Saturday, November 28, 2015

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!

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