Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sat June 30 2012 - First Full Week

Family and friends!

What a long and crazy week here at the MTC! The MTC is great but I can't imagine being here 8 to 12 weeks like some missionaries are in Provo. The MTC here is a much different experience than what I was expecting and it's a lot different then Provo. You know everyone here, and I mean everyone from the cooks to the MTC President and his wife know each of us inidividually. President Reber spends a lot of time with us  throughout the day and his wife likes to play card games with us during lunch/dinner.

Last night was amazing. Throughout this past week we had been teaching fake investigators aka our teachers, but yesterday complete strangers came into the MTC and we had to teach them. Now at first I thought they were just be LDS member posing as investigators but NO. The first guy we taught had a bunch of friends in the church and he was interested in learning more about the gospel. We were able to address his needs and I felt that we really taught by the spirit, it was awesome! The second lesson was even more special because it was a girl and here mom. The girl is not a member and her mom is currently inactive from the church. The girl seemed very interested in the gospel and she knew a bit about our beliefs, we only had 10 minutes with her but I once again felt the spirit very strongly and I tried to really connect with her. She is coming back next Friday so hopefully she will have more questions and we'll be able to continue to teach her. Overall this past week has been awesome! I've felt the spirit so strong and learned so much about the gospel, my testimony has been strengthened tremendously and I have no doubt this is the church of God on the earth today. Early in the week I had some problems with my companion because he arrived late from Ghana and he was having issues with adjusting the the new climate. He has some condition where it is difficult to deal with colder temperatures, he was really struggling but this entire week I have been praying for him. After we gave him a blessing a few days ago he has really turned around for the better. Our companionship is going a lot better and we've been able to teach some great lessons, the power of the priesthood is real and I've gained a special testimony of the power of prayer since I have been here.

Okay so much more has happened! So I had the chance to do comp planning with an Elder from my room the other night. Both of our companions were feeling sick so we decided to study together, well he has really been discouraged and he basically told me all that was going wrong. Let me just say this guy is going to be a great missionary, his testimony is powerful and his conversion story was incredible. He is from Kenya and two years ago, that's right only two years ago he was taught by the missionaries and joined the church. For years he had been attending a Christian church but he never felt it was right. One night he had a dream that men in suits and ties were visiting with him and talking about God. Well the very NEXT day two Mormon missionaries visited their house! He was taught the lessons and a month later he joined the church. Incredible stuff, the Africans here have some pretty amazing stories. Of the 30 Elders here and 2 sisters, 22 are from Africa and the rest are from the States. 13 are going to the Johannesburg mission, 10 to Durban, 5 to Zambia and 4 to Zimbabwe.

This past week I also started to exercise with an Elder who is in my room. He is from Uganda and he is a beast! He has taught me some pretty crazy exercises and we have been running sprints together. My legs are really sore haha. Each day we have an hour in the afternoon to get outside of the MTC and go play sports or exercise. These Africans are really good at soccer but I'm dominating them in basketball haha. I've also been learning Zulu from a couple of the missionaries here this past week. Elder Zulu has been teach me Zulu haha. Elder Zulu is from Durban and he has been teaching me how to say some things. My favorite word is Pumula which means Get outta here! He has taught me how to open a basic conversation when visiting someones home though which is cool. He said it's the easiest African language but I find that hard to believe! A lot of the words having clicking sounds in them which is difficult.

Well this past week has been great overall, I can't wait to get to Durban! After this email our district has the chance to go out on splits with the Johannesburg missionaries today! This will be my first time out and the field, I'm pretty excited. I'll let you guys know how it goes next week! The weather here is amazing. It's in the 60's with no rain at all. I'm learning a lot and I've grown closer then ever to our Savior. I'm so grateful for all of your support and I love you all!

I forgot to mention the temple! It was an amazing experience and much different from the states. The temple was beautiful and all of the African's went through for the first time. But there is one thing that is the same in each temple, complete and total peace. I didn't want to leave and I felt closer than ever to the spirit. I can't wait to go back next week!

By the way, we leave July 10th from the MTC.

Elder Summers

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