Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shields Up, Red Alert!

Well this week has been good. Not anything horribly exciting has happened but I have been quite busy! To start out I must say that Malt-o-meal with lumps is much better than no lumps, it makes it taste good! I have to agree with mom on that one. If life was just smooth and creamy we would never learn anything, only when we have lumps of trials and difficulties do we learn anything and come out as a better person. (cheesy vague connection to the gospel). Oh and Happy late fathers day dad!
That game you have been playing Jospeh, Lego battles, do you own it or are you renting it? Sounds like something I will have to try when I get home, I think I would enjoy it, I will just have to write that down somewhere to remember to play it, I will forget if I don't write it down.
Early last Monday and on Tuesday my companion got sick so Tuesday morning (till 3:00 pm) we stayed inside and he slept. I just sat around and read. I made it through about half of the new testament in one sitting, it was dull but interesting. I like the book of Acts, it has a lot of interesting stuff in it. I have had a slight cold. Haven't really felt sick in any way, I have felt perfect, except for nose, it has just been really stuffy, but it has mostly faded now.
Zone conference was a blast! Started out with a long taxi ride and Elder Hillam and I showed up in Mo-bay just in time, we were walking to the grocery store to buy breakfast, we had about an hour before the conference began when all of a sudden president and sister gingery ran into us. They took the 2 of us to Burger King for Breakfast, it was nice! Got to save a bit of money and have a great breakfast with President! The conference was really good! Had a barbeque where we got hotdogs and hamburgers (something we don't get any other time) and we learned a bunch! It was one of the best conferences I have been to! We all had our ties cut (a tradition of the Gingerys, they always cut a tie of a missionary that is going home and keep it for a quilt that sister Gingery is making, and since they are going home they cut everyone's ties) There are some good pictures! Sister Gingery has a few that she will email to you, I have a good amount to, I am not sure which is better, so just save all of them if you could! Learned that in the church news (either last week or in the next few weeks) their will be an article on the turks and caicos islands! Keep it for me if you can get a copy of it! They are getting ready to send the first missionaries there, it will be great to see those countires open up!
District conference unique. It took place in mo-bay, president had stayed in Negril on Saturday night so he gave us a ride up there! It was the last one in Mo-bay, they dissolved the district and released all the members of the district. Now the branches have to report directly to the mission president. The idea behind eliminating the district is to strengthen the branches. The members of the District leadership are all very strong members and so that will add strong priesthood back into the branches where they can hold callings and really help the branches grow. It is a good idea and I am interested to see how well it works. Jamaica really wants a stake but they are not quite their. The first place to get a stake will be Kingston, the rest of the island will remain under the control of the mission president until a distant future time. Kingston is close! To become a stake you need 120 full tithe paying, active melchezidik priesthood holders. It is very close, only need like 10-20 more! Hopefully by the time I leave my mission I will see the first stake in Jamaica form over in Kingston!
Sister Hylton is still doing super good! She has been taught everything and even made it all the way to Mo-bay for district conference. She is preparing to be baptized this Saturday and if all goes well in her interview she will be ready! She is progressing very well and all looks good! Tim on the other hand has run into a difficulty! He moved to Kingston. So he is out of our hands now, hopefully he still gets baptized in Kingston.
So randomly on of my toes (not either of my big toes, just one of the small ones) decided to get an ingrown toenail. I noticed it early and so it has really grown into a sever problem. Luckily it is just one of the small toes, they aren't a huge pain in the neck. But with that I could either get it fixed from a doctor or just attempt to remove it myself. My companion suggested that I just remove it myself. The medical system here doesn't work. National Health care is a complete failure, it just causes huge problems and now all you can get is really lousy health care. So I have successfully cut my own hair and now I will attempt to successfully perform a very minor surgery on my foot! It should be a lot of fun, I am interested to see how it goes! Haha
Yet again I am running low on things to say. But I will just keep going on here until I think of something of value to say. My bike is still doing amazing, hasn't had any problems for a few weeks now! I am quite happy with that! The Gingerys are pretty much done, they go home next week. It will be sad to see them go, they are both amazing! But I am also very excited to meet the new mission president. President Graff will mostly be my mission president, I will know him for most of my mission.
On Saturday night the power went out so we went in early (it is unsafe to be out in the dark) the house was very dark and we learned that all we had was birthday candles. So every 3 or 4 minutes we had to light a new candle. Birthday candles don't last very long. It was eventful. Eventually the power came back on so all was good in the end.
Well I learned that Jamaica is one of the slowest areas for the church in the world. It has grown very slowly. In 35 years it has only grown to about 5000 members, and out of those only about 2000 are active. It is weird to see how slow it grows. The missionaries try ridiculously hard. The morals of the country have declined to the point where almost anything goes. It is interesting to note that as the values and the morals of a country decrease the quality of the country also decreases. Virtue, chastity and Crime are huge problems here. There is nothing that even looks like a family, no one is married, no one is committed to anything, education is very limited and many can't do basic skills. The church has a hard time growing in so much sin. But there are still good people here. The Church does contain some of Jamaica's best people! It still has hope, it is just going to be a long slow process towards stakes and eventually a temple.
Well Things have been going well here. I wish I had some interesting insight from my studying that I have had recently, but my mind is blank at the moment. Transfers are coming up this Saturday, I am interested to see if I go somewhere new or if I just stay in Negril for another transfer. I won't know till Thursday night. I sort of don't want to leave but at the same time I am getting tired of the bike ride, it is starting to get really long.
I am running low on time but I hope all is going well at home! Summer Vacation is hopefully going well! It would be nice to have a bit more relaxation time, but oh well. I love you all and wish you the best!
Elder Kent Talbert

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