Monday, November 17, 2014

Singing "I am a Child of God" with a drummer's accompaniment

Everyone what's up! This week has been a great week! Saturday was the funeral for Sister H. The family didn't want to hold the funeral at our church because they said that no one wanted to come to a funeral at our church. It was instead held at a Pentecostal church in Canaan Heights. Wow, that was a party lol. We walk in and us 4 missionaries had some of the ushers come up and they walked us right up to the front of the building to the reserved seating, I don't know why but we had the best seats in the house. We did get seats right in front of the band. Most of it was like a concert. I think our seats also should have had a splash zone warning on them, with a lot of shouting (what they called singing and praising the Lord) a couple times I think that I got splashed on. Overall it was good, just loud and different. They had some of us from our church sing a song and we sang 'I am a Child of God.' The best part of the song was that the drummer gave us a beat while we were singing, I'm proposing a drum beat to the MoTab, it adds a sweet new element to songs lol. A lot of people were at the funeral. Unlike back home where you only go to a funeral if the person who has died is very close to you, everyone and then some who knows the person who died shows up. They even go if it is a friend of a friend or if they live in or have lived in the same community together, so lots of people always attend funerals. The excuse, "I can't come to church this weekend, I am going to a funeral" is probably the #1 excuse we get from investigators and others who we invite to church. We told some people about how back home we only go to a funeral if you know the person really well and they all said' "No man, that's just weird." So I guess it's all just what you are used to.

C. should be getting baptized this weekend! She has an interview planned for this week, so hopefully this works out now! It has been a long, long time in the making, but the time is finally here. I am excited about that! She is doing great, and has improved a lot even in the past week or 2.

We went earlier this week to re-drop A. From what she said to us at church last week we thought she didn't understand what we meant when we dropped her. We go there and we are like alright, you asked why we haven't been coming to see you anymore, do you know why we can't come and see you anymore? And she says, "Cuz you gave me 3 options and I didn't choose one of the options that would alow you to come back and see me." (The 3 options that we told her she had was 1) work towards marriage with E. 2) Break up with E. or 3) continue living with E. while you aren't married and if that is what you choose we can't keep coming to see you because there wouldn't be much else that we could help her with at that point.) She obviously understood our drop lesson, but then she tells us her and E. are getting married now... again. From talking with both of them it sounds real this time. It's been a big headache working with her. She is so close and I think she will make it this time. I think her 10 day drop was very good for her, it made her realize that we are serious about these things and pushed her to act. So instead of re-dropping her, we ended up picking her back up in our teaching pool.

So IDK if you remember me talking about J. last month, she is the lady that we asked for directions one night, then she gave us like 15 referrals for us to contact and we thought that she was an investigator. IDK if I told you this part tho, well we came to find out a few weeks later that she is a member of our church, just is very less active. We found that out because the referrals that we received from her told the sister missionaries that she was a member. We go and look and we can't find her name on the branch list, so we call her and ask her and sure enough she is a member. J. is her pet name, when she told us her real name we found it really quick on the branch list. Well her daughter is going to be baptized in a few months and her granddaughter is going to be baptized in 2 weeks. J., her daughter and granddaughter and her niece were all at church yesterday. It was great! J.’s daughter and granddaughter were actually the sister missionaries’ investigators before we sent them the referral, so that is also pretty cool, don't know how it happened but somehow it worked out like that. Hopefully they all become active in the gospel, that would be a sweet family story. 

2 weeks ago we were walking out of Value Mart where we do our weekly shopping and a guy came up to us. He was like, “You’re missionaries for the LDS church right?” We said yeah. Well come to find out he had just moved back to Jamaica from living the Nassau, Bahamas for the past 11 years. While in Nassau and during the presidential elections 2 years ago with Mitt Romney he started researching the church online. When I hear that someone has researched the church online it usually is only bad things that they remember and want to talk about, but he seems to be focusing on most of the good. He said he has seen good and bad but that he knows not everything could have been true. He asks really great questions, requested a visit from the missionaries and a Book of Mormon from but no one ever came to see him. He has basically taught himself so, so much about the church, and even started reading the Book of Mormon from the internet. He goes to the MormonChannel on Youtube and watches sections of general conference that they post on there. In Nassau he even went to the church building a few times to try and talk to someone but all the times he went no one was ever there. He is super prepared to receive the gospel. He asked us at the end of our lesson, "Do you think it would be ok if I could attend your church with you?" We were like, uhm yeah , I think we will be able to arrange that. And then we told him about institute and activities that our branch has on Friday nights so he is actually going to be coming to both of those too. He even invited us into his house to have the lesson, first lesson that I have had IN a house since I have been in May Pen, it was great. This is fulfilling the Lords promise in Preach My Gospel that He will either lead us to them that are prepared or He will lead the prepared to us. I am super excited about him, he is 18 years old, and will be able to be a strong member that can contribute to the branch as soon as he is baptized. When he walked us out to the front yard after the lesson he said, "I have been wanting to join this church but I just haven't received an opportunity yet." He has studied other religions as well and went on for a few minutes about what he likes about this church compared to other churches. Things have been a little slow lately with our investigators and this is definitely a tender mercy of from the Lord.

 Have a great week! Happy 5th birthday Marissa! I love you!

 Blessed Love.
Elder Colton Harris
Also, it is still really, really hot here unlike back home! #bejealous


1) Funeral services in Jamaica are a HUGE business! In all reality, if you want to get rich in Jamaica then open a funeral home.. they spend so so so so much money on funerals. They don't have normal hearses here, just Cadillac Escalade hearses, the only Cadillacs on the entire island I would say all are owned by funeral homes. When I die, that's what I want. Notice the speakers on the outside of the car, they blast music up and down the streets constantly...and there are many of these throughout May Pen, throughout every city really.

2) Lots of rain, fully soaked from being in a downpour for over an hour.
Colton enjoying the rain in Jamaica
Had to add this picture of Devin who is enjoying the rain in Brazil!  These brothers may be thousands of miles apart geographically, but they are obviously still very close at heart!

3) Fixing my shoe with silicone :) I really just did it for fun

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