Sunday, September 28, 2014

Like a Roller Coaster Ride

Joseph's letter from Sept 22

Hey Family,
                    This week has been like a roller-coaster. It has had its ups and its downs. On Tuesday we had district meeting. It was all about teaching simply and quickly in finding situations. It is really weird to be the oldest (mission wise) at most meeting now days. During the meeting, Doug called and said he didn't want to meet with us anymore. I asked if we could come over later and talk about why and he said yes. Well after our meeting we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Jenkins here in Mountain View. We first went to see Doug and figure out why he didn't want to meet with us any more. He gave some reasons that were more like excuses. The real reason was that he found a Presbyterian church and wanted to go there instead. Well we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We then went to see a guy named Bill. When we got there he had just got off work. We talked with him for a little and are going to go see him again this week. We did a lot of walking and in the evening we went to the Thurman's. They are a part member family and they live right across the street from us. Wednesday we exchanged back and then were asked to work the Family History Center from 1-5. After that we had dinner and went to mutual to help out there. Thursday we did a lot of finding and I saw this black guy sitting on a bench near the library. We went up and started talking with him. He said he would love to meet with us and hear our message. His named is Andrew but he goes by Drew. He also said he was one of 3 black people he knew in Mountain View. On Friday and Saturday we did more finding. There are a lot of old people here. Saturday afternoon we went with the Donovan's most the way to Conway to a baptism. When we were about halfway there we got a text saying the baptism was canceled so we turned around and drove back up to Mountain View. Sunday we had a good talk on fasting and prayer. I played piano again in primary and am getting way better at it. I am still not that good though. The primary kids really like me so that is awesome. After church we had potluck. Sunday night we went to see the Thurman's again. It was a good visit and we scheduled to come back this week. 

                        That is about it for this week. Tomorrow we are going to a meeting with Elder Zwick of the quorum of the 70. That should be lots of fun. Thanks for all you do and I hope y'all have a great week! 
Love Elder Talbert   

Happy Valley

Joseph's letter from Sept 15

Hey Family,
                    On Monday we hung out and played some volleyball at the church. Then we went to dinner. On Tuesday we woke up early and went to the church to play more volleyball with the sisters. It was lots of fun. We walked around all day Tuesday and visited with some people. Then that night we played more volleyball with the ward. After volleyball I went with the Jacksonville elders to stay the night there. Wednesday morning we went to transfers. My comp was coming from the other side so I had to wait. We went to lunch and then hung out in the mission office till 6ish when they came back for the other side. We had transfers and my new comp is Elder Randall. He is from Provo Utah. I didn't know him before the mission but we used to be in the same stake so I probably knew of him. We know a lot of the same people from back home. Well after transfers we loaded all his stuff in our volkswagon jetta we are driving ( it's super nice) and went to dinner. After dinner we went to Pinnacle Mountain to spend the night. On Thursday I had a Dr. apt, everything looked good. Then we drove home and unpacked a little. Went shopping and that evening we went to Hardee's (it's the Carls Jr out here) with Pres Woods, Pres Balentine, and a new guy (I don't remember his name). On Friday we went to lunch with sister Hamilton. It was really good and we got to talk with her friend Carl about the gospel. We saw Doug later that day and he is doing good. He is the closest to baptism and we are really helping him get there. We had dinner with the Donovan's and sister Ellefson. Saturday we went to go see Donovan in the morning and had a good talk with him. We were able to talk to his girlfriend which is good since usually she gets mad that we are there but this time she was friendly. We also saw Jennifer and talked with her about the gospel a little. We went to Nash's parent's house and got some eggs from them. We then had dinner with the Matteson's and then went to go see the Donovan's. We had a good discussion with Bro Donovan about the gospel. It was a good day. On Sunday we went to church and the talks were on callings and honoring your calling and fulling your calling. I really think that we need to try our hardest at being the best in our calling. Even if it isn't the calling you want or you don't think you will be good at that calling the Lord has put you there for a reason and you need to do your best to figure out what that reason is. 

                 That is about it from me this week. It has been a fun and eventful week. I hope y'all have a great week and I will be praying for y'all. Thanks for all you do.
Love Elder Talbert 

Sorry it's short

Joseph's letter from Sept 8

Hey family,
                 Sorry this email is coming to you so late. I went to the temple today and after we dropped off my comp so right now I am companionless. I am chillin with the Cabot elders till Wednesday when I get a new comp. This week was pretty lame. My comp was packing like all week and getting ready to go. We have been meeting with this guy named Doug. The one that came to church a week ago. He is really solid. On Saturday one of the members got his mission call and is going to California. The sisters had a baptism. It was a 9 and 10 year old. They are cool. I was asked to l play at the baptism and failed epicly. Everyone said I did good but I really didn't. Anyway on Sunday I played the piano in primary and it was really good. I played good and the primary was fun. This week is fairly boring and I'm sorry but this email will probably be short. Church was good and really spiritual. I am excited to see who I get this next transfer.

   Well I really have not much to say. I did get my meds. Thanks! I hope y'all have a great week and I will be praying for y'all. Thanks for all you do.
Elder Talbert

30 Day Challenge

Joseph's letter from Sept 1

Hey Family,
                  So this week has been exciting. On Monday we went to the Donovan's and ate and played some games with them. Then on Tuesday we had district meeting. We talked about Christlike attributes and how to be more Christlike. It was really good and we talked about how we need to improve everyday and when we start to work on another Christlike attribute to not stop the things you were doing for the last one. After district meeting we went on exchanges I went with Elder Bell again and we went to Mountain View. We were on bike week so we walked to see this guy named Doug. On the way we met this cool guy named Francisco. He was open to listen to us and we are going back to see him on tomorrow. We had a great lesson with Doug and he said he was going to come to church. Later that night we met with this guy named Jesse and in the middle of the lesson his friends stooped by and asked him to go somewhere with them. Elder Bell thought they were doing a drug deal or something but it tuns out one of them was going to do the ice bucket challenge. That night we saw this spider in the window and it was building it's web. We just watched it as it built a web and then ate a few bugs that flew into the web. On Wednesday we went outside and the spider was still there so we knocked it down and smashed it because it looked poisonous. We also met with Donovan and had a great lesson with him. He has been reading the Book of Mormon but still won't come to church again. On Friday we had interviews with president and so we got a ride to Batesville and had and interview. It was good and this next week I will be in Little Rock from Sunday night till Thursday because of transfers and my dr appt. Then on Sunday President Wakolo and the AP's and President Birkhimer (stake president) came to church up in Mountain View. We had a full house. Also Doug came like he said he would. He seemed to enjoy it we are seeing him tomorrow. The talks were on enduring to the end. They were really good spiritual. For combined priesthood and relief society. We talked about doing the small things to make our home a more spiritual place. President Woods challenged the branch to have family scripture study for a month and have family prayer for a month and see if they notice a difference in their home. I didn't play in primary this week because the pianist was at church but she will be gone next week so I will play and tell you how it goes.

                 Well that's it for my week I will send you some pics so be looking for them. I hope y'all have a great week and know that I love and pray for y'all.

Love Elder Talbert
Elder Talbert, Noland, Elder Sakurada
What am I eating................Wrong! It's watermelon!
Zone Transfer
Our district - last transfer

Playing Piano in Primary

Joseph's letter from August 25

Hey Family,
                 This week has been great! Monday we went to the Donovan's and hung out with Sean and ate dinner at their house. Then on Tuesday we went to see Doug. He is doing good and we taught him the plan of salvation. It went really well and he understood it and really liked that we believed that you lived with go before this life. That evening we went to the Goners for dinner. On Wednesday we went to Green Brier and met up the other elders there. Then drove with them down to Little Rock for zone conference. It was really good and about I lead, I love and I live like the Savior. It was good and about how if we lead and live like the Savior that people will see it in us and notice a difference about how we live. On Saturday we went and saw Donovan. He is doing good and worked on Sunday so he wasn't able to come to church. Then we went to go see Blake but ended up talking with his wife because he was working. On Sunday I was siting in in the hall waiting to see if we were going to have our meeting when the primary president came up to me and said " I hear you play the piano" I was thinking man word gets around fast. I said" yes" and she asked if I would play for primary occasionally. I said "sure but I need time to practice or it won't sound good". Well church was good and the talks were on repentance. Then priesthood was on loving your neighbor and loving the savior. After church we went the primary president came up came again and handed me a paper and a children's hymn book. She asked me to practice like 5 songs so I could play them in primary. I have practiced a little and I am doing good so far. 

                 Well that is it from me. This week has been fairly boring and i'm sorry this letter is fairly boring. But I hope y'all have a great week and I will send pics next week. I don't have my cord with me today. Thanks for all you do.
Elder Talbert 

Biker Rally

Joseph's letter from August 18

Hey Family,
                  This week has been great! On Monday we drove up to this members house named the Jensen's. The go to Ashflat branch but live in our boundaries. Because of the highway they would have to take to get to Mountain View they got permission to go to Ashflat. We played some games with them and their family. It was lots of fun. We are going to go up there again probably next week and they are going to try and get the Ashflat missionaries to come over. Ashflat is not in our mission but the missionaries got permission form their mission president to got to the Jensen's house. So that should be fun. On Tuesday we had district meeting. It was on using the scriptures to answer peoples concerns. We played a game where Elder Bell ( the district leader) read off the some common concerns or questions that people have about the gospel and we had to answer them using scriptures. They were all taken out of Preach My Gospel and he had been asking us to study them for a while now. Well I won the game with 7 of the 10 points. It was fun. After district meeting we had lunch and then went to see Doug. He wasn't there so we went to Walmart to grab a few thing we needed for dinner. We saw Doug and talked with him. We had both wrote down different times for the appointment. We rescheduled for later that day and went over the plan of salvation with him. On Wednesday we went to the church to talk with Sean because him and his mom were supposed to be working the family history center. Well we get there and the Balentines are there instead. We talk with them for a little and talk about home teaching and get a better branch roster. We then went up to Melbourne to Bro Stevens for dinner. We had a great dinner with him and his wife. This weekend there has been a bike rally going on so on Friday and Saturday we walked around a lot and talked with people while we looked at the cool bikes that were there. On Saturday night we went to the Matteson's for dinner. They had invited over the Longs as well. The Longs are a less active family that lives near the Matteson's. It was good to meet them and get to know them. Went to the Donovan's because they live next door. Sunday the talks were on family history work. It was all about how we do family history work and why it is important. Then in gospel principles we taught about the gathering of Isreal we taught young men's and that was on the gospel of Jesus Christ. After church we had potluck and then went out teaching with Sean. 

                  Well that's about from me it sounds like y'all had a good week. When do y'all officially start school? I know here they started today. Have a great week!
Love Elder Talbert

Stake Conference

Joseph's letter from August 11

Hey Family,
                 This week has been great! On Sunday (not yesterday, but the one before) we were in branch council talking about our investigators. We started talking about Doug (he is the one that was going on vacation for a month) and the sisters said they saw him the day before. We were like interesting, he was supposed to be gone. They explained he didn't go for some medical reasons. Well on Tuesday this week we went to go see Doug. He is doing good and ended up not going on vacation. On Wednesday we went up to the Donovan's. We talked with Bro Donovan ( who isn't a member) and then we started cooking dinner with Sean. After dinner was ready we ate and talked about church and we go on the topic of baptism. We talked with Bro Donovan about baptism and getting baptized. He doesn't wasn't to right now but he wasn't opposed to it either. He has made lots of progress. Slow progress but still progress. We went form their to a branch activity. Then on Thursday we had zone meeting. It was a lot different then other zone meetings. We talked about different problems or concerns we or investigators had and talked about them all zone meeting. We split off into groups and my group had being successful, Christlike attributes and accountability. They all tie in together. as we work on being more Christlike and keep ourselves accountable to that we are more successful and feel more successful.  Saturday we met with Doug again and showed him the 20 min restoration video. He seemed to like it and it made him question what church was right. We then explained how reading the Book of Mormon and praying will tell him if our church is right or not. Then we went to Searcy for stake conference. We showed up at 4 but we didn't have a meeting till 7 so we blitzed the area along with like 20 other missionaries. It was cool to see. We then ate some food and went to stake conference. They talked a lot about reactivating members and new members. After the session we went and said hi to all our friends and talk with Pres Wakolo. I stopped and talked with Pres Griffin and he started talking about grandpa and told Pres Birkhimer and he remembered grandpa too. On Sunday we went to Batesville to stake conference and they talked about missionary work and how easy it is to share the gospel with those around you. It was a great stake conference. On the way home me and President Woods talked about how we can increase the baptisms in the branch. I told him about this sweet video called "missionary work and the atonement". I know its on you tube but you can find it though Y'all should check it out.  

                 That is about all for my week. Thanks for all you do. I love and pray for y'all every day. Have a great week. 
Elder Talbert