Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Hurricanes Come Blowing Through, Hurrah, Hurrah

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, there are no pictures nor have there been for a while. I know some of you look forward to pictures more than words, so I'm gonna try to make it up to you next week.

This week was pretty exciting. First off, Elder Gantt is our district leader. Every district meeting - for those of you who have forgotten, district meetings are on Wednesdays - we sing a hymn to start and usually I conduct the music. So when I finished I sat down right in Elder Gantt's teaching chair. When it was time for him to start teaching, I refused to relinquish the chair. So he said, "fine, you teach district meeting." I DID! I took his notes and taught district meeting. Apparently it went really well. -- This is Elder Gantt and yes it did go very well!!! --

After district meeting, I went on a trade off to Negril. I spent the time with Elder McClean. He's a Jamaican and probably the coolest Jamaican I've ever met. We had a blast together. I don't have any pictures because I forgot my camera. While I was there, I used an Irish accent and had a lot of people ask if I was from Ireland. I played some people really well. In the end, I always revealed that I wasn't from Ireland, but Elder McClean really liked it. We also saw a break-in. Nothing to worry though, apparently the place wasn't in use and hasn't been for a very long time. The next day, I did get to have lunch with the senior couple from Lucea and their grandson (who was a missionary here in Jamaica). I came back to Sav to find Elder Gantt in one piece.

Saturday, we had a really cool experience where we gave a member's mother a blessing. We've been working with the member's niece who lives with the member's mother. We've been trying to get her to come to church. Well, apparently this blessing made a huge difference. The next day (yesterday) the mother was feeling 100% better and let the niece come to church. Sometimes simple things lead to great blessings.

Elder Huffaker
P.S. from Marilyn:
Despite the title of this post, when asked about Hurricane Alex, Brandon noted that they've gotten a little weather from Alex, but nothing really bad. The missionaries are instructed to keep a few days' supply of food on hand, in case of emergencies, especially during hurricane season. Thank you for keeping him in your prayers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Hole in the Ozone

Okay, I dunno who dun it. But someone decided that it would be the hottest thing in the world to put a hole in the ozone layer right above Jamaica. Never mind the fact that I live on a tropical island. Some person decided that we should turn up the heat a little down there. SOoooooo.... now the fan doesn't give enough of a breeze to keep you cool until a couple hours after dark. You just get drenched in sweat down here. It makes me wonder how I even survived my first summer here, and I'm on round two.

This week has been a really big struggle. Trying to get our retention up, working with less-actives and not to mention our active members. We've been talking with the new branch mission leader and hopefully we can get the members here motivated... again. About this time last year, missionary work was booming here, now it's died down. One thing I do remember is what Pres. Brigham Young said, "whenever I see trials and difficulties and think I'm about ready to give up, I know that blessings are soon to come." or something to that effect.

I kinda hinted at this last week, but one thing Elder Gantt and I like to do is listen to talks and devotionals. I was thinking about a devotional that Neal A. Maxwell gave at BYU titled, "The Inexhaustible Gospel." For truly it is, it's never ending and has no beginning. It keeps moving forward whether we want it to or not.

Elder Huffaker

Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week, I'll try harder next week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Week of Hurricane Season

Since we're at the beginning of hurricane season, the weather here has been extremely wet. Sometimes you're like "YEAH RAIN!" and other times you're like "Ugh..... it's raining again."

This week, along with all the rain, we had zone conference on Wednesday here in Sav. We got to listen to Pres. Hendricks instruct us, and boy did he give some instruction. That's what happens when you get a mission president who used to be a temple president. We were totally blown away with some of the things he talked about. I also got to catch up with some of the other Elders on the island, seeing some new faces and some old ones.

During the week, Elder Gantt and I also started listening to some other really interesting lectures. He has it on his i-pod, so I can't get a copy, but I highly recommend it. It's Truman G. Madsen and 8 lectures on the Prophet Joseph Smith. One thing that I remember that was really cool is the comment that Joseph Smith made that there was 100 times more to be revealed about section 76 in D & C and that if he revealed it all, it would have taken up as much space as it covers right now. (There are 119 verses in that section - it's the section that talks about the kingdoms of glory) So, if you have the time and resources available, I recommend listening to it.

Otherwise, things are going fairly well down here.

Elder Huffaker

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Transfer Gone By .... 10 out of 17

I hope everyone had a good week..... GOOD!

Wellllllll this last week was transfers. Don't worry though, I'm not in Kingston. I'm still in Sav with the amazing, the wonderful, the stupendous ELDER GANTT.

Along with that, since we weren't sure if any of us were leaving, we were invited over for dinner at one of our favorite member's homes for dinner. While there, Elder Gantt found the wig. (see pictures)

Wigs are somewhat popular down here. It's one of threee styles that female Jamaicans will do with their hair, becuase down here, you can't just let your hair hang low. 1st style - the plait, basically their word for braiding, this includes cane rows (we call it corn rows back home). 2nd style - the cream, basically applying gel or mousse to the hair, this is how they get the straight hair look. 3rd style - the wig, when you just find the hairstyle you love, but you don't want it permanently, you get a wig. So Elder Gantt wanted a change of hair style for a few minutes.

While we were there, the little 2 year old, named Devaughney, a.k.a. "Vaughny" found our bicycle helmets. He didn't know how to wear it, but he likes the sideways look. We tried to put it on correctly, but he would change it back to this look.

Next, we made a cake on Friday, just for fun. We bought cake mix and frosting at the store. It was all rainbow chip. I thought this would be the coolest thing since the ice age. NOT REALLY! the cake turned out fine, but it didn't agree with our stomachs at all. Our mouths and minds were saying, "Wow, this is delicious!" our stomachs were saying, "Oh no it's not... GET OUT!"

This morning, Elder Gantt and I decided to set up an exercise program rather than just doing whatever. So we jogged, did pushups, pull ups (YES I ACTUALLY DID SOME FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE), and sit ups. By the time I got in the shower I wasn't sure if I should puke or get on with the day. Thankfully everything stayed down.

Have a nice day, somewhere else

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jamaican Headliner

From Marilyn:

You may have seen the recent news coming out of Jamaica regarding some civil unrest. Brandon mentions it in his email (the next post).

After last week's email from Brandon, we received an email from Elder and Sister Cheesman, who are a couple missionary in the office. They explained that last Monday was Labour Day in Jamaica, a holiday, and many internet cafes were closed. Some missionaries were unable to email. They sent their assurances that all the missionaries in Jamaica were safe, and still doing missionary work. The unrest has been localized in a specific area of Kingston (since then, it has spread a little). Brandon is located pretty far from Kingston and has not seen any violence.

We thought it was very cool that the Cheesmans would send out that email to parents of missionaries, and keep us informed. We are not worried about him, and feel at peace with him there. Please keep him in your prayers.

What's Going Down in Town

Ok, to kinda brief you about what's going on in the island of Jamaica:

First off, town (see subject) usually refers to Kingston. So if someone says they're from town or if they're going to town, 90% of the time they are refering to Kingston.

Kingston has been a place where a lot of action is happening. Whatever I've picked up and am mentioning, it's all what I hear from people around me or what I catch on the news as we ride/walk by.

So in Kingston, the United States government is asking the Jamaican government to extradite a man named Dudus (doo doos - like what the dog does in the yard). Mr. "Dudus" is a drug kartel. However, he's paid off many politicians (including the Prime Minister) and in return, the political party in power is helping to hide him.

He pretty much runs a scheme in Kingston called Tivoli Gardens. It's here in Tivoli where most of the news is coming from. Many of the residents want to protect Dudus as well. So..... barricades have been thrown up, guns have been handed out - as large as .50 caliber -, and bombs have been placed. In return, the Jamaican government has sent in the police and the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF = military).

Many people have been killed and buildings (including a police station) have been burned and/or destroyed. The police and the JDF are doing searches of homes and persons.

This action and man hunt has reached Spanish Town and even the outskirts of Maypen. (please note that all in all, there are usually 14 missionaries in these areas).

In the meantime, Prime Minister Bruce Golding has publicly apologized. The United States and the oposing political party are asking for his resignation. However, he won't do it.

I don't know what is happening with the missionaries there, but everything is fine here in Sav.


In other news:

The new Mission President, Pres. Hendricks arrived in Jamaica safely.

Also, Elder Gantt and I received a surprise visit from our zone leaders on Saturday morning with a new telephone (because ours wasn't working) and later on received a phone call from Pres. Hendricks himself. He was stopping in Sav at the church for some reason and needed directions. When he finished he called us again and wanted to meet us. So.... I met Pres. Hendricks before half of the missionaries here in Jamaica have. He seems like a really amazing person. He's very tall and still has color in his hair.


First up: some pictures Elder Gantt took when we arrived home during the rain.

The scenic pictures were taken on the road to Grange Hill and as I was looking at the scene I was asking myself "Am I in Jamacia or Vietnam?"

How much line does it take to hold one wet missionary's clothes?

Elder Figueroa's last district meeting. We all wore our Clarks.


Elder Huffaker