Well first off I guess I will go through mothers day. Sister Gingery should have sent you an email about it. Here is how it goes. You actually get to call me (because that way the mission doesn't have to pay for the phone bill!) Since Elder Stevens parents don't get home till sort of late our appointed time is around 6:30 Jamaican time, or about 5:30 US time. So call at 5:30 and we will tell you if we are ready yet, if not we will just tell you to call back in like 10 or 15 minutes. Then we have around an hour to talk. So That will be all good!
Thanks for the money mom for postage/pictures. I don't have to pay a fee to get a package, you get to pay the fee when you give it to the post office (or so I hear) so don't worry about that. Pictures are probably one of the best things to get in a package! Don't worry yourself over the mini PMG I can easily survive without it Haha. Thanks for the pictures this week in the emails, looks like you have been doing a lot of work on the yard, and my dog looks good! Laura hopefully had a good time at prom, it sounds like she had a fun experience! On a side note, it would be nice mom if you could somehow reduce how large the picture files are. Dad's pictures were only like 200 kb but yours were 2-4mb. It still loads fast but I don't know how much my mail box can hold so I don't want it to overload and not get any mail one week! Stamps are currently $60 Jamaican but I don't know how much US that is, the exchange rate is mostly unknown to the missionaries, I think it is around 85:1 currently but I really don't know. I will work on printing off some pictures with the money you gave me and mail them to you. We have been taking some good ones!
Well thanks for all the letters! I am glad to know that my mail arrived at home and that you enjoyed it. It was sort of a last minute Idea one preparation day. I am happy to hear that you are doing well in School Laura! I hope that your AP test goes well this week! Your email dad was quite entertaining to read and made me laugh, it was good!
As normal my bike has had more difficulties. I think they gave me the bike with all the problems, it is costing way to much! But this week a part of the De-Railer broke and I need to fix it today, so that will be a bit more money gone. It has a problem where it always pedals, if the wheels move the pedals have to move. Makes it really annoying, no coasting allowed. It is interesting. Even when I want to brake I have to keep pedaling, so it is counter productive. I have to brake harder than I am pedaling to prevent the chain from falling apart. I have learned an important lesson about being compelled to do something. When you are compelled to do something it is possible but not enjoyable. We can't be forced to do something and find pleasure in it. I have dreaded every minute on my bike because of this pedal problem. As missionaries we can only invite people to come to Christ but we can't make them, for one thing it would probably just make them frustrated and they wouldn't find enjoyment in it at all. But when we have the choice then can we be happy.
This week has been good! Yesterday at church we had 12 visitors, so nearly double the branch. We had a family visiting from salt lake, their sun was a former missionary in Jamaica and had come to visit. It was a lot of fun! It made church even better! We had decent discussions in class and testimony meeting was really good! It was weird to have a lot of white people in church again. We also had 2 people visiting from England and they were really cool! Had a sweet accent.
Lately we have been working in an area of Negril called "Good Hope" which means we have a super long bike ride every day, it is out even farther than anywhere else we go. I am riding close to 30 miles a day on my bike between good hope and the other places we visit.
Today is officially my 3 month mark! (May 4th) and my 90th day mark! Cool how that worked out like that. I am amazed at how fast this last week has gone by, it just disappeared. Well Mosely isn't doing so well. He has a strong desire to keep the commandments, and he is really good, but he lives with a partner and they aren't married yet. Unfortunately she is a very stubborn lady and refuses to get married until her children in Canada find time to come and visit for a wedding. Mosely can't very well move out because he has very bad knees and no way to make money so he is dependent on her. We can't really move forward with mosely until he gets married. Hopefully he will keep coming to church until that day. He is hoping that it will be in August. Maybe I will still be in Negril, that is only 2 transfers away.
It is interesting to me to look at how little people are willing to sacrifice. We normally have 0 investigators at church because church goes through lunch time and they won't sacrifice their food for church. The people around here won't sacrifice for anything. The easy way out is always the one chosen. Almost no one is married, because that involves sacrificing their supposed freedom, and no body likes to deal with their issues, they would rather just take large amounts of drugs till they forget their problems. It has been frustrating to see so many of our investigators fall in to this trap of selfishness. But oh well, we are going to try a new direction with our lessons this week to try and encourage our investigators better. Hopefully it works!
Well success has been limited in Negril, we don't really have anyone progressing currently but oh well. We will keep trying! We are managing to use almost all our time effectively. This week we taught 40 lessons which is a ton for how much bike riding we have to do in between houses. We were hoping to have a really good amount at sacrament meeting but that didn't work out so well.
My companion and I have been talking about how much you learn and grow on your mission. We decided that it comes down to that we were completely removed from our regular life. Left our homes, friends and families and left to fend for ourselves. If we relate it to a house it is like before our mission we had a home but the foundation was built upon worldly things. Then you leave on a mission, get thrown into a crazy environment and your entire home is obliterated. Rapidly the home is rebuilt only this time only upon the gospel. We are required to learn as fast as possible or else we will be left without a home and feel completely lost.
Well Jamaica goes well. I have gotten use to the food here and now I am working on learning how to make it. A lot of the native food is super good! I especially love Curry Chicken and rice+peas. The curry here is different than that in other countries. It is called Jamaican Curry and it isnâ€™t really like anything I have had before but it is really good! I think it would be better if it was made with boneless chicken so that you didn't have to pick out all the fragments of bone while chewing.
I have to get a haircut this week. Next week we are having an annoying zone preparation day which means I have to spend a ton of money on taxi fare and have 0 free time. It will be dumb. We only get 8 hours of preparation day and I will end up spending 4 in a taxi that is so cramped and bumpy that you can't do anyting inside the taxi other than sleep. But oh well. I just have to do everything this week that would have been done next week, including a haircut. President Gingery is coming out in a week and a half so we have to look our best for when he does inspections.
I am running short on time, but I hope you all have a good week! I don't know how good next weeks email will be due to talking to you on Sunday. But make sure to think of anything you all want to tell me/ask me for Sunday. That will be great!
I am doing very well! I love to hear from all of you every week! Good luck with the 4x4 Jospeh! If you need help somewhere in the piece of luggage I left at home is a book on rubiks cubes I think. It has good instructions! Better than the internet. I hope all goes well this week! Enjoy the last few weeks of school and keep up the good work! Thanks for the pictures again mom and dad, I do enjoy seeing things going on at home every once in a while! Well I am out of time! I love you all!
Elder Kent Talbert