hey mom and dad,
hey mom and dad,
So much to our surprise, Tommy was transferred back to Adelaide after only 6 weeks in Darwin. That trip is a little shorter than a flight from Calgary to Houston. He was on the move most of the day so we got a brief email in the middle of the night. Should hear more this week.
hey mom and dad, so the big news is I was transferred! I am back down in Adelaide but I am now a zone leader with my new companion elder heindel. we are the zone leaders for marion and are in charge of the biggest zone in the mission. other big news is that elder ivory stepped up to district leader after I left. he is the man I don’t have much time to email so I will fill you in on more next week love you
hey mom and dad,
Brent – So for Father’s day we had a rootbeer bar. Lots of brands and taste cups. I liked the grizzly brand out of Canmore. Mom likes Crim City rootbeer. We think it is because there is a cartoon picture of a guy with tattoos on the front.
Krista – I was proud of my 8 different kinds of rootbeer… not even Barqs or Mug! I had to go to like 4 different stores to find it all.! Some of it was really gross.
Tommy – hey taysteed, so guess what up here in darwin nobody cares about trump (yes that is possible) but the trade off is that everybody here is a bogan (aussie word for hillbilly) – hey well taysteed how was grad?
Krista – I am asking … how do you define an Australian Hillbilly?
Tommy – they drink a ton of beer and all think that they live in the outback even though they live in the city. literally the australian version of a redneck
Krista – This is fro Grandpa Steed… Do you spend any time climbing termite mounds? Grandpa is now giving me info on termite mounds!
Tommy – there arent termite mounds in darwin only in the bush
Taylor – was good. We went as a group of people in my grade. I went with Sophie Carter as my date, and it was good. The day after a lot of the people came down to waterton and were able to hang out for a couple of days, the guys stayed in the big cabin and the girls stayed out at the Remington cabin.
hey mom and dad this has been a good week. we have had zone conference with the parkers this week and it was great being able to see other missionaries other than the darwin zone. we have had a tough week investigator wise. our investigator eric has dropped off the face of the earth. hes hasnt replied to our texts for the past while so hopefully he will get back to us. this week the katherine elders also came up and stayed with us. so got to spend a lot of time with them. we also found a new investigator antoine (from france). he is pretty keen so we’ll see how it goes. other than that a pretty normal week. we also took president to a mall we have been trying to get into and he is super excited for it.
Krista – That is cool about the zone conference. Do you get along with the Katherine elders? They stayed in your flat? What do you mean about taking president to a mall? Does that mean you proselyte in the mall?
Tommy – we have a mall in our area that everybody goes to in all of darwin and we are trying to get a pop up stand and missionaries in it. and yeah i love the katherie elders
Krista – That’s cool . Will the mall allow a pop up stand? They have them in Adelaide right ? Did you end up getting your package from the Parkers? I was wondering if it got to Adelaide in time
Tommy – we didnt get the package so im guessing it hasnt got here yet
Brent = Sounds like a little bit of opposition. Makes for some opportunities. The mall idea sounds cool. So what we’re you up to yesterday for the Queens birthday?
Krista – Oh well… it was for Canada Day so maybe there will be a chance that it will get to Adelaide and get mailed up to you. What did you learn at zone conference !
Tommy – we had our zone conference all day and its weird australians take it so seriously. and guess what northern territory day is on july 1st so we most likely will be in the flat early that day
Krista – What happens on Northern Territory day? It will be cool to see how differently they celebrate. Are you allowed to be part of the festivities
Brent – Take a moment to sing O Canada on July 1
Tommy – its the only time and place in australia where they can light fireworks so people spend thousands of dollars buying them. and a lot of people will be drunk apparently last year somebody almost hit a missionary with a roman candle.
Brent – Don’t be a target. Hopefully you see some cool fireworks.
Krista – Wow…. I suppose they really have to worry about fire from sparks… so much for having a holiday as a missionary! How long did Parkers stay? What did they teach?
Tommy – they stayed for the weekend and they taught about working with members
Krista – Did they bring the assistants with them? Did you do anything special as a zone? I am sitting right now watching Benny Marcus and Lance practicing rugby – Was it your idea about the mall stand? That is really smart
Tommy – yes they brought the assistants with them. and no nothing special. yeah elder ivory and i thought abut getting missionaries in the mall
Krista – Smart Smart!!!! It sounds like you and Elder Ivory are a good team. What is coming up for Pday today?
Brent – You must be smarter than the average bear / elder. How much time do you spend at the University?
Tommy – twice a week
Krista – Are there any cool outdoor things you can do or is it too hot?
Tommy – there is but its pretty far away so we have to coordinate with the farrers to drive us
Krista – So what epic training did awesome district leader Elder Dickson work on this week – Oh that must take a little planning. Any more spot inspections? I tell you this neither Drew or Ben would pass right now!
Tommy – i didnt have to give one due to zone conference – no none yet – we played basketball with some kids who are coming to sport night now
Krista – So what is the plan for next weeks training? Any more frog encounters or dinner appointments
Brent – Tell me about sport night. We used to do Saturday morning sports an D invite local youth. Some baptisms came out of it.
Tommy – we do it tuesday night and have heaps of non members come. – not sure yet for the training still gotta pray about it –
Krista – Sounds like you have lots of good ideas. I guess all of that South Calgary basketball is paying off! Is it always basketball?
Tommy – always basketball
Brent – I think the Sports is a good idea. Let’s you meet kids in a more natural setting. Never know where it can lead. Just don’t foul too many kids 🙂 – Only 2 days of classes left. I think I will make it. Did Link Crew training after school today. Drew was keeping the tradition of loud and proud up.
Tommy – thats sweet it feels so weird to not be at school anymore
Krista – I’ll be glad to hear it. I’m glad you are doing great work on your mission. School will come again soon enough
Brent – I think it is okay to miss final exams. Plenty of time for that later.
Tommy – haha it will – yeah im ok with that
Krista – Yep…. dad and I are definitely ready to be missing school for a bit! I’m sure Benny and Drew are feeling the same. Need a new cooking idea…. what is your latest favorite?
Tommy – we have been doing chicken alfredo
Brent – I’m getting a bit Rugby addicted. Recording games on TV and watching.
Tommy – they had an nrl game up here on tuesday. it was the queensland cowboys vs the parramatta eels
Krista- Hmmm sounds like a good idea I don’t make pasta very much. I’m sure with all of your biking you must be able to eat pretty much anything. And I’m sure you’re in great shape – What great names! Not sure. You would have a team over here named the eels
Brent – Go Eels? Not sure I am a rugby league fan. Drew and I weren’t impressed. Maybe we are snobs and should give it another try.
Tommy – its an easier game but they aussies love it i gotta go i love you bye!
Krista – Love you… don’t get discouraged. You have great ideas and the Lord will bless you. We have faith in you
Brent – You Are my favorite missionary in the whole world!
Hey mom and dad so this week has been a crazy one. We had a pretty normal week. Lots of finding, especially on the uni campus. It’s really weird proselyting in a polo shirt. Other than that it has been crazy. Elder Hartman and I and the Farrers went down to Katherine for trade offs with Elder Atkinson and Hammond. They have a branch of about 5 people and teach all aboriginal. Other than that it has been really normal. We are teaching two people, Eric from china and John who is half cast aboriginal.
Brent – Sounds like you are having more of an aboriginal experience in Darwin. That is cool. Mom found pictures of your visit to Katherine and the baptism on Facebook. She is creeping you. Do you have any pictures to send? I want a picture of you in the Polo Shirt!
Krista – It is great to hear from you. Did everything work out with the Khakis? I’m glad you have some people to teach. I just got home from a fireside about mission prep for the priests and laurels. Our sister missionaries and the bishop spoke. They all did a great job talking about the practical things for mission prep and the spiritual and emotional challenges. They also spoke about how different a mission actually is to what they thought it would be but how it is hard but very rewarding. What would you say is different about mission like than you imagined?
Tommy – I thought when i came on the mission all we would be doing was teaching and finding would be easy
Brent – It is easy to go finding, harder to catch a quality investigator. What are some of the big differences you are noticing in Darwin vs Adelaide?
Krista – I’m sure everyone learns that lesson. I think you are working really hard. I have learned that throwing a big party is not a good idea before the missionary leaves and that I am so grateful for everyone that helps my child in his mission and from home. I have also learned that it is hard to type an email to a missionary while Jake is busy trying to get you to repeat everything he says:)!!!! That picture of you and Elder Ivory makes me smile. I remember the pictures you sent of him in the MTC and it seems like he always had that great smile there too. Do you need to buy any more pants this week?
Tommy – darwin is harder to find a quality invetsigator because they are very laid back up here but super easy to find. adelaide is the opposite no i have plenty of pants and yeah he loves the work
Krista – Well, we will pray that your investigators stick to it. Tell me a little bit about them. What a blessing it is to have a companion who loves the work. And what a neat opportunity to go to Katherine. I saw the Farrer’s picture of a river you were checking out for a baptism. Do you not have to worry about crocs?
Tommy – the uni is cool because nobody recognizes us as missionaries so they just talk to us as friends. yeah so thats in katherine and there are heaps of crocs there so we were checking if the water is good for a baptism next week
Brent – So Drew willingly volunteered to sing in a youth ensemble for the next Moroni Quest fireside. I got the email asking if he wanted to join. Was sure he would say no but he said yes to weekly practices until the end of June. Who is that kid. Guess I don’t know my son that well.
Tommy – eric is from hong kong and is awesome but he is going back to china for a month. and john is half cast and really committed but work takes him out to the mines – he said yes because there will be girls there im betting 10$ on that
Krista – That’s interesting. Are there a lot of mines near Darwin? Is it kind of like working on the oil rigs here in Alberta? Is the University year opposite to ours here? They must have their big break around November/ December????
Brent – Good guess but you are down $10. It is an all boy ensemble. But he may actually not know that. He just left so we shall see.
Tommy – yeah they have a lot of gold mines out bush. and eah its like living in calgary and doing a week on a week off at the oil rigs. they do 10 weeks straight here and then 2-3 off and repeat all year
Krista – How was MLC training this week? What did you learn? What do you want to apply or imporve?
Tommy – we focussed on member work. it has been a slow process in this mission but is coming along
Krista – I think what a blessing that would be. I’m sure there would be lots of inactive members to work with like anywhere in the church. It seems so much more personal as I think about family members and friends who have left the church and how happy I would be if they would speak to the missionaries.
Tommy – yeah its something the mission is really focussing on
Krista – I love that! I think you also told me that you are talking to investigators about their family history. i still remember how we both commented on that part of your patriarchal blessing… who knew! Now that you have been in your district a couple of weeks, tell me some strengths of some of your missionaries.
Tommy – yeah who knew about family history eh?
Brent – Tell me how you use Family History with investigators
Tommy – we usually share a family history pass along cards with them and share familysearch.org
Brent – Nice! I think your epic story is checking out a river for baptisms to see if there are crocs. Awesome. All I worried about was drunks.
Tommy – haha probably as dangerous as the croc
Krista – As you know I have a real testimony of family history and how it can soften people’s hearts. I was listening to president Eyring’s talk from General Conference and it was all about that. Still want to know more about your district than their names. Tell me their best qualities!
elder arnaud is from tahiti and he is always keen to do the work
elder mattie is from mission bc and he is a really good singer
sister angoy is from philipines and is the happiest person i know
sister purvis is from utah and extremely talented finder
Brent – Add in Tommy D and Elder Ivoreee and you have a powerhouse district!
Tommy – we got to go love you talk to you next week
hey mom and dad!
so this has been a cool week mostly because of wildlife. we see heaps of animals around here. for example last night after our dinner appointment we came outside and there were like 10 tree frogs on our bikes so we were playing with them for a bit. it is really hot up here with humidity. 33 is nice but not when your biking in a shirt and tie. so mom do you remember how i told you some missionarries are on the charles darwin university campus? well thats us. the farrrers buy us polo shirts and khakis that we wear onto campus. we also wear khakis while proselyting up here because the humidity would destroy our pants. i have yet to see any crocs (elder ivory says they arent that common). its cool to be back with elder ivory because i get to see how much he has grown. And another cool thing is one of the elders in my district is from mission bc. (elder mattie) – oh and its not a small branch. its bigger than most wards in adelaide. (150 members) – so the mission buys me khakis
Krista – Mission BC… that is cool. Is he your age? you were probably babies together in the same Stake
Tommy – and yeah we are getting along well. ad our ditrict is great – yeah he’s 19
Krista – Ok… tell me about Elder Ivory and your flat. How are the Farrers? They seem great. She posted something about a flat inspection where 5/6 flats passed and the last flat was maybe … well not so clean Tell me, i have a sneaking suspicion that was maybe you 🙂 Do your old mom a favor and win that cleaning crocodile one time while you are in Darwin! Well that surprises me about the branch size. That is good, you will have lots of members to meet. I will have to check your account for you to buy Khakis. I don’t know how much money is in there right now. Maybe get a statement and I will put more money in tomorrow. Or if you need to shop today I can run over and put in money when we are done chatting. How is Elder Ivory? Are you getting along? How is your district? Do you have any investigators? Have you been to the University yet?
Tommy – oh ye of little faith…… we passed. our flat is really small and we get lizards in it all the time. the farrers are awesome. sister farrer is sister parker’s sister – not many investigators but yeah we go to the uni twice a week
Krista – Oh… that makes me so happy. I was making your brother’s clean today because I was worried I hadn’t taught my boys anything about cleaning! You are the BEST! What a kid! Benny would be so thrilled about the tree frogs. You will have to send him a picture. That is cool about the lizards… are they annoying or still kind of fun? When you go to the Uni do you teach in a room or do you contact around the buildings? I asked the Wilson’s about how we get packages to you now and it seems like we still send them to Adelaide and then either the Parker’s bring them or they mail them on. So we will see. I’m really hoping you will get to celebrate Canada Day. Tell me about your area. Is it like a suburb? Are there more aboriginal Australians in Darwin?
Tommy – you still send the packages to adelaide and they mail them to us. yeah so they are nice becuase they eat all the bugs so we let them in our flat. and we just walk around the buildings talking to people and then teach lessons at tables or in the student lounge
Krista – Do you know any of the other missionaries in Darwin? I can imagine that once you are in Darwin you don’t just stay for one transfer. What are your plans for the rest of your PDay? Are there interesting things you want to see?
Tommy – not really they are all new to me. we are probably gonna go to the mall today
Krista – How many Elders and Sisters do you have in your district? Who are they? Do you train every week?
Tommy – I train every week and we have two sets of elders and one set of sisters
Krista – That sounds great. You said you had a dinner appointment. How is the branch? I know you have only been one week but did you meet anyone interesting?
Tommy – not really but we meet a lot of american marines around darwin. (american naval base)
Krista – I’m surprised, I would have never have guessed there was a base there. So Drew has his semi final rugby game tomorrow. As long as they beat Wisewood they will go to provincials. This year provincials are in Edmonton. If they are going I think Dad and I are going to try and take a day off work and go to see them play . It will feel weird to go to Edmonton and have to stay in a hotel instead of Grandma and Grandpa Dickson’s. Dad is at ASLC, the weather is nice and he is taking 20 kids so he should have a lot of fun. He was picking up licorice to throw at kids on the bus… memories! We have Joseph and Porter here right now. There is an epic lego game going on in the basement. I don’t even want to think about how much thee will be to clean when they are done. Grace Matthews spoke in church today. She is getting ready to go on a mission in the fall. She is a neat kid. Oh… what about the tag?
Tommy – she is going on a mission?! thats awesome! yeah and darwin has heaps of historical ww2 stuff. it was bombed by the japanese in the war.
Krista – Yes! I was surprised. There was no note just the tag. Do you get new ones? Is it a tradition to send tags home? The tag is sitting on our mantle right beside the picture of you that is on your mission plaque at the church
Tommy – no i just ordered two new badges from the office so i figured i would send it home
Krista – There are some interesting things about dressing for an Australia Adelaide mission. Sister Parker posted some pictures of a trip out bush where everyone is wearing bush boots because that red dirt gets everywhere. Who knew!
Tommy – yeah you get some big differences from nt to sa
Brent – Hey buddy, sitting in the opening ceremonies of ASLC. They had a million dignitaries. Very painful. How are you!!!!
Krista – I was glad to get it. the same day I also got a thank you letter from Sister Sennett. i had sent a card when Elder Sennet died and it was really thoughtful of her to send a reply. It was an Australia day in the mail! What did you end up doing with your paintings? Are you hauling them with you?
Tommy – they are in the vault in adelaide. and far out dignitaries suck
Brent – Just read your first letter. Proselytize on Darwin campus sounds really cool. Have you seen any kangaroos? I’m still hoping for the kangaroo punch.
Tommy – yeah we see wallibies sometimes but since we are in the suburbs not so much
Krista – Oh who knew there was a mission vault? I am learning so much. Drew is doing some makeup Seminary assignments right now… sound familiar? He is not too happy with me.
Tommy – haha sad life
Brent – Probably not as cool punching a wallabee. This opening ceremony is a little long. Mama Mcgreggs says hi.
Krista – I am forcing him to finish them in case he ever wants to go to the States for University. Not likely but we’re covering our bases. It’s graduation season here. Centennial’s grad was this weekend and I saw things from Dallin’s grad on Facebook. I guess no matter how much we fight it you all grow up!
Tommy – tell mama magreggs i say hi too wallabies are small but there are heaps
Brent – I had a cool discussion with a bunch of advisors. They were asking about you. Got to explain about missions, how you get called etc. It was good. I’m being a member missionary.
Tommy – yeah eventually i guess – which advisers?
Krista – I’m not sure punching wildlife is a great plan. I have been watching Australian Border Patrol shows ( yes mocking inserted here) and let’s just say those Australian officlas don’t mess around! I will be excited to see pictures of your new place and Darwin. What a change! Is your area as big as your Adelaide areas. Do you have to bike far?
Tommy – dad can you send any more photos of our aslc and any more training ideas. they are helping so much, really engaging
Laura McGregor – Hey Tommy…mama McGregs here. Missing you here at ASLC. Hope you are having a great time. Use lots of sunscreen!
Brent- Wisewood, two Airdrie schools, small schools near Lloudminster, Drumheller.
Tommy – thank you! and yeah its just as big but we cover what is called lee point so its super far
Brent – I will find some stuff for next week. Why do u want ASLC pics? I can send activities.
Tommy – awesome well tell them i say hi – idk i just want some pictures of us hosting it – companions always ask about it but it never really works just to just explain – hey om and dad i gotta go ill talk to you next week. love yous
Brent – I will send pics and ideas. No problem. It brings back great memories of you at ASLC last year. You made an impact on some of these advisors!
Fun fact: Getting transferred from Adelaide to Darwin is the same distance as Calgary to Houston. Yes Tommy flew.
Hey Mom and Dad so sorry about the late email. So transfers happened and I got shipped to Darwin! I’m the Palmerston district leader in Darwin and my new companion is…… Elder Ivory!(They were together in the MTC) We are in an area called Malak. So Elder Miague is still in Evandale and his new companion is Elder Hobby. Other than that it has been a pretty normal week. It’s really freaking hot here though. 90% humidity and 30 degrees (there’s the weather report for grandpas). We are doing great and it should be a really good transfer.
so I don’t think I will need a winter jacket
Hey Mom and Dad, so this week has been a good one. We got 5 new investigators this week! More than all of marion zone. So I talked to Sister Parker and she said I should be able to facetime home on Monday here so Sunday night there. So another cool experience is that I met Brother Steed this week in my ward! Turns out he is from Salt Lake and that he has been in Adelaide for 7 years. #metmycousin. That is crazy that the guys are killing it this year. Far out I’m excited for back to back provincial titles.
We missed Tommy’s email that came a day later so that is all for now.
Hey Mom and Dad so this week has been pretty good. We were able to get a new investigator named Gideon this week. Gideon is from Kenya and he has had a rough life. He told us stories of watching people starve to death so needless to say he has a tough time believing in God. This week we were also able to go on trade offs with the zone leaders. Elder Leutele (from new zealand) and I got to stay in evandale and smash it here. Other than that it has been really normal. Our converts are doing great and paul is slowly progressing.
- read d&c 50 or d&c 112 is what I do to lift myself when I’m feeling down.
- adobo is my favorite new food I’ve tried.
10. Investigators would say this about me i talk really fast and tell stories
Brent – Hey buddy, I’m cheating in the Moroni’s quest fireside and am emailing you. How cool to meet someone like Gideon. I loved teaching Africans in Sweden. Amazing people. The convert baptism went great. We were in the RS room at Parkland. It was packed. All the YM were standing. At least 10 non members from Centennial came. A good day
Krista – Oh… that is no surprise that you talk really fast and it makes sense that you are a storyteller coming from your family. I am glad to hear about the two sections of D&C . I will make that my scripture study for this week. So Paul and Gideon and remind me again the name of your Chinese investigator… and what is adobo?
Tommy – his name is martin and adobo is a filipino food that elder miague taught me how to cook. super simple but really good. and yeah the africans are always really receptive – that is sweet i dont even remember convert baptisms in sundance
Brent – Neither do we! It is pretty great.
Krista – Ok… so just saying Philipino food is not that descriptive… any more info? Tell me what you did on splits and a little about your Zone leaders
Tommy – its like meat and filipino soy sauce (very different) on rice – same as usual finding
Ben – Ben- hey Tommy on our program it says your returning auust 2017
Tommy – one more year
Krista – Hmmm… I will have to look it up and try to find how to make it. Sounds interesting. Where do you go to find in your area? – I think Benny meant 2018 the part he likes is that there is no G in August …Auust. We look for it every week… it’s kind of a tradition now
Ben- doh somehow I forgot the year
Tommy – we do a lot of door knocking in a place called campbelltown – haha all good benny
Krista – What is your favorite way to contact people? What are you the best at and what are you trying to improve at?
Tommy – i am not the best at going slow with my contacts, the easiest way to talk to people is on the street because they cant run away
Ben- hey did mom tell you I’m playing Rugby now it is really fun I bit too hard on my mouth guard now it gets stuck in
Tommy – good you want it to get stuck because then it wont fall out – what position are you playing?
Krista – Oh that cracks me up… what a surprise that you are not into details and going slow… sound familiar Benny??? I also laughed at “they can’t run away”… they also probably can’t send their dogs after you 🙂
Ben- no like have to pop it out from the back. Don’t know my position yey
Krista – Tell me about some of the personalities of the missionaries you work with senior or junior… Who is the most serious? Who likes a good joke? Who is a good cook? Who is a fierce teacher?
Tommy – exactly – everyone in the district are jokers. i have to be the serious one which is no fun
Ben – in my first practice I scored a try
Tommy – elder garbutt and miague are good cooks – thats sweet!
Krista – That is a hard thing when you have to be a leader… you told me about the adobo… what does Elder Garbutt like to cook? What has become your go to meal for you to cook?
Tommy – i cook a lot of mexican and assorted
Krista – What is coming up for you for PDay… any new training on the horizon?
Ben- thanks, on Friday I went to comiccon. Me and my friend played classic brawl
Tommy – classic brawl how was it?
Krista – What about the senior missionaries? Who is like a mom or dad? Who is a great teacher? Who is a details person?
Tommy – i have been training a lot for meetings speaking of, dad do you have any good leadership trainings that can be applied to the gospel?
Ben- really fun you can be mew two in it witch is awsome
Tommy – and sister smith is like leder miague and i’s mom
Brent – I will have to send you something next week.
Tommy – ok sweet im running out of ideas for trainings
Krista – What!!! I don’t understand, I think you were typing too fast.. explain about Sister Smith and Elder Miague
Tommy – sister smith is like a mom to elder miague and i. she makes sure we are fed
Ben- one thing I got was a pin with cat Head in a cupcake cup with a unicorn horn
Brent – Taylor says hi. The boys and I gotta go. Have a great week.
Krista – What about using the story of Jake in Cameron Lake… He kept swimming deeper and deeper, having a great time and he had no idea that there was a big drop off and that the water was so cold he could be in danger. Finally a man in a kayak pushed him to the shore… could use the analogy of sometimes we don’t know the dangers of what we are doing or what is around the corner… have to listen to people on shore(spirit) and get help from the Lord and others to avoid danger… reminds me of President Packer’s crocodile story.
I have always been interested in animals and birds and when I was a little boy and the other children wanted to play cowboy, I wanted to go on safari to Africa and would pretend I was hunting the wild animals.
When I learned to read, I found books about birds and animals and came to know much about them. By the time I was in my teens I could identify most of the African animals. I could tell a klipspringer from an impala, or a gemsbok from wildebeest.
I always wanted to go to Africa and see the animals, and finally that opportunity came. Sister Packer and I were assigned to tour the South Africa Mission with President and Sister Howard Badger. We had a very strenuous schedule and had dedicated eight chapels in seven days, scattered across that broad continent.
President Badger was vague about the schedule for September 10th. (That happens to be my birthday.) We were in Rhodesia, planning, I thought, to return to Johannesburg, South Africa. But he had other plans, and we landed at Victoria Falls.
“There is a game reserve some distance from here,” he explained, “and I have rented a car, and tomorrow, your birthday, we are going to spend seeing the African animals.”
Now I might explain that the game reserves in Africa are unusual. The people are put in cages, and the animals are left to run free. That is, there are compounds where the park visitors check in at night and are locked behind high fences until after daylight they are allowed to drive about, but no one is allowed out of his car.
We arrived in the park in the late afternoon. By some mistake, there were not enough cabins for all the visitors, and they were all taken when we arrived. The head ranger indicated that they had a cabin in an isolated area about eight miles from the compound and we could spend the night there.
Because of a delay in getting our evening meal, it was long after dark when we left the compound. We found the turnoff and had gone up the narrow road just a short distance when the engine stalled. We found a flashlight and I stepped out to check under the hood, thinking that there must be a loose connection or something. As the light flashed on the dusty road, the first thing I saw was lion tracks!
Back in the car, we determined to content ourselves with spending the night there! Fortunately, however, an hour or two later we were rescued by the driver of a gas truck who had left the compound late because of a problem. We awakened the head ranger and in due time we were settled in our cabin. In the morning they brought us back to the compound.
We had no automobile, and without telephones there was no way to get a replacement until late in the day. We faced the disappointment of sitting around the compound all day. Our one day in the park was ruined and, for me, the dream of a lifetime was gone.
I talked with a young ranger, and he was surprised that I knew many of the African birds. Then he volunteered to rescue us.
“We are building a new lookout over a water hole about twenty miles from the compound,” he said. “It is not quite finished, but it is safe. I will take you out there with a lunch, and when your car comes late this afternoon we will bring it out to you. You may see as many animals, or even more, than if you were driving around.”
On the way to the lookout he volunteered to show us some lions. He turned off through the brush and before long located a group of seventeen lions all sprawled out asleep and drove right up among them.
We stopped at a water hole to watch the animals come to drink. It was very dry that season and there was not much water, really just muddy spots. When the elephants stepped into the soft mud the water would seep into the depression and the animals would drink from the elephant tracks.
The antelope, particularly, were very nervous. They would approach the mud hole, only to turn and run away in great fright. I could see there were no lions about and asked the guide why they didn’t drink. His answer, and this is the lesson, was “Crocodiles.”
I knew he must be joking and asked him seriously, “What is the problem?” The answer again: “Crocodiles.”
“Nonsense,” I said. “There are no crocodiles out there. Anyone can see that.”
I thought he was having some fun at the expense of his foreign game expert, and finally I asked him to tell us the truth. Now I remind you that I was not uninformed. I had read many books. Besides, anyone would know that you can’t hide a crocodile in an elephant track.
He could tell I did not believe him and determined, I suppose, to teach me a lesson. We drove to another location where the car was on an embankment above the muddy hole where we could look down. “There,” he said. “See for yourself.”
I couldn’t see anything except the mud, a little water, and the nervous animals in the distance. Then all at once I saw it!—a large crocodile, settled in the mud, waiting for some unsuspecting animal to get thirsty enough to come for a drink.
Suddenly I became a believer! When he could see I was willing to listen, he continued with the lesson. “There are crocodiles all over the park,” he said, “not just in the rivers. We don’t have any water without a crocodile somewhere near it, and you’d better count on it.”
The guide was kinder to me than I deserved. My “know-it-all” challenge to his first statement, “crocodiles,” might have brought an invitation, “Well, go out and see for yourself!”
I could see for myself that there were no crocodiles. I was so sure of myself I think I might have walked out just to see what was there. Such an arrogant approach could have been fatal! But he was patient enough to teach me.
My young friends, I hope you’ll be wiser in talking to your guides than I was on that occasion. That smart-aleck idea that I knew everything really wasn’t worthy of me, nor is it worthy of you. I’m not very proud of it, and I think I’d be ashamed to tell you about it except that telling you may help you.
Those ahead of you in life have probed about the water holes a bit and raise a voice of warning about crocodiles. Not just the big, gray lizards that can bite you to pieces, but spiritual crocodiles, infinitely more dangerous, and more deceptive and less visible, even, than those well-camouflaged reptiles of Africa.
These spiritual crocodiles can kill or mutilate your souls. They can destroy your peace of mind and the peace of mind of those who love you. Those are the ones to be warned against, and there is hardly a watering place in all of mortality now that is not infested with them.
On another trip to Africa I discussed this experience with a game ranger in another park. He assured me that you can indeed hide a crocodile in an elephant track—one big enough to bite a man in two.
He then showed me a place where a tragedy had occurred. A young man from England was working in the hotel for the season. In spite of constant and repeated warnings, he went through the compound fence to check something across a shallow splash of water that didn’t cover his tennis shoes.
“He wasn’t two steps in,” the ranger said, “before a crocodile had him, and we could do nothing to save him.”
It seems almost to be against our natures, particularly when we are young, to accept much guidance from others. But, young people, there are times when, regardless of how much we think we know or how much we think we want to do something, that our very existence depends on paying attention to the guides.
Now, it is a gruesome thing to think about that young man who was eaten by the crocodile. But that is not, by any means, the worst thing that could happen. There are moral and spiritual things far worse even than the thought of being chewed to pieces by a monstrous lizard.
Fortunately there are guides enough in life to prevent these things from happening if we are willing to take counsel now and again.
Some of us are appointed now, as you will be soon, to be guides and rangers. Now we don’t use those titles very much. We go under the titles of parents—father and mother—bishop, leader, adviser. Our assignment is to see that you get through mortality without being injured by these spiritual crocodiles.
I’m glad Sister Smith is so awesome. Their flat is close to where you live right?
Tommy – around the corner
Krista – That was lucky! Jake is rocking out to the Lion King. I swear I could sing all of those songs in my sleep!!!!!!! Sang with the priests for the first time last week. They did well. Coy sang with them but also showed them a funny email Sister Woodruff sent to him giving him a lifetime exemption from Ward Choir. I suggested Drew go this week… Let’s just say he was hoping for an exemption too
Tommy – haha that is funny
Krista – Yep…there was all sorts of stuff like” it would be detrimental to the testimonies of his family and the ward”. Not sure it is that bad but the priests enjoyed it. May tomorrow finally feels like we can hope for Spring. Have you found that you have adjusted ti the weather enough now that the 19c fall weather feels cold in Adelaide? Are you glad for no more hot weather? I shouldn’t say that because then maybe you will get transferred to somewhere like Darwin where it is always hot
Tommy – gotta go love ypu
Hey Mom and Dad so nothing much has really changed since Thursday. We had a really cool opprotunity on Saturday though to go to the temple with the youth form our ward. We were asked to come and help with baptisms because of not enough priesthood so we did the confirmations. Other than that this week has been pretty normal. A lot of finding and it is slowly coming. We were able to have lunch with the Smiths yesterday and it was sooo good! oh this week was also firle stake conference which was really cool because the area seventy shared about how we need to catch the wave! Totally a coincidence but he also shared a video of hark all ye nations and that we need to have that enthusiasm. Total testimony builder!
- speak many different languages (tagalog, chinese, punjab) is something I know how to do now, that I never thought I would.
6.. I feel best on my mission when I had the opprotunity to baptize darcy
Brent – Hey stud. We are here. I just got off the phone with Grandma D. She downloaded Rugby rules for dummies an do was explaining stuff. That is a dedicated Grandma. They came to Drew’s game last week
Tommy – haha i heard! so who is playing what position on the back line?
Brent – I don’t know. It shifts around a lot. The key guys are Isaac G, Issac W, Kees, Matt B. They make everything happen. Unfortunately Konor Yee broke his arm. Not sure when he is back.
Tommy – ok i see so pretty similar to last year plus matt b
Brent – Benny’s first Rugby practice is tomorrow. Lance Watson and Marcus Woodruff are on his team.
Krista – Ok, Ok…. lots of rugby. Now tell me about your lunch with Smiths and the temple!
Tommy – the senior couple smiths just invited us for lunch and it was awesome. and we got asked by bishop to do confirmations
Krista – Just you and your companion? Where did you go? How many youth were at the temple? Was it your whole district at the temple or just the two of you?
Tommy – just the two of us and about 6 youth
Brent – Quinn Stewart reported his mission from Iceland today. Only 8 missionaries in Iceland. 100 members attend in two branches on a given Sunday. He bore his testimony in Icelandic and I understood about 70%.
Tommy – we have more youth in sundance ward than all of firle stake – sweet he’s home now? that was fast
Brent – That’s okay. I bet it takes real strength to be faithful in your Stake.
Krista – Tell me a little about the new investigator that you have committed to baptism.
Tommy – yeah his name is martina dn we dont know heaps about him. he is from china and has moved over for school and our recent convert introduced us to him
Krista – I bet those Firle youth are learning to be very strong and will be great leaders in the church. Quinn mentioned that the mission in Iceland had only been reopened since the 1970s. He also told a story about being up north and in an area 6 hours away from other missionaries where there were only 5 members to begin with. I think that is the way the church is in a lot of places. What a great opportunity and challege – Are the Smiths the new senior missionaries? Did you just go to lunch at a restaurant with them? Tell me a little bit about them?
Tommy – yes they are new senior missionaries and we ate at their flat – and yeah its tough to be youth here
Krista – It sounds like there is a lot of missionary work going on in Adelaide with Chinese students and converts. With the new branch and the teaching centre I hear they are quite busy. It is nice that you have that opportunity to teach someone from China too. I think without regular missionaries in China this must be the way the Lord is bringing the church to China as all these students either go home or teach their families. How old is Martin? Single?
Tommy – he is single and 25 – and yeah for sure thats the way the lord is getting into china
Brent – Jake just ran by with his iPad listening to Raffi. He has his cats in space shirt on that we bought him. Some things don’t change.
Krista – So when you committed him to baptism, how much longer do you teach him before his date? Had he had any discussions before?
Tommy – we are going to have to move his date due to his comprehension but we arent sure yet
Krista – Do you have his friend translate for him or do you have a Mandarin missionary come to discussions with you?
Tommy – we teach him in english
Krista -Oh my goodness! Dad was bragging about Jake’s lying cat shirt to our home teachers. Lets just say I think they thought Dad was crazy. Flying cats maybe not too much their thing! Benny also went home teaching today because Drew had to work… Now all three boys have home taught the Mc Cues. I really should be checking to see if there are any new Who’s Your Hero books… You can only find a mouse so many times!
Tommy – yeah seriously those saved us
Brent – I went rogue with a different lesson today. Talked about being joyful. In the middle of it Kathryn accidently dumped a bunch of nacho chip crumbs on the floor. Jenny Lynn just said to keep going. I think they are pretty comfortable with us.
Krista – So Dad heads to Winterpeg (AKA Winnipeg) tomorrow. He is sad to be missing rugby but I think he might like the peace and quiet. Too bad it is not a more tropical destination but hopefully no snow
Tommy – hahah love winterpeg
Brent – Mom is overestimating the peace and quiet factor it can be pretty busy.
Tommy – I have to go, love you!
This week has been pretty normal. We were able to put somebody on baptismal date though! His name is martin and he is a referral from our recnet convert wei wei. he is super solid. other than that it has been a really normal week. Lots of finding. One day this week we found for 6 hours straight. heres those ad-libs you wanted :p
- The funniest members of the ward are szas mckay and that’s because they are sooo caring and loves to laugh. he will literally crack any joke he can to get the missionaries to laugh.
- One of my prayers was answered when we put martin on baptismal date
- “did you know that cumquats are a fake fruit” is the funniest thing an investigator has said to me.
hey mom and dad,
Yes at this point we have seen conference and it was awesome. Us as missionaries were jumping in our seats when Elder Costa started to talk! Nothing too interesting has happened this week other than transfers. But we didn’t move. So all good means I don’t have to pack! Elder Miague and I are getting along really well. And no paul has had a rough week. He had his alarm system go on the fritz when he was supposed to come to general conference so he wasn’t able to attend 😦 I had three favourite talks 1) L. Whitney Clayton on how whatever Christ says, do it 2) Gary B Sabin about how we have to be all in not just lukewarm 3) Deiter F Uchtdorf on fear. other than that its been a pretty normal week. crazy with transfers but normal.
Brent – Hey,hey Sitting and watching Star Wars the original with your Bros. Classic – Maybe you need to go live with Paul and guard his house. He has had it rough.
Krista – We figured you would stay put because you have only been in the area for one transfer. Did anyone else in your district move? Will you have some new missionaries?
Tommy – did you like gary b sabins refrence to star wars? – there are 12 new missionaries and nobody moved in the district but sister jorakhe will be training. and seriously satan is working on him
Brent – Yes it must mean Star Wars is true. I really liked the missionary talk. I was thinking of you.
Krista – I will have to go and check that out… I don’t remember. How do you continue to reference conference talks? Do you all get an Ensign? Are you allowed to print talks out? Does that mean 12 new in the mission? Are any of them in your district.. is Sister Jorakkhe in your dostrict?
Tommy – yes sister jorakkhe is in my district and is gonna train one of the 12 new to the mission. we put them on a usb and listen to them. in a bit we will get the ensign and we can print if we want
Krista – Are there any other new trainers that you know? Do you have any plans for Easter. I didn’t send a particular Easter package because I think it would have melted, but buy yourself some chocolate eggs for me 🙂
Brent – So great you have access to conference. In Sweden we would see one session two months later. We only got an English Ensign if someone mailed it.
Tommy – oh wow we watch all the sessions but they are a week late and no not that I know
Brent – Just watched your video with your companion. Drew says it is Mom funny but I think it rocks.
Krista – Just watched your mission motto video. Cracked me up!!!! Drew just thought it was “mom” funny. That is really cool. Did President Parker write that? It seems like you are enjoying each other as companions
Tommy – yeah president wrote that
Brent – So any special plans for Easter? I plan on stealing from the boys baskets.
Tommy – not that I know of
Krista -LOVE IT! You are becoming a powerful missionary. I am excited to go and read your favorite talks this week. That will be my scripture study focus – Yep the young missionary teaching his mom… how do you like that! There should be a package that will get to you before your next transfer. It is pretty silly… maybe that can count as Easter. How are your shoes holding up? ( How’s that for a mom question!!!)
Brent – So Sis Johnson asked me to be involved in Moroni Quest reenactments but I had to say no because I am in charge of activities. She wanted me to be Laman. Not sure if that is a compliment. They didn’t seem to think of me as Nephi.
Tommy – yeah my shoes are holding up because im applying the advice tanner steed gave me for shoes. to alternate pairs each day -that’s ok in all the skits we do here for zone trainings im always the bad guy
Brent – So it runs in the family. I guess you are a missionary shoe Ninja.
Krista – I think you get to be the bad guy because you are big and can look scary… probably the same for dad. I’m not sure your smaller companion would look all that scary! We had our 18th priest ordained today (Cody Rice) I am lucky or foolish enough to get to work with them and have them all sing in Sacrament meeting at the end of May… I will be sure to bring treats!!!! We are doing a missionary medley
Tommy – far out that is more preists than all of the youth in the firle ward
Brent – I think we are up to 84 total youth. Keeps the Bishop busy with interviews.
Krista – What mission events are coming up for you? i am still in love with Sister Parker’s blog . It gives me such a great picture of what is happening in the mission. I also sometimes look at the blogs of the senior missionaries in the other areas. You are so blessed in having the Parkers and the great senior missionaries!
Tommy – I don’t know of any big events really and that is almost the whole firle ward dad
Krista – It is a little ridiculous but very exciting. it will be quite the choir but I have to admit I will be talking to a couple of men in the ward to be “ringers” in case the priests don’ sing too loud. I think Sundance Ward is an anomaly even in the rest of the stake. There certainly aren’t the same number of youth in the other wards. Have you got to know the youth in your new ward? Are there any priests? What a great opportunity for mentorship and strengthening! I think you are really blessed to serve in a ward that is small and you can really serve the members and make a difference. What a great mission!
Brent- We have had a lot of people move in, even since you left. Take the opportunity to connect with their youth. You never know the impact you can have.
Tommy – that’s what we are trying to do
Brent – The Millennium Falcon just escaped the Death Star. Spoiler alert Ben got killed
Tommy – nooooooo (editorial comment by Dad – this is my favorite response from Tommy this week)
Krista – Good for you… you would be a natural at that. It will be so important for those youth to be strong for their communities and their families. Our ward is doing a big focus on Family History (right up my alley) We are having a ward temple day coming up soon and one of the new couples in our ward is working on a new temple and family history program. the snacks in Nursery are great but I have to admit I am a little jealous!
Brent – I feel confident they will be able to take out the death star. A little creepy watching Luke oogle Leah. I prefer the ASLC version. Carrie Fischer who played Leah passed away around Christmas.
Tommy – yeah I heard about that. sad…..
Krista – And the kids are pretty darn cute… there is this little boy who has the biggest cheeks you have ever seen and he is a dancing and singing machine. He reminds me a little of you. Although Brother Gilson does like to bring recorders…. so imagine recorders in 2 year olds mouths…. just a little less than musical!
Tommy – haha about as talented as me :p
Krista – Oh those nursery kids have some pretty awesome moves… a little London Bridge, some 5 little Monkeys, Ring Around the Rosy… it has been a while since I lived in that world. Benny asked me if he could skip deacons and come instead maybe a little more active ( on second thought maybe deacons is busier) Benny uses all his active self on Drew since you are not here to distract and let’s just say Drew is not all that impressed! I can’t remember, remind me , where does Elder Miague sit in his family. How many siblings?
Tommy – he is the oldest of four
Brent – The oldest child must make him extremely noble.
Krista – So you are similar… cool. Are you busy contacting this week or do you have any other possible investigators you are teaching? Dad and I have a SLIGHT oldest child bias… and if you stretch because of Jake we might just let you in that club!
Tommy – very busy contacting – haha yes! I have to go love ya bye!
hey Mom and Dad,
This week has been crazy sooooo many meetings. We had the funeral on Wednesday and arrivers training on Thursday and zone conference on Friday. Crazy. But singing at Elder Sennetts funeral was a really good experience. We had 70 missionaries singing and it was really powerful, and YES! Darcy got baptized on Friday night at 7pm and boy was he nervous. He asked us a million and one questions before going into the water. It was a really good baptismal service half the ward attended it! We were also able to get a lot of less active members along to the baptism. Other than that this week has been awesome. Tons of meetings and boy was I spiritually drained after Friday. Going to conference should be a great experience but don’t tell me anything because in Australia we see it one week later. Ofa atu!
Krista – Ofa atu???? What is that ? I’m so glad about Darcy and I’m glad you had some less actives at the baptism. Do you have a picture? Do you work with the less actives alot?
Tommy – ofa atu means love you in tongan
Krista – Hooray… I’m surprised arrivers training was so late… didn’t you do that already? Or did those visas come through for the other missionaries? How is Elder Miague doing?
Tommy – its the second one and he is doing great far out I swear he’s training me
Krista – That is great. Did you do anything for your birthday? What are you going to spend the money on?
Tommy – we made puffed wheat squares and a cake and im not sure yet
Krista – I saw that picture of the puffed wheat squares… that cracks me up. Do Australians know what puffed wheat squares are? How was Zone conference… what did you do?
Tommy – no they have no clue I brought them to ward correlatrion meeting and the ward mission leader was really confused and it was really good we got trainings from sister parker, president and the assistants
Krista – So did they like the puffed wheat squares? Maybe it is just a Canadian Prairie thing. What did Sister and President Parker teach?
Tommy – they loved them and asked for the recipe and the taught about teaching repentance
Krista – That’s great I just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss you. It sounds like Evandale has lots of work to be done. I was so happy to see the baptism photos. You will always remember that. That one event is worth your whole mission. I’m proud of you and so happy for Darcy. I’m sure this week will be a little quieter after such a big week. I cant even imagine training, funeral, baptism, conferences. It will be nice to just teach. Do you have any other investigators?
Tommy – yeah we have a man named paul who wants to be baptized
Krista – Cool… is everybody an islander ? New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa etc…..How far is Morialta away from you? Tell me a bit about Paul
Tommy – New Zealand isn’t considered islander unless you are maori – and its like a 30 min bike ride – paul is a wonderful man in his 50’s who just lost both his parents. he already has a testimony of the word of wisdom. he was a former investigator of the assistants who just lost contact with them
Krista – That sounds like a great opportunity. What stage is he at in his teaching? Are you working with him or are the assistants?
Tommy – we are working with him and he is just starting again
Krista – Paul??? Your investigator? How did they ever contact him then? Just goes to show a change of heart is real!
Tommy – yeah we are working with an awesome family who are just being butts and not coming to church
Krista – Well… that’s an interesting way to put it… do they have kids, teenagers?
Tommy – yeah they have two young kids 3 and 1 and they love the missionaries and the gospel but aren’t coming to church
Krista – Ofa atu… got to go and get Jake in the bath… Have a wonderful week. Mom
This week has been a crazy one also. So we were only able to see Darcy once this week because he is preparing to go down to tazzy (Tasmania) this week. He is doing great though, He is super keen to be a home teacher and president Kelley (EQ) is super pumped for that. Paul has been having a very rough month. For the past three weeks his water line was sabotaged. This week his house was broken into. It just goes to show you how satan works on those that are preparing. other than that it has been a normal week. We went on trade offs with the other elders in the district this week and had to build them up on a few things but they are really great missionaries. Its been a lot of finding this week and not very much success but we know that it is coming so we push forward.
love Eder Dickson
Brent – Is Paul an investigator or less active?
Tommy – investigator
Brent – Are you able to help Paul out. Maybe guard his house :). mom and the boys loved conference. They were on the main floor row 13 on the left side. They didn’t know the tickets were so good. They came in and we’re told to take the elevator down to the main floor. Whooooo – So it has been a weather and geographic themed dinner with the two Grandpas.
Tommy – haha yeah lots of talk about Chinooks im sure – lots of door knocking and some street contacting. and really good just slow
Brent – No, lots more talk about what can kill you in Australia. People were worried about the cyclone that hit NE Australia. Is Tom okay. That is the same as asking if the storm in Halifax impacted us in Calgary. Grandma D wants to know if it is still super hot and are you on bikes.
Tommy – no that’s like asking if an earthquake in chile affected Calgary. there arte a set of mountains and a whole desert between us and the cyclone -no it has started to cool down 18-25 degrees and lots of rain. yes we are still on bikes
Brent – Grandpa Steed is really impressed but questioning the accuracy of your geography. Super nerdy Grandpa said something really needs about the height of Chilean mountains. You fill in the blanks. – Grandma D – do your pants still fit. Are u losing weight.
Tommy – of course but it is as insignificant as that – losing weight and the pants are still the same
Brent – Grandpa S says takes a Nerd to know one. One day you will be obsessing over the clouds at the head of the lake just like Grandpa
Tommy – haha actually I predicted the weather like that a day ago
Brent – Grandpa D is lazy and laying on the couch. He has no questions. Just thinks you are pretty cool. Grandpa S is telling Grandma D about sharks. True Story in Australia. In that cyclone a shark got thrown inland. A 3 foot bull shark showed up inland quite a few feet in a pool of water. They confirmed it got thrown from the ocean. Sharknado is real.
Tommy – sharknado strikes again
Brent – I think Grandpa S has a tear in his eye. He is so proud. Turns out the flooding pushed the shark inland and whe the water retreated the shark was stuck
Tommy – sharknado Adelaide edition…..but I don’t think chainsaws are approved
Brent – As your father and patriarch if danger from a sharknado arrives I give you authority to find a chain saw and arm yourself. How is your companion doing? Do you see the Parkers much. If I don’t ask mission questions Mom will get mad. She won’t want everything about sharks.
Tommy – we see the parkers quite a bit considering we live down the street. and he is doing awesome will for sure be a future leader
Brent – Grandpa D wants you to know the Oilers are now in 1st and Flesh fourth. Both made playoffs. 5 points from first to fourth. Final four update. Gonzaga beat S Carolina and N Carolina beat Oregon. Both super close games. Go Zags
Tommy – oilers are first in the west?
Brent – 1st in Pacific division. Anaheim 2 San Jose 3 Flamers 4. It could all change with one week to go. All four are in. Who knows where they finish. Anything exciting or different this week? We had a great experience in the St. George temple. Crud, it is rain snowing now and Rugby is supposed to be outside tomorrow.
Tommy – haha tough it out
Brent – Oh, the fat flakes are sticking. There is a by election tomorrow to replace Jason Kenney. Pretty sure the conservative will win.
Tommy – that’s a pretty safe bet – we see all conference sessions at the chapel and a week behind
That is all for this week
Hey Mom and Dad,
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! So the funeral for Elder Sennett is on Wednesday and we will be singing each life that touches ours for good. I didn’t really know him very well but I did know that he was a great example to us missionaries. Presidents Lien would always be “would Elder Sennett do that” he was a real hero to our mission. Yes we still have the baptism coming up. This Friday at 7pm. So a little bit about Darcy. Darcy is 19, He is Aussie, studying to be a nurse, originally from Tasmania, got in contact with the church through his girlfriend from another ward, is literally the golden investigator. Elder Miague is doing great. He really stepped up in confidence this week and is starting to take the lead in most things and yes his culture shock is almost gone. Anytime we see food he hasn’t had, we buy it. This week has been pretty normal. I made some pancakes Grandpa Steed and Dad style (mickey mouse blueberry). We had trade offs with the zone leaders and I was able to learn a lot from Elder Radovan from the Phillipines. pretty normal overall.
lots of love
Krista – Did you get your birthday package? I mailed it in January but I hope it got there. I have been watching this cheesy show about Australia’s border patrol where they stop people flying in who are smuggling things and they open packages if they contain stuff they are suspicious about so now I am hyper worried about your packages.
Brent – Glad all is good and Elder Miyagi is feeling more comfortable. Taylor and Teigan were pretty proud of their picture.
Tommy – yes I got the package and just different ways to do the work than what im currently doing. and im sure teigan and taylor were sooo proud of that
Brent – Teigan is a ward missionary. He is learning the discussions and sharing them with members. Taylor is supposed to start th soon too.
Krista – Good, I am looking forward to seeing some epic birthday pictures with your decorations!
Tommy – that would have been soo helpful to do before the mission
Brent – President Craig has been encouraging this. Our missionaries don’t have lots to do so hopefully this engages them. Our new sisters are doing a lot with the Laurels.
Tommy – so who does teigan go out with?
Brent – Teigan goes out with Bro So or Brother Blanco. It seems to be working well.
Krista – The apartment looks small but relatively clean. Do you have laundry in the suite? That is interesting to hear about Darcy. I’m glad you will get to be a part of his baptism. Does he have a good support network outside of his girlfriend? Are you enjoying the new ward?
Tommy – yeah he has a really good support network in the ward. yes we do have laundry in the flat and yeah im loving the ward. we have great members who just love us
Krista – You have been very fortunate in the wards you have served in. Tell me some more about what you have learned from Elder Radovan. How does he teach differently?
Brent – Well you are just sooooo loveable. So far my biggest contribution as a rugby coach is my driving the bus to the Soccer Center. It is warming up but lots of snow on the field. Just signed Benny up for the Hornets. He will play with Lance Watson.
Tommy – hes just very bold with the way he invites people to do things. I would say “can we give you a card” and he would say “ill leave you with this then” – benny will love rugby – and ahhhh the soccer centre turf
Brent – I hope so. It will help having Lance there. They both want to be like their big Brothers.
Krista – Do you have any other investigators other than Darcy? How will singing for the funeral work. Will all the missionaries in Adelaide sing or just some?
Tommy – all the missionaries in the adelaide zones and yeah we have a few but none super solid yet
Brent – So who else are you working with. Any cool stories? Mom has been watching a cheesy movie titled Australia from the 90s. She is hooked.
Krista – That will be a great experience. That must be at least 40 missionaries. Have you been practicing? I’m glad you have some more investigators, hopefully they will stay interested. What do you do that is special for a birthday in the mission? Ok… in my defense Drew and I both decided this movie is super dumb but I feel like I have to finish it.
Tommy – so for our birthdays there really isn’t anything special other than sister parker calls you in the morning and we are going to practice at district meeting – what is it about?
Brent – I think moving cattle. Hugh Jackman is in it. It would have been better if he was Wolverine from X-men
Krista – It’s kind of confusing. The first half is about a cattle drive from the outback to Darwin before WW2 and then it switches to a story about the Japanese bombing of Darwin. It has Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman… but no Wolverine vibe. Trying to finish it right now… not sure I am getting through it!
Brent – Everything is better with Wolverine!
Tommy – that sounds kinda weird
Krista – I taught my last Sunday School lesson today. I am going from teaching Gospel Doctrine to Nursery….I think I got a promotion!
Brent – I don’t think we will save it for you. Chambers went to a big international 7s tournament in Vancouver. I tried to convince him Australia over New Zealand. He didn’t agree.
Tommy – who won the 7s tournament? and I heard talk about an upgrade
Krista – But you will be happy to know that the boys won’t let me delete ” In the Good Old Summertime”. They say we have to watch it when you come home!
Brent – It is weird being in Bishopric and talking about your wife’s calling changing a month before it happens and not say anything to her.
Tommy – haha that is a little weird and I swear I will never watch that movie
Brent – South Africa beat England in the final. I watched most of it. Best game was Fiji vs. USA in the 3rd place game. Fiji won – Canada did really well. Finished 12. Biggest Rugby crowd ever in Canada. 72,000 over two days.
Tommy – Fiji is supposed to be really good at 7s. was Canada in the tourney?
Krista – OOOOOOOHHHHH I sense a challenge! Now I really do want to save that movie!!!!. Lots of good things about Nursery, cute kids nice people but have to admit the snacks are a little awesome! Benny would love Nursery too. He spent all night at the family dance playing with Eddie Trim who by the way is a fabulous dancer. Drew’s only reply was lucky you, runny noses and stinky diapers. I don’t think he is as keen on the under 3 set!
Tommy – snacks is all im for and that’s really good Canada did well
Brent – I can get my own snacks. I will pass on the diapers. What is some of the best food you like that is Australian.
Krista – Grandpa and Ry came over for dinner… somehow Joseph ended up here too. He has a good sense for good food(today was ribs). Then Benny went over to Steeds when they were having Beatons for dinner so I guess it goes both ways!
Tommy – some of the best aussei food is the aussie burger hands down the one with beet and pineapple
Krista – Tell me about Darcy’s baptism. Do the missionaries make up the program or the ward? Will you have any part in it?
Tommy – im doing the baptism but the ward makes up the program
Brent – Beet? Not sure I can support that. I had the most amazing burrito in San Diego. Probably won’t have one that good any time soon. 3 more days of students 2 days of PD, then spring break. I am ready. Be sure to send us some pictures. I am excited for you.
Krista – What a great experience. Today in Sunday School my lesson was about missionaries and we spent a lot of time talking about the joy that comes from bringing one soul unto Christ. You will always remember this.
Tommy – we are sooo excited – we have to go ill talk to you next week. love ya!
Krista – Love you heaps! Happy Birthday
Tommy – wow mom you’ve already adopted the aussie term
Hey mom and dad,
This week has been a really somber one in the mission. On saturday night we found out that Elder Zobrist (a senior missionary) had had a stroke and was taken to hospital. He is fine and recovering. But the really sad news is that yesterday Elder Sennett (senior couple) was killed in a car crash. There have been lots of tears and mourning throughout the mission. I didn’t really sleep last night thinking about it. But we know we will see him on the other side. So other than that this week has been pretty normal. We taught Darcy a few times and he is progressing like crazy and will be baptized on the 24th. Elder Miague is doing well. He is really lacking in confidence though so thats been our focus for this week. He came from the Phillipines mtc and was there for 3 weeks. He is the oldest in his family and a recent convert (when he was 14, hes 20 now). Teaching was a little interesting because he is nervous to teach so he will just testify of what I said and repeat me. Overall he is doing really well.
hey Mom and Dad,
Hey Mom and Dad,
We had two new investigators this week. First we had Dimitri. He is half chinese half russian and is really interested in the Book of Mormon so we gave him a copy and he tried to give us money to donate to the church. He seems like He will be pretty solid. Our other one is name Rod Ventura (thinking to myself his name should be ace) and He isnt as solid but was willing to listen to our message. The big news though is that sisters are moving into the trott park area! So there will be two companionships’ in the ward, aberfoyle elders and trott park sisters. The biggest news this week though is I am being transferred! I am going up to Evandale (right by the mission office) and I will be district leader and training a new missionary. I’m gonna miss this ward a lot. But I’m excited to have the opprotunity to train. So ill be in the same ward as President and Sister Parker and the assistants. It should be a fun adventure!
Trainer and District Leader. What a great opportunity. But maybe no bikes. Will you lose all that fitness?
Krista – Wow, that is so cool. Evandale??? What zone is that in? What is the name of the elder you will be training? Where is he from. That shows a lot of confidence in you. I’m proud of you – What ward does that put you in?
Tommy – that will put me in firle ward and i am still in a biking area and i dont know who im training until wednesday and thats in firle zone
Krista- Ok… cool, does the missionary just arrive on Wednesday then? When does that mean you move? Today? Do you know anything about the apartment?
Brent – Oh good. Wouldn’t want you to loose that fitness! Are you still close to the ocean or far away? Training is an awesome responsibility. You set the tone for their mission. Love them a lot and out them to work. I trained 3 missionaries. It was a great experience.
Tommy – I am far from the ocean 😦 but im close to the city. and ill move today and the new missionaries arrive on wednesday. I know nothing about the area because im being flushed in, they flushed the entire happy valley ward . elder angelo is going to an area called semaphore (firle zone) elder martin is going to golden grove (modbury) and elder atkinson is going to victor harbour – oh and elder punou is going out bush!
Krista- So do you stay with another companionship until Wednesday? Do you know who? In your apartment or theirs?
Brent – So you have a busy day. I’m assuming you have another missionary to hang with until Wednesday. So no more ocean shots for a while. I’m excited for you.
Tommy – I have no clue until i get there at 2pm
Krista- That’s an adventure! Take a few pictures. How do you know all about the other Elders like Elder Punou? Do you email them? How exciting to get a new missionary. Is the area by the mission home in the suburbs still? You said it was closer to the city. You have been to the mission home a couple of times . Is the area quite different from Aberfoyle/Trott?
Tommy – yes the area is alot more apartments and more like students. and we do a mission wide onference call where they announce where everyone is moving
Brent – We used to call each other after to find out what is up. The letter to transfer would arrive same day for everyone. Not sure we were supposed to do that.
Tommy – haha yeah probably not
Krista – Oh that is cool! It is neat to figure out where everyone is going. It must make you feel more connected. I always look at Sister Parker’s blog and see the new missionary training. It will be strange to see you as the trainer and not the trainee. So in your mission is a district usually 3 companionships? and then 3 districts in a zone?Watching the Oscars red carpet… must be getting old don’t really care about the dresses anymore!
Tommy – well it all depends on the zone, in firle there are three districts and in my district there are three companionships including mine.
Joseph (cousin) – Hey its Joseph the flames have a playoff spot. In my basketball I got to the final and lost but someone on my team broke there best players ankles
Taylor (better looking cousin) – Hey. How are things doing? Surprise you are talking to Taylor. I heard that you are now are now a district leader. I am happy for you. Is there anything that I should know from the last time we talked?
Tommy – nah there really isnt anything too new that has happened just hot all the time (im getting sick of summer) and come on taylor they dont say how are you doing in aiustralia they say “how ya goin?” – Joseph what spot are the flames in?
Taylor – Taylor here I am sad to here that. It just snowed again today in Calgary so you got something to look forward to when you get back. School is going okay. There isn’t anything new for me, other then the fact that I am in the shadow of my sister with math as she got a 100% on her final exam so that is fun.
Brent – 7th place. And the Steed’s have left the house
Tommy – why are you guys at my house right now anyways? – oh ok
Krista – They were picking Benny up for the eternal cousins switch. I don’t think Joseph can be happy unless he has someone to hang out with. Taylor would have been happy to sit here and email but there was considerable pressure from Joseph because they have a short window before Ben has to go to Stake priesthood. So the assistants and the Parkers are in your ward. Are there any other Elders or sisters in your ward?
Brent – They came to pick up Ben to party so we had them send a few words. Surprise, Joseph didn’t have a lot of patience.
Tommy – yes i will have the morialta elders and firle sisters (both in my district)
Krista – Wow that’s a lot of missionaries for one ward. It must be an area that has a little more teaching but probably not as many dinner appointments. You’ll have to get out those cooking skills! Does someone come to pick you up today? Are you packed already? Do the sisters move into your apartment? Better do some cleaning 🙂
Tommy – yes we are completely packed so we are getting picked up by victor harbour and taken to transfers. and yeah dont worry the assistants called ahead of time to make sure it was clean
Krista – That cracks me up! Well this will be exciting and waiting a couple more days will be interesting. How many new missionaries are coming this transfer?
Tommy – 8-11 depending on visas
Krista – Hmmm… is there a possibility that your elder won’t arrive. That seems like a lot of missionaries. That is like when you arrived. I don’t think there has been another group since that was that big
Tommy – yeah i dont know i guess we will find out
Brent – That is a lot of new missionaries. Just think one lucky fellow gets a elder with great Leadership skills but poor taste in hockey teams.
Tommy – wow….. taking a shot at the flames – are the oilers in the playoffs?
Brent – Right on they are. Second place in their division. Pretty sure they will make it but not sure how far they will go. Think the Flamers will make it too as a wildcard.
Tommy – whos the best player on the oilers right now that made the difference?
Krista – I’ll be curious to see where your companion is from. You might get your first American! Drew is busy making cookes right now. He is a bit of a whirlwind in the kitchen! Let’s just say there will be some mess to clean up… kind of like his mom!
Brent – Connor McDavid is leading the league in scoring his second year. Way more assists than goals – Cam Talbot their goalie is top 5 in the league.
Tommy – so he actually is ridiculous
Brent – So do you have a special training program or just do what everyone else does?
Tommy – we do the 12 week program. its the same as everyone else except we have trainings that are also given by president and the assistants
Brent- Could be a little different from 1989? What are some of the things you have greenies do?
Tommy – its just teaching them preach my gospel and how to do the basics of missionary work. lots of roleplays and practice
Krista – So does that mean you get your greenie for a guaranteed 2 transfers?
Brent -I was not the biggest fan of role play. You are a better Elder than me! Saw Ibaka play his first Raptors game Friday. He looks good.
Tommy – not necessarily we will see if i get to finish his training – I hate roleplays too and sweet how does the team look?
Brent – They traded away Sullinger to Phoenix for PJ Tucker. Good utility player. It will take a bit of time to jell. The had a big win against Boston Friday. Boston is playing really well. I don’t think anyone will be able to stop the Warriors this year.
Krista – I’m glad you are staying close for now because your birthday package will reach you. Hopefully in time.! What will you miss about your old area?
Tommy – I will miss the members and we have a youth in the ward that we play basketball with who is a huge fan of okc so he hates durant
Brent – Understandable. But I don’t blame Durrant. He was a free agent. Rugby starts March 13. Pretty sure we will be inside and at the Soccer Center. Not as warm as last spring.
Tommy – I have to go now, ill let you know about my new trainee and area next week love ya!
Krista – Love you… we’re very proud! Be good to that greenie. Somewhere is a mom praying he gets a good trainer
Hey Mom and Dad,
Hey mom and dad,
If you are reading this as an email you may not see the attached youtube clip – go to the website to check it out.
Hey Mom and Dad,
This week hasn’t been very exciting at all. We got absolutely poured on while we were riding the bikes and taught a lesson in elders quorum yesterday. It’s been a real wave of emotions this week from discouragement to happiness. We had zone training this week which was the happy part and we were able to see all the other missionaries. The discouraging part was that 2 out of our 3 investigators dropped us. This week we also went on trade offs with the district leader. I got to go back to aberfoyle park! I got to see a lot of the investigators that I hadn’t seen in a long time. So some more sad news. Cliff got news that he has terminal cancer. So we have been fasting and praying for him that he will be able to accept the gospel. But other than that it has been a very normal week.
Krista – That’s too bad about your investigators… Keep working it will come! I’m glad you got to see the old people in Aberfoyle. That is too bad about Cliff… We’ll add him to our prayers too that he will accept the gospel. If he does would you be able to attend the baptism. Got an email this week from a Cook relative in Australia… might be a connection in Adelaide. I’ll keep you posted
Tommy – No I wouldn’t because I’m not the missionaries currently teaching him. Is the relative a member?
Krista – Brooke says hello I’m eating ribs… Monica says the superbowl is boring. Uncle Brent says Monica is boring… Monica and Uncle Brent are going to stop now. Grandpa Steed says he bets it’s warm and was happy to chat Waterton with Drew.
Duuuuude, its dad. Superbowl is on and I am lacking focus. 14-0 Falcons over Pats. Mom is being mean to me. Love you
Mom is NOT being mean to him.
Aunt Joanne says… ummm go missionary. and not to drink caffeine Aunt Joanne and I are both addicts. Grandma Dickson says Hi sorry I missed writing this week.
Benny says loving your bed trololololo….
Drew says hi, hello, Drew says the colts suck and he is not saying anything else.
Grandpa Dickson says he can’t say anything. Dad says you are going to inherit everything he has including his shoehorn collection
Adam says ball is life
Uncle Shane says… hey buddy we wish we were in the warm weather… don’t be homesick its frickin’ crappy here….
Boy our family is so articulate.
No The relative is not a member. He is in Queensland but there might be another set of cousins in Adelaide. I am investigating but it might take me a while to find out. I know there are moments of discouragement but I am proud of you that you are working through it and staying faithful… that is great! How is Elder Angelo?
Tommy – oh he is doing great we are getting along really well and loving the bikes!
Krista – Loving the bikes…. that must be a joke! How is the ward?
Did you end up buying a game this week? How are your shoes lasting.
Shane says he loves Monica less because she doesn’t like meat… actually loves her to death!
Oh cool thing about the picture I sent you.Coy lined up the priests in order of availability to serve a mission… from Billy at one end to Drew at the other… Blaze and Connor were at basketball so they would have been behind him.
Tommy – Oh wow I didn’t know that. And yes it was a joke. The ward is awesome. We are getting fed 5 times this week and they love us to death. My shoes are lasting really well (good idea with the insoles) We dont have any new missionaries in our district but a few ones that are new to me in the zone, and yes the candy arrived intact
Krista – Good I’m glad… It’s always hard to know what to send. What do you appreciate getting the most? What is the plan for the rest of PDay? Any pictures this week???
Tommy – idk I loved the snow in a can and sleep and clean the usual
Krista – Ok… you need to plan something cool for next week… I’m looking for a great, epic missionary PDay story! Tell me about district meetings.. what do you do?
The snow in a can was a shot in the dark… I’m sure it was some chemical junk but since you said you were missing snow I had to send it. Any requests for the next package? Probably not until April or May.
Tommy – no I don’t really have any requests but I like the cheesy stuff. The problem is with doing something epic is that we are on bikes with a limited budget. At district meetings we just get a training from our district leader, pick up mail and leave – I’m uploading pictures now
Krista – I am just teasing you I don’t need EPIC…. I am just glad you have some time to relax and have a break. Is it still super hot? What was your training about this week. SUPER CHEESY! YEAH!!!!! I am on it… that totally fits with my sense of humor!! Do you like sharing things with your companions? When is the next transfer day… three weeks?
Tommy – yeah its still hot but to add to the torture its rainy this week so it makes it very sticky, its too hot to wear a coat but too wet not to yeah we always share the candy. and yeah february 27
Krista – Grandpa and I were cracking up about the rock picture! too funny! I liked the praying MAntis and the picture with Elder Angelo. What is the Diary Milk and Book of Mormon picture about?
Tommy – oh the perfect p-day lunch. cookies, dairy milk, and the book of mormon. thats what happens when we get paid we spend it on junk
Krista – You should be almost through the worst of summer now…but I suppose if you went to Alice or Darwin anytime it is always that hot… You are going to get back to Canada and be freezing all the time. Maybe you can go to school in the Caribbean or something. Taylor is working on his mission papers. It seems like he might go in the summer. very exciting! Ok… so you are still really teenage boys!!!! Now that Drew has a job he comes home quite often with a Wendy’s bag (right by treehouse) or a slurpee… yes even in -20. Who is the guy with the cars?
Tommy – oooooooo taysteed is doing the papers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and yeah I suppose it would be just hot all the time. Tell Isabelle I have the worst glasses tan ever!
Krista – Who is the girl in the picture on your desk? Is that Taylor G???? That is funny, you are going to be tanned and fit with all this bike riding. Has the bike broken down again???? No I mean who is the person with all the fancy cars in the pictures? Corvette????
Tommy – yeah she sent me the photos of our grad so I have been switching the photos around -that just happened to be the one when I took the photo, its now Taysteed Teigan and me – a potential investigator we met
Krista – Those cars look beautiful! A little step up from Dad’s truck!!!! See I can write this because Dad is not paying attention. He is watching Lady Gaga at the half time show. Keep working hard, be kind to your companion so that every companion can say you were the best! I am proud of you. A mission is not easy but your obedience will bring blessings. What is the joke video, something about clothes????
Tommy – oh thats me using the fake spider on Elder Angelo
Krista – Cracks me up…… I’m glad you are having fun together. What is up for this week… more finding?
Tommy – yes a very large amount of finding due to the lack of people to teach – whats happening in your guys week?
Krista – Not too much. Sister Banfield and I are going to a play on Tuesday. The Priests are roller skating on Wednesday but I think Drew has to work. Benny will continue the undefeated record of the mighty PUGS! Dad has a rugby clinic coming up but I think it might be next weekend.
Tommy – ok sweet I got to go, I love you and i’ll add some photos
Krista – LOVE you lots… work hard. It’s not easy, we are proud of all you are doing. I saw this great pinterest thing that said I have a perfect record of getting through hard days . It is 100%… so you are 100% well done!
That’s all for now
Hey mom and dad,
Yes I have settled into life with my new companion. We get along really well even though we have our struggles. We haven’t had any success this week but we know that it is coming. No the weather is still very hot and now it’s getting sorta humid (weird for Adelaide). Yes the missionary broadcast, so they have completely changed the missionary schedule. We get to go to bed at 9:30 instead of 10:30 and p-day is two hours longer (it starts at 8 instead of 10). There hasn’t been any changes yet because President Parker still needs to decide how it will go. And no I have not gotten the package yet but i might get it on Wednesday at district meeting. This week has been pretty uneventful. We did a ton of finding and we have a return appointment for tomorrow so hopefully a new investigator. But the best news is that this week was ice cream Sundaies! On the last Sunday of the month happy valley ward does a soup/sandwich/ice cream Sunday where the whole ward goes into the gym and eats food together. It is my favorite Sunday of the month. On the 26th was Australia day so literally everybody was at the beach (where we can’t contact) so it was a super boring day. The bikes have made me so much more in shape then I thought possible on a mission. Biking in a shirt and tie is a lot harder than it seems. My cardio is through the roof. It is funny because we always pass people in their biking gear and road bikes on our dinky little mountain bikes and in ties. Other than that a very normal week.
Krista – That cracks me up… I am imagining the two of you biking in your ties. I was wondering about Australia Day. Do they have parades or other things like Canada Day? That is great that you get to sleep a little longer and have more time on PDay. That will make a real difference. I saw Sister Parker’s post about the new missionaries and I saw Elder Peihopa. He is just a taller version of his brother. Did you get to meet the 2 Canadians? Where are they from?
Tommy – I didn’t get to meet them. I wish because elder Deitze said one is from Calgary. No they treat it more like a day off
Krista – That Ice Cream Sunday sounds great! You have probably been in the ward long enough now that people feel very comfortable with you. Who do you have a great relationship with?
Tommy – yeah I’ve been here long enough that everybody knows my name. And i have the best relationships with a member who just moved in named Johnny Benellack. He is actually the same person as me. and ezra auseuga a ysa
Krista – Tell me about Brother Benellack. How old is he, does he have a family?
Tommy – he is 25? and just recently got married and no not yet. He served his mission in France Leon. We just have very similar personalities
Krista – Who do you have an appointment with tomorrow? I sat by Sister Laycock today at church and she was telling me that Noah is having an easier time this semester because his courses are not as hard. Sister Low and Brother Low are staying in Vancouver for a while so the Laycocks are now in our ward. Sundance was crazy today. There were so many people that there were no seats in Sunday School. Dad spoke in church today and did a great job. It was about reading the Book of Mormon and he brought his collection of B of Mormons to show. I think people always like to see that old Book of Mormon that looks like the Golden Plates. Our ward is doing a read every day challenge in February so that will be exciting. Happy to report already read today!
Tommy – haha thats good to hear. Noah is at UBC right?
Krista – Yes, Sister Laycock says there are not that many LDS students there. They have a very small branch but he is hanging out with an LDS girl who she thinks is great! Not a couple I think but casual dates and good friends
Tommy – ok thats good that hes doing well
Krista – What is the best experience you have had on your mission with personal revelation? I have to teach a lesson next Sunday and I am looking for some inspiration.
Tommy – oh thats a good one a cool experience I had with personal revelation was when we were planning for an investigator we had a weird prompting to teach about temple marriage (weird for first lesson) and it was exactly what he needed.
Krista – Why do you say that was exactly what he needed? Give me a few more details that I can flush out in my lesson… no not flushing an area:) See I have learned a few things about Australia!
Tommy – he was concerned on how his family can be together (they were separated) we said that baptism and the temple lets our families be together forever.
Krista – Ok, that gives me a little more information. I’m sure that revelation is a thing you are constantly working to be in tune for. Missionary work wouldn’t happen without it! So poor Taysia had her purse stolen this week on her mission so she has to replace bank cards and stuff. Luckily her passport was safe but what a pain! Are Elder Martin and his companion still assigned to the Happy Valley Ward… even as I am typing this I think I know the answer… yes?
Tommy – yes they are
Krista – What is planned for the rest of Pday today? Do you have any plan with other missionaries? How do you shop on your bikes?
Tommy – so we aren’t allowed to gather with other missionaries on p-day unless it’s a district p-day which happens only once a transfer. The grocery store is across the street.
Krista – That’s good… I was having a hard time imagining ow you brought groceries home. So what are you doing for Pday… Anything interesting? What does Elder Angelo like to do?
Tommy – He got a wikipedia board game so we will be playing that
Krista – I have never even heard of that… interesting? What else does he like? What were his hobbies or interests before mission? Did he work? Go to school?
Tommy- he studied architecture before the mission
Krista – That’s cool, you have architects in your family. So what would Elder Dickson’s perfect pday look like? I wouldn’t have guessed that you could play games.
Tommy – sleep and games
Krista – Can you buy games? Can you play cards? All these things I am learning. Is district meeting at the mission office or the church this week?
Tommy – yes we can buy games and play cards but only on p-day
That’s all for now
Hey Mom and Dad,
Life is good with my new companion. His name is elder Angelo, he is from the Phillipines, is 21 years old, comes from a family of 8. He is very quiet though so nights in the flat are very quiet. Things are going well, the area doesn’t have very much success but thats ok. We are working hard and it’ll come. So the reason you haven’t heard anything about the car is…………….we are in a biking area! So we cover this massive area on our bikes and you know how much I hate bikes. Funny story with that though. Do you remember the time my bike broke on a priests activity and I had to ride it like a strider? Well the exact same thing happened here. We were biking hard one day and all of the sudden my pedal snapped off so I stopped and put in in my backpack and rode my strider for the 20 minute ride back to the flat. So this is the third time I have had to send my “new” bike to be fixed at the office. But on a positive note because the area is incredibly hilly (most in the mission) I have already lost 6 pounds biking.
Brent – Bike fun. Look who is over for dinner right now. Our missionaries and the Mandarin missionaries had no DA so mom volunteered. Drew requested Brinner, breakfast for dinner.
Tommy – haha tell them I say hi , and who did drew go on a date with? oh and Dad guess what? Do you remember elder Peihopa served in our ward forever? His brother just became one of the new additions to the australia adelaide mission. I got the chance to talk to him about his brother.
Brent – What’s up for PDay?
Tommy – sleep -I’m not really willing to bike anywhere to do anything
Brent – Mom gave an awesome lesson about Martin Harris but Benny’s lesson to Deacons was better because he had licorice.
Tommy – Bribery always works
Brent – Are you doing any driving.
Tommy – no we don’t have a car – Where’s Mom?
Brent – She is cooking waffles for the Elders. Mom is in Super Steed mode
Tommy -haha I’m not surprised at all
Brent – How is your companions English?
Tommy – His english is good and yeah the other area gets the car
Brent – That sounds good, the English, bummer about the car. Guess you won’t gain weight.
Tommy – haha no we wont
Krista – Haven’t had a chance to read your emails yet…. so I might be repeating. Do you feel positive about the companion change. What does he bring to your companionship that is cool or new? Is it still super hot?
Tommy – he is just a different personality from my last comp
Krista – Are you still in the Happy Valley Ward? Are they still taking care of you?
Tommy – yeah I’m in happy valley but we get less meals due to the bikes
Krista – Well you can learn something new from each one so I will be curious to see. Has he cooked for you yet?
Tommy – No not yet
Brent – The Elders are polishing off the bacon. You would be impressed.
Krista – What have you cooked for him? Are you still doing a lot of contacting at the train station? Is he tidy, brave, shy?
Tommy – He is tidy and shy and no we got kicked off the train station
Brent – So we are really enjoying sending Drew driving on errands all the time.
Tommy – haha that sounds like fun , who was his first date with?
Brent – This girl Emma. Says Drew. Chapparell ward. Drew – Dating machine.
Krista – Oh that,s too bad about the train station . Someone must have complained. That is good that is his tidy and shy you two can rub off on each other. Where are you having the most success?
Tommy – finding because that’s basically all we do
Brent – We will keep Drew on the double dates. Safety in numbers.
Tommy – good!
Brent – So who is doing the cooking now. Are you making noodle magic?
Tommy – we split the cooking – we dont really make anything to complicated so its both of us – mostly just like sausages and rice or sandwiches and stuff like that.
Brent – Drew is keeping the missionaries entertained. The Mandarin missionaries cover everything south of Glenmore. And the Bacon is all gone. When is your next zone meetings.
Tommy – we will have one on the 8 of February
Krista – What are you looking forward to this week?
Brent – Drew wants you to jump in the pouch of a kangaroo. Drew is a scrub. Drew is Drew. You should hear the conversations in the basement when Cole, Adam, and Drew are gaming.
Tommy – we are going to be doing lots of finding this week so im pretty excited for that and no drew….. haha im sure they are interesting
Brent – The missionaries here say they don’t whitewash an area. They call it purging.
Tommy – we call it flushing
Brent – The Elders here are impressed with flushing. New term to them. Drew is going off now about rednecks and hipsters.
Tommy – that doesn’t even surprise me
Brent – Drew says he is going to Dallas Japanese speaking. Sushi and rednecks.
Tommy – and don’t forget the cowboys
Krista – Dad is now entertaining the elders with Oilers Flames talk. I would love some scenery pictures of your area. I must be chanelling Grandpa steed . How about the outside of your flat.
Tommy – I left my camera at the flat sorry – tell drew they cant hear that they need to be consecrated 😛
Krista – Ok I get it… I’ll make you a deal I will forgo pictures if you promise to eat a vegetable
Tommy – I have been we have carrots at our flat!!
Brent -I have started a new workout program. Nike has an app with varied workouts. There are parts I crush and parts I cry like a baby.
Tommy -oh sweet we have a exercise dvd we do as a mission, it was made by the assistants –
yeah the bikes are doing a good enough job of that. how many times do the sundance elders get fed?
Brent – When mom found out the missionaries ha no where to go for dinner Mom immediately volunteered. She was thinking of you. I think it makes her feel closer to her boy. I think they get fed most days. I have to go to High Priests. Mom is still here. Saw the pictures of you, Teigan, and Taylor hiking and realized I miss my boy. Work hard. Be excellent. Love that companion and support him every way you can.
Tommy – love you got to go
Hey Mom and Dad,
so transfers came and…….. elder punou and elder martin got transferred. I am getting my new companion today and I will be with elder Angelo from the Phillipines. This week was pretty uneventful. We did a lot of finding to no avail. It was also elder Martins birthday this week so we had lots of cake and treats. Its funny because now I do all the dishes in our flat because the other elders always are “busy”. We met a funny bible basher this week who told me “god sent you to me so I can tell you the truth” and another interesting person who is moving to the middle of nowhere because she believes that the world is going to end and that if she moves there Satan cant get her. Not anything too exciting. I haven’t met my companion yet so I’ll tell you about him in the next email.
Krista – Well I thought you would get a new companion. Where did Elder Punou and Elder Martin go? Do you stay in the same flat? What area is Elder Angelo coming from? Are you looking forward to a new companion? It must be nice to have someone different. So I am getting your birthday package ready… after celebrating Elder Martin’s birthday this week what is good to send?
Tommy – I do have one request please. Can you send me an American sign language book? Elder Punou is going up to Paralowie (the ghetto) and Elder Martin is just splitting the area that we were in. So I am going to cover half the area and Elder Martin will cover the other half. I have no clue where Elder Angelo is coming from and yeah ill stay in the same flat.
Krista – Ok…the internet is a great thing… Elder Angelo is coming from Darwin! He looks nice… but I’m not sure you can tell that from a picture. I assume he is the senior companion? Paralowie… is that still in the Marion Zone? So is your area now the new area that was added last transfer and Elder Martin gets your old area? Is your flat just for one companionship?
Tommy – So yeah my area is now the area that was added and Elder Martin is in my old area. My flat is just one companionship and he will be the senior companion but I will lead the area because I already know it. Paralowie is way up north adelaide so different zone.
Brent – Mom is asking all the good questions! Last night Ben and I went to watch Oilers Flames and Grandpa Dicksons. Glad to report Oilers won in a shoot out.
Tommy – Oilers suck
Brent – 3-0 vs Flames this year my friend.
Tommy – They’re just letting the Oilers build some fake confidence, classic technique
Brent – Very kind of them. NFL report- Falcons beat Seahawks yesterday as well as Patriots over Texans. Packers were up 21-3 over Cowboys but they are now tied at 28 with 4 minutes left. Ouch. Steelers play Chiefs tonight. Cool to have a companion from the Phillipines. A chance to learn new stuff. More interesting than Utah or Idaho!
Krista – So who is your district leader now? Did your zone leader change? Which investigators do you keep and who goes to the other area?
Tommy – So Cliff is no longer in my area, there aren’t very many investigators in my area. Lots of finding here I come. Yes I have new zoneleaders elder heindel and elder bennion. My district leader is elder martins new companion elder atkinson. So who do you think will make the super bowl?
Brent – I think Patriots for AFC. Not sure for NFC. Depends on what happens with Packers in the next 5 minutes. Raptors are playing well. Something like 27-13. Solid second place in the east. Cleveland still on top. Celtics look good and will push the Raptors.
Krista – Do you know any of those new elders? That’s too bad that you lose Cliff… at least for my sake, I liked hearing Cliff stories! I assume you lose the brothers too? Who do you keep?
Tommy – We don’t really have any investigators on this side. So I’m starting fresh and yes elder bennion was in my district in my first transfer.
Krista – Oh well… a new challenge! Do you like Elder Bennion? When does Elder Angelo arrive? Will he drive? Are you allowed to drive now?
Tommy – No he doesn’t drive so I will be driving. and yeah elder bennion is one of the funniest elders out there. I will go and pick him up from the office at 2pm here. Who do the celtics have that have made them better?
Brent – I’m surprised you made the switch on PDAY. We had PDay to get ready and then moved the next day. You missionaries must be more righteous. No one really new. They are just getting better. Raptors played them once and beat them in a close one. Does your new companion not have a licence? Is that why you drive?
Krista – AHHHHH driving? Have you driven there before? Are you adjusted to the other side of the road? Are you still splitting time between bikes and the car? Are the other elders already out of the flat?
Tommy – I have driven once here so this will be an adventure. So no I haven’t adjusted yet. We only have a limited amount of kilometers per month so we will hit the bikes as much as possible. All of our transfers are on p-day. Did the raptors get anyone new? No he doesn’t have his license
Brent – They have Jared Sullenger who signed from the Celtics but he got hurt in training camp and should play in Feb. So the team is basically the same as last year. Derozan and Lowey playing even better this year. Packers up 31-28. 1:38 left. Cowboys have the ball. Go Pack. Just hit a field goal
Krista – Did you have to get a special licence in Australia? Now I will have to worry about 2 teenagers driving! For two very different reasons… good thing you have that “god protects missionaries ” thing
Tommy – hows valuncunuis playing?
Brent – Solid. Good point average an lots of rebounds. Very consistent and reliable. Stupid Cowboys just tied the game on a field goal. 38 seconds left.
Tommy – my alberta license is fine because it is in english – go pack
Krista – Maybe Elder Angelo will be a good cook and introduce you to some Phillipino dishes.
Tommy – elder martin used to be in the same flat as him and apparently he is a wicked good cook.
Brent – Maybe some CanPhillipino fusion cooking. Packers threw a 36 yard pass with 3 seconds left. Trying a field goal from 50. Packers kick the field goal. Pack won! Happy Dad. Packers vs. Atlanta next week. Go Pack. Sentimental Super Bowl pick. Just got a text from Uncle Shane. He says He and Adam are supporting me an pulling for the Packers.
Krista – I was looking at this post from one of the Darwin senior mission couples. they were saying that in their mission they have worked with missionaries from 11 different countries.
Tahiti 2, Fiji 2, Vanuatu 1, England 1, Canada 1, Tonga 1, Philippines 9, Indonesia 1, Australia 6, New Zealand 4, USA 14/Hawaii 1.. I thought that was really interesting. you have already had contact with New Zealand (Tonga) Australia, Ecuador, US…. A real cultural experience!
How far away from the mission home is your flat?
Tommy – about an hour drive
Brent – I am tempted to call the Rices after the win. Bentley Carter prayed for the Cowboys in Teachers Quorum.
Krista – I will look for an ASL book. Is it different in Australia or are the signs the same? I will send it out with your birthday package. I don’t know how long it will take to get to you.
Tommy – they are different but ASL is known by basically everyone who is deaf no matter where you come from. Why doesn’t that surprise me that he did that (Bentley)
Brent – God probably doesn’t care much unless it is the Oilers or Eskimos.
Tommy – Yeah and then he wants them to lose and that is doctrine because “whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants it is the same” and myself as a missionary (servant of the lord) said it so therefore it is scripture.
Brent – Using scriptures against God’s teams. I shall pray for you son.
Krista – I’m liking the ability to quote scripture but I’m not sure using it for sports purposes really makes it valid!
Tommy – Well dad how does it feel to “kick against the pricks” do you “find the words of the lord to be hard”? its doctrine that the flames and stamps are the best
Brent – We shall see. Oilers are 6 points up on Flames right now.
Krista – I have to say I am quite enjoying this right now… my RIGHTEOUS son
Brent – Just say thanks Aunt Kathy :). Mom sounds quite Steed like there. That is good for you. Listen to her. Don’t forget she is the one that bought me Oiler tickets.
Tommy – haha yeah its kinda nice when you get to the point that missionaries cant smash you with the scriptures because you know them well enough. but i still have lots to learn. and yeah if they keep running – wow you just got thrown under the bus mom – but ya thanks aunt kathy
Krista – I am taking the high road… an indication of my obvious superior morality… learn from me you mere mortals!
Brent – On a serious note, take advantage of the chance to study. You will be grateful the rest of your life for it. I know I am.
Tommy – I try to as often as I can
Krista – Good luck with Elder Angelo. Go in with a positive attitude. I’m sure it will be great!
Brent – Change is good. This will give you a chance for some Leadership. Make him feel welcome and embrace everything that is different about his culture. Cool opportunity. I had a ton of Americans, 2 Canadians, and one Swede.
Tommy – I’m excited for this transfer
Krista – I’m glad… maybe he will even do the dishes!
Tommy – I have to go now i love you. Bye
This post has a Youtube video – if you are just reading by email you need to go to the website to view the video
Hey Mom and Dad,
This four days have been an interesting one. On Friday we got hit with a massive heatwave. We were out proselyting in 42 degree weather. Everybody’s house we knocked on felt so sorry for us and gave us some nice cold water. I was sweating buckets, it was ridiculous. Saturdays heat wasn’t as bad. It was only 39 degrees. But we had a good lesson with a man named Andrew. Andrew is a nice man who is married to a member. He is an older gentleman who knows a lot about religious history so he is hard to teach. But he has a bunch of shrines in his house so I dont know if he even knows the ten commandments. Yesterday we had a good day. We also sang at a multi stake missionary fireside. Elder Punou, Martin and I and a few others sang “come follow me”. We brought Sister Parker to tears. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Other than that is been pretty uneventful.
Krista -Oh Oh…. I hope you are going to survive at least another week with your companions… As long as you can get the not so nice stuff out in the journal and then try to see the best for the rest of the day you are doing great! I’m not surprised that you had Sister Parker in tears. That singing at Christmas was a killer for me. How nice that you have companions who are good singers. Our weather is about as opposite as can be… ! 42… WOW I suppose if you kept being invited in that was a little bit of a blessing.
Brent – 42! Maybe I am not so jealous
Tommy – The weather is ridiculous, it was 36 degrees in our flat even with the a/c on full blast
Krista -Oh my goodness… that has got to be hard on my little Canadian boy!!! Do your Australian and New Zealand companions manage better in the heat? Are you still teaching Cliff and the boys?
Tommy – They manage way better than i do, but i am pretty decent, and yes but slowly and surely
Krista – By the time you come back to Canada you will be like Sister Gilson’s son who served in Sydney. She said he hasn’t felt like he was warm since. Are the other areas in your mission that hot? Darwin or Mildura or Alice Springs? What is coming up for Pday today?
Brent – I guess that will take care of any weight gain from the MTC. I saw Joel Patterson at the game last night. He asked about you. He is upgrading classes. He goes March 1 to Portugal. He says he is ready to go.
Tommy – The heat wave only hit Adelaide but Alice is ridiculously hot right now and Darwin is always 30 degrees or above all year round … oh we are finally going to all you can eat pizza hut
Krista – Oh funny story… Grandpa and the Steed girls had a Pride and Prejudice sleepover this weekend. 6 hours of Mr. Darcy…. KFC… Oreos and a Kilogram of Bacon…. Drew said it sounded like it was almost worth it for the treats but that he would just play on his IPAD . I told him he had to pay the video price and he was no longer that keen! All you can eat pizza sounds like a good change from constant noodles! Do you still get good dinner appointments? Grady Trim was sitting in front of us in Sacrament and he was drawing Ninja Turtles and it made me think of you
Brent – Remember Canadian bacon is Ham. I figured you will be the meats man. Packers 38- Giants 13. Happy Dad Sad Drew
Tommy – oh I forgot to tell you kfc is soooooo much better here than in Canada. Australians are crazy for kfc so their quality is better. Yes we get lots of dinner appointments thanks to super missionary mom Sue Chambers
Krista – That’s great… where does she have a child serving? Is she one of the ward missionaries?
Tommy – She doesnt have a kid serving, She is just basically our mom in the ward. Always makes sure we are eating our veggies
Krista – I’m glad you have several moms to nag you in my absence. Between Sister Parker and Sister Chambers and I’m sure some of the other senior missionaries it sounds like you are looked after. Do you see any of the other senior missionaries? Tell me a little about them
Tommy – oh mom can you ask teigan to send me those photos he took of us on the hikes in waterton? … We dont ever see them because we are farther away from the mission home.
Brent – Are you going to show people what a real mountain looks like?
Krista – Yes… I forgot about that. I have to talk to Teigan anyway so I will text him. I am loving the pictures and videos in your drive… I will love to hear the stories behind some of them … Were you still here when there was that bear attack on Forum?
Brent – I think Benny and I need to do the three peak hikes in Waterton this summer. He wants to and you inspired me.
Tommy – no I wasnt, what happened? … those hikes are fun i regret no doing them earlier
Krista – A guy was hiking the ridge I want to say… not completely sure where he was but was attacked by a Grizzly and they had to take him out through the Waterton side… just looked up the new report it was the third week in September and I remember thinking that you and Taylor and Teigan had just been hiking that and I was thinking how bad the visibility was that day… you might not have even been able to see a bear!
Brent – Uncle Dave just texted over to see if we were eating pie. Specifically Drew and humble pie with the Giants loss. What a loving uncle.
Krista – Isn’t it great to see how much we love and support one another!
Tommy – thats the uncle dave i remember
Brent – Your Colts didn’t even get a sniff of the playoffs so I guess we all suffer somewhere.
Krista – A true test of teaching basic doctrine and the power of the Spirit. I taught a lesson today about the atonement and there was a great quote from PResident PAcker that talks about how there are lots of “branches” in the church but that they have to be connected to the root of the Atonement “[The Atonement of Jesus Christ] is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 80; or Ensign, May 1977, 56).
Tommy – nice quote
Brent – Mom made veggie and fruit packages for the boys to take to lunch. I suggested bacon bags but mom said no.
Krista – I love both of those… Here is my other favorite quote from the lesson. It can be challenging to teach basic doctrine that feels like we all know but Brother Matthews and Sister Elford who are both converts spoke about what a revelation those doctrines were to them and about how taht attracted them to the church and they felt the truth of that message . A great testimony of missionary work! President Ezra Taft Benson said, “We may never understand nor comprehend in mortality how He accomplished what He did, but we must not fail to understand why he did what He did. All that He did was prompted by His unselfish, infinite love for us.” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 15)
Krista – Do you have any district or zone meetings this week? When will you find out about transfers?
Tommy – we have district meeting tomorrow and we will find out about transfers on sunday
Krista – So I’m a little confused how many elders in district 10??? and then 20 in zone?
Brent – Hopefully there is air conditioning. We don’t want your whole zone to melt. If you are really heat suffering just slowly say I Am Canadian
Tommy – There are three districts in our zone we have five elders and two sisters in our district. our district has us, the zone leaders and the sisters
Krista – Dad just saw the root beer video and he was happy!
Brent – Does it actually taste like A&W
Tommy – no its not as good but its close
Brent – So Jake just turned on the big ceiling fan again. Just what you need with -20C outside. Close is still good. I ha one rootbeer in 2 years and Tim mailed it from Scotland.
Tommy – you can get mug root beer in asian stores but no a&w and yay ceiling fans
Krista – That’s interesting. I guess you never know what you will miss. What else can’t you get?
Tommy – sour cream and onion chips, banana peppers, normal hot dogs … I have to go now, I love you guys bye
Hey Mom and Dad,
This has been a very uneventful week. New Years we were grounded to the flat at 6 pm so we just went to bed early. We got to go to the temple today though. Its always lots of fun to go to the temple with other missionaries. Thats it for the week so far. I know this email is lame but its been a boring week.
Brent: Hey buddy, I am at Woodruff’s playing pool and WI with the teachers Quorum. You still there?
Tommy: yeah send me a photo of the teachers (I did)
Brent: So we went to pick up the van we bought Saturday and we couldn’t get it to hold a charge. So we got it towed to MRU today. Hopefully it is only the battery or alternator. -20 isn’t good for older cars.
Tommy: oh wow well its supposed to be 39 degrees here tomorrow
Brent: Brother Cooper wants to know what is the weirdest thing you have eaten in Australia. So that would melt the car rather than freeze it. Lots of talk here about who is best at pool but not a lot of skill.
Tommy: The weirdest thing that I have eaten would either be the carolina reaper pepper (hottest in the world) or corned beef (new zealand version). It comes out of a can and is crazy salty. Or beans beef and vegemite
Brent: Brother Cooper is impressed. So do you have a full PDay today? Do you go back to Mondays next week?
Tommy: yes we go back to monday next week its just because it was a public holiday
Brent: How many missionaries at the temple. Do you just do a session? I loved being with the missionaries in the Stockholm temple.
Tommy: We do a session together and it was our whole zone so 19
Brent: Some of the kids are talking about going to BYU Hawaii. I think it might be because it is so cold here. Maybe not just for the Education. Mom is going to be bummed she missed you. Shouldn’t have gone out doing errands. Anything newsworthy coming up this week? Are you nervous about transfers? Could be exciting! Maybe you can go where it is even hotter?
Tommy: nothing really except we have transfers on the 15th … I have to go now. love ya lots bye … I most likely will lose Elder Punou and could move love ya bye
Brent: Have an excellent week. Praying for you and love you.
That’s all for now
Tommy: Well I have no clue what to say in this email due to having talked to you two days ago.(We skyped with Tommy for 1 hour Christmas night) Yesterday we had a cool lesson with our investigator Claude. We shared the Book of Mormon with him and he commited to read it. We had a wonderful mission Christmas. We got to have a zone conference two days before where we filmed skits and had a great time with President and his wife. Christmas day we went to church and opened presents of course. Later that day we had a zone gathering and got to have food and hang around with the other missionaries. We also watched the polar express at our zone conference.
Drew: Hey tom emailing to tell you I got my drivers license today I thought I would fail but I didn’t the lady who was testing me smelled like 7 million cigarettes I could barely focus on driving it was so bad on my first solo drive I took Ben to his friends house so I’m officially the driving mule of our family good luck out there miss yah lots����
Brent: Drew has his licence!
Tommy: I heard that is scary
Krista: Tell me a bit about the skits and what else you did for zone conference. Who are some of the other missionaries you get along with in your zone? Where are they from. Send me some pictures!!!! I have been busy today doing house type stuff… cleaning drawers, fixing internet, putting a new doorknob on… riveting and exciting stuff! I am tempted to take all of the Christmas stuff down but I am resisting.
Brent: Benny has an iTunes card and it is burning a hole in his pocket. Gotta use it NOW. Sound familiar big brother.
Tommy: haha yeah…….so elder tigafua, elder ivory and elder ward (all in my intake) are in my zone. theres a lot of great missionaries in our zone. For our skit we did “what mission life is really like” so we made fun of that and poked fun at a few missionaries in the process. I’ll send pictures in a second
Krista: So tell me what mission life is “really like”. What did you poke fun at? I remember Elder Ivory and Elder Ward. Where is Elder Tigafua from? Was he in the Provo MTC?
Tommy: Elder Tigafua came from new zealand mtc and we made fun of the city zone and how they dont have p-day and stuff like they are “too consecrated” for sleep
Brent: It was so fun face timing with you. You look good. You look happy. I know there are tough times but if you can laugh, smile, and have fun you will be okay. Jake just came downstairs, got some White Milk, and disappeared back upstairs. Not much changes here.
Tommy: haha same old Jake
Krista: Is he a New Zealander? What did you do when you were hanging out with the elders on Christmas Day. Did you all bring food or did you have members help? Is everyone back to work now? With the summer holidays there must be some families out of town. Where do people holiday there?
Tommy: Nobody is back to work yet because they have public holidays for a while. We just ate food provided by the senior couples. No he is samoan from Brisbane. Most people go to the beach
Krista: So when you say he is a Samoan from Brisbane or Elder Punou is Tongan from New Zealand, does that mean their families have been in New Zealand and Australia for a while? Were they born there? Are they bi-lingual or just speak English?
Brent: Big plans for New Year’s? Are you grounded New Years eve.
Tommy: We are grounded and there families are from there but they are born in australia/new zealand. and yes they are bilingual
Krista: It sounds like there are lots of islanders in your mission. Are the wards also pretty diverse or are they more like Sundance?
Tommy: They are more diverse than sundance but the area I’m in isnt very diverse
Brent: Benny bought the new Bourne movie. He spent his $ and feels better now.
Tommy: haha good choice Benny
Krista: OK… I laughed at the guns video! So already learning what to send and what not to send for Christmas… Nerf guns-yes… tree- no since you don’t get them until Christmas Eve. That flat definitely looks smaller but the ocean location makes up for it I’m sure
Tommy: haha we have had fun with them
Krista: Tell Elder Punou that I was impressed with his sharpshooting! Looked like Elder Martin’s aim wasn’t quite as good 🙂 When are your next transfers? I saw that a ton of missionaries went home in December. Are you getting a bunch of new ones?
Tommy: No we aren’t getting a ton of elders just lots of sisters and actually Elder Punou has terrible aim and he got lucky that time. Elder Martin and I have better aim
Brent: Benny also bought Napoleon Dynamite. Now he can practice his bow staff skills and respect the Liger.
Tommy: “girls like guys with skills. nunchuck skills, computer hacking skills, bowstaff skills.”
Krista: As long as you aren’t killing each other… although maybe that is a good thing to get out your frustrations… little better than wrestling and breaking a window. Aunt Joan is having her New Years Party on Saturday this year partly at her house and partly at the church with a dance. Aunt Christina is hosting too so there will be people from our ward. I am happy for Jake. He LOVES going to dances so he will be happy. Because Sunday is New Years we are cancelling the breakfast. Grandpa seems ok with it but I hope I didn’t pressure him too much
Tommy: NOT THE BREAKFAST!!!!!!!!!!!! jokes i get it
Brent: Where did you get your lava lava (sp?) from?
Tommy: a member in the ward. the same ysa who gave me the tie
Krista: Don’t worry … it will be back next year… and I’m sure forever after. It just was tricky this year because of Sunday.
Tommy: Is that hockey I see on? (I took a picture of the brothers doing Napoleon Dynamite poses and the TV was behind them)
Brent: Yes. World juniors. Canada beat Russia 5-3 yesterday. Playing Latvia today. Just started, no score.
Tommy: I miss hockey and the cold, I know it sounds weird but I do
Krista: Do your companions skate? Did you ever go to that rink you were talking about?
Tommy: turns out the rink went out of buisness
Krista: You would get tired of it pretty soon. It hasn’t been too snowy until this week but we had two weeks of VERY cold weather. It hasn’t been that bad in a while. The next package I sent you has a can of “snow” from Indigo… don’t know what that means but I will be curious when you open it. I wrapped a bunch of candy but as I was taping it up it sounded like they all fell out of the container… could be interesting! Drew was looking for his new speaker… he just turned it on and lets just say we ALL know where the speaker is now. It was a good thing we did the Nativity this year and I got a spiritual boost. It is impossible to get respite on Christmas or New Years so I will be missing church two weeks in a row. Returning just in time to start teaching D&C . I am excited for that this year. I love the church history stuff.
Tommy: I love it too
Krista: What is with the bird in the car?
Tommy: oh we found the bird on the side of the road abadoned by its mother so we brought it to a member
Krista: Ok… what did the member do with it? What kind of bird is it?
Tommy: a little australian miner bird. it ended up dying over night but they buried it …it was gonna die so we figured what the heck we might as well try. I have to go but I’ll try to share the other photos with you. love ya. bye
Photos explanation from Tommy – the 5 photos are 1-2) Xavier Upton and us being ninja turtles (his request) 3) Ned Upton wearing my glasses (I wasnt allowed to have them back until I took a photo) 4) Elder Punou and I got advent calendars 5) looking skux (Australian for cool)
Hey Mom and Dad,
This week has been pretty uneventful. We moved into our new flat (not as nice as the other one). Having a huge area has been a struggle. We find that it is so hard to be able to see all the people we have in one week especially with km restrictions. But we have got lots of finding in. There is a train station just down the road from our flat and we go there all the time to contact people. I always wonder what they must be thinking when the see us coming. Everybody just assumes we work there. This week I actually had the weirdest experience in the mission so far. Since Elder Punou had been called as district leader he had to go to Firle for some training. So Elder Ivory, Martin and I went out together. We were at the bus stop contacting and I asked this man how his day was going and then I said “it WAS nice to meet you”. He immediately started questioning why I used the past tense. I just moved on and started talking to him. He continued to tell me that he was part of the iluminati and was here to teach people the truth (I was thinking to myself thats what we do!). But the biggest mistake I made in that conversation is I asked him “how did you come to know that the iluminati was true?”. He got really mad and was threatening to fight me so I just said have a nice day and walked away. #crazy. Other than that my week has been pretty normal.
Brent – Don’t fight the illuminati! They have people everywhere. They may come get us here! I am a big train station fan. We used to go to central station in Stockholm all the time. But most of our finds would end up in someone else’s area. Mom is at the Stake Center getting ready for Carolfest. So you are stuck with Dad.
Tommy – haha all goods. Seriously they are everywhere. He was so ready to come at me. It was quite ridiculous
Brent – So do you like the new apartment better? How close are you to the ocean? Mom made a Koala bear ornament for you today and put it on the tree. So your presence is felt. Yesterday Jake made Drew sit and watch him name all the ornaments over and over.
Tommy – I can see the ocean from the flat. Its nice because its all carpet but very small. We go down to the ocean area at least once every 3 days.
Brent – I am ocean jealous! So I only have one more Sunday when my meetings start 6AM. Last Sunday of the year is Christmas day. Then we move to 11 AM. So my meetings will start at 8 AM. Plus three more weeks of early seminary. Drew has release time 2nd semester.
Tommy – oh hallelujah. I dont feel that sorry for you cuz I’m up at 6:30 everyday
Brent – Good point, you probably aren’t the guy to complain to :). Do you have any Christmas events coming up. Are you using the Light The World advent calendar from lds.org? There is a big push for it here.
Tommy -yeah we are pushing it hardcore. Basically shoving it down the members throats. We have our ward christmas party on the 17th
Brent – The missionaries were at our party. We were singing carols and I’ll Be Home For Christmas came up. One of the missionaries shouted out “I won’t be”. Someone then pointed out it says even if only in my dreams. Everyone laughed and the missionaries got some warm handshakes and another round of zippy punch. Coy just came to pick up Miles. He was here partying with Ben and Joseph. He was unimpressed with the 50 degree difference between you and us. I’m asking for Mom. Do you have a dinner appointment on Christmas day? Do Australians make a bigger deal of Christmas eve or Christmas day. Do they have some different traditions?
Tommy – haha do your missionaries come to pec and ward council and stuff? They make a bigger deal of christmas day. Depending on what the mission wide plans are we will have meal appointments for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Brent – They come to Ward Council. Sometimes to PEC but that is just once a month. We always talk missionary work first. I think I am more mission conscious. I put all the missionaries emails on the back of the Sacrament program and encouraged people to write our missionaries for Christmas.
Tommy – ok because we go to ward council twice a month plus pec
Brent – Same here, though sometimes they leave early because they cover our ward and Somerset. Sometimes one of them is in Sacrament meeting and the other goes to Somerset PEC
Tommy – oh ok I forgot they cover two wards
Krista – Hey love I am here at the Stake Carol festival so don’t know how much I can say…. but I think it is a rite of passage to have someone want to fight you on your mission. Does your flat have two bedrooms or are you all in one? How is the new elder?
Brent – 3 meal appointments in a day!? Sounds awesome! You Elders deserve it!
Tommy – it has two rooms but we all have to sleep in one because of mission rules so we turned one into a study
Brent – Mom doesn’t know the rule about sleeping in the same room as your companions :). Gotta be patient with her because she makes everything better.
Tommy – haha well now you know
Krista – Tell me something about the new elder . What is his personality like? His Family? It is Steed palooza here. Jenny-Lynn Katherine Lyndi Betsy and Grace are all playing a number. My greatest regret that I wasn’t a tiger mother about my boys practicing 😂
Brent – We don’t need no Momma Tiger. I like how you turned out. Drew is voluntarily on the choir. So Mom must have done something right! Do his suit pants and jackets match? 🙂
Tommy – He is from Sydney and is an only child. He is very relaxed about everything and really a lot like me
Krista – Oh that is great working in a group of three is challenging enough I am glad you all get along . How long has he been on his mission? Are you starting to get ready for Christmas? Will you have a dinner appointment?
Brent – I think Sister Parker will take very good care of all you Elders.
Tommy – He has been out almost a year and we dont have any plans from sister parker yet so we are just waiting
Krista – What is the area like that your apartment is in? Were there elders in it before
Tommy -yeah Elder Martin was in it before with his old companion. It is what is called hallet cove where we can see the ocean from our flat
Krista – So cool!!!! Got to go 😘
Brent – I’m out too. Gotta drive to Carolfest. Have a great week. Love you!
Tommy – ok love ya
Hey mom and dad,
This week has been a pretty normal week. So transfers came around and I gained a new companion, Elder Martin from Sydney. We are now in a trio. They also doubled the size of our area and we are moving flats. I also got a new suit for only 150 (killer deal). This week has been fun. We had a chance to teach Cliff again and to teach a new investigator Sam. We found Sam door knocking and he is an 18 year old boy who is really interested. So hopefully we can continue to teach him. Those drinking straw glasses are skux (cool). Its supposed to be really hot this week so time to drink lots of water. Oh ya I forgot one thing, this weekend we got to do what is called mpc. We had a preist age young man come and live with us for the weekend and we trained him on how to be a missionary. I loved it. Oh and look at 2 samuel 12:7 the first line (favourite scripture)
Krista – So, just got the email… Does that mean you stay with Elder Punou but you get another Elder with you. Where is your area now? Does that mean you are in the same wards? Where is your new flat? Have you met Elder Martin yet? Is he new?
Tommy – So there used to be two sets of Elders in the ward but now there are just one of us, a trio. Elder Punou, Elder Martin and I. We cover what used to be the other elders area and our old area, so alot.
Krista – That’s cool about the MPC… what did the priest think about it. Was it a little shocking to live with the missionaries?
Tommy – Elder Martin is from the other companionship but has just joined us and our new flat is in the other side of our area. Yeah the young man didn’t realize we laugh so much
Krista – That will be nice to have an expanded area. It will give you more opportunities to teach. Is the new flat far away? Will it just be the three of you in that flat. Do the other set of elders stay in your old flat? That’s great. What an interesting idea to get young men used to the idea of mission life. I have never heard of that before. I wonder if it is unique to the Adelaide mission. Will it be strange working as a group of three? I sent a present to you and your companion but I didn’t think about 3…. you will have to share 🙂 I’m glad you got a suit. What color is it? Do you need to have it altered?
Tommy – The other elders are staying in the old flat and we are moving to a flat about 15 minutes away and Elder Punou got called as district leader. The suit is black and no it fits well
Krista – Oh… that’s cool! Are you feeling like this is enough change to give you some more inspiration? Does the new area have anyone that you will now be teaching?
Tommy – we have absolutely no idea
Krista – So explain skux to me….. ??????? Australian thing?????
Tommy – Australian and New Zealand slang for looking cool
Krista – Do you get Elder Martin today? Are you moving this afternoon? Do you just take suitcases?
Tommy – yeah we get him at about 2 and yes we move after
Krista – I’ve never heard of that . Is it pronounced skucks??? Boy the things you learn with a foreign missionary! What is going on with your Christmas stuff? Can you get your tree?
Tommy – Yes that is how its pronounced. I doubt I can get the christmas stuff early because Sister Parker is crazy busy right now
Brent – Hey buddy, my plane just landed and we are rolling to the terminal. Sorry I am missing our weekly chat. Mom will be glad to have me home and get a Jake break!
Tommy – no worries Dad
Krista – That is fine. Next year I will know not to send decorations… just presents. I guess you will just have to put up your tree for a couple of days. Do you have any details yet about when you will be calling at Christmas? Do you skype??? Facetime??? We were at Stake Conference and when we went in it was warm enough that I went in without a coat but by the time we left there was about 3 inches of snow and a snowfall warning. Winter has officially begun!
Tommy – We are organizing with a member to skype home but I have no clue what time yet because we dont have the schedule
Krista – I will have to become reasonably techie before then. I can’t believe we are so close to Christmas. We have our ward party this week. the Stake Carol Festival ( which I have Girls playing bells), my concert, a wrestling tournament for Benny and the MEssiah… Drew is not thrilled but I am insisting!
Brent – Looks cold and s.owy outside the plane windows. No snow in Toronto. We are getting off the plane now. Have a great week. I love you.
Or maybe not, there is a plane at our gate. Maybe we should double park?
Tommy – haha tell Drew its good for him and that he should look up that scripture
Brent – Still waiting. So three in a companionship. I did that in the MTC. Make sure to make the new Elder feel welcome. There is danger of 2 vs 1. You will do great.
Tommy – we will don’t worry Dad
Brent – And now we are pulling into the gate. Stay awesome superstar!
Tommy – will do
Krista – I notice that older brothers always think it is good for little brothers to do things that are “good for them”. You will be happy to know that Drew has tried to take over your role of using Benny as his personal servant/object of job delegation… not working too well for him so far but I think he is hopeful.
Tommy – haha I had it mastered
Krista – Yes… poor Benny he has no one to delegate to. I guess there is always Joseph but somehow I don’t think Joseph will be keen for that possibility. We already almost had world war three about who was putting what ornament where on the tree. And for a while the angel was missing and we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do. Luckily angel found and we only had to criticize each others placement of said angel 5 times…. oh the joy of brothers!
Tommy – haha sounds like our flat sometimes but we just joke
Krista – So what jobs usually get delegated to you? What jobs do you try to delegate to the other elders
Tommy – usually I do all the cooking and washing of clothes and they clean the flat
Krista – I think that sounds like a fair deal. I would way rather cook than have to clean. And knowing how you are my son I’m sure it is the same. That’s actually quite funny because right now I am doing laundry and making shortbread cookies instead of cleaning the bathrooms and washing the floor which really need to be done.
Tommy – haha thats the same with me
Krista – oh oh…. you better marry someone who is not like us or you may be in trouble. Are you becoming a good cook?
Tommy – yeah I can do some recipes by memory now
Krista – I am impressed. Do you want any more recipes? Or instructions? Benny wants to know if you got the animal facts… and as usual he says loving your bed lolololoolol. We keep telling him that he should claim it as his now, but he is loyal to you
Tommy – yeah I dont know why he still calls it my bed – and sure that would be awesome but preferrably recipes that can be made and eaten in under an hour
Krista -Ok I will think simple and summery. That will be a nice challenge in the -17 weather this week. Ben and Drew went to sing at Grandmas home today with Steeds and Jenny-Lynn, Betsy and Walters family. I think some of the younger Prendergasts went too. I decorated Grandma’s room and if I do say so myself it looks pretty good. Will you all be in one bedroom in your new flat?
Tommy – I have no clue we havent been there yet
Krista – You will have to take pictures. I am curious. Is it further away from the coast? Do you know the area at all?
Tommy – it’s in an area called trott park near the coast
Krista – That’s cool! Dad would be jealous. He LOVES the ocean! Does that put you closer to the chapel?
Tommy – no it’ll keep us at about the same distance
That is all for this week …
The video is of Tommy and his companion providing service for a family in their area. Listen careful for the Aussie accents. The sunset is outside his apartment. The paintings were made for him by someone in his ward.
Hey Mom and Dad,
Cool miracle happened this week. We were planning to go and see Thomas our investigator and we had a feeling to change the time to see him. So we changed the time and a series of events ended up making us about 1 hour late to just drop in on him. As we were biking there we both felt prompted to take the long way to his house. as we were biking and contacting on the way. I stopped a man who turned out to be a former investigator and he said he had been praying for 1 km for God to give him an answer and we showed up. He said that we were the answer to his prayer. Anyways other than that this week has been a very normal week. We had a big wrestle fight last night between all the elders in the flat and it was all fun and games until a window broke….. fortunately the housing coordinator understood. This week we had dinner with the Trudgen family in our ward and they are coming to Calgary in June! So i gave them some things that they should try and see. Any ideas of stuff to do? This week we committed our investigator Keelan to baptism. Keelan is a uni student who has been christian all his life but he decided it was time to look for more. He said that he would pray about it and give us an answer next time we see him. This week was also stake conference. We got to hear from elder Daniel G Hamilton of the seventy. He was an amazing speaker and was truly inspiring. It was kinda cool though because both him and president Parker rebuked the members of the stake for not helping the work progress. Long story short this week has been awesome and full of many little miarcles and one big one. Mom we have district meetings every Tuesday and last week I gave the training to the district. Elder Johnson goes home on the 6th of December. so its the four of us until transfers. Oh and Mom I probably wont get the packages until Christmas eve if it had Christmas marked on it because sister Parker holds the Christmas gifts until then and we open them as a mission.
Brent – What a cool story. I had that happen a couple of times where you felt inspired to do something different and then figured out why. When is Keelans date? How is he doing?
Tommy – We havent set a specific date because he hasn’t yet committed to it yet. He is doing well and is agreeing with every thing we teach
Brent – Watching the Grey Cup. Calgary was down 20 points to Ottawa but just tied it with 10 seconds left. Going to overtime. If Ottawa wins it would be a major upset.
Tommy – GO STAMPS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brent – Sounds awesome. We were at Steeds celebrating Bronzo and Taylor’s birthdays. Taylor and Teigan are now legal adults. Watch out. You know how I cheered. But Drew is loyal and loud.
Red blacks just won 39-33. First grey cup in 40 years. Major upset and a classic. Sorry dude.
Tommy – ugh man sad day for the Stamps
Krista – Hi Tom, I am back from my rehearsal. I am going to read your earlier emails later. How is my baby?????? Missing you this week
Tommy – I’m doing good Mom just broke a window you know same old same old
Krista – Oh, my goodness…. saw that. Good thing your housing coordinator is understanding. Is there anyway to get your tree and ornaments out of your Christmas box ahead of time to decorate. Maybe ask Sister Parker? Otherwise you can just have your flat decorated after Christmas. I just finished playing bells with the Beehives. They crack me up.
Tommy – . Mom, Sister Parker is like a mom away from home. We went for interviews with President Parker and Sister Parker was there and said we looked hungry so she went and got us heaps of food from subway. Mom away from Mom
Krista – I love that. It is good to know she is taking care of you. What a great lady. You can tell her that I am slightly obsessed with her blog. So you will get a new elder in your flat next week. Do you think any of the other elders in the flat will transfer? How is it going with Elder Punou? Tommy’s Mission President’s Blog link below
Tommy – Well Elder Punou and I could be transferred and most likely he will be. We will find out on Sunday night.
Krista – That is great that you have an investigator that you are committing to baptism. We will pray for him and you. Dad and the boys put up the Christmas lights yesterday. Now the pressure for the tree is on. My missionary work this season is going to be focused on the Nativity. With Drew and Benny and I in it I think it is a great opportunity to invite people and they have missionaries there. Do they have any special Christmas events put on by the wards in Australia?
Tommy – not that I know of
Brent – Just put Jake to bed. He says hi to the bialow, whatever that means 🙂
Krista – Talked to Adam Walker’s mom the other day. He is leaving January 10th. He will be a little colder than you in England for the winter!
Tommy – I have to go I’ll email you next week – love yous
Krista – We are happy and proud…. wow I am even tearing up saying that… I am a true missionary mom!
That’s all for now
Nov 17 – Picture of Tommy and other missionaries is at the Adelaide Temple
Hey Mom and Dad,
Sorry for the late reply. We had p-day today (thursday) because we went to the temple. This week has been a normal week. Except I had a cool experience this week. My companion and I have been teaching ourselves a little bit of ASL over this past month and we were door knocking and a deaf family opened up! We ended up bearing our testimony in sign language and even though she wasn’t interested she was brought to tears at the door. And yeah mom believe it our not I do all the cooking. I mostly cook pasta and stuff from that little booklet you made me (genius by the way). This week has been a scorcher. It was 33 degrees today and 30s all last week, and we have been only on the bikes. I have lost about 7 pounds in sweat already haha. So we were following up with a less active and we knocked on the door and she opened up and told us that we should go tell whoever sent us “to get behind me satan”. We had a good laugh about that. I know exactly what I’m gonna use the 30$ on. There is a less active in my ward that does these paintings and he said that he would give us two if we just pay for the paint and canvas. So I’m getting two paintings for 30$. His paintings are appraised at $200 each and he is giving them to us……
anyways just a normal week love yous
Krista – That is really cool about the deaf family you met. It is really a testimony that everything is done for a reason. I’m so glad you got to go to the temple today. When we didn’t hear from you earlier I remembered that Sister Wilmott said that you got turns to go as a district. I think you said before that the temple is like Edmonton????? I think that sounds like a great idea to spend your money on paintings. I’m so proud that you are cooking. Are there any other recipes you would like? It snowed here yesterday so I think the weather has finally turned. Your bike must be fixed. Is it working well?
Tommy – Yeah the temple is the exact same design as Edmonton. I cant really think of any recipes but I’ll let you know. The assistants dropped off my bike.
Krista – So what does the member paint? Landscapes???? I was at mutual tonight working with the beehives on handbells. It is such a foreign world to me to be around so many girls. THen they had a panel of some of the different women in our ward and their careers. It was really interesting to hear about the variety and the stories but i realized taht I a definitely in the right career. I’m not sure I would be a very good accountant or nurse. Did your Halloween package ever arrive? Boy I am hoping Christmas gets there in time. I did mail it October 4th but you never know!
Brent – Sounds like spring is over and summer is there. We are headed in the opposite direction. I have been Bishopric busy lately. Met with four different youth last night calling them to class or Quorum presidencies
Tommy – haha thats about half of the youth in my whole ward – yes I got my halloween package but I got it nov 2 :p and he paints landscapes and planes and boats and animals and a lot more.
Krista – Ok… well lesson learned about when I need to mail stuff! At least I hope you got to eat the candy. Will you stay in your area through Christmas?
Tommy – We get tranfer calls on dec 6 so that is when I will find out if I’m staying or if I’m going
Krista – Any interesting news in Australia lately? It seems like the American election is still big news here but I’m betting with America Thanksgiving coming up people might get a little less obsessed with Donald Trump. What does your American elder think?
Tommy – Everybody assumes I’m American so they ask me about Trump and then when I tell them I’m Canadian they apologize like there is something wrong with being American. He just doesnt care at all. His outlook was that it doesnt matter they’ll be out in 4 years. And no nothing interesting in australia
Krista – Good thing you have all of your Canadian flags! Make sure you email Grandma Dickson today. She was worried about you but dad told her about the temple. Would you say your mission is mostly Americans, Australians??? Elsewhere???
Tommy – Mostly americans and islanders
Krista – Well have a great week. We miss you. Dad got a little teary when he saw your mission plaque. I’m getting a little sentimental too. I think my viewings of the missionaries singing at conference on YouTube takes up about half of the hits. Even Jacob is getting tired of watching the Called to Serve video. You are doing great things!
Tommy – I’ve learned some tongan while being here so “fefe haka” (see you later)
Nov 21 –
Hey mom and dad, so since Thursday nothing much has happened. We havent had any lessons but more biking in the scorching sun. I FOUND A KOALA. Oh and we went and saw Cliff again and he put my companion in a choke hold as a joke. Man he’s funny. Please tell Benny that i have a mission for him. I need a bunch of cool animal facts for a less actives daughter we are teaching.
Krista – Ok I’ll get him on it . You will have them by next PDay. Tell me about some of the inactives you are working with. Bronwyn and Isabelle say hi. Isabelle wants me to tell you that she just ate crackers. Bronwyn says she didn’t eat crackers. Boy your cousins are so exciting. Drew has an interview with the movie theatre tomorrow. Here’s hoping. So was that Koala right in the city?
Brent – It is getting cold here. Little different for you. Are you able to open the pictures I sent?
Tommy – Yeah dad I saw the pictures. The less actives don’t really like us so we aren’t really working with any less actives other than the boys
Krista – I’m sure they have seen a lot of missionaries but I guess you never know which set of missionaries will make a difference. Benny wants to say loving your bed trolololololololollolo. Isabelle is at a loss for words probably for the first time in her life. Can you believe Isabelle has nothing to say except I was just listening to her tell us how much she loves HGTV and IKEA. How is it going with Cliff? Is he moving towards baptism? Isabelle says she is standing at a computer and is now threatening to hit Benny with her sweater so you know nothing much has changed.
Tommy – Cliff isa tough situation so we are moving really slowly -typical Isabelle
Krista – Well, keep working on him! It will be worth it. Benny’s next request is a wallaby or Kangaroo picture. You might be stuck finding animals for a while.
Brent – Anything exciting for PDay?
Tommy – today we are gonna go bowling because it is Elder Johnson’s last p-day in the mission
Krista – Tom, I am going. I need to help Grandpa with chocolates Dad will probably still email. we love you and will get to work on the animal facts. We will focus on Canadian animals. You should tell the girl the story of when you got to paintball a bear.. That should impress her.
Brent – Bowling sounds epic! I don’t the my 10s until semester 2. I always bowl better glow in the dark. Not sure what is up with that. That is true. What we think is no big deal is impressive to non Waterton types. Like a bear or dear jam!
Tommy – haha yeah all the animals here are so small in comparison to Canada
Brent – So is all your scriptures study Book of Mormon or do you read other stuff too?
Tommy – We read lots of different things like preach my gospel and teachings of the presidents but I’ve been focussing on the Book of Mormon.
Brent – I have been reading the gospels and BofM in Swedish lately. I am going to go deeper on the D&C in January when mom teaches it in Sunday School. Do they have you memorize scriptures?
Tommy – Yeah we memorize a few like d&c 121: 31-46
Brent – I remember doing that. But it was all in Swedish so not super useful now. The annual youth talent show is coming up. Each class is busy preparing. In Dec when Connor and Blaze move up there will be 19 priests. By the way, we released you as a ward missionary today on the computer. We figure you are pretty busy 🙂
Tommy – There are 2 in this ward … I might be a little busy to be a ward missionary
Brent – I tried to convince Adam S that we should sing Sisters in Zion for priesthood opening exercises. He refused. What a baby 🙂
Tommy – We sang that this morning for companion study!
That’s all for now ….
Hey Mom and Dad,
This week has been a pretty normal week. We only got one little miracle this week. We had a new investigator named Keelan and he told us that he only had 15 minutes and we had been role playing quick lessons that morning so we smashed him with the spirit. Adeladie this week has been pretty normal. Absolutely nothing to report except we are teaching this old man named cliff. Cliff is a total goofball who we joke around with while teaching and I swear he has punched Elder Punou at least 4 times in the arm. It’s been really warm this week though so I’m not complaining.
Krista – Benny wants you to send a picture of a Koala, a kangaroo or a Wallaby. We were just at Byams and got home. Are things still going well in your apartment? What have you planned for PDay today?
Tommy – Closest I’ve seen (referring to the Koala picture above)
Krista – Ok that is hilarious! Hopefully sometime in the next couple of years. You will be surprised to hear that Benny has a job to do so he is in the bathroom. Tell me about Cliff. How old is he? How did you meet him? Does he have a family? Are you still teaching the brothers? Dad says hi… he is doing dishes and “solving the world”…
Tommy – He is a former investigator so we just followed up with him. He is about 80 and yes but the boys have slowed down in progress
Krista – That’s too bad about the boys. Cliff sounds interesting. It must be fun to teach someone with such personality. How warm has it been? Do you just wear your shirts and ties during the week? Did we make the right call buying the short sleeved shirts? Well I finally finished Spencer’s quilt for Christmas sonow I am QUILT FREE!!!! So guess what I did…. I went and bought some more fabric for another quilt… it makes me HAPPY.
Tommy – Yes buying all short sleeve shirts was the right call. Basically we only wear white shirts and tie unless we have church or a meeting in which case we wear suits. It’s been about 25 degrees all week. The pictures are the boys Halloween costumes for their haunted house and me with my broken bike.
Krista – Your pictures are making me laugh. Those pictures with the boys are a little gruesome… I’m not sure I am the biggest fan of scary Halloween costumes. Did you hear about the scary clown craze in Australia! Benny’s school did not allow ANY clown costumes. And the bike picture is too funny.
Tommy – That’s not a costume. I just have a very broken bike. And no I havent heard about the clown thing.
Krista – Did your bike ever get fixed? Are you learning how to do it or is there a mission specialist who takes care of it? It looks like just the tire. Are you back on bikes then? Benny says you have a 2 year deadline to get the Koala picture and Dad is having dinner tomorrow with Phil Boyt. Drew want you to know that the Giants beat the Eagles and he is happy that they are 5-3. He was also happy that they beat the Cowboys… boy Drew is pretty much guaranteed to go to Texas on his mission. 🙂
Tommy – Drew is gonna serve in Dallas Texas. And its in the shop right now. It has bent rims, faulty brakes and a shredded tire so the specialist is looking at it.
Krista – So people were dressing up like scary clowns and chasing people down the street, through parks etc… It was a real trend and they were even arresting people. Drew took cookies to the Byams today and was pretty proud of his work!
Tommy – wow we havent seen that here
Krista – Wow… did you do all of that to it????? I can imagine those bikes go through some HARD usage with the missionaries.
Tommy – The bike had some issues from the moment I got it. It’s just a lot of wear and tear.
Krista – I’m trying to get Benny to go to bed right now… pretty much an impossible task! Dad says that you’re his favorite kid right now! I have a feeling that might be because you are not in our house right now… We love you. I know a mission can be tough but we are grateful that you are so obedient and working hard. Lyndi was asking about you tonight and we told her that one of your many gifts was how comfortable you are with people and talking to them and being good with all sorts of situations… YOU ROCK!
Tommy – The hardest part has been teaching. I find street contacting easy.
Krista – What do you find the most challenging about teaching?
Tommy – I dont know, honestly it just feels a little awkward
Krista – Dad says practice hard but don’t trust your skill trust the spirit. Heavenly Father knows that investigator way better than you but you have to do the study and preparation so that he has something to work with. I say don’t be too hard on yourself you’ve only been a missionary for a little over 2 months you will get more comfortable. Dad says do your best God will make up the rest. Lyndi and I both said tonight that the missionary program proves to us that the church is true. If you can do this as an 18 year old man we know you have the help of God and many angels.
Tommy – All the members of the ward are always asking me how many years of uni I’ve done. Everybody thinks I’m like 22!!
Krista – That cracks me up. You are a very mature kid. Dad says tell them I may not have been to uni yet but I’m a provincial rugby champ baby! Not sure what that has to do with it but>>>>> But you’re still the champion! Dad says remember how he told you to not stress about how you are inside….just go to work. Work hard at studying and teaching and don’t worry about feeling inadequate inside, just keep doing it. It’s like Home teaching sometimes you don’t feel excited to go but you always feel good when you went. What are the PDay plans today? Have you planned skating? Tried vegemite yet? What is your best meal you can cook?
Tommy – I’ve been doing all the cooking. I have to go I love you guys bye
Hey Mom and Dad,
So mom no we dont have our investigators on baptismal date anymore. They have had too many commitments and have been really hard to catch so we took them off date. I discovered that there is an ice rink near us so I think next p-day we are gonna try to go skating #imabouttowhoopsomeaustralians.The most interesting thing that happens in our appartment is the crow….. this crow attacks our window every morning and goes insane pecking it. It has been pecking it so much that its leaving blood on the window from its beak. Another fun thing that has happened is that we have had 3/4 bikes at our flat break. Only Elder Johnsons is left standing. And no we aren’t allowed to go to ward activities unless we have an investigator there. On Tuseday I went down to victor harbour on trade offs for one day. It’s a lot cooler down there. This week we got some sad news from our recent convert. He told us that his wife (who he married so she could be baptized but she never did) kicked him out of the house and that they were getting a divorce. He has remarkable faith though because he said “it’s alright brothers, Im glad I get a chance to grow. I’ll just keep praying and I’ll be alright”. I was like…….wow…… Other than that its been a pretty average week and guess what Dad? We got 6 meal appointments this week! There’s a member who guilt trips everyone into feeding the missionaries.
Krista – God bless that ward member! I bet you are really grateful to not have to make dinners. Do you do service projects for the ward members? How is that new elder in your flat working out? Any more pictures? We had 3 of the Trim kids here for the afternoon and Joseph so it has been busy. Needless to say having all those kids made for a very short home teaching appointment.
Brent – 6 dinner appointments. Awesome. At my very best we had one per week. We can learn something from your new member. How much do I sacrifice for the gospel. Jake is testing me. I hate making beds. So Jake tore everything off the bed including the mattress pad. Aaagh! I am upstairs and obviously offending him so he just shut the door. Oh Jakey!
Tommy – haha thats Jake for ya
Krista – What are some great experiences you have had with investigators recently?
Tommy – well we’ve only had 1 lesson all week so not much
Krista – That’s tough but I guess the reality of mission life… We’ll pray for you.
Brent – I found that we would go through real dry spells and then all of a sudden busy. I was a part of 5 baptisms in my first 6 weeks and then 0 for almost a year.
Tommy- One of our investigators is a man named Joe. He has recently lost his mom to cancer and is going through the process of losing his dad also. He is remarkably positive though. He’s a good example to us.
Krista – I was talking to Garrett Banfield and he was saying that he was being Kylo Ren for Halloween but I guess they had their Halloween party at Fish Creek on Friday and there were LOTS of Star Wars costumes since this was the first Halloween since the movie. I’m going to be interested in seeing what Benny does… his costume is not exactly easy to carry around
Tommy – oh that will be interesting for Benny and yeah im a little excited to show them up skating. Another cool thing we did this week, me and Elder Punou have been learning sign language to teach a former investigator who is deaf.
Krista – That is so cool. You will have to show Coy your new skills. Who is teaching you? 32…. that is so weird as it is just getting colder here. Are you getting used to it? When you go to Victor Harbour does Elder Punou just drive down there and then you split off?
Tommy – Yes Elder Punou just drives down there. We learned the alphabet and a member in our ward knows a few signs so he has been showing us but mostly from the investigator. We will spell something and then he will show us the sign so we can communicate.
Krista – That’s really cool….is sign language different in Australia from North America…. do you even know?? Here is a total MOM question. How are your clothes working out… still fitting????….. shoes ok?
Tommy – Yes mom my clothes are still fitting. and yes they do a different sign language but this guy speaks american. And yeah i miss snow
Krista – You never know…. maybe lots of biking results in super muscular thighs…! How is it going with your companion and Elder Johnson?
Tommy – Well we haven’t been biking because all of our bikes are broken. But we’ve all been getting along well. We wrestle a lot
Brent – Make sure to show them how a Canadian does it :). Take no prisoners.
Tommy – it’s funny because I’m the biggest so I just pick them up
Krista – I looked at Drew the other day and I think he has grown again. I took a picture of him with his friends at his birthday and he is almost a head taller than them.
Tommy – tell him to stop growing, oh and tell Teigan and Taylor my costume wins. I’m going as a missionary
That’s all for this week
Hey Mom and Dad,
When I get Benny dressed up in the costume I will send a picture. it remains to be seen if he can move around in it. Are you keeping your coat then…? you don’t need to buy one? Are transfers next week?
Tommy – the family is hannah (mom) I cant remeber the dads name and three kids. Every time we stop by Alfy always drags us around the house showing us stuff. We dont know them too well but are going to see them this week. I’ll tell you mom there a reason im in happy valley ward. Yesterday a family in our ward found out that their 4 year old son has autism. I was able to talk to them and comfort them and tell them all about it. We havent been able to see the other family with autism due to us being busy but we will this week.
Krista – I’m glad you are in the right place. It is great that you know how to relate to those families. I remember how that feels to get a new diagnosis. The first while it is like your whole world is turned upside down. I spent a lot of time crying. All of the plans you had change and you have to start planning a very different life. It’s like being in mourning for a while. But there is great hope and comfort in the gospel and in family and friends. It sounds like you are keeping busy with teaching and conferences. Was zone conference this week?
Brent – Do you like the website. Do you want any changes? I saw the pictures on your mission mom’s website of your zone conference. The sloppy joes look good.
Tommy – oh they were freaking heavenly, I had 4 and the website looks awesome
Brent – Super exciting to teach those brothers. I baptized a 13 year old whose parents were members but had gone inactive for a while. That is so great. 59 minutecookie dough fundraiser this week. Drew, Isabelle, Taylor, and Grace are all fighting over the Steeds.
Tommy – haha let them know that grandparents are the suckers and there are only so many Steeds that will buy
Brent – They are selling loaves and cake decorating stuff too. Very exciting. Home taught McCues today. I gave the message today and they pretty much ignored me. I didn’t have the mouse book. They are picky.
Tommy – oh rookie mistake dad – I need a mouse book when I teach these kids – we have a family in our ward that is so hyper and they love to fight the missionaries. I could use something like that
Brent – If you are good maybe you will get one sent your way. Funny how I can get 90 kids quiet in a gym but got killed by 5 McCues. Hopefully it goes well with Stevens next week. They don’t need the mouse.
Tommy – haha we arent allowed to use a mouse book anyways. Do you guys know any good object lessons?
Brent – Be patient. You are a big deal to them. Picture them as missionaries one day. Can’t be any tougher than daily life in the cabins in Waterton.
Tommy – haha yeah they are nothing compared to lukes groin punches
Brent – We need to get Mom on Pinterest. She will find some good ideas for you. McCues were talking about the candy shirt this summer. We can thank Pinterest for that! Are you getting many dinner appointments? We used to have breakfast, big meal 2-4, then snack at night. Almost no dinner appointments ever.
Tommy – we have one dinner appt this week with our investigating family but its usually 2-3 a week
Brent – We listened to LeGrand Curtis’s talk from priesthood for scriptures tonight. Great talk about the Book of Mormon. He told the story about the church being illegal in Ghana. I taught and baptized a man in Sweden from Ghana whose family lost their home at that time. He was the only nonmember in his family. His name is Eddie. Wonder where he is now and if he is active.
Tommy – my favourite talk is a tie between Mark W. Basset or David A. Bednar
That’s all for this week everyone
So this week was an interesting one. I’ll get to the stories later. Watching conference was really awesome. I don’t think i have ever paid that close attention to every word they spoke. I think I have about 12 pages of notes.No mom, the members don’t feed us during sessions (we don’t get fed that much) it is only a 30 min break between the sessions so it’s just to stand up and stretch. I recognized a few people from the mtc choir. Two or three of the Polynesians I played volleyball with at the mtc. No I haven’t gotten the package yet but I probably will this week. Ok so now to the stories. This week we were contacting former investigators and we met this man named Marinko. He is a really nice guy and is 3/4 deaf so we brought a member who speaks sign language to help. So the weird part was as we were talking to him he proceeded to tell us that he has seen Christ and the devil and has casted off satan from his presence…… weird. but then it gets better. He then went on to start teaching us about the “truth”. He tried to show us a bunch of videos of a pastor and called us “people sent from satan to trick him” but he was ‘too smart for satan”. Experience number 2. We were knocking doors on this street and met this nice lady who told us she wasn’t interested (due to her moving) but she said her neighbours to the left might be interested but to NOT go to the neighbours on the right. So naturally we figured “oh they can’t be that scary, let’s knock on their door”. As we knock on the door a lady opens up and says “oh mormons, I have two rottweilers that love mormons” (colorful language removed) and her rottweilers and slamming against the door chomping at the bit trying to get at us and we didn’t move. So her husband came and told us to go away or he’d open the door and let them at us. As we were leaving he let them out and we barely got over the fence before the rottweilers got us. My companion looked at me and said “welcome to the Adelaide Australia mission”. But the week has been good we got two new investigators… FINALLY!!!!! I’m loving Australia so far.
Hey mom and dad,
1) We are teaching the two Horbenko boys. They are really wanting to be baptized and are working hard to get there. 2) We have district conference every Tuesday and will see the President about once a transfer (6 Weeks) I’m probably gonna have to buy a coat because we got absolutley smashed by the rain this week. This week we got to go on companion exchanges. I went down to victor harbour which is right on the coast and stayed there for a day. This week we also got hit with the worst storm south australia has seen in 50 years. The power was out for almost a day and the street lights and traffic lights also. We got told by the mission president that we had to stay inside our flats past 6pm because it was too dangerous. The winds got up to 140km/hr. We could hear police and ambulance sirens 24/7. On Sunday we were able to give one of the recent converts a blessing for his skin graft, first blessing down heaps to go. We also went and saw another of our recent converts and his son Ali who is 5, was teaching me how to draw and then criticizing my style.
I am in Australia! Things are going great. My companion and I are getting along well but we are getting frustrated with the lack of success. Its nice to have other people other than my companion to talk to. In our ward we have about 100 people and covers an area 5 times as big as Sundance. And yes we have dinner appointments this week. That’s awesome about Adam and Joel’s calls. I will have to email and congratulate them. We have sports every monday and play lots of basketball (touch rugby isnt allowed) and sports night every other friday with investigators and members at the church. We taught a man named Tom this week and he lost his wife to cancer about 8 years ago. It was really cool getting to teach him the plan of salvation. We also met a guy on the street who gave us a 20 minute rant about how God is a millionaire and not racist.
Tommy Sept. 12
This week at the mtc was just another week. Lots of time sitting in a classroom and learning about the gospel. We got a new investigator (Olivia) and she is really responding well to our message. Last night we got to hear from M. Russell Ballard and he talked about how us as missionaries need to get over ourselves, smile, open our mouths and get to work. That was probably the most powerful devotional I’ve ever heard. Last night we also said our goodbyes to our teachers and our district. We said goodbye to Sister Swallow and Brother Elg. We had a testimony meeting as a district and Sister Terry’s testimony really struck me. She talked about how us as missionaries are here to tell the world the importance of families and how we can be together forever. Today Elder Ward, Virgin, Parkllan, Ivory and I embark on our 25 hour flight to adelaide. IM so excited but the heat might just kill me. Glad to hear that Benny hates cross country as much as me. Tell him that I say he should try out for every sport and get involved as much as he can at Midsun. Drew go crush some jrs, show them who’s boss.
Wed Sept. 7, 2016
Hey mom, tell Taylor and Teigan they better not have too much fun without me there. My district is fantastic. We have three elders going to Spokane (Elder Brunner, Elder Herr, Elder Warnick) the sisters are all going to Pittsburg and five missionaries going to Adelaide (elder parkllan, virgin, ward, ivory and I). Elder Virgin is a funny guy. He has some great spiritual knowledge and is an inspiration. He comes from a broken family so He connects well with investigators. Elder Ward is from Utah. He is a really funny guy, He finds a way to brighten up our day every day. We do see the Mandarin missionaries a bunch since they are on the same floor sleeping as we are (they are kind of jerks so we butt heads a bunch). For exercise we have been playing a lot of beach volleyball and volleyball in the gym and I’ve been owning everyone because nobody here is that good. We’ve had some pretty great food, my favorite would probably be the chipotle chicken sandwich we had for lunch. So funny story, Elder Brunner was joking around a few days ago and he said he prayed to have chicken cordon bleu for dinner and it actually happened, we all about lost our minds. And none of the food is as good as your cooking mom. The schedule for classes is that we are in the same classroom for 10 hours a day but we mix between personal/companion study and having a teacher. I’m learning some things about the book of mormon that i have never even heard before, but i have been using your analogy of turning the doors of our tents to the temple. Dad I have been telling our district some of the advice you gave me before I left and they all have really appreciated it. On Sunday we had a devotional with Chad Lewis the former nfl tight end for the Eagles. He talked about faith and it was awesome, but the coolest of all was last night. D. Todd Christofferson came and spoke to us about trust. Elder Parkllan and I were asked to watch these two doors to make sure nobody came behind stage And he came through my door and shoke my hand!!!!!!!!!! We got our travel schedule and they put me as travel leader. We leave monday night at around 8 so ill be calling then. We fly to LA and then we fly from there to sydney (a 15 hour flight UGH!!!) and then from sydney to adelaide. We leave the MTC on the 12th and don’t get to Adelaide till the 14th. How is drew liking link crew? How is school going?Hhow is benny enjoying being in a room to himself? And dad i got the weird postcard, when my district leader picked up our mail he said he was utterly confused to see three old men holding a fish and asked if im related to them.
Love Elder Dickson
Wed Aug 31, 2016
Hey Fam first week the MTC down and two to go. I have been loving it here. It is absolutely fantastic. My companion is a really cool dude. His name is Elder Parkllan from Mesa Arizona. In my room we have 4 elders, Elder Parkllan and I and then Elder Virgin (Idaho falls) and Elder Ward (Morgan, Utah). All the guys in our room are fantastic. Last night we even pulled all our mattresses together and had a “sleepover”. We already love each other and I swear we are already like brothers. This week we have been in the classroom A LOT. Upwards of 8 hours a day. We also got to teach our first investigator this week. Her name is Hannah Briscoe. She is a student at BYU, a non member, and wanted to learn about the gospel. She so far has been responding very well to the way we are teaching. Two or three nights ago a sister in our class asked if I would give her a blessing and that was one of the most spiritual experiences that I have ever had. I didn’t know what to say but it just came to me and I spoke. I never have felt the spirit quite as strong as I did giving that blessing. Last night we got to hear president Richard J. Maynes of the presidency of the seventy speak to us and he shared some pretty cool stories. Some of my favorite things that he said was we need to be sweetly bold. We need to be sweet in our teaching but bold so people will hear our word. Another thing that I really liked that he said is we never know the impact of our ethic. If we don’t put in full effort all the time we might miss the people the Lord puts in our path. I have been learning a lot this week, more than I have ever learned about the gospel before. Mom two things that you will love. First I SANG IN THE MTC CHOIR!!!!!! About 1500 missionaries sang “Faith of our Fathers” for the devotional last night. Second when I was talking to Sister Kelley about her struggles and how she felt homesick and alone. I told her to read over the third verse of how firm a foundation just like my Mom taught me and she told me it was the reason she didn’t go home. Dad, I got to share the messageyou told me that “when you have no investigators, no appointments and no plans and you still go out the door you’re a good missionary” the other people in my district said its some of the best advice they ever got. Drew, dont raid all my stuff. Benny I hope you’re enjoying my bed (dont fart in it too much). I got the package you sent and i loved it (so did my companion 😉 One of the funniest things though is that since I’m the only Canadian my roomates crack jokes about Canada and every time i just say “free healthcare” and they shut right up. Dad all three of my roomates love Trump, the lord is testing me with patience. Anyways love you guys, have fun this next week.
(it still sounds weird)