Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When I grow up, I want to be Alma

Hello good people! 
This week was another great week here in good ol' Jamaica :) We started the week off great by going to the Caribbean Egg Hatchery. A member of the branch works there and he offered to take us and give us a tour... it was super interesting and really fun because we got to hold a bunch of brand new chicks! 
We're teaching a new family and we had a lesson with them this week about the Atonement. The mom said that her understanding of the Atonement is that Christ died for our sins and that's it. She didn't have any idea that in reality he suffered through every single thing we go through that's not so fun in life. I've been thinking about that a lot over the last few days. And the more I think about it, the more sad I get. That's just such a depressing concept to me. I take so much comfort every day knowing that Christ always is there because He knows exactly what I'm going through no matter what the cause of that particular trial is... He doesn't just know the pain associated with guilt from sin. The more I study the Atonement, the greater my gratitude for it is.. I just love knowing that I always can turn to Jesus for help and ahhh I don't even know. I'm so grateful. And I pray every single day that that family will be able to come to know the truth about the Atonement for themselves.
Last Thursday, we had the Sisters Training Conference! It's my favorite meeting we have as missionaries because every single sister in the mission comes and we get to just laugh and talk and hear testimonies and learn together as sisters! I got to see three of my past companions (the other ones have already gone home), and everyone else that I've served around that's still on a mission! So much fun!! 
We were talking about working effectively with people and I just love what Elder and Sister Pearson said about love. "Showing love might not be the universal answer, but it is close. If you're not loving, learning, or serving, you're probably wasting your time." If there's one thing I've learned over the last year or so, it's that never have truer words been spoken than those! This work is all about love... and because of that, I've decided to focus on charity again for this transfer! 
Alright last thing. Friday was a rough day. Because sometimes you just have rough days as missionaries. It seemed like every person we talked to on the street and every person we had lessons with was just set on tearing down the church and shaking our testimonies. Well first off, I'd just like to clarify that they did not shake my testimony. That will never happen. But it did kind of bring us down a little bit. It's hard to hear stuff like that all day when the thing that they're trying to tear down is so much a part of you... But anyways. Then Saturday morning during studies, I was just doing my usual reading of the Book of Mormon and I just so happened to be at the part that talks about Alma and Amulek. I was thinking about how hard it must have been for them to see all those innocent people burned because they believed in God, or how hard it must have been for them to just stay perfectly silent when people were slapping them and yelling at them and telling them the things they believed in weren't true. And then I realized that even though I haven't experienced anything that severe on my mission, I can relate in just a tiny way to what they went through. I guess that's just always going to be a part of believing in the true church... there's always going to be opposition. But it's up to us to decide what we do with that opposition... if we let it tear down our testimonies, or use it to build us and make us stronger. I've decided to use all those experiences to build my testimony. Because this church is true and nothing anyone ever says or does will change that. 
I love this gospel. And I just love how missions show you exactly how true the church is! 
Oh, also... ya'll should read the Old Testament sometime. I'm in 2 Samuel now and it's super interesting! 
Sister Oman 

Egg Factory.  We had to get all dressed up to go inside.

This is the incubator...the eggs go in here for 18 days when they first get to the hatchery.

The chicks that barely hatched that day.

Some of the machinery used to vaccinate the chickens in the eggs right before they hatch.  Super duper cool to see!

Brother Thomas, the one who works at the factory.  He's super cool and a great member missionary!!

The big tower is where they kill all the "defective" baby chickens.  I got so sad about that part.  I almost cried.  

Our adopted puppies are so cute!  They actually belong to our neighbor but we feed them our leftovers that are too old sometimes so they love us.  

I got to see everyone at the sister's meeting on Thursday!

Add caption

We fit fourteen missionaries in this van, impressive right?

Our investigators are darlings and they give us giant papayas to eat sometimes.  Yummy Yummy!!

A cute kitten at a ward member's house.

We have to cross a giant bridge over the highway on our way to church every week.  This is the you can see a lot of the area!

Nassau district reunion at the sisters meeting!  I love these ladies so much.  we just had a blast telling stories form Nassau and laughing for what seemed like days :)

Old Harbor!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bob Marley and Slamming Doors

Hey ya'll. 
Last Monday, we woke up ridiculously early to clean and email and study, and then we hopped on a bus to Kingston to go to the Bob Marley Museum! We went with our entire district, the Portmore district, and one of the Kingston districts. It was so much fun!! The museum is in Bob Marley's house, so we got to tour the house and go a bunch of places he's been. So now I've sat under the tree he used to hang out under, been in the room he got shot in, and sat in the same place he wrote like half of his songs! It was pretty cool, and as usual, it was fun to see all the missionaries I've served around! 
We were going door-to-door last week, and we got a door slammed in our face. It was kind of surreal... that's never happened to me before! It went something like this:
*Knocking on door*
*Door opens*
Us: Hello, good evening ma'am...
Her: I don't want anything to do with your church.
Us: Well do you think we could... 
*Door slams in our face*
We just kind of stood there in shock for a minute and then moved on. And then we got a little sad because she didn't even want a pamphlet. And then we got excited. Not because she won't have the gospel, no we were very sad about that. We were a bit excited because we finally felt like real missionaries having a door slammed in our face. Haha.
One morning during studies, Sister Slater went out into the kitchen to get a drink of water. And then she started screaming. A 40 legger had somehow gotten into our house and was wiggling all over our floor. So after we took a video of it (from a very safe distance), we smashed it to a pulp. No more 40 leggers for us! 
We tried to talk our way into a new gated community in our area to do contacting last week and somehow we ended up touring the model homes. I'm still not sure how that happened... we were very confused the whole time about what was going on. But we shared a message with the lady who gave us a tour so that was good! 
We pray every morning that the day will go according to the will of the Lord. Friday was a day that really showed me that prayers are answered. We had planned what we thought was a perfect day the night before... we lined up members to take out teaching with us, we thought we had a good balance between teaching and finding... etc. And then when we confirmed appointments that morning, everything went according to plan! So we thought we were all set for the day. We went to our first appointment after our weekly planning session, and then met up with the member we were taking to our next appointment. They had literally confirmed five minutes before the appointment started, but then when we got to their house they had an emergency and had to leave. So then we were stuck with a member to take to someone, but no one to take him to. We decided to call an investigator that lived nearby and see if we could see him... we could, and so we went to have a lesson with him. Turns out the member we had with us and our investigator have like everything in common and they got along great. The member invited him to church, and he said he'd come... and then he came! We've been inviting him for weeks and he never came. We never would have thought about bringing that member to fellowship him, but the Lord knew that's what needed to happen, so He made a way for it to happen! Later that night, another appointment fell through and we were kind of frustrated. But literally five minutes later, one of our recent converts called and he really wanted us to come over that night. We wouldn't have had time to go over if our appointment wouldn't have fallen through... yet another example of how I know the Lord knows better than us. 
Yesterday I had to teach relief society... at the very end of the lesson, I was bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon when all of the sudden it just hit me. I knew that what I was bearing testimony of was true. It was like all of the sudden all the little witnesses and testimony builders I've had over my entire life just solidified into this one incredibly strong witness that the Book of Mormon is true. It all just clicked and it makes sense now! I've known it's all true but it's like now I know it's true... and I'm just getting more and more excited every second to share what I know with everyone around me :) I love the gospel! 
I love you guys! And family- it was great skyping with you yesterday!! 
Love you all, have a great week!! 
Sister Oman 
Entrance to the Bob Marley Museum

Sister Tafuna, Sister Slater and another sister that came to the museum with us.  

Sister Tafuna

Sister Slater and I

Bob Marley's house

The tree Bob used to smoke ganja under!!

Where Bob wrote his song.....

Sister Tafuna and I

It was a party with all the Sisters that came with us.

Goats, goats and more goats!!!

This is the closest I've been to the ocean since I left Portmore....I got so excited!!

The fourty legger that found its way into our apartment.  Sister Slater thought it was a snake but apparently it wasn't!!

The false alarm snake scare!!

A unique flower.  It has these giant pod things all over it.  

Fried dumplings...I made them myself!!

Our church building.  We pray every day we will get a new building.

Cute kitten we saw last night at a lesson!!