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