Friday, June 30, 2017

June Blooms While the Mission Zooms!

A different floral wonder around every corner, every week!

Greetings to Our Family and Friends Far and Away...

May this "Temple" "Bird of Paradise Fly Up to your Windowsill!

Another month has flown by and we're hanging on to the last few hours of JUNE! Who would have thought that a mission could fly by fast enough to break the speed limit!  Whoa!  Slow down, please, for we now know what we're up to and can be of real service.  We opted for an 18 month mission, and already nearly 11 months have whizzed into history. Considering this, we put our shoulders (it takes two) to the wheel as each lovely new wintry morn dawns and happily we go about doing as much good as we can in a day.  Today we saw a hilarious sign on a shop front:  "Winter Doesn't Exist in Brisbane, so Let's Eat Ice Cream!" And it's true!  June average high temperatures are 70 degrees, and lows are 51!  Tough duty for mid-winter stats, right? We're happy with a sweatshirt on our morning walks, and the day always warms our hearts.  

Brisbane Temple Morning shared with Jodee and Alison, two awesome single moms with kids who love the Lord greatly.  
Two "Rays" of Sunshine in our lives at Temple with Elder Yates
Fellowshipping Ray Griffiths & Ray Peddell,at Temple Outing

Four months ago, we began working in the Brisbane Temple as ordinance workers on the Friday AM Shift. We love the Temple and all the eternal blessings it affords people on both sides of the veil.  Being only 1/2 hour away in downtown Brisbane, this miniature temple is perfect in every way!  Jodee, a Personal Finances Class member, did her service project on looking up her genealogy.  A recent convert of only 18  months, she had a clean family history palate on which to paint all the info. she could find.  And boy, did she go to work finding ancestors and simultaneously catch the spirit of Elijah.  Deciding that she wanted to be the one to do the Temple work for her own ancestors, she went to her Bishop and prepared to go to the Temple to receive her own endowment,which occurred last month.  Since that glorious experience, she has been attending the Temple regularly to do work for her loved ones, and we were privileged to be with her to share her excitement.  In her enthusiasm, she invited another class member, Alison, to also attend the temple with her.  Alison had not attended for years, and was reawakened to the strength and power found in the temple which is available to all who prepare to enter this Holy House.  We went 2 weeks ago with both of these fine women to share an endowment session, and it was a red-letter day for all of us!  

Scary "Boo Radley" house hidden in bushes adjacent to Temple
Smaller same Vintage QLD  house on stilts  kept up with pride

Considering the Brisbane Temple has some of the priciest real estate in the whole city because it overlooks the gorgeous Brisbane river and the city in full splendor, it has some interesting buildings for neighbors.  Right next door is a classic old Queensland house which is in desperate need of some TLC!!  Beeler girls, we would call this a "Boo Radley house," from To Kill A Mockingbird.  It's downright neglected, scary, and inhabited...yes, by humans, but who knows what else!   But up the block is a similar house which has been cared for and renovated---a delight to the eyes.  Let's all get out the sand paper and paint and give the "Boo Radley House a similar makeover, yes?  It's a powerful reminder that "A Stitch in Time Saves Nine," as Grandmere or our Mother would say.  Take care to keep ourselves in good shape, not allowing subtle deterioration to enter our lives in any way. A little TLC every day can keep the cobwebs of life away!  The third house with fence in front is on the street behind us---a typical small 60's type house on stilts, but with an immaculately manicured yard.  Keep it up, good neighbor!

Also down the street from the Temple is the biggest bonsai tree in the world!  Well, to our imaginations, it appears to be a perfect specimen.  We don't know its type nor history, but it stands proudly along the roadside of a busy road teeming with traffic and only a small patch of dirt around it that isn't cemented nor asphalted.  Its gnarled, beautifully curved bark has a story to tell, no doubt.  We salute its stout will to live and thrive, no matter its surrounding circumstances.  Truly, we too should determine to thrive where we're planted.  Good on ya, massive masterpiece of a tree!

Christian Refugee Choir from the Congo sings at Kangaroo Point Chapel, Stake Center on Temple site.

The day we took the two "Rays" down to see the temple, we attended a community "Afternoon Serenade" where choirs and participants from all around Brisbane and beyond offered their talents. An impressive venue was the refugee choir of young people from the Congo and other African countries who have come here for a a better life. Their songs were  traditional and heartwarming as we considered how blessed we are with freedom and choices to make our way in life.    Likewise, a few weeks later we had a Samoan Temple Choir perform at our Temple Devotional.  This choir was started to enable Samoan immigrants to celebrate their culture and love of the Lord in song.  They sing all over Queensland and their harmony is beautiful as only South Pacific Islanders can create!  Note most males are in lava lava's as is typical for Sundays.
Samoan Temple Choir poses before singing at our Temple Devotional.

Though winter is in full swing here, flip-flops, shorts and t-shirts still dominate as the dress of
No matter the weather, spiders abound year round!  This is a golden orb variety right in our back yard.  They grow quickly, spin webs like champs and we have a "live and let live" policy in the garden. 
choice for warm afternoons.  Winter doesn't mean that things stop blooming either!  Mother Nature has a knack here in Australia for playing her colorful hand of blooming things throughout the whole year!!!  Each display is a surprise which lights up the whole city in colors so intense that you'd think they'd been photo-shopped!  Just as one begins to fade, another surprise arises overnight, enticing our eyes and our senses.  This is not lost on the animals and birds who head for the latest bloom to taste the sweet berries or gorge on the clear nectar of a blooming flower. This past few weeks it's been the lorakeets loving the golden pendar tree's yellow nectar-filled flower clusters.  The lorakeets are plentiful in our backyard now because we have a small golden pendar  tree which they LOVE!  It's like watching kids on an Easter egg hunt run as quickly as they can from one place to the next, gathering eggs or candies until their baskets are full to overflowing.  Still they run, trying to fit more in as the sweet candies in the eggs entice them. The "lori's", as the locals call them, come to the tree in pairs and sip the nectar, hanging like acrobats onto the spindly branches of the pendar tree while they drink their fill.  When another pair tries to get in on the action, the dominant pair tries to chase them off!  Hey, lori's,  there is plenty of nectar for all of your little birdie bellies!  All's good in the end as throughout the day everyone gets their chance to sip the sweet nectar until they're totally satisfied! 

Brisbane North's BYU -Idaho Pathway Class, 3rd Semester ending July 20th!!  Graduation's on July 29th!

We continue to teach, coach, find, support, shadow and move the Self-Reliance work forward however we can.   It's rewarding to see lives change.  We're about to finish our FIRST YEAR of teaching BYU-IDAHO PATHWAY---three semesters of college credits for these fine students.  It's the highlight of our week because these talented students have become our dear friends.  We laugh, learn, share, and celebrate together.  It's a big deal for these people who are finishing, many for the first time, a year of university studies!  Semester 3 has been English 106---the toughest for some as Math is exact, and English is NOT!  But we've seen much growth and they're all passing with flying colors!  We are planning a graduation in about 3 weeks' time. Then we'll begin with a new cohort again in September!  

This week we inspected flats again which is a joy and interesting.  An UNHEARD OF TRUE STORY we encountered with the Logan Zone Leaders, Elders Tenney and Demke,  yesterday.  When we asked about their stove, they said they had to get a new one because the old one didn't work.  They "blew" their food budget having to eat more fast food because of no way to cook. When the landlord and repairmen came in to replace the stove,  they pulled it out from the wall.  Immediately, about 50-100 roaches flew and scurried about in all directions!! YUCKY!  Yes, there had been a cockroach problem in their flat, but this topped it all--it was the mother-lode, the main NEST!  The roaches had eaten through all the WIRING and ruined the oven.  Thus, Elders Demke and Tenney never to this day dare to open their stove without a defensive weapon in hand for protection from these monstrous and menacing Aussie roaches!!

We managed one over-nighter north to Coolray with the Osbornes and Sister Mead, the other Self-Reliance missionaries in Brisbane, to celebrate Sr. Osborne's birthday. We love the Emundi markets there.  Then last Saturday a fun picnic at a park for celebrating Elder Osborne's 69th b-day.  We are blessed to have like-minded friends about us share experiences with.  Interestingly, our ages are now consecutive and ascending:  67, 68, 69, 70. Yes, Sister Yates is the 'Baby" and Elder Yates the 'Senior.'  

For your final consideration, a mystery picture. Another forest wonder found on a
morning exercise walk, what might it be?    Gladly, though some might eat this, we would not dare.   The sun has gone to bed and so must we!  As Senior Missionaries we have to use common sense for our rule book.   Thanks for being wonderful, supportive people in our lives.  Each day we picture you and pray for your well-being and progress in your individual lives. Mortality is a huge blessing not to be squandered, for we value the time we have on Earth to show our allegiance to our Heavenly Father and His dear Son, our Savior.  This we do through our daily quiet acts of obedience and service.  We feel it an honor to serve Them in this Australia Brisbane Mission. We hope this finds all well in your corner of the world, and that you are feeling healthy and confident in your lives and where they are leading you.  How we love you all! 😊😃

As always, with love, ❤
Elder and Sister Yates
Dad and Mom!
Grandpa and Grandma
David and Marsha                 (PS:  Mystery picture is a mushroom!  A 'brainy one'.)

1 comment:

  1. What a joy to read! So grateful for your service and the wisdom it inspires me with.