Monday, September 23, 2013

What Would Jesus Do?

It's all fun and games until your companion pulls the race card on you and tells you that you treat her like a slave... Haha, I was so depressed about this I bought a big thing of cookies and ate the entire thing, by myself. I'm trying my hardest to understand Sister Coleman, and I hope she is doing the same towards me. I guess she was mad at me because I "make" her take out the trash and clean everything. I don't make her do anything! She just does it... I told her that if she wants me to do something to just tell me, because I'm the most unobservant person in the entire world, I'm not going to notice if the table has a little dirt on it or something. Anyways, while on my mission I thought every sister missionary was just mature and so excited to serve, but nope, you run into drama filled companions who have more personal problems than you know what to do with. I have been studying charity and love and trying to find ways to serve Sister Coleman. I have not stopped praying that she will soften her heart and forgive me for whatever I am doing that offends her so much. I am also trying my hardest to hold my tongue, because you all know that I can be a sarcastic brat if I am frustrated. I have to keep repeating in my brain, "What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do?" 

We did a trade off this last week, which was good. Sister Richardson came out to Linstead with me. Sister Richardson is Jamaican, and we accidentally ran into her family. We both had no idea that they were going to be in this town called Ewarton. Anyways, She was hugging her mom, and I jokingly said, "I miss my mom..." And her mom gave this huge hug and kissed me on the cheek. It was sweet. I'm glad I am not serving in the same place as where my family lives, I don't think I could handle running into mom and dad. It's better for me to be cut off from all that. 

Gabrinah is getting baptized this next Sunday before church! I'm soooooo SUPERDUPER excited for this girl. We went to teach her about the Law of Chastity the other day and she said, "Oh, I was reading about sexual purity this morning." Gabrinah is just awesome. She is the prepared and elect choice spirits we are looking for. Anyways, we asked her the baptismal interview questions and she answered them perfectly. I can't even explain how amazing it feels to see someone accept the Gospel. It is even better when you don't even have to do much, and see them make the choices for themselves to read, pray, and come to church. 

I have a surprise that I want to tell you all, but I don't want to jinx it or get too excited, so, I am going to wait until it happens. Maybe I'll tell you about it in the next couple weeks, if not, forget I even said I have a surprise. Haha 

I've been making a lot of lists lately. Currently I started making a, 'Things I am Praying For, List.' It's long, and drawn out. Top of the list is for me and Sister Coleman to find common ground. I wrote each name of investigators, less actives and members who are in need. I wrote Mom, Dad, Krissy, Cam, Kayla, and my grandparents on both sides. I wrote safety, knowledge, etc.. The list is long, and I always forget something when I say my personal prayers. I also made a, 'Things I am Thankful for, List.' The thankful list keeps growing and growing. I don't think either of these lists will ever stop. There is just so much to be thankful for and so much to pray for! 

I got to see Sister Woolf this last week, because of tradeoffs and on her hand she wrote, "Lost in the Work." I made a joke and told her that the last thing I want to do is to be lost in the work, I want to know exactly what I'm doing and where I am. Oh gosh, I'm so hilarious. I'm so glad I think I'm funny, because I keep myself sane by just thinking of something funny. 

I started reading Doctrine and Covenants, and it is awesome. Pretty much all about missionary work and laboring in the vineyard. I started reading the scriptures during free time in the evening as well, because I think I'm addicted to the word of God. Haha, but seriously, I love it and I can't get enough. An hour for personal study is NOT enough during the day. I sound like a nerd, but I am loving it. It's also so nice to read and see how you can apply certain scriptures into everyday life. I mean, I read my scriptures before, but mainly just to read them, not to really dive in deep. 

I don't really know what else to say. This week was good, bad, happy, sad, exciting, lame, EVERYTHING. I just love it. I love every minute of this thing. I love how amazing missionary work is. I love Jamaica, even though it's crazy and nothing like home (besides the fruits and coconut trees). I just am doing great. Don't worry about me. 

Sister Pitt

P.S. Whenever someone complains I always start talking about Dad and how he broke his back or whatever. I make the story really exaggerated like, "My dad broke his back and still ran 10 miles to help kids with cancer, he never missed a day of work or church, and he climbed Mt. Everest." HAHA, I'm just kidding, I don't go that far... I'm a missionary, I can't lie. ;)

Cutie Patootie!

Found this in the middle of no where

Hanging Out With Bryan

Huge Grapefruit

It Always Rains in Jamaica!

Jamaican Babies Are The Cutest!

Plenty of Fruit

This Cat Was Hilarious!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I almost died last night...

Alright, I'm being dramatic, but I did have an "exciting" adventure. On Sunday's we go to eat dinner at a members house, and they live down a steep, rocky road. Going up, you have to put the gear in 1, and it still bounces all over the place. Well, last night it rained and the hill was slippery. So, we are going up and all of a sudden the truck starts to slide down. I put the brakes on, and it was still slipping. I tried to steer it, but the the hill had control. And then I hear a big THUNK! The back end of the truck went into a ditch. (If I hadn't turned the tire a certain way, the whole truck would have took a backwards dive into a gully. Mom, Dad, don't freak out. haha) 

So, of course this happens, and then at least 30 people come out from their houses, and a whole soccer team shows up, people start calling each other on their phones. I just sat there, in the drivers seat, trying to hide my face. A whole group of men start trying to rock the truck back and forth, mind you, I'm still sitting in the truck. And then someone brings their truck, and they start tying a rope to both. Everyone is yelling at each other, I have no idea what is going on. Sister Coleman is talking and laughing with some ladies while I'm having a heart attack. A bunch of people get into the back of the other truck, by this time there are about 50 people watching. I am directed to put the truck into 1st again, and let off the clutch and break and press on the gas. Finally, I get up the hill and everyone is laughing and yelling, as I get out of the truck to inspect, a guy walks up to me and says he wants to marry a white girl.

Yes, another, average day in the life of a missionary in Jamaica. 

So, I've reached my five month mark of my mission. You would think by five months you might have the hang of everything, but nope, not even close. Time has flown. I feel like everything has just been  a dream. Good thing for these letters and me writing in my journal each night, or I wouldn't remember a thing. Everything starts to blend together. I'm learning so much, I'm having a lot of fun. In case anyone cares, I bought a scale. I'm dropping some pounds. (I started taking a container to members houses and asking them if I can take some of it home to eat later). So far, no offense taken. I made sure with Sister Coleman if doing that would be bad, and she said it's totally fine. So, I solved my stomach problems, I solved this weight gain problem. Too bad it took me 5 months to find a solution.

So, having a Jamaican companion is an experience. Remember how many, many letters ago, I mentioned that Jamaicans are awful singers? Well, Sister Coleman is no exception. I can say these things, because I too, am an awful singer. But, I think I found someone worse than me. Anyways, we always sing a hymn in the morning before companionship study and I have to carry the tune. And then, she starts to sing words wrong or out of tune, and it messes me up so bad. I just try to sing really loud so that I block that, because I can't sing while someone else is singing a different thing. My mind isn't that skilled. 

This last Wednesday we had Zone Meeting. It was awesome, as usual. I learned a lot, felt the spirit. Something that stuck out to me was an Elder said something along these lines, "Fear and faith can not go together." This is so true. I reflected on myself, and things I fear. I fear people disliking me, I fear uncomfortable situations, I fear stress, I fear failing, I fear having regrets, and the list can go on and on. My fears stem from self doubt, something that I have always struggled with despite my confident aura that I try to convey. When I was thinking about how fear and faith can not go together, I was thinking of ways that I could stop having my fears. I turned to the scriptures and read about the Brother of Jared. I read about all the people who were healed from the Savior. I learned that if I can be completely faithful to the Lord, there will be no room for fear. Those fears might creep in, but my reliance and trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will defeat all those stupid fears. 

No offense family, but I don't miss you as much as I used too. haha I mean, yes I miss you a ton, but the homesickness has subsided, and I've made so many great friends out here. I love these people. There is a woman in the branch, Sister Davis. She is amazing. She lost her oldest son in a car accident this last week, and she is so amazingly strong. When we went to visit her, she simply expressed her gratitude for the temple and that in a years time, she can complete his work. My heart aches for Sister Davis. When I heard what happened, I prayed for her, and I felt sorrow. I just can't even imagine the hurt she is going through. 

Oh, side note, I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. It's still true. haha

Gabrinah is still doing well. We taught her about Thomas S. Monson! It went awesome! She basically said that she is grateful for the knowledge that we have a prophet today, just like they had in the Bible. She is still on for the 28th. Pray for her, but mainly her mom, who is a less active. Her mom has a lot of pride and a great lack of faith, but still has a testimony of the Gospel. We talked to her, and she kinda got mad at me for telling her that she needs to increase her faith. Sorry ma'am, that's my job... Haha, I'm declaring repentance unto all people. Anyways, all is well, her mom isn't angry, I just think that she feels guilty because she knows what she needs to do. 

We attended a baptism for the Elders on Saturday! It was great. The spirit was strong. Lot's of people came. The kid who got baptized is 15, and living with some members. He had this great desire to change his life around and follow Christ. The first few times I talked to this kid, Alex, he was just an average hooligan. But, on his baptism and at his confirmation, he was glowing. You could just see the happiness in him. He told me he wants to serve a mission someday. It is awesome to see people change and come closer to Christ. Also, I believe the future of the church in Jamaica lies within the youth here, a lot of the older generation are very stuck in their ways. That is why it's the mission presidents goal to get as many Jamaicans out on missions as possible. 

Okay, so sometimes on a mission you get really tired, and when you are reading a scripture you mess up your words... Okay, maybe it's just me, but I was reading, "Let your good works glorify your Father in Heaven," and I accidentally said, "Let your good LOOKS glorify your Father in Heaven." So, I started cracking up to myself. It was hilarious. Nobody really got it though. Oh well, at least I make myself laugh. 

Oh, and here is a nice scripture:
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." (D&C 6:36)

Sister Pitt

I Almost Died!

A Few People Who Showed Up in the First Few Minutes!

People Helping to Pull Out Our Truck!

Guava Season!

Alex at His Baptism!
I Laughed So Hard When I Saw This

Jamaicans Just Ask You To Take Pictures of Them

Sister Chandler

Sister Coleman's Food?
These Lizards Can Jump So Far

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Go Amongst Thy Brethren, The Jamaicans.......

When there are huge groups of Jamaicans out on the road, you better believe that they are all gathered there to cast out a demon from a little girl. They beat drums, they yell, they start yelling nonsense and claim they are speaking in tongues, somebody similar to an exorcist comes, the mother is weeping, and so on and so forth. I think somehow Jamaica got stuck in the 17th century, but everything else is advancing around them.  (This legitimately happened in the neighborhood I live in…) You would think with the amount of ganja they are smoking, they’d be more relaxed.

Having a Jamaican companion is an adventure. Sometimes, a bunch of other Jamaicans and her will just start talking patios about Jamaican things and I will just start zoning out because half of it, I don’t understand, and the other half… Well, I won’t even try to pretend, I still don’t understand. I get the words they are saying, but sometimes I just don’t get what they are talking about, because they speak of things I’ve never experienced. It’s fun though, she’s teaching me some Jamaican sayings, and I teach her some good old Hawaiian pidgin, “If can, can. If no can, no can.” “Eh, howzit unko!” “Brah, ainokea.” I’m the only white woman for miles, minus the fat white lady I see in Linstead sometimes.  (No, I’m not passing any mirrors).

I had to speak in the Branch on Sunday. It went well. I told the story, “You are Special.” It is the one about the wooden puppets and the wood carver. Anyways, I tied it into the fact that everyone wants to be special and have a purpose, and the Gospel can bring that to others. It was better put in the meeting,  and I can’t really recall, I was just going by the spirit, obviously… haha

I was reading in Alma 26, and I came across these verses, and I reflected on the past few months:
“Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said, Go amongst thy brethren, the Jamaicans, and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success… We have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills. We have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon… and all this that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul.” (Refer to Alma 26).

I knew a mission would be hard, but I didn’t think I’d care so much. I just assumed I would be okay with people having free agency, and just move on. The more I have learned about the Gospel, the more it pains me to have people reject it. I mean, I don’t linger on it forever, I just feel sorrow.  I know there are a lot of denominations out there, and I know that someone can find truth wherever they seek it, but I do know more than ever that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the Lord’s Kingdom. I know that it holds all the saving ordinances along with the priesthood authority.  I know that as we abide by the standards and precepts of the church, our life will be magnified to excellence.  Now, I’m not here to just increase membership for this church, I’m not here to say, “I had so many baptisms on my mission.” I’m definitely not here to prove that I’m right and others are wrong. That isn’t it at all. I’m here because I just genuinely believe that it is only through our Savior Jesus Christ that we can inherit eternal life. I want everyone to know that. So, I’ve come to terms with the present “lack” of success, and realized that if there is one soul I’m saving, it’s my own. I’ve come to find success in other places rather than what is written down in my planner or progress records. 

Now, that was the past, and now it is the present, and the present is showing us a ton of opportunities to teach people. First, Gabrinah is awesome. She texted us on Saturday saying she didn't have enough taxi fare to get to Linstead to spend the night, so she was going to try in the morning. I prayed so hard. I prayed she would have the faith to get up and wait for a taxi. Then, walking into church, she was one of the first ones there! Prayers really are answered. Some could say it was all by chance that a taxi happened to be there, but I know better. I know that God made it possible. We taught Gabrinah the word of wisdom, and we committed her to live it and all she says is, "I already do. No problem." Oh, everything is wonderful with her. The branch is going to help her family out by having someone pick them up for the baptism on the 28th. Now we just have to talk to Gabrinahs mother, because I think she is worried she won't have enough money by that day. Gabrinah expressed her desire to serve a mission as well. She told Sister Coleman and I that she admires our efforts to share the sweet message of Jesus Christ. Oh, and I wish I could explain to you the way Gabrinah prays. It is like she pours out her whole heart and has a conversation with Heavenly Father. It's beautiful, and the spirit is always felt. She's always so humble and says things like, "I know it's not going to be easy, and I'm not asking you to do anything for me, but just hold my hand and comfort me through everything." Oh, she just understands how the Gospel works! 

Update on Christina! She referred us to one of her friends, and we invited her to come with us. We treated Christina like she was already a member, and had her testify of the Book of Mormon and how she has come to know the church is true. It went so well! Afterward Christina told me that she is considering being baptized sooner than she previously thought. She told me that she has been reading more of the Book of Mormon, and it's so good. Anyways, I just got to continue praying for her. I even said to her, "Christina, if the Savior was sitting right here and asked you to be baptized, what would you say?" She was like, "I'd say yes." So hopefully we will see some good come out of that. 

We have been finding a lot of people to teach! Everywhere. Well, I need to be a good example to Sister Coleman, so I am talking to EVERYONE I pass. Right now the church here in Jamaica really needs priesthood holders, so I'm hoping that we can find some of those as well. President Brown really put it into perspective for me. There are 2.8 million people here, and only 5,500 or so are members of the church, there are ALWAYS people to see and teach. I've just got to be always talking to everyone! Sister Coleman is such a funny teacher, sometimes I get nervous and have no idea where she is going with things, but she is improving each day. She also can just immediately relate to the people, something I can't do at all, because I've always had everything. (Thanks to my hard working father and mother). But, I have discovered how easy it is for me to love people out here. It's hard sometimes, but I just have to accept them for who they are. 

Oh gee. If anything good comes from this mission it is me just becoming a more appreciative person. I am just so thankful for everything that I have. I'm thankful I have a father who loves my mother. I am thankful he works hard and honors the priesthood which he holds. I am thankful for my mother who would never settle for less, and got married in the temple. I am grateful that both of my parents have stayed true and faithful to each other, despite hard times they may have faced. I'm grateful I was raised in a Gospel centered home. There are just so many problems out here with families, and it breaks my heart. Men and women living together, with children, and the men don't work, they just drink and smoke. The women have to work to provide for their children, while suffering mental, emotional and sometimes even physical abuse. Such sad situations.

Oh man, I'm just enjoying everything right now. I am enjoying learning. I am enjoying Sister Coleman, who is so easy to get along with. I am enjoying having a washing machine. I am enjoying the peaceful feeling I have each day when I get to testify to someone. It is so great. Heavenly Father is real. Jesus Christ is real. The Gospel is real nice. Like sugar and spice.

Sister Pitt

Silly Faces With Some Local Hoodlums!

How My Shirt Looks at the End of the Day

A Rasta Reading Our Pamphlet With a Joint in His Hands!

Pouring Rain ALL Day!

Journey Through The Jungle of Jamaica!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Goodbye Sister Wolff - Hello Sister Coleman!

Before I get to my new companion, how transfers went, and what not, I will explain the start of last week. It was quite fun and hectic.

Alright, so we were visiting with a less active member, who joined the church in his teens. He is now Rasta, obviously the easier path as far a religion goes. I mean, what do you do as a Rasta besides grow out your hair, become a vegetarian, smoke weed, and praise Jah? Sister Woolf said to him, "You know, you are still a member of the church." And he responded, saying, "You can't tell me what I am." I was trying to be funny and I was like, "Once you are Mormon, you are Mormon forever. Mwahahaha!" (I really did do that evil laugh). He didn't think it was as hilarious as Sister Woolf and I did. I still am trying to remember that most people probably don't realize I'm joking around. 

In Sister Woolf's and I's companionship, I killed the bugs. The other day in our apartment a HUGE centipede (A.K.A 40 Legger, to Jamaicans), was crawling across the floor. I had to grab the machete and chop it up into tiny pieces while Sister Woolf stood on the chair and screamed. It was hilarious. What is she going to do without me? Wait... What am I going to do without her?! We had a little TOO much fun. Another incident that happened on Tuesday evening was we were driving to see someone, and there was a goat on the side of the road, and his rope was tied to the other side of the road. Tiana (a girl who comes out teaching with us) told me to just drive over the rope. BIG MISTAKE. The rope got caught on something and the truck started to drag the goat under us. I heard a thunk, and I thought I killed the goat. I screamed so loud and we had to hand Tiana the machete to cut the rope and I had to drag the goat out. Yes, it was an eventful night. And, somehow a machete is always involved here in Jamaica. (Machete A.K.A. Cutlace to Jamaicans).

Big things are happening in our apartment. First off, we got a washing machine! One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! We also got a new shower head. So, now I can actually get completely soaked, instead of having to put one limb in at a time. The water is still cold, but I'm completely used to it now. Sister Woolf was mad that this all happened right when she was leaving. Oh well. I will be here for 2 more transfers, so I'm stoked. (3 months). 

Transfers were on Wednesday. We drove to Spanish Town to meet the newbies. We sat around all day, because they were taking forever in Kingston with interviews and what not. It was fun, we just sat in air conditioning and talked until the new people came. My new companion is Sister Coleman. She is from Port Moore, Jamaica. She is as Jamaican as it gets. Sister Woolf and her are complete opposites, the drastic change is actually quite humorous. Sister Woolf wasn't much of a cook, and Sister Coleman makes huge Jamaican meals all drenched in oil. Also, sometimes I can't understand Sister Coleman's accent and patios, but that's okay, I'll get it. She has been teaching me some patios sayings, so that has been fun. Maybe I will come home talking like a Jamaican. It's crazy how no matter how different Sister Coleman and I are, we have something that is exactly the same, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Oh man, Gabrinah, our investigator is just progressing like it's nobody's business. She understands everything, perfectly. I organized a place for her to stay on the weekends. (At a families house who her mom knows). A lot of people have been willing to help me set it all up. Because I'm training, right now I have to figure a few things out for myself, as Sister Coleman gets used to everything. We have been non-stop busy. So many people to see and so much to do. We have been teaching lots of lessons, meeting lots of new people. The work is really moving forward in Linstead. Yesterday, Sunday was an amazing Sabbath day! SO MANY people came to church. Lots of members, less actives, and investigators. Even random people who showed up out of nowhere. It was awesome and everyone seemed to love being there. 

Overall, everything is great. I don't have much to say this week. It's been busy, fun, interesting, and an adjustment. I miss my dear Sister Woolf, but Sister Coleman is great. Only downside, she snores... hahaha oh well :) I have been learning a lot from the scriptures and from Preach My Gospel. I feel a lot of responsibility as a trainer, and it's really nerve racking. I like taking charge though, I've never really enjoyed being in the passenger seat. It will be awesome to see Sister Coleman blossom. Hopefully I can be the best example for her and learn how to help her take charge as well.

Much Love and Aloha,
Sister Pitt

Bye Bye Sister Wolff!

Enough Said!

I Can't Find My Companion!

I Made Salsa and Ugly Mini Tortillas
But They Were Good!

Matching Jamaican Shirts!
When It Rains It Pours!

Hello Sister Coleman!

Sister Pitt in Jamaica!

The Walkers!