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

1 comment:

  1. While reading I paused to enjoy the picture of the Plumera Blossom. It reminds me of a pinwheel.
    Oh and I agree with waiting to climb the bridge. Hot steel doesn't sound fun. Of course I don't like heights so I would come up with any excuse to procrastinate.