Ok, so I'm in Australia and it is crazy here! I absolutely love it!
We didn't email yesterday because it was public holiday.
President and Sister Lindsay are just about the cutest/best people in the entire world. This mission is so much smaller than AZ, well...less missionaries, huge area. But it's super personal. President Lindsay wants us to call him whenever we need to, or whenever we have a miracle to report and when we get our first new investigator and whenever anyone sets a baptismal date. But yeah, I think there's like 130 missionaries, and like 5 zones.
My companion is Sister Iosua-Fiu. You say it like Yo so few, but say it fast. She's from Melbourne, but she was born in New Zealand and she's Samoan. She is the best! I love her!! She's a really good missionary and she is so kind and super patient and really funny. (Just found out Leslie Schelly's niece was Sister Iosua-Fiu's companion earlier! Small world).
We live in this flat that's actually huge. It's a house with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and it's just the 2 of us. Crazy right?? It's fun though.
There are multiple sets of missionaries in each ward, we are with the zone leaders, but some wards have like 4 companionships. It's so fun.
Oh, so the craziest thing is that I'm driving already!! It's not too bad, I haven't killed us yet. But a lot of the Australians don't have drivers licenses, they all just drive illegally because it takes like 4 years to get a license here. So when someone can drive, they start right away. Not gonna lie, I was terrified. And the morning I was supposed to drive for the first time it was pouring rain. Perfect. But it isn't that bad. Oh, there are a bajillion and one roundabouts though. And for those of you who aren't aware, I HATE roundabouts even when driving on the right side of the road! It's all good though, we pray a lot that we will get places safely. And driving on the left isn't too bad, there are just some weird things to get used to.
Um, I haven't seen any poisonous things yet (shouldn't have said that, now I'm going to jinx myself). But I thought I hadn't seen any spiders really either, but then one morning I guess I was just looking around more in our flat and I saw 6 in one corner. Shouldn't have looked around more. I vacuumed them all up, no worries.
Accents aren't too hard to understand so far. But there are tons of Mauris (I don't know how to spell it, but native new zealanders...everyone says to say it like moldys like moldy bread haha). And people speak Samoan a lot, so then I'm kinda lost, but Sis Iosua-Fiu is teaching me. By the time I come home, I'll speak Samoan! Every once in a while I am completely lost, but I just nod and smile.
The ward is great! Super involved, really good ward mission leader.
I met Elder Renner. (who was waiting for his visa in Grandma Formica's ward). He's in my zone, and he said that Gmas cooking is the best, and that he misses Hemet and the smell of citrus. He also said that that area is on fire. What? I haven't heard of anything. Man I was awful when I was at home. Oh hey, familia, look up the missionary next door--it's like a lesson/John Bytheway type thing by this lady--and listen to it and then set goals as a family of how to share the gospel, yeah? I can't remember if I already told you to do that, but if I did and you haven't, do it!
General Conference is broadcast the week after here, so I'll see it the next weekend. Same with the relief society broadcast...so I'll see it Saturday. Everything is a week later here. But I'm so excited! Like Rach said, watch it with a question in mind, and really prepare yourself to receive revelation--think and pray about it ahead of time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8Vxspr1dag
There are these really loud, obnoxious birds here that seriously sound awful. I don't even know how to describe their sound, but you just want to shoot them.
So Halloween isn't a thing here. I knew Thanksgiving wasn't, obviously ha, but Halloween? I was hopeful. It's killing me. I'm starting it. Get a ward trunk or treat going...it'll take WA by storm ha. Just wait, you'll hear about it I'm sure.
Oh, so I say I am from CA, and everyone asks, oh do you know this person?? Everyone thinks I should know everyone from CA.
So we haven't been able to go grocery shopping yet, but everything is ridiculously expensive here. Ridiculously. Dominos is cheap though--5$ pizza. Since we haven't been able to go grocery shopping, we have had so much pizza I'm never going to eat it again. Don't worry Mom, we get money tomorrow and we will get food soon.
Members don't really feed you here--2 recent converts who we are with a ton have fed us actually, but those are the only meals we've had. It's a little weird going from Ahwatukee, where you get fed like really well every single night, to fending for yourself, but it's not a problem, it's good!
Want to know something that'll break your heart? There are 5 people we are teaching who want to be baptized but they can't be because their parents won't allow them to be. Isn't that so sad??
There are so many things that are different that I just didn't think about. It's definitely an adjustment, I feel like teaching here is different too. I think people from different cultures think in different ways...I have to figure that out a little more. Ok, I don't actually know how to explain what I mean, so never mind.
I am just so grateful for the gospel. It's real. There is only one way to be completely happy, and that is by following Christ's example. Every single person needs to have faith in Jesus Christ, to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and then to keep going throughout this life-- throughout whatever trial is thrown our way. We each need this, because through Christ and His atonement is the only way we can be saved. Nothing is more important--not school, work, or anything else, because this is the reason we are here. To learn and grow from our trials and to become like Heavenly Father.
Scripture of the week 2 Nephi 31, all of it. (but if you want a smaller one, verse 20-21).
Ok, I'll get off my high horse and stop being all preachy, but I love this gospel. It brings me so much joy and comfort and purpose.
I miss and love you all! Hope you have a wonderful week!!!