Great to hear from all of you! I hope my emails are easily read, I have to type fast and without editing due to the limited time and the amount of stuff I always have to say!
This week went great! But first for a few random odds and ends. Joseph: The site I use to get stickers is Cubesmith.com or something like that, just go to google.com and search for Cube Smith and it will be like the first link. The stickers are cheap, only like a dollar, but try and also buy a sticker remover, it will save you a ton of time and tribulation! I forgot to mention it in my email last week! I didn't remember until that evening that I failed to answer that question. If you practice enough and get good you will be highly respected on your mission! (at least in Jamaica)Speaking of rubiks cubes, their was this family we were teaching and their son brought me a cube that they had, they had no clue how to solve it and didn't know that I could solve it. Their kid was just showing me all his toys. I solved it and they were amazed! They said it had been mixed up for years! It was great! I had never seen anyone freak out so much because a rubiks cube was shown. Also father, could you send me the conversion for Km to Miles, I don't remember it perfectly so I have just been making estimates while in taxis. I like to sit in the taxi and determine how fast we are going, it keeps my mind of the road and the horrible driving! We have to taxi for 4 hours a week to get to district meeting and I like to sleep and do the math of our speed! Haha Well that was really about it for the odds and ends. Congratulations on all your achievements dad! I tell my companion about you all the time haha He thinks you are great! Said he might stop by the house some time after his mission. Same with Elder Sizemore, they both want to meet you! Haha Thanks for all the emails! It really is one of the highlights of the week to see how my family is doing and to tell all you about the great week I have had! Keep up the service heather! It is a lot of fun!
On Tuesday my companion and I went and did service and it was our most productive day! We taught 12 full lessons and mowed someone's lawn. We started our day with service and we were blessed because of it! The lawn we mowed was that of an elderly gentleman who lives down by the beach. He is the grounds keeper of one of the resorts. So we went to go and help him mow the lawn of the resort so that he didn't have to, he is to old for the size of the lawn! The lawn is about the size of a football field with trees everywhere. And all he has is a small gas powered push mower. So it took a while but it was good! This week I have eaten a ton of Jamaican fruit! I tried Jamaican Apples, which really are nothing like apples. They look and taste like Giant Pomegranate seeds, and they stain just as easily to. They were delicious. I ate a ton of other fruits, one of the members has a lawn full of fruit trees so he let us just go and eat. It was a lot of fun to try a bunch of random fruit.
On Wednesday my companion had to go to Kingston to get trained on how to be a trainer so I went to a city called Savana la mar to do exchanges. It was a nice city but not as good as Negril! But that evening my companion got back really late (9:45) to late for us to go home, we have to be home by nine or else we get in trouble! So since the next day was district meeting we decided to have a big slumber party in Sav with 4 other missionaries, including elder sizemore from the MTC. It was a lot of fun! We had a great time! In the morning 5 out of 6 of us got showers before the water and the power went out! Jamaica has a strange problem with that, water and power will just randomly go out at anytime. I only have hot water about 2 times a week. It is annoying but oh well! Well we all made it to our district meeting alive! It is an hour drive from sav to our meeting, so we took a bus! A bus in Jamaica is what they call a van. So we got in a van about the same size as the one you guys have. But in Jamaica there is no rule about seatbelts or anything and the driver wants to make money and the more people he has the more money he makes. So in a bus, the size of our van, we had exactly 21 people! For an hour I was in the most uncomfortable bus in the world, and it didn't help that our drive was through the mountains on the most unstraight road in Jamaica, we were all sore and sick by the time we got there! Haha
On a side note hurricane season is coming (june-november) and so we are starting to build up our food storage just in case. We already have a ton of water but we are lacking on the food. I would also like to suggest that you guys at home work on your food storage, not that it will effect me in anyway but I am beginning to see the purpose of having extra stores of food and water. You never know when you might not have any in Jamaica.So we have been trying to sort out investigators like mad! We have so many that we need to get rid of some! So we have been teaching and seeing how sincere people really are! We are down to only like 5 investigators these days so we have a lot of finding time! It is a lot of fun! Yesterday at church we had 4 white people in church! They were visiting Jamaica and came to church! They were really nice but it was weird to have white people other than the missionaries at church! At church I am getting good at answering random questions and reading! During Sunday school My companion and I sit in Gospel Principles and no one talks except the teacher and the missionaries. We try and get the others involved but they seem a bit timid. The ward really counts on the missionaries to participate and answer questions they deem as difficult! We have 7 priesthood holders in the branch, not counting the missionaries but it is good! Church is a lot of fun! I am getting good at singing hymns, haha. Every time we go and teach a lesson we start by singing a hymn and since the investigator doesn't know it my companion and I just end up singing a duet. We probably sing anywhere from 8-12 duets a day, it is a lot of fun. People always laugh at us but we like it!
We have been talking to this less active sister in the ward, sister Judith. She is probably my favorite member! Has a most strange method to everything she does! Very strong testimony just lazy when it comes to church. Luckily she has been there the last 2 weeks! So we were talking to her and recently she has been reading the bible backwards, (from the end to the front) which is weird but she does have some good insights. Anyways so we went and read a chapter with her, left her with a message and rode our bikes away! Well for the rest of the night she kept calling us and telling us these cool things she had learned from a verse she had read! It was really cool to see how into the scriptures she was.
Well my companion and I had a light bulb die, which was depressing, we are to poor to fix it! But I did learn my bike was free! One of the other elders, his 2 years was up so he gave me his bike for free, it was going to be to hard to get it back into the states! Well I need to fix my bike up, it is lacking a useful front wheel and has no lights (a requirement for the missionaries in Jamaica) so I need to get all that fixed at some point.
We meet some of the craziest people here in Jamaica! A lot of people are literally insane! But this one guy that we talked to was great! He was an older guy, has no job and just wanders the streets, a really weird guy. We went to teach him and he had a question for us, which is good, there is a lot of false doctrines in Negril and we are constantly battling this. His question for us was "do you think that jesus will come again?" and so I told him that the answer was yes, and here is what he said "I don't think he will, last time he came the people killed him and that was before guns, now if he comes everyone will shoot him" and this guy was 100% serious and very concerned about it, but we helped him find his answer, it was fun, he was a strange man.
People here have some of the weirdest and strangest beliefs and names! In one day we met people named: Delbert, Fireman, Super fly, Tony tuff the bomb maker, Phone science man! all these names are what they go but, so it is what we call them, sometimes it is hard not to laugh at people when they tell us their names! (like phone science man) We have had some good lessons this week but little success. We did have one guy though who is really good. His name is Ian. We left him with 3rd Nephi 11 to read. Most people won’t do our reading commitments so it is really hard. But he did read and we asked him how much. He said 5 verses, we rolled our eyes and asked him what he learned. He told us he learned the commandments (the first 5 verses of 3rd nephi 11 never mention the commandments) Everyone we talk to tells us that, whenever we leave them something they just say they read it and make up something. So we asked ian to show us what he read. Turned out that he had read! He had read 5 chapters, not 5 verses! It was great! He was able to remember everything when we quizzed him on it! Now we just have to hope he can make it to church next Sunday! He is a really cool guy one of my favorites!
We have also been working with a recent convert family who hasn't been able to come to church because they live far away, have no job or money and no way to get to church. They are a really good family but just struggle with things like money. So we have been trying to help the husband find a job. And we finally got him one! He is now a taxi driver! So he has a car which he can use for anything, and so he can get to church, and he has a way to make money! We have all been praying and fasting for him to get a job and we were finally blessed!
Overall it has been a good week! I am starting to run out of time so I will try and think of a few other highlights or things I wanted to mention! It hasn't rained much, it is the dry season of the year, but the wet season is almost here so it is starting to rain more and more!
If any of you are studying out of preach my gospel I would suggest chapter 3 and 6! They are my favorite! I have been doing a lot of in depth study of chapter 6 especially! My study journal will be huge by the time I get home! Well today has been a good day, I had hot water and water pressure which was nice! The wind is pretty bad here but oh well. It is weird to use a computer. The area I am in has more or less no technology except this random internet cafe. Most people have no idea how to use a computer and have never seen a lot of the technology we have in the states. The people here love American candy but have little access to it. Most people live fairly humble lives. Duct tape solves any problem (leak in the roof, hole in the wall, clothing) and a house can be built in one day! With no electricity and plumbing we watched a house get built super fast! There is no design plans just build a box and put metal sheets on the top for a ceiling. Every house is made of cinder blocks and scraps, but a lot of them look quite nice in the end!
Overall a good week! Keep up the good work at home and keep sending me emails! I love to hear from you all!!!
-Love Elder K Talbert