I'm finally in Jamaicaaaaaa! But, I'll first catch you up to speed with everything that happened at the MTC and whatnot. The MTC was stressful, but very spiritual and fun. I am soooo happy to be outta there. I left on the 23rd, I got to call my family home, and Kallie, so that was so good. I can't wait to call mom on Mother's Day, which is soon! I think I will be able to skype! Sweet.
Okay, so Jamaica. What to say about Jamaica... This place is nuts. I got off the plane and you could immediately feel the humidity. It is so heavy here, but I'm getting used to it. I actually am so glad because it was extremely dry in Utah. And, off the plane, there was this creepy rasta man who asked if I was a Mormon, and I said yes, and he told the Elders that he would come to church if I was there. We got out of customs and immediately met the AP's. They were super nice. I just have to say, I LOVE PRESIDENT HENDRICKS. He is so cool. He took Sister Austin and I to his home, but when we got in the car he immediately bumped into this guy walking in the street and yelled, "Move it DIPSTICK!" I felt so happy, seriously. Anyways, President Hendricks (the Mission President) is a crazy driver. Everyone in Jamaica is terrible at it. And it's on the other side of the road, so I kept thinking cars where coming at us, but it was an illusion. We stayed at the mission home in Kingston, and Sister Hendricks fed us, it was so good to not eat MTC food.
The next day I got assigned to my companion and area. My companion is Sister Woolf (mind you, she has only been in Jamaica for 6 weeks) and my area is Linstead, Jamaica. After that all the missionaries getting transfered went to KFC, which is much cheaper than American KFC. Anyways, Linstead is a funny place. There are literally NO white people here. Just Sister Woolf and I, so naturally we get stared at all the time. People yell, "WHITEY!!" and "MISSIONARIES!" and "WHITE PEOPLEEE!" Where we live is a rural little farming place, called, "Time and Patience." (They have weird names here). The house we live in is perfect. It's not nice or anything, but it has everything we need. We don't have warm water, and the first night I was here, the water went out. Of course. But, it's all good. I am grateful we have a place to stay!
Linstead is the main town, and it is like a downtown kind of area. Hundreds of people are on the street all day, selling, driving, honking and blasting reggae music. When Sister Woolf and I walk, men seriously blow kisses at us. I've been asked like five times if I want to get married. It's annoying because we are trying to look for legit investigators, and we can't really know if a guy is really interested or just wants to be seen talking to white girls.
Everything here is so colorful. Like every building is bright orange or green. I seriously love it! There is a lot of poverty here, but everyone just seems happy and loud. Linstead is safe. No worries. There are also lots of members looking out for us, and everyone knows we are missionaries. We also have a car! It's this old beat-up truck, which I get to learn how to drive soon. One of the older missionary couples are going to teach me! It's stick shift, and I'll have to learn how to drive on the other side of the road. Oh and to make you feel better (or worse, depending how you look at it), we keep a machete in the truck just in case. HAHAHA! No worries man.
English here is a joke. This might be an english speaking mission, but everyone pretty much speaks Patawa. Which is like really thick pidgin. I can't understand half of what they are saying, but the key is to just listen. I've learned a few words like, "wagown" (wah-gawon) which means: "What's going on?" Sister Woolf still has a hard time trying to figure out what they are saying as well. Whenever we go teaching, we take a member with us, so they translate if we don't get everything. So if I come back speaking like a fob, y'all know why.
The members in this town are amazing. All of them are converts, and so strong. Church on Sunday was so funny. Most of the people are from former churches and so when someone reads a scripture, they will say stuff under their breath like, "Amen," "Agree," or, "Mmmhmm." Also, everyone is bad at singing hymns here. Probably just because they were not raised on the hymns. I got to bear my testimony at church, like all new missionaries do, and it went well. I am SO happy to be here.
Okay, so we don't have that many investigators at the moment, we have been going contacting a lot, and trying to get referals from members. But we do have one guy named Bryan, with a baptismal date. He's been taught since January, and he has already been interviewed to be baptized, but the person interviewing him didn't think he was quite ready. BUT, on Sunday he said he wasn't feeling well, and the Elders here gave him a blessing, and he was brought to tears. It was a beautiful blessing and I asked him how he felt and he said warm in his heart. I love it! He walks to church every Sunday and he lives far away. I can't wait to see him be baptized, even if I didn't do much to contribute to the effort.
Sister Woolf is awesome. She is so cute! I am already friends with her on Facebook mom, so if you want to look at her profile her name is Brooke Woolf. She is a hard worker and has really taught me so much! Her and I wake up at 6:00 every morning and go running on this closed freeway. Honestly, if I don't run in the morning here, I can't wake up. So, hopefully I'll be super fit and healthy by the time I come home. The food here is pretty good. It's a lot of filler food, so like rice and beans and dumplings. All carbs. The rice and beans are always flavored, so I like it. I ate at this place called Juciees, and ate a meat patty, which are SO good here in Jamaica.
What else?! I don't know. Oh, a member washes our clothes for us, we pay her. It's nice so we don't have to take the time out of our P-Days. Um, I feel like so much has happened, but I have no idea what to say! This last week has just flown by.
Jamaica is amazing. Everyone blasts music out of their cars. I mean like literally, they have huge speaker systems set up on the roof of their cars. People here burn trash, because there is nothing else to do with it. There are so many goats everywhere. Some people are pulled around in carts by donkeys. Everyone dresses super colorfully. The members are awesome, and the women treat us like their own daughters. I'm still getting used to the men here giving us a lot of creepy attention. I don't really like it, but if they start talking to you, you automatically just interrupt them and start talking about the Gospel. There are churches on every corner. But, everyone knows about the Mormons. We are coming for them! ;) hahaha! Love you all!