August 2, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Wow I am finally in Australia and can I just say that I have never been so cold in my entire life! Yes I said cold not hot. Australia winter weather is just like Utah winter weather except there is no snow and it is a bitter cold. I had to go buy some sweaters to wear cause I didn't bring any, because I thought it would be hot, but I was very wrong. But no worries.
The mission office is right next to the Melbourne temple, which is small but beautiful!! I love it and got the chance to go to it with the Branch on Saturday, but I will talk about that later. I love my mission president and his wife. President and Sister Maxwell are truly amazing people and I can't wait to get to know them better. So on to my trainer and area.
So my companion and trainer's name is Elder Kelsch. He is amazing. He is from St. George Utah and has been out for about 13 months now. He is the older brother that I never had. I love him and have already learned so much about missionary work from him. The area that we are in is called Wangaratta (Wang-ger-retta). It is about 3 and a half hours north of Melbourne, out in what Australians call "The Bush". So we have a car. Ha. So I am nowhere near the city of Melbourne. But I am not in the middle of nowhere, so don't think that. That is not why they call it the bush. It is basically like out in the country, is what it means. I love this area. Our flat, or apartment, is really cool. It is nothing special and I didn't expect it to be, but I love it. It is a small home and has 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms. We sleep in the same room and have desks in it to study and then use the other room as our exercise/storage room. I will include some pictures of it.
We don't have a ward, or a stake, cause we have a branch. It is very small but the members in it are so strong and so great. There are about 20-25 active members in this branch but at church yesterday I counted 16 members who were there, not including Elder Kelsch and myself and the senior couple assigned to our area. Elder Kelsch and I are the Young Men's leaders, so we will see how that goes. We do a lot of tracting and door knocking in this area, which is great!! I love door knocking. We have had a couple of great doors and a couple of funny and scary doors that we have knocked on. I have had some doors opened and then slammed in my face. Most of them say something along the lines of..."Sorry Mate, not interested." Another one that was super scary that we got was "IT"S THE BLOODY ELDERS." (Which is not a swear word here hah) But it ended up being a member’s home and the dad, who said that, is a small and funny Irishman. He did it to scare me cause he knew I was new. Apparently Elder Kelsch had been in on it the entire time. -__- Ha it has been good and fun to see how the people react. The whole town of Wangaratta has been tracted and door knocked so many times that people know who we are, but we continue to knock on their doors because we know that we will find those elect few that are ready to hear our message.
Like I said earlier I got the chance to go to the Temple on Saturday with the branch. The branch tries to go every month and we were fortune enough to get permission from President Maxwell and go. We won't be able to go every month cause it took the entire day because of the travel time, but it was amazing. Elder Kelsch and I didn't get to do an endowment session because we had to help with the youth and the baptismal session. We didn't baptize, we just confirmed and were witnesses, but it was still super cool to go in the temple.
I love this area and love being out on a mission. Thank you all for your support and prayers. They really do help. I love you all so much and love hearing from you all, so feel free to send me an email and an update on how you are all doing. I think letters and packages take about 2-3 weeks to get here so keep that in mind when sending stuff. I would love to receive hand written letters as well, but only if you can. Thank you again. I love you all sooo much!!!
|Elder Wheeler and Elder Kelsch in front of |
the Melbourne Australia
Temple where they did baptisms for
the dead their first week.
|My bedroom. My bed is the brown one in |