Companion - Elder Jenkinson
PRETORIA— So I'm in my first area now which is called Sunnyside! It covers downtown Pretoria and a lot of the suburbs. It's the 2nd biggest area in the mission. The church address is 480 Leyds st. Put it on the map!! haha. I Just got here yesterday and since my companion didn't get to email on p-day, which is Monday out in the field, I get to e-mail right now. I now have 1 hr and 15 mins to e-mail so I won't be so rushed this time.
My new companions name is Elder Jenkinson and he is from a city north of Newcastle in England. He has been out for three months and will be my trainer for the next three months. I am probably going to end up being here for about 6 months. He's a cool guy and we both play soccer! :D
They say that this is a tough area but it is also a great area to start off in. Sweet deal! ha. Last night we had a lesson with a guy that lived way out in the boonies in a little shack it was pretty crazy. He actually wasn't there but his member friend and another guy were there who we taught about the restoration. He should be at church on Sunday. After that lesson we went to a members house for dinner. Remember how I said I hadn't seen anything that looked good yet? Well, I now have some things to report! haha. The houses look terrible from the outside but when you get inside they are really really nice. The members we went to last night actually had a maid that was cooking dinner. Their nephew is staying with them for a while and we convinced him to come to church and to turn in his mission papers soon! He is 19 in April. They were an awesome family and the dad is a returned missionary.
Another thing that is nice is that Pretoria is like 100 times safer/nicer/better than Joburg ha. Still not great but so much better. It still feels a lot like America for some reason though. Very similar but so different at the same time. And the other thing that I want to say that is good about South Africa is that everybody is so much friendlier than in the US!!!! oh my good golly gosh! Everybody says hi, or actually sharp (pronounced shop with a long "O"). When I got to go out with the missionaries on Saturday right after my last e-mail he told me that they like to go sharp shooting. They say it to everyone they can no matter where or how far away the person is and they get points if the person says it back, which is like 100% of the time.
So the flat that we are living in is absolutely disgusting and may be the reason that I come home. It's so dirty and nasty, I barely forced myself to get in the shower this morning... We are cleaning on Monday but I kinda want to just hire a cleaning crew to work all weekend!
Today we have already taught one lesson to an 18 year old guy named Omega. It's hard to teach him cause he learns very slowly but he wants to do everything that we are asking even before we ask him. He will be at church on Sunday also. Haven't done too much yet but its not even been 24 hours ha. I have been driving all day today which is scary but I think I'm already used to it :D Just a professional, what can I say? But, people are crazy here! Worse than Utah drivers combined times 50!!! That's right... I said Utah drivers :P ha but jk. We drove to the store to get some food to last me till Monday, then to Omega's place and now to the internet shop place thing. Everywhere we go is far away cause of how big the area is and it's gonna take a while to know where I am going.
So I've only gotten one letter so far via DearElder.com. Thanks Alisha! haha A reply is coming, no worries ha. Everybody else: I wanna hear from you so write me some letters!! Please? Just in case the address is wrong that I already put up it is supposed to be Elder blah blah blah South Africa Johannesburg Mission Private bag X4 Ansfrere, 1711 South Africa That is for any letter or package sent bu U.S. mail. If it's a package from liek UPS or somethin then check my blog. And wow family, you guys already got my letter?? That's cool, I guess the mail is faster than 2 weeks then. Thanks for what you said Dad, you da bayst! I'm glad you got to go to the funeral for great-grandma and have such a great experience despite the circumstances :D
I guess that's all for now. I shall hear from you and tell ya whats up on Monday! I hope you are all doing well and excited for Christmas in less that 2 weeks!!
Love you all!
-Elder Robert B. Dirkmaat
P.S. I sent a letter to Sara but I sent it to our home address cause I forgot to acquire addresses before I left and wasnt sure if it would make it there before she left Rexburg. So could you send it to her? Don't open it!! :P haha
P.P.S Apparently you guys don't keep me updated as much as some others parents. Some of the elders were getting like 3 emails a day from parents! haha Just a funny not sayin you have to do anything different.
P.P.P.S You can put this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org in the letters and packages page on the blog cause ANYBODY is allowed to send an e-mail. E-mail to family is my priority though! ;)
P.P.P.P.S Not sure when I'm gonna be able to send pictures yet. I'll probs have more time to figure that out on Monday.