Sak pase everyone! I hope you all had wonderful weeks, and happy fourth of july! (almost)
We did all of our usual errands and emailing and stuff, and then we decided to go explore cabbage beach some more. Let me tell ya, when you decide to nap on a beach in the bahamas, you'd better make sure you put sunscreen on before you nap. Let's just say my legs have some sweet awkward tan lines haha.
Monday evening after P-Day had ended, Sister Rampersad and I were driving to do FHE with a less active family in the branch. I was driving down the road when a big scary police man waves me down. So I pull over, and roll down the window, and he's like "Excuse me, miss. But did you know it's illegal to drive with a crack in your windshield?" Which I did know and I can't lie so I told him I did and we tried to explain it was a mission car so we had no control over what happened with the maintenance and stuff, but he wasn't buying it. He was going to write me a ticket for driving with a cracked windshield when I pulled out the whole handy dandy crying trick. So Sister Rampersad and I are sitting in the front seat crying and apologizing and it made him uncomfortable haha so we got off without a warning even! Score one for the sisters. So that was good. The only downside is that President Brown told us we aren't allowed to drive that car anymore and we still don't have our new cars, so we were walking all week. But it's okay because I learned so many lessons from it!!
We woke up, did studies, walked an hour to Gethro's house, and taught a lesson. Then Sister Reid (bless her soul) took us to our next appointment in Rockcrusher (which is like a two hour walk from Gethro's house so it was a huge blessing!) Then we left that appointment and we had to go to Baintown, which is like another thirty minute walk, and it was blazing hot. As we were walking along the road, another member of the branch pulled up and said she just had a prompting to drive down this road! So she picked us up and took us to our next appointment. Definitely a tender mercy!! We taught a less active family, and were able to teach two more lessons before we had to walk one and a half hours (ALL the way across the island) to our dinner appointment.The member that fed us drove us home, which was yet another tender mercy. The Lord really does look after us!!
We had zone meeting at the church, so we walked there and hung out there for most of the day. It was such a good zone meeting! Exactly what I needed to hear this week... I've been working so hard on applying everything we learned to my teaching and my overall attitude here! We walked to Wilkin's house, taught him a lesson, he taught us a little more creole, and then dear darling Lisa picked us up and took us to her house for dinner! We did a lesson with her and Andrew, and then they drove us home!
We also wrote our own version of the I'll make a man out of you song from Mulan. It's now officially about missions and how hardships make you stronger (hence the subject of this email haha)
I'm going to be completely honest with you. I don't really remember what happened on Thursday. I know some members helped us out and drove us to a lot of our appointments, but it sort of just blends in with the rest of the days this week haha. The only noteable thing that happened was that we figured out how to take a bus (or jitney or coaster depending on what you call it)! The jitneys here are more like taxis... you stand on the road and hail them, and they pick you up and run a semi-regular route. So we hailed a jitney and then once we were on it, we realized we didn't know how to get off haha. Because there's no like set bus stops. We also realized we didn't really know where it was going. We asked someone and they told us to just yell bus stop and it stops, so that's good. So we developed a fool proof system to taking a bus in Nassau.
Step 1. Hail a bus. Pray it's the bus you need.
Step 2. Get on the bus. Pray that you can find a seat.
Step 3. Ride the bus. Every time you reach a corner, pray that the bus turns the way you need to go.
Step 4. Realize you need to pay the bus driver. Pray that you have enough random change in your bag to pay the bus fare.
Step 5. Yell "bus stop!" as loudly and as ghetto-ish as you can. Pray that the driver listens to you.
Step 6. Run to the front of the bus, give your fare to the bus driver, and pray that you can get off before he starts driving again.
So there you have it! How to ride a bus in the Bahamas. Basically it's just a test of faith and prayers. But we usually get pretty close to where we need to go, so it's a very good thing!!
Friday we normally have superplanning all morning, but we had to go to the insurance place to get insurance sorted out for the new cars. We had to go with President Ferdinand (the best branch president in the world!) because apparently we aren't old enough to buy insurance. #babies Haha.
So we got that all sorted out, and then went home to do superplanning. By the time we finished it all, we just had enough time to walk to the church to do correlation meeting with the best branch mission leader ever. He and his wife took us home, and we ordered pizza for dinner to celebrate everyone's month marks!!
Saturday was another day full of walking and adventurous bus rides. We taught some people the gospel, ate some jerk chicken, and that was about it! Saturday morning I prayed that we would meet someone who had been taught by the missionaries before, and viola! We did! We were just about to walk home when a cute little old lady called us over and started talking to us. Turns out she'd been taught by the missionaries like 40 some years ago. She doesn't really remember anything about the church, but she wants to learn more from us! Prayers are answered, you guys! The Lord is so mindful of us and He really does listen!
Sunday we went to church and man oh man was it a good church! Brother Dinkleman taught an AMAZING lesson on learning from spiritual, physical, and emotional trials. We sat in on the youth sunday school class, and I don't think I've ever seen a group of crazy teenage boys sit that quietly for that long. The spirit was so strong! After church, the lovely Sister Ballard dropped us off at the Dinkleman's house for our weekly Sunday dinner. Then Brother Dinkleman took us to our afternoon appointment. We taught two of our recent convert boys how to teach the plan of salvation, and it was so fun hahah. We acted the whole thing out, and it was just a really good, fun lesson. Then brother dinkleman, being the wonderful man he is, picked us up and dropped us home for the night! And so ended our week!
This week, I spent a lot of time thinking about the pioneers. They walked for miles and miles and miles in freezing snow and burning heat to get to somewhere that they had no idea what it would be like. They endured death, starvation, all kinds of sicknesses, and persecution because they had an undying faith in their Savior Jesus Christ. They had a sure knowledge that this is truly the restored gospel, and that the teachings and ordinances in this gospel are the only way to get back to our Father in Heaven. After thinking about all of this all week, I think I'm more fully beginning to understand what this mission is all about. It's so not about me or the little things I think are important. It's not about the sore feet or the bug bites or the sunburns. It's all about Jesus Christ and what He did for each and every one of us. It's about the fact that He gave His life for us so that we could return to live in the presence of our Father in Heaven. It's about learning Christlike attributes. It's about serving the Lord with all of our heart, might, mind and strength, and leaving every single last worldy thing behind. It's about learning to give your entire heart to the Lord, not just for the time you're set apart as a missionary, but for the rest of your life. Missions are amazing. People's lives change every day because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and although I still feel inadequate to represent my Savior at times, I know that I have been called as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and if I give my entire heart to this work and work harder than I ever thought possible, He will give me the strength to accomplish whatever tasks I find set before me.
I love this gospel so much, and I love you all so much! Hold to the light of Jesus Christ. He will be the strength that we need to endure whatever trials we face. Not just endure them, but endure them with patience and happiness.
"Behold, we count them happy which endure." -James 5:11
Have a fantastic week everyone! I love you all!
9 months, 13 months, 16 months, and 2 months! Our little happy district :)
This little guy really likes the inside of my pillowcase. I think he thinks he lives there. Which would be fine and dandy, but unfortunately I like to sleep on top of my pillow every night. Sorry, buddy! You'll have to find a new home.