Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

'Twas Two Days Before Christmas

Brandon waxed poetic, and at Christmas, he sent us this poem that he composed himself:

'Twas two days before Christmas and all through the mission,
All the Elders were anxious for what they've been wishin'.
The boxes were stacked in Kingston without care,
In hopes that thieves wouldn't break into there.
The senior couples were nestled all snug in their beds,
While thoughts of Christmas day danced in their old little heads.
President Graff in his suit Sister Graff in her dress,
Had just finished their plans for this big Christmas mess.
When all of a sudden there arose a new clamor,
They sprang to their feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the door they flew in a flash,
Unbolted the locks and the gate with a crash.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But three strange men, not a single reindeer.
With a fashion so strange, curious and bizarre,
You'd be sure that they had never been in one single car.
More brilliant than people they strode up the drive,
And they started to call out before they'd arrive.
President Graff, Sister Graff hold on and wait,
Elder Tanner, Elder McGrath we wont keep you too late.
First past the gate and then past the cars,
They obviously weren't coming from any bars.
So up to the door they walked really fast,
And came immediately in, not first or last.
And then in the kitchen they straightway sat down,
All of them smiled, not one single frown.
The Graffs, they sat too, the Assistants they stood,
To all listen eagerly to hear what is so good.
These three were all dressed in old looking clothes,
Whatever material it is, it all just glows.
They carried nothing, just the clothes on their backs,
Yet they had something amazing that required no packs.
Their eyes – how they twinkled and their dimples how merry,
Their cheeks were like roses, one's nose like a cherry.
So their message they shared to those four in the room,
Don't worry it wasn't about some impending doom.
Then they all got some food to put in each belly,
And had a few laughs while President Graff shook like jelly.
So they continued their chat, but not for very long,
Otherwise those three men would break out into song.
With winks from their eyes and nods from their heads,
It was time for them to go and everyone else to their beds.
No one said a thing, not one single word,
And to the door they moved, like their own little herd.
With handshakes goodbye they prepared to depart,
As everyone felt a strong burn in their heart.
Back down the drive to the street did they go,
Which direction they went, no one will know.
But President Graff exclaimed 'ere they walked out of sight,
Merry Christmas to y'all and to y'all a good night.
(from December 21. This is late because of our busy-ness during the holidays. In this post, Brandon explains the terms, "killing" and "dead" missionaries. The term, "white-wash" refers to a complete change of missionaries in an area.)

Well, it has been raining off and on for the past three days. The last couple of nights, Elder Vea and I have been riding our bicycles home in the rain. It wasn't the ideal conditions, but it is nice to have the rain on your face and not be that cold.

Well, it is the first week of this transfer. It happens to be Elder Vea's last transfer. He will be going home. This means in missionary terms that I am killing him and he's a dead missionary. Also, we received two new zone leaders who white-washed in Sav. No one else moved in our zone except for one of the zone leaders went to Negril and the one in Negril went to Santa Cruz.

Mostly, we've been building ourselves up for Christmas. So, I'll get to say hi to some of you and to those I don't... HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Elder Huffaker

Christmastime is Come and Gone

Well, I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas. I know I did.

Lets see, I gotta be brief because I don't have much time in this internet cafe. Computer is going slow.

Last week, everything was leading up to Christmas. In fact, all the little shops move to the square on Christmas Eve. They have an actual market here where they don't just sell food, but clothes and toys and other what nots. So we helped one member family in moving all their goods to the square where they stayed up all night selling.

Then Thursday, we went to Portmore in the morning and played a little basketball. Then we went to Kingston to clean up and have Christmas dinner with all the other missionaries. We did a few skits sang a few songs and ate chinese food.

Then we got our packages and headed home for the night. Friday morning, Elder Vea and I headed down to the branch and got to talk to our families and get a little R&R the rest of Christmas day.

Sorry I had to be brief, if you want details, email me.

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Monotonous Week

Well, with half of December gone by, things are going pretty slow. I'm even struggling with what to write.

SOOOOOO. It's actually been getting a little chilly at nights. I still sleep with a fan blowing over me, but sometimes when I wake up in the morning, my feet are a little cold. I have to make my own winter down here. :D

Then, on Wednesday, after Elder Vea and I came back from District Meeting, we got pummelled with rain. I mean this was coming down. We rode for no more than 5 minutes between appointments, and we were soaked to the bone. We passed some of the family we were teaching while biking to the appointment; they laughed at us while we laughed at them. They were huddled under a little tarp while we were right in the middle of the downpour.

Then, we had the first wiff of Christmas plans. We're heading to Kingston to play basketball at 9 a.m. on the 24th. Then after some basketball, we will open whatever has been sent to us as gifts. Take some pictures and we're heading home. Then, we get to do our phonecalls on Christmas. I don't know how this will work, since I've never called home after arriving in Jamaica.

Lastly, our branch is having their Christmas Dinner -if you can call it that because of the size of our branch- on the 18th. Elder Vea and I pretty much told the Relief Society pres. to take care of it, since the branch is 95% female.

Well, if you think that sucks for a letter this week, you're right. You better write a letter to the Jamaican government and church HQ telling them to give us something good.

Elder Huffaker

Brandon sent this photo of the branch in Falmouth, Jamaica last week. Hmm, bet you can pick out Brandon instantly, huh!! -- Marilyn

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

Ok, so I don't know if in the song, they're actually talking about the seventh Christmas in your life, the seventh day of December, the seventh day before Christmas, or the seventh day after Christmas? That's a lot of choices!

Anyways, it is Pearl Harbor Day for all of you who don't remember your history. I do!

This last week actually had some interest. I've actually been failing to write about one main thing. That is, every Tuesday, the senior couple missionaries in Montego Bay come to Falmouth to help us with our missionary work. More specifically, along with the assignment of working with less-active members. Elder and Sister Smith are really nice and fun to be around. Elder Smith actually reminds me a lot of Grandpa Huffaker; he likes to tell stories and give good, hard handshakes. Sometimes, the Smiths will treat us to a meal, which is really nice. Living between tourist districts isn't the greatest for prices here.

Then, at our weekly Wednesday District Meeting, we lost 4 missionaries. The elders in Sav and Negril are just staying in Sav for Wednesdays now because of the cost just to go to Mobay. Then, the elders and senior couple in Lucea had to travel to Ochi for an ET (emergency transfer). On their way back to Lucea, they stopped in Mobay and Elder Vea went on a trade-off to do some baptismal interviews. So the elder that was moving to Lucea didn't even get to see his new
home yet.

Next, we had one of the assistants and a missionary they're towing around, because he sprained his ankle so he gets to ride in a car all the time (now I know what I need to do to get a car here), come here and go on splits with us and stay the night as well. I'm not exactly sure why, but we had an enjoyable time with them.

Lately, I've been having problems with my bicycle. First Elder Vea broke his crank and then I need a new tube and tire. It really sucks and takes a lot of money. There's only one bicycle shop in Falmouth and they have a monopoly - get to charge whatever they want.

Lastly, this is really weird yet cool at the same time. WE SAW NUNS! It was totally weird, having never seen any in real life. They were driving in a car here in Falmouth. Elder Vea and I were both astounded beyond reason.

That's all for this week!

Wishing you a whiter Christmas than down here.

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving?

Well, it's sad to say, but true. Thanksgiving doesn't exist down here. How I miss good quality food. Not that the food is bad down here or anything like that, but it gets boring eating bread day after day.

Anywho, this week, Elder Vea and I decided to go to a bible study class, to learn about other religions and how to help those we teach that are in those religions. We went to a Church of Christ bible study and whoa, was the teacher way off course. He didn't know that Moses sent twelve spies not Joshua, and that Joshua was the second good spy along with Caleb. I feel sorry for those who know not the truth because they know not where to find it.

Then, we had Zone Conference last Wednesday in Sav Le Mar. It was awesome to not only see Elder Tracy, from the MTC, but also Elder Tonks from when we were in Old Harbour last transfer. I really enjoyed it and learned a few things.

Next, we did some service for a member and I am very disappointed in the carpentry skills of Jamaicans. They can't frame a house to a square at all, and I hate using hand saws. We cut lumber by hand. NO ELECTRICITY!

I quote Elder Vea, people don't travel to Jamaica for vacation, they travel here to appreciate America more.

That's all for this week.

Elder Huffaker

(This week's photos include a parting shot from Old Harbour, and the threesome of Elder Vea, Elder McGlossan, and Brandon.)