Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 14, 2015: Australia Week 14

We had a whopping 2 people at church on Sunday (we're working on it) and both my companion and I gave talks. This place is quite an experience. We had a baptism date for John, our long-term investigator, but he fell through...again. He's in his early 20s and has said he's felt the Spirit with us before and can tell that we're telling the truth, but he's one of those people who says he has visions all the time and thinks that every one of his dreams has some massive significance, like they're all a puzzle and his future depends on whether or not he can figure them out. He misinterprets a lot of things, so I think the likelihood of him getting baptised in the coming year is sketchy at best. 


On the bright side, we have Jared and Sherry, who are in their 30s and have a solid family. They're open to meeting with us but Sherry always tries to smash us with questions, especially about Joseph Smith. So we're reading the Book of Mormon with them and helping them understand what it's actually about. 
Our days are hot, hot, humid. If you want to know what it feels like being here, just imagine getting out of a hot shower without drying off and immediately putting church clothes on, and then biking through a steam room for miles.

The Farrers are our senior couple missionaries in Darwin, and they are the BEST. They came down a few days ago, brought stuff for our flat, and then just said, "You get to have a P-Day while we're here! Where do you want to go?" We went to Cutta Cutta Caves, which is this underground cave made of limestone and it's pretty amazing. I'll send you pictures next week because I forgot to bring my camera. Katherine has some pretty awesome places to visit like Cutta Cutta Caves and the Gorge.

That's it for this week. I'll send you a heap of photos next time. 

December 7, 2015: Australia Week 13

I am now serving on the other side of the continent, and I love, love, love it up here. I got on a plane Wednesday morning without a companion and flew from the bottom of Australia to the very top, the city of Darwin. It was so strange getting on a plane in the middle of my mission by myself--it felt like I was going home early for disobedience haha. I am serving in Katherine, a small, small town in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by bushland. 
I met my new companion, Elder Duabe from the Philippines, at the Darwin airport. He is 26, is learning english, and loves to play basketball. When I stepped outside the airport, it felt like I was in one of those steam rooms--you can almost drink the water out of the air it's so humid. I got a little tour of Darwin and met some of the missionaries there. Elder Pitama (from New Zealand I believe) and Elder Seru (from Fiji) drove Elder Duabe and I down to Katherine (3.5 hours from Darwin) and dropped us off. We don't have a car--just bikes. And we're pretty much stranded out here. 


Katherine is about half aboriginal and half white Aussie. The people here are nice here--they're always keen to have a yawn with you, even if they're not interested in the gospel. We have about THREE active members. At church on Sunday, which is held at this playgroup centre place, we had a whopping 5 people present. It was testimony meeting, so my companion and I bore our testimonies along with Brother Friday, an aboriginal man baptised 2 years ago. And then church was over--it lasted 30 minutes. As a regular person, you would probably be yipping with joy if church was that short, but as a missionary here, it means 2.5 more hours of riding your bike in the hot humidity. So I really wish church would last 3 hours.

Up here in the Northern Territory we don't have a winter and summer so much as a wet season and a dry season. We're now in the wet season. It rains every day here for about 15 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day. We're also cleared to go back to our flat at 7.00pm instead of 9.00 because there are too many drunk people out at night.

We've done some door knocking and people are pretty nice for the most part. Every now and then you'll knock on someone's door who says, with a scowl on their face, "What do you want?" And I'll just say, "Actually, can I have a glass of water?" Then their facial expression changes from angry to really confused as they say, "Um...okay...'' Then they'll bring you and your companion a glass of water. And they can't slam the door in your face anymore because you have their glass, so you make sure to drink real slow so you can talk to them. It's the best haha. 

We've been looking for a place to baptise our investigators, but our biggest obstacle is finding someplace without crocodiles. I'll give you an update next week on our success. 


-Elder Koch
1. Getting off the plane and meeting Elder Duabe
2. Darwin beach
3. Katherine Gorge




Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015: Australia Week 12, More Photos

1. God smiling on us
2. I was reading the Ensign one day and came across a picture of a baby I now want to adopt.
3. The Gee family

4. It is what it is








November 30, 2015: Australia Week 12

Soooo quick email this week. I miss Thanksgiving in America because it's not a thing in Australia, but one of the members made us crocodile sausages and kangaroo steak on Thanksgiving day, so it turned out to be a good experience. Transfers are today....my companion has been here since I opened my call and he is.....staying! Haha he's happy to stay because he loves Pirie but he's pretty bummed because he doesn't know what else God wants him to do here. By the end of next transfer he'll have spent nearly half his entire mission in the little town of Port Pirie. And I'mmm....leaving! (after being here 3 months) I don't know where I'm going yet or who my new companion is. We're going down to Adelaide today and I'll be shifted into my new place by Wednesday (Australians don't "move" to a new place, they "shift"). My companion said all his goodbyes to everyone last night, so we were both in a lot of shock when we found out he's staying. At this point he's probably here to find his wife more than anything else.
I did have the opportunity to give an impromptu talk on my last Sunday here because one of the speakers was sick, so it was nice to speak to everyone for the last time. 
I truly am going to miss the people here. All of the members have been amazing and one of a kind in their own way. The saddest thing about getting transferred is realising that I will probably never set foot in Port Pirie again in my entire life. So I really will miss the people here.  
-Elder Koch

1. One of the cooler sunsets I've seen.
2. This is the hallmark of Australia...for some reason people put heaps of chairs on their front porch and just let them sit for ages.
3. The Pirie chapel, where I was born.
4. My companion doing a marvelous job of washing our car.









Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 23, 2015: Australia Week 11

This week was one of the best. We had a super spiritual stake conference and members said it was the best one they had ever seen. We had a couple of seventies come down to give talks, and they told some inspiring stories. I believe that is the key to speaking--if you ever have the opportunity to give a talk in the future, tell stories. They multiply everyone's life experience and are the most memorable way to communicate your ideas. 
One of the coolest things I have seen while I have been in Port Pirie is the Gee family (pronounced "jee"). Brother Gee was an atheist and a professional wine taster at the beginning of this year. Today he is the second counselor in the branch presidency and his wife is the relief society president. They are one of the strongest families in our branch and they take care of us missionaries as if we were their kids. That is one of the best things about the the members in our branch: they take care of each other. Brother Gee fixes our bikes all the time, one sister sews up our pants, another sister crocheted us blankets, and the members (force) feed us all the time. 
Another realisation I have come to in the past few weeks is how grateful I am for my family. I have witnessed dozens of broken families in the past 3 months where the father has left the family, where the parents are young and unmarried, where the parents left the kids when they were young; where the husband never comes to church but the wife comes anyway, where the kids have gone inactive and the parents can't get them back, where the grown up kids don't even know where their siblings live or who they are anymore. I realised that I come from an ideal family that I have taken for granted all this time and the struggles I have faced are nowhere near as daunting as those I have witnessed out here. 
In the past few months I've become used to the Aussie culture and all the little differences that you don't know about. So I've decided to include little tidbits of cultural differences from now on in my emails.
Aussie Culture: Driving
1. The most popular brand of car I have seen here is Holden, which I've been told is similar to Chevy in America, but they have a different design. 
2. The speed limits are slow and are enforced to a Nazi extreme: cops rarely pull people over because they just have speed trap cameras everywhere. If you go so much as 8 kph (5 miles per hour) over the speed limit, you get a ticket for $500. So everybody drives the same speed and almost nobody passes each other. 
3. They aren't called "gas stations", they're called "petrol stations". The word "gas" is never used here. Petrol is bright red. 
4. There are signs all over the highways that say, "DROWSY DRIVERS DIE" and "DRIVE TO SURVIVE" 

Missionary Hobbies:
We go to Op-shops (opportunity shops--basically the same thing as DI) all the time for ties, which are a dollar or two at most. Occasionally you'll score and find a mean tie, so it's a mad rush to the tie section to get there before other missionaries take the best ones. 

Spiritual thought for yous before I go: This goes hand in hand with my farewell talk--the other day in my personal study I came across the sentence, "Christ performed the Atonement so we could become Gods." That statement really woke me up--that is the purpose of our existence here. There is a bigger picture of such magnitude that all things we see as being so important and so stressful in our lives are nothing. I thought that sentence was the coolest thing, because that is what we're headed for if we choose to obey God. That is what he has in store for us.


-Elder Koch

1. Our house. As you can see, it's up for grabs.
2. Our street
3. One of the main streets in Pirie
4. This is Lance, one of our members. He's the sweetest guy ever. He's too ill to come to church every week, so we go by the hospice twice a week to read the Book of Mormon with him. He has a hard time speaking, so you really have to listen when he talks. He always says in his prayers (while struggling to speak) "Thank you for the missionary boys. I love them and I love you, Heavenly Father. Thank you for the Book of Mormons. The Book of Mormons is true, and I will always read it." He always gives us chocolate every time we visit. 
5. Who knew they played baseball down here?
















November 16, 2015: Australia Week 10

This week was solid--we've been busy every day working miracles. Haha but honestly, we give blessings nearly every single day and we've seen some progress with the people we're working with. One investigator we have is Nathan who is practically homeless. We rounded up some help from the members and donated stacks of food to him and his two kids after church last week. He just shifted into a new home and is struggling to support his family, so it was awesome to see how supportive the members are. 
Another investigator we have is Dylan, a 19 year-old kid who is now on date for baptism; he has some kind of learning disability, so we're taking the lessons really slow with him, but he's begging us to read the Book of Mormon with him every day haha. 
On a normal day we wake up, work out, get ready, do our studies for a couple hours, then get started. Our day usually consists of doing service (we get smashed with service in Pirie--we do yard work nearly every day), going on a walkabout in the blazing heat to try and talk to people, visiting members and recent converts/less actives (we have heaps of less actives here--we do more work with them than with anyone else), knocking doors, going to tea appointments with members, and then planning when we get back to the house. I'll have to get some photos of the houses and streets here so you can get a better idea of where we live. 
We ride our bikes almost every day; if you want to know what it feels like, it goes like this: get on your bike and start pedaling to the other side of town in 40 degree heat (I'm learning my Celsius), making sure to dodge cars when crossing busy intersections and going through roundabouts, park your bike on a member's porch 20 minutes later, unflatten your hair since there's that beautiful thing called helmet hair, walk in dripping in sweat, greet the member and sit down as they offer you a pepsi max (people drink more soda than water here) and then have a nice conversation with the member and share a spiritual thought. Then repeat the process. Expect most people to not be home. Then go get a frozen coke at Hungry Jacks to celebrate at the end of the day. 
Whenever we go up to Port Augusta for P-day or meetings, we usually get smashed in the morning by a personal trainer. For some reason this guy named Michael (whose Mom is a less active) recently started training the Port Augusta missionaries for free. So we wake up around 5am and go to the beach to get smashed; we do tons of running, stairs, push ups, burpees, army crawls on the sand, time trial sprints, etc. Michael always tells us he's not stopping till one of us throws up. Which occasionally happens. 
Transfers are in 2 weeks. My companion might go, but he and I want to stay for Christmas since the members know us well. When I first came here I honestly did not like Port Pirie at all--it's completely the opposite of what I'm used to: it's a small town, the church isn't that strong, and hardly anybody works because they just don't care. I've come to the point though where I'm honestly going to miss the people, especially the members. I reckon I'll stay one more transfer and I hope I do. 
Spiritual thought for yous before I go: "The spirit doesn't stay with you--you stay with the Spirit." Ain't that the truth.


-Elder Koch


 For some reason we're allowed to wear these hats in the summer while we proselyte. I think we look like Amish rednecks. 

 My companion falls asleep when he's supposed to be training me. 


 Service at its finest.


They have these workout playground things everywhere around here. They're more fun to play on than to work out on. 

 I caught me-self one of them crabby things. Haha just kidding--a fisherman let me hold him. 


Port Broughton

 I was head chef at our branch's barbecue at Port Broughton. I cook 'em real good. 


O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain. Australia! Australia! God shed His grace on thee!

November 9, 2015: Australia Week 9

This week was pretty eventful. We got asked to perform an exorcism and were told "You will stay through transfers so you can perform an exorcism on my daughter." Man, great times. 
My Aussie accent is really struggling right now since my companion is a straight up Yank (what Aussies call Americans) and is from Utah. But I can do a much better redneck accent now thanks to him. My companion's 6 transfers to sexy has been a continuous struggle because the members force feed us. I've gained 17 pounds since coming on a mission and I blame most of it on the members haha. 
Oh yeah, the elderly lady whose foot hurt was spot-on. We had a massive flood for several days since she was in the hospital. 
Doug and Tina (the investigators who are our age) had their baby the other day, so they're officially parents. 

-Elder Koch



One of our aboriginal members had this kangaroo/wallaby that she carries around in her backpack. I'm not sure how it hasn't suffocated yet...


They have these gorgeous purple trees here--when you walk past the petals on the ground, they're so bright they almost hurt your eyes. It's awesome.


6 transfers to sexy has been such a success


One of our investigators has a cockatiel (?) and it landed on my companion's head so I had to give it a try

We found these sick high-vis uniforms the other day when we cleaned up our house.


"And the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove..."
We threw bread all over our car so we could get attacked by birds.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015: Australia Week 8

Thanks for all of your emails and the analogies--sorry if I don't get to you within a few weeks, I'll do my best. 

This week was pretty sweet. We have a new district leader, Elder Johnson, who's totally improved the mood of the district. We went up to Whyalla for p-day and I finally got to see some real Australian ocean. My companion and Elder Johnson are trying to get fit because they only have 6 transfers (9 months) left on their missions, so they've resolved to actually eat healthy which is nearly impossible here haha. They're doing "6 transfers of sexy", so my companion gives all the extra chocolate to me which is great because I still have 10 transfers of fat. 


The one lady whose foot was hurting last week went to the hospital because her foot hurt so bad, so we're expecting a Noah's Ark sized flood pretty soon.


People in America are so amazed by kangaroos and think it's awesome to see one in a zoo or whatever, but over here they're just roadkill. They're the equivalent of squirrels because they're so ubiquitous. 


I was in Port Augusta (a small town north of Pirie) for trade offs and these Aboriginal kids were like, "Look, we caught a sleeping lizard!" So I went over and they showed me how to pick it up without getting my fingers bitten off. These things are massive--they're like one big muscle. We'll be seeing some snakes soon. 


-Elder Koch

1. The sleeping lizard (blue tongued lizard)
2. The beach of Whyalla
3. Can't leave without a selfie by the beach
4. Our new district (Elder Johnson is the one in front and Elder Mueco is the Philipino one)
5. Water I wish I could swim in
6. For those of you who think I'm in Australia, I actually never left Vegas.















Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015: Australia Week 7

This week we had our primary program--it's funny since back home we have 100+ kids singing as loud as they can, but here we had 4 kids so we all sang the same songs with them. It was pretty awesome. I had flashbacks to the good old days haha. 

Here in Pirie we don't have many investigators right now--we do a lot of work with the recent converts and less actives. So we do heaps of service for people to help them out and invite them back to church. This one older lady that we pulled weeds for is so funny--we had a storm this week which was sooo nice. It's been blazing hot and it finally rained for a couple days. We rode our bikes through a rainstorm and it was the best day ever. So this lady tells us, "My foot always hurts when it's going to rain. My foot knows when it's going to rain...my foot always knows." Her foot was hurting that day and of course it rained hahaha. So we don't need a weather forecast, we just need to ask her if her foot hurts. 

We were visiting this other older lady and asked her if she needed help with anything and she jokingly asked us if we were good at cutting hair because her dog needed a haircut. So of course my companion plops this fat shaggy dog on his lap and starts cutting its hair off with scissors. I jumped in and started cutting as well on the front porch and an hour and a half later this thing is shaved with the most patchy haircut ever. The older lady was so happy though because we saved her $100. 

Everybody calls me Elder "Kosh" here because they don't pronounce my name "Coke" since there's this guy on TV who has the same last name and they call him "Koshy". So I've just decided to be "Elder Kosh" for the rest of my mission haha. 

-Elder Koch

1 and 2: The dog we sheared


October 19, 2015: Australia Week 6

So transfers were this week. Guess where I'm going? Nowhere. And my companion is staying here in Port Pirie too. He says he loves it here but he's been here since March so he's pretty disappointed. We finally got some investigators to church yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks--hallelujah.
The other day we were riding bikes back home, and we see these 3 people walking towards us, so I walk up to them and ask how they're going (sidenote: In Australia people say "How you goin'?" and not so much "How's it going") and they were all excited for some reason. Strangers are never excited to see us so I was confused as (sidenote 2: Aussies say "as" after something to say it wasvery much so. So I could say "I was sick as" or "this ice cream is frozen as" and it would mean the same thing as "I was sick as heck" or whatever you want to throw in the blank--fill in the simile yourself because Aussies don't). The 3 people said "We're going on a prayer walk! Want to join?" Haha it was awesome--they said a prayer with us right there on the side of the road. 
Other than that, this one day we were tracting and we were so thirsty since we never take water with us because the members usually give us drinks. We knocked on this one guy's door and he said "No guys, I'm not interested" and he was about to close the door, but I was just like, "I know you're not interested, but can we have some water?" So he went back in his house and brought us some water. Pure faith right there haha. 
I've only seen one kangaroo since I've gotten here, and they have these lizards the size of my forearm that just chill out in the middle of the road and are too slow to move so sometimes we run over them.
By the way, I have a request: I love using analogies to teach people because it makes so much more sense to them, but since I have limited access to looking things up as a missionary I would love it if you could send me any gospel related analogies that have stuck out to you over the years. It could be anything, as simple as "Faith is like the wind because you cannot see it, but the trees blowing in the wind is evidence that it is there", etc. etc. Investigators and members understand visual analogies like that so much more than a complicated concept.

-Elder Koch

1. Lizard in the road.

2. Sometimes I study Lehi's dream instead of reading it.

3. On P-day we went to this Vietnam War museum and saw the Australian helicopters that fought in the war. It was pretty sweet.


4. Bikes ALL DAY. My thighs are getting massive from all this biking. (You think I'm joking but I'm actually serious.)



Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015: Australia Week 5

Transfers are next week, so I might be getting a new companion. Most likely I'll stay out here in the middle of nowhere and my companion will go someplace else. He's been here since I opened my mission call in March haha it's crazy. Think about that. 

We finally got to watch conference this week since we get it a week later down under. One thing that stood out to me was asking the question "What is keeping me from progressing?" in our personal prayer. I did that last night and the Spirit really smashed me. I have some pride-related weaknesses I need to fix. What I like about that talk was that we will receive specific answers customized individually for us. The answer I received wasn't just "pride", it was a very specific mindset that has been hindering me. When you ask that question and genuinely want an answer, the Spirit will smash you with something you need to improve. 

I was at Hungry Jacks (basically Burger King) the other day and I asked for a water cup and the girl at the counter was so confused. I might as well have asked her, "Where did you come from, why are you here, and where are you going?" because the look on her face would be the same. Hahaha apparently Aussies are clueless as to what a water cup is so she finally gave me a glass of Hungry Jack's tap water. I'm pretty sure it was yellow. And there is no such thing as a dollar menu at Macca's (McDonalds) here. It's blasphemy. Most of the combo meals are nine or ten bucks--it's wild. 

Oh yeah, we got pulled over last night and my companion got randomly selected ("randomly") to be breathalysed by the cops. He was soo nervous since tickets here are $500 for going 8 K's (5mph) over. Great times. 

Another thing I've learned on my mission is patience: we have 6 hour phone conferences for trainings where we just listen to their meeting going on in Adelaide. Sometimes the days are long too, but I just remember as Wiz always told me, "Long days, hard work forever pays." We're doing our best with the finding whether it's door knocking or street contacting. Sometimes somebody won't be interested but they'll offer us a drink because it's blazing outside. I'm always thankful for those people--because we don't take water with us on our bikes, we just rely on faith haha. 

No photos from Australia this week, so I'll include a couple throwbacks to the MTC.



October 5, 2015: Australia Week 4

We didn't baptize anyone this week, but we did save a life. More about that in a second haha. We've got a couple solid investigators. One of them is our age and he's super pumped about baptism. He just has to get married to his girlfriend before that though since they're having a kid soon. We had a lesson with him the other night about the Plan of Salvation and he was super engaged, asking a bunch of questions--he's even excited to give up his beer so he can be baptized. I'm excited for him. 

There's only one heater in the house and it's winter here, so we're freezing all the time. The next day it was 90 degrees so we're blasting the AC. Summer makes riding the bikes so exciting! Can't wait to do it again tomorrow. The farmer's tan is real--I'm getting some nice color on my forearms, and then you go up 1 inch and it's blazing white. Seriously though--I could have a legitimate competition with Snow White to see who's "fairest in all the land". 
So back to the life we saved. We were riding bikes one day and we see this lady whacking her engine with a broomstick. We rode up and said, "That's an interesting way to fix your car--can we help?" She told us there was a cat stuck in her engine. I didn't believe her until I heard meowing...it was the weirdest thing. She had gotten it out once before but it ran back into the engine and she couldn't get it out, so she had been driving to the shops and running errands for the past 2 days with a cat stuck in her engine. I don't know how the heck that thing survived. My companion started digging for it, getting black grease all over his arms. We finally pulled out this baby kitten out after half an hour and fed it some tuna, then took it to the vet. My companion rode his bike to the vet with no hands, holding the cat up in the air like Simba while singing the Lion King song hahaha. Great times. 

The friendliest thing in Australia is the flies. You could have 5 flies buzzing around your head and start running a 5k, and the same 5 flies would be with you at the finish line. 
Transfers are coming up in a couple weeks, so we'll see if I stay in Port Pirie. My companion has been here since I got my mission call, so he's never leaving haha. I've got a few pictures for you. 


-Elder Koch


 The beautiful ocean view from Port Pirie. 


They had this thing called the Smelter's Picnic the other day which is like a fair that the whole town goes to. We got this massive thing called Mettwhurst, which is basically salami. We're halfway done with it haha. 

   
The kitten we saved.

September 28, 2015: Australia Week 3


Ellloooo! This week we got smashed with service (smashed is Aussie slang--use it all the time) and we literally did service projects every day this week except when we were in Adelaide. We did everything from mowing lawns and weeds to shoveling horse manure.

So they have this stuff here called Milo and it's basically Australians' version of chocolate milk except it's made with barley so it has a weird flavour--Australian kids are grown up on it: they almost drink it before they drink milk. So my companion and I make iced Milos about 4 times a day now. Sooo good. 

One of the funny things here about church is that we ALWAYS sing every single verse of the hymns. If we're singing a sacrament hymn and they're done breaking the bread by the end of verse 2, we'll go on to sing the next 5 verses regardless. They never stop haha. 

Oh...I just remembered a good story. My companion and I went to see this one lady who's a little wild to share a spiritual thought and see how she's doing. She says that our spirits visit her and she always fills us in on "what's going on in the world" and tells us these conspiracy theories like how the United Nations is secretly forming terrorist groups and how Jesus went into hiding to teach people in underground tunnels, etc. I love our visits. They're great. She goes to say the closing prayer and prefaces it by saying "Well I guess we'll see what my mouth says" and continues "Unto Elder Koch, I would say, 'Well done' and unto Elder Kendall I would say, 'Thou art the chosen one' ". Somehow we made it through that prayer with many coughs and I told my companion he'd better become the next prophet hahaha. 

We've heard from the assistants that we might be getting iPads within the next few months. I try to never get my hopes up, so cross your fingers for us. I'm crossing mine right now as I tyype. 
Anyway, I hope things are going well at home! Don't forget to read your scriptures.

September 21, 2015: Australia Week 2

This week I got my first taste of real missionary life. We've been knocking doors and talking to people in the streets. My companion let me take the lead at a couple houses and let's just say, if you aren't spontaneous with the conversation, it gets awkward real quick. The thing is, you have to get to know the person before you start talking gospel--you have to build trust before you explain who you are. Around here, the second you say "Jesus," people look like you've dumped a bucket of ice water on their head. They put their hands up and say, "No, I'm not interested in what you have to say." 


One door approach we've heard other missionaries do but my companion and I need to build up the courage to try is the "GET IN THE HOUSE" approach. You start talking to the person at the door and immediately point to something behind them like a painting on the wall and say something like, "Is that Vincent Van Gogh? My grandmother had a painting just like that--can I take a look?" And then you walk in. It's pretty bold but if you can get in the house, you increase your chance of teaching the first lesson exponentially. 

The biggest challenge we face here is the lifestyle. What happens in Australia, and especially in places like Port Pirie where there's nothing to do, is that people graduate high school, take their pension funds, and then do nothing but drink, smoke, watch TV, or play video games all day. Not many people work here. It seems like there's a lot of elderly people who are set in their ways and also a lot of teenagers lacking direction. Not much in between. It's something that is really frustrating, but we're still doing our best to find the diamonds in the rough--there are good people who want the truth here, we just need to find them. 

We ride our bikes a lot here, so I'm getting the straight-up missionary experience. Great times. We're going down to Adelaide again for a couple days for meetings and such, so it'll be nice to see the city again. Hopefully my pictures come through better this time. And I apologize to those of you who have emailed me but I haven't gotten back to--I'll do my best to respond, even if it isn't that week. 

Elder Koch



The Smallest Spider I'll See in Australia


Beautiful View