Note: we have completed our mission and are back home, but I hope to include the events from the last three months of our service.
May and June 2016
Dave writing: I enjoyed 3 trips to and from the airport this past week. It has become a very familiar trip to take from here. It was nice to have the opportunity to be with President and Sister Back taking them to the airport Monday morning as they went to the mission president’s seminar in Brisbane and then picking them up on Wednesday as they returned to Sydney. It included Elder Andersen of the Twelve and Elder Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy and also included the current Pacific Area Presidency. They seem to always draw strength from the other 16 mission presidents and their wives that attend these meetings. Because President and Sister Back attended the mission president’s seminar, we picked up our new mission senior couple, the Boogaards.
There are so many international flights that arrive each morning, the Sydney airport is very crowded. We find seats, each facing a different direction so we can watch both doors. Then finally we see a dressed up couple with badges and lots of luggage.
We welcomed another new senior couple to replace a couple the Hills that left in February. The Boogaards of Sandy Utah are here now for 18 months. They are from President and Sister Back’s home stake. We were reminded again how much there is to learn and adjust to being here and on a mission. We ourselves have come a long way in feeling comfortable and knowledgeable in serving here. They will serve in Bathurst, 3 hours west of Sydney on the other side of the Blue Mountains.
Ilene writing: The picture on the left gives you an idea of how many people arrive each morning at the Sydney airport. These are all taxis lined up for customers! Soon after the Boogaards arrived, they invited us to Bathurst to speak in Sacrament Meeting. When we arrived, Sisters Stott and Kurita came right over to get their mail that we brought. Elders and Sisters in the outlying areas wait a long time to get their packages and letters. Sister Kurita kindly set aside Japanese treats to share with Elder Iino.
Here are pictures taken after church on Sunday. Left are Elders C Brown and Lanier and Sister Kurita and Stott. Right, Sister Kurita with Sister and Elder Boogaard. It was great to be with the Bathurst Branch. There is the feeling of being part of a loving family.
Elders C Brown, Kinghorn and Lanier. This is the large area in the Branch building where Sacrament Meeting, activities and classes are held.
The meals Sister Boogaard prepared were superb! This is our Sunday dinner of Chinese chicken salad. Sister Boogaard is an artist with both food and design. Before their mission, she created original designs for temple carpets. But our conversation centered on our work in the office. The kind Boogaards had just agreed to commute to Sydney and work in the office each week until the Mansells arrive the end of September! What a blessing and gift to the Sydney South Mission!