Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It was a pretty average! I tried to make shore no one knew cuz the big thing in Jamaica is to dump flour on people for birthday celebration. We went to a FHE at the end of the night and got leafed instead of floured by the Peart family.. but their son, Kanniel’s birthday is Tuesday and I’m flouring him even though he played nice :) We didn’t have any investigators at church so it was a good sacrament meeting to use to reflect on our efforts and make goals for the next week! We had lunch at Sis. Mac’s house and Elder Martin’s family came so it was good to sit down with them for the last time! He goes home today and the church will re-evaluate him in 30-60 days to see when he is ready to come back out! But his memory is good, just doesn’t remember being hit or spending anytime in the hospital! It will be exciting to see him come back out!! But to celebrate, our great land lady cooked us dinner and some potato puddin, and sang the birthday song! Woo woo, I’m out of the pampers now I guess!
We didn’t get much done this week, Elder Carter has been sick. but I enjoyed some extra study and reflecting time. We had some good lessons with members and will probably contact members to contact those referrals this week! We also had a service project for the less active Copeland family and replaced their roof! Hopefully that softened some hearts and we can get the rest of the family really moving forward, if not we will have to drop them soon.
We have some good stuff planned for this week, but a lot of our time is being held up. Sister and Elder Murdock are using us at the Salvation Army to help with some wheelchair project on Saturdays and Thursdays for next two weeks! I guess reactivation is our big thing! We have got 3 back since I have been here and several others on and off, just need to solid them up! Not a whole lot to report on this week, Ashani and Lucky were out of town most of the week. Ashani is our most progressing, but struggling with church and word of wisdom and Lucky we just have a hard time meeting with, but teaching her the plan of salvation tomorrow! I guess the greatest thing this week was studies.. did much studying about putting off the natural man (Mosiah 2:41) and fearing God more than man (D&C 3:7), fasting and started into the New Testament to dig deep! All have been super helpful and will be of great benefit to gain back desire and bring purpose to keep moving forward! Opposition in all things, but must endure to the end, wonderful studies for the less actives and insightful to me! As long as at the end of each day I can say I look forward to tomorrow I know all is well! Love you. Take it easy!
Elder WIlkerson

Getting "Leafed" at Peart Family Home Evening

Sis Green x2 (landlord) and son CJ and my potato pudding.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Elder Martin is doing great for the wreck he was. He is out of the hospital and has the staples out of his head. He and his parents are staying with a member in our area and is just on tons of medication. He is up for like an hour a day in 20 minute intervals just for more medication, but said he will make a miraculous recovery thankfully. 
Well, the work, it’s... moving. Probably went up like a degree this past week, but baby steps til we get going. Neither of us really understand the area, but we are working with many less actives still and always finding more, and it’s awesome to see how many are willing to come back. We all need a little nudge or reminder at some point! This week church was in Spanish Town! We had probably our last District Conference as for next time we should be a Stake!!! So that was really exciting for the people! Every stinkin chair was full. Every missionary was standing up, every aisle was full of folding chairs and we finally pulled out little primary chairs and put in the foyer. Over a thousand people there!! The power went out for about 10 minutes, but we just cracked the windows and kept rolling!! The spirit was so strong! The main jiff of the meeting was once again focused on missionary work and we aint done yet, we got nuff work to do! Elder Gamiet from the area seventy spoke on how we must be doing the basics in the gospel and then tithing and other commandments. Simple but powerful! Crazy how the spirit does that!! Also talked about how every quarter they will be chartering a plane to Dominican Republic for the temple trips and how this trip they have over 1000 ancestor Jamaican temple names to do at the temple! Very cool!!! So we didn’t have any investigators at church, but we had a couple less actives make the stretch. This week was great for teaching though! Really strived to have a member everywhere we went and it went well til the weekend! Ashani is on date for the 28th, his friend’s birthday that introduced him to the church. He might not make that date due to his church attendance, but he is our most progressing right now, just solid! Lucky is Najay’s yard name, pet name, or nickname some would call it. It gets kinda confusing when we are looking for people that we don’t have a face to recognize, but it’s normal. She is doing good. She keeps commitments, has great fellowship, and loves church. She’s just hard to meet with due to school.. but we gotta keep trying especially cuz if we get her we can get access to the rest of her less active family! Copeland’s have been sick most of this week, but we are doing a huge service project at that house on Saturday so with lots of branch affiliation I have no worries that they soon progress! We had an investigator move and we are going to try and pick up our landlords sister who is staying down here for a bit from Canada.. she is a dry Mormon.. but a strong apostalic! So yah.. that’s pretty much our teaching pool. We got some referrals to dig up this week. We got high hopes but just need a liccamor faith/action from us and members. Straightening out a lot of kinks, but loving the trials and things being learned! Love you all! 
Elder WIlkerson

p.s. Don’t ever try to order pizza in Jamaica. It takes 45 minutes just to get the order right.. :) .. and they still get it wrong.
Most progressing investigator when i left Sav! My boy Ricardo!
Elder England, Ricardo, Bro Miles, and Elder Hunt

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

This week for the work was very well I must say. We have a small teaching pool of 4 female and a male! But 2 are working towards a date and 1 came to church! Her name is Najay, but we call her Lucky! She’s 17 and reads well. We left her with the introduction to the Book of Mormon and she wouldn't let us come back till she finished it! During the lesson she is just thirsty for truth! And we ended up reading the testimony of the prophet! She is just tearing it up and is good friends with a less active who is starting to come back out!! That is kind of our focus right now. We have enough Priesthood brethren for a stake in Kingston, but they are all less active so we are trying to bring back like crazy, having many family home evenings throughout the week, and priesthood visits!! We had 5 back at church the last 2 weeks and we are looking forward to another 5 this next week which is successful auto family, the Johnson's! Sweet family.. we read Alma 7 with them this week and just about every verse someone would stop and talk about something. The spirit was just super strong and opened up a lot of hard hearts, especially the father’s, as there was a family fight the night before! Also working with a less active named Sis. Edwards who is living with another member. We got to read D&C 121 with her and I guess the testimony I have received this week is the scriptures in teaching. If we get an environment for the spirit to testify on things they need to do better, it comes to them out of the scriptures! She realized she needed to be a better mom and example! Great! So many great things happening out here! This work is hard on most every day but really, really rewarding. Can’t deny it. We have also been working with the less active Copeland family and 5 other people in that family who aren't members.. really being receptive.. as long as we really love these people no matter who, we have something they need that is urgent. We can’t force it on them, but build their trust to hug it right into them, to the point they know there is something more. It’s working so far and the response is thrilling!! Ashawni is the only male we are working with, but he is friends with the Pearts. Solid fellowship and he hungers after the knowledge of scriptures, respectful great kid! Just gotta get him to church!! But along with the urgent analogy, Pres brown shared that in church this week. this will show you a bit about hard hearts in the country. Elder Martin got hit by a car this week and had to have a 5 hour brain surgery. but is doing great for the hit. But that was in Linstead and he needed to get to Kingston for the operation. President Brown rode in the ambulance and the whole 50 minute ride the driver was on his horn. He had the sirens on, but until he was on their bumper people didn't move and sometimes people still didn't move out of the way.. even for an emergency vehicle!! Shocking, right!!! Long story short, he compared it to the gospel and missionary work. This is the fulness of times, He is at the door! Sometimes we are all too casual about spreading the gospel, but its urgent! It’s an emergency! People need our services and instead we are clogging up traffic and not doing our job. It’s the little things.. all you got to do is invite them to church or to hear your missionaries.. it’s easy, they are your friends. Will you save your friends? 
Crazy to think ‘bout what he said. When you look at it we don't have time to be missionaries part day. No one does. We got to be ready at all times to give every man answer for the reason of the faith in us! If we serve, we forget about our problems! Burdens become lighter and we become stronger. The time is now. Just like the prophets have said, you just invite ONE person, then they do and we start a wave! It’s easy. The members are doing it here and it’s getting exciting! Just cuz some areas are more established doesn't mean their work is cut out for them. Elder Strickland(a great fellow missionary) told me this week of a story in Haiti where a member of the Quorum of the 12 went to establish another Stake and asked what they have. They said they had 5 stakes and ready for another. The General Authority said from my looks at it looks like you have 5 misSTAKES to me. took them all apart and made back into districts. They are Stakes again fortunately, but just really showed me how we must keep moving forward. This is not a life to rest in. This is Our Test! This is the race! We cant dog it! I have a lot to do, lots to make up for, but we must do it together! It’s 2014! It’s going to be a great year, we're going to get a lot done! We will do our best! I love you all! Thanks for your support to me and the prayers. I know I would be doomed without them. Man! The gospel makes you happy if you apply it! Nuff love!

Elder Wilkerson

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

Speed bump sign

Rare money in the bank

Elder Carter and Elder Wilkerson
Good Day! Up town life is amazing! I really love it and we aren’t in too much of the super busy side of town! We have some ghetto parts and some really nice areas! But the people are awesome and working with Elder Carter is so great. We get along so well and getting a lot of good things done. Elder Carter is from Pleasant Grove and has been out about 14 months. He is taller than me which is weird but cool! We live in a cute, tiny apartment. It’s probably 12x30FT. Walk in and there is a kitchen and our study, look left a bathroom and our little BEDroom.. but I love it! Easy to keep clean and I think helps with companionship unity. But we did just get a washer, have a microwave and such, but NO Hot water!!! And I have been told the coldest water on the island. Most of the people in Kingston do very well. Way expensive to live here. And it’s a mix of people, lots of Chinese, some natives, but many from Canada and a handful of white people.  I’m almost getting comfortable with seeing them again :) The roads are better in areas but overall much better. I still had to replace a tube this Sunday and getting the bike tuned today so we will see how long it last!!! But definitely have to watch out for the traffic!! But the branch is amazing! 6 elders in this branch and 6 in the other and then 4 down in Boulevard area! We played soccer this morning together so that's cool! A very well established branch though. They really want a Stake and really pumped about the missionary work! We have three FHEs during the week that members take their friends to so we can get them as investigators and it’s been going great. One of the families is the Pearts (the family of the kid I got to train til he went to Dominican Republic!) We didn’t have any teaching pool when I got here, but we have 3 investigators right now. None came to church, but they have great potential and we are seeing a family tonight! One of our big focuses is getting the less actives back! We had 5 back from our area alone this week! I also had some inspiration for a lesson this week!! Oreos! There is 3 ways to find out if they are good cookies 1) could eat them- or try them out/ go to church 2) read the ingredients- read your scriptures 3) or ask someone if they are good- such as praying! So the oreos are the gospel!! and 3 ways to find out it’s good. Thought it was cool so bought a big thing of oreo packs! :) 

Well New Year’s was good.. just trying to remember what we did! I know that we went in early. We had to be inside at 8! I think we cooked together, cleaned house and went to bed early! Woo woo! But not a whole lot to report on this week! It is great being in this clean town and going to Mega Mart for more food options! It’s similar to a Costco! Not much cheaper, but more variety and good deals on bulk! By the way, CONTACT solution is $1800. or like 20 US. per bottle. I’m super pumped for this next week! I feel like I’m really a missionary again. Not real shore what had happened. I know my prayers kinda got weak and maybe got area dead! But the work is going solid here and just excited for another great week and to build up the teaching pool and make a Stake or whatever the Lord requires!!! This is 2014! Let’s work hard. I know as we use our talents the stronger they get and the more the Lord will trust us! (D&C 60:2-4). Well, I love you all! Have a happy 2014! Attitude is altitude! Make it a good year! 
Elder Wilkerson