G'day g'day, or in Maori... Kiaora!
Well, lets get straight to the chase here and let me fill you all in on where I am serving, who I am with, and the AWESOME AS stuff that has happened since I've been here.
To begin I am serving in an area called Echuca! It's in the middle of the Bush near the border of New South Wales, and Victoria. It's about 3 hours drive from Melbourne and I love it heaps. The people out in the bush are so much more appreciative of the things that we have been given. Everyone, at least almost everyone, looks out for each other. The Branch is about 50 members or so, maybe a bit less, and the President is related to my companion! He is from New Zealand which is cool as because he has a different accent and culture than anyone I have met.
Anyway, to tell you about my companion now, his name is Elder Pearce. He is from Whangarie (pronounced Fungaray) New Zealand. He is about 6 ft. tall and is white! He's a mix of Kiwi and Scottish I reckon so he's whiter than most of the islanders in New Zealand. He is teaching me how to speak Maori, and we go around with his ukulele and sing hymns sometimes! It's quite a big difference from Tassie but it's pretty good.
Back to Echuca! We basically spent the majority of the days getting to know the members and teaching an investigator named Ian Briggs. He is an Aboriginal man who lives with the Boulton family here in Echuca. They are members are honestly are such a blessing to be around. Brother Boulton is quite the missionary in that he has brought many families into the Church over the past couple years. When we were at Tea last night, we had the opportunity to taste of his cooking skills. He's seriously one of the best cooks I've ever tasted! We had kebabs, chicken fillet, roasted pumpkin, carrots, and potatoes, with homemade gravy and heaps of biscuits and butta (as they call it here ;) ). Anyway, they have a large as dog named Tubby who doesn't like black shoes. She was laying under the table and out of no where.. BOOM... the dog bits my toe!! THROUGH MY SHOE!!! It was nuts! I learned quickly that the dog does not like shoes, or feet near her. She's old as, 13 years, so I could imagine she gets grumpy. Dumb dog.
Anyway, it's been such a blessing to be here in Echuca. You learn heaps about yourself in small areas, at least from my experience. Things are more relaxed because everyone around here works near or on a farm. It's such a blessing to have those little moments where you can appreciate the world around you. I love it here, even though it's new and I'm doubled in with a new companion (who is the man) and have been called as the District Leader for the first time. Every thing is new, exciting, and different. It's uncomfortable but it allows you to grow. I love the idea of progression and stretching that Heavenly Father allows you have and accomplish and work at. My mission has been such a growing experience, and I really hope that I can continue to learn and grow! Echuca is AWESOME!!!
Well, that's about it for this week. Next week will be better, with heaps more photos I PROMISE!
Love you all heaps!!!
Kakite Ano!! (Goodbye in Maori)
PS- the photo is of me with all the Sisters (minus sister Ricks) from my district!