Monday the STL's came to Portmore to give me a driving lesson. I was under the assumption that this would be the first of many lessons... but apparently President Brown had a different idea. So, after about 45 minutes of instruction, the STL's left with the automatic car we'd been driving since I got here, and left us with a big ol' truck. A big ol' standard truck that is. Getting used to a new area, a new companion, etc. is difficult enough... but add a car you really don't know how to drive to the equation and you've got yourself one hard week mapped out.
So... I guess at the beginning of the week I had been focusing on how hard it was to drive the truck. Like I'd been looking at it like it was really just a physical trial. But then we had zone conference on Thursday, and one of the speakers talked about how there are no temporal laws, only spiritual ones... and that kind of hit home. I guess in a moment of personal revelation from the greatest Heavenly Father ever, I learned that I shouldn't been viewing this as a physical trial... I should be looking for spiritual lessons that I've learned from the experience. So let me share a few of the lessons that I'm in the process of learning :)
1. Trust in the Lord... at all times
As I'm driving, I really don't know where I'm going half the time and neither does my companion because she's only been here for a transfer and Portmore is rather large. Plus there's a ton of traffic. So it can be pretty scary. But I've learned more than ever this week to just trust in the Lord and know that if we're doing the right thing, everything will work out the way it should.
2. Don't be prideful!
Every time I start to think "Wow, I haven't killed this truck in a long time! I'm getting pretty good at this," the truck dies. I've realized that it only runs when I acknowledge that I could never have learned so fast if it wasn't for the Lord's help. So I'm being humbled... a lot.
3. Have faith in the power of the priesthood
Monday after the STL's left, we had a family home evening with some members in the ward. I killed the car about 7,000 times on the way to said FHE. It was very frustrating and I was about ready to quit. But then a wonderful tender mercy happened. The elders were at FHE! So I asked Elder Koegler for a blessing, and I didn't kill the car once on the way home. I just love the priesthood.
Okay so that's some stuff I learned this week. In other news...
Tuesday we had like a trade-off sort of thing but it wasn't really a trade off all day. The STL's had MLC, and they're in a trio so they brought Sister Thompson here to Portmore to be with us for the day while the two STL's were in their meeting. It was so fun because Sister Thompson used to serve here, so she knew where a bunch of people lived that we didn't know about, so we were able to meet a ton of new people! Plus we did service in the morning which involved free lunch and decorating a Christmas tree. Christmas service is the best kind of service :)
Thursday we had a road trip! We drove to Kingston for Zone Conference/Zone Christmas Party! It was only mildly terrifying in the truck haha but the zone conference was amazing! Elder Martinez (the one that spoke in spanish at general conference in October), was there, and his remarks were just absolutely inspiring. Plus I got to see all the elders i was in the MTC with, and a bunch of people I served with off island, so that was really fun! We got to have a delicious little Christmas dinner, we had an awesome musical program, and then we got all of our Christmas packages! President Brown decided at the end that I would need to drive back my entire district to Portmore since the elders had too many packages to take on the bus... So we crammed six people and 12 kabillion Christmas presents into the truck and made the drive back to Portmore. We only stalled like five times the whole way! It was a new record haha.
Other things that happened this week include a funeral for a member of the ward that I never met (I love the Plan of Salvation!), and weekly planning with four people because the STL's came to our planning session this week.
This week was so hard, but I'm learning to rely on the Lord more and more. And I'm realizing that he really does hear and answer prayers, no matter how silly or trivial those prayers may be at times. I've been taking so much comfort in the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants section 101:
Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.
As I learn to be still and recognize that God is there, I know that we'll start to see improvements here in Portmore. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to serve here in Jamaica!
I love you all. Merry Christmas! One more week!!!!
|We put up Christmas trees for service projects.|
|See what side of the car the steering wheel is on!!|
|This little girl decided my head was a comfy place for a rest|
|Sister Walker and I at the Christmas Party|
|Christmas party! All the sisters in our zone and Spanish Town zone,|
|Sister Wilkinson and I at Zone Conference|
|They call these moths bats here because they're so big and I accidentally killed one the other day haha,|