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!

No comments:

Post a Comment