Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Back -- in Sav

Dear Everyone!

I'm back in Sav! I finished up my week in Mandeville with Elder Wilson and Elder Allen and got a few last minute pictures on their couch.

Transfer day, last Wednesday, was hectic. We sat around all morning waiting to find out what was going on. We finally met up with Elder Keele (the new zone leader for the Mandeville zone) at about 2:00. We packed his stuff and Elder Allen's stuff in a car and drove to Santa Cruz. dropped off all the bags, and Elder Allen, picked up Elder Tracy, drove back to Mandeville, picked up Elder Gantt's luggage, and my one bag that I brought to Mandeville and headed for Sav at about 5:00. Elder Tracy then had an idea to stop for dinner somewhere. So we stopped in a town called White House and had cook shop food (which usually consists of a meat, rice and peas and steamed vegetables) on the beach. While we waited for our food to cook, we got some pictures on the beach as well as a Jamaican sunset.

By the way, if none of you could tell, Elder Gantt is my new companion. He's from Lehi, Utah. He's really cool and we've had a bunch of laughs already. I also finally got a picture of the welcome to Sav sign. Oh, Elder Gantt has already had one transfer in Sav. He was here when I was on my last transfer in Old Harbour. So, he's back for round 2.

Next, there is the infamous Donkey Cart. the Donkey Cart travels around in Sav. you will also see many other donkey carts throughout the island. Donkey Carts usually have one or two donkeys pulling a make-shift cart. This one actually had three. As missionaries, we never tell lies, but we do tell jokes. One of the jokes we tell is that when a missionary goes on a tradeoff, we say that "he got licked down by a donkey cart and had to go to the hospital" It's mildly humorous to see the facial expressions of Jamiacans when you tell them this.

Yesterday was branch conference here in Sav and both Pres. and Sis. Graff spoke. Along with them came the amazing Elder Sizemore. He returned from Bahamas and became the new Assistant to the President.

Afterwards, Elder Gantt made me go and speak to Sister Graff about my health, which has been a little low. I currently have a runny nose and wonderful fits of sneezing. I don't have a fever, but my skin is cold and clammy. Everything feels hotter to me too. I don't know why, but Sister Graff sent us home. I was supposed to get rest. Well, I just can't sit still. So, Elder Gantt and I took a broken fan and decided to disassemble it and see if we could fix it. We couldn't find the problem, so we just demolished it some more.

That's the great news for this week. HAVE FUN EVERYONE

Elder Huffaker

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Hello and how ya doin'?

Today I don't have much to share although there are some major changes:

First up, I'm currently in Mandeville. Now, it's not yet transfer week, but I had to come. Elder Hicken and I received a phone call last Monday at 4:30 in which we learned that Elder Hicken's visa expires a week early and there is no way to prolong it. So on Wednesday, We got picked up by the zone leaders and were brought to Santa Cruz. There, the assistants picked us up and brought me to Mandeville to stay with Elders Wilson and Allen. So here I am in Mandeville doing missionary work for a week (Wednesday to Wednesday) until I get another missionary to be with me in Sav.

Mandeville is a very hilly city. In fact, I've already worn down my brake pads for my bicycle and will have to purchase a couple of pairs. Another nice fact about Mandeville is this is where the church started in Jamaica and has spread out from here. In the meantime, while I've been gone from Sav, Brother and Sister Hall were confirmed.

I know everyone likes pictures, so I'm sending a few. The first three are of a strip of road between Sav and Santa Cruz called Bamboo Avenue. Hence the bamboo on either side. In the second picture, there's a car driving backwards in the other lane of the road (I'm not sure how it got in the picture, let alone why the car was going backwards). The next two are of Elder Wilson and Elder Allen (Elder Allen is the Jamaican). Lastly, Elder Wilson thought he was being funny and snapped one of me.

Now guys, I've told you, I need to know what you want me to talk about, ask questions and send requests of things you want me to talk about.

Elder Huffaker

And the squatters? As good as gone.

Hello everyone. I hope you have all been looking forward to today and my email, because if you haven't, please turn off your computer right now and go back to your bed. You must be having a bad dream. WAKE UP!

Today's email is a little short. Yes, I have the time, no we didn't have anymore baptisms, and yes we did what we were supposed to.

First up, I have learned of a very interesting way of life. It's the principle of squatting. I'm not talking about what you do when you're out in the woods, I'm talking about what homeless people in Jamaica (and apparently the U.K.) can do. I was taught this by Bro. Vanriel (pictured).

Bro. Vanriel was baptized and confirmed. He currently is living out of another person's house. Well, he's looking to squat somewhere. I'm sure some of you may remember the first Shrek movie. In the movie, Shrek asks Lord Farquad to remove the squatters from his swamp. Squatting is legal. It is when a homeless person can "move in" to another house that is not being occupied. Meaning, the person has moved away or is on a very long vacation. Basically, the person can move in, and live in the house as if it were theirs. The person pays the bills and takes care of the place and everything. However, if the owner should return, the person is required to leave. A squatter must be careful, however, in that they don't get charged with breaking and entering. Thus, you can't go barging down the door. Bro. Vanriel is looking to hire a locksmith and to squat at this house until he can get going on his feet.

Later on this week, I tried what is called Tamorine (I think that's how it's spelled) It's kind of a tangy, sticky, thing that grows on trees. You shell it to get the tangy, sticky, thing and then coat it in sugar and eat it. It tastes really good.

Lastly, I made a pineapple upside down cake on Friday. Elder Hicken was very intrigued. He ate more than half the cake by dinner time. I don't think it turned out the greatest because it was spread kinda thin, but it tasted good none-the-less.

I trust everyone is doing well, please email me if you have misunderstood anything that I've stated in the past or want to know about something that goes on down here.

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Week

Well good morning again, class. Today we have a very interesting lesson.

First off, let's look at the missionary we were watching last week. On Tuesday, on of the Assistants to the Mission President came to visit. They taught some lessons and even got a couple of people interviewed to be baptized. We'll come back to these people later on. The Assistant was busy busy busy working with the missionaries. They had to sit down and work a few things out about what was happening. In the end, it all was good. While the Assistant was there, he enjoyed taking a nice warm shower. Apparently in Kingston, they are experiencing a drought. How do you experience a drought on a tropical island?

Back to the people who were interviewed. This couple has been visiting with missionaries for a long time. That's right ladies and gentle folks! The Halls are BAPTIZED!!!!! Friday night was the ceremony. Needless to say, the missionaries called a church brother to fill the pool for the missionaries. When they arrived 15 minutes before the baptism, the pool was still empty. They rushed in and turned on the water only to have the power go out 5 minutes later. The water flow is dependent on a pump - which runs on electricity. So Bro. Hall started to put up a bit of a fuss. Luckily the power came back on, but the water still wasn't as high as it was supposed to be, only up to their thighs. But the show must go on, and it did.

Every Friday, the missionary and his companion go through a weekly planning, where they plan out events for the upcoming week and see what they need to do to help investigators move towards baptism. Last Friday, the missionary made an interesting concoction for Breakfast that tasted quite good. In fact one missionary from Negril tasted and approved. He made pancakes, but not just any ordinary pancakes. Strawberry flavored pancakes with currants. After they were cooked, they were topped off with peanut butter and some vanilla raspberry syrup. MMMMMMMMM Tastes good.

Lastly, twice a year there is a general conference of the church. This time, the missionary didn't have to travel and got to enjoy it in his "home town". He really enjoyed the Saturday sessions. Following General Conference, he had the brilliant idea to adjust his name tag to fit the local style.

See you again next week, class!

Elder Huffaker

P.S. I'm back in Sav for this email... YEAH ME!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Missionary's Life

Hello everyone and welcome to todays new email from Elder Huffaker and what's happening in the wild wild world of Jamaica. Today we're going to zoom in on a missionary's life.

First off, missionaries go on tradeoffs at least once a transfer with their district leader. This missionary is going on a tradeoff with Elder Figueroa. Sometimes missionaries do crazy things on these tradeoffs. They like to make extra big dinners and make desserts. Watch out though, sometimes it'll give you the runny-belly.

Following a missionary's tradeoff, there may be times when there is a zone conference the very next day. So then the missionary has to wait for his companion and his tradeoffs companion to meet them before they can leave. The night before they will play a game called, "Settlers of Zarahemla" and polish shoes and iron shirts.

Then, when they get back, they have to prepare for a baptism the next night. A wonderful man named Joshua Vanriel got baptized (picture pending). Brother Vanriel trains boxers for a living and also makes castor oil.

Castor oil has a very unique smell. I dunno if I can even describe it. There is a song that goes, "that's the only decent kind of medicine, the man who made it must have been an Edison. It's a lick on a spoon guaranteed to make you swoon." Boy if that ain't the truth. Castor oil takes a very tedious process to make. You make it from very small seeds that go through about five steps before you can even get one drop of oil from one seed.

Prior to Brother Vanriel's baptism, missionaries can be prone to make mistakes. Sometimes they will lock themselves out of their house. Then they have to break into a house that has been designed so that people will not break in. Amazingly, the missionary's companion could fit through the grill, grab the keys and save the day.

Lastly, missionaries love packages, even more than they love the mail. When a missionary receives a package, customs has usually gone through it and made a mess. Hopefully they didn't eat anything. Then the missionary throws it into the freezer so he can eat chocolate that isn't melted. Usually the package will be half gone in 3 days, if that.

That's all for today's look in on a missionary's life.

Elder Huffaker

P.S. I had to travel to Negril today because the internet went down in all of Sav. Talk about a pain in the butt just to go and email.