Friday, May 20, 2011

On His Way

May 19, 2011

Greetings from the South Africa MTC in Johannesburg!!! It has been a long 2-3 days and I'm relieved that we are finally here.
Well...for starters, I guess I might as well reveal who the "VIP" that we met at the Salt Lake Airport was. As we were lining up to board our first flight who should walk up but Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!!! At first I was like wait a minute, what's he doing here? A couple of us missionaries (haha it's pretty cool I can say that now) went over to talk to him and it turns out he was on his way to India. I'm really glad he was there cuz I thought that since I'm going to Africa I wouldn't get to see GAs for the next two years. Well I was wrong and I'm glad I was!!! The coolest thing was that he was on our flight to Chicago. So we not only had about 35 missionaries but we had Elder Holland and a member of the Seventy as well. I included a picture of us with Elder Holland. At first he told us to just use one camera then share the picture but all of us had already handed our cameras to a lady that offered to help us out so he had no choice...:D

So the flight to Chicago was uneventful. I don't know what I thought of the pilot's landing (probably give him a 4/10) but hey, everyone makes mistakes :D It was the best thing ever!!! The first thing I saw when we landed at Chicago O'Hare was a LINE of 8 B-747s!!!! I've never seen one up close before and here I was at an airport where that is like the only thing that flies in and out. The terminal that we sat in to wait had big glass windows right next to the British Airways ramp also with a great view of the active runway.

We had a 5 hour layover in Chicago before we could board the plane for London Heathrow. During that time we talked to a few people about the church but mostly just got to know each other (the other missionaries). We flew on a B-777 to London. It was a MASSIVE plane. The seating had 3 seats on the edges then 5 seats on a center aisle. I got a window seat right behind the wing which was the best thing ever!!!

So I had an interesting experience in London. I had my first pat down!!!! jk It was kinda awkward, I walked through the metal detector machine, it went off and a guy waved me over and started giving me "the works." He finally found a penny in my back pocket, I'm glad that the good people of London will be safe from the many penny bombers running around Heathrow. It is comforting to know that they have such dedicated security staff. Well...anyways. So I am really glad that I'm going to Africa!!! I can't tell you how many girls we saw in the airports and planes, I thought it would be easy to deal with because I was a set apart missionary but...WRONGO!!! I feel for the missionaries that are going to California or TOOELE UTAH!!! (We have some great girls there :D) I'm glad that I will be able to concentrate fully on the Lord's work and not have to worry about so many distractions.

 About 20 miles from London we were sent into a holding pattern just southwest of the airport for a medical emergency. Everything was normal till out of the clouds above us popped a B-747. It was I swear 1,000 feet above our heads flying the same pattern as us at the same speed. It must have been fine with Air Traffic Control because they were right there above our left wing for 3 circuts of holds. I really wish I could have gotten a picture but my camera was in the overhead bin and it was "turbulent" so the crew said we had to have our seatbelts on.

So the 12 hour layover in London was probably the best and worst day of my entire life. It was the worst because it was 12 hours...but it was the best because our group split up into companionships and started passing out those pass along cards. There was this one guy that was reading alone on a bench and I went to talk to him. He seemed pretty disinterested but after I left him I glanced back and he seemed like he was in a trance. I hope the spirit was talking to him and maybe he would check out and look around a little bit.

Well...long story short I am sitting in the secretary's office in the South Africa MTC getting ready to go to lunch. 2 1/2 days of travel later I am ready to start learning how to best serve the people of Uganda.

Have a great week everyone!!! Please write me!!! I know I'm not really homesick now but I will be in a few weeks.

Elder Winters

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I figured it out! If you are using dearelder, you need to send Brandon's letters to the South Africa MTC mission. Once he's in Uganda, you can send them to that one.