Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Alive!

Area - Johannesburg MTC
Companion - Elder Bregg
Letter #1
JOHANNESBURG— I got to the SAMTC (South Africa MTC) a few hours ago and have gone through all the cool paperwork and interviews and finally get to let ya know how I'm doing. Not a lot of time to write but I will tell you as much as I can type ;)
This has been a long 3 days and I realized it was the longest period of time I have ever gone all indoors, never going outside. I was happy to find that I had a companion on my first flight and din't have to be all alone. We didn't sit by each other but going through the Heathrow airport was easier.  The first plane flight wasn't that great because I couldn't sleep at all and it was 10.5 hours. Ha. I decided as we circled London to land that I HAVE to go back and visit. I've always wanted to but actually being that close and not getting to leave the airport was killer! We met up with about 25 other elders and one sister there and sat around and waited for like 5 hours. I was expecting to go the whole way all alone and I was so glad to see tons of other missionaries as well. I found out that we are all going to the SAMTC but some of them are going to the Durban, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Cape Town missions. We are all pretty good friends already and the Durban missionaries have their own little group called the D-boys. The second flight down here wasn't as bad because I had a whole row to myself so I could lay down and get a little more sleep. The only bummer was that there were tons of clouds so I didn't get to see any of Africa besides when we landed. Despite being uncomfortable and not being able to sleep, I decided that I have a new and quite expensive hobby of flying and traveling.
It's so crazy that I am finally here! It is really cool to see how different South Africa is. There are a lot of similarities but too many. It's weird to see a bag of Frito Lays chips with a different name and picture. They are called Walkers instead. Driving on the other side of the road...don't get me started...let's just say, that is going to take A LOT of getting used to. I tried my best to pay attention to how we got here from the airport and I don't think I could more than 2 miles away. Guess I won't be coming home anytime soon even if I wanted to!  Johannesburg in general is so much less...nice than where we all live. Every single fence has barbed wire or some other sharp thing to keep people out. Everything is kind of dull and the same color everywhere which I guess was really surprising coming straight from San Diego. I didn't think Johannesburg would seem this much different but it really is full of poverty. This is going to be a big culture experince for sure and I am really excited to be bale to go out teach theses people! Gotta wait three weeks though. 
 I feel like I haven't said much but honestly not that much has happened, just a lot of sitting and trying to sleep. Also, I promise I will become a faster typer so that I can give as much detail as possible.
How are you guys doing??? Who cried longer, mom or Ollie? How's your relaxing day of Thanksgiving? I don't think we are doing anything special.
I love you guys and hope you are doing well! I miss you tons!
Bobby :D Elder Dirkmaat ;)

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