Saturday, 23 July 2016

We arrived in Brisbane, Australia at 4:30 p.m. and our good friends Elder and Sister Osborne were there to pick us up.  They just arrived in Brisbane in June to begin their mission as Education Specialists.  We served with them in Samoa for 7 months.  We had to fly through Brisbane on our way back from Papua New Guinea so Carl decided to have us stay over until Saturday to do some training with the Osborne's and do a couple of workshops.  We stayed with Joe and LaWana.  It was so good to see them again. 

Joe and LaWana Osborne have Kookaburra's that live in the Gum Tree behind their fence.  They come and land on the fence if you put meat out to eat.  Very fun to watch.  They also had some Lorikeets that live in the trees behind them.

Carl, the Self-Reliance Manager on the back row had a man from one of his wards video tape an interview with Reed and I and then he taped this session we did for parents on the new "School Success Begins at Home" booklet.

Reed presenting on the new booklet he is holding up that we just had printed.  People are very excited about it.
Saturday, July 9, 2016 we drove with Carl to the airport and flew together to Adelaide, Australia.  We have not Self-Reliance or Education Specialist missionary couples here and Carl is Self-Reliance Manager of this area as well.  We did a little sight seeing when we first arrived and then headed to a small town called Elizabeth to the Craigmore ward to do a devotional on Education.

There were some great looking buildings as we drove around.  Some of them quite old.

They call Adelaide the city of churches.  There were beautiful churches everywhere we drove.

We drove through town so we could look at their old buildings.

This is the view of downtown Adelaide from our hotel room.

The Adelaide Temple.  We did not get a chance to go inside just to stop and take pictures.  All the Australian Temples are very similar.

Sunday, July 19th we spoke in two different Sacrament meetings.  We had a meeting with a new stake presidency for an hour between meetings to talk about the Self-Reliance and Education Initiatives.  They asked a lot of good questions.  We met with all three stake presidents, some high council members, steak Relief Society president and two self-reliance stake specialists to talk about the new Global Education Initiative, about the two Prophetic Priorities and the 2 main areas of focus.  We explained about the new booklet and answered questions along with Carl.  That evening we had dinner with a Stake Presidency and their wives at the Marion Chapel and then talked at an Self-Reliance/Educational Devotional.  We went back to our hotel very tired that night.

Monday we did a parent workshop at the Modbury Chapel the group is in the picture above.

We then had to hurry to the Marion Chapel to do another parenting workshop.  We had over 40 people in attendance there.  They asked a lot of good questions and were anxious to receive the books on "School Success Begins at Home."  However, we did not have enough with us so we made sure they knew a box was being mailed to their stake self-reliance specialists and would be able to get them when they arrive.

Carl drove us up onto a hill to look back at the city but the clouds were too low.  Not much of a view.  It was very cold here and Reed only had his suit coat and luckily I had a warm sweater but it really wasn't warm enough.

Another beautiful church.

This is the Adelaide Mission Home on the right and the Mission Office on the left.  Carl had a good friend serving a mission on office couple so we visited with the missionaries for a bit.  We had a great visit in Adelaide and hopefully planted a lot of seeds to help get Self-Reliance Through Education moving forward in this part of the world. 

Tuesday morning we flew out of Adelaide at 6:00 a.m. and landed in Perth, Australia 8:00 a.m.  Elder and Sister Millar, our Self-Reliance couple there picked us up.  They drove us past the Perth Mission Office and then to the Perth Temple.  They are right next door to each other.

Perth Temple.  While we were here a member came over to speak with us.  Luckily he did because Elder Millar had us speaking tomorrow on parenting in his ward and he said it was today at 9:30.  We hurried and left and drove to the Merriwa Chapel and only arrived 20 minutes late.  The member had called his wife to let the group know we had a wrong time and were on the way.

We then had to drive 50 minutes to the Thornlie chapel to do another workshop at 12:30 p.m.  This workshop went very well, also.  We did not have a lot in attendance but they said they had just heard about it on Sunday.  This chapel is close to where Elder and Sister Millar live.  We stayed with them at their home.  That evening we returned to this chapel to do an Education Devotional for the youth.  We had 120 in attendance.  The kids really listened and the leaders were very grateful for our information.  After the devotional we met with the Southern River Stake Presidency and all their bishops.  They asked us to take 1/2 an hour and talk to them about the Self-Reliance and Education Initiatives.  We could really feel the spirit there.  This was a very valuable meeting to attend.  We went to bed very tired.

Wednesday morning, July 13, 2016, we were awoken very early by Sally and Kip calling.  We were glad to talk to them and wish Kip Happy Birthday.   We got up and went walking with Elder Millar.  He took us to this park close to his home.  It was very cold.  They said Perth was having the coldest weather in five years.  When the sun came up it was a little better but I only had my sweater, I wish I had my coat.

This lake was very clear and the reflections were beautiful.

Sister Millar is doing a great job even though she has to sit in a wheelchair.  We had a workshop at Ballajura Chapel at 12:30 but we only had four people attend.  They loved the information and said they would pass it on to others.  There was not very good promotion for these workshops here in Perth.  That evening we met with the North Coast Stake Presidency at the Warwick Chapel and explained more about Self-Reliance and Education.  Reed helped them understand why it is so important and that it is one of the two main focuses from our leaders.  They really listened and asked some very good questions.  Elder and Sister Millar will need to do some follow up but we have planted some very important seeds.  After our meeting we spoke at a YSA devotional on education.  It went really well.  We spoke with quite a few leaders and YSA after the meeting.  One of the couples had been the Mission President and his wife here in the Auckland Mission from 2011 - 2014.  We also spoke with their daughter about different wards here in Auckland.  Great family.

Thursday, July 14, 2016, we drove into town with Elder and Sister Millar.  Sister Millar is seeing a specialist about her legs and feet so they dropped us off and we walked through downtown Perth.  The pointy building is called the Bell Tower. Home of the Swan Bells. There are 12 old bells in this building and they do still ring them.

They have kept these facades from old buildings for history.  They have torn down the buildings but kept small parts like this arch..

This sculpture was on the waterfront by the ferry terminal.  We walked down to the ferry to take across the Swan River and Brother Ray and Sister Dawn Jose (they just finished their mission in Melbourne) live over here and we are going to spend the day with them.

Ferry terminal and bridge across the Swan River.  The city of Perth is built between two main rivers, Swan and Canning.
This building front has been saved and is just sitting where the original building used to be.  They have done this all over Perth

The Jose's took us to Kings Park.  They have a beautiful botanical garden there.  These plants were very interesting they are called Banksia.

Another type of Banksia

We walked around Kings Park for a couple of hours and did not even cover 1/2 of it.  There were great views of old buildings, the Swan and Canning Rivers and the city of Perth.

This is a Boab tree.  We have never seen one of these before.  They have just moved this from farther up North so they are trying to protect it and help it to grow.

This plant is called Kangaroo Paw.

This is a monument for all the soldiers who have fought in all their different military battles.

Looking back onto the monument with the pool in the forefront on the steps of the visitors center and gift shop.  We were so glad they brought us up here.  We could see why so many people were up here.  It is a beautiful park with lots of different walks through all kinds of plants, trees, and history.

There are 1300 Sugar Gums planted along Lovekin Avenue. They were planted in memory of those who dies in World War I and II.

This is the sign for pedestrian crossing.

They took us to Hillary's Boat Harbor.  I cute little boat harbour and shopping area.  Even though it is quite cold Reed had to step into the Indian Ocean.

Ray and Dawn Jose with Nada and Reed on the deck of their home.  We had a wonderful few hours with them.

Elder and Sister Millar took us to Scarborough Beach to watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean.  Reed of course had to get into the water again.

I wanted to touch the Indian Ocean and got surprised by a wave coming in.  It was pretty cold.  Sister Jose let me borrow her coat for the next two days so I wouldn't be so cold.

We were so sad that the clouds had come back but it was still beautiful watching the sun go down over the Indian Ocean.

There were quite a few out surfing.

We ate fish and chips as the sun set.  What a beautiful way to end a wonderful day!  We have been so blessed to see so many of  Heavenly Fathers creations.

Friday, July 15, 2016, we had a nice breakfast and then packed up.  We are flying back to Auckland tonight.  Elder and Sister Millar took us for a little tour of Fremantle which is where the first settlement was in the Perth area.  This hotel has been restored from the 1800's.  This city is where a lot of tourists stay.

They had fun little gardens and streets everywhere.

Elder and Sister Millar and Nada in front of the market place.  It was fun shopping here.

There were fabulous buildings all over the area.

Nada, Barbara Goodlet and Sister Millar.  We drove to Midland, a town up in the mountains (hills) and met Neil and Barbara Goodlet for lunch.  We served with them in Samoa.  They live about an hour out of Perth and came to meet up with us.  They are headed for a six week trip to visit friends from their Samoan Mission in the USA.  It was so nice to see and talk to them.  It was like we had never been away from each other.

We then drove to Mundaring Weir which is a reservoir and dam where Perth gets their drinking water.  It was built in 1903.

We crossed the dam and walked up to some grounds.  There were these eight kangaroos just eating there.  They let us get quite close to them.

They are very interesting animals.  Watching them hop/run is very different.

You can see how close they let us get to them.

These plants are called Grass Trees  and some call them Hair Trees but they used to be called Black Boys,  They are slow growers but very useful to the Aboriginal people. They have a very black trunk and then this grass grows on the top of them.   If they do not keep it trimmed the grassy top  falls down over the trunk.  The Aborigines did not like them being called Black Boys so officially they have changed the name to Grass Tree now.

As we were driving out of the Mundaring area we saw this large group of kangaroos eating on the side of the road.  Not something you would ever see anywhere but Australia.

We passed these camels saddled up.  They give camel rides here.  We have heard that up north their are wild camels.  We had a great time in Perth. We always dreamed that someday we would be able to go Australia and here we have been to all the major cities in the last three years.  Life is very interesting.  We have been so blessed to work and serve with such wonderful managers and missionaries.  Elder and Sister Millar took such good care of us while we were here in Perth.  We are so grateful to them.  We left Australia on the 7:30 p.m. flight to Auckland.  We flew all night and arrived Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m.  We were tired but so glad for all the wonderful experiences and the great people we have met during the last two weeks.  The Gospel is true and to see active, faithful members in so many different places strengthens our testimonies and helps us want to work even harder. 
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Australia and enjoyed seeing the beautiful places and animals they have.  We are well, busy and loving every minute we are serving.  The time is flying by.  We hope we can finish up strong and accomplish all that Our Father In Heaven expects of us.

Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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