First P-Day in Australia!!!
So this is my first P-day in Australia, crazy! It's also my two month mark of my mission, double crazy! It has been one of the most overwhelming weeks of my life easily. We got to the mission home Monday afternoon and said our goodbyes :( I miss sister Smith and Nuttall and all the people in Michigan heaps! Then we got to the Lansing airport at 130 and thus begins the longest traveling experience of my life. It was like being in the twilight zone or something. It was an hour flight to Detroit, 3 hours in the airport, 5 hr flight to LA, 2 hr in the airport, 15 hr flight to Sydney, 3 hr in the airport, and then the last 1hr flight to Brisbane. All told like 23 hr in an airplane and 30 something traveling. Also we just skipped right over Tuesday and landed in Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon. In LA we found another group of missionaries headed to our mission. 3 elders and one sister were coming from the MTC who got their visas on time and we also met up with sister Merrill from my MTC district again, so that was super fun! but sister Cater from the MTC still didn't get her visa so I hope she gets it by next transfer. The missionaries coming from the MTC said that they were the only ones out of like 12 missionaries that got their visas so I know it's still a huge problem for all missions, so keep that in your prayers still please. Than we went to the mission office and did paperwork, and went to the mission home for dinner. President and sister Langlenad are very nice. They are sad to be leaving the mission and you can tell all the missionaries here love them so much, i'm sad I won't get to know them better but I'm excited to meet the new president as well. We met our companions that same night and went out to our area. My companion is sister Vaipulu from Tonga, she is super sweet and a good missionary. That night was the scariest driving experience of my life! I thought because they drive on the other side of the road here that I wouldn't drive in my mission or at least not for a while but I was wrong. Apparently in this mission they have a problem with having a lot of missionaries come out that don't have drivers licenses, so anyone who has one has to drive right away. After all that flying and travelling we were soooo dead tired and jet lagged and then sister Merrill had to drive us home! on the wrong side of the road, in a foreign country, like 45 minutes. It was so scary I thought I was going to die and we were all screaming the whole time. And since then I've had to drive because my comp can't and it's really trippy, I think I'm getting better at it though. We don't drive often because we share the car with the other sisters we live with. They are sister Mafi from Sydney but she's also Tongan, and sister Tai from New Zealand, but also Tongan. So I'm living with three Tongans and trying to learn to speak Tongan. Sister Vaipulu and I are opening a new area, splitting the other sisters old area. We live in Kallangur, but our ward covers several suburbs north of Brisbane. It's the North Brisbane stake, North Pine ward. It's actually really similar to the ward I was serving in in MI, but not as many members. It's sort of slow opening a new area because we don't know anyone or where anything is but we are getting the hang of it as we go. It makes me crazy when things aren't organized and so that's what I'm trying to do this week so that we can be more efficient. We weren't left with much to go off of from the sisters, and it was not really organized well.
It's weird that I can tell that I am the one with the accent around here and whenever I strat talking people always get this funny face and then ask me where I'm from. Then when they hear I'm from Vegas they think that is crazy. People have a weird perception of vegas, like they don't realize it's a normal city with normal people outside of the strip area. the members all just ask or assume I'm from Utah or Idaho....false. I'm trying to pick up a little bit of the accent at a time. Like everyone are sistahs and elduhs, instead of sisters and elders. they just don't have R's here at all. The weather is just like Hawaii in the winter, just rainy but not cold really. Definitely not cold compared to the MIchigan "summer" I came from. They have the best candy and chocolate here! I haven't been to a real grocery store yet but I am excited. Also everyone here is obsessed with KFC...yuck. I went to Dominoes and it was so different, their large pizza was like our tiny size so that was a dissapointment. Cadburry chocolate bars are everywhere in all the best flavors I'll have to send some home sometime.
One crazy thing that I didn't expect is how much I would miss Michigan. I thought it would be hard to really put my heart and soul into serving there and that I would love it here right away but it's been the opposite. I loved it there from day number one and I miss it so much! But I know as I serve here I'll love it just as much as long as I work my hardest at it. It's just crazy how different it is here and not America it is. I wasn't expecting that at all, but I'm only really homesick if we are not out working, like in the morning and stuff. Once we go out and start working the gospel is the same everywhere and spreading it makes me so happy.
Also it was so random the first dinner we had at a ward members house ended up being an American family and the son answered the door and was wearing a Las Vegas tshirt so I asked him why he had that and he answered me in an American accent that it was because he was from there! WHAT?! So that was cool, they are the Memmots (possible related to the Memmots in Grand Teton Ward?) and they lived in Alexander ward/meadowns 8th ward until 4 years ago. So that was really fun talking to them about back home and so random that I would meet them right after I got here.
Well I've got to head out and go explore the grocery stores of Australia now, but I love you all and thank you so much for the emails and letters. My address of our flat (Australian for apartment) is:
1468 Anzac Rd Apt. 4
You can write me to that address with 3 stamps on a letter and I will get it, but once it gets to be July send it to the PO box because close to transfers I don't know if I'll be moving around or not.