Welcome to Australia!!!
Oh man its awesome here. I just exchanged my american money for some aussie notes and i feel like i'm in harry potter with how big the coins are. Everyone has the accent and everyone thinks MY accent is weird. Sadly, girls, everyone doesn't look like Keith urban. Its looks like america but it sounds different. My companion is Elder grant. he is about 5'5" (he won't say how tall he is exactly, he just says "short") He's an aussie through and through. Funny story, He doesn't have his license because apparently its a lot harder to get it in Australia and our area has a car so thursday night, when i got here, I got handed the keys and after a couple turns around the block with the APs, i was taking me and elder grant back to the flat. I was jet-lagged, and on the opposite side of the road and car and it is lucky the lord watches over missionaries because we made it home safely. I've got the hang of it by now and elder grant has been in the area for 6 months now so he knows his way around so we make a pretty good team. Like i said in my last email, president Lew told me i won't be speaking a ton of Chinese I still get an hour a day for language study, but my lessons will almost always be in english. The area i'm in is called Camden. It is mostly white people with a couple polynesians. Not a single Chinese person. My district has four white elders and four polynesians. They're hilarious. our district leader is Elder Fuataga and he played football for the Utes! The district bought me a cake for my birthday and sang to me outside a Hungry Jack's (which is like burger king) They're way cool and we're going bowling later today.
our flat is something to behold. I'll try to send some pictures, but all the lights are pull-strings. Our bedroom doen't have a light, well it does, but the electricity is such that if you put a lightbulb in, it would explode, so we just steer clear of it and use flashlights at night. So far i havent seen any cockroaches in our flat because Elder grant has kept it nice and clean. I had to do some jimmy work on my drawer so that it would open but it's right as rain now. It's exciting stuff. our flat is on a street called Argile street in Camden. im not sure what the exact address is but if you want to google earth it, go to argile street, it's like off the main street in camden, it's on top of a butcher shop and it has a balcony. let me know if you find it!
We don't exactly have any progressing investigators right now but we are working to get some. We taught a family by the name of the Utapos. They are so awesome. They're polynesian and their son has a girlfriend that wants to know about the church, so we have been teaching her but she lives in a different area so technically she's not OUR investigator, but she comes over to the Utapos when we teach. There's a family called the Crofts that is amazing. They're members and they love the missionaries so they invite us to dinner a ton. they've got two young boys and they are just way cool. We're going to start teaching a girl named Shylee, who was baptized when she was young, but her family went inactive so and she wants to learn more about the church so hopefully we can get her to come back to church with the whole family! Last night i had my first bible basher. It was dumb. She wasn't even willing to open the book of mormon and ask god if it was true and she just wanted to bash with us so i kind of gave up. Elder Grant likes bashing so he kept going and i was just frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere. So i'm promising myself i will never bash. not only because i don't know the bible well enough, but because our religion comes down to the fact that joseph smith was a prophet and people have to WANT to know that he is a prophet. But it's all good. We actually had a miracle happen yesterday. Dean, a woman they've been teaching, but they havent' been able to get ahold of her for like two weeks, walked into general conference yesterday! (they broadcast it a week late here so i got to watch it twice!) It was a straight up miracle and she started crying while the prophet spoke.
I'm loving it here. I miss you guys like crazy.
I've met heaps of people that know Grandpa already! I think his name is Brandon Murray, but i'm not sure. He's in our stake presidency and he said that grandpa was the mission president when his dad was in the stake presidency. A bunch of people ask if Earl C. Tingey is my relative, and he was a mission president in Australia too so things get confusing. I drive a white toyota corola and we cruise the town like it's nobody's business. The kids are adorable. The only thing cuter than a little kid talking with an aussie accent is a little polynesian kid talking with an aussie accent.
I have been homesick but like Elder Dube said in conference, Never look back, only forward. There's a lot of work to do so i'm losing myself in it. God is great, i feel Christ's love all the time.
Love you guys!
Love, Elder Tingey
Also, a sister in the ward told me i look like the guy off George of the Jungle. I can't remember his name now but look it up and see for me.
|Me with President and Sister Lew. I kinda look like a heroine addict here but oh well|
|Cleanest Bathroom in the ASSM|