Monday, January 6, 2014

Email #2 (MTC) One Week in the MTC

So it is official! I am 7 days into the MTC Training!! You guys would not believe how much of a change this is to me and my life! I am glad that I chose to make this decision to serve the Lord and to dedicate myself and time to Him.

I will try to be as positive as I can but I will not lie to you guys.  The food is very harsh here. All they eat is rice, chicken, coleslaw, fish, and bread. The fish is literally caught, put on a pan and thrown in the oven. And when they cut it, they do not remove the scales or the eyes or anything.  I do like the breakfast though, which
is homemade bread and a boiled egg that is green looking and a bowl of grits looking stuff. The grits stuff is good only because I add a lot of sugar and the egg is not that bad. But over all they serve three meals that do not vary much. 

The classes are long and I feel like I am in High School all over again! I can barely understand the people here. I swear they are not speaking English. It takes so much of my energy trying to understand what they are saying that I have to focus  very hard to feel the spirit and learn what is being taught. Right now I would say I have learned some important teaching pointers, but with the language barrier, I have not learned as much as I would have expected; although I have started to get to know my teacher pretty well and he likes me now.  We pretty much sit in class and watch films, practice teaching investigators, eat interesting meals, oh and sweat!

That brings me to my next point. The weather here is not that bad, but it definitely is hot and humid! It is the humidity that is killing me here.  We had pictures today before we went to the temple.  I stepped outside and started sweating immediately. I still have not got use to the hours here and I fall asleep in class even when I am trying my absolute hardest to stay awake.

A part of our schedule here at the MTC is sports time. We are allowed to go outside and play whatever sport we want. Most of the time it is "football" or as we call it - soccer. We also have a volleyball net here, but none of the Africans know how to play.  The only other missionaries that know how to play are from Tahiti and they only speak french!

The people are great here and I have come to accept that they are ALL a different color and talk weird. I will be honest and say that it is very very hard to just drop the american culture and our ways and pick up and accept the ways and culture of here. One thing that is weird for me is that they are a very touchy kind of people. Whenever I am in class or we are in a big group learning or listening to someone speak, they all want to touch me in some way. Like for example, when I was walking next to my companion, he tried to hold my hand.  I swatted it away soo quick that he was very confused and upset with me.  ha-ha. Sorry it was a little weird for me.  But, for them it is a way to show you that they care and that you guys are good friends. 

My companion's name is Elder Deckor. He is from Liberia and is so hard to understand. He always want to touch and hold my "American stuff."  To him, everything that I brought from home is "Original."  ha-ha

You guys would be surprised how built up it is and also how worn down it is here. Everyone is this area has has smartphones and they ALL drive like crazy people. There are no rules in Ghana about how to drive so they just do whatever they want, including off-roading with their rather beat up vehicles at 40 mph just to avoid a traffic jam. It is nuts here.  

I didn't realize how much I miss my family and friends until a couple of days ago when I was wondering what the world is like in Rexburg and in Colorado. I love you guys more than you know and miss you all very much.

Oh, something funny happened to me today. When I got back from going to the Accra temple... I asked the lunch lady if I had to eat the fish that they were serving and she said she would make me whatever I wanted.  So, I told her to make me a PB&J - she came back out with two sandwiches. One had all peanut butter and the other had only jelly.  Hahahaha, but it was the best thing I have put in my mouth since the steak dinner I had on the evening I was set apart. 

To my friends - I love you all very much and miss you guys! I wish you could see this part of Africa because it is definitely unique. I will try to post pictures, but I do not have a cord for my camera to connect to the computer.  I hope you are all doing well and that you are not crying to much about me being gone.  hehe.

All is well here and it seems that my time is expiring so I will wrap it up with my trip to the temple that happened today.

Here was my day today:
Wake up  5:00 am
Pray, read scriptures, shower and get dressed until 6:15
6:15 breakfast
then we took a picture of all the people in the MTC (about 30)
then we loaded up in vans and drove like mad men to the temple in Accra
once we got to the temple, we took more pictures for 15 min and then we went inside the temple. After we did an endowment session, we got some free garments and I got the mesh ones cause it is so hot here.
We did an endowment session because half of the people here in the MTC are not endowed. They all went through for the first time.  Dad, sorry none of this makes since to you, but an endowment is just some commitments made in the temple to God and we receive garments to wear also.  When I was in the celestial room, my eye caught a white guy in there and I was kind of staring at him.  He came over and we talked for a little while because I had my missionary name badge on and he asked where I was serving and all these questions... turns out he is a member of the quorum of the 70. He is the area authority over West Africa.  He was very sweet and nice. It was nice to see another person my color in public! haha  After the temple we drove back and that was when I asked the cafeteria lady for my PB&J! It was the best meal ever!!! This day has been by far the best day here at the MTC! I am glad that I get to email you guys today and tell you about what has happened thus far. It has not been very eventful yet, but I'm sure that there will be more to come. 
I have free time now (3:00) until 5 to do whatever I want. Oh, and I am in regular everyday clothes!! For once! It is soo nice to get out of dress clothes, especially since I sweat all day. (sorry if that is gross)
Thank you guys for reading this email and for emailing me!

With much love,
Elder Cornelius

P.S the keyboards are different here so if i do not capitalize... im sorry but the shift key is a pain in the rear!!

God be with you til we meet again!

Alma 41:10