I had no idea that there were so many different types of mangos in this world. All I knew is that we had a mango tree in our yard, and we just called them mangos. But here you have, common mangos (they are really stringy), green skin mangos, julies, east Indians, plummy, cows-foot mango, and so forth. Anyways, after the last few weeks, I pretty much have a different type of mango everyday. People have so many that they just give us huge bags of them. They are literally falling from the trees. Before I came to Jamaica, I really didn't like fruit all that much, but because everyone gives us it for free, I eat it. It is also melon season, so we are getting a ton of watermelon. We eat sour sap, plantains, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapples. (The pineapples here are not as good as back at home though). But everything else is delightful. Jamaicans are awesome. If you just go to their house they will walk out to their garden and give you a big bag of things for free.
Also, jerked chicken is the best thing ever. It is a must have if you ever come to Jamaica. It is spicy and delicious. It leaves your mouth all tingly. Just be careful they don't pour rum all over it and you're good!
So Jermaine is Lilly's grandson. He is the biggest pothead I have ever met. Anyways, I was talking to him and I asked him, "So Jermaine, what are you going to do for the rest of the day?" and this was his reply, "Smoke some weed." At least he is honest, I guess...? Really though, most people here smoke weed. Even if it is illegal, cops will smoke it. I swear when I had to go to the police station I smelt it... haha It isn't an enforced law. Actually no law in Jamaica is really enforced. I guess some people would say that it is freedom, but I don't see it that way. Especially because of the amount of violence and things that go on here because of drugs and cops and laws. This place is still amazing. It is really unique and special. I think that the people here are the most beautiful people I've ever met. They struggle a lot, but they survive on what they have. I have seen a lot and heard a lot that I wouldn't even want to mention, but I know that if they can accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives, they will be blessed beyond measure.
This week while teaching Lilly, we had a special moment. We were reading with her from 3 Nephi chapter 11. That is when Christ appears to the Nephites after His resurrection. He addresses them and commands them to come forth and feel of the nail prints in His hands and feet. They then proceed to go up, one by one, and feel for themselves. Lilly started to cry. She started praying to God, thanking Him for Christ. She was overcome with emotions, and the spirit of the Lord was so strong. She was picturing herself there with Christ. Her faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than mine... I was truly humbled, because I realize I have so much to work on. She has such a childlike faith, and she has been truly humbled through her life. I really hope all works out, and she gets baptized. Even if I'm not here, I will have the joy to know that she has accepted the truth into her life. She tells us every time we see her how much she loves us and how grateful she is that we left our homes to bring her the true and living gospel. Beautiful.
I just love this Gospel. I love knowing who I am, and where I am going. I know that the only way to true happiness is by LIVING the gospel. It isn't just by accepting it, or knowing about it, it is LIVING IT. The happiness you gain from it can be contagious. As others observe our joy, they will desire to know the source of that happiness in your life. I'm working on being more converted to this. I made a list of all the characteristics of the converted. Here it is:
-Desires to do good.
-Does not rebel against the Lord or his chosen servants.
-Shares the Gospel.
-Filled with love for everyone.
-Reads the scriptures.
-Serves others selflessly, without complaint.
-Avoids all forms of evil, and the appearance of evil.
-Attends church JOYFULLY.
-Magnifies their calling.
-Are not vain and egotistical. Doesn't draw attention to themselves, but glorifies God in all things.
-Does not gossip about others.
-Associates self with good friends.
-Focuses on uplifting thoughts, and pushes out the negative or impure.
-Strives to develop the attributes of Christ.
-Has a joyful countenance.
-Bears testimony by word and deed.
-Loves Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Nobody is perfect. We are not going to develop all of these characteristics, but I'm making it my life-long goal to do so. :) Nothing is more fulfilling than becoming a better person each day.
|For The Beauty Of The Skies!|
|Jennalee And Me!|
|Jerk Chicken Is The Best!|
|Leroy Graham The Hat Man!|
|Lilly And Her Watermelon Garden!|
|Look At Those Eyes!|
|Roy The Rasta|
|The Goats Are Marching On Hurrah, Hurrah!|
|Trying To Get Mango String Out Of My Teeth!|
|Look At All The Scallion!|