Monday, December 28, 2015



Just before I forget, if there's any plans that you all have to do with me for when I get home, I'd like to know those ASAP! Like if Diane actually wants to take me to walk on the Camino de Santiago, or whatever... That would be much appreciated!

But yeah, Skype was weird as usual, but in a good way! It just feels like an email but in person. It's cool though to see everyone, I miss you all, I really do! I don't get distracted though. Don't worry. I've always been pretty good at being focused if I really want to be. Yeah, Jackson looks like a man now. Jordan's matured a lot too. Jared's voice is deeper. Is dad gaining weight? Am I going to have to take him to the gym when I get home? You can tell him I asked that ;) maybe he should do the '6 months to sexy' with me when January hits.

So yeah Christmas was good. Just busy. Christmas on the mission is cool and all, but it was soooo busy. We got up, studied, I Skyped, we went to lunch at the Patriarch's house with some other missionaries and some senior couples, that was super good! Then Elder Johnson Skyped at another member's house, and then we taught a few lessons, went out with a member. The whole week was tough on proselyting so this week might be a slight readjustment. But it was good over all. Christmas eve we Christmas carolled in town. We got a lot of puzzled and weird looks, but there were a few people who really loved it. We also visited some struggling families with Bishop and some of the youth. Delivered some presents and carolled and stuff. It's funny singing Christmas carols in the ghetto, because people don't really do that here.

Things are good. I'm way tired and there are a lot of days where I kinda shut down and I really have to push myself to keep going. The conditions of the work are one thing, the sun is another. Combined with just the attitude of Kingston towards our church, it gets pretty rough some days. But with that said, it's not that bad. I haven't had any bad days, just hard days, but that's what I signed up for I suppose. It's hard to get out the door when you have no investigators. We had quite a few but they've all fallen off the map so we're starting over again. Which is fine. I'm looking forward to this week, with the holiday season being over.

What advice could I have possibly given him? (Jordan gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting and quoted some advice that James gave him) That's cool. I gave a talk too. I was asked right before sacrament meeting because the speaker didn't show up so I spoke for 12 minutes on Personal Worthiness. It was pretty okay I suppose. I love speaking.

That's exciting with the job! That'll be different.

But cool. Week's been good. Tried to bake cookies. Failed terribly.

Teaching families is great.

Teaching a guy on a road called "Chevy Chase" Thought that was funny.

Started proselyting in a ghetto area. It's pretty funny. People are way more humble there, so we actually get to talk to people.

Otherwise just Christmas stuff. The devotional was way good. I performed a lot, which is something I always miss. Spent a lot of time at the post office trying to reclaim packages and stuff. visited a lot of members too. Otherwise things are still good!

Elder Zeck

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transfer Week

Thanks for the pictures!

Yeah I saw Mikey. He stayed at our house the night before he left, so I said bye to him and stuff. 

Transfers was cool, we were running errands the whole day so we didn't go to transfers. We lost almost 4 days of proselyting this week which was a bummer, not good numbers this week. So we're really hoping that doesn't destroy our area for this week. It's Christmas week so things are going to be tough. Some people really like Christmas on the mission. I don't haha, I think it's weird, and people are really busy with their families, which is good, so I don't like bugging people. Maybe I'm too apologetic.

Zone Christmas is this Wednesday

I think I have the old skype still. We'll find out on Friday.

But yeah, hectic crazy week. Tuesday was Trainers Meeting and Transfers was Wednesday. We got Port Antonio grafted into our zone which is great! But it meant we drove about 1000 kilometers in 3 days. So it's kinda like I never left the North Coast! But it was cool. Got to drive bike with Elder Dawson (My grandson) and Elder Eulette, who was in MoBay when I was there. But it's Christmas, classic time of the year. People are busy, they're travelling, they don't pick up their phones, and everyone we contact tells us to come back next year haha. so, we're just going to keep going along. It's still a great time, we've prepared a Christmas message for the people who do happen to let us in. Mostly members I think. But it's been good.

I realized I only have like, 28 weeks left, which is upsetting.

But things are good, we're still working, there's some parts of our area we've never been too yet so we're going to give those parts a shot. Some of them are a little more ghetto, but I'm kinda sick of rich people so it'll be a nice change.

Otherwise just Christmas! I got to do a baptismal interview for a young woman a few days ago. It's a neat experience to be a part of some one's path to baptism like that. I could tell she was pretty nervous, but it went well. There were a couple baptisms this past weekend. None for us unfortunately, but still exciting! We had 6 or 7 people on date a while back but as of right now we're not really sure where they are. So we're back to the drawing board. Pray for us.

Elder Zeck

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two years (Not my son's....well sort of.....)

December 2013 - This was the last Sunday before Michael went into the MTC then off to the Jamaica Kingston mission.
Little did these boys know that in 4 months, James would be opening his mission call.......

To the same mission, but yes, they called it. Look at the board of guesses.

December 2014 - They never got to be companions, but they did get to live in the same apartment and have Christmas together in Jamaica.

December 2015 - This is the last Sunday before Michael goes home. 7 more months for James.

It's bitter sweet to see these pictures. They've known each other since we moved here eight years ago. When our ward split they became the only Teachers and then the only Priests. To have them called to the same mission was so unexpected and so amazing. I'm grateful they had this experience. It's been fun to watch. See you in a few days Michael!!

Staying in Kingston. He Sent Pictures.

I'm trying to take pictures, it's just weird, because we really don't have time. I don't know when people take pictures! When we aren't teaching we're tracting, and when we're not proselyting I'm usually reading or sleeping. I can't take pictures to the Celestial kingdom anyway! Haha.. Anyway...

You should start lining up girls for me to date after my mission, I'll send home pictures for that purpose for sure! Just set me up a calender or something. I'm gonna go on 30 dates with 30 different girls in my first month. That's the goal anyway! I've been surrounded by dudes for like, 17 months... But it's cool, dudes are cool. What disqualifies a girl from being allowed in my atmosphere?

You sent me that tie I think. It's nice! Everybody complimented me on it. I'm going to give it to Kevon though I think for a Christmas present.  Nasty tie in photos below.

This week was better. Work is definitely slowing down but there's still baptisms! It's not as bad as last year because I've made a point of warning all the companionships that Christmas time is the worst time to teach about Jesus, and that they should plan accordingly. And so far it's kinda working. I'm way excited, I really hope I'm here for 5 transfers, which is rare. But I feel like I finally have a faint idea of what success feels like, and I think I know how to get it. I feel like I've had to learn a lot for myself. I've been in leadership most of my mission, which means I haven't really had a chance to be shown how to be a good missionary because I'm always the one expected to teach, if that makes sense. And people are different around their leaders. But I feel like I've finally connected a few dots. Feels good.

Otherwise, good week. Just working along. Kingston's tough because people are super busy. So in bush towns when they say to come at a time, even if they don't want you to come, they might be there. Here, they tell us to come and don't give a care, because they aren't there, and then they block our number. It's frustrating, but I've learned a lot about just working through it. Trying to tract every square inch we see when we get to an area, calling at every gate. We get rejected a lot. A LOT. It's awful. But it's alright. We probably, over the past 6 weeks, have gotten over 100 potential investigators, but we've only taught maybe 20 of them haha... Ah well, it's okay. We're still looking for our first baptism!

Stake conference was on the weekend so I've got a couple pictures. Week's been good. Just working.

Elder Zeck

The former Sister Dill

The district - I assume

Blurry Elder Graham, Elder Zeck, Elder Koegler

Elder Zeck and Elder Brown with Kevon - James said this about Kevon.... he makes the whole two years worth it. If I don't accomplish anything else. He's great.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rough Weeks Happen


Some weeks are rough. This week was rough. Went from 7 on date for baptism to 0. Had 5 commit to church, none came. However, we're going to work through it. We're going to find more people that are prepared and ready for this gospel. A guy I taught in MoBay was just baptized! That's WAY exciting! It's about time. So great! But it's just tough right now. I still love it! I really do. Maybe there's more we can do, I'm not sure.

Went on a trade off to Portmore this week, that was AWESOME! I love Portmore. Being back was so cool, and we had a really good day too. Brought back lots of great memories of ridiculous sun shine and mosquitoes. That was great.

Short report, I'm trying to catch up on old emails to family and stuff, this whole 1 hour email thing is really destroying my communication with everybody. But it's not a bad thing, I find I'm more focused. I waste less time on Monday. I do like it. I'm going to try to write some letters or something.

Christmas devotional was great. We missed parts because of bad Internet reception, but what I saw was good.

But cool, hope things are still going well! Sounds like lots is going on. We'll probably be Skyping from a members house Christmas morning. What time would work best?

Elder Zeck

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Been a Good Week to Stop Being Less Active!

Me cooking chicken.........(but really......what's up with the shirt?)
Week was good!
Teaching pool is still growing
Companion is good
We'll probably be together again

Tell Parker I say hi! That's cool to hear about Jordan and serving.

That's cool you saw Charlotte. I was glad that Tyrell married her, she's way cool. I barely knew Tyrell, and they were already engaged when I met him, but I wouldn't have let him marry her if she was lame. I'm excited to see them again. 
If you happen to see her again tell her I say hello.

I'm going to tell you now that you aren't allowed to talk to me about my future unless I bring it up, just so you know haha. But music would be way fun. I'm seriously starting to debate my future when I get home in infinity months.

Thanks for the support! I love and miss you too.

This week was slow. Rained a bit so not much happened. 

When I was in Portmore I came on trade off with the zone leaders here and I visited a couple less actives, so it was pretty cool when I got transferred here and got to work with them. One of them came to church!!!!!!!!!!! First time she's been to church since LAST YEAR! Gosh, I'm so happy that happened!

We also had a family reactivated this past Sunday, it's been a good week to stop being less active!

What do you think of me working at the MTC?

Elder Zeck

MamaDeb: MTC - you'd have to go to BYU. Could you handle that?

Elder JimmyZ: I've given it legitimate and unfortunate thought......
Would I have to write the SAT or ACT? Or can I just apply from here?
I've served a mission so BYU should be salivating over me.

Background info: We moved to a town with about 10% of the population being LDS from a place where it was 0.01% (Maybe I'm being generous) of the population. It was an interesting transition. 13 year old James said, "There's too many Mormons here." Fast forward a few years and he goes down to BYU to visit a friend and comes home and says, "Nice university campus but I don't think it's really my thing."

A Canadian at BYU with the exchange rate as it is at the moment is making my head spin.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Efforts Continue

So I got back to a couple more family emails. Just the brothers and dad. so this will be kinda short. Sorry!

But hi, good to hear from ya.

MamaDeb - I mentioned he had not served in the bush yet. I also mentioned I wanted to plan a vacation for Sean and I in the new year.....somewhere warm
Yeah I've been in mostly city and ghetto so far. Go to MoBay and go to church there on Sunday, that'd be hilarious.

MamaDeb - I asked what his plans for Christmas were.
On Christmas I'll probably just... teach haha. Nothing special. Maybe Christmas Carol, it's hard to teach on holidays. So maybe we'll knock doors and interrupt innocent people.

The week's been good. Met a guy named Jerome! Super cool, pretty well off it seemed. Lived in a really nice neighbourhood. Very humbled. We rang his doorbell and he immediately let us in and wanted us to teach him about the Book of Mormon, and then we gave it to him and committed him to baptism and church and stuff. Then he tried to shove 2000 dollars down our throats to pay for the book, we were actually really worried we'd offend him by saying no. We settled on Coconut water. So that was good! But then we met with him again.......... He believes Judgment happened when Christ was around and that we are at the end of the millennium now and he refuses to actually come to church and he wanted to pay us for the book again...... Darn... But it was a good week! Just lots of contacting! taught twice as much as last week which was great! We're hoping the it gets better this week though. I got here with 0 investigators, I'm now sitting here with like, 12, and we're hoping for 4 or 5 more this week, but we might be dropping a few.

Kingston is great though, lots of good stuff happening. Lots of excitement for Christmas. Elder Jarvis is wrapping gifts behind me right now. It'll be cool. I just remember last Christmas was pretty hot. 

Sorry this is pretty short. I've got so many things to reply to. Nothing too crazy to report on this week though anyway. Just trying to really up the member work and just trying to figure out who's getting baptized before Christmas!

But yeah, hope things are good at home! I miss you all, and I'll see you at Christmas!

Elder Zeck

MamaDeb - No pics this week, but I thought I'd share one's that I'd sent him......

This is the great Missionary Sweater Vest that Sean would not let me buy.  Jackson modeled it for me.  James asked what happened to Jackson's baby fat.  Sadly I answered that he gave it to me.


These two lovely young ladies were in James' district at the MTC.  Four of the missionaries in the district were bound for the Canada Calgary Mission.  I had the pleasure of meeting Sister Dente (upper left) last February.  I actually ran into her at the Walmart.  I was able to take her and her companion out for lunch.  I met Sister Egbert (upper right) last week at a Zone Conference I was at helping with the luncheon.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Not Much of a Letter but I got Pictures so I'm Not Complaining

Editor's note:  So the pictures have been lacking for weeks.  This week James pretty much just answered the questions I gave him and sent the pictures.  He doesn't get much email time, which I think is fine.  P-Day is not just for emailing and they have so much to do on that one day.  It was nice to see his face.  

Grandma and grandpa's package was great. Lots of good stuff. We can only email for an hour now, so it might take some weeks to catch up on everyone's emails.

Lady with the 6 year old daughter, she was doing great, going to get baptized, got some anti material from a friend and a pastor of another church, thought we were going to sacrifice her, and stopped coming. Very upsetting....

I get along with most people. I feel like I get along with fewer people now because I'm kind of that missionary that tries to talk about the work only and I tell people to do better. That annoys people I suppose. But I think people respect me or something. I don't know why they would though, I'm not much better than anybody else.

APs are way cool, by far two of the best Elders in the mission.

No flour this year! Thankfully, yeah on my birthday we chopped an investigator's yard and I got a good sunburn.

All truck. This house is probably the nicest, it's just really big.

Kingston is great, but it's big, and our area feels kinda small. Especially knocking gates and ringing doorbells, I could see how we could cover our whole area in a month, but our area is pretty wealthy, so we usually don't get answers from the houses we call at. In the days people are working, and then they get home, they're too tired, and they can't see us anyway. The succesfull people that we come across usually dedicate their lives to work. But we're still teaching great people right now. But Kingston is great. Lots of stores and stuff. White people every so often. I don't like that part.

There's a Subway! That's pretty awesome. But super expensive... Also A&W rootbeer, that's a miracle!

Our area is doing well, I came and we're kinda white washing, which is a pain, but it just means we have to work hard and everything. Which is good! I just never feel like I can work hard enough.

Not to cheat you outta time, but I only have like 25 or 30 minutes left so I gotta get everyone else now. Hope the week's great! Tell everyone I say hi! I love you all!

Elder Zeck

Day of Service a couple of weeks ago. The cleaned a beach

Happy Birthday to my Baby!! 20 years old!!

Thank you to Sister Dill for baking him a cake. They served in Montego Bay together. She has now completed her missionary service.

Cake and the miraculous A&W Rootbeer

An Artsy Picture. This must be the living quarters.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Struggle With Affluence and Last Birthday in Jamaica

Don't have very long, email time has been reduced to an hour, so I won't probably get to any emails this week other than president Brown's and yours. I'll email the brothers back next week as well.

....... So I forgot the camera cord again......... But i haven't taken any pictures anyway, and i know you'd be all upset about it, but this has probably been the hardest working week of my mission. I don't have any time to take pictures. I'm basically white washing this area, and it's mostly rich people, so we've been knocking on doors and ringing door bells and we've been out in the sun all day every day trying to find people to teach. I've never been this tired on my mission, and I've always been tired! haha. 

But it's good, I kinda like it. I'm learning to love it. Knocking on doors isn't really a thing in this mission, so what we're doing feels pretty foreign. Again, I like it. We're trying to set a good example for the zone. I've taught like, 1 lesson in 10 days, it's pretty brutal. But it's only because we've had to find, and over the past 20 days I've probably found almost 70 potential investigators between Kingston and Montego Bay. So that's pretty cool. 55 of those are back in MoBay, hopefully they all pull through. We found 15 the past few days here, which probably averages out to less than 1 per hour of tracting. But we've been in some FILTHY RICH neighbourhoods. People hate us up there. Ah well.

So yeah, sorry, no pictures, too busy trying to baptize

Yeah I can get shirts tailored. 

Kingston's been good, my comp is Elder Johnson. He's from Texas, pretty cool guy. We've got lots in common. It'll be a good transfer. 

No hot showers.

Just send me stuff that will make me not get fatter. I've lost like 35 pounds over the past year, so I've got a few more to go in all. Actually just send Twix bars.

Elder Stolp's awesome, he's South African.
Can someone adopt me and send me stuff?
Elder Lafayette says thanks for the ties, he loved them! He freaked out when he saw them.

The box was great! Thanks so much! I gained some bonus points with everyone when I gave them alligator jerky. Pretty cool. 

So yeah, it's my birthday tomorrow. Big deal. I'm 20... That's weird. I feel old, but that's alright. Let me know if a bunch of people comment on my Facebook page about my birthday, probably because they don't even know I'm on a mission haha. My hour's up so I'll talk to you next week I guess!

I'll see what I can do about picturess

Thanks again for everything, I appreciate it a ton!

Elder Zeck

Monday, November 2, 2015

Transfers.......Going Kingston Zone Leader......Bye,Bye Montego Bay


So yeah transfers, as expected. I'm going Kingston Zone Leader, which is hilarious because since the beginning of my mission I've always said that was the LAST place I wanted to go. But I'm excited for it, I see why I've been called there. I feel like I am supposed to be there, which is obvious I suppose, because I'm going there. Elder Hall, who came out with me, is replacing me here. Elder Palmer (the Elder I trained) He's going Santa Cruz Zone Leader with Elder Jernigan so that's fun. Koegler has one transfer left which is pretty funny. But yeah, transfers, always a crazy week. as of tonight I'm pretty much done proselyting until Thursday. I'll be serving with Elder Johnson. Don't really know him, I sat by him in a zone meeting once in Spanish Town but that's about it, he seems cool though. I'll be living with the Assistants.

I haven't seen my suit since day one, but my size 16 shirts are starting to feel baggy. I don't know if I should ask for 15.5 though, my shirts probably just need tailoring.

Shoes are fine, although they're becoming harder to stay polished.

Towels are fine

Lots of shirts, those are fine. I'm going to bleach and cake soap them today so they'll be nice and white again.

Haven't done a musical number in a couple months, but I try to sing loud in church, does that count?

No hot water.................(Editor's note: I don't think he's had hot water in 16 months!!)

I'll try to send pics today, I think I brought my camera cord.... But the weeks' been good, sounds like home is good. Halloween isn't really a thing out here so it is past and gone. Thanks for the packages! I should get them tomorrow I think. And for the Christmas one, I don't know, drink crystals and jerky. dental floss would be nice. Nothing really comes to mind.

The week's been good. Is it a rule back home that to be in the church building there has to be at least one Melchizedek priesthood holder? It's a rule here, but I never heard it back home.

I burned my oatmeal a couple days ago...

We've struggled a lot with anti-Mormon material lately. Which is weird. The past 6 months here in MoBay have been great, but over the past week and a half we've lost our entire teaching pool to laziness and anti stuff. It's ridiculous. We've literally spent the past 3 days straight tracting. Calling at gates and stopping people, all day long, every day. I've never tracted this much, I've never struggled to get lessons! I'm not complaining, I'm still doing missionary work so I really don't mind. What else am I going to do? But I feel bad for the next Elder. Over the past 2 weeks we've found 60 new people to teach so I'm excited to hear about what goes on for them. But it's been rough. I think that really is the hardest part of missionary work. I really do hate how much I care about these people. It's upsetting. All I want is what's best for these people, and they don't give it a chance. I'm not the only one to feel this, so I don't let it get me down. I'm sure if I'm this upset, I can only imagine how upset Heavenly Father gets. But, it's a struggle. The struggle is real.

It's been flipping sunny this week.

Otherwise, we're still going. Just lots and lots of tracting. I pray that all of these people accept the gospel someday. I'm looking forward to Kingston though. That's going to be interesting. I have zero ideas what to expect.

Elder Zeck

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Working Hard and Miracles

The week was pretty good!

We've been dropped by pretty much all of our progressing investigators due to lack of faith/ anti-mormon crap. But I suppose that's life. So we hit the dirt, found like, 33 new people to teach which was a miracle. Lots of prayers this week, I don't know if I've relied on the Lord this much ever! But it was great. I was on a trade off in Sav for a couple days, so I got to work with some different Elders. It's always a good experience to see how others do things, I always learn a ton!

This coming week is pretty much all proselyting thankfully. Zone meeting is on Wednesday, I get to teach on the Sabbath and how to make it a delight and such. I'm pretty excited for it! I love teaching. Preparing something that might change the work or viewpoint of the missionaries, it's pretty great.

I'm good though, might pull out a little money to buy a speaker, but that's undetermined. Just lots of work, lots of finding this week, lots of gate calls and street contacts. Lots of rejections, lots of success!

Nothing too crazy. I'm really really tired today so my email's probably kinda boring. I'm hungry. We have great people we're working with.

Any word on any of my RM friends?

Elder Zeck

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stolen Bikes But Not Stolen????

It was national Heroes day. Weird to think that I remember LAST National Heroes day. Went pretty quick.

The week was pretty crazy. Didn't get much important stuff done unfortunately. Lots of weird troubles. An Elder had his bike stolen, so that was an issue. I was going to help him buy a new one but then he got it back. Then MY bike got stolen, which was kinda funny, because it's a piece of garbage that isn't working right now. But then later in the week as well, some kid came to our house and told us his uncle stole my bike and stripped it and sprayed it green and stuff, and that he was going to call the cops but his uncle was going to beat him or something. I don't even know. Then his uncle walks by and calls us over and tells us the kid took my bike and he's willing to bring it back or whatever so he doesn't get in trouble. And so we have to wait for him to put my bike back together and bring ti back and now it's green haha. And while we were waiting the kid kept talking about how much he wants a phone and how his uncle sent him back to get a reward. I don't know. I think they were just trying to scam us. Didn't work though! So yeah, that was an event.

We also had DLT on Tuesday, the big district leader training meeting that happens twice a year. It's funny because I was at the one in February learning to be a District Leader, and now I'm at this one as a Zone Leader, teaching other missionaries how to be a district leader. Just kind of a cool thought. Elder Lafayette and I taught on Follow Up Calls, and it was really good I thought. I learned stuff, we were pretty much on time with our presentation, which usually no one is. We make a big deal of only using our allotted 45 minutes, not taking 2 hours like some people do. The meeting still went 2 and a half hours over. But yeah that was good. Then we did a trade off in Port Antonio, which was also good. Made the 4.5 hour drive all the way back home on Thursday. Just a crazy week, didn't teach much. Had some ups and downs with our investigators.

We had an issue with someone we're working with, her friends told her that our church sacrifices people. I thought it was kinda funny, but then I realized she was actually bothered by that. The things that are spread around about our church are so ridiculous. I'm sure I could write better anti-Mormon material than the stuff we usually hear. Everyone thinks we're a cult here. Or CIA. Which is funny too. But we sat down and cleared it up for her. I just get upset to hear that a lot of this anti-Mormon stuff is spread around and taught INSIDE other churches. Pastors bash on us all the time with falsehoods, and they teach it to their congregations, and then they teach their congregations how to bash on us. That's one thing I love about our church, we would never publish or teach anything as a church that diminishes someone else's faith. I was even looking at a Jehovah's Witness booklet the other day and it had a testimonial of a guy where he was talking about why he didn't feel the Catholic Church could be true. And all his points were spot on, but there's something slimy about putting that in a worldwide publication. Just my thoughts.

Justin Trudeau is Liberal right? Is that bad?

Nah I'm not stressed about going home. I appreciate the sense of urgency I get sometimes when I think about it, I completely plan on being satisfied when my 2 years are up, so I don't go crazy my last week like some Elders do. It's funny to watch, but I don't want to be that guy. I don't think it would be fair of me to wish I had more than I signed up for. However, an extension would be rad. I haven't asked for one though.

I'm just glad I still have infinity months left on my mission.

I'll see what I can do for pictures.

Anything else crazy going on back home? It's weird I have friends at home now.

Other wise, week's good. I have a new favorite scripture

Hebrews 12:2

Tell everyone you see in the next week I say hi and to write me more often because I've pretty much lost all contact with all girls I used to write, so I need void fillers

But yeah, hope the week's good!

Elder Zeck

Zone boundaries for Jamaica Kingston Mission:
Kingston, Spanish Town, North Coast (covers Savannah la Mar to Port Antonio), Mandeville, and Off Island..

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Week in the Life.....


Sounds like the eventful week. I didn't even realize it was Thanksgiving. So happy thanksgiving I guess!?

But yeah, week's been good. Pretty busy. An investigator of ours was supposed to be baptized but she still needs a little time. She's having a hard time understanding the Godhead, which is kind of a cultural thing out here. I firmly believe that if our church got to Jamaica sooner, we'd have a much heavier sway in the religious world out here, but it seems like everybody is 7th Day, or some other church. Nobody really understands who God is, and it's a shame, and it makes our job really hard, because what we teach is not culturally accepted. So we're helping her out with that, and her reading.

Overall a pretty normal week actually. President came to Elder Bennett's district meeting on Wednesday, which went really well. Then we drove to Ochi to trade vehicles with the sisters, stayed the night with the Elders there, drove to Kingston the next morning for a meeting with the other zone leaders and sister training leaders, drove back to Ochi that night, stayed the night, drove to Sav the next morning to drop off a fan for a trainee, and didn't get back to our house until about 12:30! Lots of driving. Lots of listening to General Conference talks from like, 2008 or something. Whenever Thomas S Monson became a prophet.

Saturday, did a trade off so I was on foot in the sun all day. Forgot what that's like! My calves still hurt, but I enjoyed it. I love the truck and all, but I do miss the bicycle.

Not a whole lot to report this week, Just work as usual. I've been talking about it for over a year now, so you can pretty much guess how my next 10 months will be. Pretty much the same. But I do love it! I love the Spirit that's felt while teaching, and studying. I've learned lots about the scriptures, and about so many great people! As my mission is kind of facing the down hill though I can't help but think about what's next. I still don't really have a good idea of a career. The missionary in me just says to try CES or something, because then I'd hopefully never lose these things. I don't know if that's a good idea though.. I don't really know anything as a matter of fact. But for now I'm pretty content with just proselyting! It's all good, I hope all continues to be well at home!

Elder Zeck

Monday, October 5, 2015

Zone Meeting and Conference Weekend

I was just reminded today, so kindly by an Elder in Negril, that in like, two weeks, I'll have 9 months left... THAT'S SINGLE DIGITS.. I'm not dwelling on it, but how lame is that? If I get my 6 month extension, I'll have 15, so I'm just going to say I've got 15 months left...

But hi!
Conference was good. President Monson is struggling. Hopefully he's alright. Talks were good. President Uchtdorf's first talk was great. Elder Maxwell gave a good talk. The "What Lack I Yet" talk was super good too. Priesthood session was probably my favourite. 

But I'm good. Week was good. Lots of stuff going on. 

It was General Conference and Zone Meeting so we were busy all week. Getting stuff prepared to teach. Zone meeting went great, I really enjoyed it anyway. Focused a lot on teaching skills and meeting the standards of excellence, which means baptising weekly and stuff. Nobody gets it, we're hoping to get it and exceed it in November, I won't be here probably, but that's unimportant. 

So I started off the meeting teaching about the Liahona, and what it did for the Lehites. led them to more fertile parts, responded to their faith and diligence, helped them eventually reach the promised land. I likened that to our zone, how we don't have a Liahona, but we have the Holy Ghost, and the writings on the ball are kind of like the revelations we receive that we put in our planners. And if we're worthy, we'll get good revelation, and if we're not, we're left to our own devices. And we talked about how God always wanted his people to reach the promised land, the only thing that ever stopped them was themselves, and we counselled as a zone how we are going to be good Mormons and reach the promised land (baptising weekly) and I thought it went really well.

My teaching segment was more of a motivational speech to get people hyped up to do better, I think it worked. I felt the spirit, so I'm satisfied. I love teaching! The rest of the meeting was all about our teaching skills, how we can be better teachers. That's essentially what Preach My Gospel is for. It's just how to be a good teacher. Gospel aside, it's a great manual for developing good people and teaching skills.

It's been raining a lot, that's another cool piece of news.

That's pretty cool to hear, with Jordan and his choir stuff. I wish I started choir younger, I'd probably be a less bad singer by now. While you wait for him you could try to finish the Standard Works before I do!

This next week should be good, more time to proselyte, have a meeting in Kingston on Thursday. Probably go to Ochi today to help a new Elder get a new bicycle because the one he got is too small. Do I have money in my account? Other wise though, nothing crazy, we might have a baptism this Sunday, not actually sure yet. You'll find out next Monday I suppose. We'll be having one or two this month which is exciting!

Elder Zeck

Monday, September 28, 2015

Transfer Week Activities

Things are going well though. My shoes are fine although I'm almost out of polish. I'm pretty good at stealing other missionary's polish, being their zone leader. It's about as much unrighteous dominion as I can seem to muster. The week's been crazy though. Long, but good. 

Monday, did a lot of cleaning making room for the new trainee. Nothing's worse than coming to a dirty house on the first day. I would know all about that. Wasn't a fan. So we wanted to make sure he was coming into a nice clean house, where he wouldn't feel homesick or disgusted, like how my first house made me feel. So that was a success. Mopped a ton. Scrubbed some bathroom. Lots of fun! 

Then Tuesday, got up at 4:30 to drive to Sav and to Spanish Town to go to Trainers Meeting. I unfortunately was not invited to trainers meeting this time :( I did however get to stay in Sav and go out with Elders Spendlove and Bischoff. Two trainees. And that was great, I do love missionary work! Got to see how they're improving and they're both doing great. Also got to do a baptismal interview while I was there. Love those! 

Then Wednesday we got a normal proselyting day which was nice, or so we thought. Turns out some emergency mail for Elder Layton, who was going home that day, arrived. So we had to rush out to Sav again and drop off a bunch of stuff for him. Got back, had a few lessons, did some street contacting. The usual. Had a really spiritual lesson with a man about the Restoration. Honestly one of the best lessons I've ever taught. Companionship unity is so important. We nailed it! 

Thursday was transfers, so got up early again, drove probably 550 kilometers the whole day. Pretty crazy. But transfers was great. As a zone leader, people know your name, so I always make a ton of new friends at the transfer meetings because I already feel like I know everyone anyway. I really have learned to love being a zone leader. It's too bad that's probably over this transfer. Ah well. C'est la vie. But transfers was great. Saw a lot of people. Elder Bennett is coming back to MoBay with Elder Larson. He's a pretty prepared new missionary, I'm very impressed by him. He's already getting comfortable with the house and the work and it's been less than a week. Took me like... 10 weeks... Whoops.

Then the weekend as usual was pretty good, no complaints really. Just teaching and stuff. We're really trying hard to get 6 baptisms in November. I won't be here, not that it matters. But we're really shooting to baptize weekly through November and December in this area. It's a huge desire of mine to go a whole month baptizing weekly. I feel like I've finally hit a point in my mission where I kinda know what I'm doing. I'm not that good at it. But I know what I'm doing, and I can finally work with a goal in mind. I know where I lack and I know what I need to do to succeed. 

This Sunday we had like, 5 people at church, we've got 4 on date. One of our investigators came up and bore testimony, she's so excited for baptism! We've got a few other people who love the church and are excited to continue to come. It was just a very fulfilling Sunday. Lots to do, lots going on. We're just trying to do as much as we can. I wish I had all this knowledge 14 months ago. I would've been so much more effective. I spent a long time being kinda useless. I hope it's because I didn't know better.

I should have many more videos coming. I've slacked on the pictures and videos in MoBay. Just, it's hard for me to remember. Besides, I can't take these pictures into heaven anyway. I've no urgency behind it. But I'll do more or something.

That's awesome Jordan's planning on going on a mission right away. I think it's the best choice for him. I just hope he goes a little after I get home so I can see him, and I feel like I might have a tip or two for him. I can help him so he prepares better than I did, which was zero percent. 

Tell Jeff I say hi.

What's the trick for matching shoes to my outfit. I have these brown shoes and I don't know what the rule is for shoes. Do they just have to match the belt? So confusing. I've worn black shoes my whole life.

Also if you could send socks that match my pants, like some grey and brown ones, that'd be cool. I suppose it's a white handbook rule to have socks that match the pants. Nobody lives it, but I suppose it's in there for a reason. Just a thought. I don't really need anything else other than maybe money to buy presents for everyone. I'm going to actually try and send something home for Christmas. I've accumulated presents over the past while for everybody. I just haven't wanted to send them. I don't want to take them in my suitcase, but I also don't want to mail them in case stuff gets stolen. So we'll see.

Anyway, long email. Nothing too crazy this week. Just working with some incredible people. It's all about humility. 

Elder Zeck

Monday, September 21, 2015

Staying in MoBay

So the week's been good!

Negril on Monday, just played volleyball and hung out, it was a half zone preparation day. Our zone is so huge it's kind of impossible to do an actual zone prep day. But it was fun. Very time consuming. Very sun burning. But fun. Busy time. That night after we proselyted we drove a couple hours to Ochi to crash at the Elders house there, then in the morning we made the trek out to Port Antonio to go and do a trade off out there. I got to see Elder Kuehn again! Which is awesome, I've only seen him a small handful of times since the MTC, so that was cool. Pretty good too, got some good work done, did service, visited some members, taught some lessons, found a lot of potential priesthood. I even heard one of the people we found is on date for baptism! So that's exciting. It was like, almost time to go home, decided to contact one last person. I was tired but I knew we needed to, and turns out the last guy of the night read the pamphlet and knew it was true! It's cool things like that, that make 4 hours of fruitless street contacting completely worth it!

Then Wednesday went to Elder Ozment's district meeting in Ochi, super good. President so lovingly bought us Burger King after and then we made the trip back to MoBay. Lots of driving, good thing I like driving. I will never think a 4 hour drive is long again. It's transfer week this week so we're going to be doing well over 20 hours of driving this week, but it's nothing now. I love driving anyway. So yeah, that's cool.

Taught some good lessons this week. A lady we're working with is on track for baptism on the 11th of October I think. Whatever the second Sunday is. We're super stoked for her! We're having a hard time getting her sons to take the lessons but her and her 6 year old daughter are there every week. She loves the church, knows it's true. She called out to us 3 months ago looking for a change, and she felt the Spirit tell her to talk to us, and here we are! Missionary work in Jamaica is tough. Everybody's religious, but there's a lot of traditions that are pretty deep rooted. A lot of false beliefs on religion and the nature of God. At first it was pretty humorous, now it's just kinda sad and not very fun because we have to deal with it, and incredibly faithful people are just wasting away. Even in the church though, people settle for what they got. I think that's how people go less active. The settle in what they find as "truth" and then God reveals more truth and either they become stagnant or they get uncomfortable. Even with anti mormon stuff. I can disprove and explain pretty much every anti-mormon doctrine I've ever heard, and I've heard a ton. But I think the only reason that is is because I don't want to be comfortable in my progression. The cool thing is though, is that out of every single church on the planet, this is the only one that can satisfy the quest for "more truth" for a life time. Every other church has a ceiling. This church doesn't. There's no end to the knowledge we have. I wish other people could see that. But, c'est la vie.

So yeah, good week. Super tired as usual, I haven't felt well rested in... ever... But some how I always have the energy to get through the day. and by some how I mean the atonement, but it's great. Still happy. Not struggling. Enjoying every moment I can. Making great friends, having tons of fun and lots of joy at the same time, like the Gospel should be.

No really weird stories. Had another investigator express her infatuation for me, and even went to the extent of walking out of her house in just shorts and a bra. That was pretty dumb.. But we dealt with it. My favorite thing to tell women is "put on a blouse so we can talk about Jesus" because of how often I get the chance to do it. It's pretty terrible. I've already decided I'm done teaching women anyway, the island needs priesthood and women have an affinity to truth they'll all make it eventually.

Anyway, Transfers this week. I'm staying thank goodness. The zone isn't changing much. We'll have like, 7 or 8 trainees in our zone. Lots of newbies. Mission is short on sisters so I wonder if many areas are shutting down. I hope not. Zone meeting is coming up soon too.


Elder Zeck

Elder Lafayette - James' companion

Part of the North Coast Zone in Negril for P-Day

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Busy and Good

I don't have very long this morning because we're going to Negril again, thanks for all the pictures! Looks like a lot of fun without me... I'm really just jealous that you got to see a Wombat... (Mamadeb is in Australia for a couple of weeks)

Was it Sister Garrett's blog? (I found pictures of him on another mission blog)

But trade off was good, I love Sav. Great members, great people, and great Elders. Always lots of joy. It's about an hour drive, so not too bad. Elder Lafayette is getting pretty good with driving. He drives like a Jamaican, so we don't die, but I can't text while he drives. I have to know what's going on... Last Preparation Day we just couldn't find a place to email so we had to go to the church, and by then it was pretty late and we hadn't shopped or cleaned or nothing. Yup transfer calls are this week, I'm pretty sure I'm staying. President pretty much said I'm staying. But I don't know, things change up a lot. I'd love to go and resplit Negril, but I don't think that's what God wants me to do. Whatever. I really don't care where I go. I'll work just as hard anyway.

But yeah, it's been a good week, nothing crazy. Forgot my camera cord, but I didn't take any pictures anyway. I always forget. Too busy teaching or whatever. but yeah, it'll be a good week. We're going to Port Antonio for a trade off, that's a 4 hour drive. We have a huge zone.

Met a lady who told me she was the servant of the archangel Michael, that was hilarious.

Hope the week's good! Have fun and stuff

Elder Zeck

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Must Be a Busy P-Day......

I don't have much time today so it's gonna be pretty lame, sorry.
but sounds like things are going good! I think it's kinda funny that I leave, and suddenly there's a lot more stories about travelling. Did I cost that much money?
Any way, sounds good.

Nothing cool to report, but I'll try to have pics or something for next week. Things are good though, super hot, a little more rainy but not really.

Time just keeps going faster, can't believe the transfer is already almost over. Working with a guy, trying to help him quit drinking.

Cool, have a good week!

Elder Zeck

Later in the day we got this.......

Hey I got a few extra minutes!

I won't add much. But yeah, week's been good. We had MLC this week, which is the big mission leadership meeting with all the zone leaders and stuff, and we discuss the mission and what's going good and bad and how to fix stuff. Super cool! I really enjoyed it, there was a lot discussed. I guess there's a deficiency in the teaching skills department in our mission. By the end of December our mission will be 70% green, whatever that means. So we're really pushing to have the mission up to par on our doctrines and stuff.

We had a super cool experience in a first lesson with a guy the other night. We hadn't talked to him in weeks and we finally got a hold of him, and we sat down for 20 minutes, but within those 20 minutes we were able to get him to understand our purpose, and he just opened up. Super prepared for the message, I just hope we can help act on all that. But we were able to commit him to quit drinking on that first lesson, and he was just super into it, and it all made sense, and the spirit was super strong, and it was obvious that he wanted it. I guess it's just a cool reminder that if people aren't feeling the spirit in their life, then they won't do anything, but once we feel it, God quickens our minds and our hearts and we are able to more fully grasp onto things that are good for us!

But yeah, it's gonna be a busy week this week. We're going to Sav on a trade off, so that'll be fun. Elder Lafayette is a learners so I'm kinda teaching him to drive.. I now understand why dad and you were so jumpy in the car. Sorry about that! haha

But yeah,

Elder Zeck

Monday, August 31, 2015

On a Rock in the Middle of a Puddle


So the week was good.

Sounds like stuff back home's going good. I keep having these weird realizations that I'm on a rock in the middle of a puddle. Pretty weird. How often do you realize I'm in JAMAICA!? Pretty weird. How I'm here, and everyone else is home. But it sounds like life goes on pretty normal without me, so that's good I guess.

Comp stuff's good. We're getting along really well. The first week was a little shaky, obviously we come from very different cultures with very different views on how the work should be done. But we've worked it out. That's one of the very few things I'm good at, working things out. I haven't served around anybody that I haven't gotten along with, so plus 1 for me I guess. He's been in the church his whole life. His family sounds pretty cool. He's got a lot of family support, and a lot of nice ties. 

I asked him how much eating out costs......
And when I go out to eat it usually ranges from like, 100 Jamaican dollars if I'm feeling pretty ghetto, to maybe like, 300 to 500 if I'm feeling less ghetto, but if I go American then usually more like 500 to 900. I could survive off dumpling and rice for like, 1000 a week if I wanted, but I don't want that. Why?

That's great to hear about Jared! I really do include him in my prayers all the time. More so as he gets older and older. It's just always nice to know that everybody's got a place somewhere. I really want Jared to find his place. Has he ever mentioned or blinked at the thought of a mission? I know a stereotypical mission might not be in the picture. But does he understand why we serve missions and things like that? I know people with challenges like his that do temple missions or service missions, all from home.

But, week's been good. Kinda slow. Starting to rain. I've been teaching Elder Lafayette to drive and stuff. That's been fun. I'm glad I'm not a crappy driver. Taught some pretty interesting lessons. We were challenged at Zone Conference to use the Spirit of Elijah in our teaching and missionary work, so in a first lesson with a lady we taught her about the temple and eternal families and work for the dead and family history work and stuff. And we both felt really strongly that this would work, before we went into the lesson. And as we got closer to the lesson, it wasn't a good day, we were just kinda praying for the minutes to go by faster so we could go to bed, even though it was only 3. But we sit down, and start teaching, and I don't think I've ever in the past 6 months I've been in Jamaica, felt what we call the Spirit of Elijah. You know, the hearts turning to our ancestors kinda thing. But it was a powerful experience. She asked about her grandmother, who she knew wasn't Christian, what would happen to her, and we explained that in the temple she could get baptized for her and whatnot. Just a cool experience, very rewarding. We're going to have another lesson with her tomorrow I believe.
Normal week, just going along, trying to work as hard as I know how, which is changing every day. I hope all keeps going well at home!

Elder Zeck

Editor's Note: I sent James these pics from an accident his dad has this weekend and his response was the following:

Dad looks like a crack addict in those pictures. Like he got in a fight over a meth lab or something. I've realized on my mission he kinda looks like Walter White from Breaking Bad, or Homer Simpson, but less yellow. I'm already looking forward to probably looking like that too.

I miss that sense of humor..........

Monday, August 24, 2015

Busy Week / Mission Stories

Week's been good! Very long. Just lots of work. I haven't had a free moment. So no pictures this week. But lots of good work.

We had a weird experience with one of our investigators. He was super excited to be baptized and stuff, but then we found out it was because he's Roman catholic, and they get baptised when they're babies, because they have this terrible belief that an innocent child could go to Hell for their non-existent sins. Talk about APOSTASY! But he wanted the experience of being baptised again, but only for the experience. He wants to remember it. So like... It's a nice thought! but it's also a dumb thought. Because he was probably going to end up back at his Roman Catholic congregation, which is cool for Terrestrial beings. So we're working on that. He also refuses to pray, but he loves the Book of Mormon. Some people confuse me. I love him a ton! He's one of my favorite investigators right now because he's intelligent, and he's very dignified to some extents, but man it's just impossible to get it through to him. It kinda sucks loving people. So that's a work in progress.

Broke my 6th watch last week. Whoops. I don't know what my problem is with breaking stuff out here. I broke a blender, I broke 6 watches, I broke a table, I broke a chair, amongst other various odds and ends around the house. I've broken my bicycle many many many times. I even broke a tie once, because my bike was broken. So we took a tie, and tied it to my handle bars, and then tied the other end to Elder Sinea's bike, and he towed me all the way to a bike store, but the tie snapped a couple minutes away from the shop. That was a funny story. But yeah, if you could mail me a cool super cheapo walmart watch that would be cool. I know I've been out for almost a year, so you've probably mostly stopped caring about me, but if you ever send more packages just beef jerky, juice crystals and like.. Mostly letters and pictures, that would all be cool. I just got your package by the way, thanks! It's much appreciated. Also a Kendama. It's a nice stress reliever, catching a ball on a wooden hammer. Elder Smith has one so sometimes I sit on my bed and play with it. But yeah, thanks a ton for the package! Beef Jerky and Nutella are golden commodities! Also thanks for the talk!!! The fact you found it is a miracle, did you read it? It's debatably my favorite talk of all time, and for some reason it's impossible to find. We watched it in the MTC and most missionaries regret falling asleep in it, because it's so fantastic. So yeah. Thanks

Did I tell you the story about D? I can't remember?

Otherwise stuff's good. There are 5 trainees in our zone. Lots of newbies who will remember my name forever, because that's what being a Zone Leader is all about! But it's cool, I get to play some sort of small role in the development of these new missionaries. Making lots of friends, having lots of fun, and teaching lots.

We had Zone Conference this week, Elder Martinez came and spoke. Super good.

Hope the week's good!

Elder Zeck

He added later on........

The Nutella snacks were great! The only issue is that because they were in snack form, I ate them all in one sitting. All during my Personal Study the next morning actually...

The investigator who's confused about getting dunked. We gave him a President Monson talk, called To Learn, To Do, To Be.. Or something like that. we're hoping the whole modern day prophet thing will help make it a little more real. Because no other church that I can think of has a foundation of Prophets and Apostles. Either our church is true, or the Restoration hasn't actually happened yet. No other way.

But D, probably one of my favorite mission stories, but I just realized I don't think I emailed this home!

So, Elder Jernigan and I were going to an investigators house, he lives about a 30 minute drive away, so when we got there and found he wouldn't be home for another hour, we were pretty upset. So we decided to walk back out to the car and start making calls in the back of the truck, with the intent that maybe someone will walk by and ask us who we are, or we can call out to someone. Well, a guy walks up to us. His name is Desmond. I actually have some recordings of him singing his original music, I'll have to find it and send it someday. But he's talking to us about God and tells us he used to have a Book of Mormon, but got water damaged and he wanted a new one. So we gave him one, and learned that he was taught in the past but he's never really thought about it since. The spirit was there, so we just dived right in to the important stuff. Elder Jernigan said, "Well, we're Mormon Elders with the authority from God to baptize, would you like to be baptized?" And Desmond thought for a second, and said, "Yeah, I would like to be baptized." Elder Jernigan asked what he needed to do so he could be worthy of baptism. He thought about it again and said he needed to stop smoking weed. So I held out my hand and said, "Alright, if you truly want to quit we'll help you. All the weed you have on you right now, put it in my hand, and you can quit tonight." And Elder Jernigan and I kinda laughed a bit because it seemed a little ridiculous. But then I feel a small weight in my hand. It's his spliff. Kind of surprised, I ask, "is that all?" "No" and he put a couple dried weed leaves in my hand. "Is that all?" "No" and he put a couple more weed leaves in my hand. "Is that all?" "No" and he reached into his other pocket and put a bunch of spliff paper in my hand. I ask, "Is that all?" "No" and he puts his lighter in my hand, and he says, "That's it, I've given you everything." That was honestly one of my favorite experiences on my mission. In the moment, we were a part of something potentially pretty huge for this guy. He wanted to change so much, he decided to do it then. I don't know how long it lasted because he moved to the Bahamas, but it's a good lesson I think. How often can we say to God, when he asks us to give up something for him, "That's it, I've given you everything" As a missionary, it's something I want to be able to say every day. Just a cool experience.

Monday, August 17, 2015

First Week with a New Companion and the Adventure of Transfers

First week's been good, lots of hard work, lots of finding, a little bit of teaching. We're working with some pretty great people so now we're just trying to find more pretty great people to keep working with. Elder Lafayette's from Kingston. Transfers was good, pretty hectic but it was good. Everyone got where they needed to be. We drove pretty close to 1000 kilometers between Tuesday morning and Thursday morning, when we got home. Pretty crazy but fun.

This week's been good. Just lots of logistically confusing days, driving people around. Monday was good, just finished our preparations for the week. Tuesday we got up at 4AM to start driving Elders around so we could be in Kingston with 3 other Elders for trainers meeting at 10AM. I was invited to role play a situation with a trainee, in helping them learn and stuff. That was cool. I loved training. That went from like, 10 to 3, and then we spent like 5 hours driving everyone home. Then the next morning we got up at 6:30, regular time! And then we had to leave at 7 to drive for another 6 hours to pick up more elders for transfers, got to transfers at 3. Barely made it. There were like, 15 new Elders in! Which is crazy, but cool. Most of the mission is going to be green in the next 3 months. I'm only 13 months out and I'm already an old missionary. Drove everybody home, had to stay the night in Negril because it was too late. Finally got home on Thursday morning. So crazy. But good, I like having responsibility I suppose. 

Nothing too crazy this week. Still just going along, trying to work as hard as I can! Because I can't really do anything less. Wicked tired, as usual. Zone conference is next week. I think when I get home to Canada, I'm just going to spend my first 24 hours sleeping. That sounds great right about now. Also eating Mexican food. That'd be nice.

So yeah, things are great. It's nice to hear things at home are going well as well. I hope it keeps it up!

Elder Zeck

Picture of the front of our house

Last District Pic

I'm sure you've never seen a sunset before, so here's a picture of one

This is my posterity photo!
Me (Grandpa Zeck)
My son, (Father Palmer)
And my grandson (Elder Dawson) I think his name's Dawson. So that's cool

Monday, August 10, 2015

Transfers - Staying in Montego Bay

I thought this was pretty funny. In newer prints of the Book of Mormon I don't think this is in there.

The Zone meeting Elder Jernigan and I taught. It was really just 4 hours of us proving how unqualified we are. But it was pretty fun. This is the zone

I always have effective studies in the morning, so I drew this.. I use this for teaching some times. But this is my Plan of Salvation diagram. People respond well to visuals.

We went to the beach in Negril for preparation day last week or something. That was pretty cool. Played some beach volleyball and ate some over priced tourist food. I've never been so tempted in my life, as I was sitting next to the ocean...

District Pic.

This is where I spend a good chunk of my life. I recently finished the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, New Testament, and Book of Mormon. I only read the Books of Moses this transfer. Numbers was a page turner.

Editor's note:  I asked if he wore contacts anymore because he's wearing his glasses in every picture. His reply was.... "I started wearing glasses because Elder Jernigan wore glasses and I wanted to achieve perfect companionship unity with him. So we wear glasses!"

I won't bother you with any more pictures.

But the week's been good. It was Jamaican Independence day or something, so that was kinda lame, because nobody wants to see us, so we did like, 10 hours of street contacting this week. 4 of which was just on Thursday. I think in normal missions that's probably pretty normal, or like, not very much. But out here, that's a ton! I've gone entire months without needing to street contact. So that was weird, but it's good. I enjoy it! Which is lucky for me. Not lucky for other people who see us coming. I've never felt like a menace to society as much as I do as a missionary. Just ruining people's day every day! Telling them weird stuff about God.

Transfer calls came. So I'm staying, I"ll probably be here for 3 more months. Elder Jernigan is going to Santa Cruz to be a Zone Leader which is funny because he wanted to go to Bahamas, ah well. We call it Sister Cruz zone, because it's like, 60% sisters, as opposed to every other zone which is like, 8%. He's excited though. I'll miss him, he's been a great companion, he's taught me a lot, he's a way better missionary than I am, so I'm hoping that it rubs off. My next companion is Elder Lafayette, a Jamaican, which is going to be great! I'm pretty excited. First full time Jamaican companion. Elder Bennett and Smith are staying here which is good. still 50% Canadian, as it should be. So this week is going to be pretty nuts with transfers and what not. Today we get to pack and prepare and clean and stuff, then Tomorrow we're leaving out at like 3 am so that we can pick up a bunch of Elders to take to Trainers Meeting at 10 AM in Spanish Town. I was asked to do a short demonstration because I'm obviously the best missionary on the island. So we'll see how that goes. Then Tuesday night we race home, then Wednesday morning we get to perform a logistic nightmare and pick up a few elders from various corners of the Jamaica Kingston universe and get to transfers in Spanish Town again. I'm not going to get to proselyte until Thursday afternoon probably, which is lame, but I've gotten used to it. The past couple weeks we've taught a lot, so that's been a blessing.

Elder Koegler is white wash training in Spanish Town I'm pretty sure which is awesome! And I think Elder Palmer is white wash training in Old Harbour which is also great because that means I now have a grandson! White wash just means both Elders are brand new there, fyi.

But yeah, slow week. Just lots of walking around and talking to strangers. The mission is a pretty bizarre experience. The hardest part, and probably the most fulfilling part, is simply staying motivated. I've never been one to enjoy doing the same thing over and over again. So it's nothing short of a miracle that I'm sane, and I've been doing the same thing every day for the past 13 months. It's also crazy to think I've been out for 13 months. Goes faster and faster. I've decided I'm going to write a book after the mission called, "How to Have a Happy Mission" and I'm going to become incredibly wealthy and respectable because of it so I don't have to go to school! Or something... But that's been my goal, to have a happy mission. It's been interesting, because no one taught me how to have a happy mission, I've been figuring it out on my own, and it's been a long and uncomfortable process, but I think I've finally got it down. I think I understand how to have a happy mission! So I'm excited to look back after 24 months and see if it worked. When missionaries go home, they usually spend the last 2 weeks in a frenzy trying to do as much work as possible, and then they kinda mope around for the last 24 hours. Seems terrible. I just want to be able to say at the end that I'm content with the work I've done. And I'm on the right track. I'm finally at a place where I feel good about the knowledge I have and the way I apply it, I've gotten some good formulas down. It's great. I love it. But I'm exhausted all the time. I look forward to hibernating when it's all over.

Nothing else super exciting this week, hope all's good at home!

Elder Zeck