Monday, January 27, 2014

"Tender Mercies"

SO, I decided to make a big "Tender Mercies" chart in our apartment. It is basically a thing where we can write all the tender mercies or blessings we had during the day. We can even write things we are thankful for. I want it to stay in the apartment for every sister missionary who lives there to write all the good, so maybe someday a struggling sister missionary can go look at the big poster and realize how good Heavenly Father is. It's also really fun. So far the poster has, "The Vance's gave us muffins as a treat!" OH, the perks of living by a senior couple. If you want missionaries to love you, feed them. We are going to write a bunch this next week. (The poster is really big, and we write small. It's been great trying to look for the tender mercies). 

The work is going good. You know, just plugging along. This area does struggle...

Sorry for trailing off there, a lady just walked in and told us to keep it down. Um excuse me, we were just giggling a little bit about emails we got, we are the only ones here, and we paid 300 JD to email in here... Obviously it's because I'm white. Hahaha jk (Look, I still have to work on patience. I wrote this to prove I am not perfect. I wish I was though). 

Anyways, back to explaining the work. So, this area is slow, and the branch is small. We do work hard though. We are obedient and we teach effectively. Sometimes I do sit and question what the deal is, but then I always remember that it's all in the Lord's timing. Also, sometimes He just wants you to work harder, in order for him to bless you with success. Sigh. But something that was amazing, we did splits with the Sister Training Leaders. (Sister Woolf and Sister Evans). I went with Sister Evans. But, Sister Woolf told me that she did tradeoffs with Sister Coleman, and Sister Woolf said, "Sister Coleman talks about you all the time. She talks about everything you taught her. I mean I love you, but I was kind of sick hearing about you so much." Hahaha Oh that made me smile. It's nice to be appreciated. 

So, President Gayle gave us a bunch of CD's with cool talks, essays, and things. We have been listening to them at night when we are winding down for the day. Man, it's weird being a missionary. Your days are literally 24/7 gospel oriented. I don't even remember what it is like to be a normal person anymore. Can you believe I forgot the lyrics to Hey Jude and Where is the Love by the Black Eyed Peas?! I sometimes don't even know who I am anymore. (Ha, just kidding). But, hey, I know a bunch more church songs now.

So, I heard a quote this week which says,
"Suffering in life is mandatory. Misery is not."

That is awesome. I guess this last transfer I've been doing everything I can to be positive. I've been praying more positively. I've been always looking on the bright side. I've been noticing the happy times. I've laughed a lot more. I love the people, so much. So much, my heart sometimes aches for them. I finally feel at a point where I am confident in doing the work. I feel confident in my testimony. I still sometimes wonder how the spirit can lead me, but that will always be a work in progress, my whole life. I just am happy. I've learned so much in my studies lately. I've learned so much from my prayers. I am learning so much more about my Savior and Redeemer. I feel his love. I feel it everyday. I sometimes wonder if I am doing all I can. I sometimes think, "What more can I do?" But then I feel a calming influence, and I realize the Lord is proud of me. And that is all that matters. I still have so much to work on. I think that is a strength of mine, I have really been realizing that I can always improve and do better. I'm thinking progression, not perfection. 

God be with you till we meet again.

Sister Pitt

The District!


Danae From Linstead At District Conference!

Kinda Looks Like Our Dog

Tender Mercy!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Salvation Tastes Good!

I will never forget my birthday in Jamaica. It began like any other P-day. We emailed, we shopped, we came home. When we got home I changed into some sweats. There I was sitting innocently at my desk, trying to budget my money for the rest of the month then all of a sudden, FLOUR EVERYWHERE... In my hair, in my ears, down my shirt, everywhere. Sister Collier and Sister Rampersad got me good, when I least expected it. The AP's called and sang happy birthday to me, my district leader and his companions sang to me, a kid named Demar called and sang to me, and I got some random Jamaicans to sing to me. It was awesome! I wore the "Birthday Girl" pin mom sent me, and everyone wished me Happy Birthday. In the evening, we went to the Hudson's house. One of their sons, Jevon, was up in a tree, and right when I walked under it, he poured flour all over me. Last of all, we had an old nasty pillow in the back of our truck bed for the longest time, so I decided to burn it. I lit it of fire with roach spray and a match. I've never been into lighting things on fire, but it was a fun way to spend my birthday. I didn't eat any cake, but I did have brownies. 

Okay, so this last week was sort of stressful and slow. Eh, it happens. We had such a slump one day, that we called our branch president to ask him if we could do anything for him, and he said, "Come give me a lesson!" So we taught him about enduring, and he ended up teaching us. It was awesome, and it was a spiritual boost I needed in the middle of the week. 

So, we estimated that we had 10 people confirm that they were coming to church and come Sunday, and nobody showed up. Sister Rampersad and I were writing a note back and forth to each other right after the sacrament was passed and this is what it said:
Sis R: Nobody came...
Me: Hey, at least we know our souls are saved.
Sis R: True that. We did our part. That bread tasted really good.
Me: That is because salvation tastes good.

So yeah, next time you take the sacrament (the bread and water), just remember, salvation tastes good. 

We are kinda back to square one with all our investigators. We had to drop a bunch, and now we are looking for more. Sigh. It happens all the time. But, that is no reason to be discouraged. If there is one thing I've learned from all this, it is that a positive attitude really gets you a long way. If you are negative, missionary work sucks. If you are positive, it is the best thing in the world, no matter the outcome. While watching a talk by Elder Holland he said, "Some blessings come soon, some come late. Some don't come until Heaven. But for those that embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come." That is where I'm at right now. I'm just sitting here, trusting God, that good things are just around the corner. As for the slump, who cares. I'm just going to work my butt off and enjoy being here, serving the Lord. 

Tender mercies of the week:
1. We had no one to see, everyone bailed on us, so we decided to visit this old man (Brother Tillock) in the branch. We went to his house and his head was in his hands. When we said his name, he looked up and had the BIGGEST smile on his face. He was so happy we came. Sunday at church he brought us cookies, it was the cutest thing.
2. Also, a man who was less active for a while, invited us over, and fed us fried chicken. OH man, I have developed an undying love for fried chicken. I think I maybe ate it a few times in my life until I came to Jamaica. It's the best. 

Okay, well, love you all, 
-Sister Pitt



Oh Well!

Haha! The Guys Who Washed Our Van!

He Begged To Braid My Hair!

Best Painting Ever!

Free Black Man Now And Now!
Happy Martin Luther King Day! 
Happy Birthday To Me!

Burn Baby Burn

I Thought It Looked Cool!

My Birthday Party!

Tudy and I!


Monday, January 13, 2014

HaPpY BiRtHdAy To Me!

The best conversation this last week:
Indian man: Are you Jehovah Witnesses?
Us: No, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day... 
Indian man: AH! The Mormons, ah yes, I know about you.
Us: Oh, okay, cool, what do you know?
Indian man: You regard Joseph Smith as your prophet, correct?
Us: Why, yes we do!
Indian man: And he received the Urim and Thummim, correct?
Us: .....Yes.....
Indian man: What if I told you that I possess the Urim and Thummim?
Us:..... Um.....
Indian man: Let me get it for you.
Us: Okay?
Indian man: (Really excited) Ah! I tricked you! Joseph Smith couldn't correctly explain the Urim and Thummim, but they were in his eyes. He described it as stones, because nobody would understand that they were in his eyes! LOOK, they are in my eyes as well. (Opens his eyes really wide).
Us: (Trying not to laugh) Wow!

Then he proceeded to lecture us for thirty minutes about energy, about how weed cleanses your mind and how milk cleanses your body, he talked about how we are in the "alpha" age, he went on and on, doing crazy voices and jumping up and down. Someone has been smoking a little TOO much ganja, if you know what I mean...

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear MEEEE, happy birthday to ME! I'm 21... I was sitting and thinking about life and realized that if the prophet didn't change the mission age, I would still be at home. But instead, I'm halfway done with my mission. Weird. 

This week was a great week. We got a lot accomplished. The week began by having a fireside at the Hudson's home. It was a literal fireside. We made a bonfire, and roasted jerked hot dogs. Yum! We danced around the fire and reenacted that scene from Finding Nemo, "The RING OF FIRE! Shark bait Ooahaha!" Yeah, sometimes I still act like I'm a 12 year old, I just really don't want to grow up. I guess 21 backwards is 12. The next day we decided to serve our branch president, because his office was a mess. We cleaned up the whole thing and organized everything. We also put up a bunch of signs saying clever things (the picture will be included in this email). He was so appreciative of it, because he has a lot on his plate and he has no time for things like that. He is going to school, serving as a branch president, looking for a wife... ahha 

There is this weird trend here in Jamaica called, "bleaching." It is this skin bleach that they put on to make themselves lighter. I think it's really messed up that they do this, but it's a style for most people. Anyways, whenever someone asks me where I am from, I will say, "Jamaica!" They usually say, "No your not!" And then I will say, "Yes! I just bleached a lot..." They usually end up laughing quite a bit and I have been able to make a few friends this way. Jamaicans love people who can crack a joke. I'm not saying I'm hilarious or anything, but here in Jamaica you can't be a stiff, know-it-all. They can see right through you. If you are genuine, and really open up to them, they will LOVE you. 

We started teaching a few new people this week. Junction struggles, because of past missionaries and other problems, but it is moving forward. Slowly but surely. I laugh whenever I read, "The field is white already to harvest." No way, the scripture should be more like, "The field is rocky and you have to break up the ground and clear the land, then you can plant the seeds. Maybe after a few years you will harvest, depending on the weather and how much help you get." Haha, I'm joking, I seriously love this place. Junction is amazing. It's almost near impossible to get people to church, but hey, I am still doing my job! That is all that matters. If I am obedient, positive and work hard, I can consider myself a successful missionary. If I give up and lose faith, that is when I am not fulfilling my purpose. I have really learned that your attitude makes all the difference. 

Yesterday, we had a appointment that fell through. "She wasn't home." AKA She was hiding behind some bush or something, but that's okay! We decided to go to the Collins house to uplift and inspire them, and lo and behold, Michael (an investigator who is really promising was there!) Who would have thunk. The spirit led us to him. We were able to have a good lesson and figure out his concerns. Brother Collins testified of the truthfulness of this Gospel. It was awesome. At the end Michael said, "The Lord brought you here, didn't He?" I nodded. I can't say that he will progress, but hey, like I said, we are clearing the land, hopefully planting seeds, so that one day, the seed of faith will take root and grow into a tree. 

We are teaching Tashana's husband (she has been a member for a year). SO part member family, woot! He is great. They are the funniest couple. Tashana is probably 6 feet 3 inches tall, extremely black and thick. Kevin, her husband is about 5 feet 6 inches and light brown. They are the funniest couple, but I am happy we are teaching him. He is a slow learner, and can't read, but honestly, he needs to be involved in the gospel. And Tashana could really help him. They need to get closer to the Lord and in turn they will grow closer together. He has a baptismal date for February 22nd, so hopefully all things will work out. All according to the Lords timing, of course.

Well, that is all for this week. I don't have any birthday pictures yet, because we are having a birthday party for me this evening. :) I will get you pictures of that next week. Also, there is an Elder that I used to serve around in Linstead, who got hit by a car, he had to get brain surgery, but he is doing well. Please pray for the safety of all the missionaries around the world! Also, pray for me. I'm not trying to solicit prayers, but I need them. haha

Love you all!
Sister Pitt

Beautiful Sunset In Jamaica


Living It Up In Jamaica

Bon Fire At The Hudsons

Martha Is So Cute!

Thank You Kristin For The Ring!
I Love It!

What We Put On President Gayles Desk

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mannish Water????

"10...9...8...7...6....5...4...3...2...1!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
The above quotation is not how my New Years went. 
My New Years Eve was more like...

I think I forgot to mention transfers and everything last week. SO, Sister Tominey went to the Cayman Islands, and she is there whitewashing with another sister. I miss her! Sister Collier and I are still together, but we received SISTER RAMPERSAD! She is awesome. She is from Trinidad (which is part of the Caribbean, it is near Venezuela). To me, she doesn't sound like she has an accent, she sounds American, and pretty much acts American. Maybe I'm just so used to thick patios. She is half Indian half Spanish. She also loves the movie Kung Pow, so automatic friends. haha You better believe I've been quoting it with her. "Weoweoweoweeee!" 

This week seemed like a ridiculously long week. I don't know what the deal was. Sometimes time goes so fast, sometimes you feel like you are going to die because it's going so slow. But, this week I'm 9 months out. What... Half my mission? This is a joke right? I still remember the first night I flew into Kingston, and we drove through downtown, and I thought I was going to die because it was so sketchy looking. Now I'm used to all of this. Crazy man.

This last week some good stuff happened. On New Years Day, we had a meal appointment. I tried mannish water for the first time. Now, when I heard mannish water, the first thing I thought was a pool full of good looking manly men. BUT that is not what it is. Mannish water is goat head soup. AH! I wanted to die. First of all, goat is nasty enough, but lets eat the head instead. In order to make it, they roast the head, then grind it up and put it in the soup. I saw some nasty stuff floating around in there, but I drank it. Afterwards I had the song, 'We Are The Champions,' stuck in my head. I might have also done a little Rocky Balboa celebration dance, because I thought I wasn't going to be able to drink it. Oh, so while we were there drinking the soup, the lady who fed us, is a nonmember (grandmother of a recent convert) and she had a little party going on in her yard. She had a huge sound system blasting reggae music and a bunch of drunk old men were dancing to it. It was dinner and a show. Quite entertaining. 

Did quite a bit of service this week. We helped out at this green house and moved bags of red dirt onto the tables. They are planting lots of orange trees in them, and companies buy them. Anyways, one of our investigators works there, and wanted us to come help. It was hard work man. I got red dirt everywhere, and my wrists were killing me. (Oh, if I am using 'man' at the end of sentences, it's not on purpose. Jamaicans always do it, and it has been rubbing off on me. Sister Rampersad also says it, and I'm around her 24/7. I'm always saying, "yah man," now. But not like how a Jamaican actually says it.) Another service we did was washing some girls hair. It's a lot different washing black girls hair, than it is to wash a whitey's hair, but I love it. I got to braid it as well. It was so fun. The girls were so cute and funny. Often times we help people hand wash their clothes. Thank heavens for washing machines.

The time I felt the spirit most this last week was when we were visiting an excommunicated member. We mainly go to her house to visit her less active children, but we give them all a little spiritual thought together. Anyways, the woman really opened up about how she feels and what not. She feels ashamed, angry, insignificant, and so forth. My heart ached for her. What she did is not something you cannot excuse, she made mistakes, but she is still a daughter of God. I really felt Heavenly Fathers love for her. We testified of the Atonement. We told her about Jesus Christ, and about how when we make mistakes, we have to face the consequences, but Jesus Christ is willing to help us out of the stickiest of situations. Something the mission has really helped me see is how imperfect all of God's children are. Sometimes I can't believe we chose to be here in a fallen world, but we did, and now we have to just have faith for a better place. Everybody makes mistakes, but thankfully we can turn to repentance in our darkest days. I don't know if this sister will ever return to the church, I really hope and pray she will. She has a lot of changing to do, but I know it's possible. I just know that my greatest source of happiness is in this church and through my knowledge of the Savior, I can't imagine what it would be like to be away from it. I would be miserable. 

Because it's a new year, 2014, I decided to take time to reflect on 2013, and really think about what goals I have for this year. 2013 was a fantastic year. I have grown so much. (And not just in weight har har har.) I have learned more here than school has ever taught me. I have felt pain, sorrow, and a whole lot of joy. I have had some crappy times, and some fantastic times. It's a roller coaster of emotions. My goals for this year:
1. Follow the promptings of the spirit. Sometimes I get a thought to do something, but I push it out, thinking I have more important things to do, or I can't fit it in the schedule. I need to be more mindful of those thoughts, and act on them. I hear if you get them, and you don't act, they will come to you less. I don't want to loose the companionship of the spirit. Especially as a missionary. 
2. Patience. I need to develop this even more. I still find myself getting frustrated in the littlest insignificant circumstances. I need to stop doing that. I need to just take a breather and realize that everything is in God's timing. I am not in control of anything, but myself. 

I guess those are my main two. I have already failed at them... But that is the thing about resolutions and goals, you can't expect to be perfect automatically, it's something that you have to continually work on until you become perfect at it. 

I love you family. I love you friends. The work is good. The people here are kind of crazy... Okay, really crazy, but I love them. I know the Gospel can fix anyone's problems. I hope that we will soon find someone who will recognize that and accept it. Till then, we will just keep working hard, and praying. 

Respect Man,
Sister Pitt

P.S. I also have a goal to loose the weight I gained... Hello veggies everyday. haha

I Hope It Doesn't Karate Kick Me!

Fully Loaded Pizza! Yum!

Greenhouse We Helped In

Red Dirt!

Me Made Her A Troll Doll!

Dunking Her Head
She Is The Cutest!

Washing Hair!
Posing On A Swing!

Sister Rampersad
Sister Collier