So i am now in Australia! Wow this is a dream. I am so blessed to be a missionary here in Liverpool. I've been assigned to the Liverpool area, so we call it The Pool. I survived the longest flight of my life [15 hours and 1 minute from LA to Sydney - 17 Time Zones]. On my ticket it said departure: Monday and arrival: Wednesday. haha i was like where did Tuesday go?? So my first flight was from Detroit to LA and i sat next to a great guy named Leslie. I feel so lucky because every flight i've had on my mission so far i've been able to share the gospel with the person sitting next to me. Leslie already had a Book of Mormon but had misplaced it so i "coincidentally" had one in my bag haha. I explained it to him and he asked for my contact information! I was happy to give him my email! It is such a miracle to be able to share the gospel through email to an older man i met on a plane.
He ended up telling me that he was one of the head honchos at the airport and he introduced me to the people he worked with. Since i had to wait in the airport for so long by myself my gate wasn't posted yet for my travel arrangements to Sydney. His friends looked it up for me and they were all so nice. I felt so naked not having a companion with me! I was desperately searching for missionaries and i found some! They were headed to Brisbane but were on the same flight! Anyways on my long flight i sat next to two very authentic Australians. The one to my right ordered white wine for every meal and even requested extra haha. I couldn't help but notice he was watching Downton Abbey and it took all my willpower not to watch it with him haha. Just kidding it wasnt that hard. Once we arrived in Australia all the Aussies started clapping on the plane. It was so fun. While i was walking out i saw Sister Salts!!! My roomie from the MTC that was also waiting for her VISA. we kind of made each other companions until we saw The Backs. The Backs. They are perfect. I love Roseville Detroit so much. A part of my heart will always be there. I miss the people everyday, But it was insane how right when i met The Backs i felt as if this is exactly where i am supposed to be. The Backs are super great. They have the best sense of humor and they are so kind. President Back pulled me aside and we did my interview right then and there in the airport. He made me feel so good about myself and i can already tell we are going to be fast friends. We had to wait a couple of hours in the airport until all the other missionaries arrived. Ok so this mission is brilliant. THERE ARE MISSIONARIES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. No joke, i think there were only 3 Americans that came in out of all 23 incoming missionaries. I'm talking Phillipines, Tongan, Somoan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, Spanish, Finland, etc. etc. etc. Before we left the airport we all sang Called to Serve in the airport and the spirit was so strong. Imagine missionaries from all over the world gathered together singing called to serve. Powerful right? Ok now i get to talk about the moment you've all been waiting for. Yes. Driving in the car. So i get in the car and the steering wheel was missing. But then i realized it was just on the other side. While driving to the mission home i almost had 15 heart attacks because i was so tripped out. Everything here is different. The speed limit is in K's and they have cameras on all of the streets that just take pictures of you if you are speeding and mail you your ticket. So then we arrived to the mission office and there were heaps of missionaries. The culture here is very different from my last mission and everyone is very casual but very good missionaries at the same time. I'm not kidding i've probably learned how to say Hello in 10 different languages. I tried my first TIM TAM! The chocolate here is unreal. Never going back to Hersheys. Sister Back calls our mission the BMW mission. That is like the mission's slogan. It stands for the Best Mission in the World. I am so keen on believing it. I can't pick out one thing that is bad. I just love it so much. After i shared my testimony and learned some things about the culture i got paired with my amazing companion!
Her name is Sister Chaipinit and she is from Thailand! She reached to about my shoulder height! It is so fun, we have language study in the morning so i can help teach her English! This morning she had salad for breakfast. I was like, Mom is that you? JOKES. Sister Chaipinit is one of the hardest workers i know and i love it. We actually have four sisters that live in our flat! it is so fun! We love exchanging spiritual experiences we had throughout the day! We live right next to a cemetery and we run around it every morning for exercise! Sometimes we look at the names haha.
My district consists of all Polynesians. There are very few moments when they are not laughing. They say heaps and heaps of jokes. Sometimes i just want the Poly's to stop laughing so we can be spiritual. I already love the people here so much. One member dropped off an entire shopping cart of food for us. Christmas came early! They are so kind and giving. We have some great people we are teaching. I am still meeting everyone. It is VERY different from my last area so i am still trying to get use to it. We bus everywhere so we don't get to visist as many people. But we had such a great miracle this week. We went over to our Investigator names Ebony's house. She is 13. Her mom wasn't going to allow her to get baptized but when i asked her after the lesson about baptism she said her mom said she could get baptized!!!!! We were so happy! I am still meeting everyone here but i am so happy. On sunday they asked me to bear my testimony when i got to church. I knew this moment would come. Last sunday in Roseville they asked me to say the closing prayer and this sunday they asked me to bear my testimony! My fear or public speaking is diminishing a little bit every transfer haha. But it was such a blessing to share my testimony. It is strengthened each time i bear it. I love it because i know i am growing closer to my father in heaven. Anyways there is too much to say. I'll spread out all the fun facts about Australia throughout my emails! I just want to leave you with a spiritual message. So you guys probably already know how much the Brethren have been stressing Sabbath day observance, but i've had the opportunity to really study the importance of the sabath. It really is a gift from God and we should treat is as a delight. Do we prepare our stomachs more than we prepare our spirits on sunday? In 2003 President Hinckley invited us to raise the bar in missionary work, they are now inviting us to raise the bar with the sabbath. Take mental pictures of your sunday life. Then ask yourself, what sign am i giving God? Would you want to send that picture up to God? Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning rest but it doesn't mean to sleep all day. Haha i was definitely guilty of that but i know now that we supposed to treat as a gift from God. It is different for everyone and our relationships with God are very personal but i know that we need to catch the Brethren's vision about keeping the sabbath day Holy. Go read the talk "The sabbath is a delight"! It is so good! Anywho, one other thing that really took me aback this week was when i came across the question, "Are you serving a mission or are you serving The Lord?" It really hit me hard and i am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary and an instrument in the lord's hands. I love you all!
P.s. look up the scrips 2 Nephi 33:1 and The Book of Enos! Enos i my favorite right now. He is keen.
P.p.s. Granpa Jake, they don't say garbage here they say rubbish haha!
My view from my flat.
Sister Chaipinit and I.