November 5, 2012

Hello All,

I have been transferred. I am both happy and sad about this. It is always good be able to see new things and have good experiences. My new area is nothing like my last one. I am in a town of 200,000 people called Townsville. It is in Northern Queensland. And I am far away from everything. To start off last Wednesday I got a call telling me that I was going to serve in Northern Queensland and that my plane will be leaving the next morning at 6 am. So I had barely any time to say good byes to the people in Raceview and I had to wake up really early in order to catch my flight to Townsville. Yes, I was transferred by airplane. That tells you how far away I am from the city, the mission president and most the missionaries in the mission. There are 4 of us missionaries in Townsville and the closes missionaries to us is a 4 hour drive away in Cairns. Basically its the four of us missionaries in a city that is in the middle of nowhere and you have to drive 4 hours to get to the next city.

There are two parts to the Australia Brisbane mission. There are all the areas by the city, and then there are some areas spread out in the north. Most missionaries who serve down south including myself think that it is a terrible thing to go up north. So I was not too excited at first when I got the call. But now that I'm up here I am enjoying it a lot. We wont have as much interaction with many of the other missionaries, but that is all good. The Branch here is pretty amazing. I love all the members here. The branch has about 100 people attending and is part of a district. There are not any stakes here. We might be travelling a lot because there are small branches we will be visiting that are 2 + hours away. There are some good sights and we might go look at the great barrier reef of a P-Day sometime now that I am up here. I am really excited to be here. The branch hasn't had any baptisms for 2 years, so lots of our work will be re activation except a miracle came to us my 2nd day here. A lady just moved up here to townsville from a small place called Mackay and wanted a lesson from us. We committed her to baptism and she really wants to get baptized on the 17th of November. So I am really excited for that. I am excited to work in the smaller branches. They treat the missionaries the best. The members are amazing and treat us like their own children. I feel right at home when I am here because the members always have us in their homes and are always so nice to us. So don't worry mom. The members are taking good care of me. I know I am going to love it up here. I know I am going to have a good time and working hard to find people who want to hear the gospel. The missionary work is a lot harder up here in the north, so they send the missionaries they trust and the missionaries they know will work up here. So the mission president decided to send me up here because he trusts me. Also, mail will take longer to get to me because the office will have to send it up here to me. The weather here is really hot and really humid. I think I am going to be losing lots of weight now because here it is tropical hot and humid. It gets over 100 degrees F without the humidity. So the Humidity in Iowa will be nothing compared to what it will be here. I am excited about everything though!

My new companion is Elder Kay. He is from England. And he is cool. We are going to have a good time. I will try and send some pictures home. I don't know how soon it will be because the computers here don't have the slot to put the memory card in,
I am going to have some fun up here doing the work. I know it is going to be harder than it was before, but I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of me. My companion is really willing to work hard with me. So everything is going to be good! They keep the missionaries up here for a minimum of 6 months, so I am going to be here for a while. I am probably going to have some pretty good experiences while I am here. I am just excited to work as hard as I can. I think that the success I have up here will be more meaningful because I have to work a lot harder to have it. I am looking forward to everything that I am going to be doing here.

On Thursday I went Cane Toad Hunting. Cane Toads are a pest that gets into peoples lawns here and kills the grass and they are poisonous. So what we did to hunt them was we had to hit them with a bat to stun them and then we grabbed them by their back legs and threw them over the fence to the street, so the cars will run over them. We did this in one of the members backyards and was lots of fun. I will try and have the member email my mom some pictures of it.

Anyways, that was a little summary of my new area, I love it so far and I think things are only going to be getting better. I miss you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Kyler Powelson