Sunday, August 24, 2014

Aug. 21, 2014 South Africa!

On my way!

Trip actually wasn't too bad! I traveled with Elder Swindleherst (he was also from Orange County) to Dallas where we found two more elders along with tons of elders that were headed home back to Utah.  The two we met up with in Dallas were the only ones until Johannesburg where 2 more sisters and an elder joined up.  

The layover in London wasn't as bad as I expected.  We found some couches and I took a nice 2-3 hour nap.  It's also easy to pass the time by talking with the other elders. Oh and I didn't spend $21 on a burger (Rushton had warned him not to eat at the Giraffe cafe at Heathrow as he got a burger there and it cost him $21.)  I got a cafe panini for 5.50 pounds.. not sure how much that is but I'm pretty sure its still kinda expensive!
I tried to email pics but the airport wifi wouldn't work and I don't really have any pictures so far anyways.  Except for a picture of the plane to Joburg which was double decker. I've always wanted to fly in one of those planes!  Oh and I finally figured out what's "up" with airplane food! 

And yes I got my immunization thing and got another 4 shots just now.  Oh on my first flight to Dallas the overhead carry on storage filled up and they forced me to check my carry on, so I grabbed my jacket out of it but forgot to grab other stuff since I was I still haven't brushed my teeth since the morning I left..that's the only negative thing I have to report though haha.

I'm so excited to be here and the MTC staff seem awesome.  The Mission President's wife already loves me because I brought her those clothes from her granddaughter! And she knew about Chadley haha... (The MTC President has a daughter here in Orange County and they sent her a birthday package with Grant.)

So my MTC companion is Elder Mabe (Maw-bay) and he is from Botswana. He had a backpack on and a suitcase hardly larger than my carry on suitcase. It makes me feel a bit weird when I have SO much more.  He seems extremely humble and just a really great guy. Oh and he's 24.  There are only 8 missionaries at the MTC right now haha.  3 sisters and 5 elders including me.  (The MTC has a capacity of 38.  The last group 2 weeks ago was a large group of 33.)

My MTC group.

Oh and we got our nametags right when we got off the plane! That was something I was extremely excited for!  I'm officially a missionary now!

I am eating everything and anything that comes my way because I want to experience everything.  I had passion fruit juice with my lunch which was great.  I like the stuff here so far because it isn't processed and such, you can see little bits and seeds in the juices so you know it's the real deal!

Oh yeah there's talk about Ebola and one MTC worker even said Kenya is at risk - there is none there yet but just the way they allow travelers there and their medical technology apparently isn't great.  He said Zambia has good medical care though.  At the Joburg Airport they had these scanner things you look at and it can detect Ebola and other diseases and then if you are detected you are taken to some facility in the airport to be treated or something (if you are a local) if you aren't they ship you back from where you came.

The shoes are still needing worn in, I tried strecthing them on the airplane rides and such because they were kinda tight, but I'm sure I'll love them after wearing them in.  It just hurts after a while if my sock gets bunched up under the tongue because they quite tight right now and my socks need washed to get tighter I suppose.

My emails will be more orderly and organized in the future I'm sure, but for this one I don't have a ton of time and there was so many little things to talk about.
Well I'm super excited to begin my mission and I know this is where I am supposed to be!
Love you guys
Elder Grant Hiltbrand