"Grand as it is, planet Earth is part of something even grander- that great plan of God. Simply summarized, the Earth was created that families might be." Elder Russell M. Nelson
Sunday, 1 May, 2016
Monday, April 25, 2016
Sheila writes in black, Rick in blue

I walk at 6:15 a.m. in the  morning.  When I walk the sun is just coming up and as I look over the busy Pennant Hills traffic I see a ball of fire in vivid orange and gold with a sprinkling of pink and blue sky behind.  It is an uplifting balm to my spirit as I gaze for a moment and then hurry on in my walk toward the Sydney temple.  This morning it was Pansy planting time on the temple grounds.  They are one of my favourite flowers.  Around and around I went until I had spent 40 minutes and then back to our flat to get ready to go to the office.  I am accompanied by the Kookaburra’s laugh, the blackbird’s sarcastic yack and the corella bird’s whistle.  What a glorious surrounding is mine.
I have included some pictures of the Plumeria tree and the Plumeria blossoms which have been falling for weeks.  They are lovely and greet me at the doorway to our office. 

As I was walking up the back, steep stairs in our office to our third floor wing, I had a moment of deja-vu that I had been here before.  This is the second time I have felt it on our mission; once when in the presence of our branch president, President Sully.  Sometimes I think the veil between past and present is rather thin.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I have rather decent hair, quite thick.  However, it does not thrive in humidity.  It gets ugly waves and frizz.  Sydney is very humid so every morning, after my walk among the dew covered grass and shrubbery, I return to the flat with unruly hair and I have to blow dry it which makes it very difficult to get to work on time.

Elder Berger is having less stomach distress which is good.  However, a better stomach with fewer pillows needed to prop him up, has resulted in tremendously loud snoring.  I'm talking the sound of a truck motor starting.  How he can sleep is beyond me.  Last night I gave up trying to sleep and reached over with my foot and poked him.  This was repeated about ten times during the night.  This morning, he suffered with a headache which he determined was because of my interfering with his sleep last night.  One of us will no doubt have to try the little bed in the extra bedroom.

I learned that President Checketts had shingles a few months ago.  What a terrible thing to happen to a man who is so very, very busy.  He is a loving man who cares deeply for these missionaries.  They are fortunate to have him in charge of this mission.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

While working on intake folders for the missionaries who will be coming, I noted one whose parents are both deceased and three whose parents are not members and do not want to be contacted.  My heart goes out to these wonderful young men and women who come here without any support.  I pray they will receive great spiritual support from the Holy Ghost to help them feel they are loved.

As we jaywalked across Pennant Hills for lunch we stopped to take pictures of the strange, interesting corncob bushes.

This plant is called a bottlebrush, I wonder why?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Today I received notification from the missionary department for 15 new missionaries arriving in July and October.  Now I get to see how well I remember the steps in what has to be done once I have waited a week to make sure they have received their call.

Friday, April 29, 2016

It was a very full day for both of us.  At the end of our work day, I handed over Elder Hsu's travel documents, weighted luggage and sent him to President Checkett's house to stay the night.  Elder Berger and Elder Leister will take him to the airport in the morning.  He is a darling elder from Taiwan who gave me a huge hug (allowed or not) before we parted.  His parents are not members and he goes home to little religious encouragement.  Elder Berger told him to keep doing what he is doing now:  get up at 6:30 in the morning, read the scriptures and pray and he will be okay.  After a very busy week, it was with pleasure that we joined two other senior couples and went to the Taste of Tuscany restaurant to eat. The food was very good and we all enjoyed having a good exchange of our feelings and experiences on our mission.

Left to right: Sister Leister, Sister Fillmore, Elder Fillmore, Yours Truly, Sister Berger, and Elder Leister.

Taste of Tuscany

Saturday, April 30, 2016

After Elder Berger returned from the airport, we joined Elder and Sister Black and took the train to down town Sydney where we walked the Sydney Harbour bridge, took pictures of the Opera House, walked around the shops at "The Rock" shopping area and had a lunch of skewered meat, rice and salad.  It was a lovely day.

We were so happy to receive baptism service pictures of our investigator JoAnn, from Armidale.  We were sorry to miss this but the twelve hour drive is just too much with our current assignments.

Left to right: Elder Peterson, Jo and Elder King


Jo received special permission to be baptized in the river as she said she felt directed to do so

Temple surveillance?

The path to the security gate that opens up the areas where senior couples reside.

Our missionary badge of honor ID and our security card with which we enter the Buckland House and our offices.

Part of the path on the way to work and the path where I walk in the mornings

Back door entrance to our office

The Plumeria tree at the back-door entrance.  These pretty flowers are falling everywhere

Plumeria blossoms

Sunday, May 5, 2016

Today we traveled with Elder and Sister Dinger to attend the ward they have been assigned to, the Leura Ward in the Blue Mountains which are a big tourist attraction along with the rock formations, The Three Sisters.  The church was built in 1983 by a non-mormon architect, Ken Woolley.  He did a little studying about the Mormon faith and decided to design the temple around the theme of light.  It is a one of a kind chapel.  It is white, white, white.  There are many windows letting in more light and allt he walls are painted white.  It was a lovely place to spend our Fast and Testimony Sunday.

I thought as I walked in how much I love this church.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ but I also love the organization of the church and how I can go almost anywhere in the world and find similar people believing, similar things.  They are not perfect people but they are good people, trying to be better. What a joy my membership and particularly, my testimony of the church is to me!

The Leura Chapel

This courtyard is accessible from the inside hallway.

One side of the chapel has these windows and the other side has skylight windows in the walls

1 comment:

  1. It was an absolute pleasure having you both with us. Thank you for your dedication and service to the Lord.