Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #46 - Irie New Year

Merry Christmas and an irie New Year Family!
This week was awesome but super crazy.
Monday was our zone Christmas party up in Montego Bay. I got to see a lot of people and had some dang good food. I got the news at the party that Grandma Briggs passed away, but it was totally cool. In fact if I were them, that would be exactly what I would want! So that is good for them, those lucky ducks! They only had to spend a few days apart so that is awesome.
MOM STORY:  We sent two boxes to Cody for Christmas – one for him and one for a past companion of his and any other elder that might be in need of a little Christmas gift.  The day my dad passed away I got an email from Sister Hardy in the mission office saying they had received Elder Graham’s package.  It arrived in Jamaica only a day and a half after I sent it from our house in Oregon!  Big props to my dad for making that happen!  In my emotional state I didn’t read clearly that Sister Hardy said PACKAGE, not PACKAGES.  I had assumed both packages had been received.  Over the next several days we got a few emails from the mission that Customs in Jamaica had seized many of the packages sent to missionaries and was holding them for up to $200 in duty fees.  They warned parents that it wasn’t likely the packages would be released, and certainly not by Christmas.  I didn’t pay much attention to these emails, thinking both of Cody’s boxes had already been received.  Fast forward a few more days… my mom passed away nine days after we lost my dad and miraculously we were able to have a joint funeral for them.  On our way to the cemetery I saw an email from Sister Hardy saying that Cody’s package had come to the office.  I emailed back, confused about which package had arrived.  She explained that it was the small package for the other elders that came on 12/9.  This package, the one we sent for Cody, just showed up in the mission office, without a waybill.  She said it must have slipped through the cracks – that there was no way it should have made it to them.  THAT credit goes to my mama – no silly customs office was going to keep her grandson from enjoying a Christmas gift from his family!  Because Cody’s box came too late to make it to his zone Christmas party, Sister Hardy made up a box of goodies for him so he wouldn’t be without a gift.  It warmed my heart to see how grateful he was for the small box, thinking it was from us.  He had no clue his real gift from us was waiting for him in the mission office.  His humility humbles me – is that a thing??  Anyway, so many miracles this Christmas season.  It wasn’t loud and rowdy like the Graham Fam usually celebrates, but it allowed us to see the Lord’s hand in all things.  He truly forgets no one.  Okay, on with our elder…
Tuesday was our P-day - just the usual.
On Christmas Eve we went to Negril and did some semi-awkward caroling on the streets, but eventually some random people joined us so we gathered some spirited people up and sang like freaking angels.
Friday was CHRISTMAS - heck yeah. It was sweet. Elder Fowkes and I got out of caroling this time so we could go back to the church and skype. Just like the good ol' days.  After I was done skyping and Elder Fowkes got on, I grabbed scriptures and went and sat on the steps of the baptismal font in the church. It just felt good in there. Christmas was sweet. We made eggnog french toast and skype and we got fed out of the blue by a lady named Sister Griffiths so that's awesome. We moved some rocks for her too. It was great.

On Saturday we met this old guy named Caperton. He seems way prepared. When we gave him a Book of Mormon, he kissed it... kind of weird, but this guy just kind of  broke down in the lesson TWICE. Jamaican men do not cry, especially in front of other men. When we asked him if he would be baptized if God told him that all of this was true, he said he was looking towards being baptized by his birthday in March. He literally told us he just wanted to find a resting place with God. All I could think about was that quote from the movie, Holes: "I can fix that." I am way excited for him. I really feel good about him. He couldn't come to church (too short notice, he was going to take care of one of his daughters that day) but he promised us he would come next week.
So I was going to put up pictures but this funny thing happened..... my camera died... so yeah. NEXT WEEK FOR SURE.

Elder Graham

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