You already got a sneak peek of what we did for P-day last week from the pictures. We went fishing. You don't need a license over here so we found a creek full of fish and caught two. The funny part was we were about 50 feet above the river fishing from a bridge. It was crazy!!
I wanna start out with all the crazy stories and then get to mission work. My specialty is having heaps of fun but also working really hard. So... for fun this week on our drive to Charters Towers we did something. It rained heaps that day so the grass and road was all wet. So all the cane toads hop out onto the road. There were heaps of them all over. At first we would run over them with the car but then Elder Bo said watch this. We pulled over and he got out and ran up and kicked one of the toads just like a soccer ball. This thing flew threw the air and was dead for sure. They sit in just a way that it looks like you can snap their neck when you kick them. So while driving if we saw a big one we would pull over and kick the toads. Now for all of you who think I am a terrible person killing toads and hurting them. Don't. The toads are a pest and have caused a lot of native animals to go extinct. They are terrible and they are all over.
We had dinner with Roy's family and told them about kicking the toads. He looked at us and said, “Elders I am sorry to say but you did not kill a single toad just by kicking them.” Every night he goes out with a golf club. A driver and smashes the toads into a big tin fence. Then every morning he goes to pick up the dead ones. He hits about 20 every night and only kills 3. The rest come back alive and hop away. Then to calm my mom's concern about them being really poisonous. That is only if you bug them heaps. Like continue to bump them with your foot or kick them softly to move them. Then the poison comes out. You also have to eat the poison for it to do anything. So really they are not a problem if you are kicking or hitting them and they fly away. Anyways I hope I expanded your Aussie toad knowledge.
Last time we were in Charters Towers the Townsville district president came to church. He is the best. President Myers. He is from Utah. Anyway he said he was prompted to tell us to clean the font for baptism in an act of faith. So when we got back this week we cleaned it out and cleaned all around it. Now, president told us the only way to see if it still worked was to fill it up and test it out. Well what better way to test it out then to get in it. So once it was full we did our scrubbing and cleaning but then preformed a fake baptism. Well it works! Then we sorta did a cannonball jump into it. So we sorta swam but it was ok since it was in a font. haha
That is it for fun stories, now time for the good stuff.
Angus gave us a ring and said he wants us over to feel the Holy Ghost some more. That was pretty cool to have him do that. He said he feels it right when we come and it leaves right as we leave. He cannot wait to get baptized. Same with his partner and their son Jake. We have no more lessons to give him so when we go over we share what we studied in our personal study. I am telling you now, Angus is going to be a leader in the church someday. He can get so much from his studies without the constant presence of the Holy Ghost! He will have a question and not just a little question. Ones that I still am trying to find and the next day he will say, “I read and found and got my answer.” He is quicker than me most times! It is amazing to really see him grow and live the gospel. He used to pray straight to Jesus. Dear Jesus etc. We were going to have the lesson with him this week and when we meet he wanted to give the opening prayer. Well his son taught him he was doing it wrong. So now it was a proper prayer and it was amazing!! We did not even have to teach him. On that note, his daughter at church usually does not participate in primary or do anything. Well when the teacher asked who wanted to pray she was the first to raise her hand!! Haha the church is true people!! Then the closing prayer in primary was given by a boy named Chance. He is the son of James Lowry's daughter. She is inactive but her 5 year old son is active.
Angus called again at the end of the week with some questions. I had to call Elder Redd to fully help him understand but our conversation went on for 45 minutes. I went out and laid on the roof of the car and looked at the stars. Man the stars are amazing in the outback. You can see the Milky Way so clear. Well while Angus and I were talking (just about church stuff) I didn't even know it but at the end of the conversation he said, "Spence, how do you know what to say? Everything you said was exactly what I needed to hear!!” I was a bit shocked. I was just talking. But looking back I can see the spirit directing me in the conversation. It was amazing!! I told him, “Angus, you know me. I have been here 6 months. I am a crazy 18 year old kid. I don't know what to do half the time. I have not lived long enough to really give out amazing advice like an older person.” I shared with him my mission scripture, Alma 29:9-10.
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
I basically told him, “Angus, I can answer your questions and know what to say because the Lord is with me. He helps me more than you could ever know. This is not what I want to tell you. It is what the Lord wants you to hear. I am merely the messenger. I am nothing as to my strength, but the Lord provides the help!” It was amazing!!
Now while I was on the roof of the car looking at the stars the BIGGEST shooting star lit the sky. For reals it lit the sky up. Not like noon day but like a flash light!! It was so big!! And for those of you who know me really well I would camp in the backyard just too see shooting stars. Well this one beats any of the ones I've seen!! It went across the whole sky and about half way it broke up into a 3 or 4 little shooting stars that still went across the sky!! It was beautiful!!
We did a lot of finding and had a lot of success. One morning while deciding where to go I picked 5 streets to go on and then so did Elder Bo. When we compared we had one street that was the same so we went finding on it. Rutherford St. WOW!! It was full of miracles. Most people tell us to f off or go away but this street was full of saints. Not a single mean person and we got 7 potential people to teach!! It was amazing!!
This week was just full of such a strong spirit. We had 17 people at church for testimony meeting. I loved it so much. Everybody that got up broke out into tears saying how grateful they are to have the missionaries in their small branch. They all said we have a presence in town that everyone can feel. We had a member get up and tell us a cool experience. She is a teacher and stayed late to grade papers and the cleaner was cleaning and came over to her and said, “You are mormon right?" She answered, “Yes I am" The cleaner said, “My friends meet with the missionaries and I am curious if I could ever talk with them.” She has heard us around town, as have other people. The members are always giving us referrals from people that have seen us around and felt our presence and the Holy Ghost like Angus has.
It was just amazing to see the love and support and the changes in the small branch. I have been here so long it pretty much feels like home. As I gave my testimony I just had the saddest feeling. Not a bad sad but a going away feeling. I don't think I am gonna be here next transfer. It is sorta hard to think that oh yeah I have to get moved around. This is not forever. So whenever the day is, I am not looking forward to it.
One day all of our appointments fell through and the back ups and the potentials so we decided to go to the Lowry's to do service. We can walk up to their house whenever and always have a member present lesson or give a days effort in service. So we planned on service. Well sure enough they had some service for us. They have heaps of trees that are nasty and take up a lot of the yard. The chain saw was broken so they handed me an AXE!! Word of caution. If you want any trees in your yard, don't give me an axe. I again went to town on working in their yard. Some of the trees were pretty big but there were lots of small ones to cut down.
The axe was really sharp so it was no problem swinging it around and cutting down trees. You can see some of the pictures of all the trees but also my hands. They did not have gloves but I didn't really care. At the end of the day I had 5 huge blisters and amazing calluses and about 12 little blisters. I can’t remember who told me but someone said if you have hard rough hands it means you're a good worker. Well I don't mean to brag but look at my hands man. They are torn apart. Even though it was painful I had so much fun.
I can see why my dad always chopped down all the trees in our yard when working. It is heaps of fun and you feel good after.
Right before we headed back to Ayr we had a dinner appointment with two investigators. We thought it was pretty cool that they wanted us over. They are not progressing but it was still fun that they wanted to feed us. We got there and their brother had showed up completely DRUNK!! All I can say is it was the funniest night of my life. This guy used the worst language but everything he said was so funny. The two investigators were so embarrassed but I thought it was so funny!! I was laughing the whole night!!
On the side note of a drunk guy, Australians are accountable to give a random breath test at any time while driving. The cops just set up a strip and pull all the cars over and make you give a sample. Well while driving this week the cops waved us over. I have to be honest. I was scared. I had never drank a alcoholic drink my whole life until last week and how long does alcohol stay. All these questions and fears going through my head!! Then I thought what if he asks for my license. I have not switched it yet. My turn came. He asked if I had any drinks that day. NO!! He then proceeded to tell me how to blow into the thing. He never asked for my license so that was good. I am still working on switching it. Anyways I blew and waited for the results. Dun dun nun nun. 0.00! I got the all ok to proceed forward!! It was so funny how I over reacted. So now I can say that I have given a breath test in Australia. Fun Fun
To end off our week we drove back to Ayr. Back story-- another crazy story. Last week we lost our motor pass to fill up with gas. I know I know we keep losing stuff. Well this was perfect because our motor pass was about to expire and we needed a new one. But it takes 10 days to get it to us. So the Townsville elders came over and filled us up. So we had enough to get from Ayr to Charters Towers.
I was wise in using the car so that we would have enough to get back. So this week we were wise in our miles and left what we thought would be enough to get back to Ayr. It is 180 from C.T. to Ayr so we left 200. Well we did not account for the weight of the car when we put all of our stuff in. So we started driving and about half way I looked and we had 80 k's left with 85 k's to travel. Then we realized oh it is because of all the weight. So we pulled over at the service station to fill up. We can use our support card and get reimbursed. Well we ran into another problem. The service station was closed. It was the only one between the two areas and it was closed. We said a prayer and decided we would try and make it with 5 K's to spare. I am happy to say we made it to our home in Ayr with 3 k's to spare. So the Townsville elders are coming over for p day to fill us up.
All in all the week was full of fun and amazing spiritual moments. I testify that this church is true man!! It is amazing to see it in action and working in such a small branch. Love you all. Have a good week!!