Week number 1 is down in Junction and I love it! Man this is area is super sweet! We got here Wednesday evening, got in right when it was getting dark and we were following the zone leaders so I didn't know where we were going, which means that if I ever have to leave Junction I don't know where to go since there aren't nice and easy street signs to follow, but we're here and that's all that matters! Thursday we hit the ground and started to get a feel of the area. We headed up to President C.’s house and got to know him a little bit, then he came out teaching with us. He is super awesome and very converted! He has been a member for a long time and has even been branch president a few times. When we went to his house, if I hadn't known before hand that he couldn't see then it would have taken me a long long time to figure that out! He is pretty young, under 50 for sure just lost his vision pretty recently due to other complications so he knows the area here in Junction really good. He was leading us around telling us where to turn, how far to go and what store or shop or kind of tree to look for, just landmarks to help us. He has this place memorized, and trust me, this would be a difficult place to memorize! He loves missionary work too, I need to get him a name tag since he wants to go out with us so often. The branch is very small, about 25 people were there for sacrament. We are going to get it back up and running. We have church in a rented space, they don't have a building of their own. Our area is super beautiful as well! I thought that I was in the bush when I went to May Pen, I was way wrong. May Pen was less city than Spanish Town and Kingston but Junction is pure bush as they say here in Jamaica. There is a ton of farm land, they grow everything under the sun it seems. The parish that we are in (St. Elizabeth) is called the bread basket of Jamaica meaning that most produce comes from here. It seems that everyone here has a farm. It goes house, farm, house, farm, house, etc. They aren't large farms like we picture back home with acres and acres of land, but they are farms that like a family would be able to handle doing all the work by hand and not machinery, so that is the main source of income here. There is really red dirt everywhere too. We are essentially in the mountains of Jamaica, there are so many hills, I am so glad that I don't have to cover this area on a bike! That would be terrible! Although, it did ruin my plans for "3 months to sexy." I have told essentially everyone that I don't care what I do for the first 21 months of my mission as long as I ride a bike my last 2 transfers. Well, so much for that! My transfer call to Junction with a truck was essentially my "3 months to fatter and whiter." I wanted to get a good tan, get slim before I go home, so this is my luck. Where has this truck been the past year? Yeah so since we are in the mountains, they are arranged perfectly so that we see the ocean from the mountains almost everywhere we go. If you look one way you see for miles down into a valley of Jamaica, and you look the other way and you look down at the ocean! We get to see the ocean from up high in the mountains,,, that's a sweet combination!!! It is very beautiful! I love it! Another thing that I like about coming to Junction is that we moved into the apartment the sisters lived in. I told everyone before I left May Pen that the house we move into would be super nice since sisters lived there before,, I was right! Man how would it be to be a sister in this mission! Hot water in the house, non-rusty fridge, carpet in the bedroom! (first carpet I've seen in Jamaica btw). They did take the couch out of the house, only sisters can have couches in the mission according to Prez Brown, that isn't even exaggerating either. But yeah I don't even feel that I am in Jamaica since I don't get yelled "whitey" or “chiny man" anymore at me and because of hot water and carpet and a truck. My new comp is Elder Sullivan. He is Jamaica from Yallahas. He is a recent convert, baptized about 2 years ago, only member of the church in his family. It'll be good. We have a long way to go as far as getting down the missionary lessons and etc etc, but it's all good. That's why we have 3 months to train. No I am not district leader anymore! I realized that I haven't seen another missionaries district meeting in about 16 months or so since in Cayman even though we were zone leaders there were no district leaders so it was just us! Finally don't have to worry about coming up with teaching plans for district meeting all the time! I am in the same zone I was in while I was in May Pen. So another story, Prez P., the district president was here to put Bro C. in as branch president, after sacrament meeting Pres P. called me into talk with him. I thought he was going to explain that I should help out and be branch clerk like Prez Brown told me I might be doing. Well Prez C. called a branch clerk actually, but he called me to be the first councilor in the branch presidency. I was surprised at that. Guess it is another opportunity to serve, stretch, and grow. I've never seen that before, some missionaries go branch president but IDK if I have seen them as councilors. It'll be fun. The First Presidency Christmas devotion was great! It doesn't look, feel, sound, smell, you name it like Christmastime here. I can't believe that it is so close cuz it feels like summer time down here. That is the week. I'm sure we will have another great week this upcoming week as well!
Elder Colton Harris
Pic 1) Elder SullivanPic 2) Upgraded the ol' bike
Pic 3) Part of the area we cover
Pic 4) View from our area