Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Right now is the start of miracles happening in Jamaica!

Dear everyone! Hope things are going great! Congrats Devin on the mission call!! That is way exciting! Things are definitely going great here!  Church was great yesterday! The members had a great time on the temple trip! They were bearing powerful testimonies yesterday during sacrament meeting, and then all of a sudden the power went out.  They had to open the windows in the chapel and man it was so loud. There were car alarms and a fire alarm going off on one side, and then in the distance on the other side there was this crazy party/ carnival and the music was really loud. The spirit was still felt tho! There were 189 people that went to Santa Domingo. This was a once in a lifetime trip for all of these people. A lot of these members have been in the church for years and years and have only heard of the temple before, so it was neat for them to experience it for themselves! I really think that right now is the start of miracles happening in Jamaica. I think that from this time right ow the church is just going to start taking off here! There are going to be many stakes here in Jamaica someday!

A. and M. got baptized on Saturday. They are the daughter ad son-in-law of our top investigator, S. They live in the constant springs branch, but it was great for S. to come to their baptism and feel the spirit there. S. has been coming to church for a few weeks now and she is just eating up the gospel. She is reading like no other! She has been very confused because of so many different religions, but it is amazing to see the happiness that comes when she is able to learn truth for herself, and all of that confusion is taken away. We had a combined lesson with A. and M. as well as With S. and her husband and M's brother right before the baptism. It was impromptu because the other missionaries were running very late, but it was great for A. and M. to be able to bear their testimonies in front of their family, as well as answer any questions that the family had. 

Earlier this week we were riding to an appointment, I kind of got into a kick of bunny hopping on my bike. After you ride for so long you got to keep it interesting right, so I hop pot holes and speed bumps and stuff just for fun. Well I thought that I would hop this curb. So I go and jump and I make it at least like 95% of the way, (BTW IDK why I am typing in this font but I don't know how to change it), and  then all of a sudden my back tire just came down hard on the curb with all my weight (which isn't very much thank you!) and bent my rim so bad!! It was terrible! It was bent out of place a couple inches. It was so embarrassing cuz I had just barely waved to our bike Dr. when we passed him right before all of this happened. I had to walk up  back up to him and tell him to fix it. He laughed, he was like I just saw you riding fine like a minute ago! Anyways that was the dumb moment of the week!

Elder Jackson is also doing great! He has made strides of improvement and is just on fire. It is fun to watch him grow! He gave himself a haircut this morning, it turned out awful lol there is no way to save it, I think we are just going to have to shave it bald! Other that he is doing great! :)

Well take care, have a great week! Love you guys!

Love Elder Harris

Pic 1) 876 basketball thug crew! (Us Kingston missionaries get together a couple times a week and play ball in the middle of the ghetto, it's pretty fun:) 
Pic 2) Our bike Dr.
Pic 3) Elder Jackson's haircut ;)

Monday, April 21, 2014

History in the Making!

Well Happy Easter to everyone! I hope that it went well! The Arizona trip and trip to California looked really fun! Easter out here is like a 4 day holiday, Friday through Monday, so everything is closed. Elder Jackson got a flat tire on Friday morning and he needed a new tube, but since we don't have the convenience of stores staying open even on holidays such as the Friday before Easter, we had to come up with a solution. It was a quick fix, I traded him bicycles and just kept going. I rode around on the rim all day Friday, and half the day Saturday until we could go and get it fixed. It was pretty fun. We rode so far those two days too! All the Jamaicans that I passed would yell, "White man! Tire soft man!" I was just was like Yeah I know! To my surprise, even after riding around for 2 days on the rim, the tire wasn't even too worn and the rim wasn't bent.

So I got the package that you sent me! Chocolate, Duck Dynasty stuff, and Costco bacon bits... probably the three most glorious things on the planet and they were all inside 1 package! Yee-ah!

So the big temple trip/EFY trip that I talked about a while back is happening this week! This is going to be so powerful for Jamaica especially since it is happening just weeks before the stake will be organized! I cannot wait until they get back and hear all of their testimonies! Everyone who is going is so excited. They have been doing their own family history work to take which makes it even better! Almost 200 people going to the temple for the first time from one little country, that has to be some sort of history making!

Another great blessing for this country is going to be getting a patriarch for Jamaica along with the stake. In the past they had to get patriarchal blessing outside of the country, now it will be so much easier!

On Monday we met a cool guy named M. The D's invited him to their FHE and he came. He told us how it was an answer to prayer because he has been praying for peace and direction in life. He came to church yesterday.

Well that is about it from Jamaica, hope everyone has a good week! Love you!

Love Elder Colton Harris

Pic 1. A cottage meeting (basically FHE) that we had this week. We watched The 10 Commandments on a projector in the middle of their street. A ton of kids showed up, but that is good cuz they really don't have too many wholesome activities to do.

Pic 2. Houses on the hill

Pic 3. Cook shop Rice and Peas and fried chicken with ketchup and hot sauce!

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Zion and her stakes will be established"...in Jamaica!

So another week is down! I will start off with the news that the Spanish Town district of the Jamaica Kingston Mission has officially been approved to become a Stake of Zion! The first stake conference to ever be held in Jamaica will be on the 7th and 8th of June! That is really exciting! It has been unofficial for many months, so it was really cool when it was announced. That also means that an apostle will be visiting us that weekend! It was announced yesterday in church, and before church during my studies I was reading 3 Nephi 22:1-2. It talks about how in the latter days, zion and her stakes will be established. It explains Jamaica perfectly right now I think. It says "sing, O barren, thou that dids't not bear." Jamaica has been "barren' way too long, or not producing too much in a gospel sense. There is the same amount of members right now as there was 10 years ago. People are constantly being baptized, but the membership stays the same because so many people move overseas for jobs and such. So yeah, pretty barren. It explains how, "more are the children of the desolate (non-members) than the children of the married wife (members)". That is true, members are outnumbered here big time! 2.5 million non-members to 5,500 members in Jamaica. So it is time to "Enlarge the place of our tent (where we worship, done through missionary work/ work of salvation to get more people) and stretch forth the curtains (back overflow section; my interpretation of that lol :), spare not! (hold back nothing to accomplish this!) and strengthen thy stakes!" I really like those 2 verses! It was also really cool that I read them just hours before the announcement was made! It is long awaited news, but it will be such a great blessing here!
Work is going great! We got S. a baptism date for the 10th of May! She is learning so much, and so many things are being made clear to her. We met with her on Saturday and invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon. Yesterday at church I asked her if she was able to do that. She looks at me and says, "I did this morning and the feelings I got were EXACTLY how you said I would feel!!" Man that made my heart happy. The Holy Ghost is real, the work is true! Elder Jackson is doing great as well! Because I just started training, I know that I will be in this branch when the stake is formed. It is a huge milestone,but there is still a lot of work to do! Have a great week everyone! Love you!
Love Elder Harris
PS Happy Easter!
Pic 1 fixin bikes!
Pic 2 Sunset in Kingston!
Pic 3 Sick speaker set up! This is one of 2, they put another one opposite so they face each other so it is complete surround sound! Imma build these into a wall in my house when I get rich. These are all over the place here, Jamaicans love their loud music!


Monday, April 7, 2014

We are getting into the rainy season!

Well thanks everyone for the emails! I have had a pretty good week out here! We are definitely getting into the rainy season because it has rained on us every day this week! It's been good, keeps the place cool, just invites a lot of mosquitoes! We have had a pretty good week. Stayed busy just teaching people. Our investigators are progressing slower than at any other time or place in my mission. I don't know what it is but the whole mission seems to be in a slow zone as far as this is concerned. Elder Jackson seems to be doing well. It has been interesting to watch him because I was in his shoes 13 months ago. You don't realize the change you make cuz it happens so slowly, but after 13 months of little changes every day, it adds up. So we have an alright sized teaching pool that we are still working with, it keeps us busy.. but we are always looking for people to teach!
District meeting went good this week. The zone leaders came to it. I thought it was really good tho. I went on a trade off with Elder Wilkerson, he was in our MTC too and we get along really good. Had a good time and stayed busy so that is always the best!
General Conference was great as well! Man I just love Elder Holland's testimonies all the time! 4 minute life talk was great as well. Elder Bednar's talk about loads was great. I liked that one because I have been learning why opposition is necessary in life and why it is there. Man they were all just way good! Also was reminded very often to turn outwards, be more loving and Christ like to everybody we see. A lot of great council was given and I can't wait to study it further! The church is true! Love all you guys!
Elder Colton Harris
Pic 1 Shopping trip! Elder Wilkerson and his comp bought like fifteen 24 packs of 16 oz soda, they want to make a couch out of empty soda bottle in there house somehow. All I know is I know get free soda as long as I give them back the bottles ;)
2) Jerk Chicken Fridays!