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

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