Well Hello from beautiful Australia. We have been here 3 weeks and I am just now feeling like I have time to post to the blog.
It is hard to describe what this experience has been like. I have loved every minute. I have never been so tired. I love working with these wonderful Elders and Sisters. They are so grateful, kind, understanding, loving and patient. I have felt very inadequate to fill this position. So much has to be learned. Sister Leister who we are replacing left a wonderful, helpful notebook with instructions and descriptions of how to do many of the big responsibilities. But somethings are just trial and error learning.
One of the Senior Sister Missionaries working here is Sister Ko from Hong Kong. She is 84 years young, spry and wants to be helpful. I was told that she tries hard but doesn't understand a lot. Her English is much better than my Mandarin, but it is still challenging to understand some of the things she tries to convey. Surprisingly, I love working with her. I have found things that she can help me with. For example she will read to me my texts from missionaries ordering supplies. Much I don't understand and have to look at the text, but I just love having her help me. I am learning some of her many talents. Her love of the Gospel and how she was introduced to the church. How she has 5 children and lost her husband almost 55 years ago to nose cancer due to heavy smoking. One day I told her I like pickled ginger. So the next day she brought me a good size jar of home made pickled ginger. She works in our office 3 days a week, and the other 2 days she works at the Temple. She walks to the bus at 6 a.m. so she can be to our office by 8 a.m. Such dedication. I love her!
As busy as I am Monty is twice as busy serving the young missionaries in our mission. He gives driving tests, fixes problems with "flats" (apts), bikes and cars. One day he had 5 cars to clean out, wash and get ready for new drivers. Let me tell you I went through the buckets of garbage, junk, supplies and odds and ends found in those cars. What an unbelievable amount of mess and waste. Much of it ended back in my area of supplies. Hmmm it was a very interesting experience. I was happy to see Monty grab a couple of missionaries hanging around the office to help him with the washing of cars. The Assistants also offered to help for the hour they had to spare (I LOVE the Assistants). In 1 hour 5 people got TWO cars washed inside and out and ready for new drivers. The other 3 cars Monty did by himself the next 2 days starting at 6 in the morning. Fortunately the weather has been unseasonably warm and so it helps him stay cool.
Another thing that keeps Monty busy is the time he has been helping me with my many lists needing updated on Ecel. You might think this is a pretty straight forward project but you would be wrong. Many of the problems have us both stumped. But it has been enjoyable working together figuring out the problems as they come up. Last night we were here until 8 p.m. a very long 12 hour day. Some days the only thing I can think about for dinner is bread and butter and a glass of "shelf" milk.
Another great thing about being here is all the wonderful people we work with. Everyone is of one mind and one heart. Very enjoyable people in a beautiful area. I am really enjoying this mission.
I am ready to put this day to bed. Good night from a very, very tired Sister Ellison.