Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish Heads


Well It is great to hear from all of you again! This week has been good! Not much has happened out of the ordinary but I will try and go through it all. So first off I will answer all your various questions. Mom I don’t know why I type mother, I have no logical explanation for you haha. So Nathaniel my favourite color is blue or red, it changes, the capital of Utah is Salt lake City and you were quoting monty python and the holy grail. Negril is a great place! It is on the far west side of the island, just in case you haven’t found it on the map yet mother. We live at the end of a road called west end road, it is still in negril but everyone just calls it West end because of how far out it is. West end road is a road that goes south and then sort of east on the shore. Nice bike ride but long and when the road is really busy it is terrible. The road is littered with resorts and other such things.

The food situation is annoying. Since we live 7 miles away it is to long of a bike ride to make just for lunch. So we eat breakfast at 7 then we ride out eat lunch at 1 and then we ride home and eat dinner at 10. So long break between dinner and lunch. For dinner we eat ramen noodles and for breakfast we eat really cheap cereal. It is sort of an on going joke in the mission to make fun of how poor the negril elders are. We are given about $200 US a month. $50 of that goes to Taxi fare, $10 to Email, $60 to lunch and $80 to dinner/breakfast. Since we are in a tourist zone everything is very expensive. The cheapest lunch we get is for $2 US. The ramen noodles are the same as the states in brand but cost about 50 cents so that adds up fast, cereal and milk are also expensive but oh well. We fast every Sunday because it is the only way we have enough money to eat the rest of the week. It is ridiculous but a lot of fun. The rest of the mission eats a lot better than we do but it is still good. The one thing we do have that makes our food situation better is The Mitchell family. They are a younger family who are quite prosperous and feed the missionaries every Sunday. They give us a huge meal! For lunch we eat at Jucci Patties everyday because it is cheap. So every meal is very repetitive except the mitchells. Jamaican food is fairly generic. Every meal consists of Stir fried vegetables, Rice, Beans, and chicken or fish. The chicken is really good! I love the chicken! The fish on the other hand is not so good. In Jamaica (or at least Negril) they eat every part of the fish, head, tail, body, bones. Nothing is left out, it is gross. Luckily everyone understands when the missionaries don’t eat the head/tail/bones. Ice cream tastes different but is still really good! Sister Mitchell gives the missionaries ice cream every Sunday for washing her dishes! so the Mitchells use to feed the missionaries 4 times a week but that took to much time. She told us yesterday that she has more time again and is going to start feeding us again 2 or 3 times a week. Which is great! that is definitely the best meal I get all week! and it is really the only authentic Jamaican food we get except for the rare occasion that we eat at an investigators home.

The temple here is the Dominican Republic Temple. They make 1 trip a year with the whole District. Missionaries never go but a lot of the members do. They save up money and make the trip. The same thing with General conference for the members in Negril. It is a 2 hour drive to watch conference so that will be fun! If you send me photos via email I can easily view them but I can’t print them off in Negril. I can just save them. In other areas I might be able to, I know that missionaries have managed to do it depending on where they are.

So dad it is funny that you mentioned Jeremiah and Abinidi. President Gingery recently gave a talk to the missionaries about both of those prophets. It was a really good talk. I have been meaning to read Jeremiah but haven’t gotten to it yet. I will one of these days! I am excited for CJ and Shea to get their mission calls!! So far I am loving my mission! Jamaica is a strange place but I love it! I have so much fun everyday! I am learning tons and at the same time having a lot of really good experiences and overall just enjoying life here.

So Robbie got my letter? That is good! Haha I wasn’t sure how long it would take. There should be one in the Mail also for Bishop that will arrive someday. So that is great! I hope that he manages to endure through his unmotivated companion. I am glad that my companion is really good and ready to go out and work hard all day everyday.

Well a lot of random stuff has happened this week I got to have ice cream from the creamy man (Ice Cream man) they are cooler here than in the states. It is just a guy who rides around on this modified bike and sells ice cream. When you buy it you pick your flavour he grabs a cone and scoops up lots of ice cream! It is sweet! On Tuesday Elder Stevens and I went and helped our investigator Linel cut trees. He needed a tree for something he was building so we took a hike into the Bush (Forest) and took some swords (imagine something similar to lord of the rings) and we chopped down trees. It was a lot of fun! I had never wielded a sword in order to cut down trees. They work really effectively!

I learned how to play Dominos (which is the only board game anyone plays in Negril, no one has heard of any other board game, it is odd) Dominos is interesting but gets boring really fast. I learned how to juggle also! (Such good skills I am gaining!) It was a lot of fun to learn how to do that with rocks!

So we have been teaching this guy named Jeremy (he is 20 years old) and he wants to get baptized! He is a really really good investigator. He is very intelligent and definitely ready. He understands everything perfectly! He said that when he was younger he use to listen to the missionaries who were teaching his neighbour but he never got taught. He prayed that the missionaries would find him and we did! Hopefully all continues to go well! He is doing some training in Montego Bay for a month so that stinks, we turned him over to the Montego Bay missionaries but we are still calling him from time to time to check up on him.

We have a lot of random investigators but none of them are going anywhere. We are trying to figure out how we can help them but so far it is just going no where haha we had this one lady who kept telling us that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God but that the church isn’t true. We tried explaining it to her but it didn’t work. Oh well.

We met another lady who was strange. We taught her the first lesson and later on (next visit) we asked her what she thought of Joseph Smith. She said “Well I’m not saying he’s not a prophet” and so we asked her what that meant and she just repeated herself. We asked her if thats a yes or a no but she just said the same thing. Finally she said “I believe in the Ten commandments” we agreed with her on that and gave up on it. She was going no where.

So I am slowly getting a hang of the language. It is more or less English just modified a little. Like the Power went out on Wednesday. In Negril they say The Current went out. I tried telling someone the power was out but they didn’t get it. I finally said the current went out and they understood what I was saying. Just lots of little things like that.

I still don’t understand cricket but I watched some kids play it. It was a silly game. I have no clue how they make kites so good but they do! My companion and I have been having a great time! We get along really well! He went to BYU before his mission and was studying Civil Engineering. He will be returning to BYU after his mission. He has been out about 8 months (so not to long yet). Overall I am very glad that I got put with Elder Stevens.

So I am running short on time (Ugh....) I still have a bunch of random stuff to include but oh well. I will see how much more I can get. So April is coming fast, next month I am going to budget really well and see if it is possible to eat better (I think it is, we can easily save some more money) I learned that if I need anything for my mission (scriptures, hymn book, journal, any other mission related item) I can purchase it from the office for super cheap 50% off or more! A missionary just bought a new leather set of scriptures, mini quad and super nice for only $12 US so really cheap! The missionaries get good discounts in Jamaica (don’t know if it is the same anywhere else).

I will have to take a picture of the power poles for you father, they are ridiculous. Every house has their own power line from their own pole. But all the poles are in one spot. It is the biggest mess of power poles and wires ever. The poles are falling over and the wires are tangled and garbage is everywhere. It is funny. I am surprised the power still works in everyones homes after seeing that.

So on a side note, I will probably be in Negril for at least 5 months if not more but if ever you don’t get an email from me on Monday it means that I got transferred to a Wednesday p-day zone. Part of the mission is on Monday and the other part is on Wednesday. So if you don’t get one on Monday look for it on Wednesday.

I am glad to hear that the temple dedication was good! I hope your play goes wonderfully heather!Look forward to hearing from you all soon! I left out a bunch of stuff but oh well, someday I can tell you guys all of it!

Love you All!!-Elder K. Talbert

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