Great to hear from you all again! I am glad that you found that picture mom haha, it was a really awkward picture to take, we were like 3 feet from the camera and their was a table behind us so we couldn't get farther from the camera. The rest of the pictures also worked great! question, did you ever get an envelope in the mail in the last few weeks with coinage in it? I sent it maybe 3 weeks ago....I don't remember if you ever mentioned getting it. I have sort of been questioning the reliability of the post office here in santa cruz. Postage went up this week, it now costs $120.00 to send a letter to the US haha. It looks as though the press conference went well. that is good.
This week was great! Not much of note really happened but none the less it was still good. On thursday we drove to mandeville and had interviews with pres. graff. That went over very well, I had an excellent interview. I also got a slight hint that maybe I will be transfered, but not positive yet, I won't know for sure till either later today or tomorrow, so you will just have to find out next week what really happens. While we were waiting for our turn for interviews we got to listen to a talk by elder holland given at the mtc last summer. It was really good, all about following the spirit in your teaching and what not.
This computer is really annoying, I am typing faster than it is showing up on the screen and it doesn't seem to remember if I push a button twice, I keep having to fix any word with repetative letters, like good.
Church yesterday went over very well, the branch is doing good. we had 24 people at church. The only slightly annoying part is that their have been no baptisms here in such a long time that everyone is in gospel doctines class and they don't have a gospel principles class so investigators are occasionally really confused. Thankfully the teacher is very good at making things understandable to even investigators, but none the less, occasionally their is a lesson that is just way over their heads.
I made a delicious pot of rice & peas this week, it lasted 4 days so that was good, rice is a pretty cheap food and isn't to bad at all. rice & peas is sort of a pinkish rice with red beans in it that for some reason are called peas. umm...well that is all I have to say on that haha
We have a few good investigators. We have this one lady, samantha, she is a single mother who just moved to santa cruz. She is doing well and hopefully she will be baptized before the end of the month. Yesterday we had the best lesson with a 7th day adventist that I have ever had. 7th days are some of the most hard hearted people in Jamaica and are very hard to baptize. The moment you start teaching them they begin asking you about the commandments and if you keep them and more importantly if you keep the sabbath day. But I managed to completely avoid the arguement and explain how I have no way to prove to her with the bible that the sabbath is sunday and taught a really good lesson on the restoration and the importance of having living prophets. she actually listened, unlike 95% of the 7th days I have met, and hopefully she will sit down and read what we left her in the BoM and pray to find out if it is true.
This week I ate something that looked similar to dirt. We showed up a a members house to ask him if he could come teaching and he was busy take dried corn and crushing it into a powder. we asked him what it was and he explained that it was crushed corn...we already understood that so we asked him how he ate it. he just added sugar and eats it as corn dust. it looks like dirt and tastes like corn puffs. sort of weird...but then again this member, khani, is one of the oddest people I have ever met haha.
So interesting thing about this new email, it is a lot easier to guess someones email address. The church assigned email addresses and it is the same pattern for everyone. just firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmmm....what else do I have to say. Thanks for the update on all my missionary friends. I got a forward today of Ryan's email, it sounds like he is doing good. That is great that bryce enters this week, he must be excited...hopefully haha.
Preparation day should be relaxing. I woke up and managed to finish most my laundry this morning so I don't have much more to do. I have been reading the old testament in my free time now, (finished D&C and the pearl of great price this week). It is sort of amazing how much time you can find to read if you really want to. I made a bunch of rice one day and then everyday after that I just got a plate threw some rice on it, and maybe grabbed an orange or something else, then I just sat down and could read for an hour while eating my lunch. The old testament is good so far, I really like the book of Genesis.
Every friday night we have this thing called friday night activity with the branch. All the other branches I have been in did it but I never felt inclined to go. Now that I am in the branch presidency and I am the only one that can make it on fridays I sort of have to go. well normally they just play dominos and uno. but that is boring week after week, so this last friday we organized a gospel themed pictionary. It worked out really well, I think people liked it a lot and enjoyed something new. we had 2 teams, but for some reason everyone wanted to be on the same team. so it was Elder McClean and I and Khani vs. everyone else. We dominated, Khani always had the best pictures that made no sense, we could never guess his right haha for Jerusalem he drew three stick figures with beards. They were supposed to be jewish people living in jerusalem....I never quite connected all thos dots haha.
well time is running short. Things go great! This next week for santa cruz should begin to see huge improvement, we have a lot of really good potential. I hope that school and work goes well this week. sorry if this is sort of short, I lost 15 minutes due to a confused employee at this computer place. I love you all!!!
Elder B. Kent Talbert