Monday, August 31, 2015

Week #29 - I'll Take Mine to Go With a Side of Humility

Hey family!

This week was alright.  Almost everything all week long just fell through... Not sure if this is just a big test of patience and faith or what but it has been pretty hard not to think that I'm not doing something right or whatever. Cody’s Dad gave him a bit of a pep talk here:  What does the verse say... Not until after the trial of our faith will we be blessed, or something to that effect. All you can do is keep at it, things will turn around. Now you know what a lot of Elders have felt like serving in our ward!  Ether 12:6 haha yep definitely been reading through that one. And Mosiah 2:41 has been inspirational for some of our investigators. Basically just says consider the happy state of those who keep the commandments. Book of Mormon is awesome.

We have just been having very little success with people, and when we do, something just comes up and halts their progression again... Missionary work is hard haha but I'm hanging in there. I'm just gonna keep working my butt off and hope that something good gets going soon. I hope this coming week we have a little more success but we'll see! I'm learning a lot though.

We are doing a LOT of street contacting which is always fun because of all the different kinds of people we get to talk to. It's always interesting and slightly awkward but missionaries thrive on awkward situations so it's no biggy.

I'm doing really good though. I still love it out here more and more every day and time is just ticking away. Pretty soon it'll be Christmas already haha.  Sorry it's so short but I gotta head out!


Elder Graham

The kids of one of our investigators. Meet Brooklyn and "Lebron James." Not sure what his real name is.  Everyone calls him Lebron James though so we will go with that.

Playing hoops with the boys
From left – Elders Lambert, Palmer, Jackson, Dean, 
Kemp, Senior, Havili, Graham and Biddulph.  
Makes me miss the days of the Dirty Birds!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week #28 - Toeing the Line

What up family!

This week has been interesting but good! I kinda realized I haven't talked much about the people we teach for a while. Whoops. I just forget. The work is picking up here though! We have three investigators that are close to being baptized, they all just have minor stumbling blocks. 

Orinthia has a boyfriend who is trying to finalize a divorce with a previous wife so they can get married and then she will most likely be baptized. She said she can’t get baptized until she is keeping all of the commandments but she is actively working on it so that was good to hear from her.

Rose is great. Has a testimony of the gospel and everything. We just can’t seem to get her to church. Every week something doesn’t work out, either she doesn’t get a ride or doesn’t have fare for taxi or something but she will be baptized eventually. 

Sister Murdock is probably the closest to getting baptized, she is on date for September 19. She is an elderly lady who has been going through treatments for some minor cervical cancer.  She also struggles with understanding what we teach, so we have been going VERY slow with her. We have taught her the Restoration like 3 times, but she’s awesome – she’ll get there. 

Other than that, we have gotten pretty good at street contacting strangers and teaching them so we have a never-ending pool of people to teach. We saw a lady named Jasmine who told us that she was "really drawn to the Book of Mormon for some reason." She actually called out to us as we were walking by on Saturday and asked for a pamphlet. We taught her yesterday and it was great! Except for the part where she told us she thinks she has visions all the time haha but we will work with that. 

The toenail one day later... enjoy!  ;)
Biggest event this week was my ingrown toenail getting partially chopped off. But now it’s great - like it never happened. Got some gnarly pictures for you guys!

We had zone conference on Wednesday which was awesome! 

On Saturday, we saw this HUGE bear-looking dog on the side of the road. Oh yeah, it was bloated because it had been dead for a few days. Sorry for the gross details but I thought I would give you a vision of some of the beautiful scenery here.

We are trying to work with the members by setting up "cottage meetings" or basically large scale FHE's around our area. We have two set up so far so I hope people start inviting friends!

I'm still having a great time. Time is flying and I'm getting darker. Sometimes I see white people I get all tense and awkward. But I'll overcome that later.

See ya next week!


Elder Graham

Spanish Town Sunset

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week #27 - Thankful for Thieves of Thieves

Hey Family,

His response to pictures we sent of our yearly fun on the water in SE Idaho:  That just made me slightly homesick... wait... hold on a minute... nah, I'm living in Jamaica, I'm no longer homesick.  But is that my twin sisters kneeboarding together?? Never thought I'd see the day. 

This week has been just as busy as ever. First week as a district leader which is pretty cool. I haven't done any 'district leadery' things yet and probably won't for about a week or two. But Spanish Town has been extra hot these past couple weeks. 

The craziest thing that happened was today actually. It has been hectic. We had to go to Kingston and cut off half of my toenail at the doctor because of a long overdue ingrown toenail. Wahoo. My toe is kinda throbbing but I got some pain pills, anti-inflammatory cream, and some Wendy's, I'll consider that my late birthday present to myself. Didn't get robbed. Well... never mind that’s a different story haha I’ll tell you if you really wanna know hehe  Well DUH!  Of course we want to know!!!

Basically Elder Jackson dropped the phone but he didn’t notice until we got like 50 feet further down the street. When we went back, we passed a peculiar looking guy but didn’t think anything of it. We searched and searched and couldn’t find it. By the time we looked for the guy, he was long gone. Then we had an investigator text the number and basically the guy was tryna sell the phone and delete contacts and stuff. So that sucked. HOWEVER, the next day, apparently some other guy stole the phone from the original thief and then called some missionaries and gave it to them out of the goodness o' his Samaritan heart and then they gave it to us. Super crazy haha but that’s how the cookie crumbles I guess. God works in mysterious ways. Time to take better care of the phone. 

Same old missionary work every day this week. Sorry I didn't have much time to get into too many details. Pictures coming next week. 

Love and miss you guys!

Elder Graham

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week #26 - Mormons Make the News, No Kidneying

Wagwan family,

This week has been nuts! Elder Jackson and I absolutely crushed it. We taught 29 lessons (we usually only teach around 22ish) and we found 15 potential investigators - we usually find about 5. Things are going good. I think I'm finally figuring this whole missionary thing out.

Some missionaries in our district (Elder Lambert and Elder Senior) got interviewed by a writer from the Gleaner, Jamaica's newspaper company. Their picture was in the newspaper.

I tried cow kidney on Thursday which sounds repulsive. It was actually really good though.   Usually everything we eat here includes rice and peas with it. If not rice and peas, then it is usually boiled green bananas and dumplings which are pretty good as well. I love the food here. It is definitely top notch.

On Friday, we saw this huge pile of dirt with a sign stuck in it that just said, "Free dirt. If you want it come take it." It was way funny.

Saturday we got transfer calls. Elder Jackson and I are staying together and I got called to be a district leader so that should be interesting.

This was probably the best proselyting week I have had so far out here. I hope we can keep it going.

This is an excerpt from an email Cody sent to one of his sisters today - cracked me up so I thought I should share:  Any new husband prospects? It can't be much different than missionary work. You have your weekly goals of the usual: Marriage, sealing, investigators with a "date," investigators who came to sacrament meeting (with you), "progressing" investigators ;) new investigators, potential investigators...

Think about it for a second...

Yes I think you get it now. The same goals for missionary work can be applied to finding a hubby. Get on it. Remember to set goals and make plans.

Miss you guys!


Elder Graham

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week #25 - Thou Shall Not Steal, Unless It's From Yourself

Yo family!

Spain town is irie (I-rie \I ' -ree\ adj Rasta/Jamaican patois 1: powerful and pleasing 2: excellent, highest n 3: the state of feeling great) as usual! I actually heard someone say y pree the other day (last week I started my email to Cody with "y pree", which my faulty research told me meant "what's up?". I threw out a few more patois lines to which Cody replied, "What up, pup? Never actually heard anyone say any of the phrases you use but...a suh it go haha) and I laughed pretty mother just taught me patois...I also figured out that it lierally means "why prey" and it basically means, why you looking at me like that? hahaha good stuff. And so ends Mom's patois aspirations.

This week was a pretty good learning week for me. The whole week we focused hard on finding potential investigators, more specifically, street contacting.

We had zone meeting on Wednesday which was focused on helping members understand their role in missionary work.

Thursday was pretty cool. We started receiving quite a few referrals. We don't usually get as many as we did this week. I think that as we put forth more effort to find people to teach, the Lord is going to bless us. It kind of goes along with the scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21 All blessings are based on obedience to the commandment by which they are predicated or something like that. It is definitely true. I am finding out more and more as I continue.

Friday was something. We went to a cook shop to eat lunch and Elder Jackson locked our bikes up to a fence. When we came out to get going again, he couldn't find his key. He told me that his lock is pretty rusty anyway and he needs a new one. We proceeded to saw through the gel part with the most professional of tools: a butter knife and a machete file. As weird as that sounds, it worked like a charm and we broke through our own lock and stole our own bikes back from the fence. It's comforting to know how easy it is to break one of those locks.....

Thats pretty much it for this week. Love and miss you guys!


Elder Graham

Never been more sweaty than on a bike in Jamaica in the summertime, but we still have a good time!