Monday, August 18, 2014

Yard names, ginneup, and chcoolate!

This week was just another week in paradise. So last week we had a really good zone p-day in Mandeville. We went there and played volleyball in the rain, ordered pizza (ordering pizza is like better than Christmas here), did some other stuff too. My explanation right now is making it sound really lame. It took like and hour long taxi ride to get there and then we got dropped off at the taxi park and had to walk for a half hour to get to the church building. Then the same thing when we went home. We get to do it all over again because we have zone conference in Mandeville. Elder Cornish is coming to this one as well so I am pretty excited.

The past few weeks the area presidency has asked that we contact all of the potential seminary and institute members and invite them to attend when it starts back up. That has been a huge issue. Most of them are completely inactive. Most members don't know them. So we do what any decent missionaries would do and look them up on the branch directory. Well the problem with that is that there are no phone numbers for them, or the phone numbers that are written aren't connected. So next plan is to go to their house. Yeah right. For almost all of them under "street address" it has an area. So it would essentially say 'North Creek', or 'Canyon Road' or 'Manderfield' instead of their actual address, but for our area out here it says 'Juno Crescent' or 'Palmers Cross' etc. So we decide to go to that area and start asking if anyone knows of the person we are looking for. It wouldn't be so bad except that people's real names are on church records but all Jamaicans have what's called a 'Yard Name' or Pet Name'…essentially it just means nickname. Now these nicknames are the only names they go by except for official documents. So we go to an area looking for 'John Doe' but his yard name and the name everyone knows him by is 'Pitbull'. It makes it impossible because these nicknames aren't like they are back home. They are straight up the ONLY name they have gone by for many, many years. It's been really hard and we have only found like half. The yard name thing doesn't make it just hard to find less actives, but also to do family history in Jamaica. A lot of members only know their aunts and uncles by their yard names. They don't know a lot of their relatives first or last names and it's hard to ask others because they only know them by their yard name too.

Well we have been eating a lot of ginneup lately. It is a fruit, IDK how to explain it but there is a ginnuep tree in our area and so we stop and pick a bunch all the time. Last week I took like a whole branch and just hung it off my handlebars and so I rode around picking ginnuep off of this branch and eating it while riding. It turned out pretty good!

We have been getting quite a bit of rain the past 3 weeks. It hadn't rained for many months before that and Jamaica was in a big drought and so as a mission we had a fast for rain and since then it has been raining quite a bit.

Well we are working with some cool people right now and we have been finding some new people as well! We are excited. None of them have baptism dates right but that'll soon come. I also had chocolate this week made by and investigator named D. It was made with the real coco plant or seed or whatever it is. It was really good! Also had and investigator chop us off some plantain from his plantain tree this week so we have been frying that up Jamaican style this past week.

Well take care and have a great week! Hopefully pictures will come next week! One Love.

Elder Colton Harris
Colton, his companion, and another roommate in front of their fridge.  Colton says, "You think the fridge is bad...wait till I send a pic of the bathtub... the fridge looks like it still should be in its brand new packaging compared to our shower!"  Despite this, his apartment won the clean apartment challenge that is held within the mission.  The senior missionary couple over cleaning checks had this to say, "They live amongst rust and rot but they had their apartment looking great despite the deteriorating surroundings!!"  Good job, Colton!  I had my doubts as I visited his college apartment and saw how he lived there;)

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