Guest Testimonies

Friday, November 29, 2013

elder smith's first e-mail! 11/28/13

I'm here!!!! And good news I got all my luggage no problems :)  [*editor’s note: Spencer’s luggage was not checked through to Johannesburg and there was some concern when he was in London about whether his bags would arrive with him.*]  About 2 hours after I called mom, Elder Robbins [*editor's note: We met Elder Robbins and his family at the airport in Salt Lake City.  He and Spencer were "companions" on their journey to South Africa.*] and I found about 7 other elders headed to Joburg and over time about 8 more trickled in! The kicker is they were all there for the same amount of time but we only found each other an hour before our flight left haha. The flight to Joburg was longer than to Heathrow [London] but I got to sit next to an Elder Henderson from England and we hit it off well which made the flight more enjoyable! When we got to SA (South Africa), my luggage was there :) I said like 50 prayers of thanks and we headed out to find our MTC guy. He was there with 8 missionaries (6 elders and 2 sisters) from Zimbabwe (they just call it Zim), Swaziland, and South Africa all going to places here in Africa. If you’re all wondering like I was when I first heard it, only native Zimbabweans can serve there which is why Jayson and Bryant [*fellow missionaries originally called to Zimbabwe but transferred to other missions. *] couldn’t continue there. They all have the coolest accents and even cooler personalities and outlooks on life. Elder Denehere from Zim is the one I talked to most. He is 20 and a convert to the church. He said something that I really liked: "Whatever I do in life, I try to learn something. Like our conversation now, I’ve learned about America and you guys". I thought it was really inspiring and I think I’m going to try to let that motivate me throughout my mission and hopefully in life.
So how is it here in Joburg?? It is BEAUTIFUL!! I was trying to compare it to something so you guys would have an idea but it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen. It’s green everywhere and there is a fresh breeze that blows through the air. The breeze reminds me of Hebgen where you can walk outside and sniff the air and it’s like nothing else. They drive on the opposite side of the road which is something I think I’ll have to get used to if I can drive because it looked really sketchy! We got to the MTC about noon and they tossed us right into lunch and all the necessary paperwork and interviews. Before I got my email time, I had my interview with the MTC president, Pres. Reber (he knows Pres. Bohne! [*Spencer’s stake president.*]), and he told me my companion is Elder Moloki from South Africa. I haven’t met him to this moment but he says he is a cool kid and, judging by all the African missionaries I’ve met so far, I am tooooo excited to meet and learn from him.
Much love, Elder Smith