Monday, April 29, 2013

Fast Food, anyone?!

Wow sounds like everything is going good back home! I love hearing from everyone!  Good job Trey and Tag in baseball!! Good job Devin in soccer!!  I miss watching you guys play!! I am so glad that you guys finally received my letter!!  I was starting to think that it never got sent.  The post office is so far away from where we live that it is basically impossibe to ride our bikes to it so I gave it to the zone leaders to take into Kingston one day cuz they had a meeting and they said that they would send it, and then they said they gave it to the office elders to send it and the office elders are kind of natorius for loosing stuff I heard but I'm glad you got it.  I was pretty homesick the first couple of days but it's getting better.  Just so many changes happened overnight but i'm getting used to Jamaican Life.  So the $100 bill I sent home is worth + or - a couple cents but it's about $1 US.  Groceries per week are about just over 3 grand.  We use the other 2 grand per week for snacks throughout the day or food when we have zone meetings or district meetings we always go grab cook shop afterwards.  Cookshops are everywhere here.Every block there is a cook shop, all they sell that I eat is fried chicken and rice and peas.  You can get cow foot, cow skin, tripe, ox tail, chicken feet etc but I don't like those.  I have eatin cow foot, cow skin, tripe, and some other stuff and it is so gross.  There are also jerk centers everywhere as well.  We don't go there as often because it is more expensive for alot less food.  There are also wholesales everywhere as well.  Wholesales are places that you can stop and buy almost anything that you could get at a grocery store.  We usually stop there to get bun & cheese.  Bun is a spice cake that is in the shape of like a big muffin and they cut it in half and put a big thick slice of cheese in the middle and you eat it.  It is like everyones favorite snack here, I actually really like it too, it's good.  So those three things are just everywhere, all of them are just complete makeshift buildings that they sell stuff out of too.  It is also Mango season here, I actually think it is just always mango season here but anyways I eat a couple mangos everyday, just at member houses or investigators houses you can just pick one or two and start eating them.  You can even do it just walking down the road.  I have also had some coconuts at peoples houses, they grow everywhere too.  People have cherry trees that you can pick cherries off of, just so much good fruit all the time.
I did get the pictures you sent me, thank you so much for them!  I got them about 12 days ago.  A couple were duplicates but thank you for the duplicates cuz I tape them on my planners to decorate them up.  I can't wait to get more.  I also met this die hard Utah Jazz fan a couple weeks ago, he kept me up to date on what was going on.  I met him the day that he said the Jazz were playing the Grizzlies in a do or die game for the playoffs and they lost.  Bummer.  It was funny tho because no one out here really knows American sports so the first person that I met that does love American sports liked the Jazz, crazy.  I think he was more of a Karl Malone fan then Jazz but he we still chatted for a while.
So this week was a good week for missionary work.  We had to drop some people that we have been teaching since they arne't progressing so for a day or 2 our teaching pool was really small but we have found some really cool people that we are teaching.  I also think I told you about IC.  He is a convert that got baptized about 3 years ago and he hasnt been to church in over a year.  We re activated him and the first week back at church the branch president called him in his office and they started filling out mission papers,  His papers are almost all the way done now and he is so pumped to get his call.  He comes teaching with us and is just a stud.  One of his childhood friends that he hasn't seen in years just got baptized a couple months ago and so they had a cool little reunion, JD, the childhood friend also got to ordain I.C. to a priest and that was pretty cool. There are some really cool members here.  One of them is Sis Mac!  She takes care of the missionaries really good.  Her whole family is members and they are so great.  She has us over for dinner every sunday.  You should e-mail her, mom, and say hi.
Well it sounds like everyone is doing good, I love getting the letters you guys send me and the pictures as well, keep it up.  How's the firnds and cousins doiung on their missions?  I read Cody H and Brian M letters but what about the other ones? (I am sending him all the missionary letters that I have access to, but I know he would love to hear about Cody E, Landon, and Adam Kia.)Tell Grandma and Grandpa Ebmeyer and Harris thanks for the letters as well.  I love and miss you all, have a good week.
Love, Elder Colton Harris

PS:  As of about 2 weeks ago I lost about almost 20 pounds from what I was in the MTC and I bet I have lost more since then.  Just thought I would let you know.
Colton's companion, Elder Wright, and the zone leaders who they live with
His planner that he mentioned above

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pretty good story...

Ok so this week has been pretty good.  It is still hot here but I guess I am getting used to it a little bit.  In 2 more days I will have made it through my first transfer!!  Crazy! Saturday is my 2 month mark and we're gonna party! :) Well this week I have a pretty good story.  So we are working with this less active kid, he is 18 and we got him to come to church this week.  He has only been baptized about 3 years and this was his first time he has been to church in over a year.  When he got to church, the branch president pulled him in his office because we have been telling Pres B that he would be coming. He came out of his office a couple mins later with mission papers in his hand and was super excited to be filling them out! It was crazy!  So a couple weeks ago when we went over there he told asked us why we hadn't came earlier.  When we were there we thought it was a weird question but we thought he was talking about why no one came like a year ago when he stopped coming to church.  The next time we visited him he told us that he said he knew we would be coming that day and he expected us earlier that day, crazy! He hasn't had any contact with the church in over a year and he had that feeling this week!
Well today we went to little Ochie for PDay. That was fun, I had jerk Lion Fish which wasn't too bad but we are running a little late so thats why we only are emailing for a half hour. KFC Pizza Hut Dominoes PIzza TGI Fridays are the only american restraunts here. Normal day of food is tuna sandwhich mac n cheese grilled cheese poridge oatmeal eggs toast alot of normal cheap college food.  Well sorry I have to go, i'll answer more questions later. Sorry again, i love you. Have you got my letter that i mailed home like 6 weeks ago? Bye LOve you!!!!
Little Ochie Beach on P-Day

Jerk Lion Fish which Colton says he ate!


Monday, April 15, 2013

A couple of accidents...

So this week has been a good week, it's gone by pretty fast tho.  I have recieved another pouch letter from Gma E that was sent April 2 and I recieved a letter from Elder Kia that was sent through regular mail on April 1.  Well this week was good.  We taught a lot of lessons and found some new people to teach.  We have had to push the baptism dates of a couple people back but we should start having a couple in the next couple of weeks.  Well this week we had a couple of minor accidents, well I guess the first one wasn't really an accident but we had one of the APs come with us on a trade off this week and it went good.  The ap's have a really nice truck and we went to our appointments with him in it so it was nice not to have to ride our bikes for that couple of hours!! We did get a flat tire that we had to change tho and that wasn't very fun but that's what happens on Jamaican roads, the roads are just straight up pot holes, big ones that you can't dodge.  Truck rides are super super bumpy.  Driving through town is more bumpy then some of the worst roads up Fremont. This week I also had the bike tire on my bike tuned up because it was a little wobbly and so we went with the zone leaders to pick it up at the shop and we threw it in the back of the truck and we got goin down the road and this road was actually a pretty good road we thought like not pot holes or anything so he just started goin pretty fast, that didnt work out so well for us ha we got i would say a good 4 blocks away from the bike shop and there was a big dip in the road that we hit goin pretty fast and my bike flipped out of the back of the truck did a couple summer saults and landed all crooked and stuff.  I thought my bike was done for but we turned around and went and picked up the bike, actually we just grabbed it from some rastas that picked it up because it flipped out in front of a little shop that they were standing in front of.  Luckily it only bent the front wheel a little bit and  the back wheel a little bit.  So we turned around went right back to the shop and left my bike there to get fixed.  That guy must love our business we give him.  We really weren't going that fast but the bike wasn't down far enough in the bed of the truck I guess.  It also broke the taillight if the truck on one side when it flipped out I guess, broke all the glass or plastic off it and like none of the lights on that side work anymore, but that's his problem not mine lol.  Well I told you before that we get chased by dogs all the time this week I actually ran one over while I was riding my bike.  So we were riding past this place where we know dogs always chase us so we got goin pretty fast and when we got to that spot about 6 dogs came and chased us and one of them went right in front of my bike, I didn't know that he was there because I was lookin backwards at the other dogs and he just went right underneath my tire, didn't kill him or anything he just walked away all sad but I thought it was a cool story still.  So this week I also got so sunburned.  We did service for Pres Brown, the next mission president and we were in the sun for hours then i came home and did laundry in the sun and I didn't use any sunscreen and i should have.  I had to go buy aloe vera and it sucked being in church clothes and riding a bike with a sunburn.  Well congrats on Publicity manager Devin that will be really fun.  Good luck Trey and Tag with baseball, you'll do great.  Thanks for all the kisses Marissa I love catching them!! Love and miss you all!!!!!

Love Elder Colton Harris
Colton eating his first coconut in Jamaica
Flat tire
Flying bicycles can do some damage!

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013

So this week was good, it went by really fast actually.  We had zone conference on Wed which was really good and 2 days of general conference which was really good as well.  I was so excited about the Cedar Temple!  Right before we walked out of our apartment to go to general conference I told Elder Wright that I have a feeling that they are going to announce a temple in Cedar City and he asked wheres Cedar?  I told him it's just a little town right next to where I live.  Then when we got to church I was talking with Elder Wilkerson, he's from Morgan  Ut and I asked if they were going to announce a Morgan Temple today and he said no, Morgan doesn't even have a stoplight so there couldn't be a temple there.  I said OK but I think they are going to put one in Cedar, at least they have some stoplights there.  That was about the extent of that conversation and right after it was announced they went crazy, Elder Harris called that! Next prophet and stuff! I was even going crazy but then I told them the story about the rumors that went around then they weren't as impressed.  Also right after the middle song in the Sunday afternoon conference, it started to just rain so hard here and we lost satellite reception for a while and we were just sitting in a dark chapel because the lights were out for the projector and then people started singing hymns for about 15 mins until the reception came back.  It was cool, I was sitting next to one of our investigators singing hymns in a pretty dark chapel. 
Our numbers were really bad this week because we had so much going on but we'll get them back up this week.  The baptism that we were supposed to have on Saturday didn't happen because she just wasn't ready yet.  We are going to keep working with her tho and she will be baptized soon.  This week should be good, almost a month in Jamaica is down!  Well I haven't given any talks yet.  The first Sunday I was here the branch president told the 4 missionaries in the branch that we would be speaking and to take up the whole sacrament but then when we got to church he forgot that the relief society was speaking so we got out of that one.  Every sacrament meeting so far has started at least 15 mins late, last weeks started a half hour late.  people here are just laid back.  My apartment is ok, it really great by Jamaica standards but this makes raintree look like a 5 star hotel.  Neighbors are fine.  Yes families do live in those tiny shacks that I sent home in pictures last week, and those aren't even the smallest or worse houses I have seen here.  There are whole communities that live in zink (tin) houses.  We do cook most of our own meals, I can get most stuff that I can in America it just costs a ton.  We don't have milk tho, there is what they call real cows milk but it is expensive and goes bad fast so we use Lasco.  It is a powdered milk that you can get in different flavor for your cereal and stuff.  It's pretty gross.  We have got fed a couple meals this week tho.  No chicken feet for me yet but a lot of chicken back and turkey neck.  Rice and peas (beans) every meal!  4 elders in my house.  My comp is from Kingston, One of the ZL's is from Mesquite and the other is from like from spanish fork i think i actually forgot, somewhere from up north tho.  Well I'll write again next week.  I love you all.

Elder Colton Harris
Mud after a day on the bike

The front of Colton's house

A speaker tower in Jamaica-not a very large one according to Colton

Inside of their house

Elder Harris and others at Zone Conference

Colton's first P-Day doing his laundry
People try to earn extra money by washing car windows

A scorpion caught 5 feet from his bed.  Yuck!
The street view from his house
Elder Harris

He said the benches were pretty hard after 10 hours of General Conference!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2, 2013

Happy Easter to you guys too!  I missed being there this year! Thanks for the e-mails and dearelders.  Sorry I had to wait until today to send this letter, Easter in Jamaica is like a 4 day holiday, they celebrate good friday and somethin monday so basically all the stores and internet cafes are closed down so it would be pointless to have p-day so Pres H. changed it.  Everything is still going good here in Jam-Rock.  It is still very hot and humid here but I am getting more used to it I think.  I have been slimming down too, I had to tighten my belt one hole and it is still a lil bit loose.  The work is going good here too.  We are having another baptism this Saturday, her name is K. She is the one in the picture I sent home, she is the person who I had my first lesson with.  Since we are white washing (starting up a new area from scratch) we are just starting to get a decent size teaching pool, it has been hard to teach people here, the gospel goes against everything that the Jamaican culture is.  It is hard to have them keep commitments, especially Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, tithing, basically everything.  There are so many dogs and goats that just run wild here, so so many.  We get chased on our bikes everyday by so many dogs, one of these times one of them is going to get my ankles.  I am also excited for general conference as well this weekend!  I am glad that you guys had an awesome temple trip.  Take advantage of the temples that you have so close to you guys, people here save money for years and years to go to the temple here, it is a huge sacrifice for them, but they have such faith that they are willing to save for so long.  Ha mom no I am not using that water bottle but I am glad that I brought it tho just in case, water goes out for days in some areas on the island where I could be in the future, they have back up water in missionaries houses but who knows how clean it is in thoses jugs.  This week is going to fly by fast!  We have zone conference, general conference, late P day, it is going to be over before I know it. There are about 70 missionaries in our mission right now and that number is expected to double by the end of the year.  My group to come in was the largest group ever at 13 new missionaries and it is supposed to stay at a high number for a while.  Normally 1 to 3 new missionaries come per transfer.  Happy Birthday Treyson!!  You’re gettin too old bro!! Well I hoped this answered some questions.  I'll try to from now on write down questions you guys ask in dear elder so that i can answer them in e-mails.  Have fun guys I love you. 


Love Elder Colton Harris