Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hopefully He Will Get One More Transfer in Portmore......

(I asked him if he had bought a messenger bag because of some pictures he sent. He's actually got his scripture bag on a strap and he uses that. I guess I should sent him a messenger bag......)

The backpack just made my back really sweaty and people would always ask why I had such a big backpack. The shoulder bag is easier I guess for now. Yeah I'm sad I'm out of Nutella, I can buy it here on random occasions but it's expensive. I'll probably buy it anyway though... I have enough money though. I always have enough money to last me the month. I only use home funds for bike repairs, and for cool souvenirs, which I buy maybe too frequently. However this month I may have gone over board and treated myself to too many expensive guilty pleasure kind of foods. I ate a lot of cheese cake, and I'll just leave it at that. I think I gained some weight, so I should probably start running again, I don't wanna be too fat. But I'm okay with being a little fat. I know a couple missionaries who budget money at the beginning of every month to buy chocolate muffins every week, which I think is smart! I really hope I get one more transfer in Portmore 'cause Elder Pace and I have worked out a genius meal plan for next month, and we'll end up with a few thousand left over. Funds carry over into the next month, but I usually just blow the left over money on expensive food at the end of the month. I have enough unopened oatmeal right now to feed me for a month, so I'm not concerned about starving anytime soon. I'm going to be taking some more money out today probably because we're going to Kingston on Wednesday, and I might do a little more shopping. I figure this could be the only time I'm close to Kingston so I may as well. But at the same time, I could also spend my whole mission close to Kingston, I don't really know. I went on a trade off with Elder Adams in Kingston, and I don't think I'd like being in a truck, I like the bikes. However A/C is beautiful.

We had a primary presentation this week too, which was kinda funny. The primary is tiny, so it was really quiet when they would sing.

This week's been good. Not much going on, it's raining more, which is kinda nice, other than the fact we have to keep our bikes in the house now, so our tiny place is perpetually dirty. I've learned to just accept it and live in my own filth, which sounds awful, but you get used to it.

Well, this week I finished the Book of Mormon again. That was good. I'm studying the commandments right now. I'm making a list of things that we've been commanded to do to attain exaltation, and a lot of them are really simple, and I never actually knew they were commandments. Baptism and Marriage are obvious ones, but then there were things like praying in families, I didn't know studying every day was a commandment. I thought it was a good suggestion. Family history work is also a commandment, so I guess there's something for me to work on someday.

Had a lot of people stand us up this week. We started teaching this 13 year old kid, and he obviously only wanted to meet with us because he wanted to get to know a couple white guys. I thought it was funny, the second we started teaching, he totally turned off and zoned out. And once the lesson was over, he wouldn't stop asking us about America, Football, and Fast and Furious movies. We're probably going to drop him soon. Nice kid though.

We met another guy this week named Sam, who yelled at us as we rode by saying "It's over 9000!" So I yelled back, "Wow, that's really high" and he said, "yeah, it is." We realized that was a Dragon Ball Z reference and rode back to ask him, and we ended up talking about religion and conspiracies, he seemed really intelligent and cool. We'll hopefully start teaching him soon.

We still don't have helmets of our own, because no shop in the parish sells them.

We found a place called Woody's that sells the best rice and peas and fried chicken that I've had so far, and Elder Pace said it's the second best he's ever had. I really hope I stay in Portmore, because I'd eat there all the time!

That's about it this week. Just plunking along. No one is accepting baptismal dates. We have a couple investigators living basically like Mormons, who just don't want to be baptized yet, which is frustrating, but we're praying for them. Stuff's good though. We got the Ensign magazine.  Jorg's talk is still my favorite.

I hope stuff's still good! I should probably figure out this whole Skype thing.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rain!!

Hey Mom, good to hear from you! This week was pretty slow. We finally have helmets, sort of, so we're off foot now. We just use the other Elders helmets because Elder Groesbeck is a little under the weather, so we take their helmets. Hopefully we'll get helmets for ourselves this week. We've tried really hard to find some in town, but no one in this country wears helmets, so we had zero luck. I think I'll be getting that package on Wednesday,  the zone leaders told me that they'd bring it when they come to Portmore, so I'll let you know next week.

This week has been pretty good, lots of rain. It rained on Friday, and it rained more that one evening than I think it has in 4 months of being here, which is great. It ruined our night because no one wanted to see us, but we still biked around in the dumping rain for 6 hours trying to find people to teach. The week over all has started to pick up. It's not quite so slow anymore, and we're making good progress with a few of our investigators. Elder Pace and I had a long talk the other day about how we need to change our teaching styles, and we're probably going to be dropping more investigators this week. We teach a lot of great people who don't keep our commitments, and we can't do anything with them if they don't progress and strive to learn the truth. So we have to wait until our investigators have the faith to start keeping and following bigger things. We are probably going to need to drop 4 investigators this week, which is really sad. We have one investigator that's had a spiritual witness on the Book of Mormon, but she won't leave her church to come to ours, which is really really sad, because that means she's gained a small portion of the truth, and she isn't going to act on it. We're praying for her though. The way Elder Pace and I see it, we need to teach in a way where the people we see are not confused about why we are there, and what our message means, which means we're probably going to start being more bold. And it probably means we're going to lose some friends. But that's okay I guess. We just really want to find someone who is prepared for our message, and will actually listen. I'm sure it will come. We have some very promising potential investigators that we'll get to visit this week.

Another thought, Elder Pace and I have discussed a lot, is just the idea that conversion never stops. Just because we're human, and we're constantly learning, we should be constantly reevaluating ourselves, and making new goals to do better and stuff like that. So I'm sure I'll have lots of opportunities here on the mission to become converted further and further.

Other wise, boring week. I just finished the Nutella, sad day. And the treats I bought for my birthday are gone, so I should probably start working out again. I've decided my new favorite food in the world is rice and peas. Peas are basically just beans. But I've decided, well made rice and peas, are my new favorite food. Fried chicken with it is really good too. I'm gonna learn to make it!

I also realized the other day that before my mission, I kind of hated missionaries, fun fact! I obviously don't anymore, they're pretty cool. I guess I just never understood really what they were for, or why they were in my house. But cool, not much else this week. Pretty boring, just really rainy. Hope all is well at home though! I miss you all. I'm only 8 weeks from my mission being a quarter done, which is really weird to think about. I hope it doesn't go by any quicker.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's His Birthday!!

No August box yet, just the hallow e'en one, which was still awesome. The cake looked really good. (We baked a birthday cake for him and ate it.) I think to celebrate today I'm going to get a milkshake from Burger King, and maybe some cinnamon buns and chocolate milk from the store. I've found a new favorite drink called peanut punch. It's really good! I also like Ginger Beer. The stuff here burns my throat pretty bad when I drink it too fast but I really like it. Sorry this is going to be a shorter email, I don't have much to say, and not much time either. Sounds like everyone is doing well though!

The new bike is good. How did you know I got one? I heard the last elder to have it got hit by a car, and then got a new bike while they fixed this one up. I have a feeling it will probably break and make me die, but that's okay. Transfers are every six weeks, so the next one is December 3. I wear one pair of shoes for proselyting, and I save the other pair for meetings so I never have to polish them. But I have used the polish, and it's pretty cool. I've never polished shoes before so I don't actually know if I do it right. I hopefully will never have to get a new bike again. I got it for 2200 which is way cheap. That's like, 14000 cheaper than the missionary bought it. The seat is okay, but I'll probably get a better one, because I don't want butt problems. Walking is fine though. Just one blister.

This week was pretty boring, walking a lot. There were quite a few days where everything fell through, and it was literally just walking for seven hours, trying to do things, and being unsuccessful. It's a good thing I like Elder Pace. But the week has been good. No real news with anyone. Fun fact though! Brother L, I've been teaching him since I got here, he's finally reactivated! He's a solid member now, he likes coming, we don't have to wake him up anymore, and he really likes his classes. He's quiet and doesn't really interact with anyone, but he really appreciates that we meet with him. He and I had kind of a cool moment this week where I gave him my watch. Which probably just sounds weird saying it like that. But a few weeks ago he made an off comment that he needed a wrist watch. Today I decided to give him my fish one that I got from Walmart. I bought a new one last week so it's cool, but I think it meant a lot to him, and he wore it to church on Sunday. Tender moments. Speaking of which, send me some watches! As cheap and tacky as you can find that would still be appropriate for missionary work! Anyway, I've got a lot of emails to reply to, love you all!

Love,
Elder Zeck

PS
Don't be an idiot and crash the car - To, Jordan
Especially not on New Years Eve

Monday, November 3, 2014

Picture and Stolen Bike

****This week's letter had mostly personal replies to my letter that I am not going to post.  What I can report is that he FINALLY got one of our care packages (his birthday one that I airmailed but not the one I sent surface in August).  He and his companion also had their bikes stolen so he needs to buy a new one.  

He needs some simple cooking recipes so if you have any, please email him.  james.zeck@myldsmail.net

*********mamadeb

This is the service project we did on Saturday for International Service Day. We painted some classrooms and a church. There are Jamaicans in this picture, so you can be sure I'm actually in Jamaica.