Monday, January 25, 2016

Heavily Edited. Great letter, just quite personal.

Those books look good for now. I'll build up my nerdy library when I get back

I'm so excited to go back to the temple some day! Speaking of which I need to get my recommend renewed in the next couple months.

anyway.. Transfers. So I'm getting Elder Anderson, he's been out for like 5 months. I'm pretty excited. I was his zone leader in North Coast. so that'll be cool! Johnson's going to Negril. Jernigan's going to be the AP. all cool stuff.

So yeah, the week was good. I've used so much time on this email haha. But we're working with a family, and the husband needs to get divorced from a previous marriage and get married in order to get baptized. And they've been waiting forever for this to happen, and we've teaching them and really praying, and we all really felt strongly that the papers were going to go through this month. AND THEY DID!!!! The worst is over. There's going to be a little wait before they can get married, but man that was a miracle!

The Lord's also blessed us with a bunch of families to teach. Two of which have like, 9 people each! It's so much fun. And one of the mothers committed herself to baptism after the first lesson! Sooooo cool! Just wonderful people. I love this gospel and how it changes lives. I hope everything is good.

Jordan's grad pics look really good. The chocolate milk is ridiculous, but he's gonna be a man soon. I'm really proud of him. Hope all is well this week!

Elder Zeck

Monday, January 18, 2016

No Pictures and the Work Keeps Moving

With the one hour email thing, pictures are hard to justify. That and I really haven't taken many. I don't really have anything picture worthy right now. (I guess Mamadeb must give up on the picture thing)

Yeah, 18 months. Pretty nuts. I was eating lunch with Elder Kuehn (my MTC comp) the other day and we were talking about how long it's been and everything. I have definitely changed. I think in a lot of ways I'm still the same. But I just have a perspective now that I didn't have before the mission. A line particularly in my patriarchal blessing was something along the lines of, as I study the Book of Mormon, I will receive revelations of Eternity. And I've been pondering what exactly that means since Spanish Town. And I think I'm beginning to understand that. Eternity has become a very clear concept to me as I've learned and studied and taught. The amount of revelation I've received on my mission has been a pretty surreal experience and I've seen lots of blessings and promises fulfilled in ways that have been huge testimony builders. I think in a lot of ways I'm going to come home and be the same. I'm still going to wear capes and ponchos and stuff. I'll still probably think skateboarding is cool and I'll still want to buy a really expensive drum set. But I'm definitely not going to be the same as I was, at the same time. I don't know. There was a day where I, figuratively speaking, "looked in the mirror" and I really didn't recognize myself. But it's in a good way, if that makes.. I don't know. I'll stop talking about it before I turn into more of a weirdo! I can grow a beard now too!!!!!!! How cool is that. Not that I'll grow it out....

For the box you can just put in like.. pictures are good. Just give me money or something. I'm going to send home a package. I had to pull out money last week to help a missionary buy a bicycle so I'm down a bit on the funds. I don't know if I can afford the cost of sending it right now.

I think I'm staying this transfer. The only thing the APs will tell me about my transfer is that I'm gonna be "so pumped for your next companion". The tri's still good though. it makes the work a little more flexible

Will Bishop Pierson pass around a calendar? and it was 30 in 20 days actually. I'm a little more ambitious than that, Mom. (Dates with girls......We've been joking around about that.....)

But cool. Week's been good. There's a pretty unfortunate flu going around. I had for a day but then I got better. Elder Biddulph's been down and out. It was so bad and rampant in Spanish Town zone that they had to move their zone meeting because too many people couldn't travel. haha. Funny stuff. But I'm almost better. It's probably 'cause I drink too much soda.

This has been a pretty good week for teaching actually. Lots of really good stuff happening. we have a bunch of people working towards baptism! We're really excited for a lot of them! I think we should have a baptism this or next Sunday. depends on if we feel like he's ready.

I've been studying a lot this week about scripture study and why it's so important, and I was turned to the account of Jesus, after he fasted 40 days in the wilderness and Satan came and tempted him. I think it's interesting that all 3 times to combat the temptations, Jesus quoted scripture from Deuteronomy. And then even at one point Satan quoted a psalm to Jesus, and Jesus then quoted another scripture back. I think there's a lot of lessons from the story. But it just goes to show the importance of studying and knowing the scriptures. I realize simply reading the scriptures isn't nearly enough.

But yeah, I hope the week's good!

Elder Zeck

Monday, January 11, 2016

Continuing to Grow

Does dad own jeans?
We sent this one of his dad.  It's -33C with the windchill!!

Littlest brother Jackson

And wow Jackson's hair is long. And he looks old now.

This week was actually pretty good though! We picked up some new investigators, have some GREAT potential! Working with some awesome families. That's the best part. Families are great!
With the lack of a third companionship in our ward we did some rearranging of the boundaries so we lost some area and gained a ton more, so it should be interesting this coming week.. I thought our area was big already.
Went back to Portmore for a trade off, I love going back! Portmore is the best.

Had MLC this week, talked a lot about teach repentance properly. It's easy for us to teach it like a box on a checklist, and like, a one time thing preparing for baptism. But we're trying to look at it more as a gateway to the Atonement. Something that we can understand is essential and repeatable for our whole lives! We need to help those we teach understand that repentance doesn't stop at baptism. It needs to become part of the daily routine. But even then, too often we look at repentance as just being forgiven of our sin. We want the kind of daily repentance that pushes a person from good to better. Constantly changing! So that was good.

Talked a lot about the dignity of our calling as well. Too often missionaries come out thinking that they can still act like dumb teenagers. But they can't! We have to respect the dignity of our calling, the purposes and characters we work towards out here. It's something that I've thought about a lot. I feel like on my mission I've changed a lot. I've had to really work at being more dignified and reverent. I really hope it doesn't make me weird when I get home! But I'm definitely different, I see it every day. It's weird. But good right?

This feels kinda short today, but things are good! I'm healthy, I'm exhausted all of the time. I'm really excited for the next 6 months! It's going to be good! But it's probably also going to fly by, and that's kinda depressing... It's really hard to think about home (no offense) There's just so much to do

Elder Zeck

Stole this from a Missionary Mom.  Elder JimmyZ doesn't send home pictures too often so Mamadeb relies on other missionaries' cameras.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Finding Investigators

Hey mom!

Yeah sure sign me up for the run I guess...(Mamadeb - I asked if he'd do a half marathon in October)

If I want to transfer from U of L to BYU is that a hassle? How terrible is switching schools for my education? are most school programs fairly compatible?

Jordan's the ward choir director?! That's hilarious!! That's going to be an interesting calling. Good luck to him. That's hilarious, I laughed out loud.

But yeah, so the week's been good. The Lord's blessed us with a few FAMILIES to teach! We were so excited. Whenever I call in a house and notice it's a family I get so excited and start kinda freaking out on the inside! We actually had like, 4 investigators at church this Sunday. A Bunch of really really great people. One of them we've been teaching for a week and church this Sunday was fantastic! The classes were like big discussions, the Spirit was there, and the visitors had a great time! It honestly might have been the best day of church on my whole mission to date, it was so good! I'm so excited for all these people. We were supposed to have 6 or 7 so we're going to follow up with them.

We sat down for a lesson this week at the S family's house and Elder Johnson felt a tickle on his elbow. Then some pain, and he had a couple ants on his arms biting him. Then he stood up and turned around and there were literally HUNDREDS of ants all over his body! And so we spent like 3 minutes brushing him off and he was bit up really bad after the lesson. He was covered in bites! I'll bet the family felt funny about that. But the lesson after went well. We committed them to baptism so that's a step.

Other wise things were good. Super tired, trying really hard to always be positive and excited about the work, even if it's 8:30 at night and I wanna sleep. Lots of good good things going on. I hope things are still good at home! I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a disciple, and how true discipleship changes depending on the point in time. True disciples in the Old Testament, was different from New Testament, which is different from the Restoration days, which is different from even today. But in the end discipleship is really just being obedient to the laws that God has set for us. Some missionaries have a hard time living a rule in the missionary handbook concerning having males in our lessons with females, and they feel like denying someone a visit because there are no males around is not being a loving disciple. They're wrong! Being a disciple is doing what we're supposed to do. We need to be converted to God. I think some people struggle with loving their investigators more than they love God, which is a weird backwards way of looking at it. I hope I can come home and still be a disciple.

As far as info I need you to get I'll let you know, I'll probably start thinking about my future today or next month or something.

Just keep thinking of things I should do when I get home and stuff. I'll think of something. I think I get home the 8th? I'm really not sure. Start passing around the date calender. I'm sure I'll have nothing better to do than date...

Elder Zeck