Saturday, November 5, 2011

Patriarchal Blessing

October  2011

Hey mom so guess I'd just tell you that today in Jamaica is Hero's day so there is no traffic and everyone is on holiday. I woke up ready to go running and they were all out playing soccer and they invited me to play so I played a soccer game this morning from 6:30 to 7:30 and then got ready to go. It was a lot of fun I hung in there well but I'm definitely not in the running shape I used to be in before my mission.
The assistants are moving out to a new place but we are staying in the apartment with the downtown Elders. Ya everyone gets along pretty well. I went running this morning with Elder Dale and we ran together a couple of times earlier this week as well.

So on Tuesday was probably my most spiritual experience we went to take our recent convert Damain Gray to go and get his Patriarchal Blessing (there is no stake in Jamaica but we got a senior couple in July and the husband Elder Smith is a Patriarch so he'll be here for 2 years doing blessings) He invited us to sit in and listen to it. It was awesome you could feel the spirit so strong and it was the first blessing I have heard besides my own.  Damain will be receiving the Melchezedek Priesthood in 2 weeks and his baby mother Theresa who is a very educated woman (20 years old) and was raised in a richer area has been taking the lessons from us and has a testimony that these things are true and she came to church with Damain and their baby for the first time last week. It was really awesome to have all three of them there and in his blessing it talked a lot about his future wife and that he'd be sealed in the temple and I really feel like Theresa is the one she is way cool and has a very good head on her shoulds so we're hoping as she's preparing for baptism now that they'll be able to work things out with each other and get married.

We visited with the Sisters in Port Antonio, its beautiful there. Life in the office goes really fast we are always busy. 

Love Jake

Port Antonio

Elder Ostrin (companion from Santa Barbara CA)  & Elder Clark

The Office - Halloween Decorations from home!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Car Accident :(


Hi Mom and Dad,

In response to moms question, where else besides Jamaica is part of the mission. Ya the missionaries go to Grand Cayman, the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas (Freeport and Nassau). Also Cuba is in our mission, President was just there last week. Yes there are missionaries in the Bahamas and Turks. We have two branches in Cuba one is on the military base and the other is kind of an underground branch.

This has been the craziest week so far on my mission.  Monday night we drove to May Pen to give the Elders Book of Mormons, we went around 7 p.m. We thought we were going to be late so Elder Ostrin went pretty fast on the highway and it started to pour with rain and then we started to hydroplane and spin over the highway and we hit a tree then spun 50 yards into a bog and into the bushes off the highway. We couldve died or gotten really hurt but we were ok. Well we were so far stuck in the mud and the tow truck came and couldn't get us out and then the tow truck broke down so they had to call another tow truck to pull us out and the other tow truck out. It took 4 hours to get us out we didnt get back til way late. The Assistants and Elder Tuai and Stubbs came to help us out on the highway we were between Spanish Town and Portmore when this happened. So now I am the designated driver which sucks because now I have to drive all the time and our car that is being fixed now was an automatic so  I have to learn how to drive stick in the crazy Kingston traffic, which has not been fun its like super busy (kind of like India when the Amazing Race people go there, just cars, motorcycles, dogs, goats and people everywhere) I was pretty scared to drive a stick in this crazy place but im getting better at it.
Oh ya and Ive been really sick the past two days I felt like I had strep throat but I think its just a normal cough and sore throat now. and my body has just felt super weak lately. We didnt get in til 6 last night cuz we had tons of work at the office to do but I just went straight to bed cuz Ive felt so nasty. Also on Thursday night we had to drive past Mandeville all the way to Junction and then we stayed the night at the May Pen house cuz we wouldnt have been able to make it back to Kingston.
Elder Clark


Hi Mom,
No we didnt get our truck back yet and I still have to drive all the time and it will probably stay that way depending on how much money the accident cost the mission.  Ya we have been pretty busy this week we have to be home by 9 unless we are teaching a lesson then we have to be home by 9:30. We all usually excercise in the mornings and night in the six man house and others play the guitar and Elder Stubbs and I play on the keyboard we have one in our house so yes I get to play it  and I'm getting a lot better. it's fun to play I like it a lot. This week has been pretty tough on me I think this week I've been the most homesick on my mission and these upcoming months I probably will be homesick often cuz I love Sept. through December, back home everyone going back to school, soccer, work, halloween decorations, thanksgiving and xmas so ya Ive been pretty homesick this week.
Tell the Pollocks I said hi and hope they are doing well. Thats cool about Dane you'll have to email me and tell me where he's going when you find out.  Lots of car paperwork for registration, mail, immigration, and organizing things here. The weeks go by so much faster though when you are in the office I do have to admit.

Oh and I forgot to tell you that I taught my first district meeting on Wednesday in Portmore which went well, did I tell you I was District Leader I cant remember? It's normally just one District Leader in a District but because we're office Elders we split the teaching so I teach every other week cuz we're busy and we have to prepare for it. Us, the downtown Elders, and the Portmore Elders are in our district.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Culture Shock at "The Office"

Hey Family,
It's good to hear from you. Yes I can assure you moving to the office is a good thing.
The office is really cool. The first time I stepped in my mouth was just jaw dropped open Sister Daniels (the office Senior couple) was having a fun time showing me around she knew I was having a huge culture shock its like being back in America again in a way nice office. We each have our own desks and computers. We drive around to the other Zones and areas to get them things they need like bikes, Book of Mormons, pamphlets etc.
We went to Port Antonio to get Sister Lavili's passport from her yesterday she's a new sister getting trained by Sister Payne. I'll send a pic. Port Antonio is so beautiful I would love to serve there.  Just the drive is beautiful right next to the water. I have a pic but its in the dark but the ocean is behind us the church is right across the road from the ocean. We've taken care of immigration for a new sister coming in this next transfer just a lot of driving and standing in lines. I was having flashback memories to me and you mom traveling to Los Angeles in the morning and waiting out in the cold outside the big building to get my passport just after Christmas.
Yes I'm still staying in shape the assistants and I went running this morning and Elder Dale will probably continue to run with me. We had to go to the Goodyear tire shop as well and buy tires and get ours switched out. Being in the office is way busy though since Wednesday we have only had time to teach one recent convert lesson but hopefully next week we'll get more teaching in. We don't really even get to study we go straight to the office in the morning and we are given work to do when we arrive. It's definitely a huge responsibility. Elder Dale was an office Elder once and then he went off island to Cayman and is now an Assistant. Once you leave the office you usually go off Island or a Zone Leader somewhere on Island. The other office Elder, Elder Baird went to go be a Zone leader in Santa Cruz. So ya things have been pretty crazy oh and we also pick up everyone's mail and packages and organize them and get them out to the missionaries the best we can.
I've seen President Hendricks every day so far he's usually in the office a lot in his own office we've had a couple of meetings with him mainly about the vehicles and what we're going to need to do. We email at the office but the internet is down so we are at the Kingston bookshop in the boulevard center where I used to email from when I served in Boulevard. We don't usually buy a lot of food cuz we usually eat out at restaurants with the assistants and/or Kingston Zone leaders for lunch or dinner.
It's so weird being in the office this first week though I don't  feel like I'm in the same mission anymore, just lots of work we have to do to make sure the work goes smoothly for everyone else on the island. Glad everyone is having a good start back to school.
Love, Jake

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moving to Downtown Kingston as an Office Elder!

Hey Mom & Dad,

Allright so we got transfer calls on Saturday and guess what I'm getting transferred again and Elder Paxman is staying here in Spanish Town! But I'm getting promoted yay :) I'm moving to Downtown Kingston to be an Office Elder. I will be in charge of a lot of stuff for the missionaries visas, plane tickets, paperwork etc.  and I will be living with the assistants and working with the assistants and President Hendricks more :) The office elders have a way nice truck. The assistants, us and President have the nicest vehicles. I'll get to see all of the island because they drive all over to do things. And I'll be writing to you again on Saturday because us and the assistants take Pday on Saturday instead of Monday. I'm super excited for this opportunity to be trusted with and I'll for sure work hard. It's going to be more like a job than being a missionary we only get to proselyte for three hours at the end of the day if we're not driving somewhere else. Elder Ostrin is going to be my companion he is from Santa Barbara California and he was a water polo player and I know he went to BYU thats all I really know about him. (Theres only one companionship that are office elders in case you were wondering)

I really have enjoyed my time here in Spanish Town with Elder Paxman though, its been a really awesome transfer and I made so many friends here with the members its hard to leave. Neco seemed a little upset I was going but we all have to go where the Lord wants us to go.

Well I hope you and dad had a good time and good luck with home schooling Matthew.  I did get Kristi's package it was awesome tell her thankyou.
We are going to Linstead today to go to Natural Bridge which is supposed to be one of the wonders of the world so Im excited for that I'll be sure to send you pics. Neco was the first person I have personally baptized. Just an interesting fact but according to President Vinas for every 100 investigators that the Jamaica mission finds and teaches we baptize 2 of them. A very low number but we just all need to keep working hard it's tough but we're really hoping we can get a stake here soon.

Love, Jake

Monday, August 29, 2011

Neco's Baptism - Tie Burning on Friday!

Hey Family,

This week was a really good week on Wednesday I stayed here in Spanish Town after District meeting with Elder Taylor on a trade off which was a lot of fun to get to catch up with him. On Friday the Zone Leaders (Elder Mackey and Elder Montegomery) and us went with the Whiteheads the new humanitarian aid couple to build chicken coops so we did that for several hours and got the walls up.
Yep I hit 6 months this Friday and yes the time has gone by way fast. I'll be burning a tie on Friday. At 6 months you burn a tie at a year you burn a shirt at 18 months you burn a pair of pants and at 2 years you burn all three :) A missionary tradition here.
We had the baptism of Neco Patterson on Saturday it was an awesome service a lot of people showed up and he really wanted me to baptize him so I did. We always try to get someone in the Branch to do it because the missionaries won't always be here but he really wanted me to and his aunts who he lives with wanted me to so I did and it was a great experience for me. Well we found many female investigators this week that all live in one neighborhood circle together. I really like Raquel she's pretty cool and she's going to allow us to teach her oldest daughter who they call Pinky she's 10 years old so we'll start teaching her tomorrow probably. We get transfer calls this Saturday and we're pretty sure that Elder Paxman will be leaving because he's been here for 6 months you never know he could stay.
 I did get my package early last week thank you it was awesome :) I knew Sam was getting married this weekened and I was thinking about her a bit I was wondering who else will be married by the time I get home. When does Jarom get home do you know? I just play piano on Pday's cuz we email here at the church on the computer so I just use the keyboard while my companion is on. Elder Larsen actually taught me I still have all the notes I took when he taught me I'm actually getting pretty decent :) Our lightbulb for the kitchen broke so we just use candles at night but we'll buy a lightbulb today.
It's been awesome here in Spanish Town and I'm grateful I can be here in Jamaica and touch the lives of the people that live here. I know this church is true and I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord in his work. I'm definitely not the same person I was 6 months ago and I know my testimony will continue to grow as I progress on my mission.
Well it hasnt rained too much but it's actually pouring down as we speak :( I'll have to walk home in it with no umbrella ugh...not what I want to do on Pday. Well hope everything goes well this week. Tell me what teachers and classes Adam gets for school I'm interested to know and tell Adam and Matthew specifically I said hi.
Love, Jake
Neco's Baptism

Elder Paxman, Neco, Elder Clark

Building the Chicken Coop


Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Elder Clark - President Vinas Visits Jamaica

Hi Mom and Dad,

August 15th - President Vinas is coming to visit Jamaica and speak to us missionaries in Kingston (he's the Area President of the Caribbean) and we'll probably to go TGI Fridays afterwords ( the only TGI on the island) We bike every Saturday here in Spanish Town cuz we go out kind of far but most of the time we are on foot. 
Our apartment is really gross  we are probably going to move in the beginning of next month. There is a hole in the dry wall so the neighbors flood us out when they forget to turn off the hose that fills up their washing machine. The house has a lot of mold in it and it has a musky smell to it. Plus rats, an ant nest, and cockroaches. Sister Hendricks came yesterday to see the apartment and didnt like it so Im pretty sure we'll move into a nicer place. This past Wednesday we had a tradeoff with the Elders from Linstead. Elder Layton and I went to Linstead and Elder Taylor went with Elder Paxman here. Elder Layton is a brand new missionary that just came in at the end of July. He's way cool he's from Calgary Canada and was a hockey player. We did a lot of finding and found 6 new investigators for them. Right now we have 5 investigators with baptismal dates and we should have two Cheryl and Nicco getting baptized on the 27th of this month. Work is going well and Elder Paxman and I are having a great time serving together. By the way has Dane, Brendan, or Kevin put in their papers yet I'm excited to hear where they'll be going? Just wondering.

 August 22nd - Thank you for the birthday wishes! And please write a post on my wall saying Jake says thanks for all the birthday wishes! My birthday was awesome! Elder Paxman and I made cookies on Tuesday night for district meeting the next morning. after the meeting they all floured me outside. I went to the other side of Spanish Town for my birthday with Elder Montegomery on a trade off and we ate out at Pizza Hut for dinner. We are probably going to be moving in the middle of September to a new house.
President Vinas visited with our Zone and Kingston Zone in Kingston on Saturday. It was a very good experience you can definitely see Christ's reflection in him he is so nice it's no wonder he's a General Authority. We talked a lot about our mission as a whole and goals we should set for ourselves and what we need to work on to get Jamaica's first stake! It's coming soon we just need to keep working hard :)
Tell Sam Lee I say Hi! I hope she has a wonderful day! I'm so happy for her! We have a baptism coming up this saturday! Nicco, a 9 year old, we've been teaching is getting baptized :).
Love, Jake
Its a tradition in Jamaica to get "Floured" on your Birthday
Zone Conference front Row - Sister and President Vinas, President and Sister Hendricks

Making Cookies by candlelight for District Meeting

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ether 12: 27 - Forever Strong!

Hey mom,

Ya I said bye to elder Larsen on transfer day in Spanish Town cuz everyone meets there cuz its a central point. We had six Elders and one Sister leave us and we got seven new elders (four from Canada and three from the States). Yep and Elder Hobbs is in Hopeton right now I'm sure he'll enjoy it I told him to say hi to the Richardsons for me. I like Spanish town a lot and Elder Paxman is really cool he's a hard worker and a nice guy. He is from Provo Utah. He's on his fourth transfer here so he knows the area really well. It takes me about three weeks to master an area. Right now our area is the most dangerous area in the mission. They never whitewash this area because there are areas that we are not allowed to proselyte in and there are areas that we are not allowed to be in after 6pm so you need someone to show you around. I guess there is a bit of gang wars that are going on here. We heard some gunshots while we were teaching on Thursday. We went proselyting in Gordon's Pen where the three people got their heads got chopped off and near the river where they found two of the heads. Last night there was a fight going on on a street we were passing by but nothing that interesting that I havent seen yet. I guess we're supposed to have four to six baptisms coming up this transfer so I'm excited. We extended a date to someone yesterday for August 27th and they accepted. I dont know the people's names yet cuz Ive met so many people so I'll know by next week. Elder Snelson is training a guy from Canada named Elder Gurr who seems nice. Elder Taylor is training a Canadian (Elder Layton) in Linstead and is in our District and we are having a tradeoff this Wednesday with them so I'll be able to catch up with him. 
Hey mom!

Spanish Town has been going well. Elder Paxman is awesome. He's a great missionary and great teacher. Hes very kind and is willing to work hard. Tell our neighbors I said hi. We have been teaching a lot of people here lately.
Carleen is a recent convert who had her leg amputated and has a prosthetic leg but it broke so she cant move around right now and has to spend a lot of money just to get into Kingston to fix it so she's been having a rough time. I shared with her Ether 12:27 for a spiritual thought and we had a good conversation and lesson on trials. There is also another girl we are teaching named Ashley who is 9 years old and her mom and brother are baptized but her mom wont let her get baptized right now for some reason. It was sad because Ashley came up to me and asked me what I do if I get bored and I told her I keep myself busy so I dont have a ton of time to be bored and she said she's always bored and that theres nothing they can do but sit inside and its not always safe for them to be outside. I asked her if she ever uses her imagination and if she ever acts like an animal or pretends she has superpowers and she said no. So I played with her for a bit and we pretended we were animals it was fun I'm glad I was able to brighten up her day a bit. I really feel for these people that have nothing but they remain positive and just keep on moving forward dispite their trials.
So anyways I"m glad things are going well and I'll have to keep you posted on how more of our investigators are doing next week.
Love Elder Clark