Road Trip & Nerf Guns

November 22, 2010

Hi everyone,

God's Army in Shepparton

Kangaroo Crossing

This was an eventful week.  I have some funny stories for you.  But first, I’ll talk about the serious stuff.
One thing that was interesting was when Elder Bartle and I visited Jesse again.  We hadn’t seen him since his father basically blew up on my zone leader and I.  Upon seeing us, he looked surprised and said, “Thought you wouldn’t be coming back after last time.  I’m sorry about that, really.  I didn’t mean to for that to happen.  How is the other guy?  Okay?”  I reassured him we were fine, and it was okay.  It was interesting– before, he just got so angry.  I was nervous to show up again, but he was truly sorry.  From this I could see that despite his confusion about what we do, he really is mature when it comes to treating others right.  That was good to see.
Following our visit by Elder Nielsen from the Area Presidency, the Zone Leaders held a council with the district leaders to explain what he talked about.  I don’t want to go into the details, but there are simply things we need to work on as leaders so that the rest of the mission will follow.  It’s already helped Elder Bartle and I work better just talking about it.
We’re in the bush, however, so the word “meeting” means “road trip.”  With 5 of us in the Zone Leaders’ Camry with a 4-hour trip to Griffith, we had some good times.  The Australian countryside is similar to the American west–flat, straight, and barren.  There’s also locusts everywhere.  At one point the road was blanketed with locusts.  The front of the car had brown guts all over it by the end of the trip.  Disgusting.  In the car were Elder Bartle and me, Elder Bassett, the district leader from Wangaratta (who was also with Elder Faumui in the previous transfers), and the Zone Leaders Elder Born and Elder Nebeker.  Elder Bartle was the only Australian.  He says that Americans laugh at jokes he doesn’t find funny, and that we all have our own little lingo.  I think that’s hilarious.  We were playing 20 questions with Disney characters.  You should have seen how frustrated Elder Nebeker was that he couldn’t think of the name of Elliot the dragon.  I don’t even know who that is.
Elder Bartle and I have also made our mornings a bit more interesting by purchasing some Nerf six-shooters that were on sale.  Whoever wakes up second gets darts in the face.  You should have seen the forts we made with our chairs and blankets.  We even set up an ambush for the Zone Leaders when they arrived to spend the night before our trip.  I got it on video by hiding the camera above the door.  Good fun.
On a more missionary-like note, we finally got to watch the Restoration DVD with the Dyson family and answer their questions.  It went really well.  They really like having us around. They’re curious to know just about everything, so it’s hard to teach a structured lesson, but they’re picking it up and I think they’ll eventually come to church.  They’re our current headline.
We also have our Christmas pageant coming up this week!  We have dress rehearsals this week with costumes and sound and everything.  What’s interesting is that the members have never seen or done anything like this, so it’s all brand new to them.  They get confused with simple terms.  But they’re having a lot of fun, and once it goes live with an audience, they’ll never forget that feeling.  I can’t wait.
Happy Thanksgiving!  I might get to have some Turkey, but we’re pretty busy and all with the Christmas thing… they don’t have it here.   I know!  Ridiculous!
I love you all!
-Elder Scott Baker
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