This week was certainly a week unlike any I’ve ever had, but also one of the greatest weeks I’ve had in my life. The plane ride was very very very very long, and I think I am finally getting over the jetlag. On the plane I met up with Elder Mcrola, and Elder Nye. They actually ended up being the only other white, I mean American missionaries at the MTC. But it was good to meet up with them at the airport because we were able to help each other out. On the first flight I was going to watch a movie but I felt inclined to follow the missionary handbook regarding movies. But by the third flight I finally reasoned that Lord of the Rings would be okay because it is a biblical analogy. Yeah so that’s about enough of the airplane ride, Oooooo except when we landed they only had one of my bags at the airport terminal, so I had to file a lost baggage claim but its all good now.
I’m in a threesome companionship with Elder Kode, and Elder Okorea (at least I think that’s the spelling). They’re very nice guys and we’ve had some good times. I can’t get over how amazing the people are here. They’re all such nice, friendly, and spiritual people. I’ve met many amazing friends from Nigeria, Ghana, DRC Congo, and Cote D’ivoire. Whenever I pass by these elders will yell ELDER THOMAS!!!!!! and shake my hand. That’s another thing they do here, they shake hands all the time. They do this shake where you squeeze twice and as you pull back your hands you snap your fingers with theirs Its pretty cool. Everyone is so friendly even though they speak a pigeon English so at times they’re very hard to understand. Ooooooo and also one of my apartment mates developed a crush on Sam from the pictures I showed him.
Most of the people here are recent converts, so they have such strong admiration and testimonies which they built themselves. One of the Elders, Elder Uwa came up to me and said, “Elder Thomas, the Church is true.”
Everyone here is super passionate about soccer, and play it all the time during sports time. Its crazy how passionate they are, during sports time most people put on their favorite soccer team’s jersey, and play their hearts out. Most of them don’t have sports shoes so they wear their flip flops or they play barefoot. I tried playing the first day but theyre all way to good for me to compete with. But I usually just play basketball or volleyball.
The food tastes great, it mostly consists of a huge platter of rice and some sort of variation on chicken. Sometimes they switch the rice out for yams or foufou, but usually they don’t let the Americans eat it because they don’t want the culture shock to be too much. One of the days we ate American food (fries and fried chicken) and everything felt pretty normal. That was until my companion told me to eat the bones and the bone marrow too. So that was fairly interesting.
It is very very very very hot here too. They don’t have AC in the whole MTC so it’s very humid and hot all the time. The first night sucked because I just sweated the whole time without sleeping much, but I sleep very good now.
Another interesting thing was that many of the Elders and Sisters from Nigeria although having the yellow fever card, never actually got the vaccination. So they paid for the shot but got the card instead. So they were all complaining about their sore elbows.
I’ve been trying to speak more and more witht the French elders and can really feel myself growing and progressing in the French language. Even though its only been a week I’ve really been feeling or at least I think I’ve been feeling the power of the gift of tongues.
Africans here also sing hymns at the top of their lungs, which I find very beautiful because they are so passionate about their religion and their love of god.
Today was the first Pday and we actually had the opportunity to go to the Ghana temple. This was a great experience because many of the elders hadn’t had their endowments done so it was fun to go through it with them. Also it was the first time we were able to exit the MTC grounds and that was nice, it helps it to feel a lot less like a prison haha but seriously theres an electric fence around the grounds so sometimes it does feel a bit prisony. But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else I love it here so much. J’aime nous beaucoup, au revoir.