Greetings from the Shire! So not to raise any alarm, but I met royalty last Monday. We were walking home from emailing and saw this little old lady on a bench with her groceries. We asked her if she needed help and she said, "Oh, I'm just waiting for my hip to start working." So we carried her groceries home for her. Her name is Lady Margaret Armstrong Jones, and apparently she is related to the Queen of England. That, or she has Alzheimer's.... I know where my vote is. She was super funny. She couldn't remember my name so she just called me America. When we were leaving she gave me a huge hug and yelled, "God Bless America!" It was pretty great.
Tuesday was interesting. Australia is interesting. I've seen fights break out and then Islander cops bust in out of no where and break up the fight and arrest the drunks. I've been spit on by a crazy old Indian man. It's quite interesting. We met a less active member named Vince and he is a hoot! He offered us a glass of beer but I told him I'd prefer a milkshake. Then we went and taught a lesson to Adrienne, who is just returning to activity. That was fun. She is really sweet and is trying her hardest to be the best person she can be.
Wednesday was good. We met with a recent convert named Joanne and talked about how important the Book of Mormon is and why we need to read it every day! She is pretty great and is preparing to go to the temple in August. Eek! Exciting. We walked a TON that day because no one would let us in. The shortest distance I've walked in a day since I got here has been 10 kilometers. My legs are sore!
Thursday was great. We got to see Sister Stammers again! She is a hoot. Then we walked 40 minutes to see our almost investigator... And she refused to answer her door. So we walked another 40 minutes to our flat to eat dinner before our next appointment. Leisa, the Young Women's President, and I went on splits and went to see Sarah and Emily, a mother and daughter who just joined the church. They were super sweet and it was awesome to get to know them!
Friday was district training meeting and that was fun. I finally got mail in Australia! Yayy! I kind of cried when I saw letters for the first time in this country! Then we tried to see a less active family, but the wife was sick so the husband wouldn't let us in. But the husband felt bad that he couldn't invite us in for dinner, so he gave us $50 and said to go buy sushi for dinner... But I don't like sushi so I got ice cream. :)
Saturday was a roller coaster! We tried to see Julie but she wouldn't let us in and said she doesn't want to go to church anymore. And then she wouldn't explain why. Ouch. My heart. Then we went and saw Carol. We talked about how honoring our baptismal covenants help us prepare for the temple and how important it is to go to church every Sunday to partake of the Sacramet. She also made us this bread dip stuff and I now understand how an Elder literally doubled his weight in this mission... Then we met a potential investigator! Her name is Becca. She is this little white woman who thinks she's aboriginal, so we call her Bekwah.
Sunday was great! I met a new lady in church on Sunday. She was visiting from Pocatello, Idaho! Wahooo! Go spuds! Then we held a fireside and watched "Meet the Mormons." A lot of less active members and active members came so hopefully it gave them the missionary spirit and we'll get some referrals out of it. On the way home Leisa drove by the beach so I could see it at night. Then we got out of the car and I put my feet in the sand and felt the ocean breeze. It was pretty cool. :)
We don't have any investigators to teach yet but we're trying our hardest to find some! Australia is great, and the culture shock is starting to finally wear off where I can breathe. It's hard to give 100% when so many things are going on back home and in Maine, but I know that 100% is the only way to serve. So I'm working on it.
I miss you. Sending my love and my prayers,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott