November 4, 2012

We have been training with Bennie Lilly the Area Welfare Manager from Dominican Republic. He flew here and and has been training us everyday. We did pull him away from training to go to Spanish Town to deliver chicken feed called crumble. Crumble is fed to Broiler Chickens which are raised for food. These chickens are bred for meat and they have very large breast meat, so big the can not walk very good because they tip over. Look at the pictures and you can see what I mean. The chickens are part of a food project for member.s They are trained on how to build a chicken coop (many have never used tools before), they are also trained on how to raise the animals (feed and care for them), and how to market and manage their business. It sounds easy but it is a hard concept for them to save money so they can buy more chickens and more feed. They have so little money they want to use what they get from selling chickens to buy food for their family. Most have a good grasp of the project and are on their second or third batch of chickens (which they bought themselves) some have even expanded their pens so they can get and raise more animals.
Spanish Town is about one hour away from our Apartment. Naturally the GPS took us right down town through a street market that was so busy there was no room to even drive down the road. It was full of people buying and selling goods. Many Vendors put their goods (mostly fruit ) on a wooden cart that they push to the market. The carts are about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide with a steering wheel at the back so they can “steer” them down the roads. they are made of 2x4s frames with planks for the bottom bed. When they get to the market the carts become their store. All these carts are parked by the side of the road or in this case in the road so people can buy from the cart. We finally found a side road and were able to continue on to deliver feed to the members. Got to love the GPS! We were able to see a part of town that we wouldn’t have had we taken a more direct route.
The pictures marked Spanish Town Rowenbeech is in a very poor part of town. People live in zink ( corrigated steel ) homes with no electricity and no water but what they carry home. The members were so grateful for the Church’s help they must have thanked us many many times. He saved three jelly coconuts to give to us for helping. They were very proud of their coop and chickens and made sure we went back to see them and take pictures of the chickens. When we were done he went out into the road and stopped traffic so we could leave. Believe me that is no easy feat here. I could see him in the rear view mirror waving and telling us good by until I turned around the corner.
The other pictures marked are of Sister Masters, was a single older lady who was also proud of her chickens and coop. She will be ready to kill her chickens next week. She showed us the tree she would hang the chickens after they were killed. She has a business that will buy all the chickens she can supply.
We had Fast and Testimony meeting at the Constant Springs Branch. It was a wonderful meeting. Pres. Singh had to remind the people to keep their testimonies short and that he would touch them fs they went over 2 minutes. I thought it was pretty funny that he would say that but then the people started to get up. There wasn’t a single time when someone wasn’t waiting for someone else to finish so they could bear their testimony. These people are so sweet and their faith is so simple. Afterward when we were leaving we met Sister Davis. She called us earlier in the week and said that her neighbors who were not members had their house burn down taking the house next to it also. The houses belonged to a mother and her children. 12 people in all. I think the houses were about 12 feet square. Not much room by our standards. Anyway Sister Davis took them all into her house (also about the same size) with her family which consists of about 5 or 6 people. Sister Davis has a HUGE heart. She brought them to church today. She is quite the missionary! We were able to get them some clothing and emergency supplies to help in their crisis. The local Priesthood will take over now and help as best they can with the members helping/serving each other in that neighborhood.
What is wrong with the picture marked Spanish Town City fixing wires ( after hurricane Sandy ) ?
Next week we are on our own and have many new projects to start working on and many new people to meet.
 See you Next Week
Elder Murdock