Sounds like it has been a good week for everyone! The Yard looks completely different, I like it! I am glad that girl's camp was great! I remember doing a similar activity as your whole rope thingy at the Young mens camp they did 2 years ago. This morning I had an intense round of Book of Mormon Golf, we were tied for the first 5 or 6 rounds but then during our final tie breaker I got a decent one and my companion got one of the Isaiah chapters and he had no clue which one it was.
Well this week has been decent enough. The highlight was definitely my pillow! So I have had no pillow since I left home 4 months ago. I have just been sleeping without one. It was going to be too difficult to carry one all the way to the house in Negril so I just didn't bother to get one. Then Elder and Sister Smith, the senior couple for our zone did house inspections, saw I didn't have a pillow, and then yesterday after church they had come to Negril to give a fireside so they also bought me a pillow before they left Mo-bay! It was great! Last night was possibly one of the best nights I have had since I left; I had forgotten how great it was to have a pillow! The Smiths have been very helpful and kind! (And they provided E. Hillam and I with a tub of homemade cookies!)
We have been trying to build closer relationships with a lot of the members recently so this week we have been going around and serving them. On Thursday we spent all morning laying concrete for a house that the Henries are building. It was a lot of fun. Bro. Henry mixed the cement (we don't have any fancy mixers in Negril, just a pile of dry cement, dirt, sand, and water), E. Hillam carried the cement/dumped it and I spent the morning on my knees smoothing it out and leveling it. I don't think it is possible with the tools we had to have done the house with less than 3 people. After we finished the Henries provided us with rice, chicken and Roasted Breadfruit for a quick lunch. It was good! We have also been watering sis. Mitchells garden and watching it grow. She is convinced that it will grow better because the missionaries are watering it every day opposed to her watering it. On Monday night we went over to Bro. Allen's house and had Family Home Evening it was a lot of fun! We had a lot more people than expected. We were in charge of the lesson and so we planned a decent lesson, but then we showed up and there were 30 people there, all relatives and only 2 of them were members, the rest were non-members so our lesson had to quickly be reformatted to teach people who knew nothing about our faith. We have family home evening with the whole group of them again tonight, only this time we are in charge of the activity, someone else is doing the lesson. It has been a good week with the members, we have done a lot and gotten to know the members a lot better, their trust has really grown in the missionaries.
Well randomly on Friday our Branch president met us on the road and informed us that we have district conference on the 21st of June (like stake conference! only we don't have any stakes). That was a pain to learn, we have to go to Mo-bay (more taxi fare) and it is going to be really hard to get any investigators there, it isn't the cheapest ride in the world. It costs about $10 US which is quite a lot since most jobs in Negril pay about $10 US a day for 8-12 hours of work. It will be really good to hear from the mission presidency but it will potentially really slow down the progress of our investigators.
President Gingery is approaching his departure date super fast! Only has 2 weeks left. This Friday is his farewell conference with the missionaries in our zone. We are having a big barbeque and then interviews and talks. I am excited for it! And I am excited to meet the new mission president in 2 weeks.
This week I have been reading through conference Ensigns that I found, finished 2007, 2008, and 2009. So a lot of reading but I have really enjoyed it. There have been a lot of really good talks these past few years. I think some of my favorites are Elder Holland's talks for the last 4 conferences and Elder Scot's from..ugh! I think fall 2007, about knowing Truth, it is really good! I have also been reading through the Book of Mormon again during the start of my personal Study, I want to read it a bit more but I don't really have any time.
Our investigators are doing good enough. We are going to have to postpone Tim's baptism due to the district conference; it is going to be rough. At the rate we are going our baptisms might not take place till July, and by that point I probably won't be in Negril due to transfers. There is a slight chance that I will stay here, but it is looking more and more like I will leave.
Sis. Hylton is still doing very good. She has been reading from the book of Mormon plenty, she always reads a random chapter, even when we mark one for her to read she ends up on the wrong chapter, we aren't sure how that happens, but oh well. She still is having a second baptism concern. She understands the priesthood and all but I just don't think her testimony of the restoration is strong enough yet. We are hopeful though, we have a good lesson planned for Tuesday that will address the problem in a different way that we haven't gone yet.
On a side note, don't know why I just thought of this, but on June 22nd there is an eclipse! I am hoping that it is visible but knowing Jamaica we will probably have way too many clouds to even see the sky. We had a really cool Halo around the moon about 3 weeks ago that was super cool to see and last week there was a really weird ring around the sun in the middle of the afternoon, I am still not sure what the ring was. At night time you can see the stars super well! At about 7:30 it becomes super dark outside as the sun disappears and since there are few city lights the stars are very visible.
I had some great pasta this week! I received a really nice saute pan from another missionary and decided to use it for what I had used them for for so long. I bought some noodles and made some good alfredo sauce! It was a very good meal. Yesterday we made brownies after all was over and had a late night snack. Food is getting repetitive here, I seem to eat the same things everyday, but every once in a while I get something new!
Our mission really has a strong obedience focus on every single little thing. If we get home at 9:01 pm we have to call president and inform him (and it is not fun to do!). Every little rule is expected to be followed to the very best of our ability. They recently made the rule of no naps. That has been difficult at lunch time, even the short 15 minute nap is missed haha. But it is really good. I like the strictness, and as we do it more and more I have seen the reasons behind the rules and they don't become difficult to follow at all.
Well I am running short on time and need to get to burger king! (we are meeting other missionaries their for lunch/football) I hope all goes well at home! I will keep my eye open for that package in a week or so. I am doing well and enjoying my time in Jamaica.
I love you all!
Elder B. Kent Talbert