Elder Kay left home at 4:45am on Tuesday 27th December 2011 to serve a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left from Newcastle Airport and travelled via London Heathrow and Los Angeles, arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December (having completely missed out December 28th as his flight left LA at 10 minutes to midnight on December 27th). To quote Elder Kay "On the flight to LA it was clear over the rockys and was so beautiful. The flight over was fairly uneventful apart from the fact LA airport makes no sense but I found the gate in time and waited... and waited... and waited"
He finally arrived at the MTC about 10am. MTC stands for Missionary Training Centre, where Elder Kay spent just over 2 weeks, from December 29th to January 17th, It's situated near Auckland New Zealand. Most of the missionaries there were from the Pacific area, with one or two from England and Ireland. Elder Kay made friends from England, Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand. His companion in the MTC, Elder Kolose, was Samoan and at first struggled a little with the English language, but soon improved. He gave Elder Kay an i'a, which is traditional Samoan dress.
Time in the MTC is spent in intensive gospel study interspersed with sports, meals, household duties (washing clothes, keeping the room clean and tidy) and of course sleep and, on one day, a trip to the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. Elder Kay said the coach trip was incredibly beautiful and it was lovely to do some work in a different setting. He didn't say much about the food over there, except for some biscuits called Tim Tams which he thought were sooooo good.
Elder Kay said the MTC experience was over fast but he was looking forward to arriving in Australia.