Belated seasons greetings from Elder Stark! So much has taken place since we last spoke I had better fill you in!
So not long after the last entry, we had a big missionary meeting called Zone Conference held in Port Elizabeth. It was an all day event as it was also the Christmas event! (which meant tonnes of food!). At this conference we had some super boring training, honestly I nearly fell asleep :P We also watched a film *YAY* and had tonnes of pizza. Oh, me and three other missionaries, the ones who work in the same area as me, had to do a musical item. In the end it was all super tiring but I did get a super cool tie with my mission logo on it and lots of juice to take home. It's the little things in life. That late and exhausting day set the tone for the holidays - late nights and tiring!! But also fun.
Fast forward a few days to the day before Christmas Eve, we decided to bake over 200 gingerbread cookies, gosh it took hours with the tiny oven we used!! Also, what sucked is that I sliced my thumb open a little bit. Really sore!! Now we did bake for a purpose! See, on Christmas Eve, our one day off a week, (not trying to sound grand or anything) we decided to spend the day going around Uitenhage to deliver all the cookies to the families in our Church. We also sang them a verse of a Christmas carol. It was a long day, especially when it rained but it was a lovely day well spent.
Now Christmas Day, one of the only times each year we get to relax! Well, kinda. Some members invited us over for breakfast, turned out to be day old meat, cold beans, tuna pasta and potato salad. For me, that's a rough plate. Then only an hour after we were to go to another members house for a huge family lunch. Luckily this huge meal was a buffet so we could have as much as we wanted...the second plate was possibly a mistake! After tonnes of food was the big event, why every missionary loves Christmas. We were able to skype or call our family, skyping home was rather normal though. It's rough as we are only allowed 45 minutes (okay, so I went a tiny bit over! haha). The worst part of it all however was having to say goodbye! That's when it gets really tough but we must pull through. Now only one skype could be used at a time where we were so whilst one skyped, the rest of us watched films.
It was a peaceful day for most people. I was actually a little busy around lunch...visiting the bathroom a lot. As the day went on, it got worse. Turns out I had food poisoning. Boxing day was horrid, it was so bad I never slept Christmas night so with complete exhaustion I had to suffer and uncomfortable 26th.
The next day it was back to business though, full missionary work. New Years Eve and Day came and we received another gift! We weren't allowed to work due to the danger, lots of people drinking that might not like religion so we were stuck at home. We watched films, made by members of the Church...they were a bit cheesy!
So jump 10 days to the next few things. The 12th of Jan, it was my 19th birthday! Nothing happened...although my companion did bake me a cake.
After my birthday had passed, we went to Addo National Elephant Park with a huge group of missionaries. We didn't see much, apparently we missed a huge elephant fight. We saw tonnes of turtles and spotted a lion but as it was a cloudy day the animals weren't near the watering holes. I bought a few gifts for family and then we headed home.
I had a headache half way through the day, which I put down to not drinking enough water. Back home I realised I had heat stroke! My body slowly started to seize up and cramp. Eventually I got taken to A&E, which in SA is horrible as they couldn't care less and wanted to do paperwork before letting me see a doctor. By this point I wasn't even able to move my arms and was in tonnes of pain. The last thing I remember was getting 2 injections, other than that the memory of that night and the day after doesn't exist. According to the other missionaries I threw up a few times and hallucinated for a couple of hours...
Transfers also took place but me and my companion are staying in Uitenhage so it was less stress.
All in all it's been a long, rough couple of weeks. Illness and lack of work has made it a difficult time. Hopefully that's all my bad luck for the year!
Well until next time, hope you're all having fun!
Replies/Q&A from previous blog entries
Quill: You took so long to send snail mail lol. The sweet was worth it :) I've already got loads of stories and I'm only 4 months in. August 2014, I'll have enough for a book lol.
Rose: I miss you too!
Watch Dust: Thanks for the support! I'll make sure you get added!
Hex Hallow: Hey, it's so great that LDS are in GRoar! Wondered where they were. It'll be great to return and get to know you all
Wall-E: You rock, thanks for the support! I'm having tonnes of fun on my free days, doing lots and catching up on my sleep. There are missionaries everywhere. Miss you guys tonnes!
Elyse: Hey! I've been told rock rabbits are related to elephants! lol. Crazy. They are a little strange and scary.
Halice: A sad thing has happened, summer has hit S.A and it came with humidity. It just makes me want to sleep and not work all day. I think winter has dry heat and summer is humid. Table Mountain was awesome! A brutal climb though. I wish I could have stayed overnight at Table, would've been epic. Miss you!
Seeker Charm: Hey, I'm glad you're liking the blog. Don't worry, there will be plenty more!
Natalia: I'll defo try that one next time I see that person! It was so funny.
GryffindorRM: Thanks! mission is the craziest rollercoaster.
Auror Seeker: Hey! So great that you're on GRoar now. This place/people rock, I enjoy it tonnes! See you on the other side.
Sun Elm: Thanks for the support! Brazil would've been a cool place. So great that LDS are coming forward. All the support I've been receiving from GRoar is just amazing!