Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First Letter From Australia

Hey all,

I didn't get a chance to write since that MTC due to the long flight to Australia.  Sixteen hours in a plane was not fun and it is really hard for me to sleep sitting up. After we landed, we were picked up by the mission president and driven to the mission home.  The mission home is right next to the Temple.  We had a quick bite to eat, and had a short visit with the mission president and got to meet some of the missionaries that were to be our trainers. After lunch, we went to the mission office which shares a parking lot with the Temple and had a  "Golden Meeting".  They call the new missionaries "Goldens" here.  There we all were put into our companionship and learned where we would be serving.  I was put in a tri-panionship with Elders Newell and Steele.  They are both from Utah and are pretty cool guys.  My first area is right in the middle of the city of Melbourne.  I get to ride the tram to the train station and then ride the train into the city.  The city is super diverse.  I have talked to people from all over the world here. So far I have met people from Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.  I have gotten to be a part of some cool lessons and actually had the chance to anoint one of our investigators for a blessing so that he could give up smoking. His name is Lyall and he is super cool.  Smoking is the only thing holding him back from being baptized so hopefully he is able to quit. 

The Branch I serve in is super small.  We meet on the first floor of an office building right in the city.  Although it is very different, they do everything the same way as the ward back home runs things.  It is amazing how truly wherever you go, the church is always the same.  There are two branches that meet at this building, the Chinese one and the English one.  It is going to take some getting used to but the work is moving forward and I expect that it will be a ward soon.

I had to go shopping by myself for the first time as well.  It was so weird. I have been eating the same meals everyday due to lack of time to cook and the general expensiveness of the products.  I eat toast and eggs in the morning, rice and flavored tuna with a banana for lunch, and a meat pie for dinner.  Meat pies are really good by the way.  Definitely recommend trying one if you are ever blessed to be in Australia.  

I have just been trying to get used to using a planner and the day-to-day missionary life, but I'll be more observant of interesting things I see in the city.  Miss you all but still having fun and working hard.  

Elder Otterson

 Elder Otterson arrives in Australia!  Here he is in front of the Melbourne mission home.
Elder Otterson in front of the mission home with his mission president, President Maxwell and his wife.

 Elder Otterson's 1st Desk In Melbourne Flat
Elder Otterson's 1st Flat (Melbourne)

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