How I love coming to the Taree Library for emailing each Monday and opening up such loving and excited emails! I am so jealous of all the snow!! It is just getting hotter and hotter here! I am not sure what percent humidity it is here but the past couples days have been around 30-38 degree's Celsius. That is blazing hot but I hear that it gets up to 45+!! So it is very hot but so nice because it doesn't make me miss Christmas or anything so that is a bonus. I have been waiting for a few weeks for Elder Freitag to stop by and drop off the stuff! I am so happy he did! He was the missionary that picked me up from the airport when I got in Sydney. He was the Assistant to the President. I love him and can't wait to be able to meet up in two years with him. Olivia and Joseph! I hope you like the small gifts. It costs heaps here to send anything but a letter so I figured this would be one of the only chances to send something home. I hope you aren't too upset getting such an early Birthday Present ;) haha. I hope that the IPod wasn't too much to ask! I really appreciate it. Elder Imeson and I get along so well and love talking but we drive to Port and Coffs at least 2-3 times a month and that is a 3 and a half hour drive and then to Sydney is 4 and a half! But it is very fun ha we think of good games and things like that to do haha. I can’t believe Brett is stuck in the Philippines. That would be so hard! I swear I would start swimming or something!
I wanted to answer a few of the questions you have asked me. Hopefully this will help you kno what my life as a missionary is like. Each day we leave the flat at about 10:00. Sometimes 11:00 because I am doing a "new" missionary training program. We do service quite often and try to do it in the mornings because it is literally too hot to do anything during the day. For breakfast I am still trying to find something I enjoy haha. Heavenly Father has blessed me with no problems with my acid reflex because we eat some pretty awful things at times haha. For lunch if we don't have time to go to the flat we eat at Hungry Jacks or Maccas. Dinners here traditionally are these interesting types of Sausages with mashed potatoes, corn, peas and some fizzi!! Fizzi is Australian soda and it’s carbonated x 100!! It knocks you out it is so carbonated haha They do have sprite but it is too expensive so everyone drinks what they call lemonade, which is carbonated water and is awful! haha We stay out doing missionary work until 9:00. If we have an appointment we are allowed to be out til 9:30. They don't have any cinnamon here. No cinnamon gum:( No caramel apple suckers. The caramel they make here is NOT good at all so E. Imeson got his mom to send a few Caramel Suckers and we gave them out and people were drooling haha! But they have really good chocolate - Cadbury and another brand. We are hooked on this Cadbury bar that is pretty cheap so we get it every once in a while. It has jelly beans and pop rocks in it :) It is so good! People love soda and really any candy. The candy is very different. Cheap branded and some of it isn't good but every once in a while when we go to Coffs Harbour, they have a candy shop that imports American candy so we stop by there:) I think that is all the questions... I hope I answered them alright I love questions tho so keep them coming:)
A follow up on the lady we gave the Book of Mormon to with the Postie. Her name is Kelly and she has two little boys that both have ADHD and are hilarious! They have so much energy and we love spending time with them. She is a typical Aussie, a bit stubborn and doesn't know exactly what she wants, but she is accepting and every time we meet with her she agrees to what we want her to do and what we teach her. She said she will be baptized when she feels it is right. We are just working with her and teaching her so that is going well! We actually mowed her lawn the first day we met her because she was stressing about it and worrying. It was about 34 C. !!! TOO HOT!! haha but it was good, her yard is huge!
This week was full of excitement and Miracles. President and Sister Howes came to church on Sunday and spoke to the Taree Branch. It was awesome! We had dinner the night before with them at the Sicilian, a pretty nice restaurant that is very popular. They are amazing. I really want you to know how loving and amazing they are. President Howes is a GENIUS. He is so smart and knows so much. You should see when he speaks and his trainings he gives. It is unbelievable. He spoke to the Branch and totally rebuked them! haha it was awesome. He was like, "Look at all these empty seats! Why is that?" He went on in a very loving way but talking about missionary work and how we need to open our mouths and have the courage to spread the Gospel. It was very good.
One thing on food we ate this week was.... CAMEL!! We went to the butcher thinking we were going to get some Roo (Kangaroo) for cheap and try it cause every loves it here. We ended up walking out with some camel! It was on sale for 4.50! We pulled off the stickers and the original price was 28 dollars! Let me tell you, that was the most disgusting thing I have ever had in my life!! I was sick all night and finally in the morning got over it! hahaha it was a bad deal, but very fun:) haha
We have been having many encounters with the Jehovah's Witness. They are lovely people but just so lost and don't understand the scriptures. That is one thing that I really studied the other day after having a conversation with one of the JW's. They tried to convince us that we would call our parents by their first names and that is how God is. We all know Gods name is not Jehovah, that is Jesus Christ, and we know it is respectful to call him Heavenly Father. I thought that was interesting looking into that. I have my testimony strengthened each day. But one thing that is fact, everything that any other religion argues or tries to tell us we are wrong, you can look it up in the scriptures and prove it! I know that Heavenly Father has allowed other religions because not everyone in the world is going to join our church. People need other Religions to keep the world going and to have some moral standards. I wish that everyone in the world would convert to our Gospel but that is one thing that I have learned is that we have our agency and that is how it is.
Christmas here is amazing!! Not very many people put up lights but those that do go FAR OUT!! I have some really cool pictures of houses decked out with lights and everything. It doesn't feel like Christmas at all but I know it is there. It is a weird concept to try and grasp. If you want to look on google maps my address is 176 High Street, Taree, Australia. We are flat 5, the light blue one:)
This week we have training in Newcastle that we are driving down to in a few hours and then next week we have the Christmas training/celebration in Sydney! We will be out of our area for a while but things are going so good. I am loving it so much! Each day I wake up and feel so lucky and thankful for this opportunity to serve a mission. I have truly felt that I am on a mission and It scares me thinking about coming home, mainly getting back into the real world. It is so wicked and corrupt. It is so sad how Satan is ruining people’s lives and taking hold of kids at such young ages.
I love you all so much! Have an amazing week mates:)