Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Message from Sister Gingery

The Following is an email and pictures that we received from Sister Gingery, the mission president's wife.

Dear Parents,

I'm sorry I didn't email this last night, I meant to. I resized the pictures then never sent the email.

They arrived yesterday alive and well, ready to go to work. We had dinner last night and let them go to bed early since they'd been up for so long. Today they were supposed to go to Immigration to get their work permits but it was closed because it's Ash Wednesday. I know it's odd, but that's Jamaica.

In a few weeks you'll receive a formal letter from the mission telling you your sons are here but I wouldn't want to wait that long, so I send this.

Sis. Gingery

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Note from the MTC

Mom, Dad, and Family,
So I don't have anymore email time so I have to use snail mail. I called but no one was home except for Nathaniel. So I hope he gave you my message. But I will just resay it. Elder Sizemore and I did get our visas! We leave Tuesday 24th @ 12:50 a.m! So really, really, early. Turned out the problem was that they had our flight leaving December 30th, we missed it by a century. Luckily that got resolved and we are still on schedule to leave! Don't have much else to say.
Elder K Talbert
(We received this today - he definitely knows his brother well!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Missed Call!

This afternoon Elder Talbert called home to say that his visa came through and that he will be leaving to go to Jamaica at 12:20 a.m. While for Kent this is great news for his parents there is some sadness/confusion. We were not home when he called (huge bummer/sadness!), so he talked to Nathaniel. Because of this we are not exactly sure whether the 12:20 a.m is tomorrow morning or Monday morning. Nathaniel made it sound as if it might be tomorrow but we find it hard to believe that they would change his departure date from Monday. Stay tuned to find out. We doubt we will hear from him until he is in Jamaica.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week Two at the MTC

Thanks for the emails mom and dad! anyone from the family can email but I can just respond with one email so the siblings can email me if they want I will just have to respond with one giant email or snail mail!

Well another week down at the mtc! I decided to try and format this email a little differently so it won't be so scattered!

Friday- Got to go and teach volunteers with people in my district. We did companion exchanges and I got stuck with 2 of the shyer elders. It was really good because I really had to force myself to teache everything I could becuase they weren't of much use. It was good to have to puch myself. Started to Read the Book of Mormon on Friday from the very start and I hope to get it done soon! I am already in Alma! I really want to find lots of useful scriptures for teaching!

Saturday- Saturday was valentines day! thanks for the cookies mom! Everyone loved them!! fresh cookies were great!Went the the Referel Center where we talk to various real investigators who call in to order free bibles, videos and Book of Mormons. I got to talk to some kid who wanted to know if I was a black man and another funny older gentlemen who wanted to discuss rock drilling with me! I got a letter from G&G T so the dearelder thing did work properly! that is about it for saturday.

Sunday- Well as Zone Leaders Elder Sizemore and I got stuck in meetings all day! from 7:30 am to 3:00pm and by the time all my meetings were over it was time to study for an hour, eat dinner and go to a fireside all night. So a really hectic day but a lot of fun! Elder Sizemore and I set a goal to meet all the elders in our zone and get to know them better! The Fireside was good! my district showed up 1.5 hours early and were the very first missionaries to arrive! haha A brother Price from the seventy spoke. It was really good! In the evening we watched was different, not really a great movie in but oh well we had a good evening!

Monday- Monday was really boring! almost nothing happened. I just sat arounhd and studied all day long! During gym I ran with an Elder Burstall who is in my zone. He is going to Fresno and was a really interesting elder to talk to. We had a lot in common.

Tuesday- Got to teach volunteers again. I did exchanges again and taught with Elder Blanchard! he is a really cool elder and we did an amazing job! definitely my best teaching yet! Every tuesday night is devotional night so we showed up 1.25 hours early so that we could get seats with leg room. it fills up fast! if you show up 10 minutes before it begins you will be sitting to far away to see auditorium where the devotional is being held. They never bother to tell you who is going to be speaking until like 5 minutes or less before it starts so it is always a surprise and normally just someone from the MTC Presidency or a member of the seventy. About 15 minutes before they begin they have all the elders just sing and after a few hymns the Choirister got to the microphone and said "Normally we don't stand to sing the hymns of zion but we do stand for an apostle of the lord, I'm not saying that their is one here but if you see one wandering around you should stand" after that elder ballard waked in which was wonderful!!! since we showed up early we had amazing seats. Elder Ballards talk was amazing! My district couldn't take notes fast enough!! afterwords we had a devotional review where the 7 elders in my distric got to talk about what we learned. It was good to see what we had missed while we had been writing down other stuff. then Elder sizemore and I went off to more meetings.

Wednesday- Today was good! the morning was just a regular day at the MTC but in the evening Elder Sizemore and I got to go and talk to the new Elders in our zone. It was a lot of fun! we told them all the rules and then took them on a big tour of the MTC! it is amazing to see how much we knew after only 2 weeks! even the new elders were amazed at how much we knew for such a short time! it was a lot of fun!

Other- Well Elder Sizemore and I still haven't gotten our visas. The Jamaican constable is being really really slow. On Friday we will know whether we leave on monday or if we get thrown into missoinary limbo until our visas arrive! our mission president is trying to get us out on monday! I will let you know when I know more! In my zone there are 5 districts, 3 english, one romanian and one american sign language. they are going to Fresno, Jamaica, Missouri and Romania. I have tried really hard to get to know my zone and have made some really good friends! I have especially tried to be friends with those who are struggaling or just don't fit in. During Gym period a lot of the ones that don't fit in go and run on the track instead of play basketball. I have been going and finding them and then running with them and getting to know them/be their friend. It is going really well and a lot of them are really cool elders! even if they are a bit different.

Mom will you make sure that I have at least $200 on my Debit card. I will need it for back up cash during travel and possibly a bike. The MTC is going very well! I am having a wonderful experience and love it! Thanks for your wonderful sense of humor dad I liked your email! haha I always talk to people in my district with strange science fiction garble and it is a lot of fun. Thanks mom for giving me and update on the dog and for the stories! I have been trying really hard to be as obedient as possible and to be as charitable to my fellow elders as possible! I hope everything is going great at home! I sent some pictures in the mail I hope you get them soon!

Joseph (and laura if you plan on going on a mission!) make sure to study your scriptures as much as you can! it will really help a ton! those who know their scripture mastery really well do an amazing job in teaching! pay attention in seminary and memorize where the scripture masteries are/what they are about!

Well I am out of time and don't have time to go back and edit! so hopefully it is readable!I don't have much else to say!! haha I love you all and hope that everything at home is going great!!! Say hi for me to all the relatives that are around!!

-Elder K Talbert!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life at the MTC

Dear Family,
Well I have now finished my first week of the MTC! and this computer has been used so much that the keyboard barely works so if the spelling errors approach extreme values I blame it on this lousy keyboard. Well The MTC is going very well! I spend 7-10 hours a day in class learning but it is great! I seem to be always tired but I don't mind to much. Well I don't really know where to go with this so I will just try to get to the highlights but It might be a bit scattered and unorganized. I get to eat 3 meals a day consisting of about as much food as I want and lots and lots of lemonade. The weight gain is fairly dramatic. My companion has already gained 8 pounds and I have gained 0.4 pounds (Which is a ton if you are me!). I get to go to gym like 4 days a week...I think, I don't really know but it is good. I play basketball with my fellow distric buddies. It is good. I am lousy at playing but I am tall enough that I can be of some use occasionally. My companion is an Elder Sizemore. He is a great guy! He comes from North Carolina and loves sports. He is also going to Jamaica with me (we are the only 2 in the MTC). We have become great friends. He is great at teaching and really knows his stuff. I have 2 other guys in my room, Elder Brown and Elder Nash they are also amazing Elders. They are all into Football but I still get along great with them. I have 2 teachers who are both amazing. One of them is a Brother Robinson and he is possibly the smartest man I have ever met. I can't believe how much he knows. He first read the bible completely through when he was 6 and got some rediculous score on his ACT haha. It is wonderful to have him as a teacher because he knows just about everything. My district has been trying to find a song from the Hymn book he doesn't know but after about 25 of the most random and strange hymns we are giving up. He knows every verse to every hymn. I have learned a ton in the past week and have gained excellent teaching skills! I have run into presidentWolsey and a ton of other friends from school. They drill obedience into our heads every single day but it is good. I find that the more obedient we are the more we are blessed and the better we teach. Thank you family for the 2 packages you sent me! It is great to see things from home! I will only be in the MTC for 11 more days and so I will only get around to writing one other email. On Tuesday we had our devoitional and some general authority came and spoke. he was great! and the best part was the hymns! with 3000 missionaries all singing Called to Serve it was amazing! Thanks for getting me my Jeans, It is really annoying to be doing the various service projects wearing slacks/pjs. On a side note the web page is a wonderful way to send me letters! all you do is write a letter on their webpage and send it to me and then it is printed off and given to me. And the best part is is that it is free to use their service if you are a missionary in Jamaica! so unless they decide to change that anytime soon it could be a useful asset for those who are not able to email me (everyone other than me direct family). I will leave you guys to figure all that out. I am having a great experience and learning a ton! my class is really small, only 7 people (it is an odd number but someone left) they are all great guys and we have a lot of fun in class but at the same time we learn a ton! I am on candy overload because if one person gets a package of candy it is mostly split between everyone unless it is something special. But at least it keeps my stomach happy!My companion Elder Sizemore and I were both called to be Zone Leaders so that makes life so much more stressful since we have to go to tons of meetings and be the examples for all the missionaries in our zone (something like 40-50) but it is good. Keeps us obedient! haha well I am running out of time. I don't think I really need anything but if I remember anything I will send you a letter about it. make sure to take my dog for at least one walk a day if not more!!!!!!!
Love you all!!!! -Elder Kent Talbert

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Elder Talbert's First Day

Today our first letter from Elder Talbert arrived in the mail!! It is so good to hear from him. He is doing really well. His letter was positive and he was enjoying the experience of his first day. This letter was written on Wednesday evening. He will get to email us beginning next Thursday. Other than that his letter was mostly full of the details of his first day - standing in line to see if he had the correct immunizations, orientation meetings, food (dinner was great and he loves the lemonade!), meeting with the Branch Presidency, and getting his companion. His companion is Elder Sizemore and he is also going to Jamaica. They are the only 2 missionaries in their zone going to Jamaica and maybe the only two currently in the MTC going to Jamaica.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

At the MTC

Elder Talbert went into the MTC at 1:00 p.m. today. He is also officially 19 today! By the time the movie and introduction was over Kent was ready to move on and get things happening. While there were no tears, there was a little sadness, especially from Nathaniel, in knowing that he will be gone for 2 years. We look forward to hearing soon from Kent and knowing how life is for him at the MTC. Meanwhile, I am sure he would love to hear from all who are reading this blog!