Hey Everyone! Wagwaan?
You gotta love Jamaica. Its not always ideal, but it is quite the experience. We are teaching a couple people out in Raymonds now. It is a good mile or two past Hayes. You should try putting in Racetrack (where our apartment is) to Hayes or Raymonds to figure out how far it is for me. All I know is it is a 45min. to an hour bikeride over rolling hills and a really flat space both ways. I enjoy the biking though. It keeps me strong and gives me time to think. This week has been pretty slow, but we are trying hard, so hopefully things will pick up.
We got to visit a Pentacostal sunday school yesterday morning. The teachings were quite simply wrong, it felt uncomfortable, and at the end of the lesson we were asked for "offerings", or money. It was honestly kind of disgusting. I have been able to connect the Book of Mormon to the Bible quite a bit while being here. And everything connects. Our church is actually logical. Every single teaching connects, and there is so much to learn. Study time is actually one of my favorite times. Its all pretty great though. We are dropping most of our investigators this week and working to establish some consistency with other people weve found. Like I said, its been a slow week.
We are working toward baptism with one awesome family though. We just have to get through the Law of Chastity with her though. It is a single mother family (like most families here). Everyone has baby-mamas and baby-fathers and boy and girlfriends, but no one gets married. When we ask teenage kids, even a kid as young as ten if they are going to get married, they tell us no. Marriage is what bonds families together and builds society. Jamaica is in part the way it is because of their marriage problem. The moral of the story is that the Law of Chastity is a blessing, not a curse. Obey it with exactness and you will find joy in your life. Disobey, and things will fall apart for you.
On P-Days, we study, email at an internet cafe, shop for the week, talk and clean the apartment, do the wash, and play basketball or football (soccer) usually with a couple Jamaicans from the ward. Its a lot of fun, but we are going to go for a hike along the river sometime soon. You gotta love it. I am in a tropical jungle, and it really is cool.
What do I mean by interesting experiences? Jamaica IS a dangerous place. It seemed like people were joking at first, but I am beginning to realize that its no lie. The cops are corrupt. The cartel is dangerous. Jamaicans have short tempers. I have heard stories of death threats, shooters, gunplay, dealing, dropped shipments, cartel beheadings, police corruption, and murders. The funny thing is- its all true. No matter where you go, someone will tell you that another area is dangerous. This adds up to pretty much everywhere being dangerous. Its not like these things happen all the time, but they do happen. There are missionaries that have been robbed at gunpoint and seen murders (not many, but a few). I can testify with all my heart that we are quite simply protected. As a servant of the Lord, he has my back. So don't worry for me.
That is the work for me now. I appreciate your love, interest, and support. I hope that everyone is excited for school and ready to get back to it. Ill try and get a picture off to you here before my times up.
Love you guys,
|Me, Elder Barber and Elder Whitlock (in the background)|