This week has been one of trial and error, happiness and sadness, and COMPLETE EPICNESS!! New Zealand is totally different from everything I've ever known my whole life. The words here are different: heaps=a lot, rubbish=garbage, pakeha=white person, flat=apartment, and heaps more. They say as after everything (hot as, huge as, awesome as, awkward as, etc.) also, they say eh like canadians! It's pretty funny. (:
The plane ride over here was completely wonderful. It was so long, but it was nice that it was red eye, so I slept the majority of the time. I sat next to Elder Napier and Sister Smith and I was in the middle so the entire flight, I was working on not sleeping on Elder Napier. I was SO paranoid that I'd end up on his shoulder and then it would just be awkward. Haha, it didn't happen and we were talking as we were landing and he was worried about the same type of stuff. (:
Going through customs was way easy. I pretty much walked through. The lady that helped me gave me a strange look when I started talking. It's weird to me that I'm the one with the accent here. I get weird looks all the time. (: But it's okay because Sister Holmes and I are in the same boat.
Well, after we landed we drove on a bus 2 1/2 hours to H-Town. (Hamilton) It is SO GREEN HERE! Like, I've never seen so many green things in my life. The hotel that we stayed at was nice as! The beds were like baby clouds. (: President and Sister Rudd are so awesome. Like, I can't even believe that I was blessed with such an awesome Mission President. (: So, that was on Wednesday that we met them and then on Thursday we had transfer meeting! That's when I met Sister Holmes! She is totally awesome. We get along really really really well. Anyway, we got a ride to Pukekohe from Elder Johnson and Elder Brann, they're our zone leaders and they are WAY FUNNY! Just imagine the moose from Brother Bear, and that's Elder Johnson. Oh, man, he is a hoot. We don't have a car, but our area isn't that big, so we have been walking, but our bishop drove us around our area yesterday and there are some places that we'll have to bike to.
THERE ARE HEAPS OF BUGS HERE. I'VE NEVER KILLED SO MANY. You'd never believe it, but I have squished and killed about 10 spiders and 20 moths. I'm getting so brave. (: The reason bugs are so common is because no one has Air Conditioning! So, we open our windows and let in the light! It's not too bad.
There are heaps of differences here like, no Wal-Mart and no Target, instead they have Pac'n'Save and Warehouse. I miss American stores. OH! Driving is so hectic here! They don't have stop lights and they don't have stop signs. Everywhere just says give way and you basically just go when there aren't many cars. It's so scary. And they drive on the other side of the road. So that's way different.
Our flat, or apartment, is so nice! There are 5 rooms, and we only use one of them. Haha, and it's a brand new flat so there's no furniture except our beds and a fold out table with four chairs for studying. It's huge! But alas, we have pretty much no food. And we have a garage that is huge where our washing machine and dryer are. (: We haven't really had an issue with bugs in our flat, just moths that fly in at night. Our neighbors like to get drunk at 9:00 and party all night though, rock on.
There haven't been any missionaries in the ward we're assigned to in a long time and so when we got here we were way lost. We didn't have an area book and we didn't know where our area went, what the ward was like, nothing. We were confused as! So, we just started knocking doors. And I hated it. I was so knew and they wanted me to knock doors?! Well, luckily Sister Holmes is a way good trainer and I had the hang of it in no time. We got a hold of the Bishop. Bishop Tangi, and we went to his house for dinner on Saturday. His family is so cool. His wife is so nice and she is just way down to earth. Guess what they fed us? KFC. It's better in America! But he settled our stress level and we weren't so worried anymore.
Oh, uh, we're living in the Broncs of Papakura. We're not allowed to be out past 8:45 and we can't go onto certain streets past 8:00. We don't open windows on the bottom floor of our flat and we prop a chair up against the door as an extra precaution. It's sketchy as. But I think the people are pretty good.
It is hot as here! The weather is so warm. I haven't noticed the humidity, but my hair is curlier and my skin is way soft. (: I have a watch tan. (: And I have to apply sunscreen liberally, otherwise my skin would fry. There's a hole in the ozone here and some days the sun is more intense than others. I'm a pakeha in the most sunny place on earth. Ironic. (:
Oh, yeah! So, as we were driving out to our area, a car pulled up to us on the motor way and signaled to us and Elder Johnson and Brann were like, What the heck? So we pulled over. I guess luggage have FLOWN out of the trailer. We were going 100 ks so I guess it makes sense. Well, we stopped a Pokeno's as a result and got ice cream. Holy Crap, it's so insanely good. I can't even believe the deliciousness of it.
The first night, I had to go and get bedding right? Well, the Warehouse closed at 8:00 and so I went without bedding. Luckily Sister McCarthy, another sister in our zone, had extra bedding. It sucked, but at least I had something. (: The next day, Elders Johnson and Brann took us to the warehouse and I bought a straightener and a blow dryer and bedding. (: It is so nice. (: I love it! And I bought a really nice pillow. Because what's the point of sleeping, if you aren't comfy doing it. (;
When we met with Bishop Tangi, all nonchalantly he said, "Oh, you know you're speaking in church tomorrow right?" So, I was really happy that we met with him because otherwise we would of had to speak on the fly and that would've sucked. I spoke on temples and being worthy to go because that is a HUGE as issue here. We got to church on Sunday and found out that the ward we're assigned to, Pukekohe 2nd, is 90% less actives. It is a TINY ward. There were 6 people in relief society other than Sister Holmes and I. So tiny, but we got a household report and so now we have heaps of people to go and visit. We don't have any investigators yet, but the Elders that are double covering Pukekohe 2nd with us gave us heaps of referrals yesterday, so that's nice. We're going to try and meet with a young girl named Paige tonight. She's 11 and Bishop really wants her to get baptized. Bishop said that there are three kids that are supposed to get baptized on Sunday, but they weren't at church yesterday, so there's no way they can be baptized if they aren't coming to church... I'm sure it'll all work out eventually. (:
Okay, if there's one thing that is noisy about New Zealand it is the BIRDS! There are millions of birds and they are always making a lot of noise. It's like a nature track on a CD, but real and playing all the time. You kind of get used to it after a while, but the first night it was a beast to get to sleep. But I've been sleeping like a log the rest of the time. My body is still getting used to the whole day ahead thing, but it's getting there. I'm just tired all the time.
OH, MY GOSH. HOBBITON IS IN TEMPLE VIEW!!! So, if I'm ever down there, I can go! Temple View is where Sister Holmes was before Pukekohe. That's where the temple is and the visitors center. (: It's expensive to go though, like $70, but it'll be worth it. (:
I know there are more differences to New Zealand that I've missed, I'm trying to think what else has happened. Oh, heaps of people use the excuse, "We're moving," when they see that we're missionaries. It's funny because it's really obvious that they aren't moving. Sister Holmes and I just kind of snigger when they use that excuse. (: I'm really hoping that it works out with Paige!! A lot of people don't answer the door, either because they're not home or they just don't hear us..
Sister Holmes is really awesome. We like a lot of the same things. We both don't like tomatoes, so that's good. (: We connect really well and we can already tell that there's a lot of unity!
Photo #1 This is on our drive to H-Town! It's so green!!
Photo #2 This is also on our drive to H-Town! Water here is really beautiful. (:
Photo #3 This is my MTC district together for the last time!
Photo #5 This is Sister Holmes and I!! That's a crappy as picture, but it's the only one I've got so far. (:
I love you all and I hope to hear from everyone! (: