Elders McCleod and Romney

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Elder Romney's first letter from Jamaica!

Wha Gwan family!

I don't even know where to really start! First! Im allowed to email everyone! Friends, family, the show shabang! So please put that up on my facebook with my email address.

So Anyways! Im so sorry i didnt email yesterday! It was a holiday in Jamaica so all the internet shops were closed. Same with the stores, so we're outta food... but anyways, things in May Pen are definitely different... I'm already coming to appretiate the little things in life like hot water, a washing machine, and having money because our budget is pretty tight... $240 a month! So im still gettin used to that for sure. Elder Nelson is a cool dude. He's in the Marines but is pretty funny. He's been out almost a year and is from Bountiful UT (aka 'the factory'). Elder Layton is in my zone! Which is pretty sweet, he's in Linsted. We live in Racetrack, which is the name of the main road through May Pen, besides Main Road, that’s the other main road ;) We live in the top floor of a house, I took pictures of the insides. Yes, we have a coconut tree and a banana tree in the front of it! It's about 80 degrees at 6:30 AM, so we have fans in our bedroom and in the study room. I wore sunscreen once but haven’t been burned since... and have a nice farmers tan already! Our daily schedule consists of waking up at 6:30, moaning in groaning about how tired we are for 5 minutes, then get up and mosey around, eat breakfast, which has been Frosted Flakes, this morning it was PB&J because we were out of frosted flakes, then kinda just chill, clean the house a bit, take a nice cold shower (only because there isn’t hot water in our house.) Then personal study at 8, companion study at 9, and out the door by ten! An hour for lunch and an hour for dinner, yadayadayada and bam, home between 9 and 9:30, plan for half an hour, then usually its just sleepy time. Or we play domino, which i am really good at! Unless we are playing Jamaicans... then i get murdered... but its basically like mexican train but four up to only four people and less dominoes.

So the weather is ridiculously hot or insanely wet here. I literally haven’t been dry since July 26th, when we were in the states. You're either sweating like a fat guy or soaked from the torrential downpour. We've only had one downpour but it got me nasty (hence the picture). We don't have a washer or dryer, so washing clothes consists up putting them in a bigish bucket, pouring detergent and bleach in there, and letting them soak for a day. Then scrubbin out the dirt with this blue soap stuff, and letting them soak some more, then rinse (soaking in more water, but clean water) , then dry outside. My white shirts are currently in rinse mode. Safe to say that those shirts are not coming home with me in 18 transfers because they will be naaaaaaaaaaasty!

The people here are either really nice or jerks, but mostly nice. At night its apart of the culture to say goodnight to everyone you pass on the street, or even just acknowledge people as you walk by. "Alright" is like "hey", "Wha gwan" is "whats going on", "Batty boy" means you're a homo... we don't greet with that, but we get it sometimes, and thought you should know ;) No crazy encounters with guns or violence yet which is pretty tight. May Pen is a pretty safe place, says Elder Nelson who's been here almost 6 months. But the traffic in Jamaica makes mom's driving look like an old lady driving :) No speed limits, they drive on the other side of the road which took some getting used too because we ride our bikes on the left side now too, and everyone honks for everything! "you need a taxi? HOOOONK!" "Long time no see! HOOOONK!" "Im extremely gassy! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK!" its nuts. And its almost like there is three lanes. Two going each way, and then what missionaries call the "faith lane". Cars split traffic like motorcycles, and pull out whenever, but surprisingly the only vehicular accident I’ve seen was a head on collision between car and goat... goat lost. Goats just wonder the streets everywhere, seriously, everywhere. I want to ride one really bad. Or milk it... because you can milk anything with nipples...

The food is delicious! We've been out a few times and anywhere you go, you get soooo much rice and peas (beans)! But they are tasty. Haven't had jerk chicken yet but i have had three juici patties, which is like beef inside a pastry dumpling thing, then you put it in coco bread and sweet hallelujah its like Jamaica's taco bell.Bag juice is like an otterpop in a little bag, I had a fresh Mango (pronounced Mongo) yesterday as we... get this... jammed with a Rasta at his recording studio! Ya! it was so freakin awesome. He had a Fender Strat and we jammed, him on his tambourine and Elder Toutie (toe tie) on the keys. Pretty rad. Ive also had fresh coconut milk, very good, fish, and this stufff called veggie chunks which sounds gross but its like this tofu veggie stuff that tastes like meat and its delicious. Road kill wise, ive seen goat, frog, lizard, dog, and cat, in case mac was wondering.

The little kids are so cute! I can officially to the homie handshake in its entirety and im darn good at it because thats how everyone greets each other here. Even little kids. Ahhh they are so cute! I love them, we do magic tricks for them and they freak out, "How ya do dat!?" "White man dem magic!" its awesome.

Living conditions for Jamaicans are bleak. Fences are made outta rusty sheet metal, houses are made outta cinderblocks and sheet metal, just about everyone is dirt poor. A nice house is big, more than one room, has a porch, and is made outta cement, not cinder blocks (I know, my spelling is awesome). All the windows have bars over them, and we don't go door to door knocking, everyone has a gate, so we yell from the gate. We haven’t done any finding really yet because we have a lot of people to teach. We have three people on date to be baptized on the 20th, but we think J was high as a kite when we asked him and he committed so we are gonna bring that back up tonight. The Spirit is here, but its nothing like the MTC. We try and get people to read the Book of Mormon as much as we can because we cant really go on until they show they are interested enough to keep that one commitment of reading. But P is doing really good and will probably be baptized on the 20th. Her little boy T is adorable. We were teaching her and T doesn’t have any shoes, and everything is rocky in Jamaica, but i opened my scripture case and he came right up to me and stood on it the whole time, he's probably 1 and a half. He was playing with my sunglasses, and he broke them, but i didnt mind because his little cornrows were sooooo cute. He didn’t wanna get off my case, but we are going back today so we will get some more relief from standing on rocks all day.

Those pictures were hilarious! Definetly cracked me up! Things sound like they are ogin great at home. What else is new?

crap! I dont have time to upload pictures! but it will be the first thing i do next week, but I love you all! I think about you everyday! Homesickness has set in a number of times but im handling it well. Love you all! Talk to you MondaY!

Elda Rominey, Robey, and Rodney (they cant pronounce Romney to save their lives ;)

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