Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24, 2014

Walking in the rain

HAPPY P-DAY EVERYBODY!!!  I hope your Monday is fabulous!
This past week has been a long one. It wasn't necessarily bad, it just seemed to drag. Oh well, I guess that is how it goes sometimes...
Every three months missionaries are to have interviews with President Brown. He came to May Pen and interviewed the missionaries here. Except for me because they were really behind schedule, and I just got here so I guess it wasn't really necessary. Sister Rampersad told me that President Brown told her to train me to be ready to train as soon as my training is over....EEKK! Then Munchie had an interview with him (even though she is not a missionary yet, she is feeling pretty overwhelmed so she talked with him). President Brown told her that her trainer will most likely be some one she already knows... EEKK! What if I train Munchie?? I would absolutely love that!
Waiting for our investigator Stacy

Remember Evard? Ya he is pretty much gone. I don't know what happened! We had a few really spiritual lessons with him, he came to church and seemed to enjoy it. Then he just stopped answering our calls and texts. We still see him at the grocery store, but he wont meet with us anymore. Sad:( I guess that's just how missionary work goes. The Lord is blessing us with a lot of new investigators though. Reynae and Donna-Kay are our two most progressing investigators. They both are coming to church, reading, and praying. We are working really hard to keep them on this path.
Picture perfect kitty

So it is tradish in Jamaica to flour people on their birthday. Flouring just means you just dump a bag of flour on someone head. It's pretty great. It was Sister Coleman's and Sister Mashabella's (the other sister companionship in this district) birthday this past week. Sister Rampersad floured Sister Mashabella on Wednesday and I was planning on flouring Sister Coleman on Friday. Everything was ready I had the bag of flour sitting next to me and I was just waiting for the perfect moment. When I went to reach for the bag, it was gone! I look around and Munchie had taken it and a few seconds later she dumped it on Sister Coleman's head. I guess she thought I wasn't going to do it or something. I was kinda sad, but people have birthdays all the time.
Flouring Sister Mashabella

Sister Rampersad and I walk along this one road (sevens road) every single day. Every day we pass this school (May Pen Centeral). There are always security guards standing in front of the gate and lately there has been this Rasta man sitting in front of the gate too.  The Rasta always calls out to Sister Rampersad and I. He calls me pineapple and Sister Rampersad champagne. The other day we were walking by and one of the security guards askes us to share a scripture with him. Before we opened our scriptures all of these kids from the track team ran over and started listening. Sister Rampersad shared one from the Bible and I shared one from Nephi. We literally shared God's word with like 10 high schoolers, a Rasta, and 2 security guards. We were laughing pretty hard as we walked away. Of course we invited all of them to church.
Our District

It was the primary program here in May Pen too. The Mullings are a family that we are working to reactivate. Shanekea was given a part in the program and Sister Mullings asked me to help her write it. She is 9 years old and she has a slight learning disorder so it is hard for her to read. I drew pictures for her. It felt like something Dad would do. Whenever we saw her throughout the week she told me she was practicing. It was so cute. Sunday rolls around, and they didn't show up for church. I was pretty disappointed. It just doesn't seem fair that she practiced so much and then she didn't even get to say her part. The program was really good though. I think May Pen Branch has more children in their primary than Mueller Park 2nd Ward.
Sometimes I play with the Plan of Salvation puzzle during companion study

After church this one man came up to Sister Rampersad and I and asked us if he could draw us. We were like....Uhh we have to teach a class right now (the missionaries take turns teaching mission prep). He was like, it's okay I can do it during class. Weird. Awkward. I am telling you the weirdest stuff happens here!!

The YSA had an activity on Saturday and we jokingly told Munchie to bring us some food back for us. Well she actually did! At church she pulls out some crackers, nuts and a muffin!! I was really excited. When we got home I pulled it out of the bag and realized it had rasins. Ew. Of course I wasn't going to let it go to waste so I was picking the rasins out of it. I took a few bites and thought it tasted really gross. Then we went to visit Anna-Kay (recent convert) and she said she brought one home for her daughter, but her 7 year old daughter didn't want to eat it because there was too much rum in it.... MAN! I am way to innocent for this place.
Rum and raisin muffin:(

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all soooooooooooooooooo much!
Sister Tuttle

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

 Helping recent convert Anna-Kay with wash

Can I just say how funny it is that every single person who wrote me this past week wrote about the snow/cold weather. HA. HA. HA. I can't even remember what snow is. Lol just kidding, I actually miss it. We could use a few feet of snow in May Pen. That would be nice.

Yanique and Shaniqua wearing mine and Sister Rampersad's glasses

This past week we had a sisters meeting in Kingston. It was good, but like every meeting in this church it was long. 8 hours long to be exact. They fed us lunch though so it was all good. We learned about the hastening of the work and having an eye single to the glory of God. There was one sister who gave a talk on forgiveness and towards the end of her talk she started talking about suicide. She said, "think of all the people who commit suicide because they cannot forgive themselves". First of all I don't feel like that was really appropriate to bring up in the meeting, but the worst part was I couldn't stop thinking of Austenland. "Think of all the people who hang themselves and the next day they feel different. Don't kill yourself Jane." I just kept laughing to myself. I am still laughing about that.
Sister Arnet

Baby hands....I mean chicken feet

Anyways, Elder Cornish (a member of the seventy, over this mission) talked to us about loving our investigators. He gave the example of in school do we have the desire to do well in a class where we hate the teacher (Mr. Newton?)... probably not. But what about when we love the teacher (Mrs. Lewis?)... YES! I am trying to show my love to investigators and I hope they feel it. Elder Cornish also talked about how Christ loves us enough to give us opportunities to help ourselves. Our salvation is up to us!
Sister Rampersad helping an investigator keep the Law of Chastity

Because of this meeting I have had such a desire to become a better missionary. I don't want to hold anything back. I want to give all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I know that is what the Lord wants me to do, so he will strengthen me.
On our way to investigator Nickola's house on a rainy afternoon.

Later in the week we were teaching our investigator Donna-Kay. She is super cool and really receptive to the gospel. We always teach her on the porch of her house and there are always goats about. So we were in the middle of our lesson and I feel something pulling on my skirt. I look down and this baby goat was just sitting there chewing on my skirt! Are you kidding me? That would never happen the missionaries in Utah. Lol funny weird things like that happen to us all the time.
Sister Rampersad and I are working to build trust with the members. We volunteered to help clean the church and also to teach relief society. Relief society in Jamaica is interesting... For one thing it is loud in the classroom because of all the fans so it is hard to hear people talking and reading quotes and scriptures. Next, Jamaicans are very opinionated. Everyone has something to say and they will say it! Needless to say it took us the whole lesson to get though about 2 points of the lesson.
That is just how Jamaica is. I have noticed that it is hard to feel the spirit in any given lesson because it is always loud. Dogs barking, cars honking, children crying, tv's, radios, yelling, fans....seriously it is never quiet. We do our best though and the Lord makes up the rest (that rhymed... inspired).
We didn't get to see Evard this week because of the sisters meeting and his work, but we are hoping to see him a few times this week. He works at the grocery store so whenever we go we check out in his line. It feels a bit stockerish, but I guess that is what good missionaries do.

A traditional Jamaican meal. A patty and a bag juice. Yum!

Speaking of the grocery store, it has pretty much everything. We have branched out from tacos to BLT's. Yum. They  don't have crystal light here and I keep asking myself why I didn't fill my whole carry on with a year and a half supply of it. The water is good though. We have a water filter hooked up to our tap, and I really appreciate that. I brush my teeth with tap water, and I even drink water from other people houses. I haven't even gotten sick yet. Fingers crossed for no chickengunya or runny belly!  We go to the market for vegetables and it is the best! We have access to a lot of different fruits and vegetables.

We run around the block every other day, and the other days usually look like this..... 

I love you all! Thanks for the emails, pictures, and recipes! Keep them coming!!
Sister Tuttle

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Everything But Normal

I heart the pineapples here!

I am filled with so much joy and love that I am almost brought to tears right here in the internet cafe. I am so grateful for all the kind and uplifting words. I just absolutely love hearing from all of you lovely people.
Can you believe it?? I have been out for a whole month. Is my ipod broken yet? I received Grandma Tuttle's letter that she wrote in October. In it she wrote, in two weeks you will have 17 months to go. I seriously had to laugh out loud. I love you Grandma! Time is a weird thing here. The days don't necessarily feel long, but when I look back on a day it feels like the shortest day ever. And that is how it goes every day.
One word: Dominos

Sister Rampersad and I decided to go to Dominos for lunch. Best. Decision. Ever. Made. I kid you not I was so happy sitting there eating cheese pizza. It felt like America, and it smelled like America. I decided we will be going back regularly.  We also decided to switch internet cafes. This one is a little more expensive, but hopefully it will load pictures faster.
I have some bad news.....All my pictures from my mission up to this point were deleted last Monday. I was on the verge of tears for probably an hour. Oh well, I told myself that it had to happen at least once on my mission. I have now vowed to save pics on my USB every week now. I am just glad I was able to send a lot home a few weeks ago. And to make up for it I have been taking a lot of pictures.
My first (and probably last) coconut. It was a little nasty. 

I also have some really good news... Actually it's a story. We got a referral from the other sisters in this area. His name is Evard. Evard? I know I still have trouble saying it. Anyways we met for the first time last Tuesday. OH MAN! This man is so prepared to hear this gospel! He said things like I have been searching for a church that I will feel is the true church, and as we continue to meet you will get to know me and my trials more. As we were sitting in the lesson I was just imagining him as a worthy priesthood holder. We met with him the next Thursday and taught him the restoration of the gospel. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read and pray about the things we are teaching him. He was so receptive. He came to church yesterday. In gospel principles we learned about temples and family history. I was worried because he hasn't even had the plan of salvation lesson, but it was soooooo good! He was really interested and was asking a lot of questions. We can't see him until Thursday this week, but I cannot wait! I realized why I love teaching him so much. It's because he is my first real investigator that I am starting from the very beginning. Oh I love this work so much!
 The other day we helped an investigator with her wash. Hand wash. Outside. It's hot in Jamaica. I am really grateful for a washing machine in our apartment.
Dad, I received the email with the picture of the breadfruit, but I haven't tried it yet. I guess I am kind of on my own with the whole cultural aspect of my mission. Sister Rampersad teaches me a lot about how to be a good missionary, but I am the one forcing cultural immersion. Instead of going to the grocery store last week for produce I insisted we go to the market. It was amazing! I love the market. All these people yelling at you to buy their fruit that is the same price as their neighbor. It was incredible. We are going again this week, and I will keep an eye out for breadfruit. Although I haven't had breadfruit I am still obsessed with Jamaican fruit. Namely pineapples and bananas. We have a blender in our apartment and I have started making smoothies on a regular basis. I am so happy.
The other night I had a dream that I was grocery shopping with mom at Dick's. It was so normal and clean. I woke up and I was so happy. That is honestly the best dream I have ever had in my life. Even better than dreams that involve Harry Potter. Hahaha sometimes I miss normalcy and clean streets. Oh well, it's always an adventure here.

I am really working hard with being friends with the members. I think it's working. Sister McClaren (a long time member) told me I was cool. YA! I will keep working on that.
People in Jamaica have the worst excuses for everything. We have one investigator that hasn't come to church in a while. When we asked her why she didn't come one particular Sunday she told us that when she was ironing her clothes to come to church she burned them.... I seriously had to hold back my laughter. The funniest part was, when we saw her she was wearing a perfectly unburned skirt. Oh well, we will keep trying!
In the middle is the beloved Munchie, Munch for short. Also, Sunday was scarf day. Notice that all the scarves were mine . . .

Mom, I know you think that you are too young to be a grandma, but if you lived in Jamaica you would be an old grandma. One lady we are teaching is 37 and she has a 5 month old grandbaby. I don't know, I thought that would make you feel better.
May Pen is hot. It is hot. It is hot. And the showers are cold and occasionally non existent. You would think that you would welcome a cold shower after hours in the hot Jamaican sun, but no. no. no. no. no. no. However I do love the rain. The rain is so good. And to answer your question dad,  I just wear what I normally wear in the rain. Reason being is I never know if it is going to rain or not. Jamaica is more bipolar than Utah.

Lol it's all good here. I love all you normal people with all my hearts. Thanks again for all the letters and emails. Keep them coming. Send pictures. Send simple recipes and ideas for dinner. I love you. I love you. I love you.
With all the love in the whole wide universe,
Sister Tuttle

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

I was taking pictures and all of a sudden there were all these adorable children around! I had to take a picture.

this is our house, it is super safe. 

My dearest, dearest family and friends,

First of all I love you all so much. I am trying to be a consecrated missionary and really focus on the work, but thoughts of home and of all of you sneak into my thoughts often. I love you.

Ya know it's funny, before I came on my mission I had all these images of myself in Jamaica. Some of them really do happen such as bun head EVERY day. I imagined myself walking by the ocean and eating a bunch of Jamaican food. The reality is that I have been here for two weeks and I haven't even seen the water. When I flew into Jamaica it was dark and May Pen is far from the coast....oh well. The Lord knows that would probably be way to much of a temptation. Also I have hardly had any true Jamaican food. I have of course had a famous Jamaican pattie and a bag juice (sugar water in a bag). I don't know I guess I just assumed that members would be feeding us every night. That is far from true. There is one member that feeds the missionaries in this area once a week. Her name is Sister Sterling and she is a sweetheart. You are never going to guess what she fed us.....CHICKEN FOOT! That's right. Chicken. Foot. Foot. Foot. That is one thing I hope to never get used to. Sister Rampersad kept saying it looks like a baby hand. That made it even harder to eat.  I do love the chicken rice and beans though. They are delicious. 

Sister Rampersad is from a part of Trinidad that is very Americanized. Sometimes I forget, and assume she knows all this stuff about Utah.... Anyways she doesn't have an accent and she doesn't cook. I cook. I am determined not to go back to my college diet of oatmeal for all three meals. Although I do still eat oatmeal for breakfast I am trying to make other things. I make plans and grocery lists at the beginning of the week and usually follow through with the plans. I make tacos a lot. I love tacos. I have made french toast, pancakes, spaghetti, and eggs. Last week we bought everything from a store, but I plan on buying stuff from the market today. I think it will be cheaper and taste better. I think if I did not have this attitude towards cooking we would be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for every single meal. 

Speaking of cooking the grocery store here is weird. Eggs and milk are on shelves. Also the milk is awful. So awful that I have had a half gallon for the past two week (I know this is unheard of!!!) I will take pictures. 

I take a lot of pictures but they are really hard for me to send here. I will try my best to send some, but they take a long time to upload. BUT I can easily receive your pictures and I can even print them. So in other words you people need to send me pictures of your life. 

The Lord called me to Jamaica for a reason. And do you know what that reason is? I will tell you....the only type of syrup they even have on the shelves here is Aunt Jemima. Is it a coincidence that is the only kind of syrup I like? I THINK NOT!!!

We had a zone meeting in Mandeville last week so we had to take an hour long taxi/bus ride to get there. Let me tell you. It was awful. 20 people squished into a 15 person bus. It's hot as can be and the wind from open windows just makes everything worse. Anyways we made it there and the meeting was semi-worth the whole process. Oh well we only have to go once a month and it makes me appreciate May Pen more. 

Dad, I just wanted to happily let you know that I have used my family history book in family home evening lessons twice!!!! I love it more that you could ever know. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love it because it gives the members more of an opportunity to get to know be better. The children always want to look at the pictures and guess which one I am in the pictures. There are crazy people in Jamaica, but there are also really incredible people.

Sister Rampersad and I are always busy (except when it rains, Jamaicans are scared of the rain so apparently that means they can't even meet with the missionaries). We have at least 5 people working towards baptism, but it is hard to get people to keep their commitments. We are also teaching a lot of less actives. When we teach less actives that means we are teaching people who have been baptized within the past year and have stopped coming to church. It is crazy to think that you could develop such a testimony of this gospel to be baptized and then just stop coming to church. I think it is because they were not completely converted before they were baptized. Sometimes missionaries just want baptisms.

Saturday was national service day for the church. What did you guys do? As a branch we went to an infirmary.  I combed and braided ladies hair, feed them soup, and I had the unfortunate opportunity to give a few sponge baths. UMMM....let’s just say when I get home I probably won,t go into nursing. LOL! It's all the Lords work. 

Munchie is a 20 year old member who comes teaching with us every day. I love her so much. She will be serving in the Jamaica Kingston mission coming this February. When I see her faith and willingness to come out with us every day it makes me feel bad for how I was before my mission. We really appreciate her input and testimonies in lessons and she is a great fellow-shipper. I keep telling her I am going to be her trainer. I really hope that happens. Also because she is from May Pen she cannot serve in May Pen so that means I would be out of here by February. I also hope that happen. Not that I don't love it here because I really do. Sometimes it just smells really bad. Also it is really hot here. Sister Rampersad said this is the hottest area sisters serve in. I hope that is true because if I go any where hotter than here I am going to die. 

The branch here is actually pretty big. Honestly it sound like it may be bigger than our home ward. The members all have very strong personalities and there is always a heated discussion in relief society. Oh well it keeps things interesting. 

Just a few facts about Jamaica and Jamaicans:
Women do not shave their legs. It reminds me of that one time I didn't shave my legs for 3 months so I could go fast at region....Ew never again.
I don't think they got the message of only one ear piercing here because almost all the women in the ward have more than one. 
Everyone here speaks patois. It's hard because if you go somewhere speaking another language you stay in the MTC longer to learn it. They just threw me out here and they expect me to just pick it up. Literally that is what everyone says to me, "you will just pick it up". ummm okay... I am praying for patience and understanding. 
It has rained almost every day (thank goodness! it drops the temperature for a little while), but then the sun comes back and all the hot air rises and it smells SOOOOO bad!

I hate this because I feel like there is still more to be said. How about 5 hours of email time on P-day??  Anyways I love you all. Send me picture. Keep your goals. Write me. Read your scriptures. Pray every Day. Go to church. Love every one. Stay strong..... And do any other good thing you can think of.

With all the love in the whole wide world,
Sister Tuttle

Ps. I just want to take a moment to thank my biff Jaxon for teaching me how to walk slowly. People really do walk slowly. Seriously. 

pps. why have I not heard a single word from Raquel and Aubrey?? are we even family?