Hey everyone! Well as dad says, I am officially in the 4th quarter of my mission, it is way weird to think about! In a typical 4th quarter of sports it lasts the longest because there is always a lot of time outs, and the 2 minute warning timeout etc, but I have a sad feeling that the 4th quarter of my mission will by far go by the fastest! We had a really great week this week, I hope everyone back home had a great week too. Well this week we had a really good, effective week. Had electricity and water for the whole week so it was successful. Well investigator wise we also had a good week. We extended 4 baptism dates this week and they all accepted, now we need to work in getting them to church on time so that they will be progressing. If they miss the sacrament then we can't count them as attending church, and we had 4 investigators show up all after the sacrament was passed. I mean that's not too bad considering there were only 10 people (not including missionaries) in the chapel at 10 o'clock when church was supposed to start. No one from the branch presidency was even in the chapel at 10, so we obviously started late. That's something we are working on. I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. Every 5th Sunday of the month this branch has the missionaries speak, so a missionary from each companionship spoke. My topic was, 'A Loving Father, An Eternal Plan.' It went pretty well. I was the last speaker and I was left with basically no time. I figured that less time for a talk is more difficult than additional time. It's hard to take a lot of stuff out cuz you wonder if it will still flow, but if you have extra time you just bare a little bit longer testimony and speak a little bit slower. It ended up turning out well.
So our investigators, most of them have been being taught for a while. One of them, A., she just a baby 2 weeks ago. She keeps commitments really well, all of them except marrying her baby father who she lives with. The baby father joined us in some lessons this week and said that he is down to marry her whenever, so now the ball is in her court to see if she wants to. It's not an easy situation or decision for her because of things that have happened in the past, but also if she decides to not marry him then she will literally have no income whatsoever or support financially. So hopefully things work out soon. She really wants to be baptized. She has to walk to church every week on Sundays and also comes to the Friday night activities that the branch holds every Friday night. She did that while 9 months pregnant. She actually had the baby on a Sunday so she missed that week, but the very next week, (last week) she was at church again. Her walk is probably about 2 miles, there are 2 really steep hills up on her way to the church, one of them is very steep and rocky, and 1 really steep long down hill, and then reverse that for her walk home. I get tired just thinking about heading to her house for lessons. Dedication. Once certain people feel the spirit of the gospel nothing can stop them. The Sunday before she had the baby she walked in the rain too.
N. and C. are 2 other investigators. We are working on getting them married as well. They have a date for the 14th. They don't live together, but they are together if that makes sense so they can get baptized before getting married as long as they live and will continue to live the Law of Chastity. They both have a date for Sept 14. Marriage would be the ideal situation for them tho. They want to be married but they have zero money to do it with. Even with us providing the building and a person to do the ceremony for free, they still have to come up with about $15,000 (US $140) to get a marriage certificate from the government and stuff but there is just no money flowing in. He works whenever he can find work, but with that they still barely have the bare necessities. US $140 is probably more than a months salary for him, and that is if he saves all of the money he makes, which obviously isn't feasible. Hopefully they can have the strength to live the law of chastity.
The zone leaders came to district meeting this week. Had a really good district meeting. We went on splits with them in our area cuz they didn't have enough miles to do a trade off. Yeah, just my luck, I thought I would be going back to Hopeton with them for a day, nope. Hopeton is just an area in Mandeville, it's not that big of a deal. Played a football (soccer) game with a bunch of Jamaican youths on Wednesday. Elder Barber, one of the zone leaders set it up, yeah they are way good and control the ball like professionals and we are all super uncoordinated with our feet. They laughed at us for a while. We played on this really small rocky dirt patch that was on the corner of the road and the field was shaped like a triangle and mostly everyone was playing without shoes, but it was fun. I also went and bought a fan this week! Yes! Not super hot at nights or during studies anymore, it's moved down a notch from super hot to just hot. There are no signs of fall anywhere out here, but it has been raining quite a bit so that's been nice.
On my 18 month mark I got fed what they call turned cornmeal. This was my first time having it. It is cornmeal cooked in coconut water and has seasonings in it too. Also had chicken back as part of that meal. It was pretty good. Chicken back is very common, I eat it at least 2 or 3 times a month, it's just a lot of bones and no meat, I don't eat chicken back bones either by the way. I might start tho so at least I get some nutrients off of it.
I might have gotten hit by a car this week, it was a low speed collision. He basically crossed the intersection while I was riding and hit the front of my bicycle and then took the front of it under his car and ran it over. I wasn't in harms way at all. He pulled over and got out but there really wasn't anything that he could do. It was his fault cuz I was on the main road going straight and had the right away he just wasn't being very vigilant and pulled out in front of me. Happy 18 month mark to me! :)
The camera guy who is supposed to be fixing my camera keeps saying, "You can pick it up tomorrow." Well he has been saying that for over 3 weeks now. I finally put my SD card in my comp’s camera so there are a few pictures today.
Have a great week everyone! Enjoy school!
Elder Colton Harris
Pic 1, what it looked like when I pulled it out of the car
Pics 2 and 3, I straightened the handle bars out and that's what we got lol