Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

I can’t believe it has been another week. It is going too fast, even though we have lots to do still. I just have check points each week to keep the desire burning, pday Monday, Wednesday meetings, Friday weekly planning and Sunday church. This week we have zone meeting to prepare for, it’s little things like that I look forward to being out of here for! It’s probably terrible to say, cuz there will be other life challenges, but it’s tough. I wish to be a foot soldier again, but it’s been good. We are planning to teach more on conversion and to have some talks to see some conversions from the scriptures and how they took place. And also to talk about goals, as many of the missionaries are getting discouraged as they don’t see immediate results. Many more thoughts needed and revelation cuz we aren’t shore yet. Hey, only 3 more. But the week was great. We did the split in Ochi we planned a few weeks back, I went with Elder Hall and it was good to see some progress they are making. We also went on a trade off with Elder Howard and Johnson. It’s really hard to help missionaries with depression. It’s been a struggle, but it’s something I feel we will have to become expert at, seems like there is a lot in the world today.
Well, as far as the area is concerned, things are going well. We had 4 planned to be at church, but didn’t show. Holidays shore take a toll on the work! But we just gotta keep smiling and working something will work out (D&C 123:17). Ishmael is doing well, he came to Friday night activity, just need to get him to church. Silburn has read half the Book of Mormon with Bro Gillette and it seems like he wants to finish it before we meet again so we pray will work out. Work for Patricia has been stressful, but everything looks okay. Sorry, I don’t have any great stories for you this week. but I’m glad my mission hasn’t been one of lots of eventful stories, but more of a life changer as I learn things line upon line, and the little personal insights I receive. It’s truly been a blessing.

Sorry, I can’t think just now.. I feel like my emails get more and more boring, but it’s about the people here in Jamaica and right now I just want to get zone meeting planned. So, I love you all and hope we can all have a happy week! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Well, this week really was a lot better, and thanks for the prayers. We can talk about that subject later. but this week started out really good. Let me see if I can be a little more specific, but brief as well, as we got to be in Kingston by 4 with Kino Eulette, a soon to be missionary from Montego Bay. We had a really good family home evening with our recent converts. Pat is doing well also. The family missed church again cuz of some other pre-arranged stuff, but they are tearing up the gospel and loving it. Tuesday we did service again and saw some great less actives. That’s not a very good sentence, but they are great people just a little off with life. It’s got to be tough, as all the members are so far apart from each other. They live in like their own communities, but it’s great for finding which we did a lot of this week. We found 6 new investigators this week. Bless up! But Ishmael was one we found on Tuesday night. We had about 15 minutes before we had to go in and we had made a goal to "fear no man", that we would talk with those that we would normally not talk to cuz they look busy or drive a bmw, or any other irrational excuse. Ishmael was the first guy we met. He has two taxis and I need to get pics of the one, it’s got bible quotes and phrases ALL over it!! He has done a lot of searching for the truth. Funny thing was the other missionaries gave him a track like hours earlier and so he felt God was calling him. He has great desires to be baptized, it’s interesting having to teach faith and repentance first not to build the desire to baptize but just to understand. Cuz he is confused, but he don’t know it. 
Wednesday was sweet too. We went to Elder Dean’s district meeting and learned about being balanced missionaries and working on all the Christlike attributes to strengthen us, and make us better tools for God! Really good, I needed the review. After, we drove back down for our interviews with Pres. Brown. We talked about study, and he committed me to read 10 pages a day. Also, he shared with me a quote, I think by Elder Eyring: " how long should we study the scriptures? until we feel the spirit of the Lord, and then a little more." Very cool. Also talked bout prayer and some other things, learned about praying always! But Elder Whitlock just notified me we gotta go. Needless to say, we had a good week. The work is going strong, and.. I love ya!

Elder Wilkerson 

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Well shoot, this week was a bit of a drag. In terms of numbers it was terrible, but we got some good things done and met some great people! I guess we can start with Tuesday.
We got to go back and do service for Nateisha. Only in Jamaica would it take so long to move a pile of "Dirt". It was mostly clay and concrete block pieces and huge stones. We had one wheel barrel and half a shovel. We used a piece of rebar as a pick. Haha! It took way long and didn’t even finish. But we decided to go back on Saturday to finish, invite her to church and also to let the community see us working. Ha, it worked. We also saw Patricia cuz it was her day off.  Taught her about covenant making and keeping and the gospel. She really is doing so great, you can tell she is excited cuz even with all the negative comments at work and such she still tells everyone she is studying with us and considering baptism. She missed this past week for church, but doing well over all.
Wednesday we had district meeting in Montego Bay, and went over the importance of the area book again. We had a lot of our lessons fall through as well, all week we did, even the most solid of solid ones we did! Oh well, it’s all part of trusting in God and finding what he really wants to be done and not just what we think would be best. Great opportunity to remember who’s work this truly is! We instead went and found some less actives and hope to work with them more since they haven’t been in contact with any one from the church for 5+ years. We also talked to some people on the streets. We have been really trying to consecrate ourselves and find the right people, "the Elect" to build the kingdom here, so we determined to talk to people that we would normally be afraid to Open Our Mouths to! It’s tough at first, but with faith that this message is for everyone, we Will find them. We contacted this sweet family, and hope to see them this week. We then packed and left to Ochi, to stay the night as we had Missionary Leadership Council on Thurdsay.
Thursday, MLC was good. It took all day of course to have it and then travel back. It was really good, we talked about true conversion more and how we don’t baptize people until they really show the fruits. We went over the Lord’s standard for baptism mostly and some other things, but that was the main point. It’s cool to see how the mission is really coming into the way it should be, and no one really knows these big changes are happening cuz they are so small. We work on one thing to change in the "mission culture" or in other words what happens when leaders aren't around. We have one thing worked on per month, and the changes are great! (Alma 37:6-7) guess that would be the perfect scripture for the things that are happening here. There is more to it than that, but I won’t bore you with the minor details. 
Well Friday was actually our set goals and make plans day. With the sad situation we were in this week we ended up planning for like 6 hours and then we really set some goals to find the elect. That meant opening our mouths to those just getting out of a bmw or a big house. We think these are terrible situations and are going to be so awkward, and they might be for the first 20 seconds, but then don’t forget our message is awesome! We then went out to put it in practice. First one was a test, a nice family getting in the car and here comes us. It turned out horrible cuz he just want to bash and hardened his heart, but Elder Whitlock says it was the test and the next would be elect. She was. We called at Natanya's gate, offered service at 8:30 at night, slipped in the restoration and she wanted to read the Book of Mormon. She recently had a brother die and she tapes her children’s coloring pages and weird things to the fridge, come on that’s a perfect mormon mom!! We are seeing her tomorrow. But really, to all that are kinda worried bout sharing the gospel, if it truly is the only church run by the Savior, open your mouth and tell people. It’s a marvelous work and wonder. Gosh, I’m going to miss being a full time missionary. I still cannot believe my time is winding down. I really would extend if I could. 
Saturday more service of course, and then met with Chrishnah. We finally pin-pointed his big problem, the Godhead. He is great, but is moving to the states next week for a year. One day he will get baptized, but I hope to keep the link, he really is a neat guy.
Sunday was different again, it’s always is nerve racking, a church full of converts, young in years of experience. I somewhat understand why Paul was so stressed. But we had the primary program this past one. We had quite a few investigators there. The children really are brilliant, they gave some amazing talks. I wish I could have recorded them, even though some did. The worst part of all was this young boy with nuff style gave his talk then said in the name of Jesus Christ and then threw the mike up for the audience to give an amen. It worked and then everyone was clapping and stuff. Ha.. now our investigators think that is what we do.. oh boy. It was pretty good though. Diana, the sweet less active we thought we were getting through to called and said she doesn’t want to study anymore. but we found some other good things to do, but nothing spectacular. Sorry, kind of a boring email to read I’m shore. But it can’t all be downhill, the mountains to climb are great and I’m glad they are there, so we can see the Lord’s hand in our life sooo much even when it is smooth sailing. Love you all, bless up!

Elder Wilkerson

Our house

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

Well this week started off fresh! We had a good prep day and ended with seeing Patricia. We read where she was at in the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi 7.  I was bummed at first cuz I love 1 Nephi 8! But it was the chapter for her. She connected with Nephi right away and shared an experience with us from her past, and recognized an answer she didn’t know she had received in the past. The enabling power of the atonement. It was a sad story, but so glad it connected with her, and opened her eyes a lot! She came to church, but barely missed sacrament, due to the rain and she was little bit lost! But came nonetheless! She is really going so great. We are seeing her tomorrow. 

Tuesday was pretty good as well. We contacted some former's, like no information, but amazing how they still lived in the same location and that we could find them after 10 years! It was amazing cuz on the record it would say like age 19, and then meet them and it’s a different story. Age 29, married, has a house, car, and job! Whoa. The Lord really knows what he is doing. Mama Carr is one of them. She is sweet and old, but nuff family and potential. She didn’t remember anything the other missionaries taught her, other than she had 4 Book of Mormons in her house! Cool huh. Another was meeting with Angela. Taught about the gospel and the temple. She said she felt something as we talked about temples. Sometimes I think we get like even a little immune to that feeling… cuz in my mind before I was like she doesn’t look like anything is clicking, but she has Chickingunya this week so she promised next week Sunday for church. 

Wednesday of course was zone meeting. It went so smooth and beautiful. It really was amazing and teaching about the temple and focusing on the families, and finding families this week was powerful experience! It is so true! The spirit in zone meeting as we shared testimony in the role plays even about our families and temples was so real. The spirit was strong!!  And then I had a trade off with Elder Johnson, a missionary from Alabama. He really struggles with depression and pride. Like seriously. But we had a sweet trade off. Able to address those problems and he brought them up which was the easy part. As I studied for him the next morning, I learned many areas I could improve as well. He was really good at bearing testimony with enthusiasm and energy, and it's spiritual. I hope I can acquire some of that! We taught the Scarlett's about plan of salvation and the temple and had a great, touching experience with them as well! The other event that is pushing my mind that day is we went to church.  It’s called the meeting place. Some religion based out of Bahamas, some white pastor lady, anyways to the meat of the matter. My mouth was almost to the floor the whole time! I could not believe it. I am so thankful I was raised in this church, but I wish I went to that one earlier. Or any I’m shore. Not to bash on others, but the speaking in tongues I experienced, the shaking and rolling and "getting in spirit", the drums, the "make a joyful noise to the Lord", it was madness. But it was an invite from a investigator Elder Johnson is teaching and now she is like so converted to our church, so well worth the experience! Only thing that really displeased me was shouting "Jesus" over and over and over for the whole 1 hour praise and worship service. Something I definitely think everyone should experience to strengthen their testimony. Haha.

Thursday we taught several more lessons about the temple or at least in it. Jason knows the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet. Just got to get him to church! Soon come! But for our Thursday event. Hmmm should I tell you.., We were teaching a lady up in Cornwall courts, and all the sudden we see this bright light, and my comp was like only cops have those kind of lights. I was like someone is probably tooling us.. It happens all the time and kept teaching.. Oh mind you.. we are sitting on cinder blocks out front, but shore enough, police creep up and are like: Police! No one move! Police! No one move! Stand up hands in the air! I turn to find three M16's pointed in my face and one man with the pistol and light. Checked us out for a second and then rolled out with nothing to say. I mean what could they say... you just held up a bible study, two white man and everyone had a Book of Mormon in the air. One thing I will tell you, police are no funny business down here. You run, they shoot. You look suspicious - you're dead. Turns out there was a few people killed earlier in the hour. I love Jam rock! Always exciting.

Friday we decided to try a new finding technique when everything went sour for plans. We decided to go up to this new stoosh  scheme and offer rich people service. It was inspired. I was scared at first, but really thinking about it rich people are people with jobs and lives and families are usually the most stressed and need help. The first 3 houses said yes. What a trick or treat session!!! So we got some service next week.

Saturday was national service day and we chopped lots of macca off the highway in front of a members school. So macca is like hawthorn bushes. We are little scraped up, but it was good bonding time and great food! Also decided while still in service clothes we would go look for more opportunities in the same area as yesterday, Irwin meadows. First house said sweet words to our ears as we asked for ideas on who else does she know that might need help. Quote: " well most everyone on this street probably could use the help, they are all pretty busy and have been living here less than a year. They are all young, professionals who have families!" God bless! We have found the hot spot! So excited to spend some time up there this week, I kid you not, service will soften anyone's heart, even the busy and rich! 

Sunday was really rainy but we found a less active that hasn't come to church in 10 years and her family lives with her. Started to address her concerns.. there is still more, but just goes to show how much God is blessing this island and the angels are working hard. Thank you for the prayers, they work. I repeat they work! I love you all and hope you have a blessed week! 

love, Elder Wilkerson