Christmas here was pretty great. It was a stark contrast from what it is like in the States. Most people I talked to didn't know about Christmas and some just didn't have any Christmas spirit. Australia is funny because the people are so laid back and they don't really get too involved in holidays. We had a Christmas party at the Branch which was super cool. We had a pot-luck dinner and had over 100 people show up. Lots of the new members and investigators were celebrating Christmas for the first time and it was cool to see how much they enjoyed it. One of our investigators is from India and he is super keen and I enjoyed just talking to him about the traditions we had in the States. He absolutely loved the part where naughty kids got coal from Santa. He thought that was so funny. After, the missionaries had gathered a bunch of old things from their flats and had wrapped them and put them under the Christmas tree. They had a raffle and gave out presents to those who were still left. Four of the presents were pieces of a Vietnamese painting. Some of the Vietnamese members got a little mad because apparently it is bad luck to split up the picture. Some of the gifts were funny like this one lady got a shoe polish kit. It was just cool to be a part of some people's first experience with Christmas and to see how much happiness the holiday brought into the people's lives. Even though I did not get many gifts, I still felt joyous on that special day.
Boxing Day was also another crazy experience. It is the equivalent to Black Friday but the day after Christmas. There were so many people shopping. It was so busy in the city and was really hard to talk to anyone about things that really matter. Satan is good at what he does. I finally got used to talking to random people and getting their contact info. I feel comfortable doing it now to basically anyone and I know that the more I relied on the Lord, the more he was able to help me.
I also got news that I will be leaving the City (Melbourne) this transfer. It is sad to leave such a wonderful place, but I had just gotten comfortable so that is when it is harder to progress personally. Hopefully I will be able to serve in the City later on in my mission. I don't know where I'll end up but I do know that I am in the Lord's hands and that I am needed somewhere else at this time.
It was great to hear from you all as well. Enjoy your Christmas gifts and know that I love you all.
It's great to hear news about the wrestling team. Tell them I said hi back and wish them the best of luck this season. I know that they will accomplish a ton. They are a good group of guys. Keep me updated on them. It is fun to see how they are doing.
I'll probably go around and site see today, so the pictures will be good next week.