We've had an interesting week, especially weather wise! Last week was murdering HOT, we almost died. Then this week it has been POURING rain! I was informed my last area, Newcastle, is flooding :/ It just has been pouring and pouring and it's drawing all the frogs into our apartment, we've caught a couple just today. Yesterday was the greatest Pday I've ever had, I think. First of all, it was raining too hard for us to go anywhere, and it was a public holiday (Australia Day) so everything was shut down anyway. So what did we do? Studied and SLEPT! It was glorious. I have been so exhausted it was JUST the ticket. And Sister Nauta and I had good bonding time; I made a real nice, fresh homemade potato salad, so yummy and we baked a gluten-free cake.
As for our week, Thursday we took a trip to Leura, up in the Blue Mountains! We have a zone service project there once a month at a disability center. Basically, we weeded the ENTIRE grounds, then put fresh bark all over. Made it look realllllyyy good! All the staff loves us and are so appreciative. They fed us breakfast and lunch. We were there from 8:30 am till 4:30, but we had to be up at 5:45 just to make the drive up there. The next day, I woke up and was so sore, even my fingers. But it was so good, so rewarding. And we all had a blast doing the work - we're all chiming in singing hymns, the Elders are having little wheelbarrow races on the side - haha. Good times. One of the staff members took us to a lookout point in the Blue Mountains afterwards. I guess it's the second largest canyon after the Grand Canyon(?) It was BEAUTIFUL! And I even met a man at the lookout point and taught him about the gospel, the Elders in the area will follow up with him :)
We continued service on Friday. We helped a less active member mow and weed her lawn. Hahaha - Sister Nauta is DANGEROUS with the whipper snipper (weed wacker), haha she's taking out her flowers, etc. The member and I were just laughing watching her, she was out of control. And then she got ahold of the big scissors to cut back branches.........the poor trees, haha. It was good though, the member knitted me a gorgeous blanket, bless her heart. It's on my bed and I sleep with it every night :) We're so spoiled here.
A lot of our investigators are on holiday since school is out right now so Sister Nauta and I have been on the prowl looking for new people to teach. We were referred to a printing shop in town and the owner is from China! I was all over that and we went to visit her. They were impressed with my Chinese, "you very smart girl, very smart" and all I had to do was say hello in Chinese haha... But needless to say, they weren't interested but said they will call us soon to have us for dinner! We met a mother and daughter in the park, so so nice. They invited us to come to their home this week to teach them. SO excited! Hopefully everyone else is back from vacation by the end of this week so we can get back on the ball!
I can't believe we are already halfway through the transfer! Sister Nauta and I cry whenever we think about it, haha she is so great. My little Tahitian daughter! She thinks it's HILARIOUS to yell things like...."OW, my companion hit me..." while I'm on the phone with our district leader or pretty much anybody. haha. We get along so well! Everything is going great, I've been asked to speak in sacrament in two weeks. I just went into another room in the chapel to grab some chalk and of COURSE that's where a member of the bishopric was and he's like..."AH! Sister Raitt...you haven't spoken yet...we'll have you speak in two weeks..." Dang it....all for a little CHALK! haha, I'm actually really excited to speak. It is the first time I've had to speak in a ward since the MTC, and this time it will be in English, so I am thrilled.
How was everyone's BOM reading? The Isaiah chapters are hard for me to understand, but I hope you all were able to take something from them. I LOVE reading about the second coming, and hearing Isaiah talk of the Savior. The mission is amazing, I am really getting excited for the big group to come in March, everything is going to change! I am so blessed to be in Richmond, to have so many people looking after me and especially to be in the greatest zone ever! All the missionaries in my zone are amazing, we are one of the smallest zones but we almost double in our numbers. It's not about numbers, I know, but I love the love and diligence everyone has here, we are like a little family. I inherited 8 little brothers, some of them big brothers. It's a good feeling, I love it here. I hope you all have a wonderful week! LOVE YOU!
PS: What do you call a cashew in a space suit? An astronut! hahahahahahaha. They told that last night at FHE, I cried laughing!