This last couple weeks has been amazing!! We didn't really have time to take a p-day... so thats why its been a couple weeks... but... life has been bumpin!! One responsibility we have that I learned this week is booking flights!! We've booked a ton of flights in the last little bit... Its so crazy!! I thought working on transfers was a jigsaw puzzle... haha.. Coordinating all the flights so that people get where they're supposed to be is crazy!! Especially with Zone conference coming up... Cuz this mission isn't just Jamaica... it also has the Turks and Caicos, Cayman, Freeport (Bahamas), and Nassau (Bahamas)... So for their zone conferences, we're gonna be doing some island hopping... but the silly thing is.. most of the time.. there isn't a direct flight, so we have to fly through Florida... meaning, I get to say hi to the motherland again!! :) I'm pretty excited for that... haha... Booking flights definately isn't a skill I thought I'd develop on my mission.... but so it go.. :) One of the craziest things to me, is that President completely trusts us to get it done... Like the other day, we booked a missionaries flight, picked him up a few days later, and brought him to the airport on time... without President even reminding us or asking how its going at all... haha... Hopefully we don't ever mess up, cuz its a bigger responsibility than I thought I'd have... especially on my mission... Its pretty cool though... Oh, and we've been working on transfers a lot lately too.. Its a pretty big jigsaw puzzle.. but, surprisingly everything is coming together, and it really seems like a miracle how its all working out... :) I've really enjoyed working on that with President Hendricks and Elder Hoffman...
We got to do service a couple times too.. :) The first one we went and shoveled out a members chicken coop (it was the nastiest smell in the world!!!) It smelled like a mixture of ammonia and poo haha... and helped her slaughter and package some chickens to sell.. :) It was pretty sweet... The second one was kinda a surprise haha.. One of our investigators, Trisha, mentioned that she was trying to get some work done before Christmas, and she didn't know if she would have time to see us.. and she mentioned some of the things she was trying to get done... (one of them being getting her yard chopped).. when we asked her if we could help, she said no...... so we showed up the next morning (Christmas eve) and chopped her yard... haha :) It was pretty sweet, and she was able to meet with us that evening... Even though she told us not too... she seemed pretty happy that we came and did it haha.. :) Way legit...
Christmas was awesome!! We had the mission Christmas party on Friday (the 23rd)... It was crazy!! President Hendricks asked me to teach a pretty big portion of the spiritual program, and conduct the meeting and I was shakin in my boots!! haha... I was so nervous!! The whole mission was there, plus BYU TV was filmin it as well... But it turned out well.. after like the first 10 min... I was able to stop stumblin over my words, and say what I wanted to and it flowed really well... :) It's crazy how we go out and teach people every day, yet I can still get nervous teaching in front of a crowd... haha... maybe that'll never go away... ...
Christmas eve was pretty cool... we went and sang carols with some people, and did service... Pretty much went about doing good... :) It was a good day.. At one point during the day.. we went to see a family who lives a 45 min. drive from the church.. way up in the jungle bush.. and had a little message about Christ and sang Christmas carols with them... (since they live so far. no one ever really gets to go see them.... so it was really cool).. It was prolly the best moment of my Christmas eve.. because even though everything here is so different.. ... standing there singing carols with them in the jungle, with sweat dripping down my face, and a rooster crowing in the background, I felt the true Spirit of Christmas.... A spirit of service and love.. :) and it was AWESOME!!
And last but not least on Christmas eve, we went to the Devon House to get ice cream and look at the Christmas lights.. :) It was superb...
Christmas day was awesome.. Lots of food, and visiting people... :) But the best part of the day was definitely skyping with my family!! It was once again the fastest 40 min. of my life haha.. Mothers day can't come soon enough... But I'm definitely way thankful for technology!! How cool is it that I'm in Jamaica and I can talk to my family face to face in Iowa!! CRAZY!
This week has been pretty crazy as well... Sadly, we haven't got to teach too much this week, because we've been back and forth from the airport, moving missionaries to Turks and Freeport and moving some back... Tuesday we did a trade off with the Ocho Rios zone leaders (driving from here to there is beautiful!!) We drive through a place called fern gully that is just gorgeous!! :) I wish a photo could do it justice!! THursday all of the missionaries here had to stay in because it was elections... and people here are crazy about politics... i'm not gonna go into details.. but long story short... lots of people get killed over it haha.. so for missionaries safety... we all stayed in... It was a good day though.. I wrote a sweet guitar tab for there is a green hill far away... :) (a missionary who served here before left a guitar in the house.. so its been fun to mess around on on p-days..:))..
So ya... Things are going great here!! We are still teaching quite a few awesome people.. One of them, Alexis (Lexi)... should be getting baptized on Jan. 14th.. :) So i'm pretty pumped for that.. She's an awesome lady, and has been making a lot of sacrifices to live the gospel... :)
Well... I'm pretty sure that pretty much catches me up.... :)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! HELLO 2012!!!! :) Let the good times roll!!
"Oh and shout out to St. Louis!! Thanks for the banner.. :) I love it.. ... oh and if you haven't seen the movie "17 miracles" definitely watch it asap!! SO good!! :) you will love it!! (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Kraus!)... But be sure and watch it with tissues at hand.. It tugs at your heartstrings... :) "
Thanks, Elder Dustan Kraus