Well thankfully I am using a moderately better computer this week, but still nothing worth purchasing. Thanks for the address mother. Still haven't gotten the package yet, but then again it could be in Kingston, no one has come out here since transfer day so it could have arrived a week and a half ago and I wouldn't know, that is the one problem with being out in the middle of nowhere, mail gets sent to the mission and then they send it out with other missionaries whenever they will be passing through an area. Thankfully though tomorrow we are going to Kingston so hopefully it will be there.
The week was good. Tomorrow we are going to Kingston, as previously mentioned for zone leader council. It should be really good, they are having a special meeting with a member of the seventy so that will be interesting. My birthday was good. Very uneventful, just like any other day, but it was still good. It is sort of odd to think that a year ago I was doing missionary work.
Church yesterday was nice. We had a final count of 15 people at church. It is weird to be in a small branch on fast and testimony Sunday. Everyone gets the opportunity to go up and it is almost expected of you to go up in order to effectively use the time.
Part of our job as zone leaders is to go on exchanges with other companionships. We are supposed to go on a 24 hour exchange with every companionship every 4 weeks. So last Wednesday we choose to go on an exchange with the Mandeville elders. I was going to stay in my area of Santa Cruz with Elder Hammond and Elder Tonks was going to go with Elder Allen in Mandeville. Elder Hammond is possibly the weirdest man I have ever met. We had a really good time, a lot of the same hobbies back home. Well aside from doing a lot of missionary work we also started talking about what we were going to do after our missions (I had heard rumors of Elder Hammonds goals and so I had to bring it up). Elder Hammond intends to go home, be with his family for a week or so and then go out into the wild and live as a hunter/gatherer. Sort of like a wilderness survival man thing. He decided that he hates be reliant on other things or people and wants to be 100% self reliant. He wants to get his own food, his own clothing, his own shelter, etc. It was interesting discussing all his plans with him. The best part about it all is that he will do it. I will not be surprised in the slightest to someday hear on the news about some guy that lives out in the middle of nowhere in a tp that he made himself. We also have to go on exchanges with Negril so I will be excited for that.
Something my companion and I have been laughing about this past week as we have attempted to find investigators is how mad men seem to just gravitate to me. We have meet some of the craziest most mentally inept people in santa cruz this last week. It seemed everywhere we went crazy people would walk up to me and begin to have conversations with me. I normally try to hold a conversation with them and make sense of what they are saying to a slight degree. I had a good conversation the other day with a man named delroy all about the battery crisis which has struck the country. I had another amusing conversation with another man named Dwayne about doctors that come around and trick people into making food for other people.
Last preparation day washing all my laundry went alright. It was a pain in the neck. In Jamaica about 90% of people if not more wash their laundry by hand so I had seen it done many times and now it was a matter of replicating it. We have like a big sink outside and 3 wash buckets. Pretty much you just use soap and water and scrubâ€¦not to difficult. We have no plan to get a washing machine so it looks like my stay here in santa cruz will be full of washing laundry. My biggest problem with it is determining when something is really clean and when it is not.
The Work in Santa Cruz is rough. It is such a small place that everyone seems to have met the missionaries before and they have no desire to meet with them again. Another problem is that most the people we meet don't live anywhere near santa cruz. It just happens to be like the shopping center of nowhere. We have struggled a lot to find new effective investigators. But we are still trying. We more or less have no investigators but yesterday we met a really cool man. We were slightly lost just wandering around a neighborhood looking for someone to teach and we met a man who was just sitting around studying a physics text book haha. Well he doesn't have a job right now, he use to be a supervisor at a local boxite mine and since the boxite mine closed down he is just getting a better education until they reopen the mine later this year. In case you are unsure what boxite is it is used to make aluminum. Probably the biggest export of Jamaica. They don't have the means necessary to make aluminum but they can at least ship out the raw mineral to the states.
Hmmm- what else of interest happened this week. We have no hot water so showers are unfortunate. Our car has gotten really dirty this week because of all the dry dirt roads. People have been writing in the dirt on our car "wash me" it has made me chuckle that no matter what culture you are in people have at least one thing in common and that is to draw in the dirt on peoples car. Traffic is always really bad in Santa Cruz, it doesn't make any sense. There is only one road. Somehow it is always backed up. Nobody seems to be able to effectively drive out here.
Something I have been thinking a lot about this week as we have been out walking was the idea of sacrifice. When we walk past other churches they always have their schedule of events posted. It seems like everyday they have some sort of service going on. people can just go to church at the time that it is most convenient for them, they don't have to put forth any effort to make it to church. They can just show up when it fits in their schedule, there is no sacrifice made, and it isn't even that big of a sacrifice to go to church for a few hours on Sunday morning.
Well that is about it for this week. Thanks for the emails, it sounds like things are going well back home. I am doing good. Hopefully school and work this week are nice. I am hoping that the work here in Santa Cruz will finally go somewhere. Well I love you all and look forward to next weeks emails!
Elder Kent Talbert
ps, haha your increased security email made me laugh dad
pps sorry, no pictures this week, next week!