Sunday, November 28, 2010

A quote isn't the only thing missing this week.


First mom, before I forget! Don't put my Christmas package in the mail just yet!!! I need you to add one thing and their is an easier way to ship it! But I will explain that more fully in a few seconds.

So this week was amazingly great (except for one terrible misfortune)! well on Saturday evening when p-day was about to finish I was outside just standing when all of a sudden a car pulled up. Well turns out in the car was former Elder McGrath and his parents! They had come to visit Jamaica and came to see his old home. Well that was amazingly fun! We talked a bunch and then went out teaching. For the next few days Matthew McGrath and his parents came out with us to go teaching! It was great! On Sunday we set a new record of 15 people in our bus to come teaching with us! It was crazy, it was as though we were bringing the entire branch to someone's home. Well It was so much fun to see Matt again and catch up, his parents are so great! Well on Tuesday I was talking to Troy and it turns out that Todd Tanner is coming back December 19 with his family, I mentioned this to Sister McGrath and she mentioned how excellent it would be if they just brought my Christmas package with them, so she said she will call you this week (they had to return to Utah first). It sounds a lot easier and I know the Tanners would gladly do it.

Well Elder Allen and I have found some great people to teach, one in particular is a lady named Sashi. She is a very good reader and loves to read everything we leave her, she is super interested and I could see her getting baptized soon enough. She lives in a part called Kintyre, which is the same part that Akeilah lives. We have been up there everyday this week working around Akeilah's home. So now for the most unfortunate thing that happened this week (and possibly on my mission!) So while up in Kintyre we were out walking the streets with Akeilah and we came to this one part where Akeilah told us to go left but we asked why not straight, well she told us it was dangerous and someone had been shot just the other night. Well we scoffed at that and decided that we were going to go that way claiming that we missionaries don't really run into any trouble and we will be fine. Well she argued it for a while and then gave in haha. So we go down this ghetto road and just do our normal thing and we see this man on the other side of the road who starts chatting us (yelling pointlessness at us). We just ignored him as we always do with people like him. Well he apparently got really angry that we were ignoring him and next thing we know he is marching up to us and standing right next to us. So we stop and see what he wants and he is just going off with a whole ton of garbage, then we try to just leave again but he starts to threaten us (99.9% of all threatenings are just foolishness that they use to try and scare the missionaries). So yet again we just ignore him and finally he decides to get really serious (which surprised us greatly since this never happens), and he magically pulled out some handgun that he had in his pocket or somewhere and wanted us to give him everything we had on us, conveniently we didn't have much, so not wanting to get shot we handed over the few things we had on us: Elder Allen's Phone, Elder Allen's Camera, a little bit of money that we had, and then my scriptures!!! AHHH!!!!!!! I don't think he realized it was a Bible in my case but now it is all gone! So that was terrible. we got away just fine but now I don't have my scriptures! I lost everything that I had in my scriptures too! I had placed a lot of little mementos from my mission in there and now they are all gone and all my markings that I had made and everything!!!! Terrible thing to have happen! So Akeilah was right, I felt bad for not having listened haha but I guess we should just be happy that we are alright.

Besides that we had Thanksgiving at Pres. Hendricks home, it was good. I enjoyed the food and we had fun relating our adventure to everyone. This morning while I was taking a shower I found a giant scorpion in our shower!! Yay! That was exciting! We put him in a pot and named him Steve!

Hmm....what else.....seems like a lot has happened but I just can't remember it all. The McGraths were the most exciting part! We had a great time with them! Our teaching is going excellent, seems that we have been having a bit of a dry spell for a short time but now we are nearly over it! We have some excellent investigators that are great to work with.

Well I will attach a few pictures again (it has been way to long!) there are three, one of the bus crew,

one of Steve the scorpion,

and one of Akeilah and I the night we got attacked! Elder Allen and I decided that we were going to start taking a lot more photos, so hopefully that means I will actually attach more! haha

We have been going out with a lot of other missionaries this week and seeing how the mission itself is doing, we have a lot of really young missionaries that are still learning. It is sort of funny to see the teaching skills of a new missionary compared to that of an experienced missionary.

Well in other news that crazy event of this week with the gunman actually never happened (well most of it). When Akeilah told us to go to the left we did discuss it with her and decided it would be safest to go to the left and so we did. But I really did lose my scriptures! On Thursday we woke up and found that a burglar had broke into our home and had taken 5 things, Elder Allen's camera, Elder Allen's phone, my scriptures (DAH!!!), A chest of money we had (value less than $2000, so not much), and then randomly my contact lenses...??? Not sure what they are going to do with those. But that is what I need you to enter into the Christmas package. Do you still have my prescription mom? I don't have any right eye contacts! Which is to bad, I am good on the left eye but back when I had problems with my right eye I went through a lot of contacts. I will find my prescription if I have it and email that on Monday, and if you could just make sure that the Tanners get those that would be great! If you haven't heard from the McGraths by mid week look on Facebook for Todd Tanner, he is going to BYU right now and could easily meet you someplace and get the contacts at least! If that doesn't work then I guess oh well....I will just survive with glasses till I get home, but It would be ideal to get new contacts.

Well I am short on time now, but things are going great! I am sad that I don't have my scriptrues anymore, I would have rather he taken my camera, it is much more easily replaced. My BYU scholarship application needs to be finished, but it needs a handful of information on finances, but I sort of don't have time right now, so I will just do that next week. If you could email me my priesthood line of authority dad that would be great! I had mine in my scriptures...but now that is gone! I have a new set of scriptures already on the way (conveniently missionaries get discounts) Well things are well, I am safe and healthy. Thanksgiving was great! I love you all and look forward to next week!

Elder B. Kent Talbert

The $2000 was in Jamaican money so it really is very little. It only equals about $23 American dollars

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've been a missionary to long to remember quotes..........


Well sounds like things are going great back home. That is cool that a Jamaican moved into our ward back home. Where at in St. Cathrine is she from? This week has been busy, but it has been great! So the temperature has been dropping a little bit here, we are now getting near 75 on a cold day. The other day I was sitting at Wendy's eating a frosty, well they had the AC on and I was eating something already cold and I found myself shivering and being overall very cold. Well their was this man sitting near by that turned to me and asked if he could ask me a question, well I said yes of course. Well he asked me if I was from Utah (apparently he knows the Mormons), I told him I was and then he made some silly comment about how much colder it is in Utah and I was sitting their shivering at 75-80 degrees. haha it made me laugh that someone else noticed. I think I have started to get a little too use to the temperature here.

We had transfers this week, thankfully they were very easy transfers not too many changes around the mission. Well we got three new missionaries and sent home three missionaries so no change in the overall number of missionaries.Transfer morning we drove one of the new missionaries (Elder Snelson) out to Yallahs to his trainer Elder Huffaker. Well we drive in some huge rainstorm and eventually get there and we walk up and we see Elder Huffaker sitting in a wheelchair wearing some large pair of glasses, haha well he sort of talked in a silly accent and I got the idea of what he was trying to accomplish, so I just played along. We told Elder Snelson that we had forgot to mention that he has to push his companion everywhere and what not. It was pretty funny, poor Elder Snelson, well we left without ever telling him that his companion wasn't really wheelchair bound. I wonder when Elder Huffaker finally told him....perhaps he even let him push him around for a few hours haha.

Elder and Sister Cheesman went home this week also, it is sort of weird to be in the office without them, they were such a wonderful help around here. The Daniels are doing excellent they are great people, I just don't know them as well.

Well we had zone conferences off-island this week also. I am actually glad it is over now, it has been a huge stress. I have spent all of last week and the start of this week trying to get everything finalized with flight information and with immigration problems. It was hectic, I think some of those off-island missionaries are tired of hearing from me, seeing as how I was calling them every three hours to see if they had gotten the immigration papers that were needed (we got all the immigration papers 2 hours before we needed them....that was way too close haha). Anyways, it was great fun! We had an excellent conference and ate a lot of excellent food. It was also great to see all the missionaries that I really don't get to see thanks to their location. Pres. & Sis. Ockey made some amazing food for us while we stayed at their home. It was great! It is sort of fun to sit in every zone conference and listen to Pres. Hendricks, but I think now after hearing it so many times I could nearly give his part, it sort of changes every time but it always has the same elements and most of the same stories. At least it is embedded in my head now. I would attach some pictures but I sort of forgot my camera today....sorry I have been really lousy at that this past month or so.

Well between transfers and zone conferences that took most of the week, we just got back yesterday from zone conference. This week also Troy got an official job! Which is great! He works with a member, Miguel Hernandez, they work for a phone company and do something or other. It is great that he finally has a steady job that will pay him well enough. As part of transfers Elder Packard was transfered to the office, so that is fun. It is cool to have him around again.

On Sunday we had our primary program in the branch, it was excellent! The children did a great job! It was a lot of fun to play the piano with them.

hmm....what else happened, we finally found all the missing files on the computers! When we moved offices we magically lost a ton of files, we had this network drive that connected all the computers together and allowed us to save things anywhere, well unfortunately it was set up in such a way that it didn't like that we changed the IP addresses and once everything was rehooked up it was just missing. So we were out of luck on 20 GB of files. I have been searching for them for a few weeks now, it was very strange, I had searched all the computers in the network and couldn't find the files, my big question was when we saved a file, where was it being saved, somewhere there had to be a harddrive that everything was connected to. Well thankfully we found them this week in some bizarre hidden location. I extracted the files and recreated the network drive, hopefully in a way that it won't happen again, I tried to make it a lot more simple then it had been before.

Overall an excellent week. I liked being extra busy, unfortunately we got more or less no time to teach in our own area, but we did get to work with the missionaries and help them. Life is going great, it is scary to think how fast February is coming (this week I got my flight itinerary, sort of crazy to have seen so many flight itinerarys for missionaries going home and now one has my name on it). Well I hope this week is excellent for everyone, good luck with school and work. I love you all!

Elder B. Kent Talbert

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Set to Stun


Well another week has gone by. This week has been sort of crazy, it seems like we had a lot of down time, but also we had a lot of time where we had more to do than we had time. I spent about 90% of the week trying to figure out all the flight arrangements for transfers and for zone conferences. It has been a head ache. Unfortunately about half of the airlines in the Caribbean don't have web pages that allow you to reserve flights and so you have to do it via a really round about method involving phone conversations, emails and faxes. Unfortunately our fax machine has been down and all these airlines like you to pay via fax so that has been fun trying to figure out. Pres. Hendricks had to go to Cuba this week and that flight was a lot of fun to book too, I would call the number, get redirected to Cuba, they would tell me I had to talk to reservations in Florida so they would redirect me and we would just go back and fourth and back and fourth, after about 4 hours of that I finally got it all worked out haha, it was fun enough.

Also for transfers (which are this upcoming week) we needed to get a police report for a missionary for immigration reasons. So Elder Allen went with his companion and I took the elder who needed the report to the police records place. Well thankfully the big war thing from summer made everyones record invalid and so all of Jamaica is trying to get new records and so the lines are ridiculous. We stood in line from 9am until 3:40pm. It was pretty miserable, no AC, no chairs, no food, just standing for hours waiting for our number to be called. Previous attempts at this record getting have been a lot easier, normally it takes an hour or so, I had never seen such a line, so that sort of shot the entire day.

Thursday night we come home and our power was out again (we got the last power issue fixed). So I called the power company to report the outage and they informed us that we had been disconnected because we hadn't payed our bill! Thankfully our landlord got on top of it and payed the bill so we had power again last night.

In other exciting news, I don't remember if I mentioned this last week, but if not I will mention it again. So Troy has been very diligent as of late in paying his tithing, and this week he saw some major benefits from it! A friend of his bought a new vehicle and gave him their old one for free, so now he has a truck that works wonderfully and it was all free! Then to add more to it he has been waiting for an insurance claim for the longest time now and it finally came through! He got around $450,000.00 Jamaican Dollars! Now he has money and a car! He is very happy! Thankfully he is trying to use the money wisely and not just waste it all. Akeilah also has been diligent in paying her tithing and last week she was called in for a job interview and she got the job on the spot and now works as an accountant secretary! What awesomeness! It has been great to see their faith increase as they see the blessings of keeping the commandments.

Teaching has been going well enough, nothing to eventful. Sis. Williams, a lady we have been teaching for a while finally came to church on Sunday! That was great! She is doing well enough, but she is unwilling to pray, and that is killing us, if she won't pray she won't ever progress very far. Hopefully we will resolve that concern soon. We have tried and we haven't really gotten anywhere with it, but I think she is starting to understand...hopefully.

Well things are going well. Transfers are coming real fast. Elder Packard, my companion in T&C is coming to be an office elder, so that will be cool enough to have him in the house again, I did enjoy serving with him and it will be fun to talk to him once more. After transfers we have our off-island zone conferences, that should be a lot of fun! I am looking forward to it! Well time is running short, things are going good. I look forward to next week. Oh, before I forget, the package arrived with the cubes! Thank you very much mom! Thanks for the candy Nathaniel haha! I love you all and hope this next week is great!


Elder B. Kent Talbert

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Perhaps a neuroscan is needed to determine this subject....


Well things are going good this week. Hurricane Tomas...or Tropical Storm Tomas....or Tropical Depression Tomas, or whatever that thing was did absolutely nothing. All of Kingston city was going crazy over this Tomas thing, everything was closed, schools were canceled, everyone went shopping for food supplies, etc. So Thursday rolls around (that was the day it was supposed to hit us) I had already decided that it would miss us, when my companion and I went shopping for food, just in case, he got all sorts of foods and I got microwave popcorn and cheesecake. Anyways, so Thursday rolls around and everything is closed at noon, the entire city of Kingston shuts down. Well we leave the office about 5 pm and decide to go get some dinner, well everywhere was closed, not a restaurant was open. It was really nice driving, everyone was at home so there was no traffic. Well eventually we found KFC, it was busy since it was the only place open, we got food and then it started to rain. We figured the storm had finally arrived! It rained really really really hard for about 10 minutes at most, then it stopped and that was then end of Tomas, we got maybe an inch of rain if we were lucky....probably a lot was a goofy storm, plenty of local Jamaicans are frustrated with the weather people for making it out to be something huge and shutting down all businesses and schools. Troy and I have made it a habit now to ask people if their is anything we can do to help them recover from the storm, seems to make most people laugh.

In other exciting news the power at our house is out! Wahoo....unfortunately its not coming back on for a few days. The Office Elders had this weird flashlight thing that they bought from a street vendor. Well they wanted to charge it, so they plugged it in and it exploded. It also flipped the circuit breaker and power went out. The problem now is that our landlord died a few months back and we live in the same house as he did just in a different part, we can't get to his part and in his part is where the circuit breaker box is located. The house was recently sold and so it is confussing now to find the keys because we don't even know who owns the place, whoever it is they aren't living here yet. So we are out of power until we find someone who can get in. Hopefully it happens soon....that is Monday's project.

This week we had Zone Leader Council. It was really splendid. Talked a whole lot about obedience (seems to be the big thing with Pres. Hendricks these days) and ate a delicious dinner. It was good, we have some exceptional zone leaders right now. The next day we had another training session thingy. It went over well. Previously we have had it for three days and we have followed the lesson outlines that the church provided us with. This time we only had one day to do it and so we decided to spend the whole time focusing specifically on the role of the Holy Ghost, prayer, reading The Book of Mormon, and church attendance in conversion. It was excellent. I think Elder Allen and I did a good job with it. That took most of the day, lasted about 7 hours. Pres. Hendricks prepared lunch for us, It was good, everyone liked it a lot.

Things are at the office are looking organized, I think I finally almost have the computers working how they should. The only problem is we are missing a network drive and I can't find any of the files on any computer...which is really bad, but that is for Monday. Also spent a lot of time going through flight information. This next week on Wednesday we are going to Grand Cayman for Zone Conference, then on Friday president is going to Cuba, then the next week we are going to the Bahamas and the Turks, so that should be good. The new office is good enough, our office is a lot more annoying, all tile floors and a strange organization, but so it goes.

Teaching is going well enough. We have this old lady, Sis. Williams, she is doing good. Lessons are always really funny with her. Every single time we come she asks us the same question because she forgets that she has asked it before. Thankfully it only takes ten seconds to answer it anymore, we just tell her to remember the map and immediately she recalls the answer to the question. She is a good reader, but is pretty stubborn. None the less hopefully she makes it to church tomorrow. We have also been teaching Akeilah's family, the only inconvenient part about that is that they can only be seen on Sundays, so it is very slow going. They are good enough, they live way up in the hills in some crazy cement housing that looks really cool! It is like they just kept stacking houses on top of each other in these hills. We need more investigators so I think this next week we are going to make it a special effort to find new people who are prepared to receive us.

Things are going well though. This next week should be good. Monday I have a lot to do on my list, and Wednesday we get to fly out to Cayman so that should be good. Transfers are coming up fast, so we have been getting that all the way ready. I will not be transfered so nothing new there. It should be a good transfer though, I am looking forward to it, we have some good changes coming. Well I need to finish up here. Things are good, I am healthy and well. I hope that school and work goes excellent this next week for everyone, good luck with your play thingy Heather. I love you all!

Elder B. Kent Talbert