MAY 31, 2013
It is nearly the end of another month and the last official day we will spend in the Australia Melbourne Mission Office. Our friends ordered Chinese food to celebrate our departure and for them, the restoration of peace and quiet in the office setting. We will miss the Woffindens, Sister Horne, Sister Epa, President and Sister Lifferth, Sister Balmes, the Oillataguerres, Blaires and the many missionaries who come for training and supplies. Some days have been boring; other days we've felt like we were in a whirlwind, twisting and turning, and not sure where or when we would light. We greeted 25 new missionaries on May 22, and thankfully, they all have a place to stay and a companion. If they are coming from the Provo MTC, they are jet-lagged and look like "deer in the headlights." A lot of planning and preparation goes into establishing new "Goldens" in the mission, but we still receive calls that there aren't beds in the flat, neither of the missionaries assigned to a car has a drivers license, or we forgot some poor missionary at the airport. Elder Smith, who happens to be Craig and Tami's grandson and the son of Tony, is one of our new missionaries. He arrived a couple of hours before the others, and Max quickly enlisted him to help bring sandwiches from Subway.
Our affiliation with the Chinese Branch ends this week-end as well, and we will miss our Chinese friends, sons and daughters. Serving with them has been a gift from Heavenly Father to us, as they have enriched our lives and mission experience more than we ever could have imagined.
We are excited for Shannon, Brian, Josh, Sam, and Claire's arrival on Monday morning, and the adventures we will enjoy with them is a chapter yet to be written. When we return from our trip with them, we will fly to Tasmania and settle into our vacation home.
In the spring, this pond is supposed to be a close replication of Monet's "Water Lilies." We will never know for sure.
The boughs from this evergreen would certainly make a great Christmas garland.
Max is the proud "owner" of 10 brand new cars!
Because of a flat tire, we were unsuccessful when we tried to ride our bikes from our winter home to our summer home, so decided to try again, this time going from our summer home to the city. It was a great ride, mostly taking us through parks and along streams. Max enjoyed the luxurious restroom accommodations in one of the parks. Everything is automated...dispensing of TP, water and soap, locking the door, and flushing the toilet. Great "elevator" background music plays, and you are given 10 minutes to complete your task, then the door automatically opens.
We locked our bikes at Flinders Train station, took a nostalgic walk down Swanston, then rode the train back to Nunawading. After submitting our behinds to more than 20 miles riding in to the city, it was really a pain in the butt to have to get back on the bikes for the 2 mile ride back to our flat.
Yes, Elder Gerber can stuff the entire Aussie burger "with the lot" in his mouth. This traditional burger comes with hand formed mince (hamburger,) cheese, beet root, pineapple, bacon or ham, fried egg, spinach, grilled onions, and tomato.