Wa’guan mon?!? What’s goin on man?
I am finally in Jamaica! I absolutely love it here! So We traveled all day Tuesday and got here Tuesday night. I was the first missionary outside of the airport and when we saw President Brown he was all smiles and was so excited to see us. I absolutely love President Brown. He is seriously a man called of God to be my mission president. I love him so much. He is the first Jamaican mission president and is only 38. He has such a cute family. His wife is 8 months pregnant and she is a wonderful lady. We stayed the night at the mission home and I had the best night sleep of my life. Amazing.
I am in Ocho Rios with Sister Mouritson. We call it Ochi because that is how you say it in patios. This is one of the “nicer” parts of the country because it is where the tourists go. Everyone on the island loved Ochi. So sister Mouritson is amazing. She is from Kaysville, UT and guess who was her YW president? RHODELLE GRAHAM!!! I was showing her my photo album this morning and she say a picture that has Sierra and Kami in it and she freaks out and tells me that they are in her ward! Such a small world. I love my trainer so much. She is seriously amazing. She has taught me so much and is constantly teaching me. We have such a tight companionship. We are on the same page and we are in such unity. I love it! Funny story so the Monday before I got here was a holiday and so they couldn’t go shopping. So guess what I have had every morning since transfers? Ricearoni broccli rice… Disguesting. It is good but not for breakfast every morning for a week. But what can you do when you have nothing else in the apartment? Other than that I love it here! Ochi is a beautiful place. We have a truck which is a good thing because our area is HUGE. Some of the members live an hour and a half away. Don’t worry mom, Sister Mouritson likes to run and we go running everyday. Most of the sisters have cars. Only one companionship is biking because they want to bike and two other companionships walk. But all the other sisters drive. The elders all bike. Sister Mouritson and I live in a house by ourselves which is great because we only have one bathroom. So the roads here are INSANE. The only road that is good is the highway. There are pot holes everywhere so be grateful all you Americans. The driving here is also insane. The drivers wheel is on the right and you drive on the left, completly opposite of America. I was riding shotgun while the president drove us to the mission home and I freaked out a few times and grabbed the door and arm rest. President Brown cracks up and holds my hand and is all like It’s all right sista garrett, You will be fine. He thought it was the funniest thing in the world.
Jamaica is such a poor country. You should see some of the “houses” that are here… Unbelievable. Just thinking about what I have back home compared to what is here makes me realize how blessed I am. Some of the things I have seen here are hard to even put into words. I can’t even put it into words. The two biggest problems here are ganja, pokololo aka weed (obviously) and law of chastity. The question isn’t do you have any kids? It’s how many kids do you have? We have recent converts with 14 kids with 14 different baby mamas. Not exaggerating at all. There isn’t really a concept of marriage and family. So most of the time when couples get baptized they separate rater than get married. And then there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t smell weed. People just smoke it on the street like its no big deal. Crazy right? SO MUCH GANJA.
So I love it here in Jamaica. I love the people and I love the country. We are working with so many amazing people that I just love so much. We are working with a recent convert named Brother Wayne who can’t really read but as he has been reading the Book of Mormon his reading has improved so much. Since he isn’t the best at reading he decided to MEMORIZE the Sacrament prayers. How amazing is that? He is just such a solid member of the church. We are working to get him to go to the temple. We have so many wonderful recent converts that we are working with. Brother Humpfrey and Brother Courtney and Brother Mcnish are all working to get the Melkezdic (spl?) Priesthood! We are working really hard to get them to go to the temple. Brother Courtney has a cool story. So super long story short he came into the church when the missionaries happened to be there (which never happens) and asked to know the date of when he was baptized. Turns out he was baptized with he was 16 but fell away from the church. Is is now a strong member of the church and travels the world with his boss. He plays polo (the horse kind). He wants to find himself a girl and get married in the temple. We told him that if we were off our missions than he better send us an invite and we would be there when he gets married. He is SO SOLID. Love him. We are also working with a man named Brother Francis… Oh man that man… He just is very touchy like most Jamaicans and it is just so funny. I crack up everytime we go see him. But he is a strong member of the church. Eli, Taj and Raj are the McNish family that just got baptized. They are strong in the church and we just love them so much. Brother Mcnish made us chicken feet, boiled plantines, boiled bananas, boiled dumplines. I tried to eat the chicken foot. I really did. I ate as much as I could. Sister M was laughing at me the whole time. The marinade was amazing but I had no idea how to eat a foot andit was jsut so weird… hahaha! Never eat boiled bananas, they are disgusting. Brother Francis made us some really good food the next night, chicken with veggies, macaronni salad. We had something called patties another night which are like deep fried minced thing kind of like empanadas. We have been eating out alot since we have no food. Good thing its preperation day.
Basically the MTC was amazing but didn’t prepare me for how I would be teaching lessons. We teach lessons with rasta music blasting. You can hardly walk anywhere without hearing that music. People put boom boxes like the ones David has on top of their car. Super ghetto like haha. Or they have it in their houses. It is so loud. But even with the music blasting we can still have such spiritual lessons. I love it!
So pretty much I can’t understand like anything here. I am understanding about 50% right now, which according to sister mouritson is really good. Even though I can’t understand a lot I love the language. They mumble, speak fast and use words I have no idea what they are saying so my companion teaches most of the lessons and then when we get to the car I just look at her and she busts up laughing because she knows exactly what is going on in my head.
So being a white person here I haven’t ever felt so out of place. Because we are closer to the touristy part the people don’t mind it. But the more inland you get the more some people don’t like us. We get a lot of “HEY WHITIES”. Oh and we get hit on. Daily. I got pretty much proposed to the other day when we went to visit Brother McNish at his work. This guy told me that he wanted to marry me and all this stuff. Sister Mouritson told him he had to go to church. It was SO funny. I was cracking up. Oh the guys here… Man… Haahaha!
So pretty much everyone needs to pray for me that I don’t get chicken gunuia (spl?) It is a sickness that you get from misquitos that makes your joints ache and you cant walk for like a week. Its so bad. Everyone is getting it. I have so many bites on my legs but none of them itch. I am so confused cause they should itch but they dont…. Hahaha!
There is so much more to write but I haven’t got the time. I sure do love you all, I love this gospel and I love these people. I want to cry thinking that I am going to have to leave them in 17 months. Im working so hard! Don’t forget to help the missionaries in your ward! We LOVE referrals.