Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 27, 2014 Missionaries in a foreign field

Hannah found out she can send and receive emails from everyone.  She would love you to email her. For privacy, if you need her email address, please contact me.
Sister Rampersad

The first time a Jamaican braided my hair. let me just say taking it out was awful.

sorry about no caps. it's the computer..... love you!!

wat gwan???

ya that's right I speak jamaican... lol just kidding. to be completely honest i cant understand most of what these people say. patois sounds like a mix of chinese and spanish, but i am trying. i listen closely, watch body language and just pray that at some point i will be able to understand what these lovely people are saying.

well i guess i had better start from when i left the mtc. first of all i forgot to mention that during my last sacrament meeting in the mtc, my name was pulled from that big glass bowl. sister tuttle. yep i had to give a talk. actually all the sisters in the district were called so it wasn't that big of a deal. we all spoke on the book of mormon, but it was funny because we all touched on different aspects.

sister wood left early monday morning so then i had to be in a trio with sister lynn and garrett.

we flew all day on tuesday and it was awful. i cried as we flew out of salt lake. for the past few months whenever i would see an airplane taking off i would think, that will be me in a few months....weeks....days. and then there i was, on the plane heading for the biggest adventure of my life. because i still wasn't 100% better my ears were plugged for most of the day. it was really bad when we were coming into jamaica. my ears were so plugged and they wouldn't adjust to the altitude. it hurt so badly i ALMOST cried. dont worry though i kept strong.

president brown picked us up from the airport. he is so so sweet. and you will never guess....the car ride to his home was exactly like the indiana jones ride at disneyland. i honestly feared for my life at some moments. no worries though, we made it. he took us all to his home and we ate dinner. i had hardly eaten anything all day so i was starving. we ate a casserole made up of rice, cheese, chicken, and broccoli. it was delicious. it tasted like something i would eat at home. the sisters stayed the night at president browns house. i loved staying there. it felt like i was at home. the next day we had transfer meeting. on the drive we ate sack lunches consisting of bologna and mayo sandwiches and raisin cookies. the lord strengthened me and i ate it all.  my companions name is sister rampersad and we are serving in an area called may pen.

when i heard may pen i pictured this nice little country side with quite streets and kind people. take what i just said imagine the complete opposite, and that is may pen. after transfer meeting some of the sisters drove us out to our area. we are a walking area thank goodness (please don't let me get fat *praying hands emoji*) . we got into town around 6 and we went out for a few appointments. we visited a recent convert, anna-kay. that woman has a strong testimony. then we visited a few others. on our walk back home i was holding back tears, good thing it was dark. when we got home i just couldn't hold it in any more. i think sister rampersad was scared that she had done something wrong or i wanted to go home. she asked me why i was crying and i honestly couldn't tell her. i didn't know why i was crying. i wasn't really homesick or scared, i was just crying. i think it was just culture shock. you cannot even imagine what these people are living like. our apartment is the nicest place i have been in since we left president browns house. i am a lot better now. it helps that we walk everyday and i am starting to get to know our area. its not as big as it seemed those first few days.
those are Anna-Kay's children...they are adorable

our days are filled with appointments and meetings. i think it helps that we are so busy. it keeps my mind from wandering to home. occasionally it does though. i think of the clean air, clean streets, and kind people.

it smells really bad here. there is the normal bad smell occasionally overtaken with an even worse smell. but i finding the beauty in every day. the flowers here are beautiful. i have started picking them and pressing them. i want to bring a lot back home. i think sister rampersad thinks i'm crazy for picking all these flowers, but it keeps me happy.

people in jamaica are..........ummmmm....interesting, loud, HILARIOUS, some of them are crazy, but all of them speak their mind.  i have been called big but not fat. one boy told me that my hair was ugly, but everyone else seems to love it. in sacrament meeting yesterday this little boy sat by me and told me my hair was beautiful. i let him touch it and he gave me the biggest hug. i made him a paper crane and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. i don't know if that is allowed, but i'm gwan let it slide.

there is a crazy lady in our area. we have seen her two times and both times she has almost attacked us. it is scary. the first time we were heading home and it was dark and we were alone on the street. she stopped us and apparently she was swearing at us( if she was i didn't understand it) . she was swinging her arms...anyways we just pushed passed her. a car was driving by at the moment and they stopped to ask us if we were okay. we saw her again the other day on our way to the church in broad daylight. this time it was worse. she grabbed me and was yelling at me. probably because i am white.... i cant even remember what happened, but somehow we got away. it was right in the middle of town and after the little fiasco everyone was asking me if i was okay. later in the day this guy told us if we ever saw her again we should punch her... lol people here are so funny. it's so crazy because even though i feel like everyone is staring at me and hating me as we walk through town, the people always care when something happens. it is really comforting to me. it makes me feel like they really are looking out for me even if it doesn't seem like it. i know the lord is watching over me here, i can truly feel his comfort.

sister rampersad told me that may pen is probably the most difficult area sisters in jamaica serve. it's funny because before we received our area i was talking to sister garrett and she was telling me all the places she hopes to serve, and i just kept saying, i will just go where ever the lord needs me. well apparently that meant, lord, put me in the worse place possible. hahaha the Lord is funny. so now i am hoping that the rest of my mission will seem like heaven compared to may pen.

church on sunday was really nice. i bore my testimony during sacrament meeting with the rest of the new missionaries in this area. the members are kind and i am starting to get to know them better. i am trying to be a hugging missionary. i hug all our investigators, less actives, and members (only if they are female... of course!!)

i feel like all the things i heard about jamaica are true
i get called whitey ALL the time. and i mean alllllllllll the time.
also they really do have a problem with getting worthy priesthood holders here. i don't understand why but there just are not a lot of good, and willing men.
i have been proposed to by the same man twice and men ask me to come talk to them all the time. i just say hi and no thank you to all of them. its actually quite flattering. i walk down the streets and i here.... hey beautiful women....its just because i am white. lol.

this truly is an adventure and i am growing to love this place and the people more everyday. sorry if this letter made it sound like i don't love it here, because i do. there were just so many feelings this past week. it is getting better though.

just a note on jamaicans;
their priorities include:
a cell phone (even in their poverty... some are even smart phones)
a tv
a fan
in that order

well this church is true no matter where you are. the lord protects you no matter where you are. he loves you no matter who you are.

i love you all. thank you for the prayers and kind thoughts.
with all the love in jamaica,
sister tuttle

p.s. sister rampersad says i can email friends.............soooooooooooooo everyone write me emails:)

my christmas list
another pair of JBU shoes ( i love them with all my heart)
more 100% deet bug spray ( i love it with all my heart)

I forgot to tell you that my showers are cold....also we haven't had water twice....AND I HAVE ONLY BEEN HERE 5 DAYS!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19, 2014: Surprise...extra MTC letter!

Well mom that little stuffy nose you warned me about.... I got it. When I got that letter I was feeling completely fine, but for the past few days I have been a little sick. I think you sent it with the letter. Oh well I guess it was inevitable. Now let’s just hope I don't get chikungunya *fingers crossed*.  I lied when I said I only got to write home once. We were given permission from our branch president to write today since we will miss our p-day this next week! (Three cheers to that!!)

     I think I forgot to tell you that Sister Wood and I were called as zone sister training leaders in the last letter. Probably because it doesn't really mean anything while you are in the MTC, and because my MTC stay is so short. Well we got to carry a cell phone around all the time (We would pretend to call people on it all the time...lol we are hilarious). We also were able to give the incoming elders and sisters a little orientation to the MTC. It was kind of weird because at the time we had only been here for a week, but there we were teaching the ways of the MTC.

     I love Sister Wood. I think we have more fun here than anyone else. We laugh all the time. I am really grateful for that, it takes off a lot of stress. We are also constantly doing that thing the boys in "things mormons say". Ya know where they whistle I am a Child of God and they use the pitch hand. We sing and hum and whistle all the time. Anyways we have fun here.

     On Friday we had our In-field orientation. Or in other words, nine hours of motivational speakers and missionary related activities. It was long as can be, but Elder Christensen from the District came and taught us. I felt like I was meeting someone famous. He looks different in regular clothes...The funniest part of the orientation was one of the ladies was talking to us about goals and planning and she goes,
Oh man it reminded me of that amazing day up in the mountains.
I think one of the most important things I learned during that orientation was the importance of missionaries working with members. MEMBERS ARE THE KEY! Seriously. Mom and Dad you already gave me this talk, but this really hit it home for me. I made the goal to build trust with members and use them as resources as much as possible on my mission.

     I had my last lessons with Sister Wood on Saturday. We committed George (Brother Crosby) to baptism and taught him about the gifts of the Holy Ghost and of eternal life. I am really learning to teach by the spirit. I can always tell the difference of when we teach from the spirit then when we teach from our own knowledge. We also taught Melissa for the last time. I loved teaching George right from the start, but with Melissa it was harder. It wasn't until our third lesson with her that this overwhelming love for her came over me. I really care for her and I really appreciate all she taught me through our lessons with her. It's funny because I thought that after I said goodbye to all my friends and family from home I would be done with goodbyes for the next year and a half. What in the world was I thinking?? I almost cried saying goodbye to Melissa because who knows if I will ever see her again. Sister Wood leaves tomorrow and I know I am going to cry. UGG why do I get so attached? I can tell it is going to be hard for me to leave areas in my mission. Good thing I don't have to worry about that right now.

     So you know those mint brownies you sent me? Well the day I picked up the package Sister Wood and I sat in the courtyard and ate one (they were delicious, thank you). I decided that there was no way I was going to be able to eat all of them before I left and I wanted to share with people outside my zone. As we sat on the bench we looked for people who seemed like they would really appreciate some homemade mint brownies. This group of elders walked by and I offered them the brownies. They were so excited and they popped them open and ate them as we talked. They absolutely loved them (how could you not?) . It was so fun the hear them talk about the brownies. Also now whenever we see them around they yell, "BROWNIE SISTERS"!!!

     Well I just want to say thank you to everyone who has sent me letters and packages. It has been such a comfort. Especially since most of the packages contained cookies and candy. I love hearing from home.

     I love you all! Thank you so much for your encouraging and uplifting words.

Sister Tuttle

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oct. 15, 2014: My First (and only) Letter from the MTC

Sister Wood (my companion) and I

My District (some going to Jamaica and others
to the West Indies)

My Zone

Dear family and friends,

YAYAYA!! My first and only letter in the MTC! First of all I just want to crack a myth about the MTC. I have never once had to wake up at 5:30. The very earliest is 6:15. If anyone ever tells you that, tell them it is a lie. Next I just want to let you know how hard one hour of email time is for me. I am so used to telling everyone (especially mom) every part of my day. There have been so many moments when I have thought, man I need an hour of email time every day. Well mom and dad I hope you got my letter, and hopefully you now understand what happens on the first day. I cannot even tell you how quickly things get going around here. Even though it has only been one week I really feel like I have adjusted to missionary life. And to tell you the truth, I really am loving it. It sounds so crazy and cliché, but it's really great here.

The food here really is pretty awful. I pretty much eat a bagel for breakfast and salads for lunch and dinner every day. Also, since I am not snacking throughout the day, I know I have already lost weight. Other than that the MTC is wonderful. I learn so much every day. We have around three hours of study time every day and then six hours of class. We have two teachers, Sister Jordan and Brother Crosby. They are great teachers and I am so grateful for them.

On the first day here the district welcoming us to the MTC told us that our zone holds hands (of course not sisters and elders! Scandalous) while we pray. It was so uncomfortable! Then a few sisters in our zone started enforcing that tradish in our district. We pray a lot, which means a lot of uncomfortable hand holding. Finally Sister Jordan said, "how about we try folding our arms today". Ever since then we have not held hands. THANK YOU SISTER JORDAN! Also on the first night our branch president told us that everyone had to prepare a talk for Sunday and we wouldn't find out who was giving it until he announced it in sacrament meeting. All I could think was, what is this? The Hunger Games?

Every day we do something called progressing investigator.  This is where our teachers pretend to be investigators. This is the real deal. One of the Elders in our district thought it was pretend so he offered Sister Jordan (acting as investigator Alyssa) an imaginary Book of Mormon. The investigator asked him what book and it ended pretty awkwardly. Thank goodness he made that mistake before we taught Brother Crosby (acting as investigator George). Every time Sister Wood and I teach George I learn something new. It is the coolest experience to truly feel God's love for his children. It’s so weird that even though Brother Crosby is just acting as George, I have truly grown to love George. It is difficult, but I look forward to teaching him every time.  It has been really hard for me to learn how to teach by the spirit. I feel like my whole life every time I have felt the spirit it has been in a meeting or when someone is bearing their testimony. I have learned how to recognize that spirit, but teaching with the spirit is completely different. Some of the Elders in our Zone gave me a blessing to help discern the spirit while teaching. It was so comforting.  It is difficult, but I am learning.

We also teach members here at the MTC and yesterday we taught a member over skype. I love teaching members. It's so comfortable to teach someone who already understands the things we are trying to convey. Besides teaching our teachers and members we also do TRC (teacher resource center). Every other day we teach an investigator who may or may not be a member of the church. Sister Wood and I teach Melissa. The first day we taught her we wanted to focus on getting to know her first. We ended up spending over 40 minutes getting to know her and ended with about a 10 minute lesson. After our TRC we had class and coincidentally our lesson was on starting lessons and getting to know our investigators. Brother Crosby said, "If you know your investigators cat’s name, you are probably getting to know them too much." Melissa's cats name is Jinxie. Well, we learn from those experiences.

I LOVE Sister Wood. We get along so well and we are so alike. We literally showed up with a bunch of the same clothes. Also her major is family studies. It's so cool to be companions and friends. I know the Lord put me with Sister Wood for a reason. She teaches me so much and I am so sad she is going to the West Indies and not Jamaica. Oh well, she lives in Provo so we will have to see each other after our missions. Also Sister Wood is John and Merrie Wood’s niece. How cool is that? You will have to let them know!

When I wrote the letter home I told you that there were 4 elders and 4 sisters in my district. Well one of the elders went home on Sunday. Pray for him. It was so sad to see him leave and it was such an eye opening experience. THIS IS REAL!

Well I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. And keep choosing the right. Remember your goals.

With all my love,
Sister Tuttle

P.S. Sister Wood gets like 5 Dear Elder letters every day. I wanna humble her a little:) So write me lots of letters every day. Also I just love hearing from everyone.

The small amount of mountain I see every day.
I kind of miss seeing that.