Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 29, 2013

You guys have peaches?? Nooooo! Our entire street has lemon trees planted down it (totally useless), and there's orange trees all over the place, along with grape fruits, feijoas, passion fruit, and of course apples.. But not a single person has a peach tree! For real? What kind of backwoods place is this? I was actually thinking about peaches the other day, and how much I want them for breakfast, and then I had to just come to terms with the fact that it may not happen until I'm back home. It was a hard realization to come to.

So, turns out that before this year is over, we'll have eighty new missionaries in the New Zealand Hamilton Mission alone. Apparently, the majority of them are sister missionaries as well. Which is.. Cool? Six Samoan Elders are coming in this week, then forty five in three weeks I think, then another thirty or so the transfer after. It was something like that.

We had our actual interviews with President Rudd this past week, and I really like him. He seems to be a little more understanding about how things work around here. One thing that I really appreciated was that he's taking a more lenient stand on one of the rules that has served as a real issue before. One of the rules that we had in the Auckland mission is that we were not allowed to eat after six p.m. with the members. I'm sure that it wouldn't be a huge deal back in Utah, or even a lot of other places as well, but being in NZ, there's a fairly large population of Pacific Islanders (Samoans, Tongans, etc..). For the most part, whenever you visit an islander's home, they cook. It doesn't seem to matter what time of the day it is, or if they just ate or whatever, it's just what they do, and if we were offered food after six, we had to say no. Surprising what saying "no" to a plate of food can do. They get really offended. Like, "don't come back," offended. So now, the rule is still there that we shouldn't eat after six, but if the people make us something (because they still do, even when we say no to an offer) we're now able to accept it. Such a weight off. It seems like a super stupid thing, but I was pretty excited about it.

Everything's been going pretty sweet, the weather is getting better, hopefully it means spring is coming (I can't wait to send pictures of the summer here while it's all winter back home). I love it here!

 E. O'Neal

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