Saturday, October 24, 2009

I am a graduate of Starfleet Academy; I know many things

Good to hear from you all yet again, and I think I started this email the same yet again. I forgot to mention this in the last email, dad reminded me, The Cane in the tilted picture. While cleaning out a missionary house we found a cane, and I claimed it. I take it with me just for fun, I also got a brief case so it is pretty classy. When we got to Port Royal we decided I needed the cane, it was a good idea, with wooden floors it made a nice sound every time I put it down. Thanks for sending me contact solution, sorry if it was expensive! Hopefully I can make whatever you sent last till near the end of my mission, I will keep my eyes open for the package. I am glad that my letter to Alex was searched, haha that makes me chuckle.
This week has been good, fairly typical, but I will see what I can get written about it. We got a new assistant, Elder Mcgrath, so he has joined our household. I am excited to get to know him better, he seems like a really cool elder, we have a lot in common. Funny story from Thursday: Elder Brown, Darling and I all went to the bank to pay for a Work Permit for a new missionary coming in. We parked along the side of the road behind another car, their was a whole line of cars in front of us. We paid, took about 20 minutes of line standing, and then walked back out to the car, the only problem was that our car was gone! The security guard told us it was towed, but he didn't know anymore information. Apparently you aren't allowed to park on the curb. Someone new had parked their car where ours had been. Somehow, out of the 10 cars parked on the road, ours was chosen when the road inspector people came by. So we taxied back to the office and got in another car and went and got our car. It was a harmless experience, just time consuming. Haha
This morning the Cheesmans invited us over for breakfast. It was really good! We got waffles, and bacon and juice! The best part, aside from a lot of food, was that they told us their engagement story. It was really funny, they had a ridiculous time. I am very happy that I get to serve around the Cheesmans, they are a wonderful office couple. They are heading back to the states on Monday for their daughters wedding and their youngest sons missionary homecoming. They will be gone a week so the office will be interesting and probably slightly less effective for a week.
One thing about the office is that I am around a lot of dying missionaries (term used to describe a missionary who has very little time left). As such I have gotten a lot of ties as they leave or get close to leaving. I am up to nearly 50 ties, so I have a good assortment for everyday. I get a lot of other free stuff that I frequently just redistribute. Elder Knowlton will be very confused next week when he receives a nice wooden hanger, with his name labeled on it, that I put in his Zones mail box.
We are getting a new senior couple from Vernal, Utah. The Waltons (not sure on spelling, just sound it out), I am curious to know if they know the Rusts. Elder White, also from vernal, thinks that someone related to the Waltons teaches institute or something like that. That is another nice thing about being in the office is that I get to meet everyone as they come and go throughout the week. So that is a lot of fun.
I am nearly done with the book of mormon again (I am in Ether), I will be finished by next week. I love reading that book and I will be excited to start it over again. During our personal studies and companion studies we are still only allowed to read the book of mormon and preach my gospel. Only during lunch or dinner or after nightly planning are we allowed to read whatever other church material we want. It is nice though. There is to much that I want to read and it is nice to have someone just tell me what I am allowed to read. Prevents me from continually jumping from one book to the next.
Hmm-I still have a decent amount of time left and I have written a good amount, to bad I am running out of things to type. Hopefully the ACT went well Laura. One thing I look forward to when I get home is returning to BYU and taking intense Physics or Math tests over in the Testing center. I always find it entertaining to just drain yourself on a nasty test.
That is nice that you got a new couch. We don't have a couch at all, we don't have space for a couch. Our house is just full of beds (we can house 8 missionaries, but we currently only have 4), tables, chairs, geckos, books (speaking of books, I have gained 3 dictionaries since I started my mission, yesterday I gave one to Elder mcgrath so now I only have 2).
I am attaching 2 photos to this email. They are actually the same photo but one has been edited. This was the photo taken by our landlord at the top of a very large hill overlooking Kingston. From left to right: Elder Darling, E. Griffiths, Me, E. Brown. The edited one was first modified by elder Griffiths, then I worked on it a bit, and finally elder darling added some final touches to it. Being unprofessional all we used to edit the photos was Microsoft paint haha. I compressed the pictures a bit so sorry if they lost a bit of quality.
We have been teaching a lot of less actives this week and hopefully we see the fruit of our labor at church on Sunday. If nothing else we have reminded them of the covenants which they made when they were baptized (or in some cases the covenants they made when they went through the temple). Our recent converts are doing really well. Elaine is doing exceptionally well. She is the primary presidency now and is nervous for this Sunday haha. Sister Hylton, back in Negril, is doing very good. I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but she is teaching Gospel Doctrines class now. I think I have said this before but it is amazing to see the changes that take place in these people as they accept the truth, and don't just accept it once but actually go a read the book of mormon daily and keep the covenants which they made.
Well I think I might finish up now. Thanks again for the emails and the contact solution, hopefully it gets to me this week, if not it should arrive by next week. Transfers are coming soon, so that will make the office slightly more hectic than normal. Enjoy the week and enjoy school. Is Halloween this week? I think it is! They don't celebrate it here. Well I love you all and keep you in my prayers. Hopefully I didn't ramble to much! Haha
Elder B. Kent Talbert

It Seems To Be An Unidentified Organism!

Well it has been good to hear from you all again. I didn't get the TT mom (at least not by email, if it was mailed I have seen it not) so you could send me one and that would be great! By mail would be preferred because it costs me money to print! I forgot to mention last week that I still am the piano player for sacrament meeting every week. I think I am getting better, I am at least getting used to the songs that seem to be repeated more frequently than others. I did get your joke about the ruler dad, to bad no one else caught on to it. I don't know how much it will cost, but I could use some more contact solution. I don't know how much it will cost in Jamaica but if it looks like it will be a pain to send in a package I can search it out here and get some.
This week has been good. President Graff has had zone conferences in Cayman, Bahamas, and Turks so he has been gone almost all week with the occasional stop in, as part of that he took one of his assistants with him (only one to save on the budget) so we had a third wheel with us all week. It was nice, on Monday and Tuesday we had Elder Darling and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday we had Elder Griffiths. We got a lot of office work done with 3 people instead of 2, we could send 2 people out to run errands and have 1 stay and work in the office.
We went to a Jamexican restaurant called El Chilitos. I got a burrito that was actually really good. I wasn't sure how much I was really going to like this strange Jamaican/Mexican mixture thingy. (That was Monday). On Tuesday we went to a place called Susan's Cafe for lunch. It was a Italian cafe place owned by a genuine Italian, the place was decent. I had a grilled chicken pesto sandwich, I enjoyed the it but I didn't really like how much I had to spend on it.
Funny experience from today (this is why we are emailing so late). Our Landlord, Bro. Miller, Is an old white guy who used to be a race car driver (that was his profession). He still has some very very very nice cars. Last night when we got home he called us over and asked if we could help him close up his garage, the door was giving him trouble. So we went over helped him out and then looked at all his cars. He told us that today we could return and get pictures in the day time. So we did. This morning we got up, cleaned the house, studied, cleaned some more and then went around to the garage. Bro. Miller was ready and so we got pictures and then he offered to give us a ride, so we took it. We had to squeeze really tight to fit into the car we took. A sports car is not made for 5 full grown adults. It was horribly uncomfortable but the ride was really nice, we drove up the mountain and once at the top took some pictures (they look fairly terrible, I think elder brown would only take pictures when I wasn't paying attention or when I was making dumb faces, I couldn't figure out what was taking him so long to take photos) that over looked all of Kingston. That took a long time but it was nice. Anyways, none of that was particularly funny and I mentioned that this was a funny story. So we are on top of the mountain and brother miller offers to take a picture of all 4 of us. So we hand him the camera. This camera has a screen that is the same size as the back side of the camera, doesn't have much in terms of buttons. Apparently brother miller had never seen such a device being very old. He would look at it, then put it up to his eye, about 1 inch from his eye like he was trying to look through a little view box on an old camera. So he is twisting and turning the camera trying to see something and we keep telling him to move the camera away from his eye and look at the screen and in the end we just had him push the take picture button while pointing the camera at us. I don't think he ever got the idea of the digital screen. That was a lot funnier actually being there then I think I made it sound, but oh well, maybe you can laugh at my spelling errors.
The office work has been good. I have been working on fine tuning many of my spreadsheets so that if and when I leave the office someone else can handle it without knowing how it all works. For the most part all of it works wonderfully. I have been working on trying to figure out how to make a button that will open a word document template (got that part down), but will then let me edit it, save it, but only save it for a specific cell so that if I open up the same template in another cell it will let me save it again but only to that cell so that each cell has its own, edit able version of the template, but I don't want to make 500 different templates, I want to just have one and let excel do the rest. (did that make any sense?)
We have been visiting a lot of less actives. One that we visited was one of the first members on the island long ago. He is very knowledgeable about the gospel and has had about every calling a branch has to offer. While we met with him we talked about just random things happening around the church, learned that he still continually reads from the bom and just went less active for a silly reason but that he plans to come back in a few weeks (he has only been less active for a month now) So we then got ready to go and while asking him where another less active member lives he decided it would be easier to just show us so he came with us for the rest of the night and helped us teach a handful of other less actives. That was the first time out of all the less actives I have visited, that we have got one to come out with us.
On Monday we had family home evening with the Sutherland family. The whole family is members but only Bro. Sutherland is active, he is the former branch pres. And now the elders quorum pres. He is an amazing man. Family home evening was very nice. Their 15 year old daughter did not want to be there at all and was very angry that she thought she was forced to endure it. But we got her to talk and in the end we had her laughing and enjoying the time she got to spend with her family. It was nice, I think if did well for the entire family, since then we have visited a few other times and everyone has been excited to see us and things appear a lot calmer around home. It is amazing how the simple things like FHE can work such wonders with families.
Oh yea, I just remembered. Last week on P-Day after emailing we drove out to Port Royal, the old british fort that sank in an earthquake. It was entertaining. We were the only people out there so we just wandered around the fort and took pictures. The place is fairly well kept, it has just been hit by a lot of earthquakes and hurricanes so a lot of it has just disappeared under the ocean. I attached a picture (lowered the quality so that it wouldn't take so much space) of me standing in a building that has half sunk so it is all tilted. I am standing straight up in the picture, it is the building that is sideways.
Wow, I got a lot written today. Other than what I mentioned not much has happened recently. Things go well, our house is clean and so that is nice. Our P-Day is mostly over thanks to our car ride this morning, but oh well, it was entertaining. This up coming week will be good, not much on the agenda so who knows what I will be doing. What is Shea's mission address? I don't have the slightest idea. I hope that you all have a great week, I am glad to hear that Jospeh's checkup went well and that all is good. It is weird to think that Laura is preparing to apply for college, it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was doing that (quick tip on that, it helps if you mention the word sponge somewhere in the application, don't ask me why, it just does). I have no clue how to pick up a message on an unmonitored frequency. I will think on that one. sorry if the subjects of my emails are getting lamer, my store of star trek quotes has been diminished so I just make something up something every week. Enjoy the week and I love you all!
Elder B. Kent Talbert

Friday, October 16, 2009

Captains log, Stardate 2431.32

The following is Kent's entry that he submitted to our family newletter, "The Talbertimes". As his mother, I am glad that he is creative but grateful that his weekly letters are easier to understand!

Life in the Jamaican Quadrant has been great. The headquarters located in Kingston has been running smoothly for the last little while. Elder Rebeiro, an excellent crew member, recently was reassigned to the Maypen region and Elder Brown from the Spain System has been transfered to join us here at headquarters. Tasks have been moderately similar day to day with the occasional distress signal coming our way. We have been in a sticky boarding situation in which the native inhabitants of a nearby system have insisted that we increase the amount of credit they receive. That has caused us to be on a diligent search for new systems on which we might house our crew members. Activity on the Waters surface down on the Rousseau system has had a slight increase as of recently, we had 3 ensigns go down and enter into the waters to perform greater research. The Warp engine has been performing magnificently on our Galactic Cruiser but we have heard rumors that a nearby Cruiser of ours has been attacked by enemy war-birds and is now steadfast and immovable. The admiral has been making a lot of inspections on the distant regions in this quadrant and that has kept us busy. Overall life at headquarters is going well, we are entering the winter months but their has been no indication of a change of weather, we might need to look into that and see why that is happening. For now we are keeping busy with our assignments and no difficulties are arising, things go smoothly and life is good.
Captain out -Elder B. Kent Talbert

The Dilithium crystal needs to be recharged!

Thanks for the emails yet again. This week has been fast and not much has happened since I last wrote 5 days ago, but I will see what I can get in here. Jamaica goes well, the temperature is still hot and the rain has been scarce.
Wow, I have written only 3 sentences and already I am drawing a mind blank as to what I should type. On Tuesday we had a Multi Zone Conference with half the mission, it was huge! The original plan was to take the Mission bus to the conference and transport all the missionaries in Kingston, Yallahs, Port Antonio, and Portmore to Spanish Town. But the bus wouldn't start and we all hoped into different vehicles instead. The Bus was later fixed by a helpful member. The conference was good. Pres. Graff spoke to us about being bold in our teaching and just reviewed a lot of things he has previously shared at zone conferences. We had pizza for a lunch and then returned to the office to get back to work.
The trunk of our car broke, I don't know how, but it just wouldn't shut. So we had a bike rack on it holding it shut and kept it like that for 2 days. Then Troy, a member who comes to the office everyday to help out, went to work on fixing our trunk. Turns out that somehow part of the latch had lowered itself or something had happened that had lowered the bumper, not really sure. But to fix it we took a ratchet strap, hooked it to the latch, tied it to a tree and then began to tighten the strap until it lifted the latch back into place and straightened everything out on the car. I really like using ratchet straps, they come in handy in many situations.
On Thursday we had an Elder flying out and so we got put in charge of taking him to the airport. His flight left at 6:40 am, we got up at 4:00 am to get everything and drive to the airport. It was a long day, but in the evening Sister Graff fed us dinner and we were happy. Then Elder Griffiths, who had been with sister graff, came with us for the rest of the night. Then Friday his companion was back in town and so we had to go and get him from the Graffs and got fed dinner again! It was good, we had Mexicanish food for both meals, it was nice to have something other than rice and chicken for a day.
We don't really have much in our investigator pool, we have only taught like 3 lessons this week, the office work has been keeping us busy. In our teaching we have been focusing a lot of just reading the book of mormon. Those who actually take the time to sit down and Read a chapter a day make enormous amounts of progress and feel the spirit a lot more than those who just make up excuses as to why they didn't read, or read half a verse a day.
Elder cheesman has a spreadsheet that I made that has all the landlords, the account numbers, info on when to pay the bills, addresses, to do lists, etc. It was quite simple and nothing fancy. But then Elder cheesman had some ideas he wanted to try and implement into the sheet. He always fills in the Cell of the Landlords name with a pink color, after he has paid the bill and types in the amount paid. At the bottom he has different sheets for different months so he can track how much is paid per month and so he can see differences. But he wanted a way where he could just click on the land lords name, have it fill in with color and then take him to the cell where the amount gets paid. I created a button that did that and put it at each of the bill payments, one for water and one for power. So now it worked nicely, he just had to click a button and it would color the cell, and take him to the correct cell for amount paid. (due to how the spreadsheet is organized it is not a straight line, the landlords info on water and power bills is farther down the spreadsheet from where the amount paid cells are located). Now at the end of every month he just makes a new sheet and copys the last months sheet in there. The only problem is that all the amounts paid are filled in, things are colored according to when paid, or if paid at all, and since it is a new month all that needs to be cleared. I created a macro and put a button on the sheet so now when it is a new month he just pushes the new month button. It takes everything from the last month, puts it into a new sheet, and then edits it to be for a new month with out all the last months info. It does it all with one mouse click and about 2 seconds. I was quite pleased with how it all worked out, I am interested to see what he asks for next in the spreadsheet. It always amazes elder cheesman (and myself) that I am just able to figure out these things on excel with no training, though there has been a lot of trial and error.
Now that I bored you all with that information I will try and think of what else has transpired in the last few days. President Graff wanted a new phone, he didn't like his last one and it was giving him trouble, so we went to go get him a new one. Unfortunately phone selections are a lot more limited in Jamaica and president graff has already tried numerous phones and he was down to 4 choices, 2 cheap ones, one that we were unsure about its structural capacity, and a very expensive phone. We went with the one we were unsure on. Turns out he loves it, he had a similar version back home and so already knew how to use it. Now we just have to hope that it doesn't break since we are running out of choices.
Email time is rapidly coming to a close, I am surprised how much I got written. To bad it was just about all that office work I do. Thursday night we were so tired that everyone in our house fell asleep by 9:30 and all the lights had been left on. I got up at midnight and turned off all the lights and went back to bed. Wednesday night our house was nearly empty, the assistants were out of town, so I took all their fans and had 5 fans blowing on me as I slept, it was nice.
We got a new senior couple this week and we are in line to get another 2-4 couples in the next 6 months. That will be great! Our numbers have dropped significantly and we have been running out of senior couples. Aside from all the other work they do they inspect missionary homes for cleanliness. Which is something that hasn't really been happening. We have been moving missionaries and their houses have been just disgusting and a pain to move out of. It will be good to have inspections start again.
Well now time is really starting to run short. I don't know what else to say anyways. I did learn that out of everyone I live with I send the longest emails. They normally send 1-2 short paragraphs to their families weekly, where I send 1-2 pages from Microsoft word. Speaking of Microsoft word, I have learned to use Microsoft office 2007 really well, I like the setup of it all. Initially it took me forever to find everything and I didn't like it, but now I prefer it to 2003. Anyways, that is about it for the week.
Life goes well, I am doing quite well, I got a new tooth brush, that is exciting. I hope that school goes great this week and that the whole painting of the car thing works out. I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Elder Talbert

Monday, October 5, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

For some reason this computer naturally types in Italics and I haven't bothered to turn it off for this first sentence. Any ways, This week was good, and it was good to hear from all of you again! Sorry that this email Is late, general conference pushed our preparation day to Monday instead of Saturday. First the random nuts and bolts, the door looks nice, especially the window thingy, glad that Joseph is doing well again and that it was just a minor illness. For things to send in a package, the conference ensign for this last weeks conference, and it would be great if you could even get the CD version of conference so that we can listen to it as we drive around. Lately we have been listening to Jesus the Christ after we got tired of April 2009 conference. That will probably take a while for both of those items to come out (at least a month) but that is all I can think of that I want/need. A new rule was made by Pres. Graff, we can now email anyone and receive emails from anyone, so if anyone asks for my email you can give it freely, but I can't promise I will respond other than maybe a one liner in the email I send to the family. I just thought of this, if you could send me a copy of the TT that would be great! (whenever the next one comes out). Good job on the Camera dad, I think I would have enjoyed trying to fix it.
This week has been good. Last week we had 5 baptisms in our Branch! 2 from my companionship, 2 from the Zone Leaders and one child of a member. It was a very wet floor, partially because we had 5 different people performing the baptisms. Unlike back home, the font does not exit into the bathrooms but into the hallway. So everyone walks down the hall wet and leaves a trail of water behind them. It was really good and since then the 2 that we taught are doing great. We are teaching 2 more referrals from the same Member and hopefully that goes over just as nicely as the last 2 did.
On Tuesday Was Zone leader council, which means car inspections from the office Elders, but we didn't have to do it and got put with another task. A missionary had a 200 lb dresser fall on his hand and had split one of his fingers open really bad. He had ignored it for a day and it now looked like a big blob of strange meat coming from his finger. It was really gross and we got put on hospital duty. For 5 hours I sat in the waiting room while his finger was x-rayed and repaired. It was a very dull day, but oh well, afterwards Sis. Graff fed us dinner and that made up for it! Haha.
Bike Transfers happened on Wednesday and our final stop in Old Harbor presented itself with a lot of traffic and so we sat in traffic for 2 hours moving nearly no where and Elder Brown sang a good 50 hymns as we sat there. Another random event, Elder Brown and I one night, after teaching, were bored and decided to have a water drinking contest from bowls, the only rule was no hands. So We got everything ready and while elder Brown wasn't paying attention I pored a ton of salt in his. We then proceeded to drink the water. It was funny, he made it for about 2 minutes before he stopped and told me that their was salt in his water. He had just been drinking it trying to find out why it tasted so funny. Haha
General Conference was amazing! We had satellite problems due to a giant storm on Sunday so the morning session kept coming in and out. We missed out on a lot but we will get to read it soon. I think my Favorite talk was Elder Holland's talk on the Book of Mormon. That was a very powerful talk. Pres. Uchtdorf's talk on Charity from Saturday was also very good, I liked a lot of the things he said. I would be a bit more insightful here but I don't have my notes with me. One thing from Elder Bednar's talk that I remember was about Family prayer/scripture/Home Evening. He talked about being consistent in those 3 activities, That is the only thing I can really remember from my childhood was that we were consistent, I am sure I learned things, but as Elder Bednar mentioned, most likely we will just remember if we did it or not, and that was true. One of the biggest problems here in Jamaica is that no one does those 3 things. There are few strong family relations, the parents might be active but rarely are the children active.
Something else I just remembered, on Monday we had family home evening with a family from the branch. They had never had it before and I think they had a lot of fun. The Lesson and activity that we planned were connected in that we read from the scriptures, discussed them, and then had fun acting out the story that we had read. We read from Mosiah about the sons of Mosiah and Alma persecuting the church.
Elder Ballards talk from priesthood session about father/son relationships was really good, I enjoyed that one. I also liked That member of the seventy from Sunday afternoon who talked about a change of heart, that was a good talk that made a lot of sense to me haha. The main themes that I saw in conference this session were to listen and follow the promptings of the spirit, and Love one another. Well that is about all my conference garble for this email.
During sessions we just ate food, thankfully different members prepared food for the missionaries between different sessions. We had some good ham/cheese sandwiches, and some delicious rice/curried chicken.
I am running short on time again. But I attached a photo of our most recent baptism. In the photo Elder Rebeiro and I are on the right/Left. Sis Buchanon is in the middle wearing the green shirt, she is the one who referred us to the baptism candidates. Shaka is the guy wearing white by elder Rebeiro and Elaine is next to me in the white. Overall a good baptism. Confirmations in sacrament meeting took a decent amount of time.
Well life goes well in Jamaica, I am having a good time and the work is progressing forward. I think that We stand a good chance at getting 1000 baptisms next year if we keep moving forward at the rate at which we have for the past month. Winter is coming, but I can't tell at all, the weather is still 90-95. It was odd, the other night we looked at a thermometer and it was 82, we all thought it felt nice and cool and we were glad it had dropped so low.
I hope this next week is great and I will be having my next p-day on Saturday. Enjoy school and don't get lazy in homework! Haha. Hopefully there aren't to many spelling errors in here, I try to type moderately well. Good luck with your calling mother, you are fully capable of doing all that is required. I love you all.
Elder B. Kent Talbert

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It has been a good week. And I am yet again thankful for the emails. I am glad that Nathaniel had a good birthday and that he enjoyed the money (In Jamaica that would almost buy him a Twix bar depending on the store). Recently (like last week) Jamaica came out with the $5000 bill, so that will be exciting even though I will probably never get one, the missionaries rarely carry more than $1000.
Transfers happened and I am still in the office. I was also told that I would probably be in the office till at least January so that will be good. My companion Elder Rebeiro got Transferred to Maypen and now I am with Elder M Brown (the M denotes which brown since there are 2) He is a dying missionary, goes home in December and It is looking like I will be his last companion before he goes home. He is really cool, from Kansas (not so cool), but went to BYU and enjoys learning random things. We get along really well and it is going to be a fun 12 weeks serving with him. He is also a fast learner so he is catching onto the office work quickly.
Interesting story of the week. We have been looking for a new house and it has been a high priority, 2 missionaries needed to move by Friday. We looked and looked (a hard thing to do in Jamaica, no one puts up signs, or uses the internet, or uses classifieds) we had to go door to door and ask people if they knew anywhere for rent. We found a ton of places but all of them had some strange problem-like the power lines ran through the house, flashlights were needed to see, it was on the same lot as a church, etc. finally yesterday, Friday we found a house at like 2pm. The landlady talked with us over the phone and negotiations were made. So we were going to meet her at 4 and move in at 5. We met her but learned she wanted a check in her hand now and not an electronic transfer into her bank account. So we had to go back, get a check, then argue with her about the price formally agreed to, and then begin moving in. we got everything done by 10pm and missionaries moved in at that time. It was crazy trying to find a house, sign everything, and move In all at once. Since then the land lady keeps calling us telling us that she needs a name to put on some document. We keep telling her the church name but she tells us that it has to be the name of a person, we have tried to explain that the church name will be fine and it has worked on hundreds of other houses but she doesn't believe us. We just told her to call the office on Monday and she can talk to Elder Cheesman about it.
Today we have 2 baptisms. Elane and Shaka. Both are doing great! They are excited for today and everything is planned out nicely. The zone leaders have been a wonderful help! We have been so busy with housing that we have had no time to plan a baptism so the zone leaders did it all for us and now we just have to show up and make sure the investigators get there. I will make sure to attach 2 photos next week of both people. The only thing I just realized is that I don't know if we ever found baptism suits, I guess I will have to get on that soon. On a side note right as I typed that the zone leaders called and asked if I had found suits yet and now they are out looking for baptism suits, yippee! Teaching them has been great. They have both been very receptive. Shaka asks a lot of questions and has a lot of doubts about his commitment and if he really could do it but he is ready and now he feels ready.
On Sunday we had a big district conference. It was great! Their were tons of members everywhere! The talks were good, they reorganized a lot of the branch presidencies and the mission presidency was changed (everyone who was in the mission presidency was moved to a branch presidency) and it looks as if they are setting up all the branch presidencies to prepare them to have a stake in the next year or 2. They are putting people into the branch presidencies who really know what needs to happen and how to get it done. The conference was a lot of fun, afterwards we had to ship all the chairs back to where they came from so that was good.
Nearly finished the book of mormon again, it has been a great read so far, I have really been paying attention to the cycle that just continually happens, righteousness to pride to humility back to righteousness, etc. It happens so fast and it just amazes me. I can see it all around me in the church to, there are a ridiculous amount of less actives who, for one reason or another fell away and are willing to work their way back to church.
I am short on time I got distracted during my email time looking for a flight for president that he wanted, (got that done!) and so I will just finish up here. I am attaching a picture of a tie you got from missionary mall, it would be great if at some point in the next few months (doesn't have to be soon) if you could see if they have another one similar to it and send it to me! That would be great! If you can find a duplicate that works to. Also a random thing that Elder Cheesman brought up. He was looking at his credit score for something or other and asked about mine (non existant! Haha) he mentioned that when his boys were on missions they added the boys names to their cards and such so that it would affect the boys credit score so that when they get home they have something to work with (don't know if it is a good idea or not, don't even know if it is possible but just a thought).
Mission life goes well, I am glad that CJ and Shea are doing well. I know that Alex is soon out of the MTC haha, hopefully he enjoys it but my guess is that he is tired of the mtc. I like the work you have done on the door dad, I think it looks good and should be kept with a gaping hole in it, its cool that you saw Mr. Mayntz, I liked that guy he was a good teacher. I hope that school goes well for everyone this week, and happy Birthday again Nathaniel. I love you all!
Elder B Kent Talbert