So this week was pretty good. We had the car for a day and a half which was nice. I can't remember if I ever mentioned that there are 4 companionships of missionaries here in Toowoomba, two for each ward, and we only have one car between us. So we really have to plan well, and get in shape biking up hills. But because we had the car we decided to go "down the range"which means going down the huge mountain that Toowoomba is on top of and to the little small towns in the valley. We have a handful of members down there and most of them are struggling to be active in church. Distance probably has a bit to do with that, but it doesn't really take all that long to get up/down unless there is traffic. Anyways that was on Saturday and in the morning we had one lesson to go to before we headed down there, so one of the YSA girls in the ward came with us and our lesson didn't show so we decided to drop in on a few people around there that we hadn't met yet that were in our area book. So the first house we go to has this sign out the front that says Wildlife Rescue League and when we knock on the door this lady answers and she has a baby possum on her head like burrowing in her hair, and next minute I look closer and there is definitely something squirming around in her shirt as well. So my normal door approach flies out the window and I say to her "wo! you've got something on your head!" and that broke the ice haha. So she starts telling us about all the other creatures she has, and goes inside and comes back holding a baby wallaby and talking about how it sleeps with her and pees on her bed all night and stuff...gross...but it gets worse because as she is talking and holding the thing it poops in her hand and she just takes the poop and sets it on top of the bookshelf next to her and says "oh I'll get that later"...nasty. But it was super cute and soft. So we go in her house and she starts showing us the rest of her animals. I guess she runs a wildlife rescue company and used to be based out in the bush but she has health problems (not surprising) and had to relocate to Toowoomba to be nearer to medical care. So as she's telling us this she keeps handing me animals to hold,(baby possums and the like) and I went to hand one to my companion who was like NO WAY and next minute the lady hands her this nasty thing that looked like a rat with a long nose, called a Bandicoot, apparently they get to be like the size of a small cat...gross. But my companion's face was priceless holding this thing. And we got the grand tour of all her cages and creatures, she had one of those flying squirrels and some cool birds and lots of possums. And then we were able to sit down and share with her a pretty good message and give her a Book of Mormon to read. It was just the most random thing to ever happen to me on a Saturday morning. After that we went down the range to meet a family called the Pynes. The mom is returning to activity and has two teenage daughters, one of whom was just baptized in May. We thought they lived in one of the small towns on the highway, but she kept asking us if we knew how to get to their house and finally just said we could meet her and follow her to where they live. And then we ended up driving for ages into the middle of who knows where farmland. It was super pretty though and reminded me a ton of south/central Utah. Very similar climate and vegetation except it doesn't ever snow or get as cold. So that was an adventure and at their house they had two dogs who sat on my feet and like proceeded to start fighting on my lap, and then they took us all around their property to show us their horses which was cool. Then after them we went on to drop by another family and the man answered the door in nothing but his green undies...and he was old and fat and bald and holding a tiny fluffy white dog, so that was also just an awkward situation. The last house we tried nothing too weird happened except I had another dog sit on my feet while I was standing talking to a man. We tallied it up and in all ended up touching or petting 8 different species of animals in one day. So I won't be needing to go to the zoo in this area, I had that all covered on Saturday. But other than that our week was pretty good. We are starting to see things happening here and building up a teaching pool and getting lots of work done. Halloween was pretty sad, because they don't celebrate it really here at all. We went to a member's house for dinner that night and they have twin 14 yr olds and a friend over and the boys tried to scare us by dressing up their moms hair dummies but that was as halloweeny as it got for me, so I hope everyone had a great halloween and has a great thanksgiving coming up too!
Love you all!
Mahal Kita (we have been meeting lots of filipinos lately)