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Monday, April 17, 2017


Easter has come and gone. Australia begins to celebrate with Good Friday and ends with Easter Monday. Some of the schools even had a week's break so there was a lot of traffic of people leaving town on Thursday. It was bumper to bumper on the road in front of campus. I am sure it was equally busy as they a returned home but we were not close by to notice. But the beauty and meaning of Easter is not over.

I am so grateful for our Savior and  His sacrifice for us. Many years ago Bruce R. McConkie, who was one of the twelve apostles, gave a moving talk about his feelings for the Savior. Fortunately it is available online and I am posting the link here in case you have not heard his testimony. He died shortly after giving this talk. I hope the link works and you will enjoy listening to him.

April 14
There is no other way to say it but I LOVE SUNSETS!!! It seems every evening we are treated to another beautiful sight. I have been taking pictures almost every evening, at least when we are home. Our world is such a beautiful place. My heart swells as I view so much beauty.

It is a huge blessing that we are on the 4th floor so we can see so far without obstruction. Every day I spend a  few minutes, morning and evening, on our balcony whether I am on the elliptical or just standing there soaking in the beauty. 

We actually went for a walk this week. Elder Jenkins' hip is doing much better and we had a nice walk around our neighborhood. As he gets stronger we will do more walking. We are close enough to walk to the office but we always seem to have so many bags to carry it is impractical. So we will try to walk in the evenings.
April 15

April 16
 We visited a doctor this week to establish ourselves as patients. He is a sharp doctor and we both appreciated his manner with us as he impressed us with his understanding and knowledge of our issues. He gave us some 'scrips' to  renew some of our meds which we will probably get filled later this week. It was an hour and a half 'surgery' visit that  afternoon. [Surgery is the term for medical office.]

We thought we were going to lose our car for a day or two so we went grocery shopping and stocked up. but the next day when we took our car in for service we were quickly done and did not lose our car at all.

On our walk April 13. The sky over the park or 'reserve'.
 We are enjoying our English classes with our missionaries. It is just fun to be with them and we hope they are learning what they need to learn. We were trained on giving another English proficiency test. This one is called the OPIC test.

The missionaries get signed in and then talk to an avatar on the computer to do the exam. The results come in a couple of days when a certificate indicating a level of proficiency it generates which we print and laminate.

This certificate will help those going back to their countries get a better position or job when they can show a certificate of English proficiency.

We had the opportunity to practice giving the test when the couple who has been training us invited us along when they went to their area to give 3 tests. It was fun to learn the glitches so we can know what to do when we give it on Wednesday.

April 13
 We had a great Skype meeting this past week as we learned from our Area Seventy about his meeting while he was in Salt Lake City for General Conference. He talked about how the Prophet, who attended their instructional meetings was frail but that his mind was sharp. He also explained some of the things that we need to emphasize as we work with self reliance. It really is amazing that with all that goes on in the Church that the Prophet gives direction which he gets from the Lord. 

We spend many hours in our office writing and answering emails about various meetings we need to attend, working on the newsletter, learning where places are in relation to where we need to go,  and learning more about the self reliance materials. This initiative is so amazing!
April 12
We understand that it will be rolled out in our home Stake in Washington state this spring and we are excited about the blessings that will be available to those who chose to participate.

We attend a different ward each week and really enjoyed our Easter Sunday when we went to Kellyville Ward and discovered several people there we already knew. That was such a nice surprise.

A great beauty of Australia is her people. We love the people! I can honestly say that in our time here I have only had occasion to be in contact with one rude person. That was a teenage boy on the train the other day who did not want to give up his seat, or rather his scooter's seat, to a young girl and her boy friend. It was sad because he ruined my streak of no rude people.

Look familiar?

On our way home from doing the OPIC tests we had a meal at Hungry Jacks. They had whoppers. I think the pictures will speak for themselves. But in case you do not figure it out. They are actually Burger King. It is just funny to me.


Don't know if you can make out the order display but we were with our friends and we all got the same thing as shown below. Two whopper juniors for $5.00 each. Two "Super Stunners" which consisted of a cheeseburger, fries, 3 chicken nuggets, a drink and an ice cream dessert for $5.99 each.
Our meal for four.

That was a pretty good price because four of us got plenty full for about $22 Australian. In US funds that is about $4 each.

However the whoppers were kind of expensive compared to the 'super stunner' deal.
Saturday our senior missionaries got together at 7:30 AM to take a train to downtown Sydney and then the light rail to Darling Harbour and the Sydney Exhibition Centre to see the Spirit of Anzac exhibit. It was really a wonderful experience. The exhibit itself was amazing in the way it was presented and we learned so much. I did not know that Anzac meant  Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The whole exhibit portrayed primarily  the Australian involvement in WWI. It was moving and brought me to tears as I thought about so many who lost their lives. I also  was brought to think about my own grandfather who fought in WWI. He was only 17 when he was drafted into the German army. He would have fought against the Australians but I do not know if they were in the same theaters. War is always sad.

Heading towards the exhibition

After getting off the light rail we walked along this beautiful view. Sydney has some truly beautiful buildings. And I love the palm trees!

Such an amazing building.

Only a few months old this amazing building has many rooms for exhibits which are laid out so nicely.

In the foyer waiting to be allowed into the exhibit.

Although the tickets to the exhibition were free we could not choose our time. We were a large group and were assigned to come at 9 AM when it opened. We sat as a group for our instruction after which each of us got our headphones and the controller that allowed us to click on different displays to have info sent to our email. If you are interested in reading any of the information the link is:

The letters were made up of many different red poppies
 created with fabric, paper, yarn,  etc

The population of Australia took a huge hit with so many casualties. It is hard to see on the picture but there were 155,000 wounded in WWI.

This Anzac Day display was at the end of the exhibit. 

View of Sydney from the Exhibition Centre

The Sydney skyline is beautiful and always a delight for me to see.

Leaving and walking along a wall of stock market numbers

Can you spot the boomerangs on his tie?
On our way home we stopped by Paddy's Market. Wow! that is retail overload! Definitely a place full of "stuff". There is a tie shop many of the missionaries like to frequent because it carries "Australian"  ties. And because so many missionaries come there the owner gives all the missionaries a special price of $8 per tie. [That would be about $6 US] He can identify us by our name tags and probably does a great business. We bought 4 ties with Australian motifs, and Elder Jenkins found a hat he liked.

While it appears we have been playing a lot we have also been working a lot. Later on Saturday we met with the chairman of the  Harbour Stake Self-Reliance committee to discuss , what else?, self-reliance. 

After that we were privileged to stay for a baptism. There were 3 young adults who were baptized. They were all Asian. Sydney has so many universities or 'unies' as they are called here, with many foreign students. Many students come from China and somehow find the church. They are attracted to the truth when they hear it and want to be baptized. On Saturday these 3, 2 young women and 1 young man each bore their testimonies of the Gospel. I was amazed at the maturity of their testimonies. 

I met one of the young women in the restroom just before we left. She began talking with me telling me how this would always be such an important day in her life. Her excitement about the Gospel was amazing. She told me that Heavenly Father had told her the Gospel was true and that the Book of Mormon was true. She was so happy and just kept hugging me. Her home was in China 'near the capital'. She was well educated and well spoken and so humble and so excited to have found the truth.

And yesterday Elder Jenkins got his haircut again. This was important because we found the  barber shop of the man who had cut his hair last month when they talked about the Book of Mormon. If you remember this Iranian man told him that his pastor had said the Book of Mormon was a bad book. The barber was surprised to realize that we also believed in Jesus Christ. Well this time he got his own Book of Mormon, actually 2 of them, one in English and one in Farsi. He indicated that he would have to show his pastor to which my husband replied "Great. Each person just needs to read it and then ask God for himself to know if it is true." It will be interesting to see how things go with his haircut next month. Either the barber will have read the Book of Mormon or his pastor will have convinced him it is an evil book.

We love being on this mission. It truly is wonderful to work with so many like minded people who have testimonies of the Restored Gospel. It is a safe place to be and we love it. Of course there are challenges, pretty much every day, as we try to learn and do what is necessary for our responsibilities. Often we fall into bed exhausted but always we are grateful to be here serving the Lord.

And it is a tender mercy that we live in such a nice place. Here is our flat. We are in the building to the right on the 4th floor. Our flat which is in the front side of the building has that lovely balcony which faces west. 

Thankfully we have elevators which carry us up and down. We have 3 parking spots. Two of them are together and we always park in the middle so we have lots of room. There is another one somewhere for our guests to park but we have not found it yet. Thankfully it has not been needed

The parking is about 4 levels which are accessed by this gated entry. We need our little remote to get in. I am always nervous that the gate will come shut before I get through even though there is a beam that would be broken by the car and stop the door 

We are in #60. There are 5 flats on our floor. The hallway is such a boring white but the flat itself is very nice. 
This is a blossom on one of the trees on the
property of  our flat.

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