Sunday, July 27, 2014

Completion of Second Week

End of the second week in Brisbane.  We moved into our flat on Wednesday afternoon.  It was nice to get at least part of my clothes out of the suitcase.  Three weeks of living out of my suitcase was a bit tedious.  It was a busy week because there was a lot of moving going on.  Elder and Sister Montgue were moving closer to the Mission office, Elder and Sister Hansen were moving into the Montegue's flat on Kangaroo Point (a move across the hall) and we were moving from the Mission Home to our flat all on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was a bit of a zoo at the office trying to keep everything covered and getting ready for the missionary comings and goings next week.

 As I indicated in the previous blog they did not have a flat for us when we got here so had to find one and get it furnished.  I think, we finally got most of what is essential taken care of yesterday.  It is feeling more like home. We have made two trips to Ikea which is about 30 minutes south of us to gather bedding, tables, shower curtains, etc. 

Our first trip to Ikea was an adventure.  We did fine getting there with the help of the GPS.  Did our shopping and went out to the car.  Problem was we could not find the car.  We were so excited about getting there we forgot to take note of where we parked.  We searched for a while and then Sister Parsons had me wait with our purchases while she searched the parking lot row by row.  Then on the way home we made a wrong turn and came through all the tunnels under the city of Brisbane.  It was a jolly ride. 

We went to Ikea again yesterday but had very little problem finding the car (lesson learned) and getting home without the ride through the tunnels.

We assembled our purchases of the week last night and I finally got all of my clothes out of the suitcases.  No more living out of a suitcase.  We were given a nice glass top table with three chairs, a nice new love seat, a new chair to match for the living/dining area.  We purchased a floor lamp which we tried to assemble but it was late and it got the best of us.  Maybe tonight.  Our flat is feeling like home and we are going to enjoy it.  Just a few more small things to do and it will be like home away from home.

Living Room


Dining Area


We have been busy at the mission office because it is transfer week this next week and there are 16 missionaries leaving and that many coming in from all over the world.  This is a very multi-cultural mission.  We have missionaries who are teaching in the Chinese community, also many
Polynesians and Asians have moved here.   There are 22 different languages spoken here and missionaries from 33 countries.  The mission itself is very large: from top to bottom it would cover from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border.  Because it takes three days to drive up north much of the travel is by air.  I am enjoying my work with the finances of the mission and other special assignments.  The weather has been a bit cooler than I had anticipated but has warmed up the last week.  Today is beautiful.  I am sitting out on the patio at the Mission home typing this.

Sister Parsons and I are not at church because we are with a sick sister at the mission home while the Mission President and his wife are up on the Sunshine Coast on Mission business.  We have not been assigned a Ward yet because there are so many missionaries in the area where we live that the Ward is overwhelmed with missionaries so we are going to be assigned a Ward outside of our boundaries.

 We have a dinner date with a family in the Ward we attended last week.  The people here are very friendly and helpful.  The member who invited us to dinner attends the Ward we went to last week.  We met her in the grocery store and she asked us to dinner with four other missionaries.  I know I am going to love it here.  Am anxious to get out and see the country side soon.  I understand the beaches are not too far from here but the city has much to see as well.  Also want to attend the temple soon.

The birds wake us each morning with their lovely songs.  Some are pretty loud but we enjoy them.  Until next time. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 14, 2014

Arrived in Brisbane Sunday morning July 13 at 7:33 AM after a very, very long flight.  It took approximately 15 hours to fly from Los Angeles to Brisbane.  The flight attendants took good care of us by providing two meals and numerous snacks and drinks. President and Sister Henderson (Mission President and his wife) picked us up at the airport.  Took us to their home because they had been unable to find a flat for us.   I took a short nap about noon and then managed to stay up until 7:30 Sunday evening.  Slept until 6:15 and did not feel much jet lag the first day.   Pat and I  spent most of Monday on the computer looking at flats (apartments) to rent.  They rent by the week and you have to call to make an appointment to inspect the flat.  You are given 15 minutes to view the flat and make a decision.  Much different than the US.  We have three appointments tomorrow and two on Wednesday.

Tuesday we looked at a couple of flats.  We took an application back to the first flat we looked at and the real estate agent who happens to be the owner of the complex offered us the flat.  This is unheard of in Australia.  It usually takes at least a couple of weeks.  All the Senior missionaries were amazed.  They told us we charmed the landlord and maybe we did.  It is a nice 2 bedroom flat with 2 baths a decent sized living room that includes an eating area with two balconies.  One off of the living room and one off the front bedroom.

Wednesday we finally got started on the office work part of this mission.  I felt like I was home processing those bills etc.   I really enjoyed it. We picked up the lease agreement from the landlord.  And got it signed by the president.  Unbelievable !!  All the senior missionaries who are here in Brisbane went to dinner to get to know one another.  We had a great time and look forward to more socializing. 

Thursday was in a meeting with the group of people in Brisbane who have any responsibility for missionary housing.  It was a fast and furious meeting where I had to listen very carefully to understand a couple of the people.

We are now the proud recipients of the keys to our flat. Now we need to get furniture which is in the works.  Hopefully we can move in the middle of next week.  We plan on going to Ikea on Saturday to look for a number of household items.

It was a busy day today which made the time go by faster.  There will be plenty of work to keep us busy.  The Monteque's took us down to the river to see the Temple and the city skyline.  The Brisbane river serpentines through the city of Brisbane.  There is a lot of pleasure boating and tourist ferries on the river.  It was a bit cool this evening so we did not stay long.  It has been a pretty cool week.  All the Australians are cold.  I must admit I am a bit cold myself having not brought a jacket anticipating much warmer weather.  They say spring is in a month and it will really get warm.

Sorry no pictures this time.  Will attach pictures of the apartment on next blog.  Looking forward to getting settled in our own flat so I can unpack everything.  Also looking forward to warmer weather.  Have not tried driving yet.  Have been observing, maybe soon.

May  you all be blessed with wonderful blessings......

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The first week at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) was spent in class being taught from Preach My Gospel.  On Wednesday and Thursday we were taken to the Training Resource Center where we met with an investigator and taught a lesson.  Any of you who have been to the MTC know these investigators are members of the church who volunteer to role play with the missionaries.  I hate this part.  My mind goes blank I get so nervous.  I did better today but we have one more role play tomorrow.  I have met some wonderful couples and sisters.  One sister in our group is from Sydney, Australia and going to Washington DC.  There is a couple who lived in Silverdale for some time going to Japan and a couple from the Everett area going to Tiawan.  Amazing how small the world is.  This is a picture of the missionaries in my district.  All the missionaries are divided up into groups called districts.  We spent the whole week of classroom training with this group.  The entire group of senior missionaries that reported on Monday was 99.


The Fourth of July was very special.  We had class until noon and I did better with the role play, not so nervous and participated more.   At 8:00 PM there was a program for all the missionaries at the MTC.  I believe there are over 2500 here at a time.  The large auditorium was packed.  It began with everyone singing several songs.  Then two young men played the piano.  One was an original composition.  They were amazing.  Next two sisters and one elder on violins, one elder on the piano and one elder on the guitar played.  It was the old time fiddle music and they were really cute.  During the last song the MTC President's wife came out and played with them.  You should have heard all the missionaries when she came out.  They gave them a standing ovation.  They showed the film 17 Miracles after which we filed out and received ice cream and watched the fire works from the BYU Stadium.  There had been a big concert and show prior to the fireworks at the stadium.  It was an amazing evening. 

Fireworks at BYU Stadium from MTC

Next week is administrative training Monday through Thursday.  We are scheduled to leave the MTC Friday at 3PM to fly to Los Angeles and at 11:45 PM our flight leaves for Australia.  We arrive at 6:45 AM Sunday morning in Brisbane.  It is a very long flight with no stops.

It will be good to get there and begin this marvelous assignment and adventure.

Next blog update will be from AUSTRALIA.