It is always great to hear from the family! I love reading all you emails every week! So it is sweet that heather and Nathaniel got some game boy supplies and I am glad that Heather's play seems to be a good experience! So this week has been good! But first to go through some questions. The accent here isn't to bad...it is the language. Every word is strung together and so it is super hard to understand what they are saying. I am getting the hang of it but the first week I didn't understand much. To speak like a Jamaican you just have to remove 2 syllables from every 4 syllables. So for example "What is going on" becomes "Whgwon" I still have to occasionally ask my companion what people are saying, I don't always catch everything.
Congratulations father on being such a celebrity! Haha good to know I am related to someone famous! So for General Conference we stop all missionary work and drive for 2 hours to Montego Bay where we have a chapel with satellite. All the missionaries in our zone (16 missionaries) all stay in the same house Saturday night. So we go up in the morning, watch conference, eat, watch conference, eat, watch conference, eat, sleep in a really full house of missionaries, wake, watch conference, eat, watch conference, eat, drive, teach. I am excited! It sounds like a great party! And I am really excited to listen to the general authorities speak and get some great information!!!
So Laura in response to your question on the length of a lesson. It really all depends on the person but usually we give a lesson in about 30-40 minutes. We cover about half of the stuff from each lesson. So if we want to cover all of lesson 2 it can take 30 minutes if we do our short version or an hour if we do our long version. We ask massive amounts of questions and use 15-20 scriptures. So overall the lessons turn out very good. I like a lot of the scripture chains that my companion and I have been working on creating. It is one of the things we have been working really hard on is teaching more and more from the scriptures and less and less from our own words. So we normally explain where the scripture is coming from, what to look for, then read it, explain it, ask questions about it and the start the process over again. Our best lessons have been ones where our unity is really good and where we effectively use the scriptures.
Well last preparation day after I wrote my email we went to this small shopping mall for tourists. My favourite part about it was that every single shop was owned by a few guys from India, no nativie Jamaicans owned these shops. It was really quite entertaining to see it.
I do have quite a good story this week about the most epic conquest I have ever endeavoured upon. So Thursday night my companion and I came home at our regular time of 9 pm, we went out side to do our daily planning because their is no space inside. We were sitting on the balcony and all of a sudden it just starts pouring rain nonstop! We had cover but we were still getting splashed, so inside we went to finish our planning. Well in our home we are happily planning and I start to notice this dumb bug that is flying around our heads, so I swat it away and continue onward. We call our district leader to hold ourselves accountable for the day and while we are talking to him I start to notice like 4 of these bugs flying around us, so I take off my sandal and start to swat them out of the air and kill them. So my companion is talking to our district leader and I am chasing a few bugs around but then I look in the kitchen and then bathroom and to my horror their are close to 100-150 of these moth like bugs. So I quickly tell my companion that we are being invaded he looks in the kitchen and yells at the bugs our district leader asks us what is going on and we inform him that our house is being taken over by bugs (which turned out to be giant flying ants) we kill a few of them and then finish our planning. As soon as our planning is done my companion gets the broom and I get my sandals and we start to kill them. We kill tons of them, the floor was littered with these bug bodies. So we are trying to kill every single one, we close all our windows and doors but then small black ants start pouring into our house to eat the bodies of the big flying ants and a bunch of spiders start coming from everywhere. So now our house is full of insects and we are trying our hardest to kill them all. I get a can of bug spray and spray every hole around the doors and windows where bugs can get in. After about 45 minutes we killed all the bugs in our house. The floor was covered in dead bugs it was really gross but we felt quite accomplished. The bug spray works really well. We have had 0 bugs in our house since then. Well after we killed them all we had a victory dinner of ramen and bread and then went to bed. In the morning we got around to cleaning up all the bugs.
Well we met this guy out in the mountains where we were tracting. It was a cool area, lots of trees and little dirt trails, we were looking for any random house that might live out in the middle of nowhere. But we found this man named tim. He made Jewelry from turtle shells, wood (Jamaica has some really really cool wood that makes some really cool things! Strange woods that I have never heard of) and he makes jewelry from about anything else. It was really really nice, he showed it to us, he does an amazing job! Definitely the best I have seen in all of Jamaica. And the best part was that Tim was 100% blind, he couldn't see a thing but he was really good at making things with his hands. He was a really cool guy.
Well today I am finally going to fix my bike! I have been riding another missionaries bike for quite some time and finally need to get my rideable since transfers are coming up fast! So I had to ride my bike for 30 minutes to the email place and it was a long and terrible ride, the brakes rub always and the tires don't roll straight and the gears don't work. So it was a long ride but I made it! I will get it fixed soon!
To bad rob didn't get much of an email sent, I am always worried about that happening to. I hope that all is going well for him in Idaho! Maybe he is having more success than we are. E. Stevens and I haven't had the best of luck lately. We have very few good investigators. But we did find this girl named Latisha. She is really smart and asks some good questions (Like she asked if Elijah from the Bible was or did ever return) she has a good memory and can read well. The very best part about it is that she is married! (which is very rare for Jamaica, no one gets married in Jamaica, everyone just lives together) she is doing really well and we hope she keeps progressing. Her and her husband could be a good strength to the branch. The branch has very few young people mostly just old people and so a lot of young people when they visit don't like that and figure that we are just an old person church so it would be good to get some more young couples in the branch to try and dissolve that notion.
Well yesterday we had dinner at the mitchells, not so good! Haha we had just fasted for 24 hours and I was really hungry, I had had some really terrible bike rides especially Saturday night where we made a 20 minute ride in 10 minutes, we didn't want to be late in at night and have to call the president so we rode fast. It was really tiring and we were fasting so I was getting very hungry. Well we showed up at the Mitchells and sister Mitchell had prepared for us Rice and Peas (one of my favourite Jamaican foods! Peas=beans, I don't know why they call them peas) , Pickles (Bleh!), Potato Salad (very bleh!), and fish (never liked fish much) so we were starving and all I had to eat was food I don't like, and in Jamaica you never serve yourself, everyone prepares your plate for you so their is no choice. It was interesting, luckily the fish was really really good! Whatever she did to cook it made it excellent. We had this really good cherry slushie type drink so that is how I ate the potato salad, eat a bite, drink a lot, eat a bite, drink a lot. Hopefully that doesn't happen to often! I am getting more tolerable to fish but still hate potato salad!
I have been thinking of bikes a lot (because I am always on mine) so I know that dad has some sort of analogy with bikes and coasting but I don't remember it to well, I might have just come up with more or less the same thing but I have noticed that their are only a few choices on a bike, you are either pedalling to move forward either on level ground or up, or you are coasting, if you are coasting you are either slowing down on level ground or going down hill. I have been attempting to make some connection to the gospel with this in that we only have a few ways we can go, we can either be working hard to make our way up, going nowhere, or going downhill and as you progress downhill the speed constantly increases until you have lost any and all control. We can either be trying in life to keep gods commandments and trying to constantly work our way upward, we can just be living an idle life that is going no where, we aren't really doing bad but we aren't doing good either, or we can be doing wrong which constantly compounds on itself till you have lost control.
Thanks dad for your email, it was good. To link it back to last week, Jeremiah and Abinidi had similar experiences as one another in that they never saw the fruits of their labours, they taught the people and were killed, but abinidi converted alma unknowingly and a whole nation was converted, Jeremiah had his words recorded in a book of scripture that now the whole world has access to. So even when it appears that our efforts are in vain you never know what can happen, even if you don't ever see the fruits of your labours. I teach a lot of lessons that go nowhere to people but perhaps they will remember my words and someday come to receive the restored gospel in their lives
Well I am glad to hear that CJ is going to Bulgaria! That is sweet! He should learn to love the MTC food because it will be different out in the field but it will also be one of the best experiences of his life! I am excited for him!
I am running short on time but I hope all is going well, I love hearing from you all! Life goes well in Jamaica, I am improving rapidly, my personal study time has definitely become my favourite part of the day. Make sure to keep studying the scriptures daily! You can never learn enough! Thanks paula for sending letters to me so often! I love reading about life in Idaho!! Well I love you all and will write next week!!!! Keep up the good work Nathaniel, and don't worry to much about missing me, I will be back sooner than you know!
Love, Elder K Talbert
ps if you ever don't get an email from me either something went wrong or I accidently typed in your email address wrong check my gmail, I have been sending all my emails their also as a back up