Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I know it's a terrible question, especially if it's said to the Lord. However, you really have to wonder sometimes WHY ME?

Well, since last Tuesday, a lot of things have happened. First off, on Wednesday, I went on a tradeoff with Elder Brough. Elder Brough was one of the zone leaders in Spanish Town. Well, on the way down to Spanish Town to commence the trade off, There is some construction, which we thought would hold us up. We blew right through that, only to find another obstacle... Apparently a bulldozer blade hit the back of a coaster bus. All I saw was the shattered glass of the back window. I still don't know how it happened, because the vehicles were going in the opposite direction and the bulldozer was on a flat trailer of a semi. Talk about intense. The trade off went fine and I was glad to see Elder Peterson back. We got along so well.

Friday hit me like a train. I got runny belly (bad case of diarrhea). Being healthy for so long you just feel like, "Dang, why don't I get sick, I could use a break." Well, be careful what you wish for. So I took some Pepto Bismol, which helped a lot. Only to have a cold hit me on Saturday! I've been taking Benedryl for the past couple of days now.

Saturday was the day we received our transfer calls. Around 3 - 4 p.m. we get a bunch of phone calls from other Elders with the exact same phrase, "Have you elders received your transfer calls? Do you know where you're going?" NO! So we get the news about where everyone else is going. Then at 6 p.m. Elder Peterson gets a phone call from Pres. Hendricks. He says you'll be staying in Linstead to train. OK........ what about Elder Huffaker? The Assistants were supposed to call him. So we wait. An hour later we call the zone leaders. I still don't know what's happening to me. 8:15 rolls around and finally they decided to call me (probably the last one on the island to get my call) and they're all apologizing saying we're sorry we forgot you. How can you not forget me. I HAVE TO MOVE!

So that brings us to Sunday. I didn't want everyone at the branch to know I was leaving. Only a few of the members that I was able to get to know. So, Sunday afternoon we went around to say goodbye to a few people. When we get surprised with a dinner plus dessert. Now this threw us off, because we always have a set dinner appointment at 8:00. DOUBLE DINNER = TROUBLE! Elder Peterson and I have already gone through this predicament twice before. I don't think he learned from it. So, during our second dinner, I ate about 2/3 and said thanks I've had all I can eat. He FINISHED his and when we left, we hadn't even made it to the corner of the street before water, rice and peas start coming back up. Poor guy. I hope he learned this time around.

Lastly, transfer calls means the transfer itself. All the zone leaders met up in Spanish Town. We were picked up by the Ochi Elders. Once in Spanish Town, I loaded my stuff into the mission bus along with all the Elders going home this transfer and plus one more who was getting transferred to Portmore. Well, the Assistants are thinking, ok, Portmore, we need to go there to drop this Elder off. Well, they forgot that the Portmore house is having a few problems and that they were staying in Kingston. So we took a scenic route through Portmore and here I am in Kingston with Elder Walker, who is a Jamaican.

Please remember to big up yourself this week.

Elder Huffaker

P.S. from Marilyn
Perhaps "big up" is Jamaican Patois for, "Have a good one!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More New News...

Wow! Things are blowing by so fast and lots of things are happening. Where do I begin?

First off, Wednesday, Elder Peterson and I received quite the surprise. During the middle of District Meeting, our phone rings. We have certain ringtones for certain people. Helps us know how "urgent" it is. This one was President Hendricks. He asked if we were in District Meeting... yes. Ok, I'm on my way to Linstead to interview you Elders. WHAT!?! Talk about last minute. We just looked at each other with wide eyes. It's kinda interesting really. President Hendricks announced that he was only going to interview us once a quarter. It hasn't been a quarter yet.... somethings up. My interview was pretty normal, but Elder Peterson said his interview with President was about me. What he thought of me and so on. No news yet for the cause, but we suspect somethings going on in the works for me.

Then, Thursday I tried a new dish again. Sister Davis is pretty good about feeding us more than just fried chicken with rice and peas. This week we had... pig skin. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. "WHO eats pig skin?" Well, it's actually pretty good. A bit on the chewy side, however. It basically tasted like bacon - which doesn't exist down here. Normally I prefer my bacon crunchy. So from going to a crunch to extra chewy was.... interesting.

Last week I mentioned the plan to travel to Kingston. Yesterday we met in Kingston for a mission conference. I'm very glad that we got a ride from the Ochi Elders. I hate traveling. So, we listened to President and Sister Hendricks as well as Elder and Sister Anderson. President Hendricks went over 8 steps that all missions are supposed to be incorporating to better use Preach My Gospel. Elder Anderson went over the something remarkable. He talked about loving and serving God with our minds, hearts, and souls. He went on to explain the difference between these three things and how to use them. First: your mind. You have to understand something. Hence, why missionaries are to study for 2 hours every day. Second: your heart. This is your desire to do something and to be able to have the Holy Ghost testify to you. Third: your soul. Becoming what you understand and know to be true. Changing your life!

This morning, Elder Peterson and I made the trip to Portmore to play some inter-zone basketball. It was really fun and actually stayed pretty cool. Didn't have too much sun down there and thankfully no rain. It was really nice.

Next week. I will once again be emailing on Tuesday. Transfers are on Monday. So we will be getting the phone calls either Saturday or Sunday Night. So I look forward to hearing from you on Tuesday.

Elder Huffaker

P.S. from Marilyn:
"Ochi" refers to Ocho Rios, a town on the north shore of Jamaica.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Week of Holidays

As you know, last week when I emailed, it was a holiday (Emancipation Day). To top that off, Independence Day was on Friday. I must say, there weren't any fireworks. Makes me miss July 4th.... what with all the celebrating and what not.

So this week, Elder Peterson and I had it kinda interesting. Our zone leaders wanted to go on a tradeoff this week, and Elder Peterson also needed to go on a tradeoff with a companionship in the district for a baptism interview. So, on Wednesday, I stayed down in Spanish Town with Elder Caplin while Elder Peterson went back to Linstead with Elder Brough. Then on Thursday, we met in Spanish Town, where Elder Caplin and Brough got back together and I went back to Linstead with Elder Gantt (that's right, THEE Elder Gantt) and Elder Peterson stayed in Spanish Town. So that was a little hectic. Not really being able to know what had happened and what's going on in my area for those two days.

Also, during District Meeting on Wednesday, we learned that Elder Anderson, of the Seventy, will be coming to Kingston and all the missionaries across the island are to be there this the coming Monday. First off, I'm glad that I'm no longer in Sav when this is happening, because it costs an arm and a leg in missionary funds to get from one of the island to the other via taxiing. Second, this also gives me a chance to hit up a decent grocery store before the meeting begins (2:30 p.m.). Thirdly, I will probably not be emailing next week on Monday, so don't expect any replies until Tuesday. However, this doesn't mean wait until Monday morning or Monday night to write your emails. For all I know, they may still have us email on Monday.

Lastly for my email this week. Elder Peterson and I held a missionary fireside yesterday at the church. Looking at how well it went... yeah, it was good. Looking at how well it was attended... yeah, it was bad. I dunno what more we could've done to get members to come out to it. We announced it all 3 Sundays prior to having it. I mean yeah, I know there are members on a temple trip, but that's only 11 people. Anyways... we're having another one next month. Maybe we need to advertise refreshments after the fireside.......

love ya'll,
Elder Huffaker

Friday, August 6, 2010


No matter where you go in Jamaica, once you spend time in one area, you think you've seen it all. Then you get transferred....

First off, I have tried a new food, please don't hurl in your mouth..... pig tail. At least they didn't leave the skin on it. Secondly is turkey neck. I've had chicken neck before while in Jamaica, but not turkey neck. Turkey neck is a lot easier then chicken neck, but still good meat as long as it's cooked right.

Nextly, Here in Linstead we usually get a fog every night. This brings out moisture loving animals. I don't know where they come from or hide during the day. It's not like we're near the ocean. But we see snails around here. So one night when we were coming home. On the road to our house was this giant snail. At first I thought it was a rock. Then I did a double take and I'm like "Rocks aren't usually sitting out in the road. What is that?" As I watched I noticed it was a snail. I had to call Elder Peterson over. He passed it and didn't even realize it. I made a fist and held it next to it and it was bigger than my fist. Talk about craziness.

Lastly for this week. Sunday was Emancipation Day for Jamaica. So, it was observed yesterday. This why I wasn't able to email yesterday. So, because businesses weren't open. Elder Peterson and I just played ping pong at the church, until..... A member asked us what we were doing today. Elder Peterson's reply: NOTHING. Her next comment was, "Oh good. Can you come to our yard and help us put up a pole?" Elder Peterson said, "Does it have to be today?" So we ended up going. Little did we know what we were getting into. Elder Peterson thought it was a fence pole..... REALITY CHECK. You have to know that the day before, on Sunday, they fed us dinner. So, this is like our work for our food. We end up hauling this 20-25 foot log up from the bottom of a hill to their yard. It took 5 of us, Elder Peterson and I, two members of the family and one neighbor. Me, being the biggest, gets the end of the log. It's no more than a foot and a half in diameter. I couldn't get the log into the crook between my shoulder and neck. So now, my shoulders are all bruised. Then, we have to "shave this log". We take machetes and knives to shave off the bark. Then we have to get the log into the hole. Mind you, the fifth guy (neighbor) has left by now. So we are trying to walk the log into the hole and we are already really tired from hauling it and shaving it. I'm sure this family is grateful for our help in putting up a power pole to their yard. Somehow we managed and made it back home in time to shower, do laundry and still be completely exhausted.

Due to a virus on my camera, I don't have any pictures to go with my stories. I'm waiting for a member to come back from Panama to fix it.


Elder Huffaker

P.S. from Marilyn

So I did a little checking, and it sounds like the snail Brandon saw was an "apple snail" (so named because of the size.) It would look something like this:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 2

Well, I know I promised you pictures, but it's still not working. I know there are pictures on my camera. However, when I try to load them on the computer, I can't get them from my camera. Sorry guys :(

This week we had zone conference in Kingston. It was a combined conference with the Kingston and Spain zones. The conference started at 8:00 and we had to wake at 4:30 in order to make it. I was sooooo tired during the conference. It was hard to stay awake. It was still a good conference. After the conference, everyone went to the one Wendy's on the island. That was a twist for me. I guess that's one of the perks of Kingston is that's where all the restaurants from home are located. TGI Fridays, Wendy's, the list goes on.

Thursday's here in Linstead are about the same as in Sav. We are there in the morning time for the employment office. I guess it's the same here as in Sav. It's slowed down a lot.

Elder Peterson is an interesting guy. He's pretty much down with anything, but he's very subtle. Take it from me, there is no way that he could ever be a guy cheerleader. He is very toned down. Doesn't say much and doesn't show much emotion. He almost has a monotone when he speaks. Like he feels emotion, but just doesn't show it.

Right now, we're planning on doing a fireside here to help move missionary work along. It kinda reminds me of back home. We get into this little valley of relaxation thinking we've done our part or done enough. Truth is, we're never done. What happens when you die and reach the Spirit World, you're doing missionary work. ITS INEVITABLE!

So help out the local elders, give away a Book of Mormon today!

Elder Huffaker