Monday, May 7, 2012

Tongue on the First Date–May 7, 2012

Dear Family and World,
It's really fun here in Africa, but for most of this week the work has been slow. We've had the chance to see the BYU Young Ambassadors, have food poisoning, and run around with Africa's most famous animals. It has been another memory building time here in Africa. This week for me has made a lot of memories and gave me a lot of thoughts about home. I'm glad mother's day is only a week away. I can't wait to talk and answer all of your questions.

There is no better place to start than at the beginning.
Monday and Tuesday went on just like any other day in the mission except for the amazing package I got from Kryss and Robert! The package at first blew my mind at how fast it got here. I was also a little shocked at how well they bundled it up. It took me 10 min to open it. Inside was greatly needed candies and office supplies. My favorite thing, however, was the root beer colored Oakley sun glasses, Wooot Woot! You have never seen a missionary jump for so much joy! People were laughing so hard at how I was just bouncing around! Thank you so much Duran family! Everything has great value and I really felt your love, Thank you! Packages really bring me close to my family:)

Wednesday was just like a day off really. We had a zone meeting in the middle of the day, which really blew my mind. We talked a lot about our purpose and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The spirit was very thick, and I could really tell why I'm here in Africa. Something that I learned from the passage in Mark which talked about Christ's crucifixion, was that he was on the cross for 6 hours or more. Then our Zone leader taught us just how he would have to pull himself up just to breath, but let himself down from too much pain. I know that we focus a lot of our time on his life, but knowing the pain he went through for me really opened my eyes a little more to his sacrifice.

Later that night we all visited a BYU Young Ambassadors musical performance called Harmony: the Music of Life. We met up with a lot of other missionaries and it was nice to talk to them. Many can't believe I'm so young on mission and that I have such a commanding presence. I also saw our president and his wife. I gave him a very large huge. The show was very fun and uplifting. For a moment I felt like I was home with all the white girls dancing around. Many missionaries felt trunky after, and many couldn't wait to be with girlfriends again. I was very excited and happy just to shake hands with all the girls there. I just thought 21 months until I can hug one, ha ha!

Later on the week carried on kinda slow. We were teaching a lot, but it just felt like it was dragging on. Saturday morning was a lot of fun. We met up with some more missionaries to play a little soccer before we would go give service. Treasure, our ward missionary, came with us to play. I was able to bring my A game and show off my new skills I had learned from Treasure. The coolest thing was out handling an African guy named Gift, who was the other missionary’s ward missionary. I pray that when I come home that I will have some serious soccer skills. Later we went off to do yard work in the hot African Sun. I also showed off my skills with a shovel. We helped improve a family's garden and remade their wall barrier. I thought a lot about our garden and the wall I helped to build. I really loved those memories of our little garden and working in the dirt. There really is something special about tilling the ground.

Sunday came with a major HIGH and low. Our high came from my test phone call to home. I was so happy to hear everyone's voices. We also participated in the confirming of Nat and Agenda. I love confirming people and giving them the Holy Ghost. Nat came in at the last moment and had me do it for him. It was cool as I sat there thinking how my ability to be here helped to bless him and his new family. We were also very blessed to have eighteen investigators at church yesterday. Our week is really full. I really loved being an instrument for God. However, it got worse that day for us. We both were feeling very sick and had to run to the toilet many times. After Sacrament and our Gospel Truths class we decided it would be a good idea to return to the flat to rest. I then spent four hours dead on my bed trying to recover. By the end of the night we were both much better, and we really wanted to be better for the lion park we went to today.
That brings my main adventure of this week. We left very early so the animals would be out and moving. It was so cool to walk around and have giraffes walking free and ostriches pecking you as you went. I also was able to pet and tangle with lion cubs. I never knew how big they really are in person and how strong they are! They were very cute and they tried to eat my companion. All I could do was laugh! My favorite part was feeding a giraffe. We even got several kisses by placing the food in our mouths. I can now say I've kissed a giraffe in Africa! My mom has always said to make memories where I am and I've done it!
This week has been a lot of fun and wild. I can't thank the Duran's enough for the package! I also can't wait to talk to my family this Mother's Day! Have a fantastic week and know that I love you all. I'm back to the vineyard until the Master says: "All is well".

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack Forrest Dalton

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