November 11, 2012

Dear Family and Friends
Life is good here I Jamaica!! We have been busy as usual. We spent a lot of time on the computer and getting things organized the way we are used to doing things. There is so much to learn about how the church wants the forms filled out for our projects. We have been going through the past paper work to get a better understanding of this and to get a feel for what has been happening here. We have some pretty big shoes to fill. the Shafermeyers and the Whiteheads who preceded us were very active, organized and talented. They had a great love of the people here and the members remember them with great love. The Shafermeyers are now on another mission in SLC putting together a history of Humanitarian Missions efforts around the world. The Whiteheads just left Jamaica and I am sure they are missing life here but glad to be home at the same time. That is the way it is for missionaries. They all love where they are and love home too. I know we feel the same being here. I guess the bet of both worlds would be to have your family go with you on a mission!! A senior mission for sure is a fantastic thing! There are challenges but that is where you grow. Without growth you are not progressing towards your Father in Heaven...
We Have traveled some this week. We made a trip to Spanish Town. It is about 40 miles away but it takes an hour if there is light traffic. We visited a 5 acre farm project. It was a Branch project that is not functioning as well as they hoped for. There is still one Brother who is farming his section. It is planted with Sorrel and Ginger Root. Sorrel is a plant they make into a drink and spice it with the ginger root. It is pretty good tasting. The ginger gives it a real kick. They grow the plant, pick the blossom, boil it with some sugar and ginger. It is said to be beneficial to the heart. You see bill boards here advertising the Sorrel Drink.
We also went to the far Eastern end of the Island to visit a blind member there. We took several picture along the way, The Blue Mountains, The Elders and us with the blind member, the sea, a sugar cane field, and a water fall. The other picture is of the blind members stove he puts charcoal in the bottom and a pan on top to cook all his meals. ( I know not to good of an idea indoors but that is what he has). He has a propane cook stove but someone keeps stealing his gas one time while he was in the house, he ask who was their but they never answered. When he looked the gas was gone. He has had other things stolen while he is in the house. Since he is blind can’t identify anyone. He has had some roof damage from Hurricane Sandy. He will need to have some new Zinc placed on his roof along with new trusses. Of course the trusses he has are 1x1’s. They don’t have to worry about snow loads on their roofs here! Our Mission President Hendricks asked us to see if he would move to an area that is not so isolated hopefully around family so they can look after him. We are all concerned that his home not be a safe place for him anymore. He has 10 children but only one is a member. He helps when he can but lives 3 hours away. Anyway our member still wants to stay in his own home. He knows his neighbors and how to get around the neighborhood. He only has to walk a block to get his water and a couple of block the other way to get food. He was down to less then a gallon of water when we got there so we had young elders (we took with us from Yallahs) haul 25 gallons for him. He is a special man. he is about 65 years old and can still do push ups. He can raise his whole body off the ground and clap his hands while doing them. Challenge to all the young people!!! Can you do that?? He lives on $4000 Jamaican dollars a month ( that’s about $45 US dollars 1 US dollar = 89 Jamaica dollars). One of the Missionaries we had with us is from Jamaica and when I said I did not see how he could even by food for that much, he replied simply, if you stick to the basics rice and beans that’s enough. Every day this place makes me count my blessings.
As usual we are doing well. We are adjusting to the humidity. The heat is not so much the problem, but combined with the humidity it is not what we are used to. Dad is doing better than I am. I sit either by the air conditioner or by the fan. The Lord has blessed us many times with our lives here. We are so fortunate to have the gospel in our lives

cooking stove
Sea East of Morant Bay
Blue Mountain

Sugar Cane