Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Letter from Jamaica!

Hey Mom and family and Rachel! 

Wow, it is so humid here you sweat allllllll the time no matter what,  and it's pretty hot too,  but my companions tell me it's the cool season. Yep companions. I'm in a tripanionship, it's actually really nice to have 2 trainers. They're both really great and I like both of them and it's really fun the three of us together in a house with another companionship. So there's five in all living in our house. It's a super crappy house,  not as bad as Conners, but around here it's a pretty good house. At least it keeps the rain out. We cleaned today and I swept the floor three times and got the same amount of dirt each time-- it was crazy! We don't have a dryer,  we hang up our clothes to dry in our bedroom, which turns our bedroom into a huge swamp cooler with the fans running. 

I got a bike but Elder Humphrey's bike is broken right now so we walk everywhere, or taxi.  A taxi here is basically anyone with a car:) you just pay them 100$ (US $1) flat rate to go any where on their route (usually about 2 or 3 miles long) so to go 5 miles it costs 200$ one way. The taxi drivers are crazy and everyone drives like a maniac-- it's fun. Also everyone drives on the other side of the road which is weird. Wow, it's a third world country over here for sure. The shopping side of my area is way ghetto and there are people selling stuff everywhere. Everything is pretty cheap too, they give us plenty of money for food. The houses people build out here (everyone builds their own house) are all made from cement and cinder block and that's it. They build the first floor and live in it until they get the money to finish the second and third floors, which basically just means that 90% percent of the houses out here are only half built. Oh and the roads are terrible. 

So thats all the temporal stuff, but the people out here are amazing!!! For the most part they're kind, warm, and  friendly and want to talk. So many people want to learn the gospel. The members are super awesome and always feed us:) the food is amazing!!!! It's so good, mostly rice and chicken, but wow it's awesome!! Right now we have a few investigators. The ones that are progressing are named Suzette and Hores, they're married and have been trying to find the right church for a while, they never heard about our church but they're very open with the lessons and read the BoM every day and they're going to come to church. I can see they're starting to feel the truth of the restored gospel:)  I really hope they choose to be baptized. We extended the invitation and they said they'd prepare if they kept feeling the spirit:)  Our other awesome investigator is Anisha, she is really nice and smart, she has a boyfriend who she lives with and a daughter. She wants to be baptized but has to get married first, so she's working on that and hopefully we'll be able to help her from there:) 

We probably walk like fifty miles a day, but it's so beautiful out here it totally makes it worth it. Trees everywhere, green everywhere, no brown just green and every other tree is a fruit tree of some kind. But the only one we have in the US is mango, all the other fruit trees are totally new to me and so far they've all been really tasty. We just ordered a crate of 200 mangos for 15$US. Also they have cook shops over here for like 350$($3.50US) you can buy a huge plate of awesome food! And they give us enough money, I could literally buy cook shop every meal and never have to cook. The bugs really aren't that bad. I use bug spray at night since that's when they seeem to get me. Oh,  and get this, so my companions have never been in a Hurricane but this year they predict three!!! And one is supposed to be major! I'm so excited! Don't worry, my house is really solid and we have food and water storage. 

Oh my other companions name is Elder Packer and he's cool too. They've both been out almost two years one is leaving in 6 weeks the other  in 12 weeks, so they'll be around just long enough to train me. The way people talk out here is really hard to understand, even when the don't speak Patois (Slang English, like Pidgin in Hawaii). I can only understand half of it, if they do speak Patois, no chance I'll get any of it yet. I don't think I'll be coming back with an accent. We have done two service projects so far. One we built a tin roof, the other we hauled about a ton of rocks onto a roof for cement to build the third story of a house. We just put them in buckets and hauled them up on the roof. 

photo from the web
Everyone makes fun of us for being white it's pretty funny. Also eveyone calls me a China man, which I love! Little kids come up to me and say ''Ching chong ching chong"-- it's so funny. I think they can tell I'm Asian because in the humidity my hair sticks out a ton! So much for a nice hair cut:) Jerk chicken is awesome, stew chicken is awesome, curry chicken is awesome, brown sauce chicken is awesome, all the chicken is awesome!!! And they make really good pumpkin rice. We do a ton of planning, we plan our days for an hour every day after study and every week we have a super plan where we plan for three hours!! Not a fan. Oh well. I sleep super good-- my sheets (We got him bamboo sheets, because they are supposed to be cool) are also really awesome, thanks Mom. The other night the bar next door played music till 2am in the morning so loud it literally shook the house and I slept through it! They have these centipedes out here called 40 leggers, I  have yet to see them but look them up they're crazy! Super poisonous and apparently it hurts super bad to get stung. 

Also the other day I saw a snail that was like 3 pounds! It was twice as big as my name tag! And they have these huge bannana spiders out here-- they're really cool and they get like as big as my hand! Everyone hangs out outside here. It's a totally different culture, very effective for meeting people though. There are soooooo many dogs and goats and chickens just wandering around everywhere!!!! The goats and chickens all look pretty good and normal but the dogs out here are the saddest things you've ever seen. They all look like puppies even though they're older, they just are skinny and their growth is stunted, but they're friendly for the most part. 
photo from the web

I'm having an amazing time out here spiritually. God has blessed me to feel his love for everyone I've met and it's almost been more than I can handle because it's so awesome. Also, He's really helping me learn a lot, even though I'm not really sure what it is yet-- when I figure it out I'll tell you:) Love you Mom and Dad. I really miss talking to you. You guys are my best friends. Oh, just so you know, it takes a month for letters to come and leave Jamaica, so we should just email. Also packages can take 2-4 months, up to 6, so if you send a package, make sure it's ahead of time. Also, make sure it's nothing too valuable because they go through every package and take what they what they please. One missionary got an empty pack of Oreo's, because they decided to eat them. Tape pictures of Jesus on packages you send me, people over her are superstitious and apparently that works. 

I think that is about everything-- is that enough Mom?;) (When we found out Rachel got four page letters from the MTC, and we only got a paragraph, I told him that I wiped his butt for 3 years and he owed me MORE! lol)

I miss talking with you and I love you all a ton.

Love Luke

P.S. I'm really sorry, I have pics but I can't send them on this computer. I'll send them as soon as I can. My P day is on Monday, so that's when I will be emailing.


  1. Oh man I'm LOVING THIS. He sounds like he's doing great. So exciting. I can't believe those insects. Weather sounds like my mission poor dude. Everything sounds great though. I'd say the same thing to masaru if he was doing the 4 page thing man. hahahaha Alright well I guess if it take a month to get a letter there, then we need to start writing. That pakage thing sounds crazy man, I'd be so scared that he'd get nothing!!!! It's nice to know his house is nicer than Conner's. It doesn't get too much worse than that I thing lol

  2. Ok, that was a fun read. Love his enthusiasm for discovery.

  3. This is just AWESOME!!! We loved reading this as a family tonight. His enthusiasm is tangible and his personality comes through in this letter. We laughed hearing his description of so many "third" world living conditions. It's an eye opener for sure. Keep them coming Luke! So I guess to write, we should just mail snail mail? We still can't email right?

  4. So great to read this! What an adventure in every direction! It is so funny and great to hear him say he is excited for the Hurricanes. Strangely I think I would feel the same if I didn't have Shaya to worry about.

  5. Luke is going to be such a great missionary. :) :) So excited for him and the continuation of amazing experiences he will have. David and I were just talking last night. So glad he got there and seemingly transitioning well. Love all of you! And..... Miss all of you.

  6. SO AWESOME! Luke, you are amazing! Loved reading about your mission and your excitement! Praying for you and your safety, success, and joy. ferre fam

  7. What a fabulous letter!! Great kid!!

  8. What a great, detail-filled letter! He's gonna do a lot of good over there!