Monday, October 27, 2014

Where did the last 6 months go?

Hey guys! Guess what I realized this week? The Church is true!! Well... I mean I already knew it, but I just had so many experiences this week that just kept confirming and strengthening my testimony!! I love missions :) 
This email is going to be another one of those random jumbled mess of stories kind of emails. I apologize in advance.
This week started off pretty great! President Brown gave Sister Bailey and I permission to go see the Saunders family, who were here on vacation! It was so awesome to see some familiar faces from home :) So that was a great way to start off the week! 
We were in downtown Monday afternoon, just walkin along looking at the shops and enjoying some music on the steel drums when all of the sudden I felt like I needed to stop walking. We both stopped walking and seconds later a van raced by. The driver had lost control and the van was way up on the sidewalk. If we would have kept walking... no more Sister Oman or Sister Bailey! It was a really good experience to show me that Heavenly Father really does watch over us! I've been so grateful this last week that both Sister Bailey and I were living worthily of the Holy Ghost's companionship so we could be protected.
We found a few new investigators this week, and I LOVE THEM! They're three brothers and man they just seem so prepared! We get so excited every time we go teach them... I love teaching people that seem to grasp the importance of the message we're sharing!! 
We were on a mini trade off Thursday morning (which also happened to be my six month mark- woohoo!). Sister Judd and I went to see our recent convert Wilkins, and as we were leaving the house  Wilkins spotted his friend Jimmy. Jimmy is also a recent convert who just so happens to be less active. And it just so happens we haven't been able to find Jimmy for like three weeks. So naturally, we wanted to talk to him. Guess what? Jimmy doesn't want to talk to us. This is what happened: 
It's pouring rain. There's tons of cars on the road, and huge potholes everywhere. Which means there's tons of puddles. Sister Judd and I are the only white people on the whole street, which means we're already getting quite a few looks. All of the sudden, I take off running after Jimmy. I'm sure I looked like a sight because I'm like jumping over potholes and ducking around parked cars. I look back and Sister Judd is still standing there with Wilkins. I just yell, "JUDD! COME ON!" and keep running. She takes off running too. So now there's two soaking wet white girls in really long skirts running down the street in the pouring rain. Literally every single person on the street (except Jimmy) stopped to look at us. I'm pretty sure even the cars slowed down to stare. Haha. We got to the end of the road, and Jimmy had disappeared. So we did all that running for nothing. But it was a really good adventure and we had a lot of good laughs afterwards so it was all worth it :) We'll find Jimmy soon, I'm sure of it. Haha. 
We had to make a quick trip to the airport to bring an Elder some food during his layover to Jamaica. On the way, our car started making funny sounds. Now, the airport is wayyyyyyy in the middle of no where so we were mighty concerned. We pulled over and started freaking out... but then we got out of the car and realized a stick was stuck in our tire. Lesson learned: don't freak out until you know the whole situation. Haha. 
We were at the church helping out with the chapel cleaning Saturday night. We were outside taking some trash to the garbage, when we notice a giant light in the clouds. All of the sudden, it changes colors. Then it disappears. Then it comes back! It did that like five times. We decided it was probably a UFO or a signal for a new superhero or something so we ran into the church and announced it to everyone. A bunch of people came out to check it out... and embarrassing moment of the week: it was a spotlight from a party. But you know, it was still cool looking. So yeah. 
Last night, we had our missionary fireside! We've been planning it for a long time now... and it went so well! We realized that most of the members here have the desire to share the gospel, but they aren't really sure how. So we had a whole fireside on how to talk to your friends about the gospel and why we share the gospel and all of that good stuff. We had way more people show up then we were expecting, and a bunch of members bore really good testimonies at the end! It was so cool! I love the members here :) 
And now, for my new favorite quote: 
"You have a knowledge of your divine origin. You have full awareness of your divine destiny. I invite you to rise to the divinity within you and to live not for the moment but rather for the eternities." -Elder Keith K Hilbig 
I love this! I found it during studies a few days ago, and I've just been thinking about it ever since. The article was all about how we should focus on becoming the person God sees us as versus just staying the person we see our self as. It made me think... as missionaries, we're constantly working with people who don't know where they came from, why they're here, or where they're going. But good news! We know the answers to all of those questions! And we can see just a little bit more of their potential then they can... which is why it's so important for us to help them! I love seeing the looks on people's faces when something in the gospel just clicks. It's like they just light up and little by little they start to become the person God wants them to be, right before our very eyes. I love this work. I can't wait to see where the next year takes me! I never want to leave my mission. 
Well I hope that made sense. I love you all! Have a good week :) 
That's all for now folks. 
Sister Oman 

I found people from Montrose on our island! Woohoo! 

Halloween Party Pics

Us missionaries decorated the whole church in twenty minutes. doesn't it look sweet!?

Our branch Halloween party was on Friday, and it was so fun! We decided to be superheroes. Aren't our costumes... mediocre? (I mean, there's only so much you can do for a costume when you have to be in proselyting clothes. Haha.) 

Our little table of missionary supplies from our fireside last night!

Our missionary fireside last night was a capital S-U-C-C-E-S-S  success. :) 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Do you know where we are?

Hey guys! 
Not gonna lie... I have absolutely no idea what to write about this week... so we'll see how this goes! 
Monday we had plans to go to the beach, so we drove to Paradise Island, bought the traditional one dollar slushies, anddddddd just as we were walking to the beach the sky opened up and dumped the entire ocean on our heads. So no beach day for us, but we got to go puddle jumping so that was good :) 
We got to sit on skype for EIGHT HOURS on Tuesday to have a training meeting with missionaries in Jamaica... man let me tell you. I am so excited to go to Jamaica! Getting to be in meetings actually in person versus sitting next to a computer monitor all day really just sounds super exciting :) Transfer calls are this week... we'll see where I am next week! 
We were street contacting in a new area of the island this week when these two guys called us over to talk to us... we were a little wary at first until this sweet little lady called us over too. We went over to talk to her and she said right as we walked up she'd just finished praying and asking God to show her which church she should join! She said us showing up right then was a really good sign, and I'm so excited to get to work with her some more! 
Also, walking is a lot different then driving. I don't know why, but we ALWAYS get lost when we walk places. Even if we're walking to the exact same place we always drive to. We just get lost. And that leads to us asking each other every three seconds, "Do you know where we are?" Usually the answer is no. Thank heavens we live on an island small enough that if you walk for five minutes you always get back to somewhere you recognize. Haha.
Friday was Sister Bailey's birthday! We got ice cream and partied it up (missionary style) with balloons and streamers and party hats. It was a jolly good time. 
I finished the Book of Mormon again this week! Second time on my mission so far! With one year left... I'm excited to see how many more times I can read it on my mission! Every time I read that book, I just get a stronger and stronger witness of its truthfulness. There really is no denying the Book of Mormon- to deny the Book of Mormon is to deny Christ. And since He lives and is our Savior, the Book of Mormon must be true!
We were in a lesson, and a little girl was praying... she said "Thank you for putting clothes on our shoes" and then proceeded to laugh so hard she fell off her stool and started hiccuping. Man I love little kids. They're my favorite. 
We were driving to an appointment when we accidentally ended up in a parade. A parade of beauty queens that is. So yes, we are officially Nassau beauty queens. You can get our autographs in about one year. Until then, we'll have to stick with the whole missionary thing :) 
Another time, we had just finished a lesson on a porch when fifteen teenage boys run by. We were trying to figure out what was going on, and one of them came up to the house. Turns out some guy had just taken some ladies phone and they were all trying to get it back. Dasilia ran out of the house to find out what was going on, and in her broken english started yelling "Thief! Thief! Kill him, kill him!" She then started laughing so hard that she almost collapsed... and we all started laughing so hard we started crying. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen! This week, I learned that laughing is vital. Literally. If you don't laugh, you'll probably die. There's only one way to get through trials and life in general... and that's to laugh! I love laughing. 
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how mindful Heavenly Father truly is of me. I mean, I'm just this little 20 year old missionary. I haven't done much with my life that's noteworthy in the eyes of the world. But the Lord doesn't see me the way the world sees me. He loves me with an infinite, perfect love-- something I most certainly do not deserve, but something that I'm eternally grateful to have. No matter what I'm facing, what trials are thrown my way, or what questions I have, I know I can turn to Him- and He'll listen! He hears me even when my feelings can't be expressed in words. He knows the innermost pleadings of my heart- and He's just waiting to help me! I just have to do my best to follow Him and the example of His son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I certainly do not deserve any of the blessings I've received over my life, but especially over the last six months. What they told us in the MTC was right-- I was in debt to Him when I left home, but I'm so much more in debt to Him now! I love my mission :) Even when it's harder than I could ever imagine, I know that I'm not alone- and that makes all the difference. This work is the most important thing any of us can ever do, and I've begun to realize being a missionary won't stop when I come home... I've just begun to do my part to help the work move forward, and it's far too much work to do in 18 months! I want to serve my Heavenly Father for the rest of my life... he's given me everything I have, and the only way to show my gratitude for that is by sharing the blessings of this gospel with everyone I know! 
Oh yes, and my new favorite scripture: 
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." -Luke 12:32 
I love you all, have a great week! Make it the best one yet!!! 
Sister Oman 

An ant nest outside of the church

Sister Dill & I

Sister Bailey and I with our dollar slushies...right before the rain soaked us straight through. 

We tried to go to the beach and it rained us out!

At the dock after the rain dumped on us!

I love the sky here!!

Oh the sky!  I love the sky. Every day, I look up and just say a little prayer of gratitude for the sky. It's gorgeous, and Heavenly Father created it just for us! 

Sister Bailey and I

Wilkins, a recent convert!

Sister Bailey's birthday party in our living room!

The beauty queen parade we accidentally became a part of, 

Me with some of my favorite kids, Dashanda (the eleven year old i talked about last week), and Victoria (Linda's little sister and our investigator)

I've decided to try a new style.  Like my hat?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five transfers in the Bahamas!

Sak pase??
So this last week was transfer calls. We were all convinced I would be leaving because I've been in Nassau for 4 transfers  (six months), and nobody really ever stays here for more than six months. But Heavenly Father had other plans and I'll be staying here with Sister Bailey for another transfer! I'm definitely surprised, but I'm glad! I love it here, and I love working with Sister Bailey :) 
This week was pretty uneventful. Just the same old, same old life in the field :)
We spent p-day exploring downtown Nassau a little more... and I fell in love with this island a little more. Everywhere you turn, there's just a new experience, new people to talk to, new sounds, new smells... ahhh I just love it here! This place is definitely becoming a part of me, and while I know I'll have to leave eventually, I'm so glad I get to stay for another month and a half at least :) 
We had a trade-off on Tuesday, and I worked with Sister Dill in her area. Because we all work in the same branch, and the island is so small, I pretty much already knew everyone we worked with so it didn't even really feel like a tradeoff haha. But it was still so fun! I love Sister Dill :) She's a blast. 
Tuesday morning, we went outside during companion study to confirm appointments. (We have to call people from our front porch because we have no reception in our house haha.) We were just chillin on the porch when we noticed that the tire on one of the cars was really stinkin flat. Which meant the four of us spent almost an hour figuring out how to change a tire. It involved a lot of owner's manual reading, a lot of pictures and laughter, and maybe just a little bit more than a lot of dirt. BUT we got the tire changed successfully! Who needs men? Well I mean I guess we do... we need the priesthood and stuff haha :) But the moral of the story is, missions teach you a lot more about life than just the gospel stuff! We're learning awesome things that will help us throughout our entire life :) 
We had an amazing district meeting (as usual) this week. We talked a lot about humility, and I've been studying humility a little bit every morning since then. I've learned so much! I've realized that humility is all about submitting to the will of the Lord and having faith in His timing and His manner of answering prayers. That's definitely something I need to work on, but thankfully I can work on it and get better! I was reading the account of the Savior's time in the Garden of Gethsemane this morning, and I was just struck by how truly humble He was. He was going through the worst pain that anyone has ever experienced, and I'm sure all He wanted was for the pain to be removed. Yet he was still humble enough to tell Heavenly Father that He understood if it wasn't possible for the pain to be taken away. I want to be able to develop that kind of humility... to be going through the worst kind of pain and trial and still have the faith to say "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." It's been quite a struggle for me over the last year or so to let go of the plans that I had for my life and submit to the will of the Lord, but I've seen that as I do so, I'm more blessed than I ever would have been had I not followed the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I know that if we all keep learning how to rely on the Lord and just fully submit our will to His will, we will be able to see more blessings than we ever have before in our lives :) 
We spent approximately fifty kabillion hours in immigration this week filing a bunch of paperwork for work permits. Man I think I've spent half my mission in that place. Everyone knows us, and everyone knows exactly what we do as missionaries haha. I think we've literally talked to every single employee in that building about the gospel with all the time we've spent there. 
In other news, we had like a list of five or so people we've been trying to contact for a week. One of them was someone we were really worried about, and they just weren't picking up or returning our calls or anything... which was very out of character. So we decided to do a little experiment. We blocked our number and called them... and viola! They answered. Ouch. hahah. But I mean at least now we know how to reach people :) Just kidding haha. 
I don't really know what else to talk about this week... like I said, it was pretty uneventful. So please enjoy this lovely quote that I absolutely love!
"We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. Only the gospel will safe the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family." -Ezra Taft Benson
Isn't that just lovely! And it's so true! This gospel is a gospel of happiness, peace, and comfort. And it's our duty to share it with everyone in our lives! So let's all get out there, serve a little, share a little, and tell everyone we know about the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! 
Have a great week everyone! I love you all! 
Sister Oman 
Downtown Nassau!

Downtown Nassau!

Some of my favorite places in Nassau

One of my favorite roads on the entire island :) Isn't it beautiful?

Teaching sister bailey how to drive! She's getting so good

The view from the road behind our house... it's no biggie. i just love it here!

Changing a tire!

I learned how!!!

We didn't know how to change a tire at first, so we had to read the owner's manual haha. And we got a wee bit dirty and sweaty. And by a wee bit i mean i've never felt more nasty in my life haha.

Trade off with Sister Dill!

The most beautiful sky in the world!

The church building here

Love these kids!

Arden!  We made her look like the girl from the grinch!

I just fall in love with this island more and more every day!!