Sunday, July 17, 2016

April 10, 2016

Well things are definitely looking up. There's not enough time to write about everything that happens in a week, but I'll try to hit the main points. Thursday and Friday I went down to the chapel in downtown Brisbane, right next to the temple, to this thing called Golden Orientation (goldens are what they call the greenies here, because of their golden spirit). It was mostly hours and hours of training on how to teach, pray, plan, study, etc. by the Spirit. It was pretty great though. Thursday night we had to walk to the restaurant we were eating dinner at, and along the way we had to talk to people and pass out pass along cards and such. It's kind of funny because both of my companions for G.O. (we were in a trio) were a lot more timid than I am (because one of them didn't speak much English and the other was in my MTC district, and he talked all the time about how talking to strangers scared him). Even though I'm normally pretty timid, when I realize I have no other choice but to be the leader I'm pretty good at taking the lead. The restaurant was this really good place called Fish 53 but we just had burgers and fries and salads, nothing special. The next morning we had more training and we also did breakout sessions where we trained on door knocking, teaching lessons, and GQing (finding people while just walking around outside). Oh wait, but before that I should say we stayed in a hotel downtown. I thought it was kind of funny because it was the Goddess Diana hotel or something and it had all these statues of Diana which I thought was interesting since Paul in the New Testament rebuked a lot of people for worshipping idols of Diana. In the early morning we did this workout the mission president and his wife want us to do called snap gravity. The origin is a long story but basically the president wants us to get up in the morning, so full of energy, that the sound of us getting out of bed is the sound of gravity snapping from the recoil. It's a pretty intense workout just doing pushups and burpees and planks and those sort of things. We also had breakfast at the hotel and I was able to try some vegemite. It wasn't gross per se, but there's just no reason at all to put in on bread because it adds nothing, flavor wise. I really liked General Conference. Here, they broadcast it at the chapel a week after it airs in the states. It's kind of funny because there's two wards who meet at our building, but for the Saturday sessions and the Sunday afternoon session there's only 15-25 people who show up to watch conference. The people here are just so laid back. It's part of the reason we work with so many less actives. For the most part they're totally righteous people who believe in the gospel and all that but they just don't feel like making an effort to go to church. My favorite talk was given in priesthood session, and it was about how Jesus Christ was the perfect follower and the perfect leader, and how we can be great leaders by being followers of Jesus Christ. I wish I could take pictures of all the different kinds of birds I see, but you know rules are rules. A couple of the missionaries say that the general authorities have called the ABM the most obedient mission and I can totally see why. My companion, Elder Smith, is a great Elder. He's being a really good trainer. But in his efforts to be exactly obedient, he often tries to find rules where there are none. Kudos to him though. The ward members are really great. We haven't had too many dinners yet, but the ones we've had have been great. People just give what they have here. I'm just about out of time, so I'll email again next week. Thanks for all your support and the emails. By the time p-day rolls around I'm super excited to hear from you. 
Elder Cummings

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