General E-Mail August 17 – August 23

G’Day Mates!

So lucky for my companions and I, we were able to have a loving member in our ward give us the key to use the computer’s at the church! So now I can go into more detail about my week! Woohoo! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also! I will be repeating myself from the last e-mail a lot now that I have more time to go into detail, so bare with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

So like in the last general e-mail the airplane ride was great! It was about 19 hours long, I was lucky to have the window seat, no one next to me, and I slept the whole time! Except for when I was being fed dinner and breakfast, which by the way, was delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have 2 companions, they are both from the Philippines! Sister Oraa is 22 and has been out on her mission for 6 months and Sister Gabinio is going to be turning 21 this Saturday and she has been out for 7 months! They are super sweet, fun and think a lot of the “American” things I do and say are hilarious. We have a great time together and work hard out on the mission. ๐Ÿ™‚

So craziest thing is that I am driving here! And it’s on the other side of the road! Ah! It was a bit scary at first but I’m pretty use to it now, and I have only driven on the other side of the road maybe once or twice, but no worries, I am driving safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m in the Brassal area of Queensland, Australia and I live in a 3 room, living room, kitchen, and 1 bathroom flat (known as apartment in America)! It’s pretty nice I must say, but I’m always having to squish cockroaches, I guess I could keep them as pets but we aren’t allowed to have pets. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also in the Brassall ward, it’s actually a pretty big ward, and it mostly contains Polynesians. Mostly Samoan and Tongan! They are SO sweet and the women greet with a kiss on the cheek. And when they invite my companions and I over for dinner, oh my goodness does it feel like it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas! Lots of food and they won’t let you stop eating! Hehe! And in the Samoan culture, the family eats first before we show up and then when we enter in the house they sit at the table and watch us eat and just talk with us, so that was a bit different! But it’s fun learning all the different cultures here! They think my companions and I are too skinny, so they tell us to eat more and take it home, so it’s pretty funny, I love it.

There are tropical birds all over! Peacocks, cockatoos, parakeets, pigeons and magpies! And I kid you not, the Aussies have warned me about the magpies, they really do attack you if you make eye contact with them!!! I made eye contact once with one and goodness they do they have a evil look in their eyes! I love hearing all the bird calls in the morning though, it’s absolutely beautiful!

The weather here has been in the mid 60-70’s! And somedays it’s a bit blowy (known as windy in America)! But it’s starting to warm up now! I had to wear a light cardigan or jacket before but now it’s starting to get a bit hotter! So weird to say that because I just got away from the summer while I was in America, but of course now that I’m in Australia it’s winter time here but now
summer is coming!

So of course there’s so many differences here in Australia compared to America!

Lets see…most of all the schools here wear uniforms so it’s fun seeing the different uniforms the kids wear! Some of them are pretty cute actually!

The fashion here so far that I have noticed…the young adult men like to wear, I think they are called chubbies or cubbies, they are shorts that go to the thigh, kind of interesting but that seems to be the popular style for the younger adult men here! For the girls, a lot of the girls like to wear platform shoes and high wedges. The fashion here is a lot like America but it seems to be more “vintage”.

KFC, McDonalds and Dominios seems to be at every corner! And the Aussies looove it! I can’t blame them! I love fried chicken and they have pretty good macaroni and cheese at KFC!

Oh and of course the words used here are different! It’s so fun hearing the Aussies say something and I say, “What does that mean…?” and they laugh and then explain it. So here are some words!

Aussies = Australians

Fizzy = soda

Rubbish = garbage

Flat = apartment

Lollie = candy

Toilet = bathroom

Blowy = windy

Heaps = a lot

Those are just SOME of the words I have learned so far, I will share more in the next general e-mail!

As I mentioned before the cutest thing that happened so far was, while my companions and I were walking to an investigator’s house through a park and a little boy about 4 years old picked some flowers from the garden park and gave it to my companions and I and then ran away, it was too cute!

Funny story! So I noticed my fringe (known as bangs in America) was getting long, and I was thinking of growing them out but then changed my mind so I cut them to be across instead of on the side (sometimes I switch back and forth) and when my companions saw me with my straight across bangs they said, “You look like Taylor Swift!” (Personally I think I look NOTHING like her, must be the bangs) and I just laughed and then later that day, and the next few days I wore it straight across lots of Aussies told me that I looked like Taylor Swift, so apparently when I wear my bangs straight across, I look like Taylor Swift! Too funny!

Remember how I said I had 3 investigators in the last general e-mail? Well guess what? We now have 6! Wow! Here’s some information about them and how they are progressing!

Robert: He is 65 years old, living by himself, he loves the gospel, but isn’t ready for baptism quiet yet, he is waiting for an answer, which is totally okay, it takes time, but he is always at church and loves how friendly the members are. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tammy: She is 40 years old, a single mother and has a daughter, but isn’t able to see her at the moment, she has a smoking addiction but wants to stop, and is slowly stopping, she told us that today she is getting paid and is not going to buy any more cigarettes! We are super excited for her in this new step, we understand that addiction is hard and it also takes time. Once she gives that up she is ready to be baptized, and she can’t wait. She enjoys coming to church as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lori: She is 48 years old, she has 4 kids and a husband one of her kids is actually a member of the church! She is planning to get baptized on Saturday but is still also waiting for an conformation, she also has been attending church every week.

Paul: He is in his 20’s. He attends church with his girlfriend who is a member and we will be meeting with him next week!

Kathy: She is in her 40’s. She is a single mother with 2 boys that are in their 20’s and moved out. She works and she loves the messages my companions and I have shared, and she even came to church and loved it! So we are meeting with her more within this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lisa: She is in her 30’s. She is a single mother with 2 girls that are 9 and 10. When my companions and I stopped at her house she told us she has met with the Elders before but stopped meeting with them due to her joining a different faith but she said she wants to meet with us and know about our faith, she told us she has more hope when we are with her and she felt the spirit when we were with her and she will be coming to church and we will be continuing to meet with her. She also has a smoking problem but she is ready to quit. She is so sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lastly,

Coolest thing that happened this week, well there’s 2 things. So I will share both of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

This week I had a new missionary training orientation and our Australian Brisbane Mission President just gave us advice and lessons of how to become a stronger, and better missionary and it was awesome because every day in the morning we exercise and in the morning we went on a run and I didn’t know this til the end, but we ran through the city of Brisbane and then ran up to the Brisbane Temple. It was absolutely beautiful.

Other coolest part that happened this week,

We met with a less active member, his name is Steven, he is about in his 50’s and we knocked on his door and asked how he was doing and he told us that he hasn’t been to church for 12 years because some of the members criticized him due to him working at a casino, but I told him, there will be people who will criticize you, there will be people who will try to destroy you, but don’t worry about them, don’t worry about what they think even if it may be hard, it doesn’t matter if you work at a casino, it’s a job, it’s money, all it matters is that you aren’t gambling, you have faith, that you only worry about yourself and strive to do your best and follow the commandments. And then I asked him, will you give it another chance? And guess what happened? After not being at church for 12 years, he came. It was so awesome, he was so happy and he thanked my companions and I that we stopped by his house. It was sooo cool!

Well! That is all mates! Sorry it was such a long e-mail but hey since I’m spoiled again with the unlimited hours, I better use it right? ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all are enjoying the last weeks of summer and do well in your schoolings, work and whatever else you may be doing!

Always remember to have faith in the Lord Jesus Chris and Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost and you WILL overcome your challenges.

Hooroo!

Sister Grawrock

For any letters and packages:

Sister Alina Grawrock

Australia Brisbane Mission

P.O. Box 348

Hamilton, QLD 4007

Australia

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General E-Mail August 10 – August 16

G’day Mates!
Ohhh so much too say but so little time!!!
I was spoiled in the USA with as much time as needed in the Family History Center but now that I’m in the library I only get an HOUR! Ah! So I got to make this quick!
The airplane ride was actually great! I got the window seat, had no one next to me and got extra pillows and blankets,ย lucky me! And I slept the whole time! So it was very nice! I needed it! ๐Ÿ™‚
I have 2 companions, Sister Oraa and Sister Gabinio. They are bothย from the Philippines! They think everything I say is hilarious, Iย have no idea why though!
I’m in the Brassall area, and in the Polynesian ward! They are so sweet and I can say I am not use toย receivingย kisses on the cheek from the females but it’s a nice welcoming. ๐Ÿ™‚
Oh! Coolest part…I AM DRIVING!!! And! It’s on the opposite side of the road! So crazy! But I promise I am being safe! ๐Ÿ™‚
We have 3 investigatorsย so far but next time I will talk more about them!
Cutest thing, my companions and I were walkingย around a park with flowersย everywhere and a littleย boy about 4 years old picked some flowers and gave them to us! SO CUTE!
There are tropical birds EVERYWHERE here! It’s so neat! The weather is also actually a bit chilly! I have to wear a light jacket or cardigan to keep warm!ย  But it’s ALWAYS sunny! I love it!
The lingo here is so fun to hear! One that I learned is “fizzy” which is soda! So funny!
I’m having a great time and being safe! I’ll try to be more descriptive in the next email but it’s a bit hard with the time! Hope you all are doing great and staying safe!
Sister Grawrock

General email Aug 4- Aug 10

G’day!

So this e-mail will be pretty short, sweet and simple!
Sister Solosko left to go back home to Texas this morning, and today I will be leaving to Australia! Yahoo! ๐Ÿ™‚
I am very excited but also sad that I will be leaving Washington. It has been a great experience and I am happy that I really got to experience the people that really do have serious problems in their life and that I could reach out and help them, but to also teach them the gospel and let them know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really do love them and know that they will always be there for them. All it takes is faith, prayer and reading the scriptures.
I promise you if you have a struggle and you want to change, turn to Heavenly Father, pray for strength and guidance, have faith and continue to have the gospel in your life. It really will guide you to the right direction and to a happier life. ๐Ÿ™‚
I know I have been blessed throughout my life of the gospel and that I can always turn to Heavenly Father for comfort, and for any questions I have. The power of prayer is amazing, it may take time to receive an answer, but I promise it will come. It can come through different ways, such as a feeling, prompting, sign or it can even come from someone else. It truly is amazing and I am so blessed.
I hope you all are doing well and continue to have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚
Good luck with anything you are doing and peace be with you in America! ๐Ÿ™‚
Sister Grawrock

General E-Mail July 28 – August 3

G’day!

Hope is all is well and you all are still enjoying your summer! ๐Ÿ™‚
Quiet a lot has happened this week!
And this week is about to be buuusy because my companion Sister Solosko leaves to go back home to Texas on Monday aaand…
I GOT MY VISA!!! So I’m going to Australia on Monday!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
So lots of packing and getting the new missionaries ready for the Lake Stevens area!
So Sister Solosko and I started with service this week, can you guess what service it was? Yard work! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was actually pretty neat this week. It’s with the same lady, her name is Yevonn, she isn’t a member of the church but she is a very sweet old lady. My companion and I did yard work for her Tuesday morning and then Wednesday afternoon we went over again but this time Sister Solosko and I were in skirts so we weren’t really able to help out, BUT the awesome youth and some of the leaders of the ward came over and did more of the “bigger” yard work for us and for Yevonn (cutting trees, weed wacking, cutting shrubs and bushes etc.). It was awesome and turned out a lot better than it was before! I wish I had taken a before and after picture! Oh well, but Yevonn was so grateful for it. ๐Ÿ™‚
And of course Sister Solosko and I did our daily volunteering at the senior center so that is always fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
We also got to attend a baptism for our recent convert’s daughter who just turned 8 and Sister Solosko and I shared our testimony’s about baptism. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was such a nice, sweet baptism. ๐Ÿ™‚
This week we had cleaning checks for our duplex and we passed! Yahoo! I wasn’t too worried about that though, my companion and I are pretty clean people, but because of our cleanness we got two extra rolls of toilet paper and one roll of toilet paper. Woohoo! ๐Ÿ™‚
On Thursday, my companion and I had exchanges. For this, one of us would go to another area of our mission and we would switch companions. So my companion went to View Ridge and I stayed in Lake Stevens, and I had Sister Dalley as my companion for that day. Sister Dalley and I had a great time together. We volunteered at the Food Bank, we were outside and inside this time so it was nice to move around, rather being in one spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also visited less actives, recent converts and an investigator. It went great. ๐Ÿ™‚
I also had another exchange on Friday and I was with Sister Radda that day and it went well also. We did the normal, see investigators, less actives and recent converts. ๐Ÿ™‚
Okay so in the last email I said I would go more into detail about our investigators,
Erabella, remember she is the girl who came into the church building and wanted to know more about being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost? Well we tried meeting up with her on Wednesday at the church but she wasn’t able to meet up with her because she didn’t have any gas money. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Then we invited her to a baptism so she could see what it was like, and also to church but we never got a reply. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ BUT! We will still try our best to keep in contact with her. Hopefully she’ll be able to meet with us this week! ๐Ÿ™‚
Krystal, she is our other investigator, I didn’t mention her much before because the whole time I have been here we haven’t been able to see her at her home. She has a job and mostly works at nights. Her fiance is an atheist but he loooves us because he has seen the change in Krystal when we teach her. She also has a smoking problem, and also cancer on top of that, and her daughter who is 16 has a drug addiction problem. It’s so sad. But we are trying are our best to help her as well. We stopped by her house and thankfully she was home, her fiance got her for us and she talked with us and we talked to her and just talked about how she is doing, she also mentioned to us that she has some questions for us but wants to sit down and talk with us about the questions, so we will be meeting up with her on Friday for that!
Katie, she is a single mother, who also has a job, she has two teenage kids. A son who is into video games but that’s the least of her problems. She has a 14 year old daughter who is also addicted to drugs. We are also trying our best to help her. She was able to come to the fireside last Sunday and realized she needs to read the Book of Mormon. We met with her on Thursday, and Sister Dalley and I help her through reading the Book of Mormon, just the introduction of 1st Nephi and she thanked us that we had explained it to her because now she has a better understanding and now she can continue to read it. As we were leaving she sat outside her house reading more of it. She is having a church touron Wednesday and we hope to invite her to church on Sunday.
Stephanie, she is a mother with one child, she loves talking with us but is still learning about the gospel. We weren’t able to meet up with her this week but we hope to see her this week.
Diggy, he is 10 years old, his grandma is a member of the church but she wants us to teach him lessons. He gets bit distracted easily but luckily my companion and I have been able to do fun activities for him to understand the lessons better and not be too distracted.
Jamie, she is the single mother who I met at the Food Bank, that I have mentioned about before. We haven’t been able to meet with her but we stopped by her house while she was home and she said that we could meet with her sometime this week, so hopefully that’ll be able to happen!
Yevonn, she MIGHT be our new investigator. She loves the service we have done for her. She loves what we share with her and agrees with it. She’s not too sure if she wants to learn more so she told us that she will pray about it.
I’m loving all these investigators and it’s so sad that I will be leaving them, so hopefully the next set of missionaries will be able to teach them just as well or even better. I’m so grateful that I could have served in Washington, it really opened my eyes in seeing what really does happen with people in real life.
I will send a last “American” email on Monday and I will also send you the address to send me letters and packages to Australia. ๐Ÿ™‚
Hope you all have a great week!
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Sister Grawrock