We heart the young missionaries

The sites and vistas of Sydney and New South Wales are vast and magnificent, but as we recall our mission our most treasured times will be those spent with our missionaries. In January 2016 President and Sister Checketts charged us to begin teaching English to the missionaries who spoke English as a second language at East Lakes Chapel. This was a diverse group which have included Tongans, Samoans, Chinese, Filipinos and even one from the  Czech Republic along with some of their native  English speaking companions.

East Lakes English Class
East Lakes English Class East Lakes English Class – Font row from left, Sister Stevens, Queensland; Sister Sooalo, Samoa; Sister Sili, Tonga; Sister Torres, Phillipines; Back row from left, Elder and Sister Elliss; Elder Lamipetti, Tonga; Elder Hutka, Czech Republic, Elder Uasi and Elder Neuffi, Tonga.

This photo shows the final week before Elder Uasi returned home to Tonga. Elder Uasi spoke English quite well by this time in his mission, and we’ve corresponded with him following his return. On this day unbeknownst to us, Elder Uasi had asked some of his member friends to cook  something up to celebrate our last meeting. What a feast! Only one problem: we had no plates napkins or eating utensils. No worries! We were all hungry enough that we all descended on the platters of french toast, tuna and egg sandwiches, fried eggs and ham like a pack of Tongans using hands only. Even the very refined Sister Stevens from Queensland elbowed her way in and pigged out with the rest of us.

We also taught in the Doonside Chapel. One of the constants about every lesson was to ask a missionary to teach one of the My Foundation principles. This was to give them more practice in teaching in English to a group as well as allow them to really internalize that particular principle. Below Elder Lavulo teaches his lesson.

Elder Lapulo gives lesson on Foundation Principle 4 - Manage Money
Elder Lavulo gives lesson on Foundation Principle 4 – Manage Money

We design lessons to help them speak English in front of a group. We had a lot of fun with the “cooking show” activity.

Elder Hutka from the Czech Republic tells how to make his favorite quick meal.

These sisters from the Hebersham  English class have an extra measure of love. Each time they greet us, it’s a big embrace (for Sister Elliss) and a slap handshake (for Elder Elliss). These young people help us miss our own children a little less.

Sister Sriset, Thailand and Sister Mariano have their last Sunday together before Sister Mariano is transferred to a district in the north.

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