So in these past couple days Elder Bates hopped on a couple planes. One in Salt Lake City which took him to Chicago, and then another one to London, and then another to Johannesburg, and then a final one to Antananarivo Madagascar, and if everything went smoothly he would have arrived at 2:10pm Mada time which was 5ish (am) our time. So Elder Bates is most likely in Madagascar right now!
While Elder Bates was enroute he was aloud to call family from the airports. Which meant I got to talk to him! It was so good to hear his voice and he sounded so good. He said that the only part that was hard about being out of the MTC was entering a world with a lot of crap right out in the open. For example tons of magazines everywhere with scantily clad women, or girls walking around who don't dress modestly at all. He was very excited to take an air bus from the Chicago to London. He also mentioned that he was a little nervous, I mean just the thought of living in a different country for 2 years without family or really knowing the language that well is pretty nerve racking.
He said once he got into London that he slept on the floor of the airport for a long time (he had about a 9 1/2 hour layover there) and by the time he called me he had been there for about 5 hours already with not much to do, so he was happy to talk about ANYTHING no matter how dumb it was.
He also mentioned that he would really like to know more about what is going on at home, and that it will not make him miss it too much. So if your writing him letters don't be afraid to tell him about the happenings of your friends in fear that it would make him miss it a lot.
Here are his exact flight plans (mostly for his own records):
british airways leave salt lake at 1120am 10th
british airways arive in chicago at 325pm 10th
british airways leave chicago at 805 pm 10th
" " arive in london at 945 am 11th
" " leave london at 710 pm 11th
" " arive in joeburg at 655 am 12th
south african airways leave joeburg at 10 am 12th
" " arive in antananarivo at 210 pm 12th.
these are all local times. so your gunna have to do the math to figure out what time it will be there each time.