Monday, January 26, 2015

First Full Week of Spanish Town


yeah Spanish Town is good, not as good as Portmore, but I love it. Yes I'm the DL, it's not bad. It's like being a normal missionary but I have more meetings. I just have to make more calls, and check up on Elders and talk about their area, make sure no one is doing anything too stupid and just keep track of numbers and stuff. I teach a meeting every Wednesday , the zone leaders came to my first one last week, I taught about Companionship Unity and how it affects the work. They said it was a good meeting, so hopefully I'll keep doing stuff right! Elder Brown is good, he's kinda quiet, but he's good though. He knows his scriptures, and he's pretty cool. He's a runner, but we don't run very much. I'm so exhausted every day, we get up at 5:45 to work out most mornings, but I barely function on 8 hours of sleep some days, I've never been so tired. Even during school when I slept far less. The apartment is good though, it's bigger than the last house, but the kitchen is tiny, which is a hassle. We live in a nice little complex area so it's pretty quiet. I got to the house and it was filthy dirty, so we spent a long time cleaning last Monday, which was much needed, i refused to put food in the fridge so I only ate oatmeal for a little bit. But it's pretty good now. I've accepted that this is my life now, so I don't really get disappointed or surprised by anything, it's just normal. Every morning I walk up the stairs brushing my teeth in the one tiny bathroom in the other Elders room. Routine. That's really funny you saw Sister Dente though, she says she's been doing really well.

Sounds like things are going well back home. I got the package, I really liked it, you should just send Nutella, beef jerky and drink mix for the rest of my mission! Because it's all good. Mostly beef jerky because it's a billion dollars out here if we can find it. you don't need to send so many things though, just letters, or pictures of home or something. A lot of elders have big envelopes of pictures their moms sent from their facebook or from whatever, I didn't realize that would be a thing, so it'd be nice if I had something to share too when they show me their pictures. But you don't have to, just a thought. I don't really need anything, other than white shirts and ties. But I can get those out here if I need them I think...

Good job with the choir thing, it always sounded kinda cool, I'm sure it'll be fun! Jared's getting really good with his drawings too , that looks really good.

I'm still kinda concerned about Diabetes, maybe in the future, I ate really awful last month through Christmas and I gained a lot of weight haha, so I'm working on that. Elder Brown and I are doing Herbalife, which is kinda awesome. We'll see.

Happy anniversary! I'll keep those birthdays in mind as well.

But yeah, it's been a good week, lots of lessons. Like I said, when I got here the area was struggling so we've been working really hard to fix it up, we've picked up 3 or 4 new investigators and we're working with 4 people on date for baptism in the next couple months, hopefully big things will be happening!

As far as stories I've got a couple.

We did service this week and we cut down some trees with machetes for some lady, that was way fun! I have Elder Hunts machete still, so I just sharpened and used it, I got some pictures I'll probably send later.

Some kids threw rocks at me. That was cool.

I was biking through town at night and some guy rushed me and tried to snag my scripture bag off me but I was too fast! I should've just hit him...

Turned around and was caught pretty off guard to see a lady breastfeeding in the middle row. I'm still not used to the culture here obviously...

Nothing too much more, just doing work, I'm so tired, I'm constantly exhausted. But it's worth it. Got in a good conversation with a JW the other day, we have a lot of similar points, but then the topic came up of who Jehovah was and no progress was made there so we had to leave. I didn't feel like explaining that Jesus was the God of the old testament, I was too hungry and they wouldn't understand. But it's totally true, and it's obvious.

Well, I hope things keep going well! I'll send pictures in an hour or so probably. Love you all!!

Elder Zeck

Monday, January 19, 2015

First Few Days in Spanish Town

Spanish Town is cool. Been here like, 4 days now. It's been a slow/fast 4 days. Learning the area is kinda rough, it's not as neatly laid out as Portmore was. I don't know if I'll like an area more than Portmore, but I do like Spanish Town so far. I rode up and down more hills on my first night than I did the whole time in Portmore. There's this one area called Jago Heights, which is just a huge hill with really big houses. We don't go up very often, but we usually just walk. Hopefully this area will help me lose the gut Portmore gave me. It sounds like we only get fed a couple times a week, which is a step down from at least 6 times a week. And there's only like, one shop for food here, so that will hopefully be good for me. My legs are pretty tired though, and Elder Brown wants to go running, so we'll see how that goes. I just keep telling myself that I'm training for the Iron Man. There's 4 of us in our house, and 2 other elders in our district. I'm with Elder Sinea (Bahamas guy), Elder Davidsen from close to Waterton, Elder Brown is from Kansas, Elder Bateman is from Edmonton, and Elder Campbell from Jamaica. It's a pretty cool district too. I'm getting along with everyone. Spanish Town as a whole has 2 districts, the other has 6 people as well. Elder Sandmieyar and Elder Bennet in their district are Canadian too. Bennet is from Barnwell I think.

When I got to Spanish Town, the Zone Leaders drove us in, and the first thing they told me was that the area had been struggling for a while. Elder Brown is way cool though. We've already picked up 3-ish investigators this week, and the Zone Leaders are optimistic that I will be able to help the area out. I really hope I do. They have very few people to teach, but they already had 2 people on baptismal date when I got here, and we have 3 or 4 more investigators now that I think could make it to baptism within the next three months which is awesome! Spanish Town is it's own zone, but we're really close to Kingston. Lots of people in Spanish Town work in Kingston. But yeah, we all get along, I like my zone. Lots of good people. I think our zone also covers Old Harbour, and one other place that I can't remember.

It's nice to know that we both have neighbours that smoke weird smelling stuff. I haven't actually seen as much weed as I thought I would, but there's always someone crushing up something in their hand. (Mamadeb: We have some pot smoking renters that moved in next door.)

This week has been good. When I got to Spanish Town we didn't have water until Saturday, so I've been pretty dehydrated and bucket showers only clean so well. Out of a moment of desperation I drank some dirty pipe water and I got kinda sick.

I guess this also means the Koegler Zeck hype is over. I was pretty bummed to have to leave. I burned that brown tie the night I left Portmore.

Church here is at 11:30, that's really nice. I got to sit in on the ward council, this ward is fully functional. I really like it. There's two wards here. the members are way cool here, I got to bear testimony in sacrament meeting. It came out kinda weird and awkward, so hopefully no one noticed. Bearing testimony in lessons is a piece of cake, but for some reason that pulpit never feels natural for me.

How do I get diabetes? and how do I prevent it? This country is full of snacks and pop and I hate it because I have no self control. Am I going to die? I don't want to have to take pills and stupid stuff. I kinda ate too much sugar last month, and everyone in this country has diabetes. So, tips would be nice.

I ate goat testicles last night.

Also, what's the deal with kidney stones?

If you want to send me a new scripture marker, that'd be nice! I'm running low.

Met some cool people this week too. One guy named P, he's got cancer. He gets radiation every single day, and we had a really good lesson with him on the atonement. That was a great lesson. We shared Alma 7:11-12 with him and really helped him understand that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can get through literally anything. He seemed to really like the message and I have a feeling when he's done his treatment he's going to be baptized pretty quick!

Cool. Hope things are doing well! One upside of being in Spanish Town is I don't find 40 leggers in the shower every morning. However, our apartment is nasty, so today I'm deep cleaning the house. Especially the fridge. It's grotesque. But yeah, I love it here.

Tell everyone I say hi!
Send me some recipes

Elder Zeck

Note the tan lines

Transfer day....Portmore to Spanish Town

Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting Transferred

Hey Mom!

Yeah I'm being transferred to Spanish Town. Which is one of the two places I said I never wanted to serve, so... Serves me right I guess. I'm going to be mothering Elder Brown, which means I'm his first comp after training. I'll be in a house with another Canadian from Waterton! So that'll be cool. Spanish Town though. Pretty ghetto, but it sounds like I got the less ghetto area. I'll be in another ward too. I think it'll be cool. Moving is weird. I'm leaving a lot of my heart here in Portmore. It's a great place. Blessed land. Averaged over 1.5 meal appointments per day. I'm getting fat.

The week was good. Transfer calls wasn't a surprise. I guess the bishopric forgot, so I didn't bear testimony for my last Sunday, which is fine. I only want to say goodbye to a few people. Elder Brown is a marathon runner I heard, so hopefully I'll be working off this gut Portmore has given me. The emails are late today because we went to some abandoned fort in Port Royal all day to play capture the flag and stuff as a zone activity. It was pretty cool. Really windy and sunny. I took pictures but I don't have my camera cord because I wasn't sure if we'd even have time to email. But we do! I'll send pictures some other Monday. Leaving is kinda weird. I feel like I didn't do much in Portmore. The past 3 months I've been teaching so many first lessons and drop lessons, not a lot of progress has been made. I've probably taught 25 or more drop lessons just in the past couple months, it's ridiculous. However, the area is better now than when I came, so I'm taking a little bit of solace in that fact. Although, it isn't saying much. We do have 4 or 5 investigators now that I honestly believe will make it to baptism. So that's cool. Not much else to say. Pretty average week. Nothing off the top of my head that's out of the ordinary. I hear Spanish Town is way sketchy so maybe more to come.

A lady was baptized this week, definitely an elect soul. She gravitated to the gospel like she already knew it was true. It was neat watching her conversion. We have 2 investigators right now that we just started teaching last week that are in that same boat. It's awesome, they will definitely get baptized. I'm sad I won't be here to see it though.

I don't have much time so that's all I guess.Miss you all! Love you and whatever. I'm way tired, we've been running 4 miles every morning all week, it's really stupid.

Elder Zeck

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Years, Portmore, Chains, Teaching

Yeah I've picked up some chains. All Jamaican men wear them, and I've wanted a chain for a long time, I just never got one back home. I feel like they give me special powers. I'm a chainged man! get it?

I'm going to finish up those emails today, the past couple weeks we haven't had as much time to do emails. I have time today.

Teaching is going good, things are picking up. We've had a lot of investigators we've been dragging along, this week we dropped like, 5 people. But at the same time, we've picked up 6 or 7 the past couple weeks who seem pretty solid. We got a referral from the Elders in Spanish Town, and we started teaching 2 girls. And they're definitely prepared for this gospel. They've both been trying out churches for years and this was the first one they've ever felt good about. It's cool meeting people who run into our church, and it's just exactly what they've been looking for. Kinda like that one scripture in Doctrine and Covenants. I don't remember where.

This week was pretty good. The other day we heard some really scary screaming coming from our neighbours house, and then we realized that our neighbour runs a seventh day apostolic church of God, or whatever it's called out of their house. So we figured she was probably just getting in the spirit. But it was way annoying because she basically just screamed for 4 minutes straight, which I think is what is supposed to mean she was feeling the spirit... She was definitely feeling a spirit. Not the holy one though. I really wanted to just lean over their wall and tell her to be quiet, but that would probably not be the most Christ like thing to do.

Elder Pace and i started running and working out again. I gained too much weight over December! Hopefully I can get rid of most of it by next Christmas. Elder Pace is starting his six months to sexy thing.

We breathed fire this week.

Taught B again, he really wants to make changes in his life, he's way cool. He's got two really young sons, and he's been to prison for a long time, and he wants to be a good example to his kids. Since we've been seeing him he says he's felt better, and that the gospel feels right. But he won't come to church... So we'll see about all that.

Went on a trade off, Elder Koegler came into my area. That was pretty awesome. the whole day we just kept asking if we ever imagined we'd be in some of these really specific situations. Like waiting for a bus surrounded by black people. (Mamadeb note: these boys have been friends for 6 years. Lethbridge boys growing up together. No one ever would have guessed they would be in Jamaica together too.)

New Years was good. I was in bed by 10:30, and I woke up at 6:30

I'll keep it short too, hope everyone's good and stuff!


Elder Zeck

The District

Elders Zeck and Koegler

Hasn't broken the glasses yet. Yay!!

Lethbridge boys in Jamaica - Christmas Day

The last few pictures we've received James is wearing the same tie

The church building in Portmore

The chef's kitchen

James the chef.....banana chocolate chip pancakes, I think