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
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!