Wow every week seems to get better and crazier!! The week started off in Ayr but Sunday night we had to pack our bags so we could move to Charters Towers the next day. Since we don't have a car the senior missionaries came to church and picked us up. They have classes on Monday and Tuesday so they were unable to take us to Charters Towers until Wednesday. We stayed in Townsville with the two other elders. It was fun to have other elders around for a bit. We went teaching with them so we had things to do. At one of the lessons we were right by the military base and they were testing their new fighter jet!! The whole lesson was filled with super sonic flybys!! I was freaking out and the investigator loved it. She was used to it but I was just out on the porch watching. Haha it was so cool and they were so fast and so low. The lesson went good even with the disruptions.
For P-day last week we had lots of time so we went to a little place called Billabong. It is a kind of zoo sort of thing with Australian animals like kangaroos and crocs!! I was having so much fun because the kangaroos just roam around so you can touch them and feed them!! Kangaroos are so weird and really fun to play with. Even though they were in a zoo it was still fun to see them. I took lots of pictures there so you will have to go look at all the animals and kangaroo pictures.
Finally we made it to Charters Towers and found out it is right in the outback. Literally on the edge so it is super hot and dry which is better than Ary. Our flat is right next to the Chapel and it was really run down when we got there, but the lovely Van Dongens (the senior missionaries) cleaned it for 2 days straight so this place so sweet!! We have the whole house to ourselves and have so much room for everything!! While they were cleaning they found a bright green frog and we didn’t know if it was poisonous or not so we just got rid of it. It looked really cool.
That first night we were in Charters Towers we got invited to go to a member’s house for dinner. He is a big Kiwi guy named Roy Vilalo. A kiwi is a New Zealander so this guy is huge and used to play professional rugby. He is the nicest guy and knows how to cook a meal. We ate so much chicken that night. It was amazing!! He was able to baptize his whole family last year but they were not at dinner.
Even though it is so dry it seems to rain a lot!! We were door knocking and out of nowhere a huge storm came through and totally drenched us to the bone!! It felt so good and was such a fun experience to be out in the rain door knocking. Everybody thought we were crazy!! haha Being a missionary is so fun!
Since Charters Towers is in the outback we see kangaroos everywhere, big wild ones!! We rode our bikes up the tallest hill here to see the whole town from above. At the top is where all the little wallabies hang around so we saw about 15-20 of them just hopping around. They are like little kangaroos but never get any bigger than a small dog. The big ones hang out around wherever and they are fun to see. It is hard to get a good picture because they hop away. But they are here and I still freak out and chase them when I see one.
The members here feed us well!! Way better then in Ayr. But don’t tell them that. We have only had to make dinner once this week. Roy has us over all the time and we finally got to meet his family. They are great and he has 2 boys and a girl. 14, 12, and 10. Isaiah, Jacob, and Zealand. We are going to start up a mutual night for the 2 boys so we can have fun with them and show them what a quorum is like. Should be really fun!
Now time for the best part of the week. We went to see a less active member but could not find his address on the road. As we were looking, I saw a gyro copter in a guys yard and decided to knock on his door and talk about that with him and then the gospel. Well it turned out that that was the house we were looking for so he invited us in and we talked for a few hours about it and the plane that he has. He wanted to take me for a ride but I had to say no because there is a rule that says you can’t fly with members. Darn it!!! Anyway he has adopted us and if we don’t have a dinner appointment he has us for dinner. His name is Roy and his wife is named Juliette. She is not a member but as we taught her she said she would consider being baptized so that was good. They took us to a party to share the gospel with their friends. That was a little weird but Elder Cadiang was ok with is so we went. They had a roasted pig for dinner and that was really cool!! All the people were nice and they want us to come back to teach them a lesson. So it was good.
As we rode along the road we looked in the trees and saw literally thousands of bats!! Thousands!!! So we started to ask around why there are so many. No one really knows. They just showed up. Now every year they have two big helis come in and chase them away. They always come back and now I want to find out when the helis come and chase them away. It would look so cool because when they all fly the sky is filled. I will send a video showing them fly in the sky!! It is sort of scary how many there are.
We had three members show up to church for fast Sunday so that went by pretty fast. haha It was really good though and they loved that the missionaries were in town so we got even more dinner appointments. Normally there will be about 10 members but some had to go to Townsville for something and it was the queens b-day so a lot of people were out of town. Still, they are a really good branch. Hopefully we will have lots of success because the church has the coolest baptismal font and we can’t wait to use it!!
Well I love you all and it was fun to write this week. There was a lot of fun stuff to tell. I miss you all and hope all is well back home.
Love, Elder Cahoon