Oh my goodness you guys sound like you had so much fun!! Looks like nice enough weather for a half marathon too, eh? That's so awesome you guys did it.
Highgate. Yes, there is plenty of work to be done but we haven't been sure where to start. We've called President Hendricks twice now to get a better understanding of our goal while we are here and we have a good grasp of it now. Basically we need to get everyone to live the gospel and help build their testimony so that if the branch does close, they will drive to Ocho Rios for church.
We actually have a truck, Elder Randle hooked it up and Elder Baird (my companion) and Elder Kraus (the other assistant) asked Pres. if we could have the spare and he said no problem. We walk during the days though, limited miles plus we are trying to get in some sort of shape besides round. The past few days have been dedicated to finding where members and Less Actives live. Like a typical whitewash, we have been very, very lost for most of it. We got lost in the truck last week trying to find a member's house and when we told them the tiny little road we were on (you'll see the pics) the member's daughter flipped out because I guess thats where people get chopped up... came back safe and sound, though and now know where NOT to go! haha This parish is virtually violence free, I've never felt safer, which is good. We are keeping our heads up, it's defintely not hopeless. We've seen some drive in a few less actives so far to come back to church and that's awesome to see. Put your shoulder to the wheel push along!
The branch is small. We had 17 people in sacrament meeting, Elder Baird was asked to teach sunday school two minutes before class started, and we don't know where the priesthood went the third hour because it was just us, our teacher, and one member. It was a very weird Sunday- much room for improvement but we can do it. Everyone in the branch has only been baptised for a couple years so there is much learning to do and we are up for it. We went through the branch directory and called every member and less active member in it to set up times to see them. We've got a few appointments now which will be nice. Elder Karchner (our Zone Leader) served here about a year ago and knows where everyone lives so the Zone Leaders are coming down Wednesday to show us around- a huge help!! With such a short time to do so much, we don't mind one bit asking for some help. That's something I'm getting better at... I'm not so hard headed as I was back home. Thank goodness, eh? :)
It's beautiful though!! The views are pretty incredible. I thought Junction was bush, no sir! Highgate takes it when it comes to bushiness. I'll send the pics. Nights are noisy with the sounds of crickets and bugs chirping away, its pretty legit. I feel like I'm in Jurrasic Park or something! We were driving out to see a less active and we had to stop and take pictures because it was just so jungley... I wanna see pictures of what Shane's area looks like and compare the absolute Amazon of Jamrock to the real thing!!
I got to see Elder Stuart (an uncle's cousin) on Wednesday!! It was pretty cool- I think we met when we were little kids, when Summer had a crush on Cowboy Jake haha When he said he was from Woodruff it all clicked. He's way cool, his trainer is Elder Montegomery, a cowboy from southern Idaho- they will get along just great. He's in Old Harbour so he will be doing trade off's in Maypen. Pretty sweet!!
Mummer is sick??? I hope she wasn't sick for her birthday! That would be no fun. My tummy is alright. MY diet hasn't been the best... need to start eating better. I killed a loaf of bread, and a jar of PB and J in 3 days, along with two cans of corned beef... but it will be getting better, promise! Good news though, I am styling nice new socks, spitting delicious seeds, all with pearly white teeth because I got my package!!! Thank you guys so much!! I love everything in it. I'm rocking my SICK nucks shirt right now walking around through Ochi. Seriously, you still take good care of me from all the way over there. Thank you :) We are in Ochi right now, came up to check it out with the zone leaders and oh my, Ochi is pretty sick. The North Coast Highway is what makes me giddy- perfect road all the way following the coast line from here out to MoBay. Motorcycle ride when I get off the mish anyone? I think so!!
Elder Baird and I get along great. He's the man- even at 1:30AM when we both got up to use the bathroom he cracked some joke saying "Fancy meeting you here". Hilarious.
Hey when you have your half ironman, that will be the end of the transfer! You've got one transfer momma, you can do it! ;)
Bishop Payne??? That's pretty cool! I guess ill be reporting to him then, thats so awesome. Thats quite the line up in the bishopric, probably kinda weird to not see Bishop J up there!
That's crazy Malea danced with Elder Hoffman (now just Joseph)! haha That is a really small world. Nuts if he married someone we knew!
Well I'm gonna send the picture in a bit. I love you guys and thanks again for the b-day package!! It totally made my week! Starting off Highgate with a fresh stash of seeds is just what Elder Baird and I needed :)