Thursday, February 26, 2015

We pretty much live in Kingston!

Hello good people. 
This week has been rather crazy. So please forgive my email if it is rather scattered today. Plus we have like literally no time to email today so I apologize for the fact that I won't really be replying to anyone's individual emails this week. 
We went to Kingston FIVE TIMES in the last eight days. That's a whole lot of times. In fact, I'm in Kingston right now... and I shall be here for who knows how long because they still don't have all the transfer logistics figured out. 
Oh! Yes that's right... we had transfer calls this week. Sister Llewellyn's mission is done, so she's going home.... which means I get another new companion! I'm going to be serving with Sister Tafuna but she's currently in Cayman and nobody knows when she's flying back to Jamaica... so I'm just going to hang out with the Sister training leaders for a few days haha. Vacation time! (Not really.) 
Okay so let's see... what else happened this week? 
Wednesday we had zone meeting! It was one of the best zone meetings I've ever been to... we did the usual training stuff for the first part and then the second half we played this big game to learn about companion unity... it was like that game you play at bridal showers and stuff... the "how well do you know your companion" game. Basically we spent an hour just dying of laughter and making total fools out of ourselves. It was a blast. 
I had the flu Wednesday and Thursday though... so we had to spend Wednesday afternoon and an hour of Thursday morning inside :( Good news though! I said a prayer that I'd feel better so we could go out to work and bam! I felt better like a half hour later. Faith is real folks. 
We went to do some washing for one of our investigators on Friday. We were just sitting there washing clothes and talking when all of the sudden he comes and is like "Uh... guys, this is really awkward. But I don't have any money to pay you for all this work." We just started laughing because service is free! He was so confused and kept insisting that he'd have to pay us later. But we shall not be taking any money from him... no sir! 
Friday night we had a little party at the church. One of the members, Emiele, is leaving for his mission today. He's going to California... So all of ya'll in California, keep an eye out for Elder Johnson! But anywho the party was a blast. We played a ton of games, ate a ton of great food (I learned how to make ackee and saltfish! Yummy yummy yummy!), and basically it just reminded me of being home on a Friday night. Well minus the fact that we left at 8 so we could be home in time for curfew... haha. 
Saturday we were back in Kingston again, and we found a WENDY'S! Holy canoli I haven't had wendy's in approximately fifty kabillion years. It was a very good treat haha. 
Okay so this email is so scattered this week... I'm sorry. We got picked up to come to Kingston yesterday at like nine o'clock and it's just been a whirlwind ever since.
But! Ya'll the Atonement is so real. Yesterday we were taking the sacrament, and I have literally never felt the spirit that strong in my life while taking the sacrament. As I was just thinking about the Savior and his sacrifice for each of us, this overwhelming sense of peace came to me... I haven't felt peace like that in a very, very long time. It was amazing. It was such a testimony builder to me. I love this gospel. And I love my mission. 
Also I love you all :) Have great weeks! 

Sister Oman 
The view of Kingston from the sister training leader's apartment... isn't it beautiful? 


FHE at the Pommell's last monday night

Cottage meeting last week, Jamaica!!!!

Jasmine and I! 

The fancy pants chalkboard we made for Emiele's farewell party on friday night 

JAMAICA!!!! Land that I love :) 

Our district minus my companion because she didn't want to be in the picture haha. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sprained Ankles, the Atonement, and Answered Prayers

Hey everyone! Happy Valentine's Day, and Happy President's Day to all you people in the States today!
This week was full of many adventures and memorable moments. But I'm short on time for emailing today so please bear with me. Okey dokey.
Last Sunday night we were walking home and I stepped really stinkin hard on a giant rock on accident. It sort of hurt but I was like "eh, whatever", and kept walking. Monday it hurt a little bit more, and by Tuesday my whole foot was swollen and throbbing every time I took a step, so I called Sister Pearson and she told me I had to go to the doctor. So we had to cancel all of our afternoon appointments and jump on a bus to Kingston. The doctor thought my foot was broken, so I had to go get about five thousand x-rays done. That took about all day... which is the bad news because we got no work done. The good news is I got a call on Wednesday and my foot isn't broken, only sprained! So I just have to wear a little brace for a few weeks until it gets all healed up. Woohoo for tender mercies!
We went to a lesson with James this week, and he had his little drum thingy out. We got there about five minutes before the member that we were taking with us got there, so we had an impromptu five-minute jam session involving the song "Nearer, My God to Thee", some sick harmonies, and a cool little African drum. I have a sweet video ya'll shall see one day. It was mighty fun.
We were teaching some people about the Plan of Salvation this week. All I can say is it made me so grateful for this gospel and our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I've never seen so much confusion about the scriptures before, and it really just opened my eyes to how important modern-day revelation and the Book of Mormon is! They just clarify the Plan so much... I love it :)
We were walking to an appointment this week when we felt prompted to stop and talk to this guy, so we did and he asked us to come back over. When we did, we found out he has a super strong Christian background, but he's in the process of becoming a Rastafarian. We asked him what made him want to make the switch, and the guy has absolutely no idea... he just felt like he wanted to. It made us think that maybe we felt prompted to talk to him because right now he's at such a critical point in his life and he doesn't really realize how big of a mistake he's making. We'll see where he goes but I'm excited to continue teaching him.
We were talking to David this week, and he told us he's afraid to pray about the Book of Mormon because he knows when he gets his answer he'll have to make a lot of changes in his life. After he said that, we all just sat there in silence until he kind of started to grin and said, "Oh. I guess that means I know what answer I'm going to get doesn't it? The Book of Mormon is true, isn't it?" And bam! There was the spirit. Man I love spiritual lessons. :)
Confession: We totally forgot it was valentine's day on Saturday until one of our investigators cancelled a lesson because she had to get her hair done for her date. Oops. Welcome to being a missionary!
Other than that, I found one of my new favorite scriptures this week! Doctrine and Covenants 12:8:
"And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care."
This scripture was one of those moments for me where it feels like the scriptures have been written just for you. I love the scriptures, and I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I've seen this gospel change so many lives in the short time that I've been in the field, and every day I'm just more and more amazed at how true this gospel really is.
Well that's all for now folks. I love you all. Have a splendid week.
Sister Oman
Brother Malcolm picking some coconuts for us because we were mighty thirsty and hungry while we were out teaching so we decided to have a small snack break.

A school where we cleaned for service this week

This is my ankle brace. My goal is to be as tan as my brace so you can't even tell i'm wearing it. hehe. 

This is what elementary classrooms in Jamaica look like.  

A very blurry picture of me, Emiele, and Shirlette, and Beth! 

Me and Shirlette (I love her), 

Add caption

Sister Davis and Ruth-Ann

Toni and Shirlette! 

Ruth-Ann and Beth. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I take Vacations in Kingston

Hey everyone :)
Okey dokey let's do this whole email thing (again!) Good grief it feels like I email every other day now... time is flying by so fast.
Well this week started off with an adventure! I had just climbed into bed Monday night when I realized I forgot to plug my fan in. So I hopped out of bed to plug it in and a saw a really long, worm lookin shadow moving across the floor. I jumped on a chair and turned on the light and what do you know there was a 40-legger in our closet. Seeing as I'm really stinking terrified of 40 leggers, I stood on the chair and refused to move for a while until I realized if neither of us were moving, the thing would just stay where it was. So I ran out into the front room and grabbed the broom, and then good ol' Sister Llewellyn beat it repeatedly till it was just about dead. I finished it off and then we had no more 40-leggers in our house. Hallelujah.
Hmmmmm other adventures from this week included a lost name tag. Oh dear. I was in Kingston (which I shall talk about in a few minutes), and we were coming out of a lesson when all of the sudden Saskiah, the member we were with, was like "Sister Oman! I knew something was different. Where's your nametag?" We looked alllllll over the place and saw it no where. But then later that night I found the magnet in a random house so who knows where my nametag went? Thankfully I have another one... but if anyone's in Kingston and they see a nametag with my name on it, I'd like it back haha.
Okay so I was in Kingston this week for a while on another trade-off! I got to be with Sister Thompson and we had a blast. We made some delicious Jamaican food, talked to a bunch of awesome people, and had some fantastic lessons! I love Kingston. I would just die of happiness if I ever got to serve there... a girl can dream, right?
You remember the guy David I've been talking about? We're teaching his friend James too. James is a hardcore rasta man with a sick Santa beard and some sweet white dreadlocks. He came to church yesterday and he loved it. He told us he's coming every week from now on annddddd he's reading the Book of Mormon every day anndddddd he's really praying about everything! He told us in the last lesson we had that he really feels like it's the word of God, and if he gets his for sure answer he wants to be baptized. (He said if, I say when he gets his answer he shall be baptized.)
But you guys. Here's a lesson for ya'll. James came to church for the first time yesterday. As I just mentioned. Which should mean that the only members he knows are the ones that we've taken to lessons with him, right? But noooo. Literally three quarters of the ward knows him! You guys. He's known some of these people for over 20 years, and they've been a member of the church for that long and he didn't know they went here! This man could have been partaking of the blessings of the gospel years and years and years ago but none of his friends took the time to share their testimonies with him... it's really shown me how important it is to share my testimony with everyone. You never know who could be waiting to hear it :)
Well let's see. We were in a lesson this week and the investigators had a lot of questions about the plan of salvation. Every question they had, Alma 40 just kept popping into my head. So we just all turned to it and read the whole chapter and every single question they had was answered! The Book of Mormon is true and guess what? It really does have answers for anything and everything!
I had my interview with President Brown on Saturday and we were talking about what it takes to get to the Celestial Kingdom. We were talking about how a lot of times we focus on the "do's" of the gospel... like the saving ordinances. And a lot of times, we get so caught up in the "do's" that we forget about the "be's". He said something that's really stuck with me... Christ gave us the beatitudes, not the doatitudes. That means in order to get to live with Heavenly Father, we not only have to do the things in the gospel, but we have to be the kind of person that is worthy to live as God lives. It really impressed me and made me realize how much I have to work on in order to get back to God. Thank heavens He's given us so many second chances and especially His son so that we have a way to make it better when we goof up! Cuz I don't know about ya'll... but I seem to goof up a lot more than not. And that just makes me so so so so so grateful for the Atonement!
Well I think that just about does it for this week. I love you all. Your emails and letters mean so much to me. Thank you for your support and prayers. It all makes a world of difference!
Talk to you next week (or tomorrow... that's probably what it'll feel like haha.)
Sister Oman

I have created a very little cozy spot for myself in our bedroom. It's my sanctuary. It's almost like being home. 

This is Nordia. I love Nordia.
 That's sister Llewellyn with Nordia. 

I love adorable little children more than words can express. They make my heart happy :) 

A typical street in my area!

Me and Sister Davis (she's my favorite. I love her)

These mangos will be ripe in a few weeks.  Yummy!  Yummy!

I had chicken foot soup for the first time yesterday and it was surprisingly delicious!

This is Sister Coates, a member we've been working with lately. She's just darling :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Church Is True!

Hey ya'll. Hope everyone's doing great! 
This week we had zone meeting. We talked a lot about how we can achieve the standards of excellence in our mission. Our standards of excellence are to baptize weekly, reactivate a male or family every month, have four progressing investigators at all times, and have 100% retention.
Now that can be kind of... well actually incredibly... challenging to reach those. But we learned a lot about how we can work towards actually reaching those goals consistently. The second half of zone meeting, I had to teach for a little bit on the Spirit of Elijah. Not gonna lie... I really didn't know much about it before I had to teach. But hey! Heavenly Father's really good at providing a way for us to learn things. That night, we had a lesson with a less active lady on genealogy and temple work. It was so spiritual and it strengthened my testimony of the Spirit of Elijah. 
And then this Sunday, my testimony was strengthened even more. She came to church for the first time in 8 years! Man isn't that awesome! The Spirit of Elijah is real!!! 
We had trade-offs this week. I got to be with Sister Bailey this time and it was the best day of my life. It felt just like being back in Nassau teaching with her... and that was the best time of my mission so far so it was a really great feeling :) I love Sister Bailey. 
We're teaching this guy named David right now. I think I've talked about him a few times... the rasta guy? Well David is amazing. Every lesson we have with him is so spiritual. Yesterday we extended a baptism date and he said that he needs to pray about it because he wants to make sure that if he commits to something, he stays with that thing. Which is a very good sign because usually people just accept a date without even thinking about it and then they don't make it to their baptism... but he has an incredibly strong desire to find the truth and every time we meet with him he tells us that he feels closer and closer to finding the truth. Woohoo it's the gospel! 
Sunday, we were supposed to have an area conference broadcasted live from Salt Lake City. But unfortunately, the internet failed and we did not get to watch it. So we sang some hymns and said a prayer and that was church! It was a little strange. I can't wait for fast and testimony meeting next week! (It got postponed due to the conference.) 
Sunday after church we went on splits. I went with Alexa, a darling member who is leaving on her mission next week! We had some delightful lessons and it was very fun. We went over to see a member, and there were some Jehovah's witnesses on the street. They started to try to teach us until they realized we were actually there to teach someone about a different church. So then they told us that they admire how strong we are in our own faith and asked if they could have more information about our church. So that was good! 
I'm learning a lot about agency this week. I was reading 2 Nephi 2 during personal studies and I realized something! It may seem obvious but it really seemed like an answer to my prayers at the time. We are all forces intended to act... not to be acted upon. Which means we get to choose how we react to people and events around us. We choose to be offended, or we choose to ignore the offense. We choose to be happy! So this week, I've decided that I'm going to be happy. I know who I am, I know why I'm here, and I know where I want to go after I die. So really, I have a lot to be grateful for! And because of that, I'm choosing to be happy. Life goes on whether we like it or not... we'd better just make sure that we are choosing an attitude that makes our life happy and not miserable. 
Also, last night Sister Llewellyn wasn't feeling well so we had to head home a few hours early. I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of reading the same Liahonas and Ensigns again, as bad as that sounds. So I just said a prayer that somehow I would be able to find some new reading material. Cuz I love to read. Right after I said amen, I felt like I should check inside this bag under a chair in our front room. So I did, and I found a pile of nasty, rotten old books that were all water damaged. I was just about ready to throw them out when I realized that I had been prompted to look in that bag for a reason. So I looked again and I found a pile of really old magazines that only had mild water damage. After a little bit of cleaning, I had hours upon hours of reading material. And I found so many articles that answered so many questions I've had over the last few weeks... about the work, our investigators, my life... everything! It was just a silly, trivial little matter but it was a big deal to me and Heavenly Father answered my prayer. 
The church is so true. And Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are so real. I'm so grateful for my knowledge of this gospel, and I'm more and more grateful every day for the time I have to share that testimony with the people in Jamaica :) 
Big up ya'll. 
Sister Oman 
Me and Sister Llewellyn and all of us before the start of trade-off!