Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 2 and 3

My, these last two weeks have gone by so quickly.  Week 2 we spent four days in the Church Office Bldg in SLC learning how to use the machines we will be using in Tasmania.  It was kinda fun.  We also were taught by Church employees who check our work after we send it to Salt Lake.  We had the opportunity to have lunch with Dilworth and Pat Rust, our brother and sister-in-law, twice that week.  That is always a treat.  We were grateful to have four days "off" after our training to finish all the things that still needed to be done at home, like temple attendance, BYU Homecoming Football game, packing and repacking, and moving the last of our things to the basement.  Boy, were we glad to have that finished.

Week 3 we were on our way.  We got to the SLC airport Monday afternoon, loaded like we have never been before.  When we travel we always packed light.  Not this time!!!!  We greeted our son, Keith, and Dilworth and Pat at the airport who came to support us.  As we started to check in, horrified, I realized that I had left my passport in the car, which was then heading back to Heber.  We called Bob Alexander, who was driving our car, and asked him to come back to the airport.  Thankfully, he had his cell phone and wasn't too far away and I was able to get my passport and some snacks which I had left on the floor.  What a terrible situation that would have created.

We had a flight to Los Angeles then had to wait for an 11:30pm flight which was an hour late.  So we finally got off at 12:30am, traveled for 16 hours and arrived in Melbourne, Australia around 10:00am.  Pres. and Sister Maxwell, of Salt Lake City, Elder and Sister Woffinden, of Mesa, Arizona, and two young elders met us at the airport. We went to the mission office for a little while, then the Woffindens took us for a little tour to the Dandedong mountains (more like hills). 

We had lunch in a little tea house called Miss Marble's (very English) and then went to the Rhododendron Gardens which were just beautiful.  There were 104 acres of gardens and almost all of the Rhodies were in bloom.  It was magnificent.  Then we went to the Woffinden's flat and took a nap then to the mission home where were we treated to a lovely dinner with Pres and Sister Maxwell and the Woffindens and the Murrays, from Centerville, UT.  After listening to some conversation, we realized that Pres. Maxwell is a son of Elder Neal A. Maxwell. 

All that we have met were very loving and kind.  We stayed the night in the mission home which was elegant.  Early the next morning we left for the airport at 8:00am but had terrible traffic which caused us to miss our deadline for check-in by 2 minutes.  So we waited until the next flight out to Hobart at 3:00pm.

We landed in Hobart in beautiful weather and by the time we retrieved our luggage and walked out of the airport, we were in a driving rain storm.  Cramming 4 big bags and 4 carry-ons into a Toyota Corolla with 4 people was a real trick!!  Rex and Mary Ann McDonald picked us up and took us to their/our flat; a lovely 2 bedroom stand alone home.   On Friday we went to the Archive and they continued to train us on specific work which they have been doing.  Saturday, we went in for a few hours, but also went to Salamanca market which is downtown.  It is like a mini Swiss Days with lots of booths and vendors, but they run it every Saturday.  Sunday we met many people at Church and found them to be very friendly and helpful.  The people in this ward are mostly elderly.  We are to have the Primary Program next week and we expect only about 10 children singing.  We will see.

The McDonalds have fellowshipped a 14 year old girl who is not a member of the Church, but attends all the classes and activities.  She planned a surprise farewell after church on Sunday.  She told me to bring a plate of food.  So without any time to secretly cook anything, I took some cookies which Sister McDonald had made and froze.  Once everyone was in the cultural hall, and the one plate of cookies was on the table, the Bishop said "Elder and Sister McDonald, this is your reward."  It was so funny to us.  Reward for her own cookies!!  A few more dishes of cookies appeared and everyone seemed to enjoy just some time to socialize.

Word of the Week:  "Footie" - Australian Football (soccer)

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