Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 28, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 21, 2016

That's it, I'm done (kidding)
Well guys, I don't see a huge need to continue. I got what I came here for, so that's that. There was a specific goal I had in mind, and it's been done, so, yeah. I really liked it here but there was really only one reason, and that was to see a kangaroo. It took months, but yes, it's finally happened. Almost a quarter of the way through my mission and I finally see some kangaroos. Haha, just kidding though, there's no way you could make me go home at this point, things are going to well and I've hardly been out! But we really did see some kangaroos though, it was awesome. We were just driving around Mareeba and we drove past a park, I thought I saw some stumps there but my companion told me they were kangaroos, so we turned around and I took some pictures real fast. Plus on Monday we were driving way out in the bush to a member's house for dinner and we came across a HUGE SNAKE. For some reason the camera was being really stupid and would only take crappy pictures. But I did my best. 
The members we had dinner with were the Ziegelbauers, an old couple, Brother Z is one of those guys who can basically do anything because he teaches himself. He grew up an orphan, and he's from Austria or Germany or something but he taught himself how to read, write, weld, build boats, build houses, cook, everything. He apparently spent most of his career hunting crocs, so yeah, there's that too. Said he's killed thousands. He showed us a picture of the boat he built himself and man, it's a huge boat. 
Got a haircut from one of the members on Wednesday, and set a baptismal date with our 12 year old investigator Cody. He's pretty solid but we'll have to work it out with his mom, too, she's an investigator but not as keen because she thinks church is boring but we'll continue to work with her. 
Friday we followed up with a potential who said he's a pastor for a non-denom church, and that's not completely true because from what we talked about they're mostly Pentecostal, but they follow this guy who lived in the 1900s named William Branham, a preacher who claimed to have visions and prophecies about WWII and other stuff and healed heaps of people. Thousands, apparently.His followers believe him to be a prophet of God and a fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi about sending the spirit of Elijah before the coming of the Lord. Okay. We were able to commit him to read the Book of Mormon but he's got a really strong testimony in what he believes in. While we were finding we knocked into a lady who said she had just moved to the area recently and had felt prompted by God to move to the area we were knocking in. She told us about how she'd been looking at different churches for her family and so we told her about our church and the restoration of the Gospel and how what we believe is different from other Christian sects. That was a great blessing! 
Saturday we saw our investigator Stuart who said he read some "interesting" stuff about Joseph Smith on the Internet so we told him he had to read the Book of Mormon first, and tried to resolve some of his other concerns about Jesus Christ having a specific "church" He wants us to go to. We also saw the old Seventh day Adventist we saw last week, and he wanted us to bring him the Book of Mormon on CD, since his eyes are bad for reading. Sunday we door knocked pretty much all day, no potentials but this one old lady had some visitors over for lunch and offered us some cake, obviously we politely said yes so she goes inside and we hear her say "Francine, there's some nice Mormon boys at the door, is it okay if they have some of your cake?" And we stand there kind of awkwardly but it was good cake. That's pretty much it! Hard to believe it's already half way through the transfer.
Elder Cummings

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 14, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 7, 2016

Well it's been a great week being in far north Queensland. From Brisbane to Atherton, where I am now, is about the same distance from Los Angeles to Seattle. I thought it would all be desert and hot, but it's actually a lot greener than down south. It's mostly rolling green country. Just imagine Idaho, and then imagine it being 10 or 20 degrees hotter. I've been trying to take pictures of the scenery but it's honestly impossible to capture with my little Nikon. My new companion is cool too. His name is Elder Hausia, he's a super buff Tongan guy and by buff I mean he has stretch marks on his biceps from his muscles growing too fast. Anyways I flew into Cairns with another missionary who was getting transferred to serve there. His new companion and Elder Hausia were there waiting to pick us up where we drove to the Cairns chapel and me and Elder Hausia drove to Atherton. We had dinner with our neighbors who happen to be members and visited the branch mission leader who's a pretty funny guy. 
Tuesday we had Zone meeting, which was interesting because since everyone is so far apart we do it over skype. Technology! but of course we don't have ipads or anything so everyone was in the clerk's office in their respective chapels. 
Just a couple general highlights, since the week went by pretty fast. This guy's dog peed on my shoe as we were talking to this guy at his door. I had to resist kicking it but since he didn't even notice I didnt mention it. Dogs, man. 
One really great thing is that a lot of people just have surprise dinners for us. 
While we were finding one day we ran into a couple who had just pulled up into their driveway, turns out they were Jehovah's Witnesses, they invited us to this convention they were holding about being loyal to Jehovah and shared a video on their tablet and offered a pamphlet called "What does the bible REALLY teach?" We offered them a plan of salvation pamphlet to exchange, but true to form they said they don't do swaps. I took their pamphlet anyways because I wanted to know just exactly why they don't give blood, celebrate holidays, so on. Needless to say they have some pretty weird beliefs, which they get from a really intense study of the Bible. So they have scriptural backup for their beliefs, but again, it's the Bible, which is some places is simply mistranslated. Guess it's a good thing we don't get our religion from the Bible, or the Book of Mormon for that matter, but from God Himself. And who can argue against His word revealed today?
Saturday there was a district wide activity at the Atherton chapel. It was a sports day where we played lots of games and activities with the Cairns and Innisfail branches. It was really fun, met lots of people, including the district president, President Gardner. It took a few minutes after talking with him that I realized he didn't have an Australian accent, so when I asked he said he's from Hazelton, Idaho. I have no idea what he's doing in the Australian bush but life takes some pretty interesting paths sometimes. 
Church was really good, after knowing what it was like to be in a branch in the Middle East it was nice to again feel the pretty close-knit relationship of a branch. Yeah that's pretty much it for this week but it's really good here, hope you're all doing well.
Elder Cummings

July 31, 2016

July 26, 2016