I was happy to get to talk to you last monday, it was good to hear all your voices. Thats cool you could stalk my airplane over the pacific :) I slept the entire flight! I am serving the Rangiora/Kaiapoi area north of Christchurch on the south island. Lots of farmland surrounding town. Its absolutely beautiful here! My trainer is Elder Tonga Tamale from Tonga. He only has six months left on his mission. I showed up to the mission home Wednesday, slept at President Kezerians then got up 5am Thursday and made my way to Christchurch and my first area is Rangiora/Kaiapoi just north of Christchurch. Driving up here i got to see some of the damage from the earthquakes. First day in my area i got my drivers license and i drive on the left side of the road now haha. Its crazy, they had me fill out an application, pay fifty dollars and printed out my license. People drive crazy down here. I live in whats called a flat. Its two bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room and only two of us live there. Lots of space. There is only a small branch of 60 members out here! crazy! Elder Tamale and I are doing alot of finding ourselves. Havent taught a lesson yet! There are a lot of less active members in the area that went practically inactive after being baptized so we focus on them. The area book is a mess so we are working on updating that. We went tracting saturday and got door after door shut on us. they open the door and say "no thanks" then shut it. We knocked on this one guys door and told him who we were and asked if we could help him with anything in his yard, he said "THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO FOR ME!" and slammed the door haha. The only contacts we have made were on the street with people in their 20's. There are alot of baptists and anglecins around the area. I already got in a nice discussion with a baptist man named Clive. He was working in his yard when we walked by and we said hi. he came to us and asked "so what do you want to talk about?" like he wanted to bash with us. I bore my testimony about the book of mormon, something he cant argue about, then i had him asking questions. Elder Tamale was amazed. So we taught a brief version of the first lesson right there on his lawn, he took a book of mormon and we said we would stop by again. We have a lot of people to visit based on the area book info we have but we are in the process of updating it. We have eight potential investigators we are setting times with for appointments this week.
Everything is expensive down here. And milk and gas comes in liters and milk cost double than a gallon in the states. I told my mission president i came to work hard and he said he could tell, and was excited for me to show up to his mission. Elder Tamale hates it cus i told him we have to clean the flat and whip the yard in shape :) It looks like bad and the car isnt clean either so thats we we are doing today. Monday is p-day. We are going into christchurch later to play rugby with the other elders. Thanks for all you support. I love you and I hope everyting is going well at home.
Love Elder Cottle