With that diversity comes a ton of different perspectives. It's interesting to see how everyone views missionaries, religion, and even the world in general. A good handful of people we meet are Catholic, who don't want to change but are thankful we're here to "teach those who need Jesus". Every once in a while, we'll meet an atheist, which I always find hilarious, because I swear they always have the nicest gardens, every single time. It never fails!
Then there's those who really don't like Mormons, who always crack me up. We started talking to this guy at a bus stop, who was clearly disinterested, so we simply told him that God loves him. We all got on the bus, and he glared at me until he got off. When he was almost off the bus, he turned and told me to get a real job. Haha. Poor guy, I wish he could've seen my face, because I had the biggest smile on.
The most common misconception when we go out is that we're JW's. I'm not sure why everyone assumes we are, because you would think our tags would set us apart. Another one is people think we're cops, especially when we're on bikes. Some people will back up or get scared as we pass by them. It's pretty funny.
Elder Lamipeti and I are very excited for the Christmas season because we can use caroling as a missionary tool. For the time being, we have decided to practice by singing hymns to people who aren't so interested when we tract. Now, for those of you that have heard me sing, you know that my voice is terrible. But man, when we start singing on those porches, the Spirit is so strong, it's amazing.
One thing I love is Personal Study. I remember reading the Book of Mormon before my mission and I would lose focus after a couple of chapters. Being set apart, you are blessed with many things, and one of those is a desire to study and learn more. The hour we have every morning goes by so quickly, before I know it, it's time to put the Book of Mormon down. It's so cool finding verses or stories that never stuck out to me in the past.
Every month, Sister Checketts sends out a newsletter, and this month she included a few things she was thankful for. I then realized that I wasn't going to be celebrating Thanksgiving for the next two years and thought of a few simple things that I really missed about home, which are WalMart (simple store that has everything), Taco Bell (my favorite fast food that people here have never heard of), Fruity Pebbles (the greatest cereal on earth that Aussies don't know exists), and lastly being basketball (haven't played a pickup game since the MTC :( but we have a ball so I'll go out onto the balcony and dribble during lunch).
I know all of these things are worldly, but as I was thinking, I thought about all the things I've been blessed with. The Lord has blessed me with good health so that I could play the sport I love. He's blessed me with simple things that I probably took for granted before I left. And finally, he's blessed me with the opportunity to come to Australia for two years to learn, grow, and change for the better. Not everybody gets the chance to come to a foreign country for two years and teach people about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and all the love they have for us. What a blessing and privilege that is.
I've entitled this week's email This is Sydney because the weather the past couple weeks has been all over the place. One minute it's crazy hot and the next it's raining golf balls. So I came up with a song sung to the chorus of God Be With You Till We Meet Again:
Sydney, this is Sydney
Where the rain comes randomly
This is Sydney, this is Sydney
Sydney, home of the random rain
With all the rain, heaps of people we're home so we got to do a ton of tracting this week. We smashed goals this week as we taught a ton of people a little bit about the message of the restoration, accompanied by a hymn about Christ.
What a good week it's been. We visited Piero, sang his favorite hymn in Spanish, had a very good Zone Training Meeting, where we learned about recognizing the promptings from the Spirit, and had a great Sunday in which we both got called on to bear our testimony during Sacrament Meeting due to extra time.
Hope all is well back in the States!
Love you heaps,
Words, Phrases, & Thoughts of the Week:
- "Filas", How they call Filipinos here
- "Thanks for calling", Aussie way of saying thank you for visiting/stopping by, even though we didn't actually call them
- The way people say Fiji here is really drawn out and slow, so it sounds like "Fee-gee"
- Everyone calls our bicycles "push bikes" because mopeds and motorcycles are called bikes
- Alma 13:24"For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
- Preach My Gospel shares that we need to find those that will receive us. The Lord has prepared people everywhere for us to teach. We have to prepare ourselves to find those people, because when we are prepared, the Lord will allow miracles to happen.
BIG UPS TO GRANDMA MUH FOR THE FRUITY PEBBLES!
Pictures don't do enough justice for these views