Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alpha Space

Well another week gone by. It has been a good one to. So I have forgotten to mention this for the last 3 weeks, every time I leave the computer I remember but it is too late. I made muddy buddies! Thanks for all the ingredients, they turned out good and we enjoyed eating all of them. Looks like tubing was fun and I am glad that you are getting the hang of work dad, sounds like it is going to be a really good job. The picture last week mom was a fairly low quality photo just all the way around.
This week was good. My keyboard just broke and is acting really weird. I can't use any punctuation so hopefully I either find a way to fix it soon or you will have to struggle to read this thing. I just restarted and everything fixed, I think it had something to do with sticky keys.
Well, on Sunday Ignatius was baptized! It went very well. He was tall and so we had a hard time finding clothes long enough for him and getting enough water in the font. Unlike back home, in our branch here we only have 3 baptism suits, small, medium and large, and only one of each size, so we had nothing that fit him, in the end he wore white pants and a white shirt. He is still doing great. We have another baptism lined up for tomorrow and another few in the upcoming weeks. Trench town is doing very well these days and we are slowly getting a large number of our members down there.
Transfers are this week. I know where I am being transferred to, but since it hasn't happened yet things are still subject to change so I will just let you know where I go next week after I am positively there. I will be finally leaving the office after 7 months. I am excited but I will miss the office, it has been a very good experience. On Friday the Chessmans took elder stevens and I out for lunch. It was really good, some fancy Chinese place. I enjoyed it.
Last night down in trench town we went to an investigator who was washing her laundry. Well trench town has been out of water for about 3 months now but there are pipes every half a mile or so that have water so everyone goes to these pipes and collects water in buckets. We showed up to her washing and offered to go get more water for her. Bro. Dawson showed us where the nearest water pipe was. We walked a ways and then the scheme ended and entered the land of desolation which was filled with a lot of trash and a lot of tall weeds. We walked through nasty gross garbage until we found a broken piece of pvc that was letting water out of it slowly. We waited our turn and eventually got water. I don't know why that pipe was there and who thought it was a good place to run drinking water. I certainly wasn't going to be drinking any of that garbage water. It was good. Bro. Dawson is sort of crazy and told us all about how aliens visited him and how doctors sometimes come and trick people into cooking food for others-sort of weird.
One of our investigators who was supposed to be at church last week didn't show up, which was frustrating. But we later found out why he didn't come, he had the best reason out of anyone I had ever met. When he had left his yard in the morning someone attacked him and poured acid down his left arm and so he had to go to the hospital and the police station. His arm is pretty cool looking now, he has some interesting burn marks all over his arm.
I am attaching two photos. One is of Ignatius baptism. He isn't standing very tall at all, sort of slouched over. I had a better photo that showed how tall he is, but the lighting was bad.
There is also a photo of Elder Stevens burning his pants. The best part of burning his pants was that afterwards our old landlord came and asked us if we had seen any lightning. From his windows all he could see was the light and he thought it was a storm coming.
Well I don't have much more to say. Life goes well, I am excited for transfers. I hope all goes well back home this week. I got a haircut, it is good. The computer is giving me trouble, so sorry if this is short. I love you all!
Elder B Kent Talbert

Sunday, January 17, 2010

That Thing's Operational!

Well it sounds like an interesting week at home, hopefully everything goes well. I am glad to know that the insurance switch over went mostly smoothly. Thanks for the address Dad; I have been waiting to send a letter to them.
This week was good! I got a haircut, we have a baptism, I got interviewed by a general authority, and an earthquake rocked Kingston.
This morning we got up and went to the mission home and got hair cuts from sister Graff. It is always nice to get haircuts from someone who does something more then just buzz it. Most Jamaicans just have buzzed hair so most the hair places only know how to buzz hair.
On Wednesday Elder Vinas and Elder Anderson of the seventy and the Caribbean area presidency came to our mission for a few different reasons, one of them being they wanted to interview missionaries. So all the missionaries came into Kingston and we got to be interviewed by them. It was good. Elder Anderson interviewed me. And then I went off with Elder and Sister Bradley to help them with some car stuff and immigration stuff. It was a fairly long and boring day but it went well.
On Tuesday there was an earthquake that dominated Haiti, and could be felt throughout the Caribbean. It was felt in Jamaica although I personally didn't notice it. Elder and sister Cheesman said they felt it, and many random people we have talked to said they felt it also. Doesn't sound like Haiti is in the best situation currently. Elder Vinas and Elder Anderson were fairly concerned and were working on seeing what the church could do to help the situation.
Our teaching has been going great. We have been working more or less only on 8th street in Trench Town. We are having a good amount of success. Ignatius is getting baptized tomorrow. He is a star. Very intelligent and loves to read/learn. He is excited to be baptized and begin learning more and teaching with the missionaries. His mother, Mavis, who we just baptized, is also doing very good. We have been working with her grandson, Dillay also. He is coming along but has some peer pressure that he hasn't been responding to the best. The best part about teaching Ignatius was how he pointed out on his own how when we first met him he felt a different feeling and then the feeling went away when we did but returned when we returned. That is always what we hope for. When the spirit is strong in a lesson it is the perfect opportunity to testify, commit, pray and leave. That way they notice the difference when you leave and they have a desire for you to come back so that they can feel the spirit again.
Transfers are in like 11 days or something like that. So assuming I really do get transferred (which I think I will, and president thinks I will, and Elder Cheesman thinks I will) then next Saturday would be my last Saturday preparation day and it would return to Monday preparation day; which is a lot more convenient for you at home. I am sort of excited to leave the office and go out and teach all day again, but at the same time I have really enjoyed my time in the office.
It sounds like your new job has worn you out dad haha. I am sure that once you get the hang of everything it will be a lot of fun. That is how it was in the office here to. When I first got to the office it was a struggle to really find entertainment in what I did, it was so much different then just going out and teaching all day and I had little idea of what I was doing. But after I understood everything and then adapted it to how I liked to get things done it has become a lot of fun. I also know that working in salt lake is a lot better in the summer when you don't have to endure the snowy roads and everything else that comes with it. What exactly have you got to do all week? Do you work in like a big office place or is it a lot smaller? Who oversees what you do?On Sunday night some strange cold front passed by and made Jamaica very cold. The wind blew all night long and it rained plenty.
It was cold. All night everyone kept waking up trying to reposition themselves for greater warmth (which isn't easy when all you got is a sheet). Outside everyone was all bundled up. We had fun joking that everyone in Jamaica was freezing even though it was only like 70 degrees. It is odd how use to a certain temperature your body can get and when that temperature is removed rapidly it can seem really cold. I can already tell it will be a very cold experience in a year when I have to come home in February. I am attaching a picture of our cold morning.
Elder Tanner is all wrapped up in a sheet and some towels. And everyone else is wearing jackets. To make it worse the power went out (not that the house has a heater, but it made it so our food had to be cold also since we keep even cereal in the fridge to keep out bugs). The candle burning is our art project. It created out heat. We took a candle and put it in a bottle and have been letting the wax drip all over the bottle. It has started to look really good. Perhaps I will take a closer photo of it and attach it next week.
Well I think that is about it for the week. Things are going really well. I am enjoying myself. I hope that this coming week is great and that school/work goes well. I will watch for the package this week and hopefully dad's card will arrive if it hasn't already. Good luck at work dad. I love you all!
Elder B. Kent Talbert

This is the End for You, My Master

Thanks for that CD, it worked great! Haha On one of them it had put it all into one giant cda file that worked great In any CD player. The other CD I haven't looked at yet since it has the same stuff (or so the letter said) but I intend to see how the formatting worked on that one. I can't think of anything that I need mom. But thanks for asking. Anything is great, I like floss piks for my teeth. Sounds like things go well at home, I am glad that the Heart Biopsy went so well. I am excited for dad's new job and will be excited to read next weeks emails. Grandma and Grandpa Talbert made a good choice by switching to gMail. It will work well for them I am sure.
Things of interest that happened this week-ugh- well as district leader I have to do baptisms interviews. This week a man from Scotland came to Jamaica and wanted to be baptized, he was taught by the assistants and Pres. Graff and then I was asked to do his interview. During the interview he told me the most amazing conversion story in the world. I figured I would share that with you here. He was born in Jamaica and was part of the Anglican Church (Church of England). He grew up in the faith and eventually went to Scotland and got his phd in theology and went to the school of divinity and eventually became an Anglican minister who had his own congregation and everything went well. He said that while he was in school that the deeper and deeper he delved into Anglican doctrine the more he noticed that something was missing, there was a missing link. So he began to look into other churches and met the missionaries. He studied with them and read the book of mormon and the doctrine and covenants and the pearl of great price (this was over many years) finally he decided that it was true and that he needed to sever his ties to the church in which he led. He got a ridiculous amount of persecution and lost everything. He came to Jamaica, and is now getting baptized tomorrow. He has been living like a homeless guy because he has nothing. He gave up everything single thing for the gospel of jesus Christ. (he is the best dressed homeless man ever). Well Bro Troy Williams took him to his house and now he is living with Bro. Williams until such a time that he is more financially secure and stable. Really intelligent and amazing man. It was an excellent interview and he has a very strong testimony.
Mavis got baptized last week and it went well. Next week her son is getting baptized and tomorrow she is going to bring more of her family to church with her. Which is great! Her son, dale as we call him is really tall. Six foot seven. He is great, likes to read, likes the church, already decided 6 months ago to live the word of wisdom. Very prepared. We are excited for him. Elder Stevens and I have had a lot of success already.
I was told this week by Pres. Graff that I will more likely then not be transferred from the office. I will be happy to leave it on such a good note, with a strong area for the next missionary and everything in the office pretty much caught up. ZLC was this week. We were in charge of inspecting vehicles and buying sister Graff lettuce. It went well. We had a really really good lunch after that. Two days after that was district leader training. Which also went well. Ugh-don't really got much else to say about those 2 events. Part of inspecting cars is to test the seat belts. So we get to try on all the seat belts!
There will be no pictures this week, I left my camera at home today, so next week I will make sure to get a few attached. Also, while this in on the forefront of my mind, I still need the address for the Harrisons and I would also like the address for Bro. Michael Phillips. Thanks!
Hmmm-what else happened this week. In church, it being young here, they had a most unique discussion about consecrated oil. Someone was trying to argue that consecrated oil could be used on wounds and that you could splash it on mad men to keep them away! haha! Thankfully the branch president stepped in and corrected all the silliness.
Today we are going to work on Bro. Williams car again. That will be fun. Ugh..well I don't have much to say about that either haha. Elder McGrath is a talented crochet man. He has made some fancy scripture bags in the last week. Well I am mostly just rambling on and throwing out random thoughts that pass through my mind. I still have email time and I am really running out of things to say. On they have these things called "Mormon Messages" which are like 3 minute videos that share an inspiring thought. They are all really good. I think I have seen all of them now. About once every 2 weeks a new one appears. I would suggest watching them if you ever have free time.
Is your new job dad going to give you a new laptop? If so will it be running windows 7? I here it is nice. Thanks for everything you all do for me back home. I appreciate it. I hope that this coming week is great. I love you all and look forward to your emails next week!
Elder B. Kent Talbert
p.s. Happy birthday dad. hopefully your card arrives this week....

The Circle is Now Complete

Happy New Year! It has been good to hear from everyone yet again. I will make sure to get letters out mother, although I do need to know the Harrisons Address, I could guess it but I think I would only get close. I am glad that the trip up to Idaho was good. I am excited to hear about dad's job next week! I got the pictures this time mom, thanks!
The week has been excellent. Elder Stevens and I have been working hard and have got a lot accomplished. So now where to begin- There is this old lady named Mavis that we have been teaching. She is getting baptized today. She is great! While teaching her we have also begun to teach her children and grandchildren, 2 of which are lined up to be baptized during the month of January (Dilly and Ignatius Dale). Ignatius Dale, Mavis son, has a silly name but is awesome! We met him sitting on a bench looking like a homeless bum. We taught him for like 15 minutes and told him we would be back the following day. The following day came, we showed up and asked him if he had read the pamphlet we had left him. He had! And not only had he read it, he knew it extremely well, he could quote it and explain everything that it talked about. We were amazed. Well we taught him a bit more and he agreed to be baptized in the coming weeks.
New Years Eve was dull, definitely not as much fun as you all had! We got to go in early (6pm) because the President and Sister Graff were worried about our safety and crazy people on New Years eve. So we went in early, planned, ate food, talked, and then went to bed at 10pm. So we just got random extra relaxation time that wasn't horribly effective but oh well, it was still nice. 2010 has now come. Weird to think that in a year when 2011 comes I will be nearly done in Jamaica. To Celebrate the new year we got up on New years day, drove to the city of Linstead and helped some missionaries move from one house to another. I am now up to 13 houses that I have helped move out of. I have decided that I could never be a mover for a living, I am not a big fan of it, although I have gotten good at packing a truck to its brim. After that we came to the office and Elder Stevens and I worked on some spreadsheets that the Assistants wanted made. The spreadsheets are looking good! It has been a lot of fun to serve with Elder Stevens, he knows computers very well and so he has caught onto excel very quickly. He will, more likely then not, be my replacement in the office. I probably will leave the office on January 28th, but that is not final yet so who knows what will really happen.
Funny story, So Elder cheesman was working on his computer and needed to print something. So he pushed print. Somehow though he did something wrong and his computer began to print off a ton of pages! They were all blank pages, so now we have a ton of blank paper to use, again. The thing he meant to print off printed, but it was microscopically small and just a big ink smudge on one of the pieces of paper. I got it to stop printing before if finished (it wanted to print over 800 pages of blank paper).
Well I am going to include 2 pictures today. One is of a street in downtown Kingston. We took it just the other day and I liked the photo a lot. That is what it typically looks like.
The second one is that of the crashed airplane. It is still there, they haven't tried cleaning up the wreakage yet. Who knows when they will get to that. I think only 1 person on the plane died, everyone else just suffered injuries. Thankfully it wasn't to bad of a crash.
Hmmm-- What else to say. Life is going great, it is a ton of fun to be serving with Elder Stevens again! We are having a great time and we are working very hard. It is still hot here, but I am happy that it is hot, snow doesn't sound like that much fun! Happy Birthday Dad, With Christmas an everything I forgot to send out a card on time. Haha it will more likely then not be late, but maybe it will be super fast! Enjoy school this upcoming week, I am sure that my week will be good. Well that is it for this week. I love you all and hope that things go great!
Elder B. Kent Talbert