Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MTC, Week 1

September 8, 2013

Hey! I've been gone almost a week now! It seems like forever and no time at all the same time. I guess I'll start from the beginning. The flights were good. I was by myself most of the time. Thunderstorms delayed some of my flights. I ate at Cafe Rio in SLC! Then I met up with 22 other missionaries in NYC going to the Ghana MTC! Most of them are serving in Ghana. I'm the only one going to my mission but there are some people from the DRC at the MTC. Classes started as soon as we got oriented. French is going really good. We are all at different levels so it's difficult sometimes... My companion is Elder Anomah. He's 22 and he's from Ghana. In my district there are 3 of us from the states. The other 2 are from Nigeria. There is close to 80 people here. 22 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Tahitian, and the rest are from Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Madagascar and South Africa. It has taken a lot of getting used to being called elder, having a companion, and everything else that missionary work entails. The food is good. It also takes some getting used to. Lots of rice, beans, chicken, salad, bread, and spaghetti. The roads here are crazy! We stuffed 18 of us in a van to come to the MTC. The drivers are crazy! All through downtown, there are people with baskets on their heads trying to sell stuff. We stuck a Book of Mormon out the window and they all came begging for one! We didn't even have enough for them! I spent the whole plane ride to Africa talking to a lady that had a lot of questions about the Gospel. That was really cool. We are learning French focused on teaching Gospel principles. We have already practiced teaching lessons twice in French. It's a really cool experience. It's a little difficult at times because of the cultural differences between everyone here. The natives are used to never sleeping, so we never make it to bed on time. And we're late to everything. But that's ok. Everyone else is leaving next Wednesday, while us French speakers are going to be around for the next 2 groups of people. We are only the second group of missionaries to take the language learning course. We got to go to the temple today! Their temple is big! It was a really cool experience. Wednesdays are going to be our p days while we're at the MTC. I'm really excited to get out into the field. I've been pretty homesick, but I think I'm going to be ok. It was great to be able to finally email you guys! Everyone else emailed the day we got here, but my van was late, and no one told us about it... I've probably forgot a lot of what I was going to say, but I'll have to tell you next time! Talk to you next week!\
Love, Elder VanAusdal

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