Monday, April 25, 2016

Training, Walking, Hot Water.....Finally

Okey dokey

I haven't had a good donut since I left home, a few weeks ago

Transfers was great. Super hectic leading up to it, but now I'm here. We took a fancy bus, it was like, a 5 hour ride, but it was alright. Talked to this Methodist preacher lady on the bus who was really nice. She had some questions about how we got to Jamaica and how our church funds us. So that was a good conversation. She lives in a part of the island that missionaries can't go to right now, so that was too bad.

Yup I got Elder White! From Georgia. He's awesome. He's got a really natural desire to do the work, so he's always ready to get out the door and prepare people. I've learned a lot from him already, he's got a very natural motivation. We're going to get along pretty well.

Sav is awesome too. We would be on bikes, however mine got stolen in MoBay, and then returned in a useless state, so I dumped it at the APs house. We're just going to be on foot for the next couple transfers probably. Get some sun, and maybe mosquito bites and Zika. But I'm pretty sure I'm immune to Zika, so I'll be okay. So far so good. we get lost sometimes, but our area isn't too bad thankfully.

Yes we have hot water, which is great! Finish my mission in luxury.

So yeah, we're white washing which is interesting. We have a little bit of a teaching pool, but we've been doing a lot of ground work. We live in our area so it's really easy to just step outside and start talking to people. The church is only a 10 minute walk too, so there's a lot of perks. I prayed for this kind of experience to finish my mission, I'm grateful that God sees me fit to answer my prayers, and to see that my desires are his desires. I knew I'd be training Elder White almost a week before he got to the island. Maybe it was a good guess though..
But Sav will be wonderful.

I haven't taken any pics yet..

Yeah I'd LOVE to do the temple trip! But I'd probably just meet them there. I don't even know if I could come with them from Jamaica. I'd love to come to Jamaica too though. Rent a car, visit a few people. It'd be expensive though so I'm not really banking on any of that actually happening. It would be a neat experience if Jordan could come too. He could meet some people I taught and what my mission was like. But again, that's all fairly wishful. And a lot of people have specifically asked if they could meet my mother, so you'd have to come too.

So my life's been good. Leaving an area is awful. I feel like I broke up with a million girlfriends. But honestly, this was probably worse than breaking up with a million girlfriends. I'm going to miss the people in Kingston so much. I've never felt so involved and attached with an area before. They've all been good. But this is the first area where I really feel like people could remember me. I wasn't just another Elder. A lot of tear filled good byes accompanied my last 4 days in Kingston. It was awful... Elder Squire is going to have a ball baptizing them all though. I'm confident in all of them. It's the greatest feeling. Knowing that someone is making a covenant into a life that is far better than they've ever had before. I don't think there is any greater expression of love than leading someone to the waters of baptism. When I get home, I'm creating a savings fund for the sole purpose of being at the sealings and endowments of all the people I've met and had the privilege of working with. It's awesome!

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, April 18, 2016

Transfer Update: Training and White Washing in Savannah la Mar

Mamadeb: About 87 more days until we see this boy again. Sav is probably his last area.
Happy Birthday!!! I totally remembered..

Week was good. Lots of rain but not too bad. We still taught a ton people and did a lot of work. Good way to end my stay in Kingston. Lots of missionary work.

Yeah so I'm getting transferred to Sav to white wash train. It'll be pretty fun! I'm excited. It's the way I wanted to go so that's awesome.. I'm excited.

Not much to mention this week. Just did missionary work. I hate leaving an area. It's like breaking up with a million girlfriends. But it's probably way worse because these people actually care about me. Which is weird. I feel like Kingston has been my most successful area on my mission, purely because it's infinitely harder to leave here than it has been any other area. I've honestly been so upset all week long because I've known I was leaving. I've been telling everyone that Elder Anderson was leaving. It was so awful bearing my testimony in Sacrament meeting. Any way....

I don't really remember what happened this week. Lots of driving. Went to Port Antonio on Tuesday, Yallahs on Wednesday, Portmore on Thursday, Friday this morning again at 6AM, and Portmore again in about an hour. I have mixed feelings about leaving the zone leader position. I've been so blessed so far on my mission. Kingston has been the most sacred and life changing area I've had. I'm really tired so I can't really organize my thoughts.

I would love to come back to Jamaica though in July if that's even remotely possible.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, April 11, 2016

Time in Kingston May Be Winding Down and Little Bro Got His Mission Call

Don't have long today. Elder Anderson and I organized a zone P-day thing up to Hollywell Blue Mountain to hike and stuff. Went way longer than we thought, but it was good. I think we're the first ever zone leaders to charter a bus and get 20 odd missionaries up a mountain. Did studies up there and then hiked around. Way fun! Glad we did it. It was freezing cold though. I was shivering the whole time. Probably like, 20 degrees or something.

My week was good though. Just missionary work. Lots of meetings, and driving to Portland to do baptismal interviews. It's all in my journal. You'll see it someday. I'll email pics in the future I think maybe.

Lots of miracles though! Teaching families! Lots of families!

I'm alive, and well.

I'll let you know by next Monday what my transfer call will be. I think I'm leaving unfortunately, which is really too bad. I'm just really worried I'm going to leave this area without a teaching pool, because we haven't proselyted much at all the past couple weeks and our area kinda started to wilt. We spent all weekend trying to fix it, and I think we made good progress. Being a missionary is awesome. It's so hard, but it's so rewarding. Every day is a different adventure.

The video was great! I'm going to email him next week when I have more time to talk about it. Super cool! So crazy. I guess the count down surprise is if I have to extend!! But we'll see.



If anyone tells Jordan that England is hard, I want him to remember that his brother said, "That's blasphemous and dumb".  Doctrine and Covenants 11:3 clearly states that the field is white, and it's ready for harvest. I'm going to email him some documents to study later. I'm getting upset just thinking about all the people that will say that to him............ "England's gonna be hard." "Won't baptize much there" Loads of garbage..... And he's going to hear it a lot. If he believes it, he'll hate his mission. If he doesn't believe it, then no matter what happens, he's going to come back a giant, baptisms or not. 'Cause that's faith. I think I need to step away from the computer for a second... I'm guilty of that though to some extent on my mission. Thank goodness for repentance.

Tell everyone I love 'em.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lessons Learned

You should be getting a picture from Sister Dill.

Elder Zeck and Elder Anderson

Didn't really have time to look like a tourist and take pictures this week, too busy doing missionary work and stuck in a line at the police station with a bunch of Elders for trespassing onto a private basket ball court one night... Just kidding, it was for Visa stuff I think. But they wouldn't tell us what it was for. I take pictures but they're all boring and wouldn't make sense without me narrating.

Conference was good. Priesthood session and Saturday morning were my favorite. Lots of revelation received. Just a good weekend. Didn't get to proselyte much but I guess that happens. It starts at 7 for us actually so we still got home by 9.

I'm excited to hear about the call. If you send the video to Sister Brown in the office maybe I could watch it. My guesses are
1) Jamaica
2) Africa
3) France

So we'll see.
or California.

Week was good. Lots of lines and stuff. Not much progress. It doesn't feel like I've been in Kingston for 6 months almost. I could serve here forever. I love the people, and the places, and the proselyting.

Every day, I notice, I hit 9:00 and I'm done. Which is nice. I only ever have just enough energy to last me til nightly planning, and then I'm out of it. And I do it again, and again, and again. It's kind of ridiculous when you think about what we actually do as missionaries. But it's fun. I like it anyway. Yeah we're having fun. but holy cow, we're always tired. He (Elder Anderson) usually falls asleep on the tile floor of our kitchen every night, and I always wake up around 10:30 with my face on my journal. It's a healthy companionship.

But I'm doing my best! Still learning every day!

This week, should be mostly proselyting, and some driving. Doing some baptismal interviews around the island for our zone, which is great. Should be 6 or 7 zone wide this week which is wonderful!
Had Zone meeting this past week, I loved it! I love teaching them. 4 hours of gospel discussion. Talked a lot about how there's no excuses. Talked about some mission heresies like, "I don't have to change my personality" or "I can work hard and not be successful" Lies like that. I enjoy it every time!

The greatest lesson I've learned in Kingston is what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I've begun to understand what it means to truly become like Him, and devote your life to Him, and what that's going to be like when I come home. I've learned how the Spirit speaks to me, and I've learned by it a lot. Kingston has quite literally, and in a very cliche way, changed my life. It's been an interesting experience. What began as the most difficult area on my mission, is ending as the most sacred area. It's the first area where I actually feel like I've helped someone. And I've realized a lot here, that I had no clue of before. Every area I learn something new. I think this area I learned what I wish I knew at the very beginning. It's just been good. I don't think about home at all any more. But I do often ponder on how I can keep this up when I come home. I used to make fun of the weird missionaries for coming home and being weird, and we would joke about how long it would take to get them "normal" again. But I've just realized that the "weirdness" is probably a good thing. Too many people come home weird and then let the world get back in. Fitting the new you in your old life kinda thing. But that's so incredibly wrong! It's gotta be the new you in a new life. Elder Martinez of the 70 once came and made a comment along the lines, (or maybe it was Elder Cornish) "Perhaps the closest thing we can do to denying the Holy Ghost (unpardonable sin) is go less active after a full time mission" Which I think is incredibly true. I never thought I'd be so excited to put MoTab and Bednar talks on my iPod haha......... weird....

I've recently been thinking about the prophecies of the last days. I think the hardest part of the last days leading up to the millennium will not be the wars and plagues. But I think it will probably just be the fact that as Mormons, or perhaps Christians in general, we will end up being the odd man out every single time, in every single place. We will lose a lot of friends. It's going to be hard. The social aspect will be the hardest by far. I'm excited to go home and go to the temple. I feel like there's still a lot for me to learn there. I honestly don't remember a single part of the experience, I've only gone twice. I just remember how I felt, and it was pretty good.

Anyway

Things are good. Still exhausted as ever. I'm excited to hear about Jordan's call!

Love,
Elder Zeck