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The work is taking off by Ratnaker John Mallya

JamaicaHello! Good Day ! I served in the Jamaica Kingston Mission from August 2000 to August 2002. In those two years the missionaries and members of Jamaica witnessed many miracles. The work is taking off..... Ratnaker John Mallya August 2000-August 2002
Hello! Good Day ! I served in the Jamaica Kingston Mission from August 2000 to August 2002. In those two years the missionaries and members of Jamaica witnessed many miracles. I would like to share some of those experiences and miracles with the future missionaries of Jamaica so they can know what to expect while serving in Jamaica. When I arrived in Jamaica in August 2000, the Assistants picked our group up at the airport and drove us to the mission home. On that forever memorable ride to the mission home (and you future missionaries will soon find out why), I remember the Assistants telling us that Negril ( a tourist town) was off limits to missionaries. They said that if any missionaries went to Negril they would probably be sent home. The reason for this is Negril is well known for its “worldly” entertainment spots and nude beach sites. Negril was off limits. I never heard of Negril before, so I thought it was weird for them to say that out of the blue. But I did not think about it to long, because outside the bus windows was a whole new world. As the months passed in Jamaica, and I had many spiritual experiences and learning experiences mixed in with those always painful but necessary trials and obstacles. I served in great areas and had great companions. Missionary work in Jamaica was tough but rewarding. During those early months, the missionaries could tell things were getting better in Jamaica as far as the work was concerned. The Mission was baptizing 15-20 a month and missionaries were becoming more focused and obedient. The Lord was leading the Elders and Sisters to the elect. And the hope of the first stake in Jamaica sometime soon became a desired and achievable goal. In January 2002 Elder Gene R. Cook came to Jamaica. He only had a few hours on the island before he had to depart for another obligation, but he decided to speak to the missionaries. For the first time in mission history the entire mission meet together at the Constant Spring Chapel in Kingston. It was a spiritual meeting. The first question Elder Cook asked the missionaries was how many missionaries were having their investigators kneel and pray at the end of the first discussion? Out of the 50 companionships there, I don’t remember anybody raising their hands. Elder Cook called us all to repentance and declared that the only way the Jamaicans will enter into the gate of baptism is on their knees. He then taught us how to get our investigators praying on their knees. He promised that if we did this, not only would the investigators pray every time, but baptisms would increase. At first I was skeptical, in my 16 months as a missionary to that point, I never had anyone pray on their knees, and struggled even to get them to pray while sitting or standing. The end of a discussion would often go like this..The missionary would say, “Mr._____, would you offer the prayer”. The investigator would say,”no, you can say it since you are a missionary”. We would respond in some way and ask the investigator to pray again. The investigator would say no again. A little bit of contention would be stirred and at the end the missionary would say the prayer reluctantly. This happened to me all the time, and while on companionship exchanges as a district leader and zone leader I realized my companions and I were not alone in facing this problem. So I was skeptical. But my companion and I tried Elder Cooks suggestion and it worked. In fact it worked every time. Everyone was praying. (for you future missionaries your trainers will teach you the proceedures). From that point on we always ended discussions with investigators praying on their knees. And not only us, all the missionaries were having great success with investigators praying on their knees. It was a miracle. Think about that for a second. It went from no investigators praying on their knees to every investigator praying on their knees. All in the time of one day. And the blessings poured from it. When you get an investigator to pray on their knees and ask Heavenly Father to confirm the things you just shared with them about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, that is a huge spiritual step that the investigator has taken. The missionary work steadily improved in the months following the Elder Cook’s visit, and the number of baptisms continued to grow. Then in May 2002, Jamaica had one of the most important months in its history. At the end of April a rumor zipped among the members and missionaries by route of word of mouth and telephone. I remember receiving the rumor during the day and going home that night to call and tell somebody about the great news only to find that everyone I called knew already. The rumor was that the Prophet was coming to Jamaica in May to speak to the saints before heading to Brazil for two temple dedications. And it was true. The prophet was coming to Jamaica. This was something that we thought would only happen if Jamaica had a temple. But the Lord provided a way for the Prophet to come. The reaction of the saints of Jamaica to this news can be categorized in three ways. They either jumped for joy, cried in joy, or did both. The Prophet was coming. The saints meet at the Ranny Williams Center in Kingston on May 15th as the President Hinckley and President Faust addressed them. It was a wonderful night. Over 2000 thousand saints were present, nearly the entire membership of the church in Jamaica. The entire mission was there (even Cayman was flown in). As the Prophet and his counselor made their way into the Center, all the priesthood holders present lined along the pathway of the prophet. It was an awesome experience to stand shoulder to shoulder with the priesthood holders in Jamaica as the prophet came by. It was a wonderful night that no one will ever forget. I imagined old grandparents telling their grandchildren about the night they saw the prophet of God in person. The spirit was strong, the choir sang like angels and the message was powerful. President Faust declared that great blessings would come to Jamaica because of this visit of the Prophet of God. I believe one of those blessing occurred the very next week. Negril was opened. A week after the Prophet’s visit Elder Gene R. Cook came back to Jamaica for a mission tour. This was a perfect one-two combo for the saints and missionaries in Jamaica. An event occurred on the second day of the tour as we drove to Mandeville. My companion and I had a chance to accompany the mission president, his wife and Elder Cook to Mandeville. I could write forever about the experiences of that day. During the trip up to Mandeville Elder Cook inquired about the church in Mandeville. He asked about the membership and members in Mandeville. We answered. He asked about the missionary work. We told him. He asked about the location of Mandeville in relationship to the island. The mission president pulled out a map of Jamaica and showed it to Elder Cook. Elder Cook looked at the map and proceeded to ask those same type of questions about each of towns depicted on the map. He did this for every large town on the map, asking about the missionary and church progression in each. Working for east to west, he came to Negril (the banned tourist town). We informed him that Negril was off limits to missionaries and told him why. He suggested to the mission president to visit Negril and see what it was like, and if it is appropriate to consider sending missionaries out there. I remember thinking, “Whoa! Can he do that.” Of course he can! Well anyways the mission tour was a success. Elder Cook asked us about the Praying on knees commitment he gave us five months earlier. We reported 100% success. The missionaries and members of Jamaica learned a lot in those two weeks. A week after the mission tour the mission president went out to Negril and found that Negril was really two towns. On the one end was the tourist sites and on the other end was the residential side (like Montego Bay). There would be no major distractions to the missionary work there. The next transfer a house/church was rented and four missionaries were sent out to Negril. I remember thinking how quick the whole opening up of Negril process is going. Then realized why. The Lord wants Negril opened. In a meeting with the mission president before the opening of Negril, I remember asking the mission president if the missionaries would meet in nearby Savannah la mar for church until the branch had at least some members or good investigators. He said no, they would meet in Negril. I sarcastically said, “So they’re going to have church by themselves for a few weeks”. He jokingly said, “where’s your faith?”. The first week Negril was open 30 investigators came to church, after two weeks over 20 were scheduled for baptism, and the week I left 5 baptisms were performed with more scheduled in the near future. A missionary in Negril reported that at least five families had told them that they were recently praying for the truth, being disappointed with the current churches in Negril, and then met the missionaries. It is amazing how infinite our Heavenly Father’s plan is. I thought about the words of James E. Faust when he said that special blessings would come to Jamaica because of this visit. I thought about how the Lord sent another of his servants, Elder Cook to bring to view one of those blessings. I thought about the inspired mission president and those who proceeded him. I thought about the faithful members and people of Jamaica. I thought about the missionaries and their service. For those who will be serving in Jamaica remember that there have been many who have faithfully served before you that have set many seeds, and there will be many serving in Jamaica after you reaping those seeds. But for some reason the Lord has chosen you to serve in Jamaica at this time. How jealous you make us RMs? Good luck and continue to bring miracles to Jamaica. This Article by Ratnaker John Mallya mallyajohn@hotmail.com Ratnaker served his mission in Jamaica in 2000-2002

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The work is taking off by Ratnaker John Mallya | 1 comments | Create New Account
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The work is taking off by Ratnaker John Mallya
Authored by: Kinney on Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 01:21 AM GMT-5
Well put John.

Mike Kinney
kinneymic@gmail.com