Monday, June 27, 2016

Not Ready for the "When you get home" Emails

Hello!
You should tell Jordan that if he still has any of my clothes that I want them back....

I remember very clearly what it was like to purge and pack my stuff. Feels like yesterday honestly. So crazy to think it was like, 700 days ago.

That's exciting for Jordan! My comp has a brother who served in Leeds. There's also a huge music festival in Leeds that he should check out when he goes there! Oh wait, he can't!

Ugh, reading this email made me wanna puke... I don't know when the Dominican trip is anymore, so just scratch that for now.

Yeah, Japan and Disney sounds good, let's do it. In my brain I have this ideal where I get home and things just stay crazy busy forever and I never get to sleep and I'm just successful and ridiculously busy. But I think some fun/relax time would be good for me. I don't feel like I've taken a break since high school, so I'm down for some fun stuff.

Thinking about going to the temple is crazy too. I haven't been in 2 years, I don't know why I'm nervous to go back. Probably because I don't remember anything haha.... whoops... I'm really excited for that though. I just got my temple recommend renewed a couple weeks ago, it should last until I get home, and then Pres Brown said I should go for another interview when I get home for a full 2 year one, or however long they last. Mine's just a 3 month one I guess.

I had my final interview with president Brown this week. Kind of weird. He just bore testimony to me of the Book of Mormon as another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that it really is the only book in the world that can truly turn us to the Atonement. That's why the Brethren tell us to not just read the scriptures daily, but specifically the Book of Mormon, because it's a true book. But really, it's all on the Book of Mormon. The restoration would've been non-existent without a book like the BOM. But yeah, it was good. He wanted me to tell you he was grateful for you as my mother. He greatly appreciated the letter you sent him (?) and your support for me, and he knows that I'm coming home to a good family. He just thanked me for my hard work. But yeah, I love being a missionary. Thinking about being an RM makes me actually kinda sick sometimes. But I'm sure I'll get used to it. This Sunday I'm fasting for a good transition. Sorry if I'm weird for the rest of my life...

I've got a lot of plans for when I get home!

I have a phone right? I need to find a tailor who can make me some genuine black leather pants, and I also wanna get a new laptop. I nice one. Like, a really nice one that'll last forever. Do those exist? Is the Mac I used to use still free? Did dad get rid of all the weights in the garage?

Those are my questions... Anyway

This week was good. It was tough, but good. We fought tooth and nail to teach and we only had like 13 lessons all week which was brutal. But we made it. Monday was cool. But like, mission wide (almost) Pday to do a Departure devotional for President and Sister Brown. The singing went well actually I think! I hit the Fb with good form so it sounded nice and even, which was the fear. I usually have no range, and still don't, so I consider that a miracle. But it was great. Saw a lot of people.

Then the rest of the week was just proselyting. The computers here gave Elder Warren a virus on his camera so I'm probably not sending any pics this week. Maybe if I swing by the church I'll send one. if not, you don't have much longer to wait anyway.

But yeah, good week. One of our investigators got baptized in a different church because it was closer to his house...... I was pretty upset, but there wasn't much we could do. The church was literally across the street, and... I don't know. It was frustrating. We'd had so many intense and powerful experiences with him, and he just didn't get it. But if I've learned anything on my mission. The real test, is to see if my faith will diminish because of opposition. The true test, to tell between a good missionary, and a bad missionary, isn't about the amount of people they teach, or baptize. Although they will teach more and baptize more if they're faithful. But the real test is when they are "unsuccessful", and their reaction to it. Will they get discouraged and stop believing, or will they take it for what it is, and move on with even more faith than they had before.


Love,
Elder Zeck

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Big P-Day Plans

No I'm not on a mission. It's a vacation, remember?
I hated that comment in 2014, and it still echoes through my memory, still hate it. FUN FACT: We can't find the Jamaica Kingston Mission on LDS.org. - never have. So the joke was are you really going on a mission?

Happy Fathers day to dad BTW

Yeah, thanks for all the advice, but I think I'm old enough to know how to manage things myself, okay?...

Just kidding that's awful. Yeah I'm trying to take everything into perspective. I've seriously debated a double major in music and business. I heard BYU has a commercial music program that covers both, but, I haven't looked into anything yet, so no rush for me. I just want to start working. I have a real list of like, 30 ideas that I want to run with, it will really take shape when I get off the plane in less than a month D':

I'm going to come home and interview a bunch of people and ask them for advice and probably pay for their dinner so they like me and tell me their secrets. I wanna be comfortable, I don't want my wife to need to work, but I wouldn't stop her if she wanted to. I could survive in a one room apartment now for all I care. I just need a mattress and an outlet, and maybe a microwave. That sounds perfect to me! I've probably slept a dozen times on a bare tile floor without a fan here in Jamaica, and I've really just come to appreciate anything I can have. It's kinda fun.

But yeah, I don't know, I just want to be busy. You'll learn more as things unfold. I'm definitely sticking with music though, that's a must!

Yeah Elder Jarvis sings. He's pretty cool. He's a million times better than I am honestly. The sisters are driving us. It went from a little performance in Mandeville, to a half mission wide event in Spanish Town, so that's kinda cool. It's probably the biggest P-day activity in our mission history. But i can't really support that. Yeah, Sister Brown requested it I think? Not sure. It's a secret so he (Pres.Brown) doesn't know yet. Sister Smith, Fawson, and Elder Jarvis and I are singing Come Thou Fount. And Elder Jarvis and I are singing Rock of Ages. Should be not awful, hopefully.

I have a couple pictures to send but I'm short on time. It's not because I hate you, but because I want you to grow!!!
Just kidding\

But yeah, hope things are good. Things are great here! Sav is tough, and awesome. I explained it last week, but I swear everybody we teach receives a spiritual witness our message is true, but then can never come to church, so nobody progresses....

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, June 13, 2016

Working Despite .......

Sounds like things are crazy busy!

Sounds like an exciting week though. I feel the same when it comes to music. I've really started to pray and fast and ponder what my life should look like when I get home, and something that has really impressed me is music. Just a problem I have is it seems so unoriginal. Being a musician has been done before and it's hard for me to feel like I'm doing anything special when all I'm doing is what someone else has done and will do later. Although I know that's not what it's about, it's about blessing people who need it. So I've seriously debated running a music studio, kinda like Auntie Carla? Is she the one?

But yeah the work is going great. I've never had an area where I've felt so spiritually lead to so many people. I've never had a time on my mission where so many people have had powerful witnesses that this message is true as we've testified, but the opposition is horrible. It's like climbing a mountain face. Everyone keeps dropping off. I pray more, and I work harder. The other day I swear my legs were on fire, and I couldn't believe I made it through the day. Just always thinking one more contact, one more lesson. And I just collapsed at the end. I had the nicest cold shower in history after though. But for some reason we can't get people to progress. They just love the message, and the Holy Ghost is palpably present at times. But no movement. Some disconnect. It's not frustrating, it's just sad. Not depressing. I've gotten good at channeling it into motivation. Preach My Gospel says that success is measured by how often you feel the Holy Ghost testify through you that the message is true. I'm at a point where I feel that almost every lesson with Elder Johansen, and it's great. But it's just upsetting that it isn't a perfect world. anyway...

Yeah I'll put that into my five year plan. The Diane trip sounds good. Any other dates I should know about to incorporate into my plan. I need to balance everything. I'm going to talk to Sam about what it takes to get set at BYU as a piano tuner. So we'll see how it all goes out.

I was going to send a picture but I can't find my camera cord. I'm taking pics though don't worry.

I spoke in church on Sunday, I've been trying really hard to get this teaching by the Spirit thing down. So I took my topic, I studied it, came up with some good ideas. Prepared like 3 hours worth of material. Got up to the podium with just my quad, and started to speak, and I went way over my time on accident and made the concluding speaker shorten her talk... Whoops. But it was really cool, I'd never spoken like that before. That's basically how the scriptures tell us to teach, and I was surprised at how it went. I could really feel my words and thoughts being directed. I was upset when it was over so soon... But that was neat.

Other wise, some crazy guy told us he wanted to kill us the other day, and now we see him everywhere.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sunglasses, Fedoras, Pepsi, and Chocolate

Today Jordan and I were on the road. We drove 5 hours north to a Visa Application Centre for a 10 minute appointment and then drove 5 hours home.
That sounds way fun, driving a lot. I learned to love driving here, because of our 4 hour cross island drives when I was in MoBay. Or transfer days when we'd be on the road from 3AM to 10PM. Good times. I'm excited to drive without kilometer limitations, but I'm not excited to have to pay for gas...


Our week was okay. We taught a lot and found a lot, but no one came to church. I used to get all worked up about how many lessons I taught and people I found and things I did, but honestly, if no one is at church it all just feels frustrating. Not a single person we invested in is going to get any blessings of this gospel because they aren't acting on it, and it makes me a little depressed. But we'll just have to work harder then.

It's rained a little. Most the damage to my shoes is on the inside, when I polish my shoes they look totally fine. But the insides are giving me blisters and such, so... I might buy insoles today or something. Not sure yet.

The mission just approved sunglasses and fedoras haha, that's exciting news too!
President kinda toured last week in zone conferences. He's doing good. He isn't trunky or anything. My last interview with him is the 21st.

But yeah, good week. Just way busy, we're always in the area, preparing souls and drinking Pepsi. We bought some Pepsi from a shop the other day while out with a member and he turned to us and said, "Oh, are we allowed to drink those now?" And I laughed and drank it all.  I also learned, fun fact, that a chocolate bar can contain more caffeine than a Coke. I imagined what would happen to church attendance and worthy temple goers if the prophet said no more chocolate.

Love,
Elder Zeck