Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Transfers....I'm a TRAINER!

Transfer calls are in and... I'M PREGNANT WITH A DAUGHTER! (Or should I say, training a new Sister!) So, um. I'm nervous. Linstead has been rough, but hopefully with all your prayers, and our diligent efforts, we can get this place rolling along. Sister Woolf is going to Boulevard (Kingston) to be a Sister Training Leader! Anyways, I find out on Wednesday who I am training. There are four Jamaican sisters coming out, and one from England. I could be training a Jamaican and then they can teach me how to make Jamaican food, so someday I can cook it and you can all see how gross it is. hahaha Okay, it's not all bad, but the more you consume it, the more you are sick of it. I consider it a love hate relationship. Jerk is good. Rice and peas are good. And... That's about it. ha.

A lot has happened this last week. First off, I got an interview with President Brown, and I don't know what it is about that guy, but he always makes me cry. He has never interviewed Sister Woolf and I, so he wanted to get to know us. Can I just say, President Brown is the best Mission President, ever. He is so amazing! Anyways, I guess he could tell I was a little discouraged, and I just told him everything that has been going on in my mind and what not. I'm not going to lie, and my family knows this already, but I get really down on myself. President Brown told me what he thought of me when he first met me, and he told me of my potential and power. I felt like I was back home, with mom and dad telling me these things. It was comforting, and really gave me a sense of motivation to be better each day. Believing in myself has proven to be the most difficult part of my mission, but I know that any doubt comes from Satan, and I just have to always be positive. 

We have been giving Christina space, because if she isn't ready for baptism, we can't force her. We can only hope she will keep progressing and the members will always remember her. She called us the other night and said, "Hi Sisters! I think I have something like a... testimony. Yeah. I have a testimony to share with you girls." She then proceeded to tell us about a dream she had about the Book of Mormon. Apparently she was in water (she can't swim) and she was holding onto the Book of Mormon and it was keeping her afloat, and this guy kept telling her to let go, and she was yelling that she would never let go of the word of God. She said when she woke up she was reading the Book of Mormon and just started crying. She kept telling us that she believes that it is true. I then asked her, "Well, Christina, now that you know that this is the word of God, what are you going to do about it?" She then said, "Well, I have to come to church more. I have to repent and be baptized." What?! Yes! But, wait, it's not over... We went to visit her the next day and extended a baptismal date for her and she was like, whoa whoa, too soon. So, once again, slow progress with Christina, but I can only hope that someday in the future it all works out. 

We started teaching the girl named Gabrinah, who is 15 years old. She is AWESOME. Her mom is a Less Active, with a great testimony still. The problem with her mom is that she is super poor and gives all of her money to her children so they can travel to school. They live 30 minutes away from the church. Her mom's husband doesn't make much money, so the money they do make goes to maintaining their lives. It's so hard to say, "If you have faith, you can do it," when I've never been through what they are going through. Anyways, we are trying to figure out how Gabrinah can get to church. She was going to come on Sunday, but there are NO taxis in her area on Sunday. Rough stuff. Since Sister Woolf is leaving, me and my new companion are going to work with the branch president to find a member her mom knows that she can stay with on the weekends. Gabrinah wants to be baptized and she is so sensitive to the spirit. I love teaching her. Her baptismal date is September 28th! Pray that things will work out :)

The first thing Brother Walker said to me the other day was, "Sister Pitt, YOU ARE FAT!" Hahaha, if someone would have said that when I first got here, I would have been so offended, now i'm so used to it. They even call skinny Sister Woolf fat, so no big deal. But I said to Brother Walker, "No I'm not!" And he was like, "I have eyes, I'm not blind." I laughed for 10 minutes. Somehow I always get on the topic of my weight gaining abilities in these letters...

Sacrament meeting yesterday was great. The Elders in our area are doing awesome! They had seven investigators at church and 5 less actives! Church was full on Sunday. During the blessing and passing of the sacrament, I really tried my best to focus on the prayers and remembering all the promises I've made the Lord over the years. It was a tender moment, and I felt the spirit. As I waited for the water, I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me for all of my inadequacies and mean thoughts. When the water got to me, I paused for a minute, and then drank it. All at once I felt forgiven, I felt peace, I felt clean. My mind reflected back to my baptismal day. I remember going into the ocean, I remember dad, I remember the white dress, I remember the food afterward (of course), I also remember seeing the Temple in the distance. I remember mom talking at the little devotional thing at the visitors center. I think every sacrament meeting we should think about our baptism and the covenants we made with our Father in Heaven that day. It's so important to do this, and I know as we do it, we will feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. 

Overall, I can't believe it's another Monday. In a few weeks I'll be at 5 months. Sometimes, when I'm just sitting listening to goats and chickens, I can't believe I am here, in Jamaica, on my mission. I've been telling people for years about my desire to serve, and here I am now. I'm doing it. I'm accomplishing a goal. It all feels like some sort of dream, but it is a reality. It's like inception, with the little spinny thingy going round and round.

Alright (<how Jamaicans say hello and goodbye),
Sister Pitt

3rd Nephi 5:13

Laborers In Linstead

Almost American Food

Crazy Lil Casey!

Inner Peace

Just Chilling!


Sister Pitt the Pig Whisperer

Stuck In The Mud

Teaching Brother Walker

Wicked Tan Lines!
Tender Mercies!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Joys of Missionary Work!

As a missionary, I feel the responsibility to be completely honest and honorable in all of my dealings. With that being said, I will not lie about how this last week went... I think I had a midlife crisis, or went through some kind of bi-polar depression phase. I know what you are all thinking, "That Caressa, she is so dramatic..." The statement, "when it rains, it pours", has never been more true. I think every single day for the past two weeks I have been thinking, "Well, it can't get any worse." And, then it does. Something new comes a long and presents itself. Sister Woolf seems to be on the same page, and we've both had emotional breakdowns. You know, sobbing, curled up in a ball, and questioning our existence...

Despite all of that, I am still happy. 

I got a blessing from Elder Fowkes (an Elder in my district) on Wednesday because I needed one, bad. I think the first thing he said was that Heavenly Father is aware of everything I am going through. As soon as he spoke those words, I immediately started tearing up. I just felt surrounded by peace and love. I wish I could remember what else he was prompted to say, but the blessing really helped me feel better. 

All I've eaten all week is a banana for breakfast, carrots and peppers for lunch, and healthy choice soup for dinner. I am really sick of eating food. I've reached my limit. If we ate a members house, that is all I would eat for the entire day. So, yeah, I feel much better this week, tummy wise. I wasn't even consuming that much before, it was just not enough balance in my diet. There are just not many options in this country as far as grocery shopping goes. But, if anyone has any idea for easy recipes, please send them my way. 

This last week we went to a training meeting. Everyone who attended will be training next transfer, so I assume because we had to go, Sister Woolf or I will be training. We find out this coming Saturday what is happening next transfer. I'm extremely overwhelmed with that thought. Likely, it could be me because Sister Woolf has been in Linstead for six months now. Anyways, Elder Cornish and President Brown gave the training meeting and it was about how Trainers need to be "perfect" missionaries. He explained that a perfect missionary is simply a missionary who does what they know they should do. I also read this talk given at the MTC some years ago called, "A Consecrated Missionary." In order to be a consecrated missionary, you have to give up yourself to the Lord. You know how certain things can make you feel so good and so bad at the same time? Well that is how the meeting and talk was for me. I felt good, but also guilty. Weird how that works.

We have been slowly finding new investigators. Oh you know, we might have lost all of the old ones we had. Sorry I don't talk about them much, there isn't much to say. We get a new investigator here and there and then they are gone. It's been a struggle, and I don't really like writing about them, because on Monday they are great and then by the middle of the week they've run away. If I wrote about all of them, it would be an endless list of problems they have and things they have to overcome. My favorite investigator was Christina. Oh man, I love that girl. She is great, but I guess she has a lot of things to figure out. She just wasn't ready... YET. Don't worry, everyone will come to the knowledge of the truth. Anyways, we had a few great lessons this week. We talked about the plan of salvation with a lady who recently lost her brother in a shooting. We talked to another lady who used to investigate the church, but stopped. The spirit was felt and it was obviously there. They felt it, now it's their choice about whether they accept it or deny it. Either way, their choice. I'm trying really hard to not let others choices effect my happiness on my mission. It's all up to Heavenly Father. I've just got to keep the faith and trust that Heavenly Father will put people in my path who are ready and prepared. 

Okay, Nancy Negative has been taking over this email. But, I want to share some tender mercies that I have seen and felt recently.

1. Bryan, our recent convert is awesome. He always shares the Gospel, and we are getting some referrals from him. He is at the end of Alma in his Book of Mormon reading, and he is so grateful to be a member. He really loves the church and everyone there. He always expresses his love for the members and the love he feels from them. Bryan was ready for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, he was searching for the truth, he just didn't know where to find it.

2. Sister Clarke, another recent convert to the church verbally expressed her gratitude for Sister Woolf and I during Relief Society. She was so happy that we took the time to talk to her father who was senile and blind. (He recently passed away, and it made me so sad. I loved that old man). She always is glad to see us.

3. Brother Walker, a less active told us that our visits are the best part of the week. He has been coming to church for the past three weeks. He told us that a few years ago he was hungry and had no money for food. He saw a breadfruit really high in the tree, but he is too old to climb up and get it down. He said a prayer and while he was praying the breadfruit dropped from the tree. He said he could barely believe it. Brother Walker is so funny and just tells us stories. We give him short lessons to try to refresh his memory about the church. He looks so excited every time he is at church. 

4. Brother Birch (an older man) recently had a stroke. We went to go visit him and his wife this last week and gave her a little message about trials and Heavenly Fathers love for her. She started sobbing and saying over and over again, "Heavenly Father loves me." She grabbed our hands, looked us in the eyes, and thanked us. 

Those little moments make it all worth it!

Sister Pitt

The Joys of Missionary Work!

Anthony Getting Us Coconuts

Enjoying Some Coconut Milk!
Brother Walker Tells Us Stories
Lost In Jamaica!
Country Roads!
Sister Wolff With a one-legged Rasta Man

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Last night was an eventful night, to say the least. I tossed and turned all night, and at midnight, I started getting a really bad fever. My face and neck was so hot, and my whole body was freezing. Sister Woolf was having a hard time sleeping as well, because she got her food allergy again. I went under my blankets and fell asleep for a little bit, and woke up around one, burning. I took some medicine, drank water, and took my temperature. It was high. Then as we were sitting in the dark, we started hearing this really loud noise in our apartment. Then it sounded like it was coming from outside. Instincts kicked in and I ran to the kitchen and grabbed our knife. Sister Woolf started crying a little bit. I said a prayer while holding a knife in my hand. I called Sister Barrett, and told her about the noise. Turns out it was just the wind pushing our bathroom door back and forth. I have no idea why it sounded like it was outside. Can you say OVERREACTION. I have no idea why we got so scared, it was just a really unsettling feeling, but it is a hilarious story to tell, that is for sure. 

This last week was... I actually really have no explanation for this week. It just was. Monday started off in Ocho Rios. We got to go sit at the beach and it made me extremely nostalgic thinking of home. I got to put my toes in the Caribbean Ocean, which was satisfying. We ate at Burger King, saw white people, played Frisbee. It was a good P-Day. This week we had a meal appointment everyday. Something Sister Woolf ate has been giving her the worst food allergy, and I was sick as well, so I had to go to the health clinic, because the mission presidents wife needed to make sure I was okay. Let's just say, I don't like Jamaican health clinics. I had to pee in a plastic drinking cup, in an extremely unsanitary bathroom. hahaha All part of the fun, I suppose. Anyways, turns out my allergies have just been acting up really bad, but I don't understand why I had a high fever last night. 

One of the nights we ate a members house, they fed us mutton (sheep). I know Cameron knows what that tastes like. She also served us some mac n cheese. I thought the mac n cheese had pepper in it, but as I closely examined it, I realized that it was ants. Yummy! But, it was the first night we actually sat at a dinner table. Oh, I'm also used to pigs tail. I never thought that would happen. Oh, and speaking of all this food, when I went to the doctors office and they weighed me, I screamed internally. Let's just say, I'm going to go on a 40 day fast, just like Jesus did. haha

This Saturday, Sister Woolf's food allergy was so bad, we had to stay in. I slept, because I've also been sick, but I also read the entire, "Our Heritage," and some chapters from the "Teachings of Joseph Smith." Oh man, I learned so many things about the history of the church. Joseph Smith faced so much persecution for righteousness sake. I've always had a testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I've always known that the Book of Mormon is true, but I really didn't have that much knowledge of Joseph Smith. Even after taking a Doctrine and Covenants class. (Honestly, I didn't pay much attention). I never felt connected to him or the early saints,  it didn't matter to me. I just went by faith believing he translated the Book of Mormon and prophesied of many things. Sister Woolf has such a strong testimony of the work Joseph Smith did, I felt like I needed to learn more. I can't believe all that he went through! It just proves to me the truthfulness of his work. It proves to me that Satan was trying his hardest to destroy the work of the Lord. I always believed Joseph Smith was a prophet, but I feel after studying and praying about it, I KNOW with my whole heart he was the prophet who restored the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. I am so thankful for him. 

I also really liked reading about Joseph Smith this week because he writes a lot about people going through trials. I feel like the first four months of my mission have been trial and error, but as I look back, I realize my spiritual growth and the knowledge I've obtained is significant. I've learned that it's not what I want to do, it's what the Lord wants me to do. I've learned that the closest I feel to the Lord is when I diligently pray. I've learned so much from the Book of Mormon, and I can't believe how much the Lord has helped me understand it and apply it to my teaching. I've learned to be patient, and to just trust Heavenly Father. I've had a ton of fun and some amazing times. I can't believe I'm actually pretty used to the Jamaican culture by now. Weird stuff happens, and I barely notice it anymore. 

I have a lot of goals I'm going to work on for the next 14 months. As I've studied my Patriarchal Blessing, I realize there are things I need to improve on. The biggest thing I'm going to do is use the talents and abilities I have to lift those around me. I'm really going to soul search about what those talents and abilities are, and apply them. 

Well, all is well in Jamaica, I love you all, I miss you all.
D+C 10:5 


Sister Pitt

Chilling In Ocho Rios
Name Tag In The Sand

District Day!
Companions In the Sand

Ocho Rios
Amros And His Backyard

Reeva Did My Hair!

The Wisdoms and the Richardsons

Monday, August 5, 2013

Jamaicans Are TERRIBLE With Directions!

Jamaicans are terrible with directions. TERRIBLE. So this is how a conversation played out with a guy we saw on the side of the road:

Me: Hello, Where is Ivy District?
Guy: Down the road, up the hill, take the deep turn.
Me: Um... Do you know Carrie-ann? She said to ask for her over here.
Guy: I know lot's of Carrie-anns.
Me: Carrie-ann with a baby?
Guy: I know lot's of Carrie-anns with babies. My sisters name is Carrie-ann and she has two babies.
Me and Sister Woolf: (laughter)
Me: Well, your directions don't make sense. Where is Ivy District?
Guy: Down the road, up the hill, take the deep turn, keep going.
Me: ... Haaa 

We spent a good half an hour looking for this girl "Carrie-ann." Turns out her name is actually Kareen, we just heard it wrong. Finding places is nearly impossible when Jamaicans give you directions. "Past the coconut trees, keep going." Um, okay...

Anyways, this week was good. I've come to realize that teaching investigators is a lot like a relationship. It starts off all wonderful, the person is promising, and then bam, they run away from you or tell you it's over. Sometimes we have to avoid them, or they avoid you. It's a huge mess. It also plays with your emotions. I'm going to be used to this kind of heartbreak when I get home. Haha

Yesterday we went to teach this woman who is married to a less active member. She is from Jamaica, but has been in Georgia for the last 10 years. Anyways, her husband, Everton, really wanted us to meet her and talk to her about our church. We said sure, but he warned us she isn't too fond of us. I figured he meant she just didn't know things and was unsure, but she HATES Mormons. It was so awkward. We started talking with her, and she told us her church, Church of God (Protestants), teaches her all about our religion. Apparently we are polygamist, racists, and we praise Joseph Smith. She went on and on about how Joseph Smith received revelation from the Devil. She was pretty much yelling at us, It didn't help that I was laughing about it. I was like, "Woman (I can't remember her name), we only teach people who are willing to learn, you obviously aren't." She was so rude so we just left. I don't think she knows that her husband has been baptized into our church and he was just sitting there awkwardly, because we always visited him when she was in the States living. Anyways, fun times when people decide to bash your religion. 

What else? Hmm. Yesterday a former investigator of ours showed up to church soaking wet with a huge guy next to him. We were in class and he asked Sister Woolf and I to step outside and talk to him. Anyways, the big guy asked our investigator to sell some things for him, and our former investigator tried to steal it. So yeah, somehow we got dragged into that, and it was so funny because these two men were acting like children. Sister Woolf asked if they are friends, and the big guy was like, "No. We are enemies." I lost it, I started laughing so hard. I have no idea why they decided to come to church and tell us about their problems. Anyways, by the end of church they were friends again. But, there is a reason why we dropped the one that came soaking wet, he is crazy.

So, a lot of really exciting and fun stuff happens on a daily basis in Jamaica, as you can see. We have been struggling back and forth with investigators, less actives, and whatnot. So it goes. Something I've been trying to work on is just to be patient. Patience is so hard, and I probably failed at it many times during the week, but I'm trying. Yesterday as I fasted, I prayed for it. I am trying to focus way more on what God wants, rather than what I want. 

Something I saw in an Ensign article the other day really caught my eye it was a quote that said, "Isn't it amazing how His wounds can heal our wounds." I've been really trying to study the atonement and how amazing it is. I feel like I could study it my whole life and not really wrap my head around how infinite and eternal it is. Oh it is wonderful that He should care for me, enough to die for me! He died for everyone so that we all may live. I love teaching people about the atonement. The thing with Jamaicans, is they all know about it, but it's a great feeling to really help them understand it. 

Anyways, a lot more happened this week, but I forgot my journal at home. Usually I bring it with me to look back, but I can't remember a thing. Wait. We had Zone Conference this week and President Brown said that if we can get 60 worthy, tithe paying, priesthood holders, we will be getting a Stake here in Jamaica by early next year. Whoa. Progress! That would be awesome! The work is hastening in Jamaica.

One Love, 
Sister Caressa Ann Pitt

Intense Chocolate Milk Drinking!

Jamaican Lychee or Ginips?

Sister Wolff and I

Sister Wolff's Little Prank!

Typical Home in Jamaica!