Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Life At the Missionary Training Center

At the MTC here they keep us very busy. But it has been really good. This week has just been a lot of class time and devotionals and workshops and such. Practicing teaching a lot has helped me a bit, but I also practiced teaching a lot at home too. I really enjoyed conference and learned a lot there. It really picked all of us up here. Friday we arrived so early and it was the longest day of my life. Everyone was so tired. I had to fight to stay awake. It was really hard for everyone. Saturday came and spirits were still low until conference came around. Elders have said it was a Godsend and it changed their attitude. I think mostly because everyone caught up on some sleep during the sessions so they felt better but it meant a lot and pickup me up to hear from the prophet and the apostles. So thoughts on conference:

I really enjoyed Elder Hollands talk as always. After that talk all of the Elders here just talked about their mothers and how great they were. I really liked Elder Nelsons talk a lot too! It made me think of my mom and my sisters. It also made me think about my good friends that are the strong women of the church. It also made me appreciate the sisters here. They have really strong testimonies. Most of them have no support from home and have worked super hard just to get here. African women probably have the hardest lives in the world, but they are the happiest, kindest people. I really liked the new apostles talks as well. They talked about their new callings and feeling inadequate and I felt like I could relate to them as a new missionary. Anyways, great conference.

The last couple of days we have fallen into a consistent schedule. We do a lot of things as a district so I'll tell you about them. We have 8 american elders, 1 african elder, and 4 african sisters. Most of the Americans in my district goof off a lot. Its hard to learn but I cant help but laugh sometimes because they are really funny. The Africans work so hard and obey all the rules. Today we went to the temple. It was super cool. Most of the endowed elders went to the 8:30 session. I was scheduled for the 10:30 with one other white elder, 9 African elders that were going for the first time, a couple of sisters that had gone through, and a couple that hadn't so me and Elder Perkins (the other white one in the 10:30 sesh) and some of the sisters went and did baptisms before. It was super cool. Then we did an endowment session and I got to be the escort for Elder Igbogi from Nigeria. Me and Elder Perkins were the only white ones in there but it was super cool. A great experience. I felt at home. The sisters we were with at the temple stole my camera and took a bunch of pictures on it. Africans love to take pictures!!! I'm really excited to get out in the field and learn a bit more by experiencing the real thing. I've met some cool people here though and I would like to share some stories.

Bro Afful:
He is our teacher and is a really great guy. He is Ghanaian and 24 years old. He went on his mission to Ivory Coast. He will laugh and talk with us but is also very spiritual. He almost made the Ghanaian national soccer team. He wants to try out for a team in the United States. I think the craziness of our class has stressed him out but he still loves us. He has these little saying and its awesome. After you answer a question he always says,"Oh dat wonderful, what again?" Its so funny. Great guy and great teacher.

Sister Were:
Sister in my district from Kenya. She is super tall and super sweet. She is the only member of the church in her family of 7. She converted to the church about 2 years ago. Her father and siblings dont approve of her joining the church or going on a mission but her testimony is strong regardless. Her mother died as well. She is very knowledgeable and loves the church.

Sister Aboagye:
Sister from Kumasi, Ghana. Only her and her sister are members in a large family. Her mother has died as well. She is so positive though. She is really funny and loves to associate with people. She has to put up with all of us asking her questions about Ghana but she is really nice about it and is trying to help us with Twi. She is the most talkative sister in our district and actually knows a ton about the gospel. I'm always impressed with her answers to everything.

Sister Sampson:
Sister from Nigeria. She loves candy. If she knows you have candy she will tell you to give it to her. If you don't she will steal your bag and take it. It is really funny. We were sitting in class and she pointed to me and said, "You look like a chicken." So now she calls me chicken. She said it was because of my hair.

Sister Randrianandrasana
She is from Madagascar and is learning English. She is really quiet but is trying so hard to learn english. She doesn't say much but when she does it is funny. We were in class and she pointed over to an elder and whispered to me, "he looks like Mr. Bean." It was so funny because he looks a lot like Mr. Bean. She is really sweet as well and is working so hard.

Elder Sowah:
Elder from Ghana, has a really cool story. Only member in his family. At the same time he got his mission call he received a letter from a D1 school in singapore to play soccer. It was really hard for him because it was his dream to play and they were begging him to come play for them. He eventually decided he wanted to do the lords work and chose to serve a mission. It was an incredible story.

Most of the African Elders or Sisters here have stories like that but those are a few. It really amazes me how much faith these people have, how close they are to the spirit, and how much they know about the gospel.

Great to hear from you!
Love Elder Shelton

1 comment:

  1. His letter was so wonderful to read. Not only is he descriptive and thoughtful in his writing, but his focus is on those around him and that which he's learning from them. It really gives you a sense of his experience in Africa and the sacrifices Many make to be there. They sound like a family already. I'm so grateful for the spirit and love Elder Shelton carries with him and for the sacrifices that many of these young brothers and sisters make for the sake of the gospel. Amazing!