Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December 21, 2014  (Australia Date)

It is winter at home with cold temperatures, rain and snow while we are enjoying the beginning of summer with temperatures in the 80's and sometimes 90's.  When it get really hot for a few days we get summer storms full of lightning, thunder and rain.  On occasion the heavens even send down some hail.  We had an amazing storm on the 27th of November.  Sister Parsons and I were at the mission home helping to make beds when it hit.  There were hail stones over an inch in diameter.  Put a number of dimples in the mission cars that were out in it.  President Henderson was kind enough to go out and move our car into the garage but not before it had a number of dimples.  The storms move very fast with a lot of wind, lightning and thunder.  They are amazing to watch especially after dark when the whole sky lights up. 

Bribie Beach

On November 29th we drove north to Bribie Island which is the only island on the Queensland coast that you can drive to.  It had an amazingly long beautiful sandy beach on the ocean side.  The sand was like sugar and we walked in the surf as many people played in it.  The water was bath water warm.  It is the best beach we have found.  Our next trip to Bribie, my swimsuit will go and I will enjoy the surf.

Bribie Beach

I had to walk the beach under an umbrella because on the 19th of November I had gone to have a spot on my nose checked out.  There is so much skin cancer in Australia that there are cancer screening clinics everywhere.  This red spot had appeared this summer and just would not go away.  It did not hurt but it concerned me. So I went to a clinic down the street from the mission office.  A doctor checked my entire body and was only concerned with the spot I had come in for.  She took a biopsy and the results came back as Basal Cell Carcinoma.  The Clinic doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon, Dr. Belt.  I saw him on the 2nd of December and was scheduled for surgery on the 4th at 8:15 AM.  We arrived about 7:20 and I was in surgery before 8AM and back to the flat by 9:30 with a stop at the Chemist to pick up some pain medication which I did not have to use.  I had two options: 1. To have the surgery with only local deading or 2. To be put under while the surgery was done.  I chose to do a local and am very glad I did.  I felt nothing and did not have the side affects of being put under.  I had very little swelling or pain and know that is a blessing given to me by the Lord.  President Henderson gave me a blessing the night before surgery and blessed me to write down my impressions during this time and to remember the Lord loves me and is aware of my work.     
Brisbane Temple Night View

I know that the Lord blessed me with this calling to Australia because he knew, I would need this medical care.  He blessed me to be just down the street from the clinic where it was diagnosed and a referral to an amazingly talented plastic surgeon.  I would not have this care in Tonga nor even been diagnosed with it until I returned home and maybe not then.  In President Henderson’s blessing he told me the Lord loves me and is aware of my service.  There are times when I wonder if he knows me even though I try to live worthy of his blessings and love.  It was good to hear of his love in the blessing.  It brought me great peace.

All the stitches are out and it is healing really well.  I am told by the physician who is serving here in our mission that in six months it will hardly be noticeable.   Noticeable or not it is better than the skin cancer hanging out on my nose.

This mission is much different than the first mission to Poland.  We have a lovely flat to come home to every night.  It is so rewarding to be able to support the mission by working in the mission office.   We have been able to participate in the zone conferences, transfer meetings, new missionary orientations and best of all welcome all the new missionaries into the mission every six weeks.  We have some amazing missionaries here in this mission.  They are from 33 countries.  Some have so little but their faith and courage to travel far from home to serve the Lord for 2 years or 18 months.  Many of them will take home experiences that will affect Their entire lives and many lives they touch.  We had a young missionary, Elder Porutu in the office for about two months.  He came from a horrible background and has little support from family in French Polynesia.  Last transfer he was sent back out into the field and this transfer he was made a trainer.  I am so proud of him.  Hopefully he will return and make major changes in his life and the life of his family.  I pray he will have the desire and opportunity to attend college someday.  I want to keep in touch with him when he leaves which will be next transfer in January.

What an amazing view we have of the mission from the mission office.  I am working with Sister Henderson to improve the flats and help teach the missionaries to respect and take care of the flats they are provided.  Some do not know how to clean and some do not understand the need.  They have a tendency to put up with things and not report problems with the flats as they are only going to be there for a short time.  We need to change that perception.

Bethlehem Market

There was a Christmas program at the Temple on December 13 - 14, 2014.  There was a live nativity, a Bethlehem market, shepherds and sheep, the Three Wise Men, two small singing groups around the stake center grounds which is next to the Brisbane Temple.  Each night there were two concerts.  A community Choir performed on Saturday night and a Church Young Adult Choir on Sunday who performed “The Forgotten Carols”.  Sister Parsons and I went Saturday night and had I known they were doing “The Forgotten Carols” on Sunday we would have gone then too.  Good thing we did not because many people could not get into the concert on Sunday.  People started lining up outside the gate at 5PM and it opened at 6PM.  There were over 2,000 attendees Sunday night and 1000 on Saturday night.  It will be an event again next year.  There was some concern about the weather but only had a couple of small sprinkles Sunday evening.

Three Wise Men


Wheel of Brisbane
Monday evening December 15, five senior couples went downtown Brisbane to attend the Meyer Christmas Parade and then the Christmas market at Southbank.  We parked at the Temple which s on the bluffs overlooking the river.  Walked down to the river and took the free ferry over to Queen Street where the parade was held.  It is a pedestrian street with multiple shops.  Most were open.  This town closes up at 5:00 PM except for Thursday night when the stores stay open until 9PM.  The parade was well attended.  It is held nightly until Christmas Eve.  The market was made of  Christmas vendors but we did not look much because we were all so hungry by the time we arrived.  We were just looking for food.  We walked by the Wheel of Brisbane on our way to the market.  It is right on the river and am sure has an amazing view of the city from the top.  Will let you know later.....

Christmas Tree with Church behind

South Bank w/city skyline

Giant Grasshopper

We had a visitor to one of our plants last week.  Looks just like a grasshopper but 10-20 times larger.  We did not let him stick around too long because he was devouring our nice green plant.  Sister Parsons knocked him off the balcony with the broom handle.

So here is our Australian Christmas tree for those who did not see it on Facebook.  It turned out pretty cute and was easy to decorate.  It brightens up our lounge (living room).

The best news of all is my Grand-daughter, Kiera, who was serving a mission in Curitiba, Brazil returned home on the 1st of December.  She had a marvelous mission and influenced a lot of lives in Brazil.  Her Mother was extremely happy to have her home but it will be short lived as she will be returning to BYU Provo in January. 

I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and express my love for my Savior whose birth we celebrate.  He came to earth to provide a way for our return to our Heavenly Father.  I could never express my gratitude for all that he has done for us.  I do not have the words.  But I know he lives just as our Heavenly Father lives.  Heavenly Father loves us so much he sent his son to endure all that is required for our salvation.  May we each remember our Savior at this Christmas season. 

Happy New Year 2015.......

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spring Continues Down Under - Summer Close

I am including a few more pictures of the senior couples from the Senior Conference.  We currently have 12 senior couples and Sister Parsons and I in the mission.  One couple is going home in December and another is coming at the end of this month.  Half of them are assigned to cities in Northern Queensland to help support the Wards and Districts.  The mission is so large it is difficult for the mission president to cover it all so these senior couples are a tremendous help with the members and missionaries.  This mission has approximately 280 missionaries and over 100 flats (apartments).  I have just been given responsibility for the flats so am working with President and Sister Henderson to improve the quality of the flats as well as help the missionaries understand their responsibility in taking care of the flats.  The missionaries have a tendency to just live with something like a leaky faucet, broken towel rack, etc rather than take the time to report the problems.  We are trying to change that attitude so the Spirit can be there.

Elder & Sister Mizukawa withe Elder & Sister Madsen


On October 16, 2014 Pat and I took the City Cat which is the river ferry from Brett’s Wharf (almost to the end of the line before the river reaches the ocean) to the last stop upriver, Queensland University.  It took us almost two hours but I learned a lot about Brisbane.  They had a small booklet which explained the stops and sites along the way.  

The Story bridge was built in 1940 and is one of three bridges in the world you can climb.  Pat and I plan on climbing it before we leave maybe in the spring when it cools down.  Right now it is a little hot to be climbing a steel bridge. 
Story Bridge & Skyline
Climbers on Bridge

The Custom House opened in 1889 and operated for nearly a century before being refurbished to include a stylish restaurant and functions venue. 

Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a popular spot for recreational use and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park offers spectacular views of Brisbane.  The naval stores at the bottom of the cliffs were built in 1867, and were used for training the naval brigade as well as storing weapons for the fledgling navy.  The Brisbane Temple now sits at the top of the cliffs in a very prominent place.

Brisbane Temple
Kangaroo Point Cliffs


South Bank Parklands opened in 1992, it to tohas become the Brisbane’s inner-city playground with it’s beach, rainforest, cafes and ferries wheel reminiscent of the London Eye but closer to the size of the one at the Seattle Wharf.
South Bank Ferries Wheel

 On October 24th there was a Tri-Stake Ball held in Southern Brisbane.  Our Sister Hansen who worked at BYU for years over the catering department was asked to help with the refreshments.  At the last minute she needed help with the preparation and set up so Sister Parsons and I went to help.  We had an enjoyable time helping.  It was fun working with someone who make her living at putting together functions for the President of BYU and the President of the Church. With my limited experience in Relief Society I made a good worker bee.  It turned out beautiful as you see from the pictures.

On November 8th we drove south to Burleigh Heads National Park.  To aboriginal people Burleigh Headland is known ad Jellurgul, and the rock formations were created by Jabreen an important ancestral figure.  For generations, Burleigh has provided challenging hollow waves that have proven the ideal breeding groung for surfboard design advances and home-grown champions.  Fittingly, Burleigh Heads are the birth-place of modern professional surfing competitions, the first man-on-man cometitions was held here.  It is renowned throughout the surfing world for its unique waves and is sacred to many.

Gold Coast North Views

Burleigh Heads - Coral Sea

It was a lovely warm day with a slight breeze.  We found a take out place for lunch and sat in a park under some amazing trees.  My grandsons would have loved them when they were young boys.  I could just picture them up in the branches having a jolly good time.

The week of November 10 - 17, 2014 was the big G20 as they called it.  The gathering of world leaders to discuss numerous world issues.  The city had prepared for a year and anticipated lots of revenue from all the entourages who came into town.  The city declared a holiday on Friday the 16th making it a three day weekend.  The city cleared out.  The restaurants downtown closed and there was no traffic or people on the street.  The highways out of town on Friday were a solid traffic jam going north and going south.  Putin did not get a very friendly reception and left a day early saying he need to get some sleep.  He had his military flotilla out in the Coral Seas just to flex some muscle.  The Australians lost quite a number of people on the flight shot down over the Ukraine.  I was happy to be living north of downtown so we were not affected by the road closures, etc.

Because we thought the city would be a mess we drove up the coast about an hour and a half to the town of Eumundi.  They have a market there every Wednesday and Saturday.  They have over 300 vendors with everything from macadamia nuts to local artist including many clothing, crafts, garden, and fruit/vegetable booths.  It was really hot that day.  I had one lady tell me I looked really hot and she was so right.  I was happy to get back into the air conditioned car.  The locals said it was unusually hot for this time of year.  I am going to have to get used to this hot humid heat because I understand January and February get pretty hot and humid because that is the rainy season.

Speaking of rain we had an amazing rain storm on Wednesday afternoon.  I have never seen it rain so hard with thunder and lightning.  We stayed at the mission office until 6PM because it was too rainy to go outside.  Elder Shute called about 4:30 to tell us the roof of their house was leaking from the entry clear though the dining area.  Later he called to say the ceiling was bulging.   I called the agent to report the problem but no one could come until the storm let up.  About 7PM his wife called to say they had no overhead power but that the lower outlets worked.  That worried me so I called the agent again and he had an electrician go out.  The electrician turned off half the house power because it was shorting.  The Shutes were hosting a big party on Friday night so hopefully they got everything cleaned up - not repaired that is going to take some time.  Have not heard of the roofers made it on Friday hopefully since I have not heard.  Going to be some major repair work there. 

Plumera Bossom

The Poinsea trees are in bloom.  They line almost every street and are beautiful.  Most are a red orange but a few are a lighter orange shade.  They grow very large seed pods during the summer.  The Plumera trees are also beginning to bloom.  I love the Plumera blossoms and the fragrance they have.  They are also in multiple colors: white, pink, and yellow.   And I will get to see them bloom again next year......
Poinsea Tree

Poinsea Blossoms

Having a great time here especially when I hear about the cold weather back in the States.  Enjoy your winter fun.  I won’t miss it a bit. 

Happy Thanksgiving, they do not celebrate it here so we are going to do something at the office in celebration.  The mission office Christmas decorations are up but it does not feel like Christmas.  Sister Parsons and I bought some small red ornaments to put on our fern for Christmas.  Merry Christmas too

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spring in Queensland, Australia

It is spring in Australia....  The flowers are in bloom, the birds are singing every morning to wake us and the weather is sunny and warmer every day.  I am loving it.  Sister Parsons and I went to Toowoomba on Tuesday, Sept 23, to enjoy the Toowoomba Flower Festival.  It was about a 90 minute drive southwest of Brisbane through some beautiful farm land and rolling hills.  About half way there we came across a fruit and vegetable market called The Big Orange.  We stopped and picked up some beautiful vegetables at very reasonable prices. 

The Toowoomba Flower Festival is held every year.  There are different categories of gardens: Australia natural plant gardens, home flower gardens, yard gardens, etc.  The entries are judged and awarded places in whatever category they entered.  The public gardens were not a part of the competition but were amazing.  Queens Park was a blaze of colors and textures with a large variety of flowers: snapdragons, sweet peas, tulips, petunias, pansies, daisies, etc.  I saw the most amazing tree.  It is called a bottle tree and you can see why from the picture.  There are some really amazing trees here.

Queens Park

We visited the Information Center to see what was available.  Bus tours were about $45 for four hours and approximately 5 gardens which did not include the public parks.  We opted to drive ourselves.  We were provided a map with a booklet which listed all the gardens and the categories.  We visited five or six residential gardens as well as two public gardens.  It is amazing  what fits into a garden.  So much work and expense goes into these gardens.  You must have a love for gardening to do what these people do.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.        


Zone conferences for the missionaries began on Sept 22.   The Brisbane area is divided into 10 zones.  Each zone conference included two zones which is about 30 to 45 missionaries.  The mission president and his wife teach the young missionaries how to be better missionaries and to teach people not lessons.  They involved the senior missionaries in this zone conference.  Sister Parsons and I presented a funny skit on cleaning flats. We outlined Daily, Weekly and Deep Cleaning tasks and tried to encourage them to be obedient in completing these tasks and then when they get a notice of a flat inspection by the owner or the real estate agent it will be easy to have the flat clean and tidy because they are keeping it up everyday and week on Preparation Day.   (Preparation day is Monday each week when the missionaries should be cleaning their flats, grocery shopping, playing sports and possibly site seeing if time allows.

It is their one free day in the week.).  Many missionaries either do not understand how to clean or do not understand the importance of taking care of their flats.  We tried to get them to understand they are representatives of Christ and need to leave the landlords and owners with a good impression of us as responsible missionaries.

It is their one free day in the week.).  Many missionaries either do not understand how to clean or do not understand the importance of taking care of their flats.  We tried to get them to understand they are representatives of Christ and need to leave the landlords and owners with a good impression of us as responsible missionaries.  We performed in five zone conferences but were glad to see the last one roll around.   It was been great fun.  It is a good way to meet and get to know the missionaries.  Each of the senior missionaries in the office participated in some way.  Sister Montague played a game with the missionaries where they had to answer questions about the Baptismal forms.  It was fun as well.  Elder Montague presented information on mileage logs which will be a requirement from now on.  They are to record mileage each day as well as maintenance  and gas purchases.   He also inspected all the cars for maintenance, tire tread, and cleanliness. 

Funky Tree along the Street

On the 4th of October we drove south to Springbrook National Park.  It is approximately 1.5 hours southwest of Brisbane in the Gold Coast Hinterlands.   It’s geological origins date back to the vast shield volcano that was last active 10 million years ago.  Mt. Warning is its’ remnant core.  The Aboriginals called this mountain, Wollumbin meaning ‘cloud catcher.’  The  Kombumerri people, although mostly coastal dwellers, visited this mountain.  Many stone tools have been found.  European settlement began in 1906 when dairy farmers cleared the forest for pastures.  Many of the biggest trees were also logged.  The forest is reclaiming its’ land with much of the mountain covered in magnificent trees creating a haven for wildlife.

 The road up the mountain is very winding and narrow.  In places it is one lane wide.  There are a number of trails that can be hiked but also loop road with a number of scenic lookouts.  Some requiring a short walk and some right on the road.  You can see what a giant eruption it was by the enormous cauldron which is now a forest, farm land and home for wildlife and birds.

Fern Tree

On the 6th of October the senior missionaries from up north began to arrive for our Senior Missionary Conference.  It was nice to meet all the couples from up North.  We had a wonderful three days.  One full day being taught by our Mission President and his wife and three of the senior couples.  That evening we drove south to the Gold Coast to attend a dinner show at Australian Outback Spectacular.  It was held in a very large arena with a screen at one end on which they projected segments of the show outlining the history of the Australian cattle and sheep industry.  There were also performances in the arena which included horses pulling wagons, stage coaches, as well as trick riders and other riders.  At the end of the show they had approximately 12 riders carrying the Australian flag riding precision maneuver in the arena.  Part of the admission included an Australian Outback cowboy straw hat and dinner.  The dinner was not bad and they had the serving of it down to a science.   The second day we went to Elder and Sister Orth’s home on Tamborine Mountain for lunch.  They have a lovely home on the mountain which also has a view of Warning mountain.  Everyone left Thursday to return home and we went back to the office to catch up.

This weekend was a restful one.  I had downloaded General Conference onto my computer so we were able to sit in our lounge (living room) and watch it.  We did go the New Farm Park Sunday afternoon with a picnic lunch to see the Jackaranda trees in bloom.  The lavender blossoms are so vibrant and beautiful.  The park is right on the Brisbane river so we found a bench overlooking the river and enjoyed our lunch and spent some time reading.  It was a lovely day.
Jackaranda Tree
Tree in New Farm Park

October is Pink Up Racecourse Road.  Racecourse Road begins at one of the two horse race tracks in Ascot.  Horse racing is a big thing in Australia.  The community and merchants on Racecourse Road have decorated the trees lining the street in pink.  We are to vote on our favorite tree as part of the celebration.  I have included a couple of tree pictures for you.

I am enjoying the mission and love the financial work I am doing.  It is much different from the first mission.   Each mission is different in many ways but the same as we are serving Heavenly Father and his children.  May the Lord bless each of you wherever you are......

May the Lord Bless You Every Day.......

That is is for this time........

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 7, 2014

Time flies!  I had not idea it has been almost a month since I posted anything.  So I will try and catch everyone up with my activities.

Sunday, August 15, Pat and I took a walk around the neighborhood after church.  There were a lot of items on the curbs.  Pat kept teasing me about picking up a toilet as a planter for our balcony.  We had walked about three blocks when we came upon two wicker barrel chairs and a settee on the curb.  As we were looking at them a man came walking by so I asked him what was going on and he explained if it is on the curb it is for the taking.  There was a free community pick up the next day.  We were trying to decide how we could get the furniture back to our apartment.  The man said he had a friend down the street who had a ute (pickup).  He left to find him but came back with a different friend.  The ute friend was not home.  The two men carried the settee to our apartment while Pat watched over the two chairs.  I was to bring the car back to load the chairs but realized Pat had picked up the keys just as we left the house so back up the street I went.  She met me half way after realizing she had the keys when I did not return as soon as expected.  We got the car and returned to the corner just in time to see a woman fondling our chairs.  Pat jumped out of the car and told the woman kindly that we had just taken the Settee home and the chairs had been claimed.  She was very nice and said okay.  Well we could only get one chair in the trunk at a time so I sat in the other chair waiting for Pat to return.  I was not very patient so decided to roll the chair down the street.  That worked for a short time and then I picked it up and was carrying it when a car pulled over to the curb and a young woman hopped out and asked if I needed help.  I was really grateful for her help.  She carried the chair about a block and a half when Pat came down the street and we loaded it into the trunk.  We thanked the young girl for her help.  We were blessed twice that afternoon with two different good Samaritans.  The three pieces are in amazingly good condition.

Sete before
Went to Costco on Saturday to purchase items for a potluck dinner the following week to celebrate a new couple coming to the Mission and President Henderson’s birthday.  He had no idea we were including his birthday.  SURPRISE.....and we pulled it off.  It was a Mexican theme dinner with chicken enchiladas, salad, 7 layer dip, chips and of course cake (several kinds).  We had a great time and got to know two couples from up North who were in Brisbane.  One couple to attend the temple with a couple from their area who were being sealed and the other couple going home to Cody, Wyoming.  The couple who came into the mission that week are from St. George.  He is a well know doctor there and will be helping Sister Henderson with the missionary medical issues.  He was also my uncle’s doctor before he came on this mission.

The Costco here is just like home for the most part.  They sell a lot of American goods but also have a number of Australian items.  We met two different families who are members of the church while in the store.  Our badges tip them off and they always speak.  It is so much fun being able to connect with the people here.

So this week we had a bit of an incident at our flat.  We had never checked our mailbox so for some unknown reason I checked it on Tuesday.  Lots of junk mail but there was a note from our neighbor who was complaining about our heater.  It was too loud and he requested we turn it off by 8:30 each night so he could sleep.  It did not sound loud to us but he was disturbed because he had lived with this for a whole month without saying anything.  We took the letter to the landlady who said that was ridiculous and she would take care of it.  A couple of nights later about 9:30 PM we began to hear this banging on our wall and a voice yelling turn it off.  Funny thing was we did not have it on.  This lasted until 11:00 PM about every 20 minutes he would bang on the wall.  Pat finally called the landlady but she did not answer so Pat left a message.  At this point Pat decided to go out on our balcony and see if she could communicate with the gentleman.  He did not respond but surprisingly the banging stopped.  The landlady called the next day and was very sympathetic.  She had spoken with our neighbor and he said it sounded like a fan was running.  But we did not have a fan running.  He may have been hearing the unit outside that brings in the air for the heater but we did not have it on the night he was banging.  Our landlady said he was a bit of a pesky neighbor.  Just so happens he owns his flat.  She ultimately told him it was not acceptable to bang on the wall and if he had a problem he was to come to her.  A week or two later he had a party at his house which we thought had ended about 9:00 PM but at 1:03 AM they came back and were pretty noisy for an hour or so. We were kind neighbors and did not bang on the wall.

Updated Living Room

Updated dining & kitchen
When Pat was talking with Jo (our landlady) about the neighbor she mentioned we did not have a TV or radio that might have disturbed him so a couple of days later when we were talking to Jo, she asked if it was by preference.  We told her we were not sure what it would cost us and we did not have a TV.  She informed us that a cable was  part of the flat.  Then she offered to loan us a brand new TV which had come out of our flat.  So now we have TV and can watch the news, etc.  What an amazing landlady we were guided to.

One of the other senior couples are looking at moving and have talked with our landlady and may be moving in sometime in the next two months.  Just found out today (9/9/) that they have the flat and will be moving in the end of October.

August 30, 2014

We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary today.  We saw a lot of birds, many, many koala bears hugging their trees sleeping, two platypus, a wombat, and a Tasmanian Devil.

Curious Koala
I learned something about Koala bears.  I had always heard the reason they sleep so much was because the eucalyptus leaves have a drugging effect.  That is not true. The reason is because the leaves are mainly water with very little nutrients so they have to preserve their energy for when it is needed in case of a predator.  I also fed a kangaroo.  The first one was small about three feet tall and very gentle when he took the food out of my hand.  The second one was older but not much bigger but not as gentle.  I could feel his teeth on my hand.  The sanctuary is only about an hours drive from our flat.  Had an amazing day.

Sleeping Koalas

Kangaroo Dinner Time

Kangaroo Dinner Time

Tasmanian Devil
What a fun experience to feed a kangaroo..... I understand you don't want to try this in the wild.  They are much bigger and can be very aggressive.  Many are killed on the roads up north and in the interior.  Many Australian's do not drive at night in the outback because if they hit one it would take a long time for a tow truck if they could even get cell service to call one.

I purchased a picture for my bedroom at the sanctuary.  It was painted by a certified aboriginal artist in the aboriginal style.  I really like it and it will come home with me.

We attended two baptisms this evening.  Two men were baptized into the Enoggera Ward.  Those who spoke at the baptisms gave really nice talks which were inspiring for everyone in attendance.

August 31, 2014

We attended the Enoggra Ward again this Sunday.  We are trying to split our time between Enoggera and Bunya Forest Wards.  After church they had soup.  The members had brought a number of different soups and bread.  It was delicious.  They make a lot of pumpkin soups.  They do not make pumpkin pie or any sweet pumpkin deserts.  It is almost impossible to find canned pumpkin to make pie or deserts.  We can find almost anything we want except Crystal light.    I will check Costco the next time I go since summer is coming maybe they will bring some in.  I am sure there are other things but nothing I can't live without.

September 6, 2014

Today our wicker furniture received a good cleaning, a coat of white paint and bright pillows for cushions.   We also purchased 5 outside plants to brighten up the balcony as well.   We now have an amazing balcony which will serve us very well for the next 15 plus months.

Rejuvenated Wicker
September 7, 2014

Today we went to church and then took a drive to Cleveland to see the ocean.  The tide was out so I was not impressed with the beach but the park along the beach was very nice with great walking paths and eating areas.  We packed a picnic lunch of crackers, cheese, meat, chips, veggies, hummus and cookies.  It was not a very sunny day so that may have affected my opinion of the beach.

The work in the Mission office is going well.  I really like what I am doing.  Elder Montague is a very patient man and has guided me through the processes.  I have made a few mistakes but they are part of the learning process.

These two pictures are of the back of our complex.  The lap pool is the reason for the swim suit purchase Toombul Mall for $30.00 an unbelievably low price here. The prices are higher than in the US.   I plan on doing laps each evening when the weather is hot and humid.  The common area is very nice with a barbeque and eating area for entertaining when we have Family Home Evenings at our flat.  I think spring is just around the corner.  The spring flowers are beginning to bloom and a number of trees are also in bloom.  I love spring and understand there are some amazing gardens here in the Brisbane area.  Am anxious to visit them.  Maybe I will have pictures of the flowers on the next post....

More to come in a few weeks......