Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sticky Beans

Well I am home now, but I figure I should make one final post here before I call it finished.

This final week was nice. On Monday we got a phone call from Gisselle saying that she had decided to take one more week off from work, which means that we got to see her again everyday! Wahoo! Well we went and saw her in the evening and made sure she was all the way ready for her baptismal interview which was going to be the next day. Tuesday came around and she was interviewed! She passed and was good to go for Sunday! While we were at her home we received a phone call from a senior couple asking if we wanted to go out and have lunch. Well of course I was not going to say no to such an offer. It was nice, we had Burger King. Well shortly after that we had a good lunch with the Hodlin family here in May Pen. While out teaching we got caught in a huge rainstorm and ended up all muddy and nasty. Which was really great for Mama-P (our land lady) since we were going to her house to have dinner. Dinner was great! I feel sort of bad for having dragged so much mud into her home. In the evening we had a final farewell dessert at the Sterling's home and that was it. My time as a missionary was over.

Wednesday I went to Kingston. Elder and Sister Flake kindly took us to their home where we got to eat a great lunch and eventually made our way to the office. The Flakes are great! I will miss them. Got to the mission home in the evening and had a great dinner. It was a lot of fun to see Elder Allen again. I always enjoy talking to him. President Hendricks interviewed us all and then we had our final testimony meeting thingy. It was really nice. I had already attended many in the past, but it was nice to know that this one was mine. Elder and Sister Herbert came too! It was great to see them one last time before I flew out.

Thursday Morning Pres. Hendricks took me to the Airport and let me go. I will miss the Hendricks. They are an amazing couple. I am thankful that I got to serve under their leadership. Well flying was long. Got to the airport around 5:15 am and didn't get to Salt Lake till 8:30 pm. Got out in Salt Lake and went and met with my family! It was great! So good to see everyone again! It was very cold. While flying they announced that it was a warmer day, at -2 C!!! AH! I haven't had anything close to that for 2 years ha.

Drove home and got released. It is an odd feeling finally being done. The next few days were good. Lots of family and friends. On Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. I think it went over very well. I liked the talk. Sis. Childs a native Jamaican who lives in my ward here in Orem also spoke, so that was sort of fun, a themed sacrament meeting. Todd Tanner, Ben Stevens, The McGraths, Joshua white, and the Cheesmans were all there from the mission. It was a lot of fun to see all of them again!

It is pretty amazing to me how anticlimactic coming home is. Things are just so normal. Life is the same as it has always been. It is nice to be home and be with family and friends. I will miss Jamaica. I loved my mission, it was an amazing experience. I am eternally thankful for the opportunity I had to serve the people there. I have learned a lot and will cherish the memories I have had for the rest of my life.

I will attach a few pictures here before I close this out.

This is of the final night at the mission home. It was great!

And this is of us at the church on Sunday here in Orem. From left to Right: Sis. Cheesman, Sis. Child, Josh White, Ben Stevens, Bro. Cheesman, Matt McGrath, Me, Todd Tanner

Well Thanks for following my mission experience. It has been great being able to share it with everyone. Hopefully it was somewhat amusing. I love my mission, it was great. I am glad I served.

Bradford Kent Talbert

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Final Frontier


Well I am highly unmotivated to email today seeing as how I will see you all in just a few days, but on the off chance that an asteroid slams into the airplane and everybody dies I guess I should tell you how my week went. The week was excellent, a lot of fun and very effective. Thanks for all the Birthday wishes.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday must have all been fairly typical days, I can't think of a single thing that happened on any of those days worth mentioning. On Friday though we had a lot of fun. In the morning Pres. and Sis. Hendricks called and wished me happy birthday, and then Gisselle and Kim called and sang happy birthday to me! Well that was fun, I especially appreciated the call from the Hendricks. Elder Lee and I celebrated our 2 year mark by busting out some carbonated juice and spraying it everywhere...then we cleaned up the mess all over our house. Well went and taught Gisselle, it was good; she is doing good, progressing towards baptism. She also made me a birthday cake so that was delicious! Finally at the church in the evening I was organizing some different things and all of a sudden out of nowhere Elder Kraus threw a huge bucket of water on me and then Elder Lee threw a few pounds of flour all over me, so I was a big sticky doughy mess....it was good laughs though. So that was my birthday, it was nice.

Saturday Elder Lee and I burned a bunch of stuff that was no good at this point, so that was amusing. Sunday church was nice, got to teach a nice lesson in gospel principles. Elder Allen called later in the day and wished me a belated happy birthday, he is awesome, I am so glad that I got to serve with him.

Gisselle is doing very good! She gets interviewed for baptism this Tuesday and then baptized on this upcoming Sunday. She is a great investigator, I am glad that Elder Ostrin got to teach someone like her so early-on in his mission. It was great that she took another week off of work so that we could see her again everyday and help ensure she is ready for baptism. It has been great teaching her, I am excited for her to be baptized! Rashane is also doing excellent, he should be baptized next week Sunday, he is also considering going on a mission, so that would be awesome! It has been a good week of teaching with two prepared
investigators that we can see every day.

With Gisselle we have been struggling with her all week with baptism, she wants to be baptized but at the same time she has somethings she wants to change first (like getting a new job). Well most of her reasons were pretty lame and weren't really going to stop her from getting baptized. Yesterday in our lesson with her we were teaching her about something or other (not related to baptism) and then she cut me off mid-sentence and said she has made up her mind to be baptized next Sunday! That was amazing! She has been taught everything and is ready, she just needed to make up her mind. Another member's testimony in church really touched her and it made her decide to get baptized! So that is great! She is going to make a good member and a good addition to the branch here.

Elder Ostrin is doing good, his next companion will be Elder Packard (if you don't recall I served with him in T&C). So that should be good, they will get along really well. They have an awesome area at this time too. We have so many great investigators right now.

Well I can't really think of what else to say....the week has been pretty typical. It is weird to think that I will be home in just a few short days, I can't believe how fast the last 2 years have gone by. I am going to miss Jamaica sooooooooo much! I love this place! I am excited to get home too, it should be good enough. On Wednesday Elder Allen and I have plans to go and eat lunch with the Flakes and anyone else they invite! I am very excited to see the Flakes again! They are so great! And hopefully I can see the Herberts one more time too! If anything I will at least find time to call them when I am in Kingston and say hi/bye! I am so grateful for senior couples! They are so helpful and awesome. It is too bad that I doubt I will have time to see Akeilah one last time before I go home, she is without a doubt the best convert I have had on my mission, she is so awesome!

I think that is about it for the week. Things are going great, I am excited for the next few days! especially Wednesday and Thursday! I look forward to seeing you later this week. Take care, I love you all!

-Elder B. Kent Talbert

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fried Rice on Tuesdays


Great to hear from everyone again (although I never did get an email from Dad). Anyways, this week was excellent. This email might be a bit short, I lost a lot of my emailing time to another project. Yesterday in church all the missionaries gave talks. It went over very well. I gave my talk and thought it was nice, but then after words oddly enough I had 8 different members throughout the day call me or walk up to me and ask me for a copy of a story that I shared in my talk. Well that is great and all except for that I didn't even have the original, I had just stood up there and spoken, so I am now using my email time to actually type up the story and print off copies for everyone that wanted it.

Hmm....interesting events of the week.... Gisselle is progressing great! Her baby was in the hospital all week from some stomach infection or something, but now the baby is out and she is happy. It has been great teaching her everyday, normally she is in Kingston on the week so we can only see her on weekends. It definitely helps prepare someone for baptism when you can see them everyday and work with them.

Odd story of the week: We were at Queenie's home talking to her about something or other, I don't recall, and her husband (Carlos) walks past and a conversation begins that goes somewhat like this:

Carlos: "Queenie, my head feels heavy"
Queenie: "Do you realise you have two hats on?"
Carlos: Takes his hand and finds two hats on his head "Oh" takes one off
Queenie: "Is that better?"
Carlos: "Yea"

So that was strange. The funny part about it was their was no smile through the whole thing, they were both 100% serious and just spoke in a dull monotone voice. It was good.

Hmmm...what else happened. We have this boy named Rashane we are teaching, I think I mentioned him last week. He is doing awesome! He is actually considering baptism! After nearly 2 years of missionaries visiting him, I think he will actually get baptized sometime in February. Our area is doing great. Elder Ostrin and I have had a lot of success and we have some awesome investigators. At least I can leave the area next week with full confidence that the area is still alive and full of potential.

So on Friday we were riding home from the church with the other 2 missionaries and Elder Kraus and I got in a bike race and ended up way ahead of the other missionaries, about 15 minutes ahead of them. So we decided in that 15 minutes we would go visit a less-active member and see how they were doing. Well while talking to them we got the idea to leave our bikes at their home and walk to our home and tell our companions that our bikes were stolen. So we did. It worked pretty well. Elder Ostrin fell for it and we didn't bother to tell him that they really were not stolen until the next day. Elder Lee didn't believe us but he was willing to play along. It was fun enough.

Seems like I have nothing to say, I am staring blankly at the monitor wondering what to type. Yesterday we saw a duck eat a rat; that was sort of gross. We were sitting on a veranda teaching and all of a sudden a duck walks past with a rat in its mouth and then it started to eat it. It was fairly distracting in the lesson, everyone wanted to see what was going to happen.

Well life is going good. Not really sure what else I have to say these days. Hopefully this next week is good, should be. What Sunday am I speaking again? the 13th? hmm...maybe I should think about writing that this week or something. Well I hope things are going well back home. Have a great week.

Elder B. Kent Talbert