Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Returned Emails and A Private Little War

Brandon has had some issues with his email getting through, and has had some returned to him. This post is a compilation of a few emails, which he was finally able to get to send. The first part is older stuff; the end is his message for the current week. He writes:

I keep getting this delivery notice that my mail isn't going through sometimes. I don't know what's up, but here's a few emails you were supposed to get but didn't.

Well, well, it's transfers this week! I dunno if I'm leaving Old Harbour yet or not, I'll find out later this week. I could be writing from a different place next Monday.

I learned that tropical flavored Skittles are actually pretty close to what fruit tastes like down here. So go eat a bag! :D

Accountability has changed down here. Instead of reporting our numbers, figuring what we could've improved on this week and tied it to a Christlike attribute and a doctrine, we just report our numbers. It makes Thursdays and Sundays a lot easier.

I've officially had a Jamaican apple. A lot different than an American apple, but just as good. I want to bring a seed home and see if I can get it to grow. Mmmmmmm. I've also had coconut. Not the milk yet, but the coconut straight is very good. It tastes different than the shredded stuff you buy at the store.

I have learned that when you say, "bike," it refers to a motorcycle or moped. If you want to talk about a bicycle, you have to say, "bicycle."

They listen to the BBC down here, too. It's pretty good to listen to, to catch up on the news around the world. The only time I can listen to it though, is when we're in a taxi with a driver who wants to listen to it.

We're teaching a family whose father makes cinderblocks. It's a pretty cool machine; I want to go over one of these days to actually watch.

Wednesday, I went on another tradeoff. I was reunited with my MTC companion, Elder Tracy! It was awesome. Sadly, we rode bikes all day and my butt got really sore and I biffed. I was looking down at this dog chasing me and was getting ready to kick it when my front tire hit Elder Tracy's back tire and he caught his balance. I didn't. I got bloodied, but no damage to my clothes.
Last night, we went to a scheme called Planters and Bois Content. It reminded me so much of the Grangemont road, I thought it was kinda interesting. A scheme is a neighborhood, but they name the neighborhoods.

The cool thing is, they use a lot of the old fashioned sewing machines. The ones where you have to pump it with your feet. I'm gonna try and get a photo of one at a member's house.

Lastly. I can officially solve a Rubik's cube. I've been working on it for the past couple of weeks and last night I solved it by memory! Yeah me!

In another email, he writes:

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT RYAN BEING SICK! I DIDN'T KNOW. I've been emailing him, but never knew why I didn't get a reply. I hope he doesn't have to be sent home, but I guess if he needs to. THAT SUCKS! I still won't see him for 3 years total. You'll have to send me a photo of Cameron's new marching uniforms, but it's good to hear Alyssa made varsity. Love the pics of Emma.

Next transfers are at the last full week of September. A transfer is every 6 weeks. Lately I've been eating a lot of rice. I try to mix up my meals, but it still feels like I eat the same things week after week. We have a very short budget. We get about 20,000 Jamaican a month and we now have to travel to Linstead for District meeting, which costs 400 to and back, another 500 a week for a lady to wash our clothes, 120 or 140 a week for an hour of emails plus other funds in between. We have also been taxiing a lot to get to the edges of our area, so even more money goes there. I end up with just a little over 1000 for food every week, which doesn't buy a lot. Just keep feeding the missionaries there, it definitely helps them with their funds. I wish we had faithful members like that here in Jamaica. We just get a Sunday night dinner from the Branch President and that's it. The weight is still coming off, but a bit more slowly now. I'm still not saying how much.

The assistants and President Graff have yet to come to Old Harbour. Nothing special happens on P-Days, and we just lost one investigating family and we might lose another. One didn't want to commit to baptism, but knows everything else to be true and the other father claims to have had a vision to go to another church, but we think he had too much ganja (marijuana). The other family we have is doing good and the oldest son wants to get baptised, the mom is unsure, and the father seems uninterested overall. There's a couple of factories I'd like to visit here in Old Harbour, but will probably have to wait til next Monday. We have our bikes, but still have to fix them and Elder Harris needs a helmet. To be honest, I'm not looking forward to biking.

And finally, his current email had this to say:

Well, I've had a very interesting week. First off, there's the mysterious brown spots. I think they're guinnup (ginn-up) stains, which apparently don't come out until the end of the season. You only see them after you wash your clothes.

We have new zones and areas in the zones in the mission now. President Graff reopened two areas and dissolved two zones. Example, there used to be 10 missionaries in Spanish Town, now there are only 4 as he opened a couple areas. There are a few other places like that too. We now have 3 new areas in our zone, we have Linstead, Highgate, and Ocho Rios (a.k.a. Ochi), as such, we now meet in Linstead for our Wednesday meetings.

On our way to district meeting, the police were doing random vehicle stops and searches. We didn't get stopped on the way up, but we did on the way back. The taxi driver was freaking out because he didn't have his uniform. I don't know if he received a fine or not.

The War: at about 6:00 in the morning yesterday, there was a gun fight at the bottom of the hill we live on. Thankfully, it wasn't in the direction that we go to church. It ended at about 8:30 and we don't know who won, but we were hearing shots and breaks for reloading all morning.

I made a giant no bake cookie:

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