Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Monday, January 31, 2011

How You Know

This week, I have nothing new to really write about. So, I thought I'd take the time to explain how you know when a missionary is getting old.

First off: You know a missionary is getting old when the he passes 18 months and is on the last 6 months of his mission (October 3)

Second: You know a missionary is getting old when he starts reading the Doctrine and Covenants backwards to start his countdown (I just finished Section 93 today)

Third: You know a missionary is getting old when he starts having dreams about going home rather than missionary work (These aren't day dreams)

Fourth: You know a missionary is getting old when he starts leaving decisions up to his companions (It's happening more and more)

Fifth: You know a missionary is getting old when he starts asking other missionaries what their plans are for returning home (I got none)

Sixth: You know a missionary is getting old when he gets a phonecall in the middle of emailing asking where the closest airport is to your home (I just got it a few minutes ago)

Seventh: You know a missionary is getting old when the collars of his shirts start fraying (Mine have been doing that for a while)

Sorry I've got no pics, but I'll try and get some next week
Elder Huffaker

P.S. if you want to add more to the list, feel free

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Week of Sorrow

I'm sure many of you have heard the news. Elder Walker was hit by a stray bullet last week on Monday on the way back to Kingston from Spanish Town. He returned home almost instantly. There were seven other missionaries in the van.

This is how the missionaries in the van were situated:

(B) (E) Elders Brough and Emery
(T) (L) Elders Toutai and Luke
(W) Elder Walker
(K) (N) Elders Knowlton and Nelson
____ _(O)_ Elder Ostberg

The bullet came in through the back window and hit Elder Walker in the left temple. It was a tragedy to all of us missionaries.

For more information on the matter, please consult my mom.

Next in news. President Hendricks came to district meeting last Wednesday. I think it had something to do with the fact that all of our zone, except Elder Snelson and I, were involved in the incident regarding Elder Walker. He also interviewed Elder Snelson and I after the meeting and we had a good chat and I also got a few doctrine related answers while I was at it.

Next, we have the amazing super planning on Friday. Elder Snelson received some summer sausage in his Christmas package. Soooo, I broke out a tin of cheese I had been saving and we purchased some Ritz Crackers knockoffs and enjoyed our weekly planning session.

Sunday we travelled down with the Daniels to Kingston to stay the night at the zoneleaders house. But before they took us to the zone leaders house, we stopped and ate dinner at the Schaefermeyer's house. While there Elder Schaefermeyer showed me a video that I ask you to watch on youtube. It's called Two White Girls Pon a Minibus. This kinda relates the experience of travelling via public transportation in Jamaica. The head out the window thing is the only difference. People can't really do that anymore.

Yesterday, the zone leaders took us to Spanish Town for Elder Walker's memorial. Elder Coleman and his wife were there as were President Hendricks and his wife. All four of them spoke. Elder Coleman represented the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Carribbean Area Seventy. It was a good service. I also got a picture of me and my protege's.

Elder Huffaker

Note from Marilyn:
Brandon's comment of Elder Walker "returned home" -- refers to his death, and returning home to our Heavenly Father. I liked the comment I read on one of the senior missionaries' blogs: “Elder Walker's life was cut short, but his mission was extended”. And President Hendricks' affirmation that, “God is in charge.” You can email me if you have further questions about this, at PaintedFlower@aol.com.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tragedy in Kingston

From Marilyn:

Yesterday afternoon, we heard the sad, sad news that Elder Walker was killed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the missionaries there in Jamaica. At this time, we don't have any additional information about it, but it was P-day, and I believe several elders had gotten together for a p-day activity together. I'm sure Brandon will have some details for us in his email next week. Brandon knew and was friends with Elder Walker, and served as his companion when he spent one transfer in Kingston, last September. Elder Walker was one of the Jamaican missionaries that serve in their own country. This photo of Brandon with Elder Walker was taken last September:

The Church issued this statement yesterday:

"Our hearts are heavy with the news that Elder Jermaine Luther Walker from Kingston, Jamaica--serving in the Jamaica Kingston Mission--was killed today. He was hit by a stray bullet while he and seven other missionaries were returning to their apartments after a preparation-day activity. It appears the van they were in was caught in the crossfire as local police were pursuing another vehicle. Elder Walker was immediately driven to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Although shaken, the other missionaries in the van were reported in good condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with Elder Walker’s family and all who knew this fine young man."

** I mistakenly posted that Brandon and Elder Walker had not been companions. I've edited this post to show that they were.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Now what...

So now I need something else to talk about this week.

First off, the zone leaders came up Wednesday afternoon and followed Elder Snelson and I around to see how we do. I'm sure a few people were intimidated when they see four white Mormon missionaries coming up to them. We had a good time though; this included our weekly study night that we have at the church. Only one member showed up sadly, but we had a ton of laughs along with our lesson. Plus Elder Brough is always happy to hear "The Matterhorn".

The Matterhorn is so named by my favorite companion who has probably heard it the most: Elder Gantt. Some of you may be familiar with the way I laugh, and when I get into a laughing fit... well, let's just say it gets hard for me to breathe. So imagine if you will when you fill a balloon full of air and then you pull the stem/neck to let the air out and it makes a annoying noise. Same basic concept. Except, I sound like a matterhorn. Personally I think it's more like a donkey braying.

We also had zone conference Thursday morning. The zone leaders drove us down since they stayed the night Thursday night. It was a good zone conference and very long. Elder Snelson and I didn't get back until the evening time.

It's also mango season again. It's my last one so I gotta get em while they're fresh!


Anakay and Shauna-kay begged a photo

Then they snapped one of me - without permission:
And I thought mom would get a kick out of the Copacabana:

Elder Huffaker

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding Myself at a Loss for Words

This week... what to write about... I really don't know.

Really, the only thing that happened this week is zone meeting. That was in Kingston. It actually kinda turned into a district meeting. It was weird. Afterwards we went to eat at Chilitos. It's a Jamexican restaurant. After the zone meeting, Elder Snelson and I went over to the new mission office to take care of a few things and pick some stuff up.

Now I really don't know what to talk about....

This is why you are supposed to ask questions and ask me to take pictures of certain things.

Not much is happening. It was a very standard week for Elder Snelson and I. Although, Elder Snelson did get a wakeup call. Mostly I do the talking/teaching in the lessons. He's very quiet and shy. Well, one investigator let Elder Snelson have it. She wanted a lesson without my interrupting. In all honesty, I think it was for the better. Elder Snelson needs to get out there and talk. He did an ok job. Definitely has room to improve, as do us all.

Sorry no pics ...

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coincidence? I think not!

Well, another year has come and gone. But before the new year arrived, we had transfers on Wednesday. Elder Snelson and I stayed here in Yallahs, so nothing special there. It was just 3 full proselyting days back to back. It feels weird when we proselyte on Wednesday mornings instead of meetings and I dislike not being involved in transfers. Not that being with Elder Snelson is bad, it's just so fun with the moving around of missionaries and all.

Wednesday night we have a study night at the church. We read from the Book of Mormon and talk about what it contains. Well, afterwards, I thought I'd be nice and give Jamaicans a little taste of America! I brought mom's poppyseed bread over and gave those who attended a slice. Ever since then They've been asking me, "When are you gonna get some more. Tell your mom to send more! We want the recipe!" Yeah, I like it too.

New Years Eve isn't anything special to us missionaries. In fact, I think every 6 months in our mission is more important! I dropped asleep before midnight even rolled around. Not like I'm really doing anything to keep me awake either.

Elder Snelson received his Christmas package a little late, but that's ok. It was what was inside. Somehow we both received ties for Christmas from the same company with the same design only a different color. Check the pics!

Elder Huffaker
P.S. from Marilyn:

I'm actually shocked that Brandon shared the poppy seed bread. He loves it so much, I thought it would be a stretch to give just his companion a slice! It's definitely a family favorite.

Also, he forwarded some mission group photos to me, from the Christmas Eve gathering in Kingston, so I am posting those as well. Can you find him? He's near the center, and one of the 3 missionaries standing between the back row and the second row from the back. (Clear as mud, right?)