Monday, July 27, 2015

Work and Progress


Yeah I got grandma's box, sounds like things are good at home. It's crazy that Jared is so old already, that's pretty fun. That's great Jordan has so much saved up, means he can start blowing money on cool stuff like motorcycles that I can use when he's on his mission.

The teaching pool is really good, we have 5 people on date right now for baptism, and 2 of them are really progressing well, the other 3 are either really close or not close at all. but it's awesome. This week we learned that when we do work, we find success! It's a pretty amazing revelation, but usually as zone leaders we spend half our week at meetings and doing stuff for the zone, but the past couple weeks we've spent most our time in our own area, which is fantastic! And it's funny how when we actually spend significant time in our area, our area starts to grow! It's comforting to know that I have the capacity to be effective. But now we have people working towards baptism, we taught like, 20 lessons, which is a record for me, and it was just really good. We worked so hard this week, it's a nice change from hours of driving every day. So that was awesome.

We had a really cool experience with a lady at church this Sunday, it was her first time, she was a little upset because she was late and she promised us she'd be there early, and she was there with her daughter. And we didn't really get to see her much at church, but we sat down with her after. We weren't really certain as to how she would like church, because our church is so different from most religions out here. But we sat down, and we talked for a bit and Elder Jernigan asked her how she felt about church and everything she saw today, and she just started to cry. She was a little embarrassed, but she couldn't help it. She bore such a simple, yet strong testimony. I won't forget what she said, "Today is a good day for change" She said it 3 times through her tears. She felt the spirit at church. Something she's needed for a long time. She's been looking for it, whether she knew it or not, and it really touched her. It was important to her, it actually meant something to her. She's excited now for her baptismal date in September. So are we. So is the whole branch. It's experiences like these that make weeks of rejection worth it all.

The week's been great though. I can't think of many more cool stories. I've lost like, 30 pounds in the past 6 1/2 months, that's kinda crazy. I'm still fat though. Working on it.

I've been super exhausted this week, I haven't been this tired since Portmore when I first got to the island, I don't know what it is but I've just been dead tired all day every day, no amount of sleep is enough. The cool thing is is I survive every day. Whenever I want to take a nap or I just feel kinda sick, I just tell myself to keep going, because it doesn't matter. Willpower and prayer, is literally all I have most days.

Being a couple weeks over my year mark is pretty weird, I feel like I'm staring over the edge of a cliff, it's going to fly by. But it's neat looking back. I read some of my MTC journal the other day, that was pretty funny.

There should be a letter on it's way to you all as well I think....

Not much else to report this week. Something I'd like though is everybody's favorite scripture. so you could compile that list and send it to me, that'd be cool. Jared Jordan and Jackson might not have one yet, but for sure Mom and Dad, that'd be great!

But cool, thanks for all you do! I miss you all a lot.

Emailing is exhausting for some reason.

Elder Zeck

Monday, July 20, 2015

Teaching this Week


Week was good, went by pretty quick actually which was nice. Probably the most proselyting I've done in forever. We taught 19 lessons I think, we got 2 people on date for baptism, and we had 2 people at church! It's funny how when we get time to do missionary work, missionary work gets done! Who would've thunk?

But yeah, it's all pretty good. Did a lot of teaching, working with members, finding new people. We're just trying to get this area up and going, when I got here the area pretty much had nothing going for it, so it's been fun building from scratch. I like it anyway. Now the area is looking really good! although it still has a long way to go. We're working with a lot of really great people, and we're helping people make a lot of great changes. An average week for us is pretty 50/50 when it comes to time spent doing missionary work in our area, and then time spent in other missionary's areas. We have to drive around to district meetings and make sure every one's okay. We helped the Elders in Sav get some water storage this week. It's useful things, I never feel not busy, it's just not teaching. But it's other pretty important responsibilities, so it's never a waste of time or anything.

We had a pretty funny experience, I thought anyway, with this guy. He's been Pentecostal most his life, but he hasn't been to church in a while, and we sat down and talked with him, he wasn't really paying attention. We were explaining to him about the Book of Mormon and what it was for and stuff, and we asked why there were so many churches, and how when Christ was on the Earth there was only one, and how we're supposed to find that church again. Well, it wasn't really going anywhere, until we told him that the Book of Mormon is the proof that our church is the only completely true church on the Earth. We never got to teach him about it, but man, the look on his face when I said that was priceless. His eyes got kinda big and he looked at me as if I were crazy! He couldn't believe what I had just said, but not in a bad way. He just had no idea that a "true church" could even exist. Most people out here believe that all churches are good, or there's this weird tradition where they say that God will take the church out of the churches, so basically like, if you live good, then eventually we'll all be okay anyway. It's pretty tough trying to convince people that that's not true!

Another funny experience was with this other guy, before we even said hello we could tell he did not like us, as most people do. I don't know why people hate us so much. That's a lie, I'd hate us too if I wasn't one of us. But we whipped out the Book of Mormon and talked about it and he said he read the Bible. We said, so do we! He was surprised by that. But we told them about how they go together, and how the Book of Mormon is more scripture, and he just wasn't having it. It's funny, you get a lot of people like this where they don't want anything to do with us, but they will argue until the sun goes down, because they want to prove a point. I hate Bible Bashing, mostly because we always win and it makes people more upset with us. Because we're always right. Proud to say I've never lost. But man this guy was pulling out scriptures, and just butchering everything, and we couldn't even get a word in. I was gonna say something kind of rude and void of tact, luckily Elder Jernigan is a better man than I. He handled the situation pretty well and actually got us a return appointment. I had to count backwards from 100 so I didn't do much. But we got through it. The guy said something about only believing specific parts of the Bible. I don't understand, but I also lack basic empathy skills, so we'll see.

Anyway, the week was good. We've had some great lessons. People are moving towards baptism, which is great. It's about time! We have Zone Meeting coming up soon so we're preparing for that. That will be good. But yeah, things are great. Tell Jared I said happy birthday! I got a bunch of souvenirs for everyone, but I don't really want to mail it, because that's a lot of work. So... Either I'll change my mind some day, or you'll all just get presents and stuff when I get home. There's some pretty great craft markets on this side of the island. But cool, hope things are good back home! Don't be afraid to send ties and cheap Walmart watches and more beef jerky.

Elder Zeck

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hump Day this Week!!!!


Yeah, this week was good, kinda long, but that's how it goes. Did a trade off type thing in Port Antonio with some elders. That is one cool perk of being a zone leader, I see everywhere! And I get to know a lot of people. I really enjoy the chances I get to work with other Elders and see how the work is going, I learn a lot, which is great.

The week was fine though, busy as usual. Didn't teach as much as we would've liked to, but we were always busy. We got to go to Kingston for a meeting, driving takes up so much time, but it was good. Learned a lot about what needs to start happening in the mission. We're putting a bigger emphasis on the sabbath, specifically for the members, so that the church experience is more spiritual and meaningful. It's actually something that the first presidency has asked of pretty much the whole world, it's pretty cool. We had branch conference yesterday and President Brown came to Mo Bay to teach it to the branch, so maybe I'll send you the recording of it later, it's pretty good.

I also finished the Doctrine and Covenants this week, and I plan on finishing the New Testament this next week. The mission is going well. Nothing super cool to report, it's all life as normal, just working hard, trying not to get sick. My mouth has been hurting, nothing to worry about, I brush my teeth every day and everything but I have a feeling I'm going to need a dentist visit when I get home unfortunately. I don't get it. Brush your teeth, they still fall out. Eat healthy, still die. It's a funny reality. But I'm eating healthy, and I'm trying to take care of myself, my body still decides to fail on me haha. Ah well, It's nothing really bad, I think it'll pass anyway. I hope so, or this next year will be uncomfortable.

But yup, I'm a year out! Half way through. Which is weird, it's been short, or long. I can never tell. Some weeks seem long, but I remember New Years like yesterday, I remember the MTC. It's all just a haze. But it's good, I love it, I'm just always surprised at how focussed I can stay. I never thought I could do the same thing every day for a year and still be willing to do it. So that's good and all. I'll burn a shirt or something. I've got some gross ones that I can dispose of. I finally got that package with the shirts and stuff, thanks by the way!

But yeah, that's my life. We're working with some really great people right now, lots of people with lots of potential, it's just impossible to see them. We have an investigator who we think got into some Anti garbage, so we're preparing for stupidness.

But anyway, this week was good. That's all I got right now
Elder Zeck

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lots of Driving and Errands This Week

Mamadeb was so tired Sunday night that she went for a nap and didn't wake up to write her weekly email. So Monday morning started in panic and a late email.........Best. Mom. Ever.

Nooo worries. I think it would be a funny story to tell the Elders that not even my own mom wrote me. my email count every week has been pretty low the past little while. Which is good I guess. It's just more and more obvious that I'm like, half way through my mission. in 10 days that'll be a true statement, which is weird. I've been gone a year. Kind of a weird though. Whatever.

Sounds like the week was good. Trek was fun, I remember that. It was a weird experience for me, because I like, recognized the spirit and stuff. I remember that. I have a few very specific memories that I've consciously tried to remember because they are like my testimony fail-safe. Whenever I felt like questioning the gospel. I had 2 or 3 events in my life that I couldn't deny I felt something. Trek was one of those.

Monday, we ran errands and what not from 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM, taught 2 lessons that night. Tuesday, spent the whole morning driving Elder Fowkes to Trainers meeting and then helping the Sav elders move houses. We were supposed to be back in our area by 2. We got home at 9:00... Wednesday was transfers, that was expected. Got up at 5:00, got home at 10:00. So much driving. Thursday, we needed to get a washing machine for the Sav house, we were supposed to get it at noon. we got it at 7:00, got home at 10:00. Then on Friday we got to proselyte a little, Saturday we got a full day and Sunday was normal too. I love being a zone leader because of the capacity it allows me to serve other missionaries, but I miss doing missionary work.

Needless to say though it's been a good week. My butt hurts from driving. But it's a good week. I didn't think I'd ever say I'm sick and tired of air conditioning though.

This week should be back to normal, hopefully, we'll see. Other wise, this past week was just what I explained. Not much else to report.

Elder Zeck