Hello Everyone!!!!! I'm sooooo excited about Baby Davis!!!! Yay Andrew and Halee!!!!!! He is the cutest thing EVER! It has been extra long since I've emailed and a lot has happened!
We have another baptisimal date!!!! Yay! It's a miracle her name is Charnelle and she is such a cool lady her partner was raised a member but isn't active a couple weeks ago before I was here the sisters where telling her that she would have to get married if she wanted to get baptized and she was just like "nah, those people look miserable, I'm never going to get married." But then last week we went over and just out of the blue super casual she says "so Lukan and I are getting married in 5 weeks" and we where like WHAT?! So this last Friday we called her and were like can we come over and give a short message and she was like sure. So we went over and talked with her for awhile and she says after gospel principles class last week I felt like I just want to be clean and start fresh and I think the best way is to get baptised. We were like awesome, how about December 5th the week after you are married and she said yes. After we left we went crazy and called everyone (even President Fife (he was stoked)) to tell them we were so excited! So that was one of our many miracles this week. Another is Rau she is such a cool lady I feel like we have been friends forever, we've seen her twice in the past week and she has been reading and studying so much! She told us that she is going to get baptised she just doesn't know when yet, she wants to wait for her daughter Parle to decide for herself as well (she's 15 and has sat in a few lessons. She is really cool but has some HARD questions they have been through a lot) but anyways Rau wants her and her two daughters to all get baptized at the same time so we will see.
There are a lot of Maori members here! It is so neat because they teach us all about Maori culture and I love it! Whenever we go to a Maori families house Sister Young tells them I played Rugby and they freak out! I'm glad I played it gives me an automatic in at any islanders house!!
I saw kangaroos this week! We were with the Bishops wife Sister Semu driving to an appointment and she took the wrong turn so we stopped and her and S. Young were looking a the map and I looked out the window because S. Semu's daughter Willow was pointing at something, Kangaroos!There were heaps of them with joeys in their pouches we ran out to see them it was neat. So yeah turns out I am actually in Australia.
Today we get to go to the temple I am so excited after we do a session we get to go to do baptisims with a recent convert George, he is going to be baptised for his son who died a few years ago! I am so excited for him! Tomorrow is Follow-Up Training for all of the new missionaries and their trainers these past 4 weeks have gone by so fast it is crazy! We got permission from President to stay in Sister Youngs old area so we don't have to drive back to our flat and then just straight back again in the morning! It will be really fun!
Our scripture of the week is D&C 12:8. I can tell you for a fact that humility is soooo important to everything. I've been trying really hard to work on my humility that is why all of our ponderize scriptures have been about humility!
I love you all and miss you so much! I hope you are all doing well! I am so excited for you Andrew and Halee and Finley! I love you all!
Sister Rhea Audrey Penrod
Australia Perth Mission
PO Box 185
Western Australia 6939
Hello!! So there are kangaroo crossing signs everywhere, but not a single kangaroo! I'm still praying for one though ;)
Before I forget I have to tell you that next week I will be emailing on Wednesday instead of Monday because we get to go to the temple! Yay! We also got permission from the assistants to stay overnight in my trainers last area with some other sisters because the temple is pretty far away and we have training the next day! Yay! Because we have been doing so well the APs have let us do so much! It is awesome!
I just have to say that I have the best ward ever! The Mandurah ward is so cool, we have some of the most amazing people you will ever meet in our ward! The bishop and his wife are amazing! She is one of the most amazing ladies I have ever met!
So to answer your questions mom;
We don't have anymore rats in our apartment as far as I know, but apparently they had been their for a while the people who cleaned it out found like rat skeletons and such and we talked to some elders who lived there ages ago and they where like oh yeah I think we heard something up there! Haha! Yuck! But it is all good now! but now we have to clean up our back yard because we have an inspection next week so we had to mow it! Sister Young mowed most of it and then I offered to do the sides, I mowed literally 2 feet and then the mower stopped because it is electric so you have to use an extension cord (yeah I know what the heck?) but I accidentally mowed over the cord so now we can't finish our lawn with the mower we have to cut the weeds by hand! haha! The Elders said that we could have their extension cord though because they don't need it so Score! haha!
We get a lot of meals and leftovers from members which is awesome! So we don't really have to cook! One of the Tongan members taught us how to make "otai" I think that is how you say it it's just like shredded fruit made into a drink so we have been living off of that but Sister Semu (the bishops wife) gave us some awesome recipes that we are going to try soon! They seriously do so much for us! We made your cookies with her mom for FHE and everyone loved them! Yay! They are not exactly the same here but they are still really good!
I don't even know what to tell you there is so much! We are super busy all of the time it is awesome! I'm trying to think of some excting things that happened this week. One of them is when we went to go visit Diane and Michael they are less active and are a little bit ummm how do I put this.... different, but she always says she wants to go to the temple which we've tried to explain to her but I don't think she really gets it. She wants to go there to grieve for her dead dog so yeah... But anyways I can honestly say I have never been in such a place as their house in my life! It was quite the experience Sister Young tried to prepare me before we went but It was crazy! They live in like a little moveable house behind his parents house so we go through their backyard which is just covered with rubbish and leftovers and just everything it looks like the dump but in their yard, Inside their house is almost worse it smells absolutely repulsive like cigarette smoke and dead animals and body odour and any other rotten thing you can imagine! But the best part is there are cockroaches EVERYWHERE! Not the big ones like in Fiji these are smaller and nastier and they are crawling on everything like they crawl on Dianes arms and she just flicks them off. It is the strangest experience I have ever had in my life. We shared a short message and just got out of there! It's always really awkward because they ask us to come every week but they never come to church or anything so we have turned them over to the ward to worry about visiting them so we don't waste our time! That was by far the weirdest thing that happened this week. But on a happier more spiritual note:
We had the coolest experience on Wednesday this week we taught one of our investigators Rau for the first time, she is so cool! Her boyfriend is a member and she is super interested in the gospel! She has pretty much dropped almost everything to jump in and learn as much as she can about the gospel! We taught her the plan of salvation and it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life Sister Young said it was one of the most spiritual experiences of her mission! I invited her to be baptized (yes me, I was so nervous) and she said that she wants to know that she is going to be completely commited before she is baptized so we told her that we will keep working towards it but I think she is going to commit soon! She will like text us with questions she has from her Book of Mormon reading all of the time and it is just so neat! I am so excited for her!
We've been biking a lot this week to save our Ks (kilometers). So yesterday we started biking to the Stewart-Greens a part member family except Bro. Stewart Green just got baptized so now it's just the kids who are getting baptised on Saturday! anyways we got about halfway on our bikes and it just started pouring we were so completely soaked even with our ponchos and such! It was crazy but so fun!
We have started taking Elder Durrant's challenge to Ponderize every week and it has been so awesome!! We put it around everywhere in our flat and we have learned so much from just doing it once! I challenge you all to do the same! If you want to do the same scripture as us this week we chose Ether 12:27! If you haven't listened to that talk go and listen to it! You are all wonderful! I love hearing from you! I love you all and miss you so so so much!
(oh PS I know it costs like so much money to send stuff over but if you ever feel so inclined to send anything mom :) or Haden:) I would love it if you could send me a USB with some music on it we can pretty much listen to any music that is uplifting (It doesn't have to be church) we have a lot of Disney and EFY music but we can listen to anything that is good so if you feel so inclined that would be awesome!
Haha no one actually says that here so that was a lie. This week has been INSANE! So I hope you are ready for a lllloooooonnnnngggg email! Haha! I didn't know where to start so I guess I will have to start at the beginning of my journey in this story!
If you come to Australia be prepared for a long trip. I know that seems obvious but seriously it was soooooooooooo long you can't even imagine. We had a lot of fun though at the same time! There was a group of 8 of us traveling together and we were all in the same zone at the MTC so we are basically family, so we had fun. The flight from LAX to Brisbane is about 15 hours that is like four hours more than Fiji, and you can feel it! haha! Brisbane Airport was a nightmare, customs took forever! and after we made it through we had to catch a bus to another terminal in the airport, my first thoughts at seeing Australia were literally "They just sent us on a 15 hour flight to Kanas City, What in the world?" So yeah Brisbane looks like KC. We ended up being really late so we had to run as fast as we possibly could through the terminal and were the last ones on the plane, It was almost only just me and E. Jensen and E. Barnes who made the flight to Perth. But luckily the flight crew was nice and let us through! The 5 hour flight seemed so much worse than the 15 hour flight probably because I had no body to talk to(everyone around me was doing business and nobody wanted to hear a message about Jesus).
We were met at the airport by President Fife. 18 missionaries came in that day! The 8 of us from the MTC, 4 from the Phillipines MTC, 1 from the NZ MTC and 5 Visa waiters from California! It was crazy!
We went to the Mission home and did a ton of paper work. President Fife is cool, he is crazy but he seems really cool, He is not the kind of person I would want to go to with a problem because he is not very compassionate, he told us straight up that he isn't. But he is funny and a good teacher, His Wife sister fife is really nice, I like her a lot.
After we did interviews with him and filled out paperwork and such we went on exchanges with the missionaries I went with 2 sisters and we went and knocked on doors near the temple. Nobody let us in but It was a good experience.
My Trainer is awesome, Sister Young, she is from Queensland so she is a genuine aussie. This is her second to last transfer so I am going to be her last comp. We have the most baptisms lined up in the entire mission! One just got baptised the day before I got here and we have 6 others on date in the next month!!!! It is crazy! We had an all day training before we had to say goodbye to everyone and head to our area! It was really hard to say goodbye, I felt like I leaving you all to go into the MTC again! Okay not quite but pretty close! I miss them a lot, Sister Campbell is in my stake so I might see her at a stake conference and E. Jensen is in my zone but he is in Kalgoorlie which is like 6 hours away in the bush so they never come down for zone conference so I will probably not see him. But everyone else is spread out across WA!
My area is about an hour south of Perth called Halls Head. Our flat is like right on the beach! It is awesome!! We are not allowed on the sand but we can at least look at it! So funny story We are just barely moving back into this flat after a couple of weeks, the sisters have been staying with a member because we had a rat infestation, ahhhh! For real like Ratatouille style hundreds of rats were living in the ceiling gross eh? (everyone says eh here). So yeah we kind of live in a dump but it is right by the ocean so what the hay!
So our ward covers a HUGE area! Mandurah is the main city, but not in our area. There are 3 sets of missionarys including us in our district which is our ward. Elder Ioane is our DL and he is from Samoa he is really funny. The other elders are from Australia, England, and there is one American from Salem Hills Elder Dennings we don't know each other though, He did track so he looks sort of familiar.
Our bishop is awesome he is like super young like 30 and he served his mission at 25 so he is brand new! He is from NZ and actually served his mission here in Perth so he already knew everyone when he moved here like a year ago! His wife is awesome she makes us food all the time and is so fun she served a mission in SLC so we have a lot to talk about! The relief society president Sister Dench is AMAZING! I love her to death! And we have so many other cool people! We have taught so many lesson since I got here seriously just like one after the other after the other!
Our schedule is crazy! There is a family in the ward that I really like, they just got sealed in the temple in Indiana about a month ago and just moved here, he is from Australia but she is from Lehi and so she is still adjusting as well! They haven't come to church really since they got here so we are going to go visit them more but we visited them once and I just love her we talked about all of the things that are different and she told me that she could find me some stuff that they don't have here like Dryer Sheets, They don't have Dryer sheets in Australia! What ! She said she has found them at one store so she is going to get them for me! She is so nice! I hope they come to church this week!!
I'm sorry this is so long there is just so much I want to tell you!! So basically Australia is not what I thought it would be!! It's crazy! I thought It would be just like the states but it is defientley not! It's completely different! I have learned the art of just nodding and saying "wow" and "that's crazy" to people because I can hardly understand anyone especially the thick NZ accents There are so many New Zealanders here, hardly anyone is actually Australian!
The words are Crazy I have learned so many, one of my favorites is wippersnipper (weedwacker). But I still am so confused when anyone talks to me there are a few americans in the ward and I love talking to them because they don't look at me like i'm dumb! haha! The sense of humor is weird here to I don't exactly understand it, so I just laugh whenever my trainer laughs! haha! It takes all of my energy to focus on what people are saying!
I haven't seen a kangaroo yet or anything really cool, they have magpies here that make sounds like tortured children but that's about it. It really looks a lot like California like LA or San Diego except there are literally no mountains. Not in the distance or far away it's just flat. I mean there is not even hills how do people know where they are
All of the houses are made out of brick so they get pretty cold at night and stay pretty cold in the day which is good because we don't have an AC.
The food is usually pretty good, There was a baptism yesterday of an 8 year old after conference (oh yeah they watch conference here a week after the states because of time zone stuff so I got to watch conference 2x! Score! It was even better the second time) But it was a Maori family, most of our ward is Maori or samoan but the food was like amazing and there was sooooooo much of it! You would have thought it was a wedding! I love it! But we had dinner at an aussie familys house the other night and that was rough if anyone ever offers you "scotch eggs" do not take them it's like boiled eggs wrapped in some strange cold meat and it is really hard to eat. But other that that the food is pretty decent.
I'm sorry this is so long there is so much more I want to tell you but I don't even know how! I'll send some pics in another email!
I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much and miss you soooooooooooooooooooo much too! I would love to hear from you all! Sorry there wasn't really a spriritual message this week I'll try to have one next week!
Love, Sister Penrod
I made it i'm sorry I didn't call you! We were running and almost missed our flight I love you so much! I miss you! It looks like Kansas with palm trees here I'll write you! au lomani iko
After a layover in LA they were on the long flight to Brisbane, Australia!
From Brisbane the Missionaries split up... going to their separate missions. Some I know went to Sydney. Audrey and Sister Collins went with some to Perth.
So I have to start by saying thespace bar on this computer is reallyhard to use so sorry about typos!
Week two of the MTC has been AWESOME! We've done so much I don't even know where to start. Everyday is so different but exactly the same I don't know how to describe it. I leave for Australia today!!! AHHHHH! It's crazy I do not feel like I know enough yet! The MTC besides being a total emotional roller coaster is a blast! I have the best zone ever!! 8 of us leave for Perth today,We are all best friends we spend our gym time playing sand volleyball together and it is so fun (The coaching from Grandpa Doug is really starting to pay off).
I don't know if I will miss all of the sitting we do here (all of conference and the devotionals before and after were pretty rough, but fantastic) but I will definetly miss the people! I have seen so many people I know here it's crazy! I've seen Elder Galbraith and Elder Knowlton a lot! It's crazy you run into people you saw at high school and suddenly it's like you were best friends haha! I met the cutest sister from Fiji the other day Sister Vuvute, she is from Savusavu, and she is going to Kiribati! I told her when we go to Savusavu we are going to have to look for her!
General Conference was AWESOME! am I right! All of the talks were so good! I especially loved Elder Hollands talk! Mom I love you!!! and President Monson that was pretty scary am I right! It was silent in the auditorium during his talk, you could feel how nervous everyone was like in the air!
Friday night we had our last lesson with Elias. The people we teach get payed a little bit for us to teach them and they all pretend to be non-members even if they are a member. Well Elias is awesome! He is from the Dominican Republic and turns out as he told us the last day that he is actually a real investigator! All of his family joined the church years ago except for him. He didn't want anything to do with it. He said one day he was talking to his mom on the phone and she told him that it made her so sad that she would be in heaven with all of her kids except him. He said that made him want to learn more. He has been taking lessons from the missionaries at home and coming here to get lessons as well. He said we really helped him to be comfortable praying out loud! We gave him our emails and he is going to email us when he gets baptized. He said he doesn't really know what is holding him back but, he knows/wants to get baptized soon! He is such a cool guy! I'm going to miss talking to him!
I'm going to send pictures in another email! I can't send them from this computer but I want to let you all know that I love you and miss you!!! I love hearing from you! Wish me luck on our flight tonight! haha! We leave from SLC tonight and have layovers in LAX and Brisbane and then we are on to Perth! Yay!!
Thank you for all of your letters and packages and emails! They make me so so happy! I am so lucky and grateful for my wonderful family and friends! I will send pictures in a minute!
Au Lomani Iko! I Love you!
Sister Rhea Audrey Penrod
Australia Perth Mission
PO Box 185
Western Australia 6939
SO..... side note from Sister Penrod's mom (who is managing the blog). I accidentally uploaded a bunch of the same photo and well... oh well :) Glad to have photos!
Has been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Perth, Australia. She reports to the Provo, Utah MTC September 23!