Monday, February 29, 2016

Not much time today I don't think, lots of stuff to do!

This whole one hour email time isn't too convenient. It's not a problem, it just means everyone thinks I hate them now. But I don't! I just have more important things to do. I took pictures this week but I don't think I"ll have time to email them. You can see them if I come home!

G GOT BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!! woooh. Yeah so that was cool. Super stoked for that one. Then his mom and brother are getting baptized in a couple weeks too if they can get through all the lessons in time. Which I think we will. So yeah, that's great! Took so many pictures.

Tell everyone I say happy birthday as well..

Investigators are great. We need more though.

Elections were last week, and then there was a recount and turns out the party that won wasn't actually supposed to win, so then people started doing dumb stuff and all the missionaries on the island had to stay home after church on Sunday. That was fun! But everyone's fine.

I'm almost done the Old Testament now. Then I'll be in my list of people I know that have read the Standard Works including : Bruce R McConkie, David A Bednar, dad? So I'll be up in the big leagues!

I think I'll be here for one more transfer and then I'll be out for my last 3 months in some random place. We'll see on Saturday though! I hope I train. I think that'd be great.

But yeah, that's about it. Great week. Not as good as we would've liked but it was good. Hope all's well and stuff!

Love,
Elder Zeck

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Work Is Picking Up in Kingston

Mamadeb's Note: Heavily edited again this week. Lots of personal, non-bloggy kind of stuff. Suffice it to say, we love our James and the ways he is growing and maturing on his mission. We are coming down to the last 5 months. 


Hello!

I guess this Zika thing is pretty bad. I'm immune so I'll probably be fine

Kingston really has been the hardest area for me so far, but I think it's only been hard because I've really learned what it means to be a missionary. I feel like every new area I "learn what it means to be a missionary" But I've never loved people so much as I have here, because anyone who really gets into the work, knows that if you don't love people, it will be discouraging, and impossible. That's been my greatest lesson.

Otherwise week was great. So busy! We have like, 6 people on date for baptism and like, 11 people coming to church. The Lord has blessed us so abundantly it's ridiculous! I've found the more of an effort I put on my obedience and diligence and prayers and studies, the more I see the Lord's hand in my life!

I really do have a testimony that as his children, he wants to give us all the blessings we have room for, and then some! But the only thing that really gets in the way is us. When we are proud, and stubborn, and disobedient. As I've made the effort to do everything I'm supposed to. Not just assuming that I am, but actually making a conscious effort to DO everything properly and exactly, that we've seen miracles. Since I've been with Elder Anderson we've maybe had 2 bad lessons, out of 40. And those were environmental and out of our control. Every night I think of what lessons I've learned that day, that I can use to teach someone else. To strengthen someone else's testimony. The experiences that I will use in talks, and in teaching moments, and the ones that people will remember. And I've had more the past 3 months than I think I've had my whole mission, and I think that's because of how hard this area has been. I've been really forced to work harder. It's always funny, talking of spiritual things. To most people this would seem very fictional or odd. It's powerful. I hope these experiences do not end with my service.

Anyway, enough stupid emotional stuff. I ate some Jamaican mexican food, that was good. I don't know, lots of protein shakes and toast. We're going to the gym and such. in a week I've gotten my warm up from .5k (sad I know) to 4.5k. So that's great. Tomorrow I plan on doing 5K in 28 minutes and I'll keep working faster from there.

Wrote lots this week but that's about it.

Hope everyone's good!


Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pictures, Answers to Questions, and a Bit of News

1 Was there a Star Wars Darth Vader Christmas t-shirt in your Christmas box?
- Yes it was awesome! Where did you find it? I might need a new one.. I made a deal with Elder Johnson and he ended up with it



2 I was thinking I should start your application to UofL for the fall, just in case. Thoughts?

- Maybe, but I'm not sure yet. I might wait a semester before doing school, or maybe I'll only take a couple classes, I'll start figuring that out in a couple months. When does the semester start?

3 Can your Mission President interview you for a temple recommend?
- Yes

4 Can you live with the shirts you have or should I try to send you some? Are the 16" necks too big too?

- I'll be good

5 In the next box I am sending there is a bunch of candy, cookies, juice crystals, Nutella, and a bag for Kevon with two shirts (15.5" neck/long sleeve), two ties, and three pairs of socks. I'm just telling you in case customs helps themselves to any of the contents.

- Thank you! He'll love that. If you could send him a letter or something too, that'd be great!

6 Mailing packages is becoming a pain so this next one may be the last.

- I overstand


Here's a pic. Sister Dill got mad at me at church yesterday for not sending you pictures in a long time..

This is me and the trainee I spent like, 6 hours with. Boy I miss training!




Yo, you can't laugh at my hair. You have no idea how heartbreaking it was to have to get my haircut by a random civilian... I heard my heart break. I was so disappointed in myself.. I should've just left it long...

I miss Haley so much right now....(Our hair stylist)

I guess that's cool you wanna be part of my life.. I don't know. We wake up at 5 now to go to Express Fitness. I started running. I hate running outside, but I don't like treadmills, so I settled for treadmills. I run funny on them and it's making my feet hurt, but I ran for like 40 minutes. That'll be good for me I guess. then we get home shower, and stuff. Study. Teach. Find. Eat lunch. Teach. Find. Teach some more. Have meetings. Eat some more. Call district leaders and make sure they're doing what they're supposed and holding them accountable for their missionaries. Sleeping. Repeating. We're teaching some pretty great people right now actually! Lots of cool life changing experiences for them. I've been really lucky to be a part of it.

Had a neat experience at a district meeting in Kingston this week. We were talking about extending commitments with love. And just a thought came to my mind, that as missionaries we need a testimony that God loves his children. I think it's easy to say we believe he loves everyone, and we know He loves anyone because we have faith that He does. But I think it's also important for any Latter Day Saint person to really seek for a spiritual witness that God does love all his children. I had a neat experience like that a few months ago that's really changed how I view things and do things. But I feel like if we're going to tell people that Christ loves them, we need to feel it too.

That's exciting for Jordan! I'm excited to see where he goes and things.

Do you think Susan would give me piano and voice lessons if I came by to visit? Would she charge me?

I think I might be jealous that John and Mike are teaching seminary. I feel like teaching mission prep and seminary would be a dream. Or maybe it'd be really terrible.


but yeah, it's a good week.


Love,
Elder Zeck



"Grumpy" Elder Zeck




Elder Zeck and Elder Anderson, his new companion. Yes, I made fun of James' haircut

Monday, February 1, 2016

Same Area. New Companion.

Hello!

This week's been pretty good for us. Elder Anderson and I have hit the ground running. Of course Monday throughWednesday was mostly running around and preparing for the ever hectic season of transfers. The mission department has outlawed transfer meetings, so instead of everyone meeting in Spanish Town to then disperse and see the dead missionaries, we just basically get the call, and Monday to Thursday, we somehow by some logistic miracle end up in our area. Taking fancy buses and stuff. It was crazy busy, but I think it all went off well. Some people are pretty mad there's no transfer meeting, but that's their issue. I think it's pretty cool. I'm also glad I don't have to worry about for another few months. I really hope I'm in Kingston for the rest of my mission.

But that was crazy, then I got Elder Anderson! He's pretty cool. Spent the whole day on Thursday trying to help a trainee get a bike and get to Yallahs. Elder Pindor. His first night on the island I took him out tracting for an hour, it was a refreshing experience. Reminded me of how much I loved training. He's all wide eyed and ready to learn, and has no clue what the heck is going on around him. So that was cool. Got to teach him how to find. Something that took me a year to learn, he learned in 75 minutes. So booya

Otherwise, taught some lessons, had a decent week for a transfer week. The other day we were contacting and we ended up playing a board game with some Rastas on the side of the road and got a return appointment with them. Then we made some friends with some JWs who were proselyting too. I think I'm gonna get a New World Translation off them on Tuesday.

but yeah, I don't really know what to write about anymore. What's new after a year and a half of emails? Just the people I teach I guess. But even then. What do you even want to know about the mission anymore? emails are rough now. I think I'm getting Mexican food for lunch. It'll probably cost all of my money.

My shirts are getting pretty huge, but I can live with that.

How many dates am I up to yet? I decided that you will probably get the first one, so congratulations on that one.

Love,
Elder Zeck