, every morning we get up and get ready and try to get to the office by 8:30 AM. That routine has not been a part of my life so it is taking some getting used. And I am in a skirt every day and Elder Jenkins is in a white shirt and tie and often his suit. Oh, and we have PROX keys which allow us to swipe and enter several offices. Cool!

The February  newsletter needed to be completed. That is a particular challenge for me. First of all I am now on a PC instead of my Mac and I need to use Word which is great but it is a huge learning curve. I have spent part of everyday working on that, gathering names of the people in the pictures submitted, editing, etc. Friday I sent it out only to discover that I had not saved it in pdf format as I thought!!! Oh well.

I am sure no one is interested in our day to day routine so I will try to hit only the high points.

I asked for and got a 4x8 white board installed in our office. Now we just need to get magnets so we can post the maps which show the areas of our stewardship. There are 6 Stakes and 1 District which reach from Sydney to Coffs Harbour. We will be driving to meet with a different congregation pretty much every week. We also plan to post the pictures of the people in the Stake committees that are our responsibility so we will know them as we try to understand how to better serve them.

Found this beauty, some sort of Cockatoo in the church parking lot.
Tuesday night we participated in a training meeting for the Service missionaries.  Wednesday evening we made our maiden voyage driving to the Normanhurst Ward building to attend the first meeting of a group who were taking the class of learning to start or improve their business. What a great bunch of people! and we made it home without any scrapes or fender benders although we did get honked at for going too slow. Thursday night we again ventured out and drove to the mall to get some stuff to set up our apartment. I hope it will be easier with practice.

Happy Costco customer!
Thursday our trainers took us to Costco! Wahoo! Elder Jenkins loves Costco! We were able to buy some food, new towels, and bath mats. Then it was back for a quick pot luck luncheon with the people in our building. But at least we know where to find it. And they showed us a kitchen place called Victoria's Kitchen that has all the kitchen stuff I am wanting. Gradually we are getting our flat in order.

Friday we met our Self Reliance Manager, he has been out of town and then sick but we had a great visit with him and he clarified our responsibilities although we have great leeway in how to accomplish them.  He also took us to lunch which was a treat. Despite all the food we have bought we have just been so busy that some days there is not really time for lunch, or dinner.😆

In our meeting with the Mission President he gave us an additional mandate. He has asked us to work every Wednesday with some of the young missionaries who do not have English as their first language. He wants us to help them improve their English. He, along with our self-reliance manager, feels that the best thing for these young people will be to learn to communicate in English so they can have better opportunities in their lives to be self reliant. Self -reliance is the name of the game!

Some good news is that my blood sugar is not high. The bad news is it has been too low and I have found myself waking up in the night not feeling well because it was too low. So I have had to eat something before going back to bed. I am adjusting my medications to avoid that problem.

Yesterday another senior couple came and asked if we would be interested in going with them to a market in Sydney today. We said 'yes'! 

The River Cat - our ferry to Sydney
So, this morning we drove wth them to catch a ferry which took us along the Parramatta River all the way to Sydney. We were in jeans - no skirts or ties  today 😊. But of course we still wore out missionary tags.

It was so beautiful! The weather is delightful. I guess fall is coming but it was in the high 70's F [25-26 C] and sunny. The market was fun. Lots to see but we only bought a fridge magnet, some licorice ,a calendar and some post cards..  They bought a cute nativity set for their daughter from a Christmas store. The characters were Australian animals. There were street performers, a large cruise ship docked. lots of people and a general air of festivity.
loved the color of these buildings
looking at Sydney Tower and other buildings

The Great Gatsby may have been filmed on this property.

along the route of the Parramatta River

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Bridge, name tags but no tie or skirt.

So, what have I learned this week?

I love Australia!
The skies are beautiful and feed my soul!
a random sunset from our balcony!

Tha people are diverse and friendly!
Jet Lag it REAL!
The Gospel is true and there is so much being done by the church too help people all around the world.
It stinks to have a cold!
We will be VERY busy with our responsibilities.

Oh, and I have phone service. At Vodafon we arranged for my sim card to be replaced so I have a local phone number. For only $40 AU/month I have unlimited calls in Australia, 300 international minutes and 7 G of data on a 12 month contract. After that we will see. 

Tomorrow we will drive with a couple out to Leura Ward which is in the Blue Mountains about 1 1/2 drive. A new adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update. Looks like things are going well and pretty exciting. I'm sure you'll both be great.