Monday, December 26, 2016

Week #98 - Prayer Works

Hey Family!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because you heard most of it all on Skype (which was awesome to see all of you by the way).

We had a zone party on Friday with and American Christmas dinner. Sunday we were fed twice, and Monday we were fed again. My tummy hurts. The members of the Boulevard Ward can COOK.

So today starts the first day of my last transfer. So crazy. But I mean, everything on a mission is so crazy so it really isn't much different. Missionary work will go on. I pray that I will be able to finish strong. I appreciate all the help that I receive from prayers of everybody back home - PRAYER WORKS so thanks a lot!

Have a great week!


Elder Graham

The Lewis Family learned that putting up Christmas lights is a strange skill that the Graham family has so they asked me to put them on the grill for them haha. This is their Christmas tree!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week #97 - Twinkle Toes Graham

Hey Family! 

Well another one gone and another one begins!  Let’s assume he’s talking weeks.  As in seven – the number of weeks before he comes home!!!!!

Tuesday night we went to the Lewis's to show a Holland talk and they were running around like they were about to leave somewhere and just before we asked what was going on, Brother Lewis was like, "Come on elders we're going to KFC - get your stuff, let's go!" Oh it was way funny he was like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. Unfortunately it was getting too late to walk all the way to KFC and back, so they bought us Dominoes instead. They are the coolest.

On Wednesday night we met with the Roofs, a young newly married couple. They are way cool as well. Elder Morris got his first ackee and salt fish experience with them. We played some games and shared the "Will of God" Mormon Message. Another great family!

Saturday night was the Boulevard ward Christmas dinner. A lot of people performed stuff. I don't really need to explain what we did because I hear it already got leaked to every waking soul. BUT I will say that the song we sang... okay we learned it only minutes before performing it, alright so back off haha... and I don't have an explanation for the end… anyway… (watch the video by clicking on the "what we did" link… Elder Graham’s dance moves at the end are on point).

This week is Christmas. You know what that means: bingo. Skype (he means BINGO!!!!! SKYPE!!!!!!). We have our zone Christmas party on Friday the 23rd as well so the whole week will be full of celebration. 

Please pray for Tricia and Nathaniel as well. They are working for December 31 to be baptized. Yep, New Years Eve! Thank you!!

I guess I can leave you all with something President Pearson sent to all of us this week:

"This coming year will be exciting, with many moments of pure joy that will be countered by times of intense sorrow. Whether we are joyful or sorrowing, there is no need to ever be discouraged. We all must learn to appreciate the opposition we face, for that is the engine of our growth; the key element in the plan of salvation."


Elder Graham

A companionship that polishes together slays together.
My response: “Wow, polishing your shoes???? I don't even know you.”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week #96 - Light The Darn World

Hey Family!

Tis the season to be sickly I guess.

I was going through some really gross head cold at the beginning of the week which made me super stuffed up and achy and all that goodness. So we just rested and let that pass as quickly as possible. We finally went out on Thursday and I am feeling MUCH better now.  PS the office elders stopped by real quick Monday night to drop off a fan and one of them gave me a back massage so that was fantastic.

Stake Conference was this weekend. It was awesome! I got to see a ton of people from Spanish Town, members and missionaries! 

Today was way fun - Elder Palmer and Elder Smith came into Kingston and a few of us went to the craft market to get some last little goodies for us, our families, friends and all of you (who aren’t family or friends…?) before we (Elder Palmer and I) come home. So Christmas will come a little late from me but hopefully that won't be a problem.

Have an awesome week and go hard on the #LightthedarnWorld thing because it is awesome! Pretty sure he’s talking about the #LightTheWorld program – an easy way to show love to others and feel close to God during this holiday season…


Elder Graham 


I can't think of anything clever to say... sorry

I guess you could call these reverse photo bombs? I don't even know...
someone dared us to do it, so...

Good to see friends from Spanish Town at Stake Conference
Nice photo bomb, Elder Morris...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week #95 - Planting New Seeds

Hey Family!

This went by way fast because of the election thing and all that jazz... but what's new.

Boulevard Ward - Bro Lewis is in the back with sunglasses
We had a super cool experience on Saturday: We met with this less active guy named Bro Lewis and we got talking about faith and seeds and fruits and whatnot. As we were talking he was like "I feel like my tree of faith has stopped growing and it has gone bad... so how do I start over?" and then there was a pause for like 10 seconds, and he was like "Maybe I should just plant a new seed. I can do that right?" Oh it was soooo cool. He and his wife came to church yesterday for the first time in like 4 or 5 months and he got up and bore testimony about how "the missionaries helped him make a new spiritual discovery". What’s really crazy is he said that "When I was talking with the missionaries, Elder Graham looked at me and said, “You just need to have faith, Brother Lewis.”" The crazy part is that I do not remember ever saying that to him word for word, but it is funny how the Spirit says what needs to be said even if we don't put it exactly on point.
Cow Skin

We had dinner at Bro and Sis Parks' house and they are this adorable old couple that makes dang good food!

In other news, Elder Morris and I tried cow skin for the first time this week. It was alright… kinda gummy.

Have a great week and enjoy the cool breeze and snow and rain and stuff because we will be over here sweating like crazy!


Elder Graham

Selfie game still weak but getting better...

Elders trying their hand at cupping.
Can’t wait to hear how this came about…

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week #94 - Planning a Rave and a Couple Baptisms

Hey Family! 

I will keep this quick:

Unfortunately Jamaicans do NOT celebrate Thanksgiving...To be honest I didn't even realize it was Thanksgiving this week until the day of... It was sad haha but Christmas should be a blast here. Our bishop said he is planning on emptying the budget on the Christmas dinner party so prepare for a rave. Also, we should have two baptisms on the same day as the party! 

Whitewashing is great. We have made a lot of cool friends. When we tell people we are new to the area, everyone tries to help us out. We are teaching this guy who is friends with some recent converts, and he will literally fix our bicycles for free any time we need. It is awesome. I am not used to having SOOO many members to work with haha so that is a positive change!

We had to stay inside yesterday because of some political elections that were getting heated haha so surprise P-Day is on Tuesday this week! 

Have a great week!


Elder Graham

The guys in our house:
Elders Robbins, Bischoff, Morris & Graham

We have a nice view from our house but pictures just don't do it justice

The return of Elder Riding

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week #93 - Ch-ch-changes

Hey Family!

This week was full of changes. 

Monday night a few members of the Junction Branch held one last little FHE (Family Home Evening) for me and it was awesome. I am going to miss those guys!

Kingston is SO much different than Junction. I had to catch a bus at 4:45 am Wednesday morning... It turned out that the bus wasn't actually supposed to come until 5:55am so we got up at 3am due to some miscommunications. It was all good tho. I received Elder Morris from Ohio (his family lives in Gilbert, AZ though) and we got into to our area and just did some exploring. 

On Thursday night we were walking around street contacting and we ran into this lady who told us she knew a member who lives nearby and offered to show us where he was. So we met Bro Lim and got to know him a bit, then we left and about 5 minutes later, the SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN. This guy came to us and said, "You looking for the Edwards?" We were like "No, but now we are. Who are they??" He explained that they are members of our church and missionaries always go there, so he just brought us to them. Turns out one of the members of the family is not a member of the church and just happens to be in the process of being taught by the missionaries which are now... us. So tender mercies have been all over the place for us, making things a bit easier because whitewashing is HARD! It is so cool though. We are beginning to pick up on main roads and neighborhoods and stuff.

Church was great. We had three investigators come and two of them will hopefully be baptized in December!

Love you guys. Have a great week!

Elder Graham

Red Hills

The Boulevard house that is actually in the Red Hills

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week #92 - This Place and These People

Hey Family!

Well I received a lot of news this week, besides Trump and stuff, so I will jump right into the details. 

On Wednesday after district meeting I got a phone call from the AP's telling me that Elder Dawson was coming to Junction to be the new branch president… which means that I will be transferred next week. They didn’t tell me where I was going until Saturday, so I will get to that later. I want to explain the rest of Wednesday because it was awesome:

So later that day Elder Callister and I were walking down the street to go to an appointment when this fragile old man beckoned us from the side of the street. He asked us to help him get up and get back to his house because he didn't really have the energy to do it on his own. So we got on both sides of him and started to walk with him (his arms were around our necks so we took most of his weight). After about 100 feet, his right leg gave out, so we sat him down for a second, and then Elder Callister was like "Don't worry, we're Boy Scouts." and we laughed and picked the guy up and carried him another 200 meters up a hill all the way his house. Now from the perspective of the woman inside his house, I imagine her walking out of her home to find this man being carried up the hill to her by two nicely dressed, dripping-wet sweaty white dudes. I have no idea what was going through her head, but I do know that she thanked us for our kindness... and now we are teaching her and her daughter. So you could say it was a miracle.

Okay back to transfer calls. They called on Saturday morning and told me that I will be going to Boulevard (in Kingston) and I will be training. Yeah, I am just as shocked and confused and surprised as you are. Shocked and surprised because typically when you’re training, you stay with that missionary for around three months.  Elders Graham and Callister have only been together for six weeks.

Sunday was great. I had a bit of a rough time getting through my talk. It will be my last in Junction for a while. I'm going to miss this place and these people. We took some pictures and signed some journals and the works. I am sad to leave Junction, but the work goes on!

We are having a big FHE at Sister Gayle's house tonight. I think it will be one last hoorah before I am outta here early Wednesday morning.

Lots of changes right before the end. Crazy huh? Three months will go by in about 46 minutes so it seems.

Love you guys!

Elder Graham

The Junction Branch... not everyone, but some of them

Sister Hudson's a baller

Elder Callister and I

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week #91 - Teaching the Wrong Guy

Hey Family!

This week was another one full of miracles and tender mercies.

We met a lady on the street about a week ago and invited her to church and SHE CAME and even bore testimony during fast and testimony meeting - it was awesome. And then to make it better, she invited us over for dinner and we taught her the Restoration with Omar. Omar said that she is basically already a member so that was awesome. She lives in the same complex as us too so we pass her all the time and say hi and stuff.

Alright here is a story... So we met a guy a few days ago named Kenny. He said we could come by on a Sunday so we called him and asked if it would be alright for us to come and talk to him and he said sure so we walked over to his yard. There are probably four or five houses on this little lane and we didn't know exactly which one it was, so we were just walking down the street yelling Kenny's name. Finally we heard someone respond, he came out from the bushes (he was farming, it wasn't as creepy as it sounds) and just said hi to us. But his hair was super short compared to when we first met him. He just looked a little different, but he invited us into his house and I said a prayer to start the lesson. After the prayer he looked at me and said, “I thought I should say that my name is Reginald, not Kenny.” Uhhhhhh what??  Then where the heck is Kenny? Who are you and why did you just let us into your house and start teaching you? What is going on?? He told us that Kenny was his brother. Okay so that explains why you look similar but different, but that didn't answer any of our other questions?? Ah man we were so confused, but we taught him the Restoration anyway and he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and everything. So the second we were done, we ran around looking for Kenny because he was probably wondering where we were. Turns out we couldn't find Kenny but we accidentally taught his brother, Reginald. So there’s the story for the day.

This week was awesome. I love doing these baptismal challenges with the Book of Mormon when contacting. We see miracles pretty much every day. More stories to come later!

Love you guys!

Elder Graham

We took a "family photo" at the Halloween party. From left to right: Elder Callister (son, because Cody is training), myself, Elder Christensen (son, because Cody trained) and Elder Epps (grandson, because Elder Christensen is training)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week #90 - A Good Awful

Hey Family!

So this week was full of reflection and listening to talks. Unfortunately, Elder Callister's fever did not go down until Saturday haha so we had quite a bit of time to chill out and read and stuff.  When we were chatting back and forth last week, Cody said, “Comp is awesome. Except he came down with a fever yesterday. I think it is at like 101 right now haha but he is a trooper.” Ugh – a fever his first whole week into the mission?? Poor Elder Callister…

We did have a finance training meeting on Wednesday that we had to go to Spanish Town for. That was exciting. Since the meeting was so late, we couldn't get all the way back to Junction in time, so we stopped in Mandeville and stayed the night at the Chandlers' house. They are a senior missionary couple. Boy did they TREAT us. It was like living with grandparents. I have never eaten so much in such a short amount of time. We got to their house around 9:45pm and they fed us chicken sandwiches and juice and chips and salsa... And we woke up to stacks upon stacks of pancakes and soursop and more juice.  By the end of it, they were coming around to see if we needed anything more, and Elder Callister and I were busy waving a white napkin flag of surrender. Holy cow, yeah that was so good but I felt awful afterward. It was a good awful though. 

Thursday night, I decided that I would try and help my fever-stricken companion by making some soup - so I made some red pea soup and it was pretty spicy but it tasted alright... until the next day.  Yeah, no bueno.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We are going to Mandeville today for a Halloween party so that should be exciting. Elder Graham shared that he was creating a costume to go with some dollar bill pants he had – where he picked those up I’m not sure but PLEASE let there be pics of it next week!!

Enjoy your week!


Elder Graham

The infamous red pea soup

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week #89 - A Hoot and a Half

Hey Family!

Elder Callister and myself
I don't even know what to say for our companionship pic.
My selfie game has been thrown way off since Feb 2015
This week was another crazy one.

We spent Tuesday night helping a new investigator settle some false rumors that he heard about Mormons being demon worshipers, so that was one of the more interesting conversations I have had over the phone haha.

On Thursday we went up to Mandeville for a training meeting of sorts. Afterward, we were supposed to go to Santa Cruz to interview this kid for baptism, but during the meeting, the Santa Cruz elders got a phone call that the kid had ran away from home because he didn't feel ready, so that was a little disappointing.

Saturday was Omar and Lisa's combined birthday party held at the church. There was a TON of good food and it was awesome. It seems like the entire Collins family was sick which was a bummer. 

Sunday was so funny. Every single one of my Sacrament speakers bailed on me about 15 minutes before Sacrament Meeting haha that was a hoot and a half (yeah, Cody’s idea and mine of what a hoot and a half are differ slightly). I ended up having Elder Callister speak, then had a return missionary speak about the restoration, and then I got up and spoke about many of the different truths found in the Bible that were restored with the gospel so that took up the hour. Then we just watched the Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference to finish off church. I have finally seen all of the October sessions!

We are keeping it chill today. Keep us in your prayers!


Elder Graham

A few more pics of Lilie's baptism

The look on her face = priceless!