This week was really good! Really hot but really good!
It felt like it was long, probably because we had to drive to Perth so often. We had exchanges this week, so I was with Sister Jardine for like half of the week. It was so much fun!!! We drove back Tuesday afternoon/evening after getting crazy lost in their area. So then we have a bunch of people to see, lotsa good productive missionary fun.
We also got some bush medicine from one of our investigators. She and her husband gather certain plants and make medicine out of it. She gave us a bottle and it smells pretty weird, but I put some on one of my knees and it was feeling better than the other one.
THEN we get home. It's super late, we're pretty tired, and as we pull into our spot, I realized that we left the only set of keys with Sister Ahlstrom an hour and a half away in Perth. All of our windows are bolted shut, except we had just learned last week that the kitchen window actually opened. (There was like a tarantula in between the screen and the glass. So we definitely didn't open it. But we learned that we can ha.) But I had thought that it was pretty sketchy that our window was so easy to open, so I put a bar in it. Literally like 3 days before this happened. But that's really our only shot, so we went around the back, examined the window for spiders, and proceeded to work our magic (push the window in as much as we could and have Sister Jardine stick her hand in and flick the bar out. We felt so accomplished when we got in haha.
Anyways, we packed up the next day because we are supposed to drive back to perth to exchange back. So we put the bar in the window, locked all the doors, and then went out for the day. Turns out we had so many appointments and things that exchanging back did not happen that night. It was late before we were even able to leave for Perth, so we got permission to stay one more night and leave early in the morning. We had our dinner at 8 and we went to a Chinese place, the only restaurant in Northam. It was so much fun! And delicious. So after dinner we are soo full, so tired and we get home and realize what we've done. Luckily we are so skilled at breaking in, we didn't have to sleep outside. I promise it was funnier than I made it sound. And also it probably didn't deserve a whole paragraph haha. Oh well.
We had such a good week work wise, we are constantly meeting new people who really really need the gospel. Sister Jardine put her finger on why Northam is so special. You really feel like you are needed here. Sister Penstone said that people come to Northam to be humbled. There are a lot of people who have been through a lot--because of their choices, the choices of others, etc. There is a lot of darkness, and so the contrast with the spirit and the light of the gospel is so huge. It definitely comes with it's struggles, people have so much to overcome, but if they choose to, they can do it. And when they overcome so much, they become that much stronger. Sometimes I wish we could skip the middle part, and just learn our lessons immediately, etc. But I know that's not how it works. And that would be pretty boring if we really could learn that way.
Oh Sister Jardine and I had an Other Side of Heaven moment with this lady. Remember when the guys surround them at night to beat the elders up? Well we didn't have that, don't worry Mum.) But then the huge guy--I don't remember his name--comes and takes them home? And he's a member? Well we went to say hi to this man and woman at the park while we were waiting for someone. When we got closer, I recognized the man, he is an older man who wanders town everyday drinking. Half the time he's our best friend and the other half, he hates us. Today was a hate day, but I figured Sister Jardine needed the Northam experience. So as we walk up, he starts yelling at us "We don't talk to Christians". It was so funny! The woman who was with him starts yelling at him to respect us. She was all, "They're good people. They're Mormons. They're God's people. Show some respect!" As we talked to her, she told us that she was baptized like 15 years ago with her sons in Adelaide! She is so funny. She pinky swore not to drink on the day of our appt, we wrote it down for her and when we went by, she hadn't! She's really sweet and remembers bits and pieces. She's the third less active member we just ran into!
On Friday we taught the word of wisdom to this 22 year old guy who got out of the army a bit ago. We've taught him a couple times, and he wants to be baptized, but he hasn't been able to come to church at all yet. His work schedule just got shifted to night shift, and it makes it difficult for him, but he's going to try to make it next week. At 22 when you aren't a missionary, you should have plenty of energy right? Just kidding. This guy is really cool. I think I told you about him, but he just wants to do what's right and be the best he can be. So to help him as he's giving up drinking, We committed each of us to give up something with him. Brother Watts was with us, and he committed to go for a walk every morning. We gave up candy (but we didn't really think it through and I think we are going to have to make it sugar--it's just easier than deciding what is and isn't candy). We weren't planning on doing that, and Brother Watts has been giving us a hard time since then haha.
Yesterday it was our investigator, Ross' birthday! We made muffins and cake for everyone that night, and I decided I am not a huge fan of baking. I love box mixes. They are the best! Shout out to Sister Johansen for the muffin mixes, because those saved the day. Thank you!!
Last thing to a very long and not too interesting email: This morning we woke up and went out of town like 15 minutes and had our studies outside and then went on a hike! It was so beautiful and really nice because everytime we drive past these hills, I wonder what's on the other side. After hiking up one and seeing it and also seeing that it's all the same, I am satisfied. I love Australia! And I love being a missionary!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!