We finally arrived in Australia! The plane ride was a rough one, but nyquil came in clutch with the flight from San Fransisco to New Zealand. We met our mission president and companions the first day: my companion is Elder Kendall from Utah. In response to the question, "Do you even lift?" he says, "Yeah. My fork to my mouth." Hahaha he's a funny guy. Cracks me up all the time.
View from the Mission Home Street
We're in Port Pirie, a city 2.5 hours north of Adelaide. It's comparable to Beaver, Utah, and is full of elderly people. So we give a lot of blessings to people in the hospital. The other day one of the elderly members asked me to give her a blessing--I had never met her before and didn't know the particulars of her situation besides the fact that she had had a couple strokes. It was pretty scary at first, but I relied on the Spirit and we pulled through.
The drive up here from Adelaide was amazing--this place is straight-up beautiful. There are green rolling hills filled with sheep and bright yellow flowers that are so bright they're almost fluorescent. It's awesome--the video/pictures don't do it justice. I've definitely experienced a culture shock even though this place is relatively similar to America. I have no idea how many calories are in anything because it's measured in kilojoules. And I'm still learning temperature. The slang here is pretty interesting: members don't have us over for "dinner", they have us over for "tea". Laundry is called "washing" and nobody "calls" you on the phone, they "ring" you. There's also no such thing as a "bathroom" because the toilet and shower/bath are literally in different rooms.
Oh yeah, and apparently we're allowed to say certain words here we can't back home haha. The words "hell" and "damn" aren't considered swear words in Australia, even in church. It's the equivalent of saying heck or dang. The other day this missionary was telling us how a stranger on the street asked him if they could teach him more, and the missionary responded, "Damn straight we can!" I was like, uhhhh what? Hahaha So don't blame me if I come home with some new Aussie habits, Mom. Hahaha
I'm just hoping I don't go to Mildura (knock on wood)--that's an area where there are Polynesian families who feed you 6 huge meals a day and you are guaranteed to gain at least 30 pounds. An anorexic missionary who goes there comes back a prime candidate for Biggest Loser. It's wild haha. I need to fit in my clothes still. I'm up here in the middle of nowhere for at least 6 weeks, so it should be interesting. The members are solid, but we don't have many. There are only about 40 or 50 people at church on Sunday. Also, there are ants everywhere--the other day we walk into a house to teach a lesson and there are hundreds of ants on the floor, some crawling up your shoes while you're trying to share a spiritual thought. Can't wait for snakes and spiders next! Crikey. We're going tracting every day this week, so we'll be experts soon. I'll let you know how it goes next Monday. Wish us luck.