Monday, November 2, 2015

Sabbath Day Blessings, Baptisms, and the Best 18 Months of my Life

Well this is it... my final letter home. This is just completely surreal. I don't even know how to describe what I'm feeling right now haha.
We had an amazing week this week. Probably one of the best, and I'm grateful because it was my last. We were in a lesson with Kenisha, one of our investigators. Man I love that lady. Last week when she came to church, she had just barely gotten about a block away from her house when her shoe broke. She knew she would be late for church if she turned around, and she knew she had to go to church, so she kept going with a broken shoe. She told us that on the way home after church, she was limping along with one shoe when a lady selling shoes called out to her. Kenisha told her she didn't have any money to buy shoes and she was just coming from church. The woman selling shoes told her that they were free of cost and gave her a pair of brand new shoes. When Kenisha told us this, she was just beaming... she told us that she knew that it was a blessing from God because she chose to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
This weekend was one of the best weekends of my life... because Joe got baptized!!!
We woke up at 4:30 in the morning on Saturday to get ready... and then we rode with some members to a completely different parish to go to a place called Salt River. Old Harbour doesn't have its own font because we meet for church in a rented place, so we had to go find somewhere with enough water to do a baptism. The baptism was amazing. It was absolutely beautiful. Joe was just glowing. And then at church on Sunday, he not only received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but he took the sacrament for the first time, got the Aaronic Priesthood, and he paid his tithing. It was a very big weekend for him and he was just so happy all weekend... which made me happy!!!
This weekend pretty much sums up why we come on missions. I didn't come on this mission to see the world and to have a good time. Now that I'm coming to the end of my mission, I realize that the whole reason I came on a mission was to learn about serving others. By serving and learning to love, I have come to know for myself that everything I was taught growing up is true. I've seen the blessings that the gospel brings in my life and I've seen the gospel bless the lives of so many people over the course of these 18 months. Joe is now a completely different person than he was when we met him six weeks ago.  And it's because of the gospel. I'm a completely different person than I was 18 months ago. And it's because of the gospel. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He's your Savior... He is everyone's Savior. And I know that this is His church restored to the earth. I am so grateful for that knowledge. This has been the hardest, but the best year and a half of my life. I have absolutely no regrets. I will always remember and cherish this experience... I owe Heavenly Father everything for trusting me enough to come out here and to meet all these amazing people.
Well... my final scripture to share with you all as a missionary comes from the Bible. 3 John 1:13-14.
"I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust that I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name."
I love you all. I'll see you soon. Never forget... the church is true!!
Signing off for the last time,
Sister Oman

Sister Williams and I....we went on trade off's together.

I love these kids with all my heart!!

Sister Tebo and I

6:00 in the morning baptism on Saturday.  I was so happy!!!

No bicycles on the highway...this guy is a rebel.  Ha ha!!

Sister Blake, Zenadine, and me.

Some of the most amazing people I've ever met...I love these people.   I love this I just love Old Harbour.

Sister Phillips, Kyrie and me.

Our district, oh dear!

Sister Irving and Taveen

The view from our back door this morning.

Our gratitude door, where we write things we are grateful for every day!!

The baptism

The sky!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

18 Months and Flying Bag Juice

Hey everyone :)

This week we were walking on the road at the same time school had just let out. So there were a ton of high school students on the sidewalk with us. For some reason, one of them decided it would be funny to throw a bag juice at us. It hit Sister Tebo's shoulder, and then bounced off and soaked my leg. We just ignored it and kept walking until we got out of sight and then stopped to clean up. I'm not going to lie, at first I was a bit annoyed. But then I started to think about everything that Christ went through for us, and I realized that having a bag juice thrown at us really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things. So that was an adventure.
We went to an appointment with our investigator and we were talking about prayer. She shared an amazing story with us. She said that when she woke up this morning, there was no food in the house, and no money to buy food. She and her daughter were the only ones home, so she knelt down and said a prayer. She told God that they were really hungry and they had no money to buy food. She asked Him to please help her and her daughter get something to eat that day. Then she got up and went about her morning routine. She went outside for a little bit, and when she came back in she saw $100 sitting on the bed. (That's a little less than a dollar at home.) It was just enough to buy a little food for her and her daughter. When she told us about it, she was almost in tears because she was so grateful to God for answering her prayer. Nobody else was home... she still doesn't know where the money came from, but she does know it was an answer to her prayer. I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have to hear amazing, testimony building experiences of others every day.
Friday was my 18 month mark! I can't believe it's been a year and a half already!!! It's just a surreal feeling. Anyways... Friday morning, we went for a run right when we woke up. When we got home, I went in the bathroom for a minute. When I came back out, Sister Tebo was standing with her back to me by the kitchen counter. I started to say something, and all of the sudden she whips around and lets out what sounded like a Native American war cry, and then next thing you know I'm covered in flour. Thank you, Sister Tebo. I love being covered in flour before 7:15 in the morning. Haha. I joke. It was a fun surprise. :)
We had EIGHT people at church on Sunday!!! Woohoo!!! I was looking around in Gospel Principles class, and I was like "We're teaching her, and her, and him, and him... and wow! Half the class is our investigators!" It's a great thing to see those you love choose to do the right thing.
You know what else is a great feeling? When the people you're teaching start teaching others about the things they're learning. We have a couple different investigators that are just on fire with sharing the gospel. They're inviting their friends to lessons with us, telling them what they learn with us, and bringing people to church with them. I love it. It makes my heart happy :)
Well I think that's it for this week!! These weeks go by so fast I never know what to say in my emails.
But anyways. I love you all :) Have a superb week!!
Sister Oman
M.S.G. on your food anyone?!?

The skies!!  It's like Lion King, everyday!  Ha Ha

Kenisha!  She came to church yesterday.  She was able to get the day off from her job at KFC. 

I made the world's best pasta salad last week so I thought I'd share. 

Sister Tebo floured me to celebrate my 18 months mark!!!  Sneaky Girl!!1

Our dinner on Friday night.  I'm grateful for members who feed us!!

We taught Young Women's at church yesterday.  I love these girls!!!

This is Sister Tebo and I during our studies!!!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Seeing through God's Eyes

Hey ya'll :) 
This week was a learning week. It started off really hard because we thought our top investigator was hiding from us and it was pretty much breaking our hearts. But then we ran into her during the week, and turns out she's been working a ton of hours and her phone broke so she didn't know how to reach us. We set up a time to go see her when she wouldn't be working and as we walked away I felt like I was walking on the clouds... it's the best feeling ever when people really do want to meet with you because they know the gospel is true! 
We had trade-offs this last week on Saturday. I got to stay in Old Harbour with Sister Shaffer, and Sister Tebo went to Kingston for the day with Sister Williams! Trade-offs are always fun. It's good to get to teach with someone other than your regular companion every once in a while... I always learn so much. This trade-off I learned a lot about planning and prayers :) 
I've been praying a lot lately and asking for an eternal perspective when I meet people. I know I still have a long ways to go, but over this last week I've seen my prayers answered in many ways. I've started to be able to look past the little things that used to hold me back when talking to people on the street. I had a really cool experience yesterday when teaching a lesson... we were talking to a man about the Book of Mormon, and as we were teaching, it was so easy for me to picture him in the temple with his family. I know that God answers prayers and helps us to see through His eyes if we truly seek for that. I've been so blessed over the course of my mission to be able to get just a glimpse of how God views me, how He views you, how He feels all of us... and you guys, let me tell you. If the tiny little glimpse that I've had is this wonderful, than I can never even come close to imagining how much God loves us and how much He wants us to reach our full potential one day. 
I love what Elder Palmer said in his testimony yesterday about praying with real intent. Basically he was saying how when we pray with real intent, we are promised that we will get an answer. He said, "If you're not getting your answer, it's because God is testing you to see if you truly want to know." I took that to heart and applied that in my nightly prayers last night and let me tell you it's true!! If we just wait and sit for a while during our prayers, an outpouring of personal revelation comes... God just wants to make sure we really want the knowledge we're asking for. 
Prayers are answered. God is real. Jesus Christ suffered and died for each one of us individually, and we can turn to Him no matter what. We can never go too far to be out of the reach of God's love. I know that is true. 
I love you all. 
Sister Oman 

We put our ponderize verses on the fridge and I learned so much this week! (If you have no idea what ponderizing  is, check out this talk: )

Lunch at brother thomas's! 

Brother Thomas made Sister Tebo drink nonni juice... i'll tell you about it sometime. suffice it to say, it's basically the liquid from rotting fruit. it's disgusting. i have it all on video and i will show you when i get home hehe

Sister Tebo trying not to throw up after she drank it (yes, it's that bad. I've been there before) 

Sister Shaffer and i on trade off!

Sister Tebo had her one month mark on Friday! So of course we celebrated with brownies. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Rainy Days and General Conference

It finally rained this week!!!! Several times :) It was so nice. The rain cools everything off and cleans everything up! I love days after it rains because the earth just looks shiny and new again. It hadn't rained in Old Harbour in approximately an eternity so it was a very big blessing :) 
I learned an important lesson this week: Never ask a guy on the street to take a picture with you because he will try to hold your hand and you'll turn into a very awkward missionary who jerks your hand away and then tries to teach him the restoration while he's laughing up a storm. Confused? Let me explain. 
We were walking down the road when I saw a tshirt that looked vaguely like a BYU tshirt. Now, I've never see anything BYU related except for on missionaries while I've been on my mission so I got very excited. And when I get excited, there goes my common sense. Before I knew what I was doing, I had blurted out "That's my school!! Can I take a picture with you?" He looked a little confused at first but then agreed... and that's when he tried to hold my hand. Oops. Lesson learned and duly noted. 
We had one of the best zone meetings I've ever had on my entire mission this last week. Everything was well planned and it was just so inspiring. Plus we had a really cool experience with President Brown during the meeting. Sister Tebo and I were role playing with him, practicing how to help one of our investigators come to know the Book of Mormon was true. The entire time, it's like questions just popped into my head to ask him and even though it was a role play, I knew it was the Holy host helping us to understand our investigator's real concerns. We learned so much from that role play. I love role plays :) Even if they are awkward sometimes. I've learned to embrace the awkward and love it throughout my mission! 
Zone meeting went long this week. Normally it ends at two, but this time it ended at three. We were a little frustrated at first because we would miss our first appointment for the day. We ended up getting pizza and eating at the chapel after zone meeting before heading back to Old Harbour. By the time we got to Old Harbour, it was pretty late and we didn't have much time to proselyte. We went to a few appointments and were heading home when I just felt like maybe we should go down a road that we don't normally travel on. We got to the bottom of the road and were saying goodbye to the member that had come teaching with us when a man stopped to talk to us. He was crying and obviously a little drunk, so I honestly almost just dismissed it and kept walking. But something told us to stay and listen so we did and he was telling us about how a family member had been killed in a bus accident earlier that day. Two cool things: 
1. The Lord put this man in our path so we could share a message of the Plan of Salvation with him. After we talked to him for a minute, he had significantly calmed down and was thanking us for sharing the Plan of Salvation with him. 
2. Because zone meeting had ended an hour later that day, we were on the bus an hour later. As we listened, it became very apparent that we would have been on the same bus his family member had been killed on had zone meeting ended at two o'clock instead of three. The Lord protects his missionaries. I know that's true. 
Funny moment! Here, they sell something called bag juice. It's basically cheap kool aid in a bag that you can drink. Well they also sell bag water, which is water in a bag. This week, Sister Tebo asked me what flavor the clear bag juice is. After I laughed for a while, I explained it was water. Then we both laughed for a while haha. 
I love General Conference. This weekend was amazing. I came with a list of questions I needed answers to. Some of them I didn't see how they would be directly answered in conference, but I prayed that somehow I would find the answers I need. And every single question was answered. Especially as Robert D. Hales talked, it was like he was just talking directly to me. I know the Lord inspires His servants to teach us the things we need to hear. I love and sustain all the general authorities of this church. The church is true!! 
And to close off this crazy long email, my favorite quote from our dear, dear prophet Thomas S. Monson: "Abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives." 
I love you all!! Have a splendid week :) 
Sister Oman 
Jamaica.  How I love it!!

I love Jamaican Sunsets, everyday!

We went to a fun restaurant in between sessions of General Conference on Saturday with our district... it was super fun!

Sister Pinnock came along for lunch.  I love that lady!!

Rainy Days=Umbrellas

The man with the BYU Shirt.  Ha Ha

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lunar Eclipses, Transfer Meetings and Prayers!

Woah okay so another week has gone by!! 
I went to Spanish Town twice this week... once on Tuesday for trainers meeting (which was amazing), and once on Thursday for transfer meeting!! Going to Spanish Town is always an adventure... I love it :) 

On Wednesday, we continued our weekly Chinese food in the air conditioning at the church after district meeting tradition. But this time we added a round of phase 10 to our lunch. 60 minutes of Chinese food and Phase 10 do a lot to help you feel ready to face the rest of the week :) 

Thursday, I picked up my new companion! Her name is Sister Tebo, she's from Texas, and she's a total sweetheart :) Funny story! She actually emailed me before she went into the MTC! When President Brown found that out, he told us that he had no idea that had happened when he made us companions. And that's how I know transfer calls are truly revelation :)

We saw a lunar eclipse last night! It was so cool!! We had called our district leader to give him our weekly call in report and instead of the usual "Hey this is Elder Palmer," when he picked up he just yelled "Quick go outside! There's a lunar eclipse!" and then we hung up. Well after I scared Sister Tebo a bit because I just ran out of the house without telling her what was going on (haha sorry Sister Tebo), we saw the lunar eclipse! It was so awesome haha. 

The women's meeting on Saturday was amazing. If you haven't watched it yet, you all need to watch it right now. So many prayers were answered!! You can watch it here:

And last but not least, I love this scripture!! 
"And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." -1 Nephi 17:13
I love this scripture because every time I read it, I'm reminded how the Lord will always lead us through our live if we keep His commandments. As we rely on the Lord for guidance and we counsel daily with Him through prayer, we can truly reach our promised lands... wherever that may be in this life, and we will gain eternal life in the world to come! I am so grateful for that promise :) 

Okay I think that's it for this week. I love you all!!
Sister Oman 

Jamaica has turned me into a crazy dresser!!  Ha Ha, these are just my pajamas!!

Sister Blake and Zenadine

Our investigator named Tracy

Oh the traffic jams in old Harbour...sigh!!!

I saw Sister Slater again at transfer meeting!!

And family picture!!! My two daughters :) Aww how cute! 

Sister Garret, we're going to room together when she gets home from her mission.

The sky in Jamaica, never ceases to amaze me.

Sister Tebo, my new daughter!!  (Ha ha..that's what they call your companion when you train them.  I'm her mother and she's my daughter.)

Jamaica, oh how I love Jamaica.

Sister Tebo and Brother Thompson, a member who comes out teaching with us quite a bit.