The last time I was in a plane and off for a weekend was - you guessed it -
the last Time Out for Women (see HERE! ) two years ago -so sad. My friends and I lamented why does it take something like this to make us take a girls weekend? I've never had a girls weekend but these 3 trips to Sydney for TOFW have been amazing. More girls weekends - STAT!
We had real trouble finding affordable accommodation (apparently the Bledisloe cup and Netball championships and wrestling were also on) and were once again going to have to be at the mercy of my friends friends to put us up. Last minute blessing we found a super quaint B&B right near the Olympic Stadium where we were headed. Kevin the caretaker was so awesome to us. He fitted in an extra bed in our room and because we had to leave super early and come home late he showed us where all the food was and to help ourselves. It all felt a bit too quaint and a bit downtown abbeyish for these girls who don't get out much ;) it was such a lovely place to stay. I totally recommend Darcy's Hotel in Homebush, if your looking for somewhere to stay. http://darcyshotel.com.au/
Sorry my pictures are dark. We were only at the house late at night or early morning :)
Time Out for Women - see http://www.tofw.com/
My favourite part of Time out for women is the spirit.
There is an amazing spirit that follows 2000 LDS women in one room. It almost can't be described.
It's fun, its kind, it's comradery , it's running into old friends, it's like you know everyone there.
It's plain beautiful and amazing. If only it went longer than 8 hours.
Each year I usually give a bit of an overview but I didn't take many notes this year.
The speakers were different this time from the previous two times.
You are stronger than you think
Arise to the calling that is yours. Lord asked many to arise (eg Man in Bethseda, Man with withered hand, Paul on road to Damascus). It is time to arise and be the person you are prepared to be.
Atonement is enabling power. Not just redeeming power.
IT covers weaknesses, sickness, unhappiness.
Return to virtue is always possible regardless of mistakes or what has happened.
Virtue leads you to the temple where you are endowed with more power.
** and I totally wanted Elaine's dress. HOT! I love taking fashion tips from the over 60 set :)
Beautiful amazing singing! I had never heard of her before, but she was sooo good!
She performed in Les Miserables on Broadway.
Likened the songs from Phantom of the Opera to that of Heavenly Father - think of Me.
There will never be a day I don't think of you.
Sandra spoke of infertility and adoption and heartache and trials. She plead for an Abrahamic experience that didn't pan out as such.
started with the parable of the 10 virgins. They had lamp and oil. Oil can't be shared. Key about the oil is that is produces light. This is like the light within us. It might not matter what the oil is eg service to others, being kind, responding to callings, looking after our families, doing hard things.
but the oil gets the light growing. Service brings us light, fills our vessel so we can in turn be a light/lamp to others. Sometimes good things bring light but difficulties and trials can also bring oil. We must fill our vessels/our oil so we can BE A LIGHT.
Heidi was the biographer of Pres Monsons biography. Shared her unexpected story about how he rang her up (very funny). She was blessed with power that made her days longer, work quicker, think clearer as she was on a mission with her husband at the same time.
She spoke of value. When she was busy with callings and serving others and being a good church member she felt she gave value and was a good daughter of God. A terrible accident (a fall down some stairs) left her with injuries that had her bed bound for many weeks. At first she felt terrible for having to have people help her, dependant and reliant on others, and she unable to do anything. She spoke of our value. Our value is not tied to what we do. We still have value even when we can do nothing. Lord loves you for you, not for what you do.
Lisa was our lovely first time Australian presenter! There wasn't a dry eye in the place as Lisa spoke. Very moving.Lisa was recently awarded mother of the year for Tasmania.
It's OK to have questions. It's easy to have faith when things are easy But faith is really for when things aren't easy. Everyone needs to know they are loved. Even without having a trial.
Don't wait for hard times to care for people.
Even though I knew he was from American Idol I hadn't actually heard him sing before.
Be willing to say God I can't do this. Be willing to hand it over to him. Admit our weaknesses.
Take courage, show weakness, be vulnerable to the Lord.
Don't be afraid of who you are. Both weaknesses and STRENGTHS
If you can laugh at it you can live with it.
When does life even out? Life is more like a wave. I want smooth and straight.
His wife a nurse said nooo... ITS BAD when you have a straight line!!
Ups and downs in life mean we are alive, we are participating.
A sense of humour is an important thing. Helps keeps things in perspective.
Humour is a gift, a skill. Something you need to develop not necessarily something you are born with. There is difference in light mindedness and light heartedness. Many scriptures mention happiness, joy, laughter.
Questions are good. Questions lead to peace, progress, revelation and will lead you down the path.
All questions have answers. Rules don't constrain us they give us maximum freedom. People who keep covenants have greater access to higher power.
Ask for angels to help you.
Are you willing to engage in a wrestle with the Lord? Many scripture stories involve a wrestle with the Lord. How much effort are we willing to put in to find answers? A spiritual Wrestle.
God will do amazing things IN us and THROUGH US
Because my friends are awesome and knew some cast members in Les Mis, we got to go see a show.
I've not seen Les Mis before so it was a wonderful end to our day (esp since Sandra Sang the Songs at TOFW aswell! So much Les Mis that day!) I'm not a big theatre goer but it was nice to be able to go.
Our weekend was packed so tight we didn't really have any time for sight seeing. One restaurant my friend wanted to see was Ground of Alexandria. It was so cool. I would recommend a visit there if you are in Sydney. There was even a pony and pig there! IT was like 4 restaurants and markets and shops joined by LOTS of hanging plants and outdoor eating. Fun
I'm so thankful to my poor friend who had to navigate crazy Sydney traffic. Who got us everywhere alive, in one piece, on time. Who found us food, amazing tickets, hotel and car. I really wouldn't leave my house without her organisation. Mwah! kisses!
We had little sleep over our weekend but holidays aren't for sleeping.
That's what you do when you come home!