Dearest Adoring Fans,
I feel like I don't have a whole lot to talk about this week. All the days feel like they are meshed into one. July is ending. It is hot. Not like cook an egg on the pavement hot, but like I'm drowning in my own sweat hot. What does it feel like to not sweat? I forget... haha The only time I'm cooled is in the nights, except for the nights when the power goes out. Thank heavens Portmore is windy all the time. If it wasn't for that, I think I would roll over and die. I really don't mind the heat, or at least I think I keep trying to tell myself that every single day. Seriously though, if you just tell yourself something long enough, you start to believe it. So everyday I say, "It feels great! I love sweating! Life is good!" (Life really is good, by the way).
One of my favorite things about Jamaica is when you are squished in a taxi, driving past a bunch of bars and people, and the smell of jerk chicken enters your nostrils. Mm. So wonderful. I'll miss that smell. The one smell I will not miss is urine in the hot sun. (Men pee everywhere here). Also, have I mentioned that Portmore just kinda stinks? I think the sewage is all connected or something. But, like I said, thank heavens for the wind, because it blows it away. I miss the country, where the worst smell was goats.
We went to Kingston this week for Zone Meeting. It was good. I actually kinda like Kingston. So from our house we take a bus to a place called Half-Way Tree. It is where the big bus depot is. Half-Way Tree is the hustle and bustle part of Kingston. From Half-Way Tree we walk about two miles to the Constant Spring Chapel. We see lots of things. We get begged money all the way there. We witnessed a fight, but we got out of there quickly... haha There are some really neat shops on the way. Cars honk like crazy. I think it's very entertaining. Zone Meeting was good, as always.
We are just working the best we can, and being diligent. We dropped an investigator and he was so funny about it. He looked all sad and was like, "Are we breaking up?" I swear when, you tell an investigator that you will not be visiting them anymore until they start showing desire, it feels like you're breaking up with someone. Well, that kid was so lazy, so sadly he just isn't ready to be a member, but hopefully one day!
We are teaching a man who recently lost his girlfriend. She was shot and killed in Kingston. I know I shouldn't mention that, because hearing those stories could worry you... Anyways, it is pretty common out here that someone knows someone who has been killed. He is so broken up. They have children together, and now they are left without a mother. He isn't the most amazing father in the world, he is just a typical Jamaican man, but I think her death has really hit him in the face. I wish they would have been married so we could explain being sealed in the temple, but basically it's hard to do that out here, because nobody gets married. Unless of course they are devout christians or higher up in society. In fact, we are teaching a 19 year old girl who told us she is never getting married. She said, "Why would I get married if it just ends in divorce?" How sad. I told her about all the amazing examples of good marriages I have seen in my life. I talked about my father and mother writing love letters to each other. I talked about my grandparents on both sides having been married for 50 plus years. I went on and on, just trying to convince her it can work. I just think satan has really made people believe that marriage is a thing of the past. But yes, we have lots of investigators with lots of problems resulting from their sins or somebody else's sins. It makes me sad in my heart.
Pioneer Day was this last week. It is a holiday that we don't really celebrate in Hawaii. But I know it is popular in Utah. While walking long distances, I thought about the early saints and the tremendous sacrifices they made to establish Zion. Their testimonies of the restored Gospel were fierce and unwavering. They fought so many emotional, spiritual and physical battles. I admire them for heeding the prophets call to come and join together. I wonder if I lived during that time if my faith would have been as strong as theirs. But, then I reflect on my mission, and anyone who has ever served a mission. We leave behind what we know, go somewhere else, in hopes to establish Zion. We have to rely on God, and we have to endure different trials. I have not been a perfect missionary or person in my life, and I know for sure the pioneers were not either, but they had a lot of desire to do what they felt was right. My journey has been different than the pioneers, but my faith has grown, just like how their faith grew. I have been tested and tried, but I have been made strong. I sometimes feel like giving up, but I know when I reach my destination, heaven, it will be absolutely glorious. I wish I could have been with the saints when they reached the Salt Lake Valley. Can you imagine their joy? I get chills thinking about it. I think that happiness and relief they felt is what it will be like when we finally reach our Celestial home.
Love you forever and always, AMEN
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