You guys sound like you had quite the week! New puppy proof scheming, Haley is taking Catie Couric's spot as journalist of the year, Summer is training to race Usain Bolt, and Mac is preparing to slay the ladies at the dances- all good things! My email today is going to have to be pretty short as I am uploading a bunch of pictures on this dinosaur computer!
So Santa Cruz! This week has been quite the journey to get here. First at foremost, transfer day was a hoot as always. Elder Taylor went home!! It was so strange saying goodbye to him, we shared some tears but he emailed me this morning and he's doing really well. So from Spanish Town we had so many missionaries that were coming back to our zone Elder Nugent (my new companion who is awesome, he's from Provo, his Grandpa was the first member of the church in Jamaica) he had to drive the mission bus and then I took the Ranger. Just about everything that could go wrong went wrong haha It turned out to be pretty comical. I missed our turn in the round about twice, got onto the highway 2000 and the first checkpoint I got in the wrong lane so we had to have all the cars behind us reverse so we could switch lanes, then the second checkpoint we couldn't find the highway card for like 5 minutes, then it started pouring rain so all our stuff got wet, we put a tarp over it in the rain, we reached Sav at about 10pm and stayed the night there. The next morning we drove out to Montego Bay, back to Sav to pick up the bus, then back to Santa Cruz. PLENTY driving! Driving in Jamaica was super weird. Right hand drive, left hand side, but I got the hang of it again pretty quick. We have some awesome missionaries in our zone, 3 brand new ones being trained and one who's in the second transfer of being trained. Pretty young but very vibrant. Awesome!
So Santa Cruz- it's a branch much like Junction. I guess the differences would be that Junction had a lot of priesthood and here in Santa there is maybe about 4 active Melchizedek priesthood holders. But church was fantastic. We had about 18 people there by the end of sacrament meeting, very friendly and loving of the missionaries. I love this side of the island, it's a very different feel than the east side. Not busy, not rushed, just a good farm town of Jamaica. I'm loving it here. We are teaching like 2 sincere persons, but there's a lot of potential for the branch here. I was called as the clerk again. Clerky duties (Nacho Libre voice). I like it. The branch president is awesome, gung ho about the gospel and been a member for years. My companion Elder Nugent is the man, like I said his Grandpa was the first member in Jamaica, his dad is Jamaican, so he's half Jamaica. I've been blessed with the greatest companions on my mission. Crazy to think that I'll probably only have one more after Elder Nugent! He could even be my last companion, crazy town.
We had a pretty cool experience this week. We received a phone call from a great lady named C. She explained to us that her mother, Sis. S, had passed away and that she was a member of our church. She loved the missionaries so much that before she died she asked that the missionaries in Santa Cruz be pall bearers. We were touched by the invitation and gladly accepted. Last night we went to the home of C who was there with here sister and some cousins (C and here sister are daughters of the lady who passed) and all over the couch were old pictures of Bro. and Sis. S. Bro. S passed away about 10 years ago and was a very active member as well and had missionaries be two of his pall bearers also. Looking through the pictures of missionaries gone before us and the great example they were to these members makes me realize how special our time is here on the mission and that it has a much more lasting effect then I think somtimes we give credit. We had a great discussion about the plan of salvation and I shared my experience with Grandpa's passing. The veil is very thin between us and our loved ones and I'm so grateful for that. The funeral is Thursday at 2PM in a beautiful church tucked in a valley and in front of a mountain that looks like a picture out of the Sound of Music.
Well I'm going to send all these pictures, they tell 1000 words. I love you Mom! Have a wonderful day!