Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Bog of Eternal Stench

Well another week has come and gone. It is good to know that you have tried to change when you email to Friday night, even if that is a bit crazy. I didn't get transferred yet (which means I will be in the office for a while, Elder Brown is on his last transfer and is still in the office so he will go home and then I will still be here for at least one more to train someone new in the office). I got the contact solution! That was good, I was starting to run very low, haha, but what you supplied me with should last close to the remainder of my mission. Thanks for the snacks and letters, I enjoyed them. Random information. The church supposedly (in an email we received in the offce) teamed up with Google to improve the email system by switching over to a gmail type system (I also noticed that mom changed to gmail, congratulations!). So at some point supposedly my email address will change but I will let you know more as I know more. I am excited for that though, The church email system has problems (no auto saving to drafts, poor setup, small storage space limiting attachment capabilities, etc.) so it will be a good change.
The week has been very hectic. With transfers we have had a ton to do in the office. On Monday a new senior couple arrived and I got put in charge of doing all their immigration paper work. So I went through the regular motions and got all the papers filled out and drove to immigration with the russells and stood in line for a long time and talked to the security guard and learned, to my horror, that immigration had changed the entire process. So the security guard explained to me what had changed and gave me a pamphlet that explained it all and then sent me to talk to someone else. I then talked to different people and got transferred around for about 3 hours talking to people and reading different pamphlets trying to make sense of it all in my head what really needed to happen to get the visas and alien registration completed. Finally it was making sense but I needed to go back to the office to get some more papers. Well after another day I was ready to do it all again and in the end it all worked out. When all was said and done I had learned a ton about immigration. After talking to half of the employees and reading everything, and trial and error I have now a great understanding of how it all works. I think I would be quite successful applying for just about anything at the immigration office now!
Just remembered that mom asked about sending wrapped things in a package. It is possible Customs is normally really lazy. There is a slight chance that they would unwrap it, but unlikely. Just make sure that the wrapped objects don't look like something illegal. And even if they do unwrap it, frequently, depending on the employee, they will attempt to seal it up again how it was before.
The mission is getting smaller. With transfer and what not we are now down to 66 missionaries and after next transfer we will be down to around 62. We were told that we would become stable around their and that we would stop losing missionaries at such an incredible rate. It is sort of nice having a small mission. I know ever missionary in the mission and it makes for a very close bunch of missionaries.
Random convert information: With transfers I talked to the missionaries in Negril and learned that Sis. Hylton is still doing amazing! She is still the Gospel doctrines teacher and doing wonderful! I am glad to see that Elder Hillam and I were able to witness such a mighty change of Heart. Natalie Brown is also doing well. She is in the primary presidency now and loves her calling. Elaine has also been called to serve in the primary presidency and is doing great. She has been reading a ton and wants to go to the Temple Next year! Other converts are also doing well, those 3 are just 3 that are doing exceptional and that I have gotten recent information about.
With office work being so crazy this week we haven't had much time for teaching, but we have still managed to find a little bit of time. This next week things should calm down and we will have a lot more time. Elder Brown is in his last transfer, as I previously mentioned, and so he is all fired up to do his very best in his remaining 41 days (he gets home like 4 days before Christmas). Today we will spend a lot of our teaching time looking for less actives so that will be good. Last week at church on Sunday we had nearly double the attendance we normally do and it actually looked moderately full! I don't have to play the piano anymore (a good and a bad thing, I enjoyed the practice, but I still fail a lot). Elder Doman just got transferred to our branch and he is known throughout the mission as being a very very good piano player, I haven't heard him play yet, but from what I hear he is amazing.
That is to bad about your phone this week Laura, haha It is sort of a funny story. Missionaries seem to break their phones all the time. I have had to replace President Graff's phone twice now in 4 months, I have spent a lot of time looking at new phones trying to find one that would fit his specifications. If you get a new phone I have heard rumors that Google and Verizon teamed up to make a sweet phone called the Droid (don't know if it is any good or what the cost is, but Google normally makes good products).
Well time is running short again so I guess I will finish everything up here. Good luck with the bridge dad, I think It sounds most entertaining. I never did get an email from Heather, so I will just assume she is doing well. Congrats on your scholarship laura (Even though BYU is cooler! Haha). I hope that this week is great. Life in Jamaica goes well, I am enjoying my mission. I love you all and look forward to next weeks emails!
Elder B. Kent Talbert
p.s. sorry, I forgot the card reader at home, so yet again no picture. Next week!

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