January 23, 2018


Johannesburg MTC


Week 2 in MTC

Hi family,

I had a wonderful morning trading emails back and forth with Cole from 4-5am. I heard the first one come on my phone next to me, and it was a short quick question that he wanted answered I just kept going for his whole hour. But he did have a few paragraphs that were all together that I will put all in this email. -Shirell

There are like 6 Americans here, 1 Canadian. all the rest are from somewhere in Africa. i will send pictures from Capetown. but in Johannesburg, every single house has walls and gates around them. that is what happens when there are more people without than those with. so because of that a lot of the town is very ugly. even the temple is surrounded in walls and there are security guards at the gates. the temple is very small and i can tell that it is kind of held to a lower standard as far as details and perfection but it is amazing still. i purchased the most expensive scriptures i could find at the distribution center right by the temple. my companion says they used to have African scriptures like elephant skinned but they recently stopped selling them. but my old set that grandpa Brady gave me are just so marked up and worn out so i got a new set that matches my hymn book and scripture case. we have memorized tons of scriptures in the mtc. i guess you could say I'm enjoying it but it is a pain in the butt. my district especially is tired of it. I've noticed that it is way easier to like reading the scriptures now. in a couple weeks i have read from 1 Nephi to Enos and enjoyed it. hopefully Capetown is a little more enjoyable than the mtc. I don't know if you guys have heard but in Capetown right now there is a big drought. i guess in April if it hasn't rained a lot by them they are going to shut of the tap water and we will just have to buy water. they are even converting breweries to water treatment plants.

so my companion in the mtc is actually going to go to cape town for a week or 2 while his visa gets sorted out. the only reason he is in this mtc is because a couple weeks ago they let him know that he could leave sooner if he wanted so he had 2 weeks to prepare for 2 years in England. i think we are finally getting used to the mission life. like, me and another guy in my district like money and talking about how we can make money and what we do with money so we are still working on thinking less about things at home. and it just so happened that right after i had a nice long conversation about money, in my personal study that night i read jacob chapter 2. I'll let you read that. they don't really serve any crazy food here in the mtc, a lot of fries(chips) but the food is super good. ill send pictures whenever i can.

so we go to the temple on Thursdays. we have gone 1 time so far and we drove through town. there are a ton of poor people all over the place and a lot of people walk everywhere so there is people all over the place. we have to keep the windows shut on the car because people will try to steal your car. its pretty interesting

yeah, drivers here are crazy. i rode with the mtc manager and he is just as bad as the rest. they drive fast, follow super close to the car infront. most people have pretty crazy road rage, and the roads are smaller so everything is closer together.

its not that weird to have the driver on the right and drive on the left, but there are some different cars. most cars are normal but like the cars they use for delivering mail are some 3 wheeled little cars

we have a schedule in the mtc where we are in a class room for like 14 hours a day, we get 1 hour for sports and then meal times. i talked the new mtc president into letting my district wake up 30 minutes early and and work out in the gym but nobody else can. so it is not easy. the new mtc president is president bester. i like him. the old mtc president was president ashton. the new mtc president is a local from Johannesburg he lived like 20 minutes away i guess. now he lives at the mtc

No i haven't learned any Afrikaans but that is my companions first language. some people here speak cosa as well with the clicks, as well as Malagasy. but i haven't put the effort in to learn any of the languages. most people speak English pretty well. they all have accents of course. love you too.

i haven't played the piano for any opening hymns, i have just played it because I'm bored but the teachers haven't discovered me yet. love you, bye

love, elder allen


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