Monday, August 12, 2013

Religion in Jamaica

Hey everyone again.  This week has been a really awesome week!  We have been able to visit so many people and meet new people that we have started teaching, all by working through members.  We have another baptism coming up on Saturday.  Her name is S. and she is 18 years old.  She is basically deaf so teaching her these past couple weeks we have had to come up with new ideas that have been fun for us to do.  It is good for us tho to come up with new ideas to keep it fresh.  She is also the one who her mom kicked out when she was 18 and she has been staying with her uncle but her mom said that she would tell all the family that she has to disown her if she got baptized.  We talked to her about it and told her to have faith and she wanted to continue with being baptized.  Since then her dad that she hasn't had much contact with who lives in Cayman came back to Jamaica this week and he is 100% supportive of her and she is actually going to move to Cayman with him now at the beginning of next year, so things have worked out.  Sis Mc. is also progressing this week.  That has just brought so much joy into the whole family, especially for her kids.  She came to church yesterday and her son J. was giving a talk on the sacrament and it was so cool to just see the happiness that both of them had. 
Well I thought that I would also tell you a little bit of how Jamaicans view religion and the LDS church, etc since I don't think I have done that yet.  So every single person in Jamaica is religious.  Basically everyone here goes to church every Saturday or Sunday. I say Saturday because about 40% of church people go to sabbath day churches.  The others go to what they call Sunday churches.  This reminds me a ton of what the bible belt sounds like, if not worse than the bible belt just with friendlier people.  Church and State is not separated here and so they teach from the bible in schools here.  They have prayers in school, they have scripture mastery at school.  Every single person knows the bible inside and out, everyone whether they are living in zinc, whether they are rastas, poor,  rich, old, young, male, female, they are very, very familiar with the bible.  They also believe that as long as you go to church you're good, same God that we worship right? That is their mind set.  All different kinds of churches line every single street here.  SO MANY!!!!  There are quite a few Jehovah Witnesses here but everyone we talk to say I like you a lot better then the JW's.  People are really willing to let us come back and talk to them.  I honestly have only got told by like less than 5 people that they don't want us to come back to talk with them because "God can't too much."  They love when we offer to leave them with a word of prayer after or during lessons because "Can't too much prayer either ya ear?!" They are very, very religious people and I know nothing about the bible compared to them, but slowly getting there.  Well this week should be good too.  Elder Cornish will be here meeting with us again. 

The overnighted package with Olive Garden was amazing!!! I got the package on Friday, I was the envy of everyone who heard that I received Olive Garden.  Thank you mom and dad and Grandma and Grandpa E!  Everyone in my house loved it too :)

So IDK if you remember the story about A. that I sent home last month as a 2nd long email home, but this is Auther's house.  The last picture of the 4 people in order from left to right is J., (been baptized 1 year and is expecting his mission call this week), A.,  Bro L. (right after he was baptized was made branch president then went on a mission, did both of those while still on retention or in other words was a member for less than 1 year, and R.L. (Should receive his mission call this week also).  They went to fix his roof, he has been without a roof for a long long time.  He has 2 little pieces of zink he leaned over his bed that basically did nothing.  The new roof isn't even that great but a ton better than what he had.  The only things that A. eats is anything that he can find on the ground basically. A. walks to church every week, about 3 or 4 miles at least and is always there way before anyone else gets there.  Such great faith even though he literally has nothing at all.  These are the only pics I have this week, so sorry about that again. I wasn't at this service project I just had JD send me the pics.

Have a good week.

Love Elder Harris

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