Monday, May 30, 2016

Week #68 - Wedding Bells... Wait. What?

Hey Family!

Lots of excitement this week. I'll just get right down to it...

Collin & Kerry Ann, their family, Elders Graham & Hansen
Saturday, COLLIN AND KERRY ANN GOT MARRIED!! Yes sir it happened so that is awesome. I have never seen such wonderful coordination and cooperation with members as I have for the prep for the wedding. Food and cake and drinks and everything was just awesome. Big up to you, Junction Branch!

Congrats Collin & Kerry Ann!
More crazy news on Saturday were transfer calls, which were surprising as always. Elder Hansen will be going to Linstead, Elder Brown to Yallahs and Elder Wood to Ochie. I know, weird. Everyone is leaving and only Elder Trinnaman is coming, so Junction will only have two missionaries instead of four. We will have to cover both areas as well so, once again, pray for us.

So here we go, challenge accepted. 

Hope your week was awesome!


Elder Graham

A few members of the Junction branch

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week #67 - Branch Presidents and Punk Rock Diva Goats

Hey Family!

This week was pretty normal up until the weekend. 

We have been spending a lot of time at the bottom, bottom, bottom of the hill further than we usually go and have found some super cool people to teach. A young guy with a small family, a super humble rasta man and a couple others. Things are going well with them so far so pray for them to find the means to get up the hill to church on Sunday!!

We had a Labor Day clean-up project yesterday which was alright. There were a few people who showed up and cleaned the heck out of the place. Oh by the way, because of Labor Day (Memorial Weekend for us, Labor Day for Jamaica), everything was closed so P Day was moved to today.

Collin and Kerry-Ann are making final preparations for the wedding on Saturday so that will be super great. We're in the process of teaching them how to do Family Home Evenings right now.

Elder Hansen, Elder Graham, Omar
So on Saturday we were finishing up a lesson and I got a call from President Brown telling me that our branch president was being released Sunday and asked if I would be willing to accept an assignment to serve as the branch president here in Junction starting the following day. So that was unexpected. I am not even quite sure all the things that I am supposed to do yet. As the district president was talking to me about it, he told me it was going to be a very "on-the-job" learning experience so we will see how this goes. I'm super nervous and feel pretty inadequate but one thing is for sure: the Lord gives us a way to fulfil every single commandment He gives. This falls under that wonderful promise which I will be relying on heavily for this assignment.

(Mom story:  The day before we got this email from Cody I received a Facebook message from Omar, one of the great members in Junction. “Mrs. Graham, I have good news, touching ones.” “Hi Omar! What’s your good news?” “Your son is now our branch president.  Am soooo overwhelming with joy.”  What amazing news to receive from a person of incredible faith – to trust our little 19 year old punk kid to lead their branch is so humbling.  We sure love the people in Jamaica for loving our boy…)

So pray for the Junction Branch alright? Much appreciated.

Love you all. Have an awesome week!

Elder Graham

Punk rock diva goat
We found these fallen down trees that are super lightweight...
So we played with them

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week #66 - We're Doing This Because We Love You

Hey Family!

This week was great.

We had a few people out of town all week so it put a little damper on the week. Also, we got caught in heavy rain a few times. It was usually hard enough that we had to just wait it out for 20-30 minutes until it let up a bit. 

The Samuda family is doing great still. Romario has been showing us his drumming skills and beat boxing. The dude is an 8-year-old beat genius. Plans are being made for people from the branch to bring some food and other small details but the most important part is that IT'S HAPPENING so that is super awesome and Elder Hansen and I are stoked out of our minds.

They are kind of the highlight of the week. Other than that, there are a few other people that are having trouble exercising discipline with commandments. It is difficult to change from having no sense of commitment to anything, to every sense of commitment to the most important things. These things take time, so we are going to take more of a "WE'RE DOING THIS BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU" approach like Alma did to Corianton. So yeah we will see how that goes.

That's about all the interesting stuff for this week. My legs are getting torn (translation: buff) so that is a plus. Until next week!


Elder Graham

The Tates (from Sav) and Elder Keuhn

First successful attempt at rice and peas with a little BBQ chicken medley

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week #65 - Spelunking for... Rubbish

Hey Family,

The cave ft. Elder Hansen
Skyping was awesome yesterday! Lots of laughs as usual. We are funny. 

This week was busy as always. We actually went on a couple little adventures on Monday: We found a cave and had biked past it a few times, so we decided to get in there and see if it went anywhere. Well, it didn't and it was full of garbage which blew, but still a fun likkle excursion nonetheless.

Close shot of the cave ft. heaps of rubbish
Collin and Kerry-Ann's family are doing great still. Things are moving forward with the wedding. The marriage notice is posted and plans are being made so it's getting exciting! As of now, they are getting married on the 28th and baptized on the 4th of June so that should be awesome. Keep praying for everything to keep working out like it is though!!

On Wednesday we were about to ride up a huge hill. Let's just say we were not physically prepared to take it on at the time. An then a miracle happened. A big semi truck passed by at a reasonable speed and it just so happened to have two large handles on both sides of the back. So we did what any person with sense would do. We sped up and caught the handles and were towed up this large hill. It was glorious. Nothing less than a gift from the windows of Heaven. We could see in the side view mirrors the guys in the truck laughing pretty hard so that was great. We made their day, and they made ours. SERVICE. I'm sure it's not every day that two white bicyclists have the audacity to grab onto your supply truck and use you to get up hills.

But yeah, church was great. I got to give an impromptu talk about the greatness of mothers and how they help us with gospel stuff. This makes it two for two now on speaking on Mother's Day on the mission so that is awesome. 

That's it for this week!


Elder Graham

Big gnarly banana spider we found near the cave

Some of the bush trails we take every day

Washing shirts in the tub because there was no room in the apartment's laundry room

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week #64 - Wedding Rings and Grafting

Hey Family!

This week was full of fun stuff.

In an attempt to help these people we are teaching finalize marriage plans for the end of May, the branch president in Junction sent us on a scouting mission for wedding rings and prices and stuff, hopefully they can get some monetary help so it is not an issue. Yeah, I know, what do two 19 year old boys know about wedding rings... But we did a good job gathering price ranges trust me. Elder Hansen and I will probably open up some type of a ring broker shop when we get back because we are so good at what we do.

We went to zone meeting in Mandeville on Wednesday and a senior couple made us pulled pork tacos... PULLED PORK TACOS?!?!?! Are you kidding me? I haven't had tacos in years!!

We helped President Collins organize his greenhouse on Thursday (did I mention our branch president is blind? Yeah he has been blind for about five years from deteriorating vision). So we moved a bunch of plants and got to watch someone graft and orange, lemon, AND lime branch onto the same tree so it will bear all three fruit later on... Jacob 5 makes so much more sense now that I have literally seen the grafting process. Except instead of dung to stick the branch on, he used eco tape that has fertilizer grains laced within. High tech, I know.

President and Sister Brown came to church on Sunday. We had two investigators there. They came late, but they got to hear Pres Brown teach a class about preparing for the millennium so that was way cool for them. I hope they understood it haha.

Well that's about it for this week. Congrats on adding one more to the Esselman family Britt and Adam!
Love you guys!

Elder Graham

Tony and Sister Ferguson (from Sav)
Junction is super pretty