Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Johannesburg Temple

Parker's teacher, Brother Ramiaramanana

The first picture in which his mouth has actually been closed.


Parker's words:  "This big guy was just flying all over my room and dive bombing us so that was freaking scary. We beat the devil out of him with a flip flop so that was fun."  :)

"This concludes another bug of the week."

Week 1!!! Sept. 9, 2015

Hey family!! I love you guys so much!

MANAONA!!!! That means Good morning in Malagasy!! Because it is probably morning time for you guys!! But I've been learning Malagasy from the Elder from Madagascar here! His name is Elder Rocotomulala and yes I can say that perfectly! ;) But really I can... sooooo yeah.

The first lesson that we taught, we just got wrecked so hard. like seriously, it was horrible. I didn't realize how hard it is!! Buuuuut our second lesson we did SOOOO much better! So that was really cool! The second lesson we just didn't worry about scripting it as much and just really paid attention to what the spirit was telling us. We were all like crying by the end of the lesson. Seriously it felt so real!!

There is an Elder here from the Congo!! His name is Elder Labamba so you knooooooow that we just sing Para Bailar la bamba to him all day long! ;) it still hasn't gotten old! ;)

If I had to pick one single thing that I have learned the most this week, it is how INCREDIBLY important the Spirit is. Like seriously I don't even know how to stress the importance of having the spirit with you when you teach. If we don't have the spirit, we literally can't even talk. It's happened so so much to me. But as soon as I pray and ask soooo hard to have the spirit with me and If I'm being obedient, words seriously just flow out of my mouth. I will get out of a lesson and just be like, "what the heck just happened....I didn't plan annnny of that" And I've always heard of that happening but I never thought it was true. Words literally flow out of your mouth. It's insane. The Holy Ghost is seriously the MOST important thing as a missionary. With the Spirit I know that I can literally do anything on my mission. I mean anything. I really do mean anything. Like think of the craziest thing you could think of. Yeah. We could do it with the spirit.

The food's not to bad here! It's just....different... hahaha I don't know how to explain it... The other day they fed us just a plain hot dog for breakfast. No bun or anything like that. Just a hot dog and eggs.... I don't know if they were like trying to have is be a sausage or something but yeah... that happened. Hahaha they say that us Americans are just raised on sugar and so everything is like waaaay less sweet here. I actually feel really good all the time cause I'm just eating super duper healthy now so some of you will be proud of me for that! ;) You know who you are! ;) Ohhhh the other day the fed us something called a fat cake! It's like a scone with a bunch of meat in it and it was soooooo good! The fish is super duper good here too! but yeah some stuff is just wacky.

Every single day we had an hour of sports time and we get to play like soccer and stuff like that! On Monday this week the actual Johannesburg missionaries were having their Pday and they all came and played soccer with us and these guys were ALLLLL AFRICAN! Like some of the most african people I've ever seen. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life. I've never seen better soccer players. I wish I could explain to you how good they were but it would literally be impossible!! SOOOO CRAZY! One guys was just the craziest most hilarious guy I've ever met in my life. He would just run around acting like a freaking monkey and doing backflips and stuff. All of this whilst playing soccer so that's just insane...One guy was Astrailian and the most manly man I've ever seen in my life. He looked like he was thirty and he was playing keeper for them and he would just jump five feet in the air, grab the ball with one hand and then LITERALLY throw the ball all the way down to the other goal. Like he tried to score by throwing it to the other goal... and this isn't a tiny field either! SO CRAZY!

There are also some craaaazy birds here! This morning one sounded like a car alarm and there are these ones that sound like this, "HAHA" Like a clown's soooo freaky.....

 I also bought a sweeeeet book of mormon here! It has zebra skin in the shape of africa on the front! So tight!
We went to the Johannesburg temple. That was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in my life. It's just so humbling to think that people will travel from allllll over just to come to this Temple. It was just so cool. It was amazing to be in there with all of the missionaries. The spirit was just so incredibly strong! I can't even describe it.... Just so good :) When we finally got out of the MTC complex it was AMAZING! We could actually go and see the country and it was so amazing! Everyone is so friendly and everyone just says Hi to everyone. This is definitely the place for me. I can feel it. I already love these people so so soooo much!

I can't tell you how much I've already grown so much. I wish I could put it into words but i just can't. I think my favorite day was here. All of the Elders gave little talks on the Atonement and I've never felt the spirit more in my entire life. We were all just crying and you could just tell how much we love the Atonement and how much we know it's true and how much it means to us. Just so amazing.

I am getting a little cabin fever though.... I've only been here a week but it feels like it's been 2 months! They definitely keep you busy! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET OUT INTO THE FIELD!!

I love you all sooooo much and I can't tell you how much I miss you. But I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that this gospel is true with all of my heart and I can't wait to share it with people! Plus, what's 2 years compared to eternity! I can be with you guys forever! So whilst I'm out here I'm gonna help as many people as I can to be with their families for eternity too :)

Love, Elder Eastmond <3

P.s. I'll send pictures too! okay love you bye!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Quick note

We have a little time to write today as well! I still don't even know when our actual P day is but I'll figure it out eventually! Hahaha I totally remember when we went to the creamery! So good. Mcdonalds is definitely not as good! hahaha

But Johannesburg is AMAZING! It's so weird that all the cars drive on the other side of the road though! I felt like we were gonna die when we were riding to the MTC! But the time difference is crazy! Even though I I was tired from the flight, I still woke up at like 12:30 last night and totally felt like it was time to wake up! So weird! Then is was impossible to get back to sleep but I don't feel that tired today so that's good! 

But we all woke up pretty early and we went out and played soccer! Or football I guess... haha but it's so sweet here! There is a football pitch, a volleyball court, a basketball court, cricket stuff, rugby balls, foosball, and A PING PONG TABLE!!! But alllll the ping pong balls are broken... I'm so mad! I'll have to wait before I can woop on all of the other Elders! ;) Seriously though it's been so fun! All of the Elders here are soooo awesome and we are all just like best friends!! Already! It's so cool! 

Well I love you guys and I hope that everything is going just swell! I'll talk to you later!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Elder Eastmond with Elder Grange and Elder Weiler. 
The nice lady from South Africa

(Who's probably thinking, "This is going to be a loooooong 15 hour flight.")


Hey my beautiful and wonderful family!! :) Lots of love from JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA!!! Seriously I'm so excited to be here and I can't even put it into words!

Did the title of my email scare you???? hahahahahaha well it really did happen.... 

So we took off from the Salt lake city airport and it was kind of a bumpy take off but everything was fine. While we were going up it started to rain. I didn't think much about it I just thought, "oh look, rain." so whilst we were ascending we had to go through this massive cloud. All of a sudden our plane gives this huge lurch, everything shuts off, the air, the lights, everything. And our plane starts to drop. Literally it was crazy. After probably like 7 seconds  everything comes back on and the plane starts to come up again... then the flight attendant comes over the speaker and is all flustered but says, "Hey so the pilots are kind of busy but we did in fact just get struck by lightning. Everything is okay and there is nothing to worry about!........yeah....our plane literally got struck by lightning....I honestly think that the only reason that I am alive right now is that there were like 10 elders on our plane. I think it's just a huuuuge sign that we were all meant to be here.

But we made it to the MTC fine! The flight didn't even feel that long! Most of the time I was sleeping and the rest of the time I was talking to this AWESOME south african lady that was sitting next to me! She told me soooo many cool things! And seriously, flying into Johannesburg airport and looking out the window and just thinking, "wow I'm in Africa" was the CRAAAAZIEST thing ever!

Also, I already had my first mission experience!! in all of our flight stuff we were given a pass a long card and I gave mine away! We were in the Atlanta airport and Elder Weiler, who I love by the way, needed to exchange his dollars for Rand. So we go to the currency exchange place and we are talking to the guy there and he was asking us why we were going to South Africa! And all of us just look at eachother and we are like, "here we gooooo" so Elder Weiler says, "we are going to preach the gospel of the LDS Church!" and the guy was like "how long are you going?" and we said, "2 years!" And his jaw just dropped! He thought that we were lying to him! and I said, "No seriously we are going to serve the people and teach them about our church! In fact, on this card you can learn all about our church if you are interested!" So I gave it to him and he was happy and he took it! Sooooo cool!! Anyways I hope that you are doing well! I'm excited to read all your letters! I wrote this before I even read anything cause I didn't know how much time I had! 

But my companion in the MTC is Elder Pinkston! He's a reaaaaal stickler for the rules so he'll keep me on track! I'll send pictures if I can! 

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Thanks for everything!



p.s. the A is capitalized because I'm bringing my A game.

After watching Parker go, we got some
breakfast at McDonalds, then went to Scheels
 to see if we could quit whimpering.

Devin is weird.

Last night together

Well, he is off. He flies to Atlanta and then will board another plane for a 15 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. He said he was going to try and finish the Book of Mormon. 

This is significant because every night Parker would tease Devin 
by giving everyone a hug before bed except him. Parker 
told him he would hug him before he left on his mission. 

Hmmmmm, I think we've
been photobombed... Good 
one Devin!

He looks like
a missionary!

We're trying really
hard to smile...

Monday, September 14, 2015


_1 day until departure to South Africa_
   Now, if you think that the journey of a mission begins the day that you arrive in the MTC, it is with the utmost respect that I inform you that you are absolutely, completely, undeniably wrong. You are. Stop trying to argue. You're wrong. The sooner you accept that, the easier life will be for you, trust me.
     The journey begins, for me at least, waaaaaaay back in primary school. With all the little kids sitting around you, one is crying, that kid is picking his nose, Thomas just punched Gary, and Franklin is back there cutting his own hair with a pair of scissors...oh wait, no, that was me...but in my defense my hair looked absolutely gorgeous after that. Anyways, back in primary, I had already made the decision that I was going to serve a mission. There really hasn't been a time in my life that I have ever not wanted to serve. There are just so many reasons why I want to go! The gospel has brought such comfort and happiness into my life that I would have NEVER been able to receive without it! I want to bring that happiness to the people of South Africa. I haven't even been there before but I already feel the deepest love and appreciation for them. It's kind of hard to explain but it's an amazing feeling! So by golly I'm going! I can't wait to see what's in store for me! My bags are packed, my suit is on, and my brain is ready! See you in Africa!