July 9, 2012

Hello All!
Attached to this email are some pictures of my MTC stay and the first few days of me on my mission. I got here safely and I am officially a missionary here for 5 days. I have hit quite a couple challenges but I have faith that I will be good. I am the only white missionary in my zone, the rest of them are Samoan. On top of that 95% of the people in the ward I am in are Samoan and lots of them don't know much English. My companions name is Elder Oto he is Samoan. Most of the people in the ward speak English but are very hard to understand. So you know when I said that I'm glad I didn't have to learn a language.. well i guess I got jinxed because my companion is now teaching me Samoan. He says I will probably be able to speak fluently in 12 weeks. I am serving in a town called Raceview. If it is not on the map it is by the town named Ipswitch. The ward is good. The area has not very many progressing investigators, so basically all I have been doing so far is tracting. We have run into a few potential investigators, So we are going to be visiting them all this week. My companion doesn't have a drivers lisence, and we have a car starting today. So my next challenge will be driving a car on the left side of the road and sitting on the right side of the car. So it will be an interesting experience. Not very missionaries drive right away when the get into the mission. Since I am in an area near Brisbane, we get to go to the temple later in the month. I will let you all know of that experience. I haven't had too many experiences yet. Hopefully we get to teach more this week. The Brisbane mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in the world. There have already been almost 300 baptisms in the mission so far this year, which is almost unheard of in most missions. My trainer in his last are has 12 baptisms in 3 months. He is feeling optimistic about this area and we are hoping to have at least 5-6 in the next 11 weeks. We haven't taught much. We are going to be teaching more this week which I am looking forward to. I have a lot to learn in just 11 weeks, but I have faith that I can do it. So basically I need to learn Samoan, I need to learn how to drive on the left side of the road. And I have not even seen a kangaroo yet. They say that is one of the biggest stereotypes ever. Most missionaries go at least 6-8 months on their mission without seeing a single kangaroo. So hopefully I will see one soon. I have more trainings this week, but not much has happened so far. I will hopefully have some better experiences to talk about next week. The culture is a lot different here. I was told that I am already starting to lose my American Accent. That will happen when I'm never surrounded by any other Americans. There are less than 20 American in the whole mission. They have missionaries here from all over the world. There are about 200 missionaries in the whole mission. I have a lot to learn and I am excited to do missionary work. My companion says that it is so rewarding to call your recent converts after 6 months and finding out that they still go to church. I know that I am going to have some good experiences and I am excited to get started this week. I keep you all in my prayers and I hope all of you pray about me. I'm just really nervous about driving on the left side of the road. I miss you all.

Elder Kyler Powelson
   Sister Langeland Elder Powelson Elder Oto President Langeland
            Sister Langeland Elder Powelson President Langeland