Monday, April 20, 2015

52 Weeks of Gratitude

Hey guys! 
Alright this email has the potential to be really long... so I apologize in advance haha. I hope you're all doing well! As usual, I miss you and love you all!!! 
First things first, our week was great! Paul (an investigator from Portmore) got baptized yesterday! I was super sad I didn't get to be there for the baptism, but it was so exciting to talk to him on the phone for a minute and hear all about the baptism :) Ahhh missionary work is just the best. 
Next up-- we were doing some tracting at night one night when the mosquito fogging truck drove by. Now for those of you that don't know what that is... it's a giant truck that sprays out this super thick, nasty smelling and even worse tasting fog to kill the mosquitoes. Everyone locks up in their houses when it goes by until the fog clears up. But poor us didn't have a house to lock up in! So we hid in a bush... which wasn't embarrassing until we came out of the bush coughing and sputtering and looked up to see someone standing on their veranda wondering why two girls just crawled out of a bush haha. We tried to make it better by sharing the gospel with them... but somehow I don't think that was the best first impression haha. 
We were walking to an appointment this week when we felt like we should take the long way... so we did, and just when we were coming around a corner, we saw this guy standing in the middle of his yard staring at us. We were like "Uhh... what is he doing?" So before we could even say hi, he called out and asked us what church we're from. We went over and talked to him, and had a pretty good little conversation. He agreed to have us come back a different time to have another lesson, and then we walked off. As we were walking, we were talking about how it was a little weird that he was just standing there like he was waiting for us. I (mostly joking) said that it was probably the spirit that told him to go outside and wait for something right when we came around. Little did I know... 
A few days later when we returned for the next lesson, he was talking about how he feels God wants him to go a different direction in his life right now. He said "Like the day I met you guys. I was just sitting inside watching tv when I thought I heard someone telling me to go outside and wait for the two girls that are walking down the street. So I went outside and just a few seconds later, you two came around the corner." How cool is that??? It really was the spirit! I'm so excited to continue working with him!!! 
In other news, this Thursday marks one year since I entered the MTC! I still can't figure out where the time went. I've spent some time reflecting over the last year these last few days, and I've been reading through some journal entries from the course of my mission. I've made it a goal to write three things I'm grateful for that day every time I finish a journal entry. So... in honor of 52 weeks as a missionary, I thought I'd share 52 things I've been grateful for over the past year! Ready, set, go! 
  1. My family (I write this like every day)
  2. The laughter of little kids
  3. Clean drinking water (after our water filter broke and we'd all been sick for like two weeks) 
  4. The priesthood
  5. Ocean waves and ocean breeze
  6. My momma and daddy
  7. The Book of Mormon! 
  8. Emma Smith 
  9. Air conditioning and fans
  10. The beautiful earth we live on
  11. Pancakes and tacos
  12. The home I was raised in
  13. An obedient companion
  14. Eternal families- My family! The family I'll one day have of my own
  15. Primary songs
  16. A living prophet
  17. Agency
  18. Sunscreen- lots of sunscreen! 
  19. Cold skim milk
  20. God's love 
  21. Modern technology and emails
  22. Smiles! 
  23. Ibuprofen, sleep, orange juice, and priesthood blessings (when I had chickungunya) 
  24. Opportunities for growth
  25. President Brown
  26. Sunsets
  27. The companionship of the Holy Ghost 
  28. Heavenly Father's listening ear- even when my faith falters, He is always there! 
  29. The plan of salvation and temples! 
  30. The strengthening power of the Atonement 
  31. Laughter and love 
  32. A mom who never fed me fish 
  33. Comfy couches to sit on in the evenings 
  34. The Bible
  35. Patriarchal blessings
  36. Lessons with people who are prepared and willing to listen 
  37. Trust and forgiveness
  38. Bug spray and calamine lotion
  39. The ability I have to read and write 
  40. Answered prayers and being able to pray
  41. Rain storms 
  42. People who keep their appointments 
  43. My siblings 
  44. Spontaneous adventures 
  45. Parents who taught me there is always some good to be found in someone if you look for it 
  46. The chance I have to spend 18 months focused on nothing but the gospel 
  47. The safety and protection we receive every day 
  48. The opportunity I had to grow up in the church 
  49. Peace 
  50. Electricity 
  51. President Monson
  52. My mission :) 
Alright, that's it for this week folks! I love you all and appreciate you more than I can ever tell you! Hope everyone is doing well! Have super duper weeks! 
Sister Oman 

We look like major dorks in our bike helmets and awkward proselyting skirts haha. But we love it! 

The railroad tracks we walk on to get to church every time we go to church! 

I made curried chicken and rice and peas for Sunday dinner last night... man it was good! Thank heavens for a companion who teaches me how to cook delicious Jamaican food :) 

I spy goats.

Our apartment in Old Harbour!

Sister Slater and I

We found a purple Barney house!!

A random boat we found!

Our bedroom

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Follow the prophet, don't go astray :)

Hey ya'll! Hope everyone had a great week and you're all doing just fantastic :)
This week was another quite eventful week here in the good old Jamaica Kingston Mission! Monday wasn't actually p-day due to the Easter holiday, so we had our p-day on Tuesday and it just sort of seemed to make the whole week feel a little strange haha. You get so used to routines on your mission that when something little like that happens it throws the whole week off. (Not in a bad way of course, this week was still fantastic!) 
On Tuesday, we had a bunch of stuff to do to get ready for transfers but we were still determined to do something fun. Luckily, Sister Tuttle from Ocho Rios was with us for a few days before transfers and she had a car so we were able to get a ton done in just a few hours! That meant we still had time to go find a gorgeous little beach that we never even knew existed... and apparently no one else knew either because it was completely deserted. Score! Then we had to drive to Kingston so Sister Tafuna could go to the trainer's meeting... because she's training a new missionary this transfer :) 
Wednesday we woke up and got ready to go to Spanish Town for transfer meeting! I drove a big ol' truck... and it was the first time I'd driven in like three months so that was exciting haha. But we made it in one piece! Hallelujah. At transfers, I said goodbye to Sister Rampersad (my trainer)- she went home on Thursday! That's just so crazy to me because when she started training me she'd only been out six months. I also said goodbye to Sister Tafuna, and hello to my new companion, Sister Slater! She and I came out at the same time and it's been a blast serving with her so far. 
I love Old Harbour so much so far. Let me tell you why. 
1. I saw cows! I know that's a silly little thing but I haven't seen a cow in a year and it just felt like home when I saw it... I don't know. I get excited over silly little things haha. 
2. There's big old fields and green grass and pretty little streams all over the place here. I feel like I've died and gone to heaven. I've never felt so comfortable in an area so fast on my mission. I love the country areas. 
3. The branch is tiny. Like we don't even have a building, just a few little rooms upstairs in a shopping center and the sacrament room was as big as the room the gospel principles class was held in in Portmore. But the people are so loving and I just love them already... I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to get to work here. I hope I stay here a really long time :) 
4. We have an insanely nice apartment... with HOT WATER! Ya'll. I took a hot shower for the first time in almost six months and holy moly it was amazing. 
I love Old Harbour. This really was an inspired transfer :) Hehe. 
Alright now for the spiritual stuff. Ever since conference I've been thinking about how blessed we are to have a prophet on the earth today. And then I came across a quote in the Liahona from April of this year that I absolutely just fell in love with, so I'm going to share it with you.
"The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet... God's revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore, the most important prophet, so far as you and I are concerned, is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses, which are printed in the church magazines. Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence." -Ezra Taft Benson
I just love this quote because it is so true. It's so important to sustain the prophet and all of our other church leaders... I don't know why I've been thinking about that all week but I have haha. Sustaining the prophet means we pray for him, we act on his teachings and guidance, and we stand up for him even when it seems no one else in the world is doing the same. I'm confident that it's only through following the prophet that we can find true peace and security in our lives, our families, and our homes. I love President Monson, and I'm so glad that we have him to lead us and guide us today! We are truly blessed :) 
I love you all! Have a fantastic week!!! 
Sister Oman 

Sister Tafuna and I

Sister Tafuna and I's last p-day... we went and found this gorgeous little beach that we never knew existed in Portmore.

More P Day Pics!

Jackfruit (it's amazing i love it), 

Saying goodbye to Nordia and Percy in Portmore

Brother Pommells with the crab we found in his driveway when we went to say goodbye tuesday night (yes, it's alive.)

Saying goodbye to Sister Rampersad (she went home last week)

A few more pictures at transfer meeting 


Sister Slater, my new companion!

Cows!  Feels like home!

The bridge over the highway that we walk over every day 

Some cute twins (we're teaching their mom).

This mango was almost the size of my face. and it was delicious haha. 

Proof there's cows here. I love this place. Haha. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Goodbye Portmore!

Okay people. Ya'll are amazing. I just love you. 
First things first, I got transferred again! I'll be leaving Portmore tomorrow to go to Old Harbour! I'm going to miss Portmore and Sister Tafuna like crazy but I'm super excited for a new adventure. 
This week was probably one of the best weeks of my mission. Let's see if I can summarize some of what happened.
Monday we decided to go on an adventure. So we went hiking on a little old abandoned road up in the hills by our house. And then we got the bright idea to go crocodile hunting at the sewage ponds... I know that sounds disgusting but they don't smell bad. And guess what. We saw a crocodile. It was the best day of my life. Hands down. I still can't get over how exciting that was. Best. P-Day. Ever. 
Tuesday we got home at night and noticed our neighborhood message board had been erased so we took the opportunity to use an expo marker we found while doing service one day and wrote a lovely little quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley on it to brighten everyone's day. Haha. Adventures. 
I got a package from Nana last week for St. Patricks day, and it had a set of mustaches in it. So naturally we took the opportunity to take a bunch of district pictures with mustaches on. I love this district... It's the best district I've had on my mission so far. I'm going to miss everyone! 
We had a little adventure to Kingston on Thursday to go to the dentist... we got stuck in the pouring rain in the middle of Kingston with no where to go so we had to stand in this shop for like almost an hour until the rain let up because it wasn't safe to go outside haha. 
We had such a busy day on Saturday... transfer calls were in the morning, and then we went to the church for general conference. Except the internet and the television and the projector broke so we didn't get to watch Saturday morning session... we all prayed and it was fixed by the afternoon, so we really enjoyed the afternoon session and both of the Sunday sessions. So many prayers were answered! 
We had a little birthday party/family home evening with my favorite little family on Saturday night. Tia turned three a while ago, so we made a cake and had so much fun with them! 
Sunday was a day full of general conference, saying goodbyes, and eating a ton of food! We had a ward potluck sort of thing in between sessions of general conference and man oh man can I just say american cooking has nothing on Jamaican cooking. Holy moly that was good. Haha. 
Yesterday was a holiday here, so we had a full proselyting day and switched our p-day to Tuesday. Sister Tuttle from Ocho Rios is here with us for a few days which means we get to use her truck! So we got to see so many people last yesterday... It was perfect because I got to finish saying goodbye to pretty much almost everyone. Beautiful. 
Alright well I suppose that's about it for this week. Pretty much I'm so stoked to be going to a new area because it's new people, new adventures, and new lessons to learn. I'm super sad to be leaving Portmore, but I was just thinking about the last four months that I've spent here and I'm so grateful for everything I learned! I've learned so much about the gospel and a bunch of other stuff since I came here. God really knew what He was doing when He sent me here! Ahhh I just love my misson. 
Also, I love you all! Have the best week ever. 
Sister Oman 

Sister Tafuna and I before conference on sunday 

Saying Goodbye to Portmore!

Some of the things we found while hiking on our P-Day last week!

Proof that we saw a Crocodile!!!

We were so excited to see a real live crocodile!!

One day we decided to play Dominos with some random kids on the street while we were walking around tracting. it was fun!

Devon! Love that guy! 

The best district pictures ever taken were taken last week. Thank  you, Nana! Man I'm going to miss that district.

It was Tia's birthday so we made her a cake and I'm going to miss this family so much... ahh my heart just broke when I had to say goodbye to them. I love them so much! 

Saying Goodbye to more members!!

Bishop and his wife

This is what the sky looked like above the chapel after General Conference.  Isn't it gorgeous!

Lisa and Minerva... some of our top investigators! i'll miss them! 

This is "the scorpion".  He is a musician.  I sent my parents the link to one of his music videos.  He was so excited to hear that people in Colorado are listening to his music haha. 

Bobby... he's disabled and he's the sweetest man i've ever met. i love bobby. we're best friends. 

This is Paul.   He's getting baptized in 2 weeks.  I am so sad to miss it!!

The Lee Family

They were burning the cane fields last night so we took a picture.


Saying goodbye to brother Simms.

Zone conference pictures from last week. Best zone ever!