Our three days of heavy rain and strong winds complicated our Transfers week. Sister Tolman and I carried all the food for the “Leavers Dinner” through pouring rain into the Mission President’s Home. It is nice to cook there because the kitchen is light, spacious and well equipped. This meal, we served grilled Teriyaki chicken/pork chops with baked potatoes, green and fruit salads and rolls. Elders Kinghorn and Tolman wore jackets as they grilled and took turns holding the lid so the wind would not blow over the grill! It was nice to have a hot meal on a cold, rainy night.
We stayed for the testimony meeting and to hug the missionaries goodbye, so it was late when we arrived home and discovered the water pouring in our bedroom window. The wind was blowing the rain horizontally! We gathered towels, trying to sop up the water. It was worse in the morning, so Elder Kinghorn rigged up a system to catch the water: towel with one end tucked into the window track and the other end in a bucket. He also set up a fan blowing right on the carpet.
Despite our efforts, the carpet and pad got really wet and smelly. Sprinkling baking soda on the carpet took care of the smell. We vacuumed it up in the morning. The owner came and pulled back the carpet and we have fans blowing the pad, carpet and wood dry. The owner plans to replace the carpet using insurance money.
A huge tree at the church fell over into the street Tuesday night, completely knocking over a section of really strong fence and breaking some of the concrete! A member of the Mortdale Ward, who watches over the building, planted it 40 years ago!
We had 17 missionaries leaving and 17 coming in, so both we and the Tolmans helped drive missionaries to and from the airport. Usually, President and Sister Back try to pick up every missionary, but the weather really slowed the traffic going to the airport. One flight was diverted to Melbourne. We told those arriving from Pacific island nations that the weather was unusual. Sydney is such a beautiful, sunny place most days. We were very happy when all the missionaries arrived safely by Wednesday night.