Palm Beach NSW

Palm Beach NSW
We like it like that!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We had a great week! We had the Elders over for dinner and FHE on Monday night along with a senior couple that came down for the weekend visiting. Elder McRae gave a good lesson on baptism for the dead and it was a fun discussion afterward. On Friday night we had tea (dinner) with the Taylors and played a couple of games of the card game "65". It was really fun! Saturday morning we took our car and headed up toward Newport. It is a beach town that has an atmosphere like most beach towns in California. Just beyond Newport is a town called Palm Beach and we spent a couple of hours there just walking around and taking in the sights and smells of the place. We took some pictures and really had a great time there. It is only about a 45 minute drive from where we live in Carlingford, so it is really close by. If some of you are able to come to visit us before we leave, it will be one of the places we'll visit. We plan to go there again and just enjoy the ocean.

Sunday we taught our classes and then after Church we had the Eastwood sisters (Sister Hatch from Bountiful, and Sister Maddux from Texas) over for dinner and also Elder and Sister Larsen who are dairy farmers from Newton, Utah (which is halfway between Logan and Tremonton and further North). They are employment specialists which is kind of funny because he has never been employed by others, only himself. It's interesting how the Lord helps all of us as we strike out on an adventure called a mission. In just a few days we will reach our one year mark and from then on it will be a downhill slide. Yahoo!! I know we're not supposed to dwell on family, but with so many wonderful people at home, how can we not? We miss you all so much and think of you all the time.

Hope you are all having an excellent summer and doing lots of fun things together. At this point in time, we are living our lives vicariously through you. Do lots of happy things and then report back to us OK? We love you all and miss you bunches!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can you believe it's July already?

Wow, it has been six weeks since my last post. I don't know how your time is going, but time in Australia flys. So much happens every day and our time is so full of good things, that each day and week just disappear. Yesterday (30 June) was a very special day for Elder McRae. The Greenwich Zone had their day at the Temple and then afterward they all came to the office and had a zone activity. They bought seven whole chickens and chips (fries) for the whole zone. They asked me if I would make a green salad to go with the other food. We didn't think seven chickens would be enough, so we bought three more plus two more boxes of chips. Elder Davis (one of the zone leaders) made two dishes of peach cobbler and they served that with ice cream. I bought a birthday card for Elder McRae with an outline of the "Grease" character on the front and then on the inside it said, "to a man who's still got it". We had all the missionaries write inside of it - all 20 of them. We had balloons and it was a great day for him. He heard from lots of you on Facebook and he was truly touched by the outpouring of love and birthday wishes. Thanks for that! In the evening, our friends the Taylors came over and visited for an hour or so and gave him some chocolate bars and then the Temple President's counsellor and his wife came over and brought some brownies. It was a very busy, but very special day for both of us. Thank you so much for remembering him - it really meant a lot!
We are gearing up for a new Church internet program that will be turned on in the next month or so. When new missionaries are called, it is my responsibility to put all their information in the computer and build a file for them. That file is also used by Elder McRae to disburse monies to them and to pay bills etc. It is the system the whole mission uses to keep track of the missionaries. It is currently being used by missions in the States, but we will be the first ones to use it outside the US. Elder McRae is not too happy about that - he says he didn't want to be the first guinea pig to try the new vaccine. Hopefully, it won't be as traumatic as he seems to think it will be.
We are almost to our one year mark - 25 July - and then it will be a downhill slide. Everyone says how quickly time passes by on your mission - and we surely believe that that is true. We feel badly that we are missing prime camping time with our family, but know that when we get home next summer, you all need to be ready to go!! The blessings and special experiences we are having are a great compensation for everything we are missing. We are missing our grandkids growing up years and that is the hardest part of all this. Just know that we love you all so very much and we do watch your family blogs or Facebook posts often.
And that is all I have to say for now!!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time to report again! We had a wonderful week - last Saturday we took a day off and visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park. It is about a half hour drive from our home. We took a picnic lunch and left home about 9 in the morning. The best part of the day for me was enjoying all the unique birds and animals that are native to Australia. Some of the beautiful parrots actually fly around the Temple grounds, free, no cages. I loved watching the birds. I thought of all our cute granddaughters when we visited the koalas. They are so cute, but did you know they sleep about 22 hours a day? The only time they wake up, is to eat, and then they doze off again! Wow, what a life! We really enjoyed our time at Featherdale Park. Hope you enjoy our pictures. Our love to all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Stuff!

Well, dear ones, our tramatic week is over! We survived our week of church and visiting less actives on Sunday, FHE on Monday, Ward temple night on Tuesday, teaching Peter on Wednesday, Missionary Correlation meeting on Thursday, Friday we rested (we both worked on our lessons and talks), Saturday was shopping and Saturday evening we hosted 16 seniors at a BBQ at our place, and Sunday we gave our talks - mine on the Atonement in Sacrament meeting and Elder McRae gave part of the lesson in High Priests, then we both taught our lessons in Primary/Sunday School. We did that in addition to working 45-50 hours at the office. I don't think I have been that stressed for a long time. I guess that's good for me - I don't know. But it is behind us now and we can move on to our next adventure!

The seniors are planning a trip to Featherdale Park next Saturday, which should be fun. It is a wildlife park not too far away. I'll take lots of pictures and next week try to figure out how to post them.

The weather is beginning to change. I know everyone at home is thinking I've lost my marbles for posting on a fall theme, but it is fall here and is surely beginning to feel like it! We had our coats on this morning when we took our walk, and we were grateful for them! It is about 10 celsius at night. I think the way they figure it is add 30 degrees to celsius and then something else..... - oh, it doesn't matter does it? Let's just say it is getting colder!

I have my electronic photo frame going every day and it is so fun to see all of you! I guess it's both good and bad, it sure makes me homesick for all of you. I have pictures of Mom and Dad (thanks to you Diane) and many other old pictures, and then the ones that were taken two years ago in Kaysville. We miss you!!

We have talked with Rick a couple of times in the last few days and it sure was good to hear his voice. I'm glad he and Mike were able to get together before Mike headed out to Iraq. I guess Mike left on Monday. In a way, it's both easier and harder over here - easier because our time is filled with other responsibilities and we don't have time to dwell on their absence, and harder because we rarely hear about Iraq in the news - which is both good and bad. We want you to know sons that we pray for you every night and ask Heavenly Father to watch over you. We are very proud of what you are doing to serve your country and your attitudes. We also ask Heavenly Father to watch over Lisa and Julie and the kids as well. We also pray for Nick and Britney - as we pray for all of you. We send you our love.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

McRae Matters

Hello America! It is time we wrote and updated everyone on our life in Australia. We have been busy as usual. We were excited about our last transfer, out of 48 companionships, 37 of them changed! It was more than a little crazy! There were four missionaries up north coming down to transfers and three of the four were being transferred. It made it pretty crazy for the Elders to get 6 suitcases, plus three bikes loaded into one car. And that happened in almost every zone. We were picking up sisters and delivering them all over the place. It was really fun though.

The Church is running TV spots here in Australia during the Easter season and throughout the next few months and are offering a free copy of "The Lamb of God" DVD. We have received well over 200 referrals from these ads and it will be going for a while yet. It has become a full time job for Sister Heslop in the office. I am still doing the mail every day and getting missionaries arrivals and departures all set up, but the referrals have been really exciting.

We are holding FHE every Monday night at our house for the less actives in our ward. We have done it for the past two weeks and they will be coming again tonight. We have included only single members who don't really have family to join with. We have the missionaries over weekly at least and our social life is pretty much limited to Elder McRae's best mate, Elda Tayla (Elder Taylor). They don't pronoun "R's" here so it's pretty fun to talk with them.

Elder McRae is turning 65 this year (yikes! where did the time go?) and is having a rather difficult time trying to locate the right people to get it done. We have been working on it for almost three weeks now, so hopefully this week he can get it taken care of.

We have both been given an "assignment" in church - not a calling mind you - just an assignment. I am teaching the 8 to 12 year olds in Primary, and Elder McRae is teaching the young single adults. It's fun to teach again, I really like the kids. Elder McRae last Sunday was teaching "The Plan of Salvation" and the three kingdoms of glory. The young single adults didn't seem that interested in the lesson, so he stopped and ask them if they would like to talk about something else. In talking with them, he found out that five of the six had just returned from missions and they really knew pretty much all there was to know about the Plan of Salvation. They spent the rest of the class time visiting and getting to know each other.

I have been asked to speak on Sunday on the Atonement. I have begun to prepare but that is such a deep subject and I don't feel like I have much time to prepare. If anyone has any ideas, please email me ASAP!

We talked with Rick and Lisa on Monday. Rick leaves for Kuwait on Tuesday. Michael is already over there. I am very sad to have two of our sons in harm's way, but I am so proud of them and their willingness to serve their country. Our love goes out to Lisa and Julie and their families for their support and love. May Heavenly Father look out for you and bless you in their absence. We pray for them and for each of you every night. The Gospel is true! We love you all.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This is a picture I took on our 4 day trip in January. These flowers are on a tree and they were beautiful!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Australian Holiday

This last week we were able to spend a few days checking out the Sydney North Mission area. We left early on Tuesday morning and travelled to Port Macquarie. It is a beautiful seaside town about 325 km from the Temple. We toured around the area a bit and stayed at a little motel called the Bermuda Breezes Motel. The room wasn't much, but for $66 au ($45 US) it was OK. Just after we checked in, the proprietor came down and told us there was a wild koala in one of the trees outside our room. I took a few pictures of him, but he didn't do anything but just lay across the branches of the tree he was in. The next morning he had moved to another tree just a short distance away.
We visited with a senior couple on Wednesday and had lunch with them overlooking a beautiful golf course. This couple is from Vernal and although we didn't know them personally, their name is very well known in Vernal. That afternoon we headed out for Coffs Harbour, which is another beach town. From Coffs Harbour, we headed to Armidale and the Waterfall Way highway. We did stop and see one of the waterfalls along the way, and I did take a picture of it. We stopped and had lunch in Armidale at a park along the road. We kept looking for kangaroos everywhere we went, but to no avail. We've decided there really aren't any kangaroos in Australia, they just tell you there are. On Thursday night, we stayed in the small town of Coonabarabran. It was the nicest place we stayed. On Friday, we travelled on to Dubbo and went to the famous Dubbo zoo. It was pretty anticlimatic - a zoo is a zoo. However, they did have kangaroos!! We decided we had travelled enough and we were ready to get back to the office and our life there, so we drove back to Carlingford on Friday evening. It was really good to be away for a few days, but it was also good to get back to our familiar routine.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More from Australia

Last week I was going to another of the office buildings here on the Temple grounds, and when I looked out the front window, I saw all these parrots on the lawn. I hurried and grabbed my camera and took these two pictures. Aren't they cool? I think it is so neat to have these birds flying all around us. They don't seem to be afraid of humans, so you can get pretty close to them. While out in front, I also took a picture of the front of our office building. My office is the center front window. Elder McRae is in the back part of the building so you can't see where he works. It is very comfortable for us and we enjoy being on the Temple grounds.