Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 3: Durban

So as a few might know - I have been temporarily reassigned to the Durban South Africa mission until problems with the Kenya work permit get sorted out. We were notified Monday, and flew to our separate places Tuesday morning. It was a bit hectic but I'm glad to be here. Check another stop of the bucketlist I guess.

Few things from the Missionary Training Center before I hop into things happening here - My teacher Brother Maarman shared this with us: What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages? Bi-lingual. Speaks 3 languages? Tri-lingual. Speaks 4 languages? Quad-lingual. 1 language? American. Got a pretty good kick out of that especially after seeing everyone at the MTC speaking multiple languages except for us. 

There were some crazy cool/wicked thunder/lightning/rain storms at the MTC which was fun.

Met a lady who is a member of the Church in the airport in JoBurg - it was nice to visit, and then got on the plane and arrived in Durban.

Elder Bednar was here for 4 days, and left the day before we got here to go to Johannesburg (Yes to where I was at) so that's all the buzz around here. Bummed I missed him but cool to see how that changed peoples lives by shaking his hand and hearing his words. 

[Editor's Note:  Who is Elder Bednar?  A Member of the First Presidency's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is very well respected with great influence among the LDS community.  Learn more about him here:  He teaches many great truths through his talks and visits around the world each year.  The link above also has links to his talks.]

Got to the Mission house where the president and his wife stay.  After an interview I was taken on a driver's test. In South Africa. On the left side of the road. And yes - the driver's seat is on the opposite side as well. It was actually pretty easy - 2 of us 4 who came to Durban passed - and I'm the only one who has driven out of us 2. So easy I enjoy it. When it comes to the road everything is different. Explaining the transportation is another story. People walking on the side of every freeway, in the back of pickups, and crazy taxis everywhere because they have no public transport system. Many people don't have cars and that prevents some investigators from coming to church. 

Today we did Visa related stuff to get a South African Visa. At the police station waiting to get fingerprinted with Elder Moline (came with him from the MTC - he is from Grand Prairie, Alberta) and this local guy sitting on a bench by us had a seizure out of nowhere. Its hard to explain the situation and details but we were the only ones who watched the whole thing go down - crazy to watch it happen before my eyes. That might stick with me for a while. 

On a better note - we saw 11 monkeys today, including two tiny newborns, just hanging out on the side of the road.

Oh - and there's an Elder here from Cardston, Alberta, and a senior couple serving in the mission office is from Raymond, Alberta. So many connections, small world.

You're probably wondering about my companion and the food - I'm living like a college student and he's great, from Madagascar. Just kidding about the food. Well, kind of.

The bishop's wife served her mission in Kenya and said it gets to 42 degrees Celsius (108° F). I'm burning up here - might take a bit of getting used to. 

I'm serving in New Germany and living in Pinetown. 

Gotta run but take care and here is my mailing address

Elder Brandon Eveson
The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS
PO Box 1741
-South Africa-

Send whatever you want - letters and packages get here fine, and if I am sent to Kenya before whatever you send arrives they will forward it on.

I'll have more time next week to answer emails and respond to things but the visa ordeal took up the day. No pictures yet - possibly next week. Sorry about that, but send me a letter in the mail!

Elder Eveson

PS from the Editor:  Brandon connected with Elder Dalton Tebbs from Arizona prior to serving his mission.   Elder Tebbs is about 5 weeks ahead of Brandon, and is serving in Kenya.  He had this to say today:

"Oh I am just loving it here.  So sad to hear about the work permits.  Because 8 missionaries left and only two arrived, they had to close a lot of areas.  But not to worry.  Everyone was asked to fast on Fast Sunday for the work permits.  Hopefully he gets here before the rains come!" -- Elder Dalton Tebbs

[More about the South Africa Durban Mission:]

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