Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 18, 2013

First off, thanks Shannon and Kevin, I got your package and I love the tie! Thanks to everyone that has sent me letters so far, it's good to hear from home. 

It's Monday, and I got here last Thursday evening, and already we're moving the work forward. Firstly, my companion, Elder Manua, is Samoan. I have no idea how long he has been out, because apparently the sign of a mature missionary is that you don't tell people that. Like women and their age I'm assuming? I'm pretty sure he came out in September of 2012 though, because a card in the president's office had that date on it. Aside from that, he doesn't talk very much either, I don't know if it's because he is still unfamiliar with English or just not a talkative person, so I spend like ninety percent of my time with him in silence, which is fine. 

My specific area is a town called Cambridge. It's not very big and is mostly country, so I really enjoy it. I was actually hoping for somewhere exactly like this; going around in the big city didn't seem very appealing. The last missionaries that were here left around a month ago, so Elder Manua and I reopening it, which makes it a bit more difficult since we have to figure everything out for ourselves. So far we've met most of the branch here (a bunch of less actives) and are teaching an investigator family, the Martins. The dad (David) is an inactive member, and the rest of them are not members at all. We've already set three of the kids for baptism next weekend, and we're hoping to be able to get David the Aaronic priesthood, and Kelly (the mom) baptized as well. The only problem is that like so many people around here, they both enjoy smoking and drinking. Which brings up another topic; loads of people have horrible teeth. I don't know if it's a lack of brushing or excessive smoking or what, but it's really bad. People ought to look in to dentistry, and an orthodontist while they're at it. 

The food here is excellent, but because the members will feed you so much of it, we're only allowed to eat with members four times a week, and we have to feed ourselves the other three days. That is no good. The cost of living down here is super high, so buying groceries ads up quickly. So far I really like these cereal type things called Wheat Bix. They're super dry, super bland bricks of healthy goodness. Throw a little jelly on there with a whole lot of milk and you're golden. Other than that if you eat with a member its gonna be loads of bbq. Heaps of delicious steak and chicken. 

The weather here has been in the 80s, I think, though I'm not really sure because everything is on the metric system. Apparently this is the driest that anyone around here has seen it. Even the golf courses (of which there are many) are dry. That's another thing. People around here love their golf, rugby, and horse racing. Golf courses are everywhere, rugby clubs are on every street, and apparently the town is known for their super competitive race horses. 

Elder Manua doesn't have a valid license, so I've had to do all of the driving. It was really weird for the first little bit of driving on the left side, but I picked it up pretty quick and haven't really had any problems since. I still think I'm headed for a head on every now and again. 

I'm sure there's a lot of other stuff I could talk about but I've got a novel going here already, so this will conclude today. Sorry I don't have any pictures to send; I forgot the cord to plug in my camera. I'll make sure to take a few more and I'll try to send some next week. 

Elder O'Neal

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