Monday, January 26, 2015

Flat tires, rastas, and the plan of salvation

Hello good people. I hope you are all doing fantastically splendid and you had some delightful weeks. 
This week we had many adventures. Let me tell you about a few of them. 
As you all know, Portmore is now a walking area. Which means we have to take taxis to get to and from town now. So one night this week, we were in a taxi headed home when we hit a really big pothole and kablam! There went the tire. It was very much flat. So we got to stand on the side of the road with a bunch of lovely people fending off the mosquitoes until we found a new taxi to take home. But seeing as there is always a positive side to things, let me share the positive side to this story. We had a discounted taxi fare for the inconvenience and we got to use the extra money to buy ice cream the next day. Woohoo! 
One night we were cooking and we accidentally set off the smoke alarms for a very long time. But the good news is our house is still standing and none of our house got damaged. Only a little bit of a pot. But we have another pot so it's okay. Hehe. One day I'll learn how to cook. 
A few weeks ago when I was with Sister Walker, we were walking down the road when these two rasta guys called out to us. We ignored them at first but they kept calling so we walked over to see what they wanted. To be honest, they didn't seem interested in the gospel so we just left them with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and went on our way. Then on Tuesday, Sister Llewellyn and I were walking with Brother Cornwall to a different appointment when these same guys called out to us. Brother Cornwall went over and talked to them, and then he asked us what we would think about having a little lesson with them. We agreed, so we had a little purpose lesson. We got a return appointment for Thursday. When we went back on Thursday, it was only one of them there-- a guy named David. We asked him why he wanted us to be there... like what he was expecting to get out of meeting with us. He said that the first time he saw us, he just thought it would be kind of funny to 'mess with the Mormon girls', but then after he heard what we had to say and he heard us pray in the last lesson, he realized he might be actually interested in what we have to say. When we went back again, he had read everything we left with him, and had been praying about all the things we asked him to. I don't know, but we both just have a really good feeling about him... it just goes to show that you can't ever tell who the Lord has been preparing to meet with you. 
Next up... I helped an old lady carry her bags this week! Woohoo stereotypical service fulfilled. You always talk about helping the elderly carry their bags as service, but I never thought I would actually have the opportunity to do so. Well... I was wrong. She was a lovely little old woman, not interested in the gospel at all, but very kind and wonderful nevertheless. 
Hmmm well Friday was my 9 month mark! It's crazy to think that this little old thing called a mission is half over. Time goes by so fast. We bought chocolate to celebrate. Because good chocolate is muy, muy expensive here and it's a very rare treat. Yummy yummy. 
In other news, I found a delightful quote this week. Please enjoy:
"What matters most is what lasts longest, and families are for eternity." -M. Russell Ballard
I love that quote. I think it took coming on a mission for me to realize how big of a deal it is to be sealed to my family forever... and that knowledge combined with the fact that I'm realizing how great my family is more and more every day is just making me realize how blessed we are! I've been trying to see all of our investigators and people we meet on the street as not just someone who can be a good member of the church but someone who has the potential to become part of an exalted eternal family... Families are what matter most. So let's love them and cherish them and tell them how much we appreciate them :) 
That's all for now folks! Have a splendid week. 
Sister Oman 

Beautiful Jamaica

My favorite road to walk on.

I was nine months out this Friday, so i made a paper nine and took pictures with it haha. 

Sometimes I take creeper pictures of baby clothes on the line because I think it's adorable 

Sister Llewellyn

Here's a random street in our area that we walk down approximately every day. 

One of the best new members I've ever met- Patrick! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

The fastest 9 months of my life!

Hey ya'll! I don't even know what to say about this week so let's go through a rundown of what's happened.
After we emailed ridiculously late last Monday, our week just kept getting crazier. Tuesday was a day full of goodbyes for Sister Walker because transfer meeting was on Wednesday! At transfers, I got to see Sister Rampersad for the first time since I dropped her off at the airport in the Bahamas in July... it was a joyous mother/daughter reunion :) (Mothers are what you call trainers and since she trained me I'm her daughter haha)
I got to spend the evening in Portmore with Sister Mouritsen! She was flying to Nassau the next day and I had no companion, so we got to proselyte together! It was so much fun. Especially because we haven't taught together since the MTC and it was just really cool to see that our teaching skills have improved since then... thankfully haha. If I still taught like I was teaching in the MTC... man it would be a problem.
I spent the day with Sister Thompson on Thursday... just a little glimpse of the life of an STL. We went to the airport not one, not two, but three times to drop off and pick up various missionaries getting transferred around. We taught some lessons, and then I got to drive a super fancy car all the way to Maypen (like an hour from Kingston) on a super fancy highway. Man it was the best night of my life. I felt like I was driving on the stars. Also! I got to see Sister Dill and Sister Bailey on Thursday. It was like a mission companion reunion week! Ahhhh I just love those ladies so much. I wish we lived in the same country haha.
Bright and early Friday morning we went to the airport to pick up Sister Llewellyn. We headed back to Portmore and started our day! We've been walking and walking and walking seeing as we have no car. I could walk for the rest of my life. I love walking. I asked President Brown if I could be in walking areas for the rest of my mission and he just kind of laughed and said no. But I'll work on it still :) Hehe.
So I'm half way done with my mission this week. The last few weeks I've been thinking a lot about what it means to give your will to God. It's a commandment that we do that and all through my mission I've been thinking about what that means. I've come to the conclusion that it's a lot easier said than done. But now that I have half my mission behind me and half in front of me, I've been doing a lot of reflecting about what I want to change in the next half of my mission. I'm really working on throwing my whole self into the work. I've learned to love the culture and the people that I'm blessed to work with. I say it all the time, but I really and truly mean it... This mission is the best thing that's ever happened to me and I never, ever want it to end. I love Jamaica :)
Okay I don't know what else to talk about this week. We're working with a few really awesome people right now, but I was like not in my area for a ton of the week so I don't really have any stories about them right now :) But next week!
I love you all. You're the best. I appreciate you more than I can ever tell you. Thank you for all the letters and emails and support and prayers. Especially prayers. We feel them and we appreciate them :)
Have the best weeks you've ever had.
Sister Oman

The view of the ocean from our house

Pictures inside of a restaurant

More pics of the beach by our house

Wilko and I at the beach

These are some pictures from the beach by our house that we went to for p-day a few weeks ago. There's a slight difference between the beaches here and the beaches in the Bahamas, but I love them all the same. :) 

This is Percy. He's a less active's father. One day we went to Percy's house to find his daughter and he offered us coconuts. It was my first time drinking it from the nut itself. i think the rest of the story is told best in these pictures.

Consensus:  It tastes good!

The curry I made with my own hands!

I never get tired of the sunsets here.

I love this family!

The beach we went to last Monday.

Sister Walker and I with some investigators.

We played capture the flag as a zone in an abandoned fort for p-day last week. It was a blast!! 

But.... I paid for it. Note to self: never, ever forget the sunscreen!

Sister Walker and I and some investigators!

The road to Spanish Town
Ramp and I at transfer meeting!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Love Praying!

Hey guys!
This email may be short because we spent all day playing capture the flag in an abandoned fort with our zone so our email time is limited haha.
This week we got to go to the beach twice! (Last Monday and then today.) Man I love the beach. I got ridiculously sunburned today but it's okay because I LOVE THE BEACH.
Last Monday we went to one by our house. The Sister Training Leaders came from Kingston and we had a jolly good time. Although the beaches here are a tad different from the beaches in the Bahamas haha. I'll send pics to prove it. And today we drove to Kingston to go to Port Royal Harbor with our whole zone! We climbed around, played capture the flag, and went seashell hunting. Jolly good time I tell ya.
We taught an insane amount of lessons this week, extended a ridiculous amount of baptismal dates, and it all payed off... we had people in church!!!! For the first time in a transfer we had investigators in sacrament meeting. I don't think you understand how exciting that is. This area is so hard and we almost cried when people we'd been teaching actually came to church. Prayer and fasting really works!
Speaking of prayer... I had so many cool experiences with it this week.
Experience numero uno:
I go in to say my night prayers, and I don't know what was different that night... but I've never felt so close to God. It's like I could feel Him there, and I just knew He was listening to me because He cares! It was the coolest experience ever and now I just get so excited every time I get to pray. I love prayer.
Experience numero dos:
We're teaching someone who's never believed in God. The first few lessons he refused to pray. But this week we had a really spiritual lesson with him and he agreed to say the closing prayer. The spirit was so strong. After he said Amen, he looked up and asked "What was that?" And then proceeded to tell us that he's never felt like that before. And he's been praying ever since. You guys. God is real. And He wants to listen to every single prayer we have to say.
Experience numero tres:
Well this is really just something that Elder Pace said in district meeting this week but I loved it and I think you should all hear it. We were talking about ways to pray to make our prayers more meaningful. And he said, "If you feel like just talking to Him for a little while, just talk! He wants to listen to you." I don't know why that stuck out to me so much but you'd better believe I've been talking His ear off ever since haha.
I learned how to make curried chicken this week! Which is good because it's my favorite food so now I can make it all the time. Hallelujah :)
Also I gave a talk in sacrament yesterday and afterwards everyone came up and asked me where I'm from because I have an accent. Which wouldn't have been weird if it was just the Jamaicans because yeah I have an accent to them. But it was the other American missionaries too. So apparently I don't sound American anymore? Well who knows what's up haha.
Friday we were walking to an appointment when a bunch of puppies came running around the corner. We kept walking toward them but then momma dog comes running around the corning barking and growling at us. We were sure we were gonna die but a very kind gentleman ran out of his house and scared the dog away for us! So we bought cupcakes for our entire district to celebrate haha.
Transfer calls were Saturday. I'll be staying in Portmore, but Sister Walker is leaving. Sister Llewelyn will be coming here to be my companion. And this area is being turned into a walking area! Woohoo I'm gonna get so tan :) Hehe. I'm excited to see what this next transfer will bring! This last transfer almost killed me, but looking back through my journal entries last night I realized that I've learned so much over the last six weeks. Trials really do teach you a lot! So I'm learning to be grateful for my trials :)
I love you all! I'll try to send pictures but no promises. Have a great week!!!

Sister Oman 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone! I hope ya'll had a blast ringing in the new year :) 
We celebrated new year's missionary style. We went to the ward party for our dinner hour, but of course we still had to be home at 9:00. I think our new year's eve can best be described by a little bit of my journal entry from that night: "It's New Year's Eve and I'm sitting at a desk in an 85 degree, mosquito filled house in a giant t-shirt with a moose on it. Hehe. Welcome to missionary life!" We set our alarm for 11:55 so we could wake up and watch the fireworks from our rooftop... but unfortunately, we set it for 11:55 a.m. which meant we woke up at 12:03 and caught just the last few fireworks. But it's okay because we still rang in the new year! 
What else... we've consumed approximately 70,000,000 gallons of sorrell juice in the last two weeks. Which I'm not complaining... I love sorrell. It's probably my favorite thing about Jamaican Christmas/New Year's. Yummy yummy yummy. 
We've pretty much been whitewashing this area all transfer, which means that we spend a while every day walking around talking to people trying to build up teaching pools. This week we were walking looking for less actives and talking to their neighbors. We felt prompted to talk to two specific people. So we did, and we set up appointments to come back the next day. When we got to both of the appointments... both people came out with a Book of Mormon! We had only left them with a pamphlet the day before, so that was surprising to us. Come to find out both had been taught in the past... but we can't find their teaching records in our area book so who knows how long ago that was. But anywho it just goes to show that if we rely on the Lord, He really will guide us to those people that need to hear this message right now! 
We were at the church a few nights ago... we were kind of cutting it close to get  home on time for curfew, so we were in a little bit of a hurry already. We were just about to pull out of the parking lot when we remembered that we had something that needed to get to Bishop that night. So we had to park and race back inside to give it to him. The whole thing only took up about two minutes, but it stressed us out because we were going to be late getting home. On the way to our community, a ton of police cars and ambulances raced by us. A little further up the road, we saw a HUGE car accident that had literally happened two minutes before we got there. We realized immediately that the Lord had protected us. If we wouldn't have taken the time to run those things back into the church, we could have been in the accident and who knows what would've happened? The Lord protects His missionaries!
We had trade-offs this last week. I went to Kingston with Sister Wilkinson and it was so fun! We taught so many awesome people, got insanely lost and ended up somewhere in the heart of Kingston at night, and had curried chicken (which is my new favorite food so that was good). It was a very fun trade-off and I learned so much! Woohoo for learning! 
I've been praying a ton about a few different things, and then yesterday for fast Sunday I fasted about that stuff too. Well you guys, prayers are answered. Right in the middle of fast and testimony meeting, a visitor from another branch got up to bear his testimony. He started off by saying that he had no intention of talking in a different ward, but he really felt like someone in the congregation needed to hear what he had to say. Then he just started answering every single one of my questions... exactly what I needed to hear. Heavenly Father is such a great guy... He always answers our prayers, even in ways that we never could have imagined. I mean, I'd never said a word in my life to that dude. There's no way he could have known what I was praying about... but God sent him there, he acted on the prompting, and he answered my prayer! 
Okay so I think that's about it this week! I love you all, I love this work, and I just love how close I've grown to my Heavenly Father over this last transfer! Prayers are answered, Christ is always there for you, and God and Jesus Christ want nothing more than for each of you to return to live with them one day... let's do all we can to make it there! 
Love you guys! Have a great week! 
Sister Oman 

Ward New Year's Party

Our blurry New Year's picture! This is how you look when you celebrate new year's on a mission :) 

A member's really stush house that we visited last week.  Stush....a Jamaican term for Posh!

Sister Walker & I

Sister Wilkinson and I....Trade-Offs!

Awkward District Pics + Donald!

The elders in our district figured out that I have a slight problem reading clocks, so they were kind enough to get me a giant clock poster.... along with instructions to practice telling time for 30 minutes a day after companion study. Ha ha. Good grief. 
Love you all!