Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Never a Dull Moment!

This week was a roller coaster. The strangest thing is that whenever I feel down, I still feel happy. Whenever I feel like everyone is against us, I still feel on top of the world. I pray every single day to have a positive attitude and to be joyful. I've never been so glad in such awkward or heartbreaking situations before. Sister Woolf and I were talking about how in Alma, Ammon is SO joyous about the Gospel. There is a point he is so happy that he FAINTS. He is preaching and all of a sudden he is overcome and it says he falls to the Earth. For some reason we thought that was the funniest thing ever. Who knew that the scriptures would make me laugh so hard. Just imagine talking about something, being so excited and all of a sudden you just fall. HAHA... It's not really that funny... You had to be there.

Sister Woolf and I drive a truck, so we started doing this thing where we drive extremely slowly and just start talking to people walking on the street. We just roll up and are like, "Hey, what is your name?!" I have never felt more like a stalker in my life. When we go street contacting, you are pretty much analyzing people to see if they will talk to you. We have met the funniest people while doing this. Every day is a riot. Sometimes when we get lost, Sister Woolf will say, "Where are we?" and I will be like, "Oh my gosh... ARE WE IN JAMAICA? How did we get here?" Seriously though, I ask myself that question every single day. How did I get to this point in my life? How did I end up choosing to do this? I really don't know. It all feels like it happened so fast. I still can't believe I am here. I don't know when reality will set in. I don't know when I'll start yearning for home, but thus far, everything is alright.

I HATE JAMAICAN POLICE STATIONS. They are so slow. I've been there so many times trying to get my police report for my lost passport, and they take forever. They all know Sister Woolf and I now, because I just sit there complaining until someone helps me. And when they finally do, they try to tell me what I need to do, and I'm all like, "No, no, you are not listening. I NEED this, NOW." I am finally getting the letter from the police station sometime today or tomorrow. I wish Mom were here to just do it for me, hahaha! Oh what a luxury that was. But, as for now, I am still an illegal alien here. It's fine though because I have my passport, I am just waiting on the letter so I can get my work permit stamped in it. 

So on Wednesday, we had our District meeting. It was awesome. It always lifts my spirit and makes me so positive. The AP's came out and they helped us get our oil changed after the meeting. Apparently the car place rips people off, especially women, so we made sure to have Elders with us to check everything. It was fun because our District, Zone Leaders, and the AP's all went out to this fast food place called Tastee's, which has really good meat patties. When we walk down the street, we are all white, except for two of the Elders, so everyone stares at us. It's a parade. I immediately thought, "The Mormons are coming!" Because, we really were. 

During the week, our District leader, Elder Hefner called us to give us a referral. At the end of the conversation he asked us to grab our white handbook. He said to turn to page 35. Page 35 talks about how you are not allowed to change a child's diaper. He was all like, "Sister's, I hate to say this, but we've been getting some complaints about you changing diapers..." Sister Woolf and I started freaking out. We were like, "ARE YOU KIDDING? We are not doing that! They are lying. THEY HATE US. This is so stupid.!" We ranted for about 5 minutes until Elder Hefner was all like, "I'm just kidding." Then we screamed at him for a little while. The reason why this prank worked out so well was because Elder Hefner is so serious, and he has this very mature demeanor, so we didn't see this joke coming at all. He got us so good, and we've been laughing about it all week. 

There is never a dull moment here. Especially when crazy rasta men want to sing and dance for you. I wish I could show you all the video of it. It was so funny, that I started crying. I was laughing SO hard. I guess you will all get to see it in a year and a half. This man was seriously insane. But, it made my day. Also, Jamaica is so beautiful. It is gorgeous out here. The other day we had to drive to this less active who lives about 35 minutes away. The drive was stunning. The mountains are huge and round. Everything is green. There are huge valleys of corn and sugar cane. The road we drive on is canopied with vines and trees. It was amazing because on the way back, the sun was setting, and it was coming through the trees. It was glorious. It reminded me of the scripture, "Everything denotes that there IS a God." The beauty of this place was a tender mercy for me, because when I saw it, I wasn't having the greatest day ever. It also solidified my belief in God even more. I'm just baffled at how all of this was made. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was an interesting day. One of the Elders in our area got a kidney stone, so they had to borrow our truck. We had to walk to our appointments, but for some reason, it turned out to be the best day ever. We met with these two young girls, who we committed to baptism. They said yes! We had dinner at a members house, and we made it to their house, right before a big rain storm. By the time we left, the rain had stopped. When we were walking, our Mission President drove by, and picked us up. Everything worked out so perfectly, even though we had to walk so far. It was also super fun because we had a member, Tiana (18 year old, preparing for a mission), with us. I thought about Cameron on his mission walking up to 10 miles or more in one day! What an inspiration. 

Overall, not much else to say. I'm excited for this coming week. This Friday, someone from the Quorum of the Seventy's is coming to our Zone Conference. I will get to see Sister Savage! I'm so happy. We get to drive out to Kingston and see all the missionaries here in Jamaica. There are about 80 of us. This last week was great, and hopefully this week will be even better.

Family, I miss you tons. Have fun with our annual Memorial Day traditions! <3


All the Fruit the People Gave Us!

Crazy Rasta Man Who Danced for Us


Elder Nugent! He's Famous, his grandfather was the first member in Jamaica  to be baptized.

He Came Up With the Pose.

In Court With The Elder Who Lost My Passport

Sister Woolf and I

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Time and Patience

It's so ironic that I live in a place called, "Time and Patience," yet I lack both of those things. 

This week has been... let's just say a struggle. A struggle with missionary work, but everything else has been super hilarious. We are just struggling with investigators mostly. Almost all of them are not keeping any commitments. It's rough, but I mean, I still feel extremely positive. Every time we see someone I always think to myself, 'This is it! This is the time where they read from the Book of Mormon,' But alas, we always end up a bit disappointed. I have been giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, which I will continue to do, and maybe one of these days I will be surprised! "The sun will come out tomorrow!" -Little Orphan Annie.

There are so many bugs, everywhere. Especially after it rains. Sister Woolf and I were driving and there was this huge bug flying around in the truck. She screamed, I screamed, we all screamed for ice-cream. We shrieked and laughed for 10 minutes, and I think we probably killed the bug from excessive noise. We have way too much fun. We have two CD's that we listen to all the time, and we have been getting SO sick of them. Soooo, we end up singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs, without any music. If we get bored of Disney songs, we sing Phantom of the Opera. That's when it gets CaRaZyyyy. 

So, last week P-Day, we went to Spanish Town to buy groceries, because they have an actual grocery store, with like a checkout that beeps, shopping carts, and all that amazing good stuff. They also have a bigger selection of American things, which are a bit more expensive, but not bad. Anyways, I was craving mexican food, because I had totally forgot about Cinco De Mayo. I bought all the ingredients for homemade tortillas and stuff, and viola! I made it, all by myself. Dad, be proud of me. Sister Woolf and I were in heaven. It was nice to have a break from strange meats and 5 HUGE cups of rice. 

A common occurrence in Jamaica: Seeing women's breasts. We were going to go visit this lady named June and she was completely topless. She just talked to use half naked for about five minutes. Awkward. I didn't know what to do, where to look, etc... Often when we are teaching, a woman will just whip out her bosom and start breast feeding. I'm just like, WHOA THERE. I'm being dramatic, it's not bad, but I can't even imagine how awkward it would be if I was an Elder and that happened. No shame these people have. It's also weird because almost no one here wears a bra or shaves their pits or legs. I am almost tempted to not shave my legs either, because I hate shaving, but NO I will not give into temptation. 

I got to go to Ocho Rios on Wednesday for District meeting! Ocho Rios is a tourist town. I saw so many white people! It was like Christmas. We ate at Burger King. I know I've only been out a month, but I gave some good praises to that hamburger. I don't think I've ever thanked the Lord so much for a crappy fast food meal. It was glorious. Mmm, normal tasting ketchup. District meeting was fantastic. I learn SO much when I go to those things. The worst thing is that we realized that there are a huge chunk of our investigators we have to drop because they are just not serious and not progressing. We've been trying our hardest, but they are just not ready to receive the Gospel. They are not elect. So, this next week we are devoting our week to FINDING. We are going to get as many referrals from members as possible and just contact. Hopefully out of 100 people we talk to, one will need this in their life immediately. With everyone else, it's seed planting time. Maybe someday in the future, they will be ready. I hope so.

OH. THE WORST, MOST AWKWARD THING. So, Sister Woolf and I were at the Police Station, apparently I had to report my lost Passport, no one told me. Anyways, I was doing that, and this creepy guy wanted to talk to Sister Woolf in private. She said no. He kept trying to get her to stand up. I think somewhere in the conversation, I said we are companions, we can't be seperate, and he took it like we are lesbians. HAHA, we were like, "No no no no no! That's not what we meant." Anyways, I pretty much told the guy off. I was like, "She is not interested. Leave us alone. GOODBYE." And it was so annoying, because none of the police officers where doing anything. They just laughed. Speaking of lesbians.... I GOT HIT ON ONE. AT CHURCH. AT CHURCH of all places. What the heck. I was sitting in the pews, and there was this girl that kept trying to get my attention. I waved and smiled because she just looked like she wanted to say hi. She kept trying to get my attention. After church, she comes up to me and says, "I like you." In a creepy whisper. I was like, "Oh that is nice, as a friend right?" Then she just stared at me and shook her head no. I mean, nothing against lesbians or anything, but seriously, at church?! 

Last night, our car broke down. The oil light turned on a few days ago, but you know us girls, we didn't think anything about it. We were teaching a recent convert a lesson, and then it wouldn't start. We immediately called the branch president, and he dropped everything he was doing and came to our rescue with his neighbor! It is so comforting to know we always have help. Especially being in a weird country, it is nice to know that friendly people are only a phone call away. It's like whenever I see a member of the church here, I feel so safe and comforted. Whenever I see the Elders, I immediately feel like a stress relief because I'm like, normal people! hahaha, I'm still getting used to everything out here, but I'm slowly getting better. 

Overall, everything is great. One investigator Bryan, has a baptismal date, hopefully everything works out. I can't believe it's already Monday again. Another week. Another day, another dollar. Except, no dollars, because we don't make money. Everyone is great here, they give us so many mangoes. I don't really like the mangoes here because they are stringy, but it's nice that they do that. This one investigator we have gave us fresh grown corn! It was so good eating it. 

I'm in 3rd Nephi right now, in the Book of Mormon. There is this scripture that I just love. 3rd Nephi 11:14. "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world." I had like a little epiphany after I read this, of the day I will be able to see Christ, feel his scars, and just be filled with complete joy. I think a little tear came to my eye. It is a beautiful thought, to know that Christ has redeemed my soul, and someday, I will be able to thank him for that. 

I love you all, I miss you all. I will keep working hard, laughing a lot and choosing to do the right thing.
-Sister Pitt

Sunset in Jamaica

Important Black Men

Mexican Meal


A Street Performer

Where we run in the mornings

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fun Facts!

Fun fact #1: Our investigator has a huge garden of marijuana. 
Fun fact #2: I took a picture next to it holding a "Word of Wisdom" pamphlet. (Is that sacreligious?)

Every day here is so random. Nothing is consistent, except our studies and when we come home at night. Every day we have to deal with people canceling on us, hiding from us, hitting on us, or pretending to be interested. But, it always turns into the most hilarious situation. Jamaican people are so weird sometimes. They are late for everything. (Jamaican time is way later than Hawaiian time. I never thought that was possible.) We have some good investigators, don't get me wrong. But, we have more obnoxious investigators than good ones, so it is easy to only think of the crazy ones. 

This week a baby peed on my shoes. I took them off at the door, and she started playing with them. Apparently, people can't afford diapers here. So, this baby peed on my shoes. My reaction was, "Your kid just peed on my shoes..." (I think I said it in a kind of grossed out/rude voice. haha) The mom didn't even say sorry, she just wiped it up. I walked around barefoot the rest of the day, and later I poured Purrell all over them. Ahhaha. I wonder what my mission president would think of me being barefoot while proselyting. I actually don't think he would be upset about it. This mission is a hard working mission, but it is also extremely laid back in some aspects. 

I have learned that the quickest way to have a prayer disrupted is to hear a dog getting hit by a car. Not only that, to have it screaming/crying at the top of it's lungs for a few minutes. And then, the owner coming and taking a machete to it's throat, to put it out of it's misery. Our investigator was praying and it was a spiritual moment, and then SATAN had to come ruin it. Hahaha, gosh darn it. It was so gross, and I felt sick after that. The worst part was that afterwards, a member fed us turkey neck, and all I could think about was the dog getting hit by the car. 

Speaking of turkey neck, Jamaican food is getting weirder and weirder as time goes on. A member, Sister Wallace, cooked us PIGS TAIL. Like the literally curly part of the tail. Oh my goodness. I just about died. I tried it and could not swallow it. She wasn't in the room where we were eating it, so I had a plastic bag and Sister Woolf and I stuffed it all into the bag. I then hid it. I've also eaten so many different meats, I am afraid to even ask what they are. I assume most of it is goat, because there are hundredssss of goats here. 

We had Zone meeting this last week. It was Sister Woolf and I and about 30 Elders. It was so good, and I learned so much from the Elders. It's hard not to feel inadequate compared to them, but I have been learning to not compare myself to others. Everyone is at a different level in life, everyone is learning and growing in a different way. I think the biggest thing I've been working on out here is developing Christlike attributes. Sister Woolf actually inspired this. We work on different ones each week. It is either patience, kindness, love, charity, etc... It is amazing that the more we become like Christ, the easier it is to love those we teach. The more we become like our savior, the easier it is to feel his spirit and teach his children. Also, the more you become like Christ, the better your life will become. If this isn't a universal truth, then it should be. Everyone needs to know this!

We were having dinner at a members house, and we gave a little spiritual thought, then played a game. It is amazing how just by having the Gospel in the home, you can feel the spirit and love that each family member had for each other. It is considerably different from teaching in a home without it. Not that those who don't have the Gospel are bad, or they are doing wrong, it's just the bond and connection they have made through Christ is so evident. For a minute, I felt like I was at home, with my family. I loved it so much, and I want to give everyone in the world the chance to be able to feel that spirit of God in their own homes.When we teach investigators that the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families, we are not lying. It significantly improves families. I have seen it so much in just this month that I've been on my mission.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there! It was so good to skype home and see my family crowded in my bedroom. There are so many mothers here, so Sister Woolf and I have been teaching people about our mothers and explaining how their good example has influenced our lives. We are telling them that if they choose to do what is right, and choose to follow the Savior, their kids will grow up extremely strong. I am so thankful for my mom. I love her with my whole heart. She has given me everything. Without her help with paperwork, doctors appointments, buying me things, I WOULD NOT BE HERE. Also, if she hadn't given birth to me, I wouldn't be here. Haha. It's the truth. 

Oh, and everyone here thinks they can sing. You can just be like, "Sing me a song!" And they will make up on the spot a song. This recent convert, Conrad, sang us a song about moms. It was the most off-pitch song. SO funny. I was trying so hard not to laugh. I filmed it. Hopefully someday I can show you all. The funniest part was he was so serious. He closed his eyes and was like, "Mommmmmm mommmm mommm! I loooOOooveee you..." It's still stuck in my head. I can't believe I'm saying this, but even I am a better singer than some Jamaicans. 

Family, I love you all so much. I miss you. Cameron, your beard is looking mighty fine. I bet all the ladies love it. Kristin, I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR WHERE YOU ARE HEADED ON YOUR MISSION! Kayla, good luck with May Day and graduation from 6th grade! Mom and Dad, you two are perfect parents, keep it up.

Friends, I miss all y'all. Peace be da journey.

Sister Pitt

Marley And Me!

Questionable Meat????


Colorful Map of Jamaica

Natural Pink Carpet

Weed Of Wisdom hahaha!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Marvelous Adventure!

I'm teaching the Rastas the Plan of Salvation,
Living Reggae Nation, but it ain't no vacation.
Serving the Lord on an island in the sea,
Through the winds and the waves, 
I hope you're thinking of me!

My name is Caressa Pitt. I ate an entire jar of peanut butter in a week, I am getting the worlds most awkward tan line, and I'M A MORMON. 

This last week was crazy. The days are so long, but this week was finished in a snap. Four more days till I make one month on my mission! 17 more to go :) So much has happened. Every day you see so many people, go so many places, do so many things, that it all kind of blends into one big "akhgkajgka" (that's the only way to describe it). Plus, everything has been kind of going over my head. My companion is always like, "you're so chill about everything out here." Honestly, it's because I have no words, I just can't believe I'm out here, in Jamaica, serving a mission. I wonder when it will hit me? Probably when I have a really bad day or something, but thus far, all my days have been a marvelous adventure. 

Jamaican people have the weirdest culture. They are pleasers. They will say anything to make you happy. We have no shortage of people to teach, but we can never tell if they are serious, or just being nice. At the same time, they have zero manners. I will ask enthusiastically, "How are you today?!" and they will reply smugly, "Ok...." or just walk away. It is actually really funny, because I never know what to say after. I swear, if I come home super rude and stuff, slap me. Also, Sister Woolf and I have made it a goal not to smile and be bubbly towards men. We have to act very serious about what we are doing. If we even smile at them, it gets so stupid, and they ask if we are married. WHY is it that I can smile and flirt with someone in America, and they think we are just friends, and then in Jamaica I do a half smile and a wave and barely talk to a man, and he thinks I dig him? Seriously, so annoying. hahaha

Speaking of marriage proposals, (Dad, I hope I'm not making you nervous, hahah), we were out getting groceries, and this guy comes up to us and asks us to be taught. I guess he knew what we do. So, we went and met him at his house, and he told us his whole TERRIBLE life story. I really did feel bad for him. Anyways, we told him we would walk to church with him and another member, and he said okay. The next day, he texts asking if I am married. hahaha (When a male investigator does that, we immediately drop him), so we called him and told him that was inappropriate, and told him he is welcome to come to church, but we can't teach him if he only wants to talk to us. We didn't think he would actually show up at church. BUT HE DID. Oh my gosh, I was so nervous because he wanted to talk to me and Sister Woolf. Anyways, he apologized and just started talking foolishness (everyone out here says foolishness), haaa and we told him the Elders could teach him, but we couldn't because if he is really interested in the Gospel, we want him to take it seriously. And since it was Fast and Testimony meeting yesterday, he STANDS UP, and walks up. The Elders in the Branch turned around and looked at me and I just put my head down and started laughing silently. Anyways he said something like, "I want to change my life, thank you," and then he sat down. Anyways, the Elders are going to teach him now, so it's all good.

I wouldn't be telling you about all the weird guys out here, but that is literally what we come in contact with everyday. I can already feel myself getting ruder and ruder towards men. Jamaican people are extremely forward, they have no personal bubbles, they act like they've never seen white people before. OH MY GOSH. So, the other day, we were driving and we saw a white girl and an asian girl walking, and we screamed, "White person!" We pulled over and talked to them. There is a town here called Ewarton, where the Peace Corp. Volunteers teach at a school. The asian girl was from Hawaii! She lives by Sandy's and went to Punahou. I don't think I ever got her name or anything, but yah, that was cool to talk to them. I feel like I forget I'm white, because all we ever come in contact with are Jamaicans. 

So, the coolest thing about being a missionary is the fact that every time I bear my testimony about something, it's like I'm rediscovering it for myself. Also, somehow I thought I was so bad at scriptures, but somehow, I can find a scripture for almost everything, right on the spot. I seriously have been praying for help in that, and lo and behold, it worked. During a lesson we are talking about faith or baptism, and somehow I just flip open to it and it works perfectly. Even the other day a lady was asking if we believe in evil spirits because she has been feeling one, and I directed her to a scripture in 2 Nephi, that says something like, "And evil spirit teaches a man not to pray, but a good spirit teaches a man to pray" (paraphrased), but then I asked if she has been saying her prayers consistently, and she said no, and I invited her to continue to pray, to have the good spirit with her at all times. I've been so impressed as I teach how the Holy Ghost has been guiding me. It is literally amazing how God's hand is in everything. As a missionary, prayers are almost answered immediately. Not when it comes to investigators, but when it comes to something that I need help with, it works. I love it. 

There are so many things to be thankful for. Be thankful for consistent power and water. Sometimes during studies the power will just go out, it's fun. Also, after running in the morning, the water will just stop working, so we are a sweaty mess all day. Be thankful for paved roads. Be thankful for Foodland. Be thankful for warm showers. Be thankful for just everything!!!

So the other night, we were sitting with this man named Jermaine. He is about 27 and a member of the branch presidency here in Linstead. He is the coolest person I've met so far. He used to be a Rastafarian, and then when he found the church, he changed so many things in his life, and he is so devoted to the Gospel. He said the reason why he became a Rasta was because he was looking for something, but he still never found it, but the Rasta beliefs came sort of close to what he was looking for. When he found the Gospel, it was like, perfection. So we were sitting with him, just talking story, and he was saying that the reason he has stayed so strong in the Gospel as well is because he loves the great example the Sister Missionaries are. (He lives behind us). He said he was impressed with how I've adapted to everything so quickly, and I'm so chill. He was like, "You just fit in here!" It was funny, and I was like, "Thank you so much, you've made me feel so much better about myself." hahaha 

Last off, an Elder here (an AP), lost my passport. SO today, I had to go to the USA Embassy and get a new one. It was such a hassle. Don't worry mom, I got this handled!

Well, that is all I can think of for right now!

Love you all :)
-Sista PET (everyone says it like that). 

Jamaica Pride!

Umm, Voodoo doll?

Future Sister Missionaries

Busy Me!

Learning to Play Cricket!