Monday, October 12, 2015

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

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