"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, June 12, 2016
Monday, June 6-Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Sheila writes in black, Rick in blue.
Sorry that we are late posting this week, we are training the great new office couple and have been very busy. Please cut us some slack, I am posting without my usual editing. You may see misspelled words and duplicate pictures. 

After work we joined the other senior missionary couples, and took the train downtown to see Vivid. During June the businesses put on light shows on the outside of their buildings which they call Vivid. They are beautiful.  We enjoyed each other's company and had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant in downtown Sydney.  We will miss our association with these wonderful people.  On the train ride to the event, one of the sisters said to me, "It really is a sacrifice to leave my grandchildren behind and miss their growing up."  She said only the fact that she loved her Savior so much was she here and I agreed 100%.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It is hard to prepare to train someone when you are so very busy doing the job you need to train them on and still learning yourself.  Tomorrow our replacements arrive as well as two new missionaries that I have prepared arrival folders for.  We are hearing that it is pretty cold in Armidale, frost on the ground in the mornings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Cox couple are sweet people in the seventies, eager to serve, happy to be here.  The house that is on the complex for them is a wonderful place to reside.  It has two floors, a huge dining room and living room and even a piano.  There is a lovely garden spot outside and every reason to feel very much at home.  However, in the job that I have been doing, there is little time at home other than to eat and go to bed except on the weekends.

As we have had opportunities to spend more time with the missionaries we have grown to love and enjoy them and it will sad to lose that association.  They love to come in and see what I am working on and quiz me on who the new arrivals are and when they will be here.  News of other missionaries is something they seldom have and are excited to hear.

We had a lovely surprise when Elder Berger's phone rang and it was the MacDonald family from Armidale in Sydney for a little vacation and they wanted to see us.  They were at the temple grounds which is very close to us so we had them come over to the office and spent about twenty minutes with them.  Tessa brought me a flower she had picked on her walk from the temple and Toby, following her example, handed me a green branch he had picked from one of the bushes.  They are such a wonderful family and Elder Berger commented after that all of the children seem very happy.

Thursday and Friday

I am really surprised at the constant flow of questions, needs and responsibilities we have.  In a conversation with the secretary of the Sydney South mission, she said she had never worked harder and would agree.

President Checketts with his pork-pie hat

We love President Checketts, He is a very special person and is perfect for his calling.

Elder Leister, fleet secretary, which means he handles cars and flats.

Elder Mackey, he and his wife are self reliance missionaries

Elder and Sister Asplund, Seminary and Institute missionaries.  This is their fourth mission and they said they are ready to hang up their hats so to speak.

President and Sister Checketts and Elder and Sister Mackey at the restaurant

The Vida  restaurant where we ate

Sister Dinger and Sister Ellis

Waiting for the train.

Lots of foot traffic at Vivid

These images are projected onto the buildings.

And on the roof of The Opera house.

The Opera House which changed colors and patterns all night long

Waiting for the train back to our flat

Sydney at night.

Leisters and Dingers.  Elder Dinger has a direction app and was thrilled to keep track of the train schedules

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Two of the sisters lost their support cards and the replacements arrived yesterday so Elder Berger and I ventured out on our own for the first time to take the train to downtown Sydney.  We had the sisters take us on a tour of the Singles Ward building which is inside a business building but very nice.  We walked to Paddy's Market which is like a huge, three floor garage sale.  One booth was closing out everything and some of the clothing was $5.00.  However, she would not allow anyone to try anything on.

One of the longest escalators we have been on, taking us down into the bowels of the earth to board our train for Sydney.

Paddy's Market

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Today we again attended the Oakhurst ward in Hebersham.  They are a strong group of mostly Samoans and Tongans.  Because there are four wards meeting here, as I previously  mentioned the Relief Society and Priesthood meet at opposite ends of the cultural hall and it is quite noisy but Relief Society still has a lace tablecloth!

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