Home is where the heart is, and our hearts reach out to you this February holiday and every day!! Our hearts have dual residency because we love you all so much and the great people here who make our mission come alive with opportunities each day.
|Finding our math solutions in the dark of a moonless blackout!|
|Now Elder Lamositele, our YSA SR student left for his Perth mission|
|A few of 'our' Logan Stake Sister missionaries at conf.|
In late January, we had a beautiful half-day worldwide mission conference broadcast from Salt Lake, then another half-day of training with the Brisbane FULL crowd of nearly 200 missionaries. For the "junior" missionaries, SLC streamlined some of their reporting, gave more latitude to them on governing their schedules to suit their days, and showed great respect for their ability to "act for themselves." We are blessed with a great mission president and wife, the McSwains! They have a true love and zest for the work and make everyone feel capable and positive! We have a lot of sweet sister missionaries who are so earnest and full of love! We even get to start inspecting missionary flats for another of our mission duties! Hmm. We passed our own 1/2 year inspection from the Kuraby Woods flat manager with flying colors. Guess that qualifies us to evaluate elders' and sisters' flats. The checklist for mission flats is very exact so I'd better find several pairs of "white gloves."
|Newest addition to the Kooka gang--young baby.|
|Noisy Miner bird enjoying seeds on our bottle brush tree blossoms|
But the best beast of all surprised the daylights out of us and came three days in a row from the bush, under our fence into the back garden where it had clawed out two little spaces to enter and exit by. We were astounded to be hosting none other than a nearly 6 ft.Lace Monitor Lizard! Day one he just kept along the back fence, and we watched him in awe with those powerful arms and menacing claws. Day two we caught sight of him on the patio, but he quickly scooted away when he saw Elder Yates inside the patio door staring at him. I ran for the camera but we were too late! Day 3 he came right up on our patio, and was flicking his tongue (how he smells) on our patio door. He slowly moved under our patio table, but shot away when Elder Yates opened the door to get a decent picture of him. Nope. He was not about to stick around for a photo shoot! So, the picture is fuzzy, but notice the LENGTH of the tail back beyond his body in the iron grill of the screen door. He is HUGE, and powerful, and a welcomed guest, if he wants to return. The other picture is from the internet, so you can see what he would look like! We feel so lucky to share this bush land with such fine creatures! Go, Mr. Goanna (what the aboriginals call them, and they're a delicacy to eat! Fried lizard, anyone?
|Indigenous Aussie playing his Digeridoo|
|Grandpa Yates digging in to his first and maybe last dragon fruit!|
|Head shot of the Lace Monitor Lizard type that investigated our patio/back garden. Does he smell the kookaburras?|
|Bush fire burning out of control on the Freeway we were on|
|Ah! Just the smell of ripe mangoes is delicious!|
Now to the Saturday AM Kuraby outdoor market where we buy our fruits and veggies fresh from the farms inland. This aboriginal man above was playing his 8 foot digeridoo--a wind instrument that is like a natural wooden trumpet. In usage over 1,500 years, they have a beautiful tone, and the longer the pipe, the lower the sound. However "natural" the man looks, I doubt he will be eating monitor lizard for lunch! We popped over to see a fruit that was called the "Dragon Fruit." Pink and green, it opened to our surprise with a clear melon-like center with suspended poppy seeds throughout. Better looks than taste, though. We much prefer the "toad melon", known as piel de sapo--so tasty 'yous'! Overall, nothing beats MANGO SEASON, for sure! We wish it would last all year.
It's been fun to catch you up on our mission experiences, and hope you find a bit of joy in reading our meandering account of fragments of our busy days. We feel so blessed to know each of you, our wonderful family and friends, and wish you could each come for a week to experience a koala hug, or a snorkel in the ocean, neither of which we've yet experienced here. But we want you to know how often and deeply we think about you, your challenges, hopes, and dreams. We send our LOVE to each of you at this special time and express the happiness we have in counting you as the dear ones in our lives. BLESS YOUR HEARTS, EVERY ONE!!
As ever, Elder and Sister Yates
Grandpa and Grandma Yates