Thursday, July 7, 2016

Brisbane, Australia!

Brisbane, Australia
It's p-day here in Australia because they have the chance to go to the temple once a transfer.  I just happened to be here the day they switch their p-day to Thursday because of the day they go to the temple.  We just finished a session in the Brisbane Australia temple and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!  It was wonderful to go back after over nine months in a mission without a temple.
 I flew from Vanuatu to Brisbane, Australia on Monday night and was picked up by Elder and Sister Callahan.  They drove me to the mission home where I stayed with the brand new mission President Mark E. McSwain and his wife, from Farmington, Utah.  I guess Peter Vidmar is president of the Melbourne mission.  I stayed in the room where General Authorities usually stay and it was amazing.  I literally slept on a cloud!  J  The next morning the Callahans took me to a hearing doctor and then to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.  They determined it wasn't my ears but my jaw (TMJ pain syndrome) causing my ear pain and headaches.  I will go to a physiotherapist on Monday and then back to Vanuatu on Tuesday.  No mouth guard because that takes too long to do . . . but you already got an email on that!  So I will spend my time telling you about Brisbane.

Email from Michael Callahan: Sister Sarah Draper was seen by Dr Christopher Que Hee in Brisbane yesterday. Just prior to her visit with him she had a hearing test performed and it was completely normal. Dr Que Hee did a thorough exam of her ears and it was also normal showing no signs of infection and no fluid behind the ear drums. His diagnosis is TMJ pain syndrome and she has been referred to a physiotherapist who specializes in treatment of TMJ. I personally spoke to her and she will see Sister Draper next Monday for an hour of treatment and training in exercises and other modalities to help control her symptoms.

She is a lovely young woman and is going to be staying with two of our sister trainers in Brisbane. I anticipate her return to Vanuatu next Tuesday as scheduled.
Sister Oraa in a mall!!
Who can identify this Australian animal??  
Back to Sarah's letter:  Brisbane is just like living in the avenues in downtown Salt Lake City.  The houses are old and quaint and cute.  It's freeeezzzziiinnnnggg here right now!!  It’s winter in the southern hemisphere.  I have to wear 3 jackets, and I sleep with a bazillion blankets.  I feel like I am back at home and it is October or maybe November haha!  Last night we even made the curry that Mom used to make!  I am staying with two sisters, Sister Oraa from the Philippians, and Sister Whatcott, from Minnesota as well as a girl from their ward who is doing a mini-mission until Friday, Sister Grammit.  They have been very sweet, but it sure has been a shock to come to a normal mission and see what most of the missionaries across the world do every day!

I'm glad my mission call is to Vanuatu, but this has been a great experience to come to Australia. We don't teach a lot but do a lot of street contacting and people are not very nice!  We also ate dinner at a member’s house and knocked doors- two things I've never done before on my mission.  I've only been here two full days but it has been an adventure.  Today we went into the mall and I about died!!  They have a real grocery store!!!!  And it has everything!!!  I can go get mac and cheese and peaches and chips and fresh milk and yogurt and I could go on and on!!!  AND  they have McDonalds!!!! They drive on the left side of the road here and one of my companions is an awful driver and so it has been terrifying!!!  Everything is huge here!!  Huge buildings, houses, even this library we are emailing in is huge and there are lights everywhere and everyone here is white!!!  I’m in the majority and not the minority like I was in Vanuatu.  We street contacted a guy yesterday and he was black and I automatically started talking in Bislama to him.

The photo on the right is Elder Derhak from upstate New York.  He is the son of Stacy Neilson Derhak who went to pharmacy school at the University of Utah with my dad.  Stacy’s younger brother is married to my mom’s sister.  So Elder Derhak’s uncle is married to my aunt and we share four of the same cousins!  . . . And we’re both serving in Brisbane Australia.

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine how exciting it must be to be going to Vanuatu on mission. DO ensure that you have a trustwrthy company or friends helping you look after your things in storage while you are gone!