Monday, September 22, 2014

In Search of Breadfruit!

Hey everybody! I just love you all... you fantastic people, you :) Thanks for all the letters and emails and the wonderful support you give me every week! It sure gets lonely out on an island in the middle of the Caribbean with only three other missionaries sometimes and we sure do appreciate ya'll :) 
This week was full of a lot of good, a lot of awkward, a lot of adventures, and a lot of laughs! 
The Good:
We were on the phone with an investigator yesterday before church. We had had a really, really powerful lesson with him the day before, and at the close of the lesson we invited him to pray about the gospel for the fifty trillionth time. This time we knew when he accepted the commitment that he would actually do it. I mean, you can't have the spirit that strong in a lesson and not take the commitment seriously. So we called him to see if he was coming to church, and while we were on the phone we asked him if he'd had a chance to pray about it. He said yes, so we asked him if he got his answer. His reply? "It's true. Of course it's true. It's always been true." I have never been so happy in my life as I was when I heard those words... this gospel. Man, this gospel! I love this gospel, and those words were just the sweetest words I've ever heard. 
Another time, we showed up to a lesson with a family we're teaching. The nine year old daughter runs out of the house and yells "Sisters! Joseph Smith's a prophet! The Holy Ghost told me so!" Heart melting experience number two! Prayers and diligence really do pay off... I love it when people get their witness that the church is true :) And the fact that this nine year old girl took the time to pray about it and listen for her answer is just a really strong testimony builder for me!
Wednesday, Linda asked us to fast with her to help her get her answer about the Book of Mormon. It was the first time she'd ever fasted in her life... and when we came to the lesson a few days later, we asked her how it when. Her response? "It's true. So when can I get baptized?" Now that is something you don't hear every day! Ahhh I just love that girl!! 
Lots of good this week! We were in a lesson and our investigator was just spewing all sorts of concerns left and right. I had absolutely no idea what to say to him, so I just said a little prayer in my head and flipped open my scriptures... the first verse I read answered his questions perfectly! The Spirit came in instantly and man! It was just a really good lesson! I love prayer and I just absolutely love this gospel!!!! 
We also had almost 20 people (less actives, potential investigators, investigators, recent converts) at church yesterday... which is an insanely large amount! I was sitting next to one of my favorite families that we've been working with and between having Arden (remember Arden? I love that girl.) sitting next to me and coloring with me during the talks and looking around the chapel and seeing all these faces that I just absolutely love... my heart melted again. I'm surprised I even have a heart after this week because it melted so much :) 
The Awkward: 
Awkward moments that happened this week include... 
Extending a baptism date and having the investigator tell you she's never had any intention of leaving her current church. *cricket sounds* No matter how many times that happens, it's always a little awkward for a few seconds. Or minutes. You know. haha. 
Telling someone they're looking really skinny (as in they've lost weight) and coming to find out that they speak creole and I just called them hot. I'm a missionary! I can't call people hot. Oh well. It was an accident right? Right. 
And a whole bunch more!! 
The Adventures: 
We had a lunch appointment at the fish fry downtown this week. As we were driving, we hit a bunch of traffic. There was a police on a motorcycle next to us, and we rolled down the window to ask him for directions to the fish fry. He gave us the directions, and upon seeing our confused faces, he told us he'd just escort us there. So we had a police escort to lunch. #missionaryswag Don't believe me? I'll send pictures to prove it. 
I had breadfruit for the first time last week, and ever since I've just wanted more. But unfortunately we can't find any more. We've been to almost every cook shop on the island looking for it. I'm rather disappointed. But the good news is, I found a breadfruit tree yesterday. I plan on climbing it and getting myself some breadfruit later today. Yep. 
We ran out of drinking water Saturday evening and seeing as Sunday is the sabbath and we can't find water, we had to run out and buy some. The only problem was it was 8:45 and we have to be home at 9:00. Which meant we couldn't go to the place we normally go to to buy water. We drove around for a while and eventually found a sketch shop on the side of the road that had a bunch of water in a rather large sketchy cage... so we bought some water and it hasn't killed us yet! Bonus! 
Thursday it dumped rain on us ALL DAY LONG. So the island was flooded. Again. Which meant everyone was stuck on the roads. We sat in traffic for hours. It took us an entire hour to drive to english class from a part of the island that normally takes us five minutes to drive to english class from. That's how much traffic there was. Also the church parking lot was FLOODED. (Seriously. The water was half way up my leg. Given I'm shortish so it was only like a foot and a half of water but still.) So due to the flooding very little people showed up to English class. And the roof in the church was leaking. But we still had english class, survivor style. 
We went to the church on Saturday to teach a lesson and inadvertently crashed an Elders Quorum BBQ... I'm not sure how happy the men were about having a couple of ladies at the church during their manly bonding time but we got free food so that was good! Woohoo free food! haha. 
The Laughs:
We were in a lesson one evening, and the wife went into the kitchen. We were about ready to say the opening prayer, so her husband called her. Which wouldn't have been funny except for how he said it. "Sharon, come forth."  Sister Bailey and I leaned over at the same time and whispered to each other "Lazarus, come forth." We then proceeded to try not to die of silent laughter because we think we're really funny. It's official. My sense of humor has become the missionary sense of humor. 
For example, I was reading the Book of Mormon one morning and I got to the story where King Lamoni calls Ammon in to talk to him. I don't know why but I just found it so funny this time! I was just picturing poor little humble Ammon walking in to where the king is and asking him what he wants. Then the king just stares at the poor guy for an hour until Ammon asks what he wants again... and gets stared at again! Man it was hilarious. I would have been so embarrassed if I were Ammon! Hahah. 
One night we were planning and we were talking about what to do with a certain man who refuses to come to church. Sister Bailey suggested that maybe he just needs to wait until he passes on because in the spirit world he won't have to take the bus to church. It'll just be right there. Yeah... maybe you just had to be there for that one hahaha. Take my word for it. It was hilarious :) 
The Spiritual: 
I've been reading Isaiah lately, and this week I got to chapter 43. Verse one made me feel so loved that I cried, so I thought I'd share it with you all :) Liken it to yourselves! Replace Jacob's name with your own name and it gets about ten times more powerful. 
"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." 
Aww isn't that the sweetest scripture you've ever read! I've really just been blessed with so many chances to feel of the Savior's love for me this week. My testimony of His Atonement has grown ten fold over the last seven days I think, and I love it! I know that Christ died for all of us... He died for each one of us individually! And no matter what any of you are facing in your lives right now, I know that if you'll just rely on our Savior you'll be able to make it through! He loves each of us so much and all He wants is for us to be happy and be able to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father after this life :) Keep moving forward! 
Mwe renmen yo! (I love you!) Have a good week everyone!! 
Sister Oman 
All of these kids are like my second family. I love them more than words can express!

Proof that we had a police escort to our lunch appointment, as promised :) 

Lexi, Arden, and PJ! (And Sister Bailey haha)  Love those kids!! (And my companion :) 

Monday, September 15, 2014

We go on epic road trips and start bands sometimes.

Hey ya'll! Hope everyone had a good week and that school and work and missions and everything are going swell! 
This week was a really good week! Monday we decided to go on an epic road trip across the entire twenty one mile long island. Haha so it really wasn't a very long road trip but it was super fun! We started out by exploring an old fort built in the 1700's, then found a giant staircase built by slaves. Then we drove across the island a ways and the bottom of our car fell off (which was unfortunate), but apparently I'm really good at fixing cars so I just fixed it right up and we kept on our way! (I'm kidding. I just tied it back to the bottom of the car with a rope. A six year old could have done what I did. I don't know anything about cars haha.) We found these statues on a beach that are in commemoration of the slaves that were brought here from Africa way back when and they were pretty cool! Then we went and explored some caves and that ended our road trip Monday! We had family home evening with the Eyers family and headed home! 
Tuesday Sister Judd was super sick so we were home bound for most of the day. But that's okay because I got to read a lot of things about church and seeing as I've just fallen in love with the gospel over the last five months and I love learning every single thing I can about it. I'm about half way through the Book of Mormon now... every time I read that book it just gets better and better! If any of you haven't read it... find yourself a copy and get to readin! It's the best book you'll ever read, I promise :) (You can request a FREE copy here!
Wednesday we had a really good district meeting with most of the zone about what the difference between a reaper and a sower is... It really motivated all of us to look at missionary work with a more eternal perspective, and we're already seeing a difference in our area! We had some really good lessons on Wednesday too :) 
Thursday we washed some cars for service, and picked Sister Dill up at the airport... which means we are no longer in a trio with Sister Judd so work is all back to normal now! I also got eaten alive by ants (A word of advice: don't stand in an ant pile while teaching a lesson. It's a very bad idea.) But I found the best bug bite cream in the world and it's my new best friend. We have a very good relationship haha. We had a wonderful lesson with Linda... I love that girl! Every time we go see her we find new people to teach and she's just a total sweetheart... so is her entire family! And we concluded the night with English class... which I loved. As usual. You know the drill. 
Friday we did weekly planning, tried to teach some lessons to some people that are very good at disappearing, and had a really fun fun night! It was a good day. 
Saturday we taught some lessons as usual, had a good lesson with a sweet girl named Tamika, and I had breadfruit for the first time! I LOVE BREADFRUIT. It's the most delicious thing I've ever tasted in my entire life and I'm pretty sure it's all I'm ever going to eat again. Nough said. 
Sunday we had a really good block of meetings at church. We talked a lot about our living prophet and apostles... it made me so excited for General Conference! Just a few more weeks till we get to hear from all of the apostles and President Monson! Woohoo I love conference!! We took our dinner hour and decided to forego food to watch the CES fireside last night... Every time D. Todd Christofferson speaks, I learn so much! If any of you didn't get to watch that fireside, I would highly recommend it. 
In other news, Sister Judd and I have started a musical group. We call ourselves OJ (Oman and Judd... get it?? Hahah). And we're really good. We even got to sing with David Archuleta this last week. 
Well... not really. We have a cd where he sings some hymns so we sang along with him. And it wasn't actually all that great. But you know... we're getting there. We'll be famous one day, just you wait and see :) 
This email was another really random one... sorry bout that :) Life got crazy the last few weeks... so much happens every day and I never know what to write about! Oh well. 
I love you all so much!!! I really appreciate the support and love you all show me every week... you're the greatest! Keep up the good work wherever you are... and remember! The church is true!!! 
Sister Oman 

 A sick old cannon at the fort we found!

We found a jail at the old fort we went to. Haha we're like Alma and Amulek... We get thrown in jail for sharing the gospel! :)

The worlds oldest water tower (not really it's just from the 1920s)

I love the Bahamas!  Isn't it beautiful!

Sister Judd and I at the Queen's Staircase

Queen's Staircase

Queen's Staircase

I'm Super Strong!  Ha Ha

I'm really good at fixing cars. But only when the problem is that the bottom fell off the car and I just have to tie a rope to keep the bottom on. I'm planning on starting an auto body shop when I get home now. (Not really. Haha.)

I LOVE NASSAU. I never want to leave the Bahamas. I'm so blessed to be here! Isn't it beautiful??

I love the ocean! 

The statues on the beach we found! 

This sweet bench made from seashells. it was very uncomfortable to sit on though. 

Workin at the car washhhhh

My dear sweet arden whom i love so much!

Lisa and Jouvance! (Two of my favorite people!) 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

40 Leggers and Tropical Storms!

Hey everyone! Eske tout bagay anfom? (Is everything okay?) I  hope you all had amazing weeks and you were able to see the hand of the Lord in your lives! I know we did here! 
Monday we officially decided to have a lazy day. After we ran the usual errands, we went home and put on our pajamas, and spent the rest of the p-day taking naps and watching church movies. Yes, it was much needed. Yes, it was much enjoyed. We went over and had a couple of family home evening lessons with some people here. We ended the night at the Reid's house. We talked about how it's so important to build a sturdy foundation on Christ so you don't topple over when temptations come... and then we played jenga! Woohoo I love FHE! 
Tuesday we did a lot of teaching, and did some service for an investigator's wife. She was not open to hearing the gospel at all at first, but as we keep serving her, we can see her heart being softened... hopefully she'll be open to hearing the gospel one day too! We had to end Tuesday night a bit early because we experienced one whopper of a storm and the roads were all more flooded than I've ever seen them! The thunder was INSANELY loud, and I swear there were no rain drops. It was like someone just turned on a fire hose over the entire island. It was a crazy storm haha. But we said a prayer that we would get home safely and we did! Yay!
Wednesday, we had a wonderful district meeting on knowledge. I love knowledge! The last few weeks, I feel like I just can't learn enough. I'm constantly reading talks, my scriptures, and preach my gospel... there's just so much to learn and I want to know as much as I possibly can! I love learning :) I found one quote that I particularly like about obtaining Christlike attributes. I don't remember who said it though... sorry :) "Now, you may wonder how to acquire the faith, testimony, and consecration of spirit necessary to overcome the adversary. Let me assure you that these qualities are already within you. You simply need to recover them." Isn't that awesome? I just love it. We had an amazing lesson with an awesome girl named Linda on Wednesday... I love lessons with Linda! She's so open to listening and learning... I just love her :) 
Thursday we spent most of the morning driving around trying to find various government buildings so Sister Bailey could get her learner's permit... we didn't actually succeed because the government is confusing though so we got bagels and cream cheese for lunch and went about the rest of our day haha. We ended Thursday at English class. We had so many people show up this week that we had to split into a beginner's class and a more advanced class! We only really have a curriculum for the beginners so I kind of just had to make up the advanced class's lesson as I went along... man I'm so glad my fifth grade teacher made us memorize lists of verbs and verb endings and stuff! It was so helpful hahah :) But anyways... I love English class so much! I know I say that every week. I just really love it! It makes me more and more sure that I want to be a teacher when I come home :) 
Friday we did super planning and taught a bunch of lessons. Nothing really noteable happened though that I can remember or that is recorded in my journal. 
Saturday was transfer calls! I'm staying in Nassau another transfer with Sister Bailey, and Sister Dill is coming out to be with Sister Judd! Saturday was also the day of nasty insects. I was doing wash Saturday morning before studies. I went to grab my clothes out of the washer and I felt something move in them. So I looked down and saw the biggest roach I have ever seen in my entire life crawling out of my clothes. I freaked out and threw them all over the ground (which by the way is a nasty cracked concrete floor covered in ants, lizard poop, and dirt). Which meant that they all got dirty again so I had to wash them again. I'm not very good at staying clean haha. BUT we did get a pretty good laugh out of it so it all was good in the end. Then we were teaching a lesson outside. We were all sitting next to a wall, and all of the sudden Sister Judd stopped mid sentence and said "What is that???!" We looked and saw the BIGGEST FORTY LEGGER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE crawling out of the wall. Now if you don't know what I 40 legger is, let me describe it to you. It is a mix between a cockroach lookin thing but it's a centipede so it has a lot of legs and it has these nasty antennae and it's poisonous. If it bites you, you swell up and your skin just gets super stiff and hard for a long time. So that's disgusting. I didn't take a picture, but you should google it. Yep. We ran away so we wouldn't get bitten, and it eventually went back into the wall. We prayed again, and resumed the lesson! I love adventures haha. We were driving to a lesson when we saw a building that looked like the Taj Mahal and Sister Judd said she'd been there before so we stopped by and it was a Muslim church thing and we got a nice little tour and a lesson about the Muslim religion. It was muy interesante. Or however you say that in Spanish. haha. Then we found an abandoned mansion with all the windows broken out, and the ocean flooded and ran all over the road! It was a very adventurous day on Saturday. 
Sunday was so spiritual! We had the BEST fast and testimony meeting I've ever had the pleasure of attending on my mission. I say it every week, but I just love this little branch so much! They all have amazing testimonies and ahhh I just love feeling the spirit so strongly every week at church! We found this less active woman on Saturday and invited her to come to church. She came on Sunday for the first time in three years! We were so excited. She told us she loves the church... we're praying that she'll want to keep coming back! We went over to see her last night and her friend was there and asked us to start teaching her. Tender mercy! What I learned from this experience is that sometimes all it takes for people to come to church or to come back to church is an invitation... Never be afraid to bear your testimony or ask someone to come to church with you! 
I've really been working on being grateful in all circumstances... and I've realized how much I truly do have to be grateful for! Sometimes we'll go see someone and I'll feel guilty holding my water bottle because I have clean drinking water and they don't. Or I'll try to not let them see the granola bar wrapper in my bag because I don't know if they've had anything to eat all day. I've never really thought about how lucky and blessed I've been my whole life. I've never had to worry about where my food is coming from, or if the water I'm drinking is going to make me sick. I've never had to wonder where I'm going to sleep that night because I got kicked out of my house. I've never had to wonder if I'm even going to live to see the next week because I can't find work and I have no money to buy food. I've been so blessed and I'm so grateful for all of those blessings I've received! The greatest blessing, however, is the blessing of having the restored gospel in my life. I'm so glad I have the testimony I do, and I know that this gospel is the only way to have true happiness forever!  I'm amazed every day at how happy people can be even when they don't have food or water or a house just because they have a testimony of this gospel. Their faith has definitely increased my faith, and I'm going to spend every day for the rest of my life thanking my Heavenly Father for all of the blessings He's given me. 
I love you all!!! Have a wonderful week! And remember... don't be afraid to share what you know with everyone you meet! 
Sister Oman 
The Reids!! I love them! 

I made a cake to be fancy. 

We discovered cups this week! Frozen koolaid in plastic cups for a quarter... we eat them all the time now. Downside: they turn your tongue funny colors.

Sister Judd and I! I love that girl!

#car selfies

Sister Judd & I

Sometimes you have days where pretty much everyone (and their backups) cancel. But it's okay because if you have faith, Heavenly Father will put you where you need to be! 

A street in nassau! We drive down this road almost every day 

The abandoned mansion we saw!

The ocean! I love the ocean! 

Sometimes the ocean runs over the highway!  No biggie!

Nassau from the top of a hill

Monday, September 1, 2014

We preach at the beach!

We just hang out at the beach on p-days. It's no big deal. Haha. 

Zone Conference!

Hey ya'll! Koman ou ye? 
This week went soooo fast and I'm not really sure what happened. So I'll probs just send you parts of my journal entries from this week mixed in with some other random stuff haha:) 
Monday we spent the day at the beach! It was perfect weather... not too hot, nice salty breeze... Man oh man I love the Bahamas! We did a few FHE lessons in the evening with some pretty awesome people! We talked about the atonement... man I love the atonement! I've been finding a lot of comfort in it lately. I know that no matter what's going on in my life, Christ is there for me. Heavenly Father is there for me too- and that gives me a quiet assurance that everything is going to be okay. Christ performed the atonement for each of us... He's ready and waiting, we just have to go to Him! 
Tuesday, we had a normal proselyting day. We had a bunch of appointments in the afternoon fall through, and we were a bit stumped as to what to do. We said a prayer, and we had a prompting to go check in on one of our investigators. So we dropped by, and she wasn't home... but her mom was! Her mom was so excited we were there, and asked us to start teaching her. I love promptings! Heavenly Father knows exactly where we need to be, so if we just listen to the Holy Ghost, we can be where we need to be when we need to be there! 
Wednesday, we had a district meeting on prayer. Sister Bailey taught some steps to more effective prayers. I've been putting them into action, and they really do make a difference! So here ya go people :) 
1. Pray vocally
2. Take the time to think about what you're praying for
3. Visualize God as you're talking to Him
4. Ask specific questions
6. Wait. Give God the opportunity to speak back. 
Thursday we left the house with zero confirmed appointments for the day. But that's okay! I've realized something... if we've done our absolute best to make our day work, we just have to have faith that it will work out! Even if it doesn't work exactly the way we planned... everything always works out! I don't know if it's because we're missionaries or what, but life just seems to be a bit easier lately. I mean it's still really hard but everything always just sort of falls into place. Which is great :) Hahah. We taught English class thursday evening... man I love English! It's one of my favorite things in the week. I just love it so much!! 
Friday we had weekly planning, and then we ran some errands for our district and taught some lessons. That evening we had fun night at the church and it was a blast! We were talking to someone who is married to someone who isn't a member and it really made me think about eternal marriage and how great of a blessing it is... I'm so glad to know that Mom and Dad are married not only for this life but for the life after this, and we get to be sealed with them! And I'm so grateful to know that I can have that same opportunity to be married to someone forever! Families are eternal... how awesome of a blessing is that?
Saturday we got reallllllly reallllly lost trying to find one of our recent converts. The whole experience made me really grateful for road signs and house numbers. They just don't have that here, and sometimes it makes finding things hard. "Go to the 24 hour tire place and just keep going down and then turn at the funny house and go down and then you'll see me." Yeah that doesn't make much sense haha. But we were able to find him and it all worked out! That night, during our dinner hour, I was watching the Joseph Smith movie and I just started bawling. Man oh man I felt like I was watching a chick flick... It was rather embarrassing. But the point of this story is that i love that movie and I love Joseph Smith and I really admire Emma Smith. The end. 
Sunday we had church and Sister Bailey gave an amazing talk in sacrament meeting! That evening, we went to teach Dacilia, our investigator, and we found eight potential investigators around her house! I just love it when we have some tender mercies! 
That was our week! I'm sorry this email was so bad haha. This week, I've really been working on being a challenging and testifying missionary. I'm realizing more and more how important this gospel is, and I can't just skirt around questions and stuff. It's so important to just say it how it is and testify boldly. We're on the Lord's errand, and it's so important to do all we can to help others! So that's my goal for this next week... be more challenging and testify more :) Yep. 
Also, fun fact. The Bahamas were dedicated for preaching the gospel in 1997. Which means the church has been on this island for less time than I've been alive. Pretty crazy right? It's awesome how strong the church is here for how new it is! 
Okay that's all for now folks! I love you all! Have a great week! 
Sister Oman 

Pictures: Beach p-days are the best p-days! And we wear matching shirts to do service :) 
Zone Conference from last week.  I just hadn't gotten the pics back yet!

Beach p-days are the best p-days!

Sister Bailey, my companion and good friend!

Matching T-Shirts for our service day!

English Class

English Class

My scriptures fell apart because i read them so much but i glued them and they're all back to normal now! 

Some of my favorite girls.

Zone Conference

Zone Conference