Its been another week in "kiwi-land". Its getting hotter every day. We finally don't have to wear suit coats except for meetings!! Last month we had to wear them after 5 pm. Its so weird that I'm going to have a hot Christmas. I'm going to be tan! I guess everyone here goes to the beach and has BBQ's and things like that for Christmas. So weird to think about. The next big holiday is Christmas, and they're not too big on Halloween. They don't have Thanksgiving either.I'm going to miss the snow. Its fun hearing that you got a couple of inches. Its been cloudy for a couple of mornings and one day, but other than that its been really sunny. I guess there's a hole in the o-zone layer here as well as Australia. One day it wasn't that hot, and I wasn't out for too long, but I got a little burned. I'm definitely putting on sunscreen from now on.
We had Manu's baptism yesterday! My first! Everything went smoothly and it was pretty much perfect. A talk before on faith, and one talk after on the Holy Ghost. And yesterday she asked me to confirm her. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous giving a blessing in front on the whole ward, especially because I've only given one blessing previous. But I said the set words right, and everything else went smoothly. It feels good to take part in the end result of the hard work of missionary work. President Porter has a goal for every companionship to baptize multiple souls monthly. He always says "New Zealand is on fire."
I think finding is the hardest part of the work. Its hard talking to everyone, and talking to strangers on the street. It gets frustrating as well getting shut-down time and time again. But those who are prepared are out there. And I need to just focus on finding them, and dismissing others. Some people are pretty funny how they reject us. Like this one lady was on a walk with her husband (or partner, you never know) and child. When we started talking she said "just don't even. This is my special time." We try asking if she knows anyone we could talk to, and she just says loudly "just go away." Then another guy says that he hates what we're doing and that I should "just go get a bloody job." I guess that 80% of our converts in the mission come from member referrals. And so its frustrating when lesson appointments fall through and we have to go out and talk to people until our next appointment. Its especially hard to find here in this small area, because we've talked to just about everyone. And we're left to talking to people again. We try to teach 20 lessons a week, but it it a pretty stretching goal. The thing we're having the hardest time with is getting people to sacrament meeting. So that's something we're going to focus on this week.
Oh yeah, Thursday is transfers! I'll be starting #2 of 17! Today I've officially been on my mission for 2 months! Hurray, I'm as green as the country (which is pretty green). So I've compiled a list of the most common kiwi slang and their meanings. So when I call home and I use them, you can have this list as a sort of dictionary. I'll include them at the end of this letter. So this transfer I'm probably going to stay and my companion is probably going to leave. He's been here for about 4 and a half months, so he'll be excited to leave. Last Monday we went to Hamilton Gardens for p-day, as well as playing touch rugby. I'll send some pictures. We're having a good time here in Kiwi-land, and I'm learning heaps (there's a bit of slang). I've still got a lot to learn, but I'm doing my best. This has already been an amazing experience and I'm only 1/17th of the way done! I feel like I'm really grasping the reality of the length of time that 2 yrs is. But I just need to focus on the work, and not the length of the mission.
Flat fun with the companion