Tuesday, July 30, 2013

All Is Well In Jamaica!

You're not 'fat-fat-fat,' you're just 'fat.' (This was the nicest compliment I got this last week). 

All is well in Jamaica. Everyday is something new, yet everyday has similar themes. We wake up to goats and chickens. We run on a gorgeous path and wave to all those who go walking in the morning. We come back, shower, eat bananas and watermelon. We study our scriptures and manuals for two hours. We go out on the road and meet with primarily less actives, quite a few investigators, and members every once in a while. During lunch we just lay on our beds with the fans on full blast. We go out again, and come back, plan, and go to bed. Everyday may seem the same, but being here in Jamaica makes it exciting and hilarious.

You meet the strangest people here. I swear, when I get home, nothing weird will phase me anymore. I met a guy this last week who claims he was the gang leader for the famous gang, "Bloods," in New York City. He told me he was imprisoned for 25 years and deported back to Jamaica. He told me to look him up on the internet. I don't remember his name, but I honestly think he was just telling a big fib, but it was funny to hear his story. I saw Father Abraham again! And once again he sang and danced for us. Oh man, I wish you all could meet this man. He would make so much money back in the states being a street performer. He is quite the character. He is probably the happiest person on this planet. 

We have just been looking for new investigators all week. We are talking to EVERYONE. We met a guy named Anthony, who is nice enough. He has a lot of scriptures in the bible memorized, so he always is trying to prove something to us. Last lesson I asked him if I could see his bible, and I took it away from him and wouldn't let him have it till the end. Hahaha! Sometimes you have to be rude with Jamaicans, because that is the only way they will understand something. Anyways, Anthony is a good person, but he brings up the weirdest things. It's really hard for him to believe the Book of Mormon, and honestly, he isn't going to believe it, unless he really wants too. We are just challenging him to read and pray. I know the Book of Mormon has power to change hearts, but if a heart is hardened and not ready to change, it won't make a difference. 

I attended my first funeral this last week. I've been to a memorial, but never a funeral. I refused to look at the dead guy, I seriously couldn't do it. You would think that since I'm always teaching about the Plan of Salvation, I would be okay with it, but I'm not. It was weird to think that this mans soul was no longer in his body. I know where his soul is, I know where he is going, but it still is unsettling. Plus, I didn't know him. The missionaries were asked to sing at the funeral. We sounded so bad. I was trying so hard not to laugh. Laughing at a funeral. I would do that. Thank heavens Jamaicans are not very good singers. 

The best part of this week was having three of our less actives at church! Hallelujah! It's nice to see a little progression in these people. We see them all the time, we give them lessons, but we haven't seen any results until now. So, hopefully they keep coming. Fingers crossed. Being a missionary is so hard. It's tough. It's fun, but exhausting. I think the hardest part is getting your hopes up, and then getting them shot down. The other night I was praying, and I realized I have to stop praying for what I want. I can not do this on my own, I need divine help. I also started thinking of the song, "Jesus Take the Wheel." I probably should focus more when I pray... Hahaha

I feel like I don't have much more to say. I'm enjoying learning each day. I think the biggest thingI'm going to work on this next week  is patience. Many who know me well, know that I greatly lack this Christlike quality. I'll let you know what I learn next week about it and how I applied it :) Anyways, love you all. 

XOXOXO (high fives and handshakes)
-Sister Pitt

Anthony and Father Abraham

Father Abraham

Meal Calendar!


Rasta Man!

Sister Campbell is tiny!

Trying to teach a Rasta, but laughing instead



Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 14

So, there I was, sitting in our study room, planning for the week to come. All of a sudden, I hear footsteps coming up behind me. Sister Woolf was right next to me, so it couldn't possibly be her... Slowly, I turn around and to my surprise a huge goat is standing right behind me. I screamed. Sister Woolf screamed. We then chased it out of our house. The lady who does our wash, Sister Wallace, left the back door open, so the local farm animals decided to crash our weekly planning. It had huge horns and I was afraid it was going to stab me so I yelled, "It's going to HORN us." I meant stab, but Sister Woolf started laughing so hard. We were both in tears and I thought in my head, "This would never happen on the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission."

Um. So. We are in a metaphorical "drought" in terms of missionary work. I'm not trying to be negative in any way, but man, it's tough. We have investigators, we don't have investigators. We are always busy, we can't find a single person to see. We are happy, we are sad. It's a roller coaster of emotions and feelings. I've been finding out so much about myself, and more importantly my Savior through these hard times. At the beginning of this week we had an investigator named Alisa. Who is awesome and prepared. Sadly, she lives with someone who is... a jerk. We got to teach her for one week, so we taught her the basics. She loved it, she almost cried when we were saying goodbye. My heart felt like it was breaking. I know she wants the Gospel, but she is living in a circumstance that won't allow her to accept it. I kept thinking about in Alma how it talks about planting a seed of faith. Maybe the seed we planted will grow, eventually.

We literally had nothing to do, and no one to see the other day, so we went proselyting. Proselyting in Jamaica is hilarious. You just meet so many people. Odd people. It was completely useless though. We met no one who was interested. It's so weird, because usually they want to talk to white people, but nope. I'm wondering if Heavenly Father is trying to teach us something, or Satan is trying to get us down. Either way, we are pressing forward in faith. We are being exactly obedient, I am learning a lot. We try to get referrals from members, but it hasn't worked so far.

BUT, on Sunday something awesome happened that might just make a change with the missionary work here in Jamaica. It was district conference, and about 700 members showed up to the Spanish Town branch. President Brown was the concluding speaker, and can I just tell you, HE IS AN AMAZING SPEAKER. I compare him to Alma the Younger and Amulek. He has so much power, and he can speak right to your heart. He explained that in 2003 there was about 5,100 members of the church here in Jamaica. Ten years later there is only 300 more. He went onto say that there are 2.8 million people in Jamaica, that are just waiting for the Gospel, but the missionaries need the help of the members to help us find those who are prepared. He then called up all the missionaries and said, "These young men and women are here to serve you! They are your missionaries. They are called of God to bring people to the Gospel." He then asked us missionaries to sing Called to Serve. (This was all on the spot, none of us knew he would do this). We all sang, and by the second verse, the whole entire congregation was standing singing with us. It was powerful. Hopefully that helps the members realize how important they are in this work. They are so essential.

We are all called to serve. We are all members of HIS church. We have the sacred duty and responsibility to bring people closer to Christ. It's not just the missionaries, it's every single person who has been baptized. I'm so happy I get to be an official missionary. Sharing my testimony has brought me more joy than anything else. The scriptures comfort me. Praying guides me when I feel down. Even though we have been facing trials, I have never been happier. Each day, I learn of something new I am grateful for.

I love you family, and miss you a lot. Sometimes when the breeze is nice and the coconut trees sway I am transported back to home. Then I see a crazy rasta man singing to himself and I am brought to my senses. Thank you for the love and support you send my way. Thank you so much for your prayers. I can feel your love each day.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Pitt



A Chair a Lady made me sit on

Jamaican Children

Mr. Williams

Sister Missionaries


Monday, July 15, 2013

Three Months Have Come and Gone!

Transfer calls were on Saturday. Sister Woolf and I are together again for another 6 weeks! I guess our mission president trusts that we won't kill each other. I'm excited because we have been having so much fun together. Example number one: the other night, we were driving and we were stopped at a stop sign and this rasta was walking super fast towards our car and Sister Woolf screamed so loud, "LOCK THE DOOR, LOCK THE DOOR!." Instead, I just screamed and ducked, because I couldn't process everything fast enough. Turns out the rasta wasn't even walking towards us, and he probably heard us screaming in the car. We laughed until our stomachs hurt. Example number two: we are always so tired when we say companionship prayer at night and Sister Woolf was praying and she said, "Please bless everyone in the whole world." I snorted so loud, and then she lost it, and it turned into the most irreverent prayer. Sometimes you just have to have obnoxious fits of laughter to make you feel better about life. I am happy we get to stay together again here in Linstead. I feel like we were just getting started on investigators and I was getting a hang of things, so now these next 6 weeks we can just work our hardest to do what the Lord wants to accomplish together out here.

Last week, an old lady, Ms. Olive, yelled at us because we were taking pictures in her back yard. We had no idea it was her yard because the fence was broken. Anyways, we went back and apologized to her and asked if we could help her out with anything. She said all she needed was her yard cut, because the grass was so tall. So, everyone here cuts their grass with machetes... So Sister Woolf, our recent convert Bryan, and I went and cut her grass with machetes. Let me tell you, hardest thing ever. Bryan pretty much did the whole thing, because he knew how to do it. Within 10 minutes of chopping the grass, I got a huge blister on my hand. My sweat was dripping on it and I just had to keep going. It finally split open, so I ended up raking all the grass up. Ms. Olive was extremely appreciative. "God bless you. God bless you," she repeated over and over again. This blister on my hand got me thinking about the Savior and His sacrifice for us. My small sacrifice for Ms. Olive is NOTHING compared to His eternal sacrifice, but I think every time we serve someone or sacrifice our time, we get a tiny taste of the Atonement. When you are in the service of your fellow being, you are only in the service of God. This blister is painful, but nothing is as painful as bleeding from every pore or having nails driven through ones hands and feet. Nothing is as painful as having a crown of thorns jammed on your head and having people you helped, spit on you and call you names. I can't wait to start teaching Ms. Olive the missionary lessons. Hopefully we are softening her heart to learn more about Jesus Christ's great sacrifice and His church.

We started teaching this lady named Christine. (Let's not get that confused with Christina...) Anyways, so we were going to see Christine, and it was POURING rain. She came and got us and she led us into a house. I was laughing because of the rain, and as soon as I stepped into the house, I realized I was surrounded by 10 guys smoking weed and playing video games. I started laughing even harder, and then Sister Woolf came in and realized what was happening. All the guys were so surprised to see two white girls walk in. Their expressions were priceless. Anyways, we followed Christine to the back house and taught her a lesson. Speaking of Christine, we haven't made much progress with Christina. I love Christina to death, but I don't think she realized the sacrifice she would have to make to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I think she thought it was just a regular church. It's upsetting, but I know we planted a seed. We gave her the truth, now it's her choice to choose. We can't force her, but we are going to keep teaching her as long as she is doing her part of reading, praying, and coming to church. I know she wants to be baptized, but she just is so caught up with her life and the problems there, that she has a lot to sort out. I wish I could just magically fix every person's problems out here, but I can't. I'm trying to keep having faith and hope, but let me tell you, it isn't easy.

I will tell you of a great thing that did happen though! We work with a TON of less actives out here. That is pretty much all we do is try to help less actives come back. Rescuing the lost sheep, I suppose. After 3 months of visiting this lady named Sadie and telling her to come to church and teaching her, SHE FINALLY CAME. I have never been so excited to see someone at church. Oh man, Sadie is crazy. I think you all would love her. Actually, everyone we visit out here is crazy. Jamaicans may seem normal, but I can tell you that they all have something crazy hilarious about them. I hope Sadie continues to come, it's just rough because all these people we visit are either living with someone because they need financial support, or they forgot everything. I just sometimes don't even know what to do to help them, but I pray a lot here. I pray more than I've ever prayed before. That is all I can do, I guess. As long as I work hard and pray hard, the Lord will do the rest.

Well, living on ramen, oatmeal and mac n cheese has finally caught up to me. My stomach hasn't been right lately. I feel disgusting, because I have never eaten so many carbohydrates in my life. I'm tired of cucumbers, which are the main veggie you can buy out here. I guess I just have to get creative, and really work on budgeting my money. If anyone wants to send me some simple recipes, it would be appreciated. :) Well, three months have come and gone. It's crazy how fast time goes. I've been missing music and movies, but I can handle it. Sister Woolf and I have so many inside jokes that it makes each day entertaining. Not to mention, I'm in freaking Jamaica, and everyone here is a riot.

We had a zone meeting this last week and President Brown said something I really liked, "The age change in October 2012 will have just as great of an effect on the world as the restoration of the Gospel." Oh man, President Brown is amazing. I wish you all could listen to his testimony. I wish you all could meet his family. I feel excited just being in the same room with him and his wife. They are powerful people.

I love you my dear family. I miss you each day. I really, really love being a missionary. It's fantastic. I recommend it for every young person in the church. I learn something new about the Gospel everyday. I learn something new about myself each day as well. It's not easy, but I think i'm finally starting to understand the phrase my dad always says, "Head down, butt up." You just got to work hard and enjoy each moment. :)

Peace Out Boy Scout,

Sister Pitt

Before Chopping in the Yard
After Chopping in the Yard

Conrad and I

So Much Food! Worst Stomach Ache ever

Sister Woolf, Sister Davis, and I

Crystal Reid, Teaching with Us

Ghetto Bandaid


Monday, July 8, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

In the book, Gospel Principles, it talks about good Sabbath Day activities. One it mentions is writing letters to missionaries. So if you want to be a real follow of Jesus Christ and keep the Sabbath Day holy, write to missionaries. Specifically, ME. Just saying... ;) This week I got a letter from Tutu, Kallie, and Sumner! I was so excited, even though they were all sent more than a month ago. Snail mail is better than no mail.

Well this week was a roller coaster of the, good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly the bad and the ugly... I guess that is how life works. We have to go through hard times to appreciate the good. We can't know real joy until we have been through real sorrow. I didn't go through sorrow or anything, but I have been feeling a little lower than usual. Christina called us this week to tell us she feels pressured to be baptized and go to church. She told us she wasn't sure if she wanted to do this "whole thing" any more. Ouch. Javelin to the heart. When I hung up the phone, I couldn't help but cry a little bit. You try so hard to help people, you try so hard to learn all the doctrine, and you pray unceasingly for these people. Then, they just want to stop. I felt so awful, I felt like I didn't do my best. Sister Woolf and I didn't know what to do. The next day when we went to see her, she changed her mind again, and was back to normal. This experience left me realizing that I probably overreacted, and also just need to trust the Lord. I prayed so hard the night I thought Christina was giving up. I asked the Lord to comfort her and help her realize that she is making a good choice. I'm so glad she is still learning more. All I can do, is the best I can do. Heavenly Father will do the rest.

4th of July this week! I was having extreme nostalgia the whole day, thinking about how last fourth of July I was in Utah, watching the Beach Boys in concert. I also thought about our family tradition of pancakes with blueberries and strawberries in the morning. To celebrate, Sister Woolf and I drew an American Flag, and said the Pledge of Allegiance. We also sang all the songs about America in the Hymn book. I ate Mac and Cheese (the closest thing to American food I could think of).

Testimony meetings in Jamaica always prove to be entertaining. One guy got up and started telling this really crazy story. He sounded like a preacher from another church. He got loud. I couldn't stop laughing. It was so funny and awkward. I'm so glad I'm in a place where even if I'm having a not-so-good week, something hilarious happens and I forget all my worries. I also got to meet my new mission president! President Kevin Brown! He is AWESOME! He is a younger father and has so much enthusiasm. He came over to me and as he shook my hand he jumped up and down and was like, "I've haven't met you yet! I'm so happy to meet you!" I already know I'm going to love this guy.

The other day at a members house, I was walking into their kitchen with dishes in my hands. I forgot that there were steps down to their kitchen and my legs gave out and I fell to my knees. Surprisingly none of the dishes broke, but my pride did. Sister Woolf was in stitches laughing. I just so happened to be wearing my glasses and the father of the house said to me, "Looks like your glasses didn't help." I do at least 10 embarrassing things in one day. Another incident was when we were singing "Hark all ye Nations," and I accidentally drooled all over myself. Sometimes I can get away with things like that, but nearly everyone saw. It's "watevz."

Saturday night Sister Woolf and I were planning when we started hearing a cat meowing. We went outside, but couldn't see it. Then next morning, we kept hearing it, and we looked under our truck. We heard it under it, but we figured once we started the truck, it would run away. We were down the road about a mile, and the song stopped, and we heard the cat meowing so loud. We screamed for about 5 minutes. It had climbed under out truck and was along for the ride. I don't know what happened to the cat. I hope it didn't die under there. I guess we will know if we start smelling dead animal...

Okay, maybe my week wasn't bad. The more I focus on the positive, the more I try to really remember the goodness in my life, the bad and the ugly goes away. Even when our investigators hide from us, our less actives make stupid excuses, and members aren't willing to work with us, I still have this burning feeling of love for them. Nobody is perfect, I know I'm not, so I can't expect them to be. Heavenly Father loves everyone, and so should I.

Jumping in Jamaica Pt. 3

Fourth of July

There are Dogs Everywhere

Chicken Foot Soup, Yum!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why are you so white?

I think I've reached the point of my mission where I just have stopped caring about what I look like. I knew this day would come... I'm sweaty and gross everyday, there is no point in even trying. I was so tired the other day that I just shaved one leg and gave up. (I eventually shaved the other leg, don't judge me...)

This week flew by in a blink of an eye. If this is how every week is going to be, my mission will be over before I can say, "supercalfragilisticexpialadocious." I don't want that to happen, at all. I am loving it out here. I LOVE JAMAICA. I love that every single day something new happens. This week we went to go visit a Less-Active who is now a preacher for another church. Anyways, he totally still has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but he just loves being a preacher. I must add, a very LOUD preacher. He asked if he could say a prayer for us as we were leaving. He started pretty normal, but then the prayer escalated quickly. He got loud, started throwing his hands around, and was being extremely dramatic. "BLESS THESE VIRTUOUS, RIGHTEOUS WOMEN! KEEP THEM SAFE! OH LORD, WATCH OVER THEMMMM!" What was a very spiritual meeting turned into an obnoxious farewell. Sister Woolf and I were trying so hard not to laugh, it was just so awkward. Anyways, when he was done, he told us while he was praying he saw lights flashing before his eyes. I told him jokingly that God was trying to give him a sign to come back to Church. He ignored my comment.

This last week Wednesday, we had our district meeting in Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios is a tourist town, and near the ocean, so it makes me think of home. While we were there, Sister Hendricks called us to let Sister Woolf know that we had to come into Kingston that day for Sister Woolf's dentist appointment. (She had a toothache). We drove for four plus hours on Wednesday, because everything is so far apart and the roads are awful. The best part of the day was we got Otis Spunkinmeyer muffins, which are seriously the best, ever. Every time we pass Spanish Town, we stop by the grocery store to get them. While we were at this particular grocery store, buying muffins, a group of school girls crowded around Sister Woolf and I and started touching our hair. "Is your hair real?" "Are your eyelashes real?" "Why are you so white?" (Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white.) Mean Girls reference, by the way.

I've been learning a lot. For example:

1. Sometimes you just have to shut up and endure people who ridicule you. Don't take it personally.

2. Be patient with companions. Never argue. Let them win.

3. Love everyone, even if they are crazy or mean.

4. Have faith in God's will. Some answers to prayers come quickly, some come later, some don't even come at all.

5. When you are driving, always make sure you are in 1, instead of reverse. (That's all I'm going to say about this one...) haha

Friday night was the worst night, ever. About 100 yards from our house, there was a huge party going on. From 9 pm to 3 am. IT WAS TERRIBLE. SO loud. We couldn't sleep. The bass was shaking the house. Then, some random guy was on a huge mega phone, screaming in Patawa. Saturday we were so out of it. I can't even remember what happened on Saturday, because I was so tired.

President Hendricks is no longer our mission president. President Brown stepped in on Friday evening! How exciting to be here while the first Jamaican mission president is here. I'm going to miss President Hendricks. He is a great man! He stopped by to say goodbye to Sister Woolf and I. He told us we have been doing a great job and we are a very special companionship. We agreed, because we really do have so much fun, and we work really well together. Even this girl that came out with us teaching says, "You two are different than other missionaries because you are not afraid to be yourselves around each other." We both have been working hard to make our companionship blossom.

As for Christina, she is doing alright. Sadly, she was in Ocho Rios all week, so we only saw her on Sunday. She didn't have enough money to Taxi to church, but she really wanted to come. We brought two members with us, and we had a mini testimony meeting! The spirit was so strong, and we are really understanding Christina's needs and concerns. We are doing everything we can for her. She does not want to be baptized on July 6th, because she says she is not ready. She wants to know everything about the Gospel. We try to emphasize that if she has the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will help her learn and feel the spirit. But, we can't push her into baptism, we can only stand beside her as she learns what she wants for herself. Selfishly, I want her to be baptized sooner than later, but as long as she is progressing and learning, I KNOW she will be baptized. One of the members that came with us to the mini testimony meeting told us that we have planted a beautiful seed for her. That made me feel really good! Christina is an amazing girl, I love her so much. She needs the Gospel, she has been through so much in her life. Everyone needs the Gospel.

Well, like always, I look forward to this coming week. I am excited for things to come. I am excited for the adventures I will have this next week. I am excited for the people I will meet. I really do miss home, but Jamaica has my heart for now. I love it here. I love feeling tired and disgusting after working hard. I love laughing so hard with Sister Woolf, we almost start crying. I love hearing Bob Marley playing in the distance. I love driving stick. I especially love the scriptures. I love the Gospel. I love Heavenly Father. I love Jesus Christ. I love my life.

The only part I hate about all this is stepping in dog crap... (Not like that happened to me or anything...)


Sister Pitt

Aloha Oe to President Hendricks

Farewell to President Hendricks
Boring Lesson

Jamaica Me Crazy

Jumping in Jamaica 2

Silly Faces

Sister Woolf Getting the Angles

The Book of Mormon

Just Hanging Out in the Shade