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,
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?