It was a bit of a sweaty palm situation getting from Bali to Perth! We arrived at 5:15 p.m. and needed to get through customs and out to our hosts who were anxiously awaiting to whisk us off to a six stake fireside (a large gethering on LDS members) which was to begin at 7 p.m. We had been worried about getting there in time ever since we first realized that it was going to be very tight. The flight from Bali was scheduled before the meeting was scheduled so we were crossing our fingers. As luck would have it, our fight was a big early, we got through customs in short order and we had a few minutes to stop by our hotel, drop our things off and were at the church by 6:45!
It was a terrifc group of about 500 plus in the audience plus webcasts were being carried to four other stakes (like a dioses) to remote places in the area. Perth claims to be the most remote large city on earth and they seldom have vitistors from the US, so we had a lot of fun enjoying their company and enjoing their glowing faces and the lovely spirit that was there!
These good people on each side of us, along with many others, did a lot of work to reach all the good people who came! It was such a fun evening!
Memories of World War I is still alive and well in all over Australia and New Zealnad. Many good soldiers were lost and it was gratifying to see miles of tree-lined streets with a commemorative plaque at the base of each tree with the names and dates of a fallen soldier. Literally hundreds of trees had been planted after the war, each with a maker to honor of all those young people who were lost! !
Our hotel was right on an aqua beach where we enjoyed some sun and watching the incredible feats of sail surfers and kite surfers in that beautfiul spot on earth! If you look carfully you’ll spot many of them below!
The next day we enjoyed Perth. We had seen this beautiful bell tower with the high spire below but had forgotten the histoy: twleve bells, cast in the early 1700s were give to the city of Perth many years ago. They had originally been used at St. Martin in the Fields in London. It is still the main attraction of a newly renovated central Perth. We were here about seven years ago and had actually been able to watch the bell ringers practicing which is quite an usual and fascinating sight!
The love locks that we’ve seen in Venice and Paris also prevailed in Perth. Lots of people have locked in thier love near that Bell Tower!
Ferries are always useful to get the big picture. Here is the view of the beautiful city of Perth from the water:
We also had a birds’ eye view of some beautiful homes!
Our host Phil Baker treated us to a walk through a fascinating museum, the highlight of which was the remians of a shipwreck. The arch you can see in the background and the bricks placed around the remains were all found in the belly of the boat!
John, another new friend, joined us at the museum and for some fish and chips with about 100 seaguls on the ocean front!
We enjoyed another stellar hotel and an evening with the Perth EO (Entrepreneuers Organization) before we left. The unique venue for the meeting was at an Audi car dealership Although I neglected to take any pictures we had a delightful evening with a group of terrific, committed parents who were hungry for new ideas. Unfortunately, the only picture i got was one of the Hyatt Hotel where we stayed!
The next day we were off to Brisbane. It was a 4.5 hour flight from Perth (about the same as flying form LA to NYC). That evening we were blessed to do a 10-stake fireside. There were about 400 people in the live audeince and six stakes were webcast into the chapel. I have to say that it was a memorable evening as we enjoyed speaking about Raising Responsible Kids in an Irresponsible World. Their questions were insightful and thoughtful.
Afterward we were mobbed by young mothers who had met Saren and April when then visited Australia and did a Power of Moms retreat. Some saying that POM had changed their lives and others who also had been following Shawni’s blog and were wondering if Shawni was surviving Max’s departure! What a small world!
This bright young mother traveled a long way to say hello. She had been helping us with the Joy School Lesson Plans and will be coordinating Joy Schools in Australia. Thanks Anita!
This great mom adores Saren!
And this couple drove 16 hours to get there! (They had family there and were leaving for the US the next morning).
Our hosts, the Bakers took us on a tour of Brisbane the next morning. Brisbane is quite a sight from a ferry on the river!
We soaked in all the green and beautiful flowers we could, knowing that there was a serious snow storm back in Utah!
Above is a Napalese pagoda left over from a Wolrd’s Fair in Brisbane in 1988. And below was our nightime view of this beautiful city and our Mormon Temple right in the middle of the city.
On our last night in Australia, we spoke at The Australian Family Association. A gourmet dinner was served to about 80 pople who are dedicated to preserving the place of the family in the Australia which is quickly being disrupted as it is in all parts of the world! We discussed The Turning and had so many good questions. Good people working on a great cause!
We sat next to a Member of Parliament and his wife who have seven children and were obviously terrific parents! The Dinner organizers did a superb job!
We have had a magnificent month in Australia and Bali but I have to admit tht we were glad to get on that long 14 hour flight across the ocean to Los Angeles. During the two hour lay-over we did a radio show for BYU Radio, which we usually do every Saturday morning but had missed all month, and then flew on home to Salt Lake. We missed our family and were so happy to see our grandchildren and their parents…and even the ice and snow!