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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

Lastly,

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

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? 🙂

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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