Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week 1- First Week in the MTC

Whatsup everybody!

So this week has been good! It's definitely been the longest week of my life, not in a bad way or anything, but it just seems like such a long time since I got here! Like I talked about a little in my last email, my companion is Elder Phiri (pronounced peery), he's 22 and he's from Zambia! He's a cool guy. I had to explain a couple things to him, like what dry wall is (the only houses he's been in were just cement blocks) and the fact that ironing the inside of your shirt doesn't do anything haha but he's a great missionary. He has a pretty cool conversion story, too. He used to tell the missionaries he would be at his house, and then like five minutes before they got there he would run away and call them and be like oh sorry I'm busy! This was when he was 18, so the missionaries stopped coming, and about a year later he was like "I need to change my life." He knew he needed to go to church, and he had a few choices, so he picked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then was converted and is now serving a mission! It can be difficult because even though he speaks English, it's his 4th language, so I've had to learn how to communicate better with him, but it's been good! 

One of the first things I learned when I got here was the difference between an adapter and a converter! A converter converts the 220 volts into 110, and an adapter fries your alarm clock and electric toothbrush charger! hahaha so maybe you would be able to send me a new charger in a month or two :) But don't try to send any packages or letters in the mail, because the postal service has been on strike for a few months, so I'll update you if a find a way that isn't really expensive. Because right now to send a 4 pound package would be a couple hundred dollars. 

I think I talked in my last email about this MTC. It's the smallest in the world, there's only 12 of us Elders here haha. So even though my companion and I are District Leaders, it's only four us and 4 other missionaries, which is cool I guess! There's six Africans, five Americans, and Elder Ainslie, the Brit haha, he's hilarious.
We're really busy here, either learning in class or teaching the "investigators," which are really just the instructors. But even though they're acting, the spirit is still really strong in our lessons, and I'll ask questions that I had never even thought about asking them! Teaching makes me excited to actually go out in the field and talk to people in their homes.
Sorry I can't really send pictures back, the network here is too slow, but I'll be able to send some next week once I'm in the field! 
Anyway, love you all! I know this church is true, and I'll be teaching that in a week! Thanks for all the emails! Peace

Elder Savage on the airplane
South Africa MTC
Playin a little game of foosball 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First blog post!

Hey everyone!

Stephen landed in South Africa around 11pm Wednesday night for us, which was Thursday morning for him. Here are some of the emails he sent different family members about his trip!

Thanks mom! Yeah the flights were good, I slept for about 4 of the 8 hours to London, and then 5 of the 10.5 to South Africa! But I'm still soo tired haha. We flew with like 20 missionaries to Dallas who were going to Portugal, and then slowly we met up with others going to Johannesburg, Mozambique, and Zambia. The past days went by pretty quickly, but I'm excited to get a good night's sleep tonight because I've been up for awhile! I'm not sure when my normal pday is, but we just got here at the MTC a few hours ago, and have just got settled it, got some shots and filled out paperwork and are now emailing! My companion is from Zambia, his name is Elder Phiri, he seems like a pretty cool guy! There's only 11 of us for the next two weeks, apparently this is the smallest MTC, so it should be good. 

(Christie sent Stephen a couple pictures of his nephew, Daxton). Hahaha those pics of Dax are amazing! But yeah the first flight was uneventful, and then the second flight (8 hrs) I had two seats to myself so I just slept. I woke up and I had this thick cheetah blanket on me, and I was super confused and then this black lady on the next row over was like "I put it on ya. You looked cold." Hahaha I was just like wow that's like the coolest thing anyone's ever done for me. And then I sat next to a french guy on the 11 hour flight and played this trivia game on the monitor, but a lot of the questions had to do with the UK because that's where I flew out of, so it was basically impossible. 


Thanks Jeff! Yeah I was reading that talk at like 3am on the plane last night, and I wrote like a page and half on what I thought about it. I'm really crazy tired right now, and I don't have the notes that I took, but basically I thought it was a pretty good post. One of the things I disagreed with was when he was talking about dark feelings, and how God doesn't put those in our hearts, but what I thought he failed to mention is that the dark feelings we get when we encounter something bad isn't God telling us it's bad, it's just the Holy Ghost leaving. And also I thought his thoughts on the new temple movies was a little haughty, you know about him not being able to receive revelation because it was too over dramatic, because I know I receive revelation each time I watch the movies. But I really liked the quote by that BYU vp about how a lot of LDS movies and literature tugs at your heart strings, and that makes us think we're feeling the spirit, even though it's just sentimentality. And also one of the things that I'll continue to ponder was the quote where he said something like If you think the spirit is confirming an answer because you feel good, or telling you no because you feel bad, then you're basically the devil's puppet. That spoke to me because that's how I've tried to determine if I feel the spirit that way for the past little while, but I feel like I never really have a clear understanding of what the spirit was trying to say. So all in all, he said some good things that are definitely worth thinking about. Thanks again for the read! 

We're not sure when his P-day will be yet, but we're excited to hear all about his first few days/week there! Send Elder Savage some emails or letters at, or via Here's a picture of his MTC Zone!