O - MY- Gosh!!! Australia is amazing! I love it here! SO HOT But you will never believe how much the Lord has blessed me here in Aussie land this last week!
Where to start . . .
I'll start with getting here and my mission president. So the flight was So long! But it went by quick! I slept a little and played chess on the screen in front of me and studied. It was all right but we got off the plane and I felt like I just got back from Honduras dirty. We got our luggage and went through customs. All 10 of us elders walk out and see our mission president and his wife! We heard a lot of scary stories about him so we were scared, but he is SO AWESOME! Easy to get along with, amazing with the Gospel and you can tell he was placed in this position for a reason. He is big on obedience! We walk out of the airport and feel the warmth! Sheesh! It was fine though, just uncomfortable. The Assistants come with a Toyota van with a trailer on it so we load everything up and some of us ride with the APs, Mission Pres. and office elders. I rode with the Assistants and they are awesome! They are so cool! We spent the morning with Orientation and went to the mission home for lunch. Its a 3 million dollar home (probably Aussie money) that was donated to the church so its pretty nice. After lunch the APs took us to the Temple and we got to snap some pictures. They held a mini- training session and we went out GQing [golden questioning--(street contacting)]. The temple is so cool! It's right on the Brisbane River right next to town so it has an amazing view!! There are cliffs we had to walk down to GQ along the river walk. (stand type of thing) I only got to talk to 3 people but it was all right! We went back to the mission home and I was so tired, but we had interviews with President Richards and his wife. It was good! Sister Richards is in charge of medical so she just interviewed us quick. We had dinner and during that all of our trainers got there. In my interview (chat) with President Richards he mentioned there was another missionary from Southern California here.... quess what... he is my companion! Elder Neilson is a STUD! We are actually quite a bit alike. But he is 22 yrs. old but SO dedicated to the work! Anyway, we met our companions and left for our areas. By the way, this mission is super blessed with cars. We share a car with some other elders.
My companion in the MTC, Elder Tietjen is in our District so I get to see him every week.
Australia is crazy! The food is great , and so is the candy! It's all Cadbury. Sure I sweat so much, but there are so many people ready for baptism! It takes a bit to find them but I got a great story coming up! Driving here is scary, but I'm used to it now. It is a lot harder to understand people than I thought. It's embarrassing when I'm street contacting and have to ask "what?" 3 times in a row!!!
So I get to our flat (apartment) and we share our place with the zone leaders. Elder Dark and Elder Johnson. They pranked me hard to the core that first night. :) They tried to get me to hold hands for night prayer but I didn't buy it, but after 6 min. of them not giving up, I threw up my arms and did it...and they busted up laughing! hahah
We are lucky. We have air conditioning in our flat so we can sleep at night!
Our P-day is on Monday but we got to go to the temple this morning so we moved it to Wed. this week! The temple is small , but so cool and good! Probably smaller than any temple I've ever seen!
Okay, so Elder Nielson and I were Whitewashed into an area--neither of us have been there before-- and the area had no progressing investigators so Elder Nielson and I have been working hard! Elder Nielson has been out 7 months now and I've heard nothing but good about him! We have been working hard and we are really feeling the blessings of it! We street contacted into Stanley and Danika and they are a couple and are 17 yrs old. Somehow they are interested.. but don't act like it, so they are really really hard to read! We taught them the 3rd lesson --Gospel of Jesus Christ, then yesterday we taught them the Plan of Salvation and Friday we are really going to hit them HARD with the Restoration!!! And that's exciting cause we are going to commit them to baptism! This mission is big on baptism commitments.. even if you just met them... so we already committed them, but this time we will set a date. But pray for them!
I saved the best for last... Anthony!!!!! This guy is so cool! He is a Golden Investigator for sure!! This story is amazing! So the elders before us.. who one is now an AP... street contacted this guy and we found his address so we decided to stop by. We drop by his house and he is there and we get to making friends with him. We ended up teaching him the Restoration and the spirit was SO STRONG! And I KNOW he felt it! I had the honor of telling him about Joseph Smith, reciting the first vision, and bearing my testimony of it. They told us in the MTC to have the 1st vision by memory so when you say it you can stare into their eyes and send the spirit in... cheesy I know... but it so works! It felt like the Lord was sending the spirit into him! We committed him to baptism that night and he said yes. The next day... um.. Monday we taught him the Plan of Salvation and after that we committed him to baptism for Feb. 21st Saturday. I got to do that! I did the classic "Anthony- will you commit to prepare for baptism on Feb. 21st?" Or something like that. I've only been on my mission for 1 week and the Lord has blessed me so much! He committed to work toward baptism! I forgot to mention he read 3 Nephi 11 that night we taught him the restoration. Golden, just Golden! Elder Nielson and I are practically new to this area and we already have 1 baptismal commitment!
Okay I gotta go but our ward is amazing! 350 members and its so crowded! Not to mention its 95 percent Polynesian! so .. I'm super stuffed each night.
Oh yeah, our area is Crestmead, in Logan, outside of Brisbane!
-Austin Collie Went to OUR ward!!!?! and I missed it!? haha good thing I'm in a better place!
Love you all and I'll keep you in my prayers.
God Speed the Right!
-Elder Adam Hales