February 18th, 2012
Dear Mom, Dad and Family,
I'm in Africa! What an adventure. We first landed in South Africa around 10:00 am and the flight was a lot better than the one to London, England, mainly because I slept the entire flight. When we started up the ramp of the terminal I instantly felt how hot and humid it is down here, luckily I had airport air conditioning to cool off.
I was a lucky one. As we collected are bags two elders were missing their luggage and a lot of it was still in England. We pressed on and met Brother Mocke who is the MTC Manager and trainer. We also met up with first native companions, mine was one of them.
We drove to the MTC and it was even hard just to watch us drive on the left side of the road and having the driver on the “wrong side”. It's not bad being the minority here, everyone is really nice and pleasant. As we pulled up to the MTC it was like we approached a castle, because of the high walls and video cameras , also guards walking about
It all happened so fast that first day and it was hard to stay awake from the jet lag. The trick with that was just trying to stay awake fro the full day, so I could get normal habit of the days. I also had interviews, check-ups, and was able to e-mail you. More into the day a cool thing was assigned to my companion and I, we were called to be district leaders over two elder companionship’s and three sister companions. What an awesome responsibility to have and make people feel happy and welcome.
I must confess that the next day was really hard for me. I felt sick from the food I had on the plane. I was so nervous, I just didn't know if I was ready to be a missionary. The words of the Stake President Johnson rang in my head. “ If you are not worthy, the words would choke in your mouth.” It got so bad that when we were practicing I froze up and I thought, I choked. I thought that I needed to leave to come back home, but It was the feeling I need to kneel down and pray. So my companion and I left the classroom to pray together. I gave a powerful prayer from my heart that humbled me enough and cleared my fears. I told the lord I knew I was nothing and I was giving him all my feelings of fear and nerves.
That prayer helped me so much to place my heart where it needed to be. I now feel more at peace and calm, but I still feel the intensity of this great work on my shoulders. I know without God there is no way I can make it.
Now more on a happier note we've been getting more along here and I'm sure by the end of it all we will be like a great family. Today, we even went out around the town to shop down the roads. I had to use my card at the ATM to get rand, I need to use it, because there is no where I can exchange it until I leave the MTC. I didn't spend any money so I still have a lot of the $250. I was wondering if you might e-mail me how it affected my account until I can switch it. Sorry:(.
You know I had to stop writing, so I could finish up my day. Now, that I’m a missionary I feel like I have no time to finish all I want to do. There is so much good to get finished that it's a struggle to keep up.
Today, I was able to teach for the first time with my companion. We taught an “investigator” the first lesson. In the time we were given before to prepare I found that my companions strengths and weaknesses, with mine as well. His strength was his testimony and inviting the spirit, but he lacks the ability to talk to and give a lesson in away that flows. My strength lies in the complete opposite. Not saying I can't invite the spirit, just not with such faith as him.
Our lesson went perfect with minor errors that I know as we pray together we will be able to overcome. It's funny how this companionship helps you understand how a marriage might need to function. One praying for the other, always together, and in total communication with everything.
Please thank Sister Jones for the book of Mormon's and testimonies. Please ask Anika if she would send me a picture of her so I can show others that this is the kind of young women that supports me and also tell her I need it because I do miss her:).
Mom and Dad thank you for preparing me for this task. I know just like Ne phi, “I was born of goodly parents”. Your love and Memory is what gives me the foundation to continue everyday. You and Heavenly Father are like the platform that holds the bridge of my drive out here.
Jacob and Jillian, you two are beautiful and I love you with all my heart. Be smart and kind to all. I need you to send me pictures of home and letters from you. Even though I'm half way around the world away, I can still be your big brother. Write to me about everything like questions/cons urns. I love you.
Keeping a record and keeping in contact is hard to do, but I know from Ether 12:12 that if I show faith, I might have the miracle of remembering it all.
I'm doing well for I'm in the service of my God. I know that if we have faith in Christ, repent, are Baptized, receive the holy Ghost and endure to the end: we will be blessed beyond measure. I know god lives and his son Jesus Christ. I know the book of Mormon is true and by that knowledge I know that this church and leaders are true. Amen.
P.S. Have people write to me and let them know I will do my best to respond. Also let me know how home is going and what events take place. Even the funny moments include them.
Always forward South Africa
Elder Jack Forrest Dalton :)
Helaman's District Rules!