So here I am in a place called Bellville, a rich part of SA about 30 mins from Cape Town. Because I am new in the mission, I do training for 12 more weeks, so that means 9 weeks are left!
It's quite crazy to think I've been on my mission for over a month now. The MTC is a distant memory, it was sad to say goodbye to that place (harp memory music)
We arrived in Cape Town September 11th, a 2 hour drive from J'burg. Man it was so boiling. We were met at the airport by a few missionaries and our mission president - older missionary couple who will look after all the missionaries under our mission. With all haste, we went out into the parking area where we got a jaw dropping scene of Table Mountain staring right at us. All 20 of the new arrivals were packed into a few cars and we headed to the mission home (where the president stays). There we were allowed to hand in our passports (so the office can sort our flights etc...) and assigned beds for the night. I chose the wrong number - each bed had a number and we chose the number...I got the only bed in my room that was on the floor.
We were provided with a quick lunch and cookies *yum* and allowed to chill for a small moment. One of my MTC companions, an Elder Krieger, introduced us in a hilarious way to something called "quick, quick, seat back". Apparently it saves your seat once you stand, none of us had ever heard of it. So we had a good laugh at the shock of losing his seat when he went for the 2nd lunch lool.
After all that we went to Signal Hill! ( Now my camera was dead because I never had an SA adapter so no pics :( ) We walked around for a little bit, everyone else took cool pictures and some pics were taken by the president to send to our families. Eventually we went back to our mission home and we had some nice pizza and chillaxed for the rest of the night.
The next morning was crazy. 20 people had to somehow use 3 showers in under an hour, it was hectic! Made it though, then because some would be flying back later to their areas, we had to pack our bags to the weight limit. Gosh everyone smuggled lool, including me.
Then we were asked to one of our chapels in Cape Town where...oops too far. Before that, at the office, we were all given our credit cards and other things like photocopies of our passport and other important info, which I've forgotten :P Then to the chapel where each new arrival was assigned an older missionary to be their trainer for the next 12 weeks, we were also told where we were going.
The next two days were a blur. After the assignments, we did some training, went back to the mission home for our luggage (although my trainer forgot about that until I reminded him, not so impressed), quick bite and then off, in my case, to Bellville to be a missionary.
The thing about being a missionary is you are or have to be unattached. There was no time to say goodbye to my friends (most had to go catch a plane) and then you are thrust into a world where strangers become your friends. But we adapt.
The flat where we live is tiny! Not well equipped and the cupboards smell bad but we don't stay too long every day there so it's fine.
The first time shopping was crazy. Overwhelming to me, can't get used to the money. If I could speak an African language that would help me a lot right now but that's a slow process.
A mission isn't all work, Mondays until 6pm we have off to email family, shop, have fun - I've been Ice Skating twice in 4 P-days (what we call the day off) so I can now skate.
The people here are cool, most people are friendly and inviting so that's nice, makes my job easier. YAY. Still, some people react hostile towards us :( Please if you see missionaries and have no care for what they say, please be polite and say no thanks but have a good day! It helps, honestly.
Oh, I've had to eat seafood! Man that has been a tough one, it doesn't wanna go down lool.
Now I won't send this off just yet - 8th October. Cause in about 3 hours we'll be hiking Table Mountain (is it one of the 7 wonders??), I'm looking forward to it. *HIKED TABLE MOUNTAIN BEFORE I WAS 19*. So I'll finish the blog with how that went.
A quick mention to the weather - it's not always as hot as I expected. We have even had tonnes of flooding and heavy rain, least every other day. So, that has been nice for me. Thank goodness Cape Town isn't a humid place cause when the sun is out it says there. Still got to do some stuff before Table Mountain, hope I see you soon :)
Okay a day and a half has passed between this paragraph and the last. Oh Table Mountain was SWEET! Climbed at 12:30 midday, man it was sooo hot twas brutal. Took over 2 hours to climb it. Me and an Elder Taylor had a good laugh. At the top, very mystical with all the clouds and stuff, so sweet. Then in a break we had a stunning view of Cape Town, so nice. Got attacked by a rock rabbit haha. One of the Elders (4 of us went) screamed like a girl. LOOL! Then a cooler but still brutal climb down, most of it in peaceful silence. Climbed Table Mountain in under a month of being in Cape Town. Sadly got sun stroke though (Hey! I am Scottish afterall), so I slept it off! Oops! Took near 5 hours for it all!
Monday night was the start of 'exchanges', when a companionship switched with another set for 24 hours. Man it was nice to get something fresh but I missed my area, I actually like Bellville and all the people in it. It has already become a part of who I am.
I'm back in Bellville, it's late so I'll finish this blog entry.
Currently have 686 days left.
7 and a half weeks of training left.
Keep strong! You guys rock.
TCat has fast mod skills ;)
Love you always,
The adventures of StarKnight58 over his two year Mission in South Africa.