Thursday, August 2, 2012

First kangaroos.

It is now, let's see if it will work,only in HTML, I've been trying for a week to get my blog to work, only when Shan is on the phone does it work. I'm going to try this and see what happens. First little flit is we saw our first kangaroos. The Lifferth's took us to a little reserve about 20 min away and we must have seen 25 or more of all sizes. I'll show a few here and more on email so you can see them better. Well, no such luck, I can't bring in any pictures, so off to email and I'll send these to family and those who are interested.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Two days here

The last picture with Nelson grandchildren, I'll be in last position when we get home in two years!
The last days at Shannnon's were a blur.  We actually slept the night before we left, and Shan and I got a walk in. Shan and Erika took us to the airport and we met 5 Elders heading for Fiji on our flight, they took a different airline after we got to LA.  In LA we ate dinner at Burger King (had my last salad) and then we were taken by shuttle to the International Terminal.  It was a loooong way and ended up we had to walk that looong way back to our gate which was where we started on the shuttle ride (could see it outside the window), but it was good to walk.  That took a chunk of  the 51/2 hr layover time until our other flight.

Qantus had great service.  We were on the end of an inside isle row which made it nice getting up for walks, etc.  I slept the first hour and woke up for dinner @ 12:30am which was delishous -I had salmon and veggies dinner and Brent had chicken.  After a walk I slept about 4 hrs, Dad watched "Hunger Games" until they had to shut down entertainment to get the system working for the whole plane.  I slept well as did Brent, surprisingly, and had several walks and achieved the swollen legs we had been warned about.  About 5am (12 hrs after dinner) we had a delishous hot breakfast and landed not too long after that. We made it through customs in Sydney without much difficulty. 

We were taken by shuttle to the domestic terminal, and this was the first sign we saw (yield), it made me chuckle.  We had an hour flight to Melbourne and they served a nice breakfast, I was thinking there would be nuts and drinks.  We arrived on the domestic side of the airport and exited (sign said "way out") to baggage and collected everything.  We began to realize no on was there so we used the credit card to call the Mission Office and found out Pres. and Sis. Lifferth were on the International side, and before long two smiling faces appeared and we were saved.  They were wonderful and took us to the Mission Home which is beautiful and set up to care for and feed many missionaries at a time.  They fed us lunch and took us to the Mission Office which is the end of the Stake Center and newly constructed.  It's in the parking lot of the Mebourne Temple and such a beautiful, peaceful setting.

 I can't think of a more special place to work than where we are.  We met the staff and got keys to our house, the office and a phone.  We thought we would have internet at home but don't...thus no email or we came into the Office for P(reparation)-day, our day off, so I could try and remember how to blog and we also went to buy a headlight for the mission van that we drive so it has two working ones now.  Without internet we can't use Vonage phone service and one company won't let us use it and another can't hook it up to our house; so we're trying to figure out what to do.  Our home is a 4 bedroom house that is used to house sister missionaries during transfers, so we have lots of room for visitors.

Trying to get food enough for everything has been a challenge, greek yogurt isn't as popular here as at home and greens are pretty expensive, but I'm working on it.  I'm supposed to make cookies for transfers on Tuesday but there are no cookies sheets or 9x13 pans that I have found yet.  Well, I've deleted this by accident once and hopefully won't again.  We have to do a little more shopping and i haven't bought stamps yet, but am working on that next.  We love each of you and appreciate your support.  At least I can write at work and receive email here.  Tomorrow we go to our new Ward that the Lifferth's and the other office missionary sister who is helping train me, both attend; there will be a few familiar faces. Many missionaries wander through the office each week, especially this coming one with transfers occurring, so that will be fun to get to know them.  There are about 30 different nationalities of missionaries and 5 languages spoken in the mission.

Our cell phone number is:  0404 090 739, I can't remember what codes you put first.(0011 1 ?)
Our address is: 21 Fraser Crescent, Wantirna South, Victoria 3152, Australia
Mission Office is:  76 Cathies Place, Wantirna South, Victoria 3152, Australia

Email us with questions or letters!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Twas the Night Before Mission (in Australia)

 Woffinden siblings LtoR:  Arlen (bro) and Debi, Nancy (sis) and Bill, Gary(bro) and Kathy, us

Thursday was our last day in the MTC. Friday, Nancy invited Gary/Kathy (came up from Cedar City, UT) and Arlen/Debi (came up from California) for dinner.  Arlen is home from Brazil and is working for the Church as an attorney.  It was such a special time being together laughing, talking, hearing about children/grandchildren, and plans for the future.  I feel so blessed to have the loving ties to these families and my own, and to know we can be together forever.  I got thinking about my own family and how I love them, especially John and the Conners, and Erickson; we're small in number but rich in love.

Spencer, Greg, Joseph and Shannon left Thursday for Trek, a re-enactment of a handcart pioneer experience.

Shannon made a  long skirt and apron with lots of big pockets which was so convenient for the trekking. They all visited DI to get clothing to wear in the 90+ degree heat with long pants and sleeves and hats.  Finally they were ready for 3 days without showers, home cooked meals, phones, a/c, running water, etc.  They had a fantastic experience, pushed handcarts through rivers and hiked 10 miles one day.  Shan was so impressed with the youth in their ward and how they helped each other and had such positive attitudes.  She was amazed at the work it took for the early pioneers and what they had to do every day to provide food, shelter, meals, care for families, repairs on their cart, etc.; they all felt gratitude and appreciation for those who have gone before.

Today is our last day.  I began to feel this tomorrow would never get here, it's been almost 6 months since our call.  We have learned so much and loved visiting with our children and their families.  Speaking of family, Meri and Brad are in Hawaii with the Streiff family reunion; I hope they are having a wonderful time together.

  We found out if we had Vonage for phone service, that all calls from Australia are free to cell or land lines; so Brent signed us up, we'll buy phones when we get there. My mind boggles when figuring out time zone differences for each child. 

Yesterday I did a dry run packing everything and weighing it; I'm almost exactly 50# in both suitcases.  We can carry 15# carry-on, haven't weighed that yet.  I'm trying to take salads to have in flight. From the time we leave SLC to arriving in Melbourne will be 24 hrs; a bed and not sitting will be anticipated.  We're excited to meet our Mission President and the missionaries and get to work.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Done in MTC

Our own cubby & computers for the day or hour.

We have been working at computers all week. Dad has been working on finances which includes apartments, paying bills, vendors, utilities, missionary payments,vehicles, referrals, etc. I've learned how to make letter templates, newsletters, text boxes,  mission correspondence, using various church programs, and referrals. I now have a great respect for Office Seniors, I had no idea they had so many responsibilities!  I am awed at all the Church does to bring the blessings of the gospel to the world. We love being with the missionaries

We are standing with Sisters Mega (Allen) Hunter (one of our instructors) and Gloria Shick, both from our Washington DC North Mission.

We actually got our tickets, passports and visas today, we are ready to leave Monday afternoon!  Shannon and others are going to take us to the airport.  We fly to LAand arrive 0425pm and layover there 5 1/2 hours.  Then we leave Monday at 1010pm for 15 hr. flight to Sydney, arriving Wednesday @ 610am; we leave again 0830am and finally arrive in Melbourne 1005am (same as 0405pm Tuesday in Mesa) all that straight!  We'll contact you somehow after that and let you know how things are going.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our First Sunday..then Monday

Kent (Brent's cousin)  and Peggy Woffinden, Pam and Brent
We attended Sacrament Meeting at the MTC with the missionaries in Kent's Missionary Branch; he is a counselor in the Branch.  The youth are called on to bear testimony/speak as called from the audience; then the other counselor and his wife spoke.  It was fun to be there and  to visit with Kent and Peggy afterwards.

From there we went to a Departing Missionary Fireside; there were 410 of us leaving this week.  It was special to hear from the MTC Presidency, hear phenomenal musical numbers by missionaries and just by so uplifted and edified.
Sister Hayli Kennedy found us after the Fireside (why blue?)
The final treasure of the evening was a Fireside (a special evening meeting) with Richard Heaton, Administrative Director for the MTC.  He taught with such power on the Doctrine of Christ and that the reason people should want to be baptised is to receive the gift and blessings of the Holy Ghost.  I'm so grateful for the opportunities we have had this week.

We were excited to see Sr. Kennedy (Jim and Julia's daughter), she is so excited, enthusiastic and has also had amazing experiences in the MTC.

Monday started off with the 24 of us assigned to Office service in our missions learning basics about computers. We progressed to word processing (Micrsoft Word), introduction to the Church's iMOS, Mission Organization system and finished the day with spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel). My mind was overstuffed with information I couldn't process all at once.  It was amazing and with some practice, I'll probably catch on.  This was all review for Brent and I appreciated his support.

We found 2 sisters from our Washington DC North Mission --  Megan Allen Hunter was a young missionary and Gloria Shick was a senior and super sharp sister, it was so good to see both of them, like a friend from home.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The "Preach My Gospel" week is over!

This is our District while we were in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). In front: Br. Carrington and Br. Wozniak were our teachers for the week and made it fun to learn.  From L to R: us, Sr. Humphreys and  Sr. Crummett (Polynesian Cultural Center in HA.), Bendio's (Canada Montreal), Brinkerhoff's (England Leed), Goodsell's (Adriatic North)
What a wonderful week this has been.  The Spirit has been so strong and we met some wonderful friends. Our District is spread across the world, where they are pointing at the map.  Elder Goodsell was in Brent's Ward in Arlington, VA when they lived back there as a child and his wife went to Brent's mission a few years after him.  Elder Bendio was a missionary companion to Brent's brother, Gary to his mission in Paris, France.
We heard such powerful Devotionals from Elder Kukuchi and Holland.  As uncomfortable as it was, practicing teaching was a positive growing experience.  We got to sing in the Missionary Choir, it brought tears to my eyes to sing "Called To Serve" with over 2000 other missionaries.  Moms, you don't have to worry about your young people being fed well, the food was amazing with a huge menu every day.  There were 114 Senior missionaries, 6 of them sisters, the largest group ever.  There are over 2000 younger missionaries, 2/3 of all missionaries go to the Provo MTC.