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Monday, April 24, 2017


Today is ANZAC Day, the official one. Everything is shut down including retail businesses until the afternoon. There were many sunrise services which seemed to begin somewhere between 4:15 AM ad 6:00 AM. Downtown Sydney has a "march" or a parade focused on veterans of the various wars. There is a great reverence and respect for the sacrifices of  the armed services here in Australia.  We considered riding the train down to see the march but decided to defer until next year when we are more comfortable getting around. Instead we slept until about 7 AM and will work here at the flat until going to the office in the afternoon. We even got our large frame hung where we can clip photos and cards, etc.

Every week bring us new adventures. This week we have experienced some car issues. It appears there is a transmission problem since it downshifted 3 times while driving home on the freeway the other night. Yesterday it went into the shop and for all their quick efficiency they did not have time to figure out the problem nor get it fixed. Thankfully there are a few extra fleet cars so we are not without transportation while we wait. But I hope it will be done before Friday.

very expensive!!!
Wednesday saw us once again driving to downtown Sydney. It is kind of scary when we don't know exactly where we are going but I do not think it is worse than driving in Seattle. We drove over the Sydney bridge which I look forward to walking across one day, and we actually found parking right beneath the office of the eye doctor we were going to see. Our appointment was 4 hours long so we paid $90.30 AUS by using our credit card. We will learn more about the train routes before the next visit so we will not have to pay so much!

The doctor was very good and immediately saw the problem and knew Elder Jenkins would need immediate surgery to halt the progression of his glaucoma. This Friday he will see the surgeon on the surgeon's first day back from vacation. He was already double booked but the staff was very kind and put us in anyway because the surgery is needed asap. So, we will see what news Friday brings.

Just across the street.

The cockatoos were particularly active one day. I was too slow with the camera to capture the flock of about 48 that noisily flew past our balcony. But I did capture a couple on the tree across from us and the couple that lighted on the balcony on the building next to us.

They are such noisy birds but really quite beautiful. I wish I was fast enough to get pictures of the green ones too so I could know exactly what kind they are. But they fly SO fast I can never get them. One day I was walking across campus and saw one of those fast green birds just sitting on a branch pruning itself. But of course I missed it!!!

It would have been fun if they had come too our balcony!

So, I have learned to take my camera with me when I walk across campus. Sadly I missed some great opportunities for good shots before I figure out that I needed to always have it with me.

on Campus

One day I looked out our window to see a dozen or so cockatoos feeding on the campus  lawn. We were headed over to the other office so I grabbed my camera. I was surprised that they stood so still. But here they are! 

looking west, north west.
                                                                                                  That same day the shadows were awesome.  We really do work on  a beautiful campus and it is such a pleasure to walk back and forth.

This tree is just next to our office.
Fallen beauties on the drive. It seems the blossoms drop very quickly.

We enjoyed our Zone Conference this week. There were 5 'zones' or groups of young missionaries plus the senior missionaries who attended. We enjoyed talks by the Church historian, Steven Snow, his wife and the assistant and his wife who gave us great glimpses of information and edified all  in attendance.  We were admonished to write in our journals the experiences we enjoy while on our mission because as life moves on we will not remember everything if it is not written down. So, I guess this blog is a part of my recording our experiences. 

Just before they left for other commitments the Mission Song was sung. WOW! It was so awesome. The melody comes from the Tongan hymnbook with beautiful words. I can't even describe my feelings as I listened to the great harmony as the song was sung by these beautiful young Sisters and Elders who are missionaries here in the Australian Sydney North Mission. It was electric and I of course was in tears and could not sing. I have learned that they also sang the song, Come Fill my Soul Today, at Christmas which was before our time and I found it on the mission Facebook page. So I have included the link if you would like to hear it. It is a great video but the song is really much better when you are present. But a  little peek at least. :)

We have enjoyed a few chats and calls with our family this week. Of course we are always hoping  to hear from our family and friends. By the way, if anyone wants to write to us here is our mailing address: 
for letters -  PO Box 2723, Carlingford, NSW, 2118, Australia 
or if you want to send us a package,
756 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford, NSW 2118, Australia. Just saying we would love to hear from you!

On Sunday we were able to attend a wonderful Stake Conference in Penrith. We enjoyed the meeting very much and felt our souls were fed with good messages. 
Friday during our Zone conference one of the speakers related a conversation with someone who asked if we, meaning members of the church, would be asked to live the law of consecration again. [The law of consecration basically gives us the opportunity to consecrate ourselves, times, talents, energy, etc to serve the Lord instead of doing things just for ourselves.] The answer to the question was "that some people are already living the law of consecration." In my journal I recorded the following thoughts:

"I have been pondering that statement. Then today as we were early to Stake Conference and were sitting there listening to the choir practice, and thinking about all the people it takes to put a Stake Conference together, I realized that so many people there were participating in living the law of consecration. 
I thought of the choir members who came more than an hour early, many with their young families, to practice their music to bring the Spirit to our meeting. I thought of the Temple President and Matron and their counsellors who attend the Stake Conferences for all the Stakes in the temple district, and speak, not to mention their 3 year service in the temple which we have learned is a lot of hard work. I thought of  President and Sister Checketts who also attend every Stake Conference in all 6 Stakes and the District and also speak, all the while scanning the audience and checking up on their 260+ 'children' as they spot some of their missionaries in the congregations. I thought of those who prepared and installed the beautiful floral arrangements, the ushers, the greeters and all who drove a long way from the Blue Mountains to attend the conference. 
And then I realized that they and we all are participating in the law of consecration to extent that we offer our time, talents and resources to further the Lord's work on the earth. And why do we do this, often at personal sacrifice? Because we love the Lord. It is as simple as that. We love the Lord and want to build up the kingdom in any way we can. As we sang the hymns I felt truly blessed to be here at this time, to hear the sweet voices of so many who are trying so hard to do what they can to be obedient."

This week has also been filled with teaching English and giving both the OPIC test and the Michigan test to some of the missionaries. I have come to love these wonderful missionaries. They really are great and it is so nice to get to know them.

So, the work goes on. This coming week there are many things in the works. We are still enjoying the sunsets! I can never get enough of our beautiful views.

Another beautiful sunset

and another!

great clouds!
an interesting plant on our balcony
misty morning

no description needed

expansive sky

the day is done!

1 comment:

  1. Elder Jenkins, Should we be concerned about your eye? Please send me an email with updated info :) Dr. Kuzin and I have been talking after reading this post. Phil Bastian :)