June 29, 2013

Jamaican work goes on.
Normally when we are working with the wheelchair program we are setting up partners organizations, negotiating contracts, or writing proposals.   This week we had the opportunity to help Sister Meddow-Anderson (our Wheelchair Monitor) deliver and fit a wheelchair.  We took the wheelchair to Brother Sutherland who was one of our Branch Presidents but has been paralyzed by a stroke.  This picture shows him sitting in the chair for the first time.  He came out of his house, the door with the red curtain.  The other door belongs to a member who is 101 years old.  The home is divided in two each half being about 15’ by 24’ mostly one bedroom that includes living room, bed room, and kitchen.
 My job was to help set up the wheelchair.  Here I am adjusting the foot rest.
 Tracy is the real wheelchair expert.  She is making sure chair fits properly.
 Brother Sutherland has been cooped up in the house for about a year and was glad to get out in feel the sunshine.  Now he wants to go somewhere.
 He has some use in his right arm and right leg so his wife will provide the power to allow him to move around.  
 The Church and Tracy bring a little sunshine and happiness into the lives of many mobility impaired people’s lives.  The Church provides hundreds even thousands of wheelchairs to Jamaicans who are mobility impaired.  We have one Major organization who distributes chairs to 21 of our sub-partners, (churches, hospitals, and Health care organizations) located across the Island.
Well we hope you have had a great week.  Ours has been productive with advancing the Churches programs.  We were able to see the Mission Presidents Seminar that was televised last Sunday.  It is inspiring to be able to be a part of this great work of the Lord.
May the Lord Bless you in all you do…we love you all and pray for you always…
Mom and Dad
E/s Murdock

June 24, 2013

Well this week was a hard one.  We are saying goodbye to President and Sister Hendricks.   The Picture below is from the Member Farewell Party.  They filled the building. They came from so many areas of the Island; Portmore, Kingston, Boulevard, Constant Springs, Spanish Town 1 & 2, Lindstead, May Pen, Mandeville,  Junction, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.  Many came at great financial sacrifice.  But they wanted to be able to participate and to see their beloved President one more time.  Sister Hendricks was not able to attend due to a young missionary needing an emergency Appendectomy.  President and Sister Hendricks and the young Missionary Assistants were traveling when it happened and it was fortunate that they were traveling through Miami on their way back to Jamaica.  Our mission includes the Grand Cayman Island, The Turks and Caicos, Nassau and Guantanamo Bay.  Any travel off of Jamaica we have to go through Miami.  Anyway this young elder got worse as they were in Miami so he had the emergency surgery.  Pres. Hendricks had to return to complete his zone conference and needed the other assistant to help him in his presentation so Sister Hendricks had to stay with the other assistant as they cannot be left alone.  She is due home Monday.  Our airport employees are on strike so we hope she gets here on time for our last FHE with them.  The Hendricks will complete their mission service Friday night when our new mission president Kevin Brown takes the mantle upon his shoulders.  The members really did it up right with their “Jamaican Style” farewell.  Everyone was laughing and in tears too.
 Below is another example of the hair styles they do.  This little cutie is about two years old.  The style is China Bumps but instead of taking the hair into one bump they have divided each section into 4 pieces and then braided it together.  It would take about 2-3 hours to accomplish this task.  Women, can you imagine your little ones sitting for that long to get their hair done.  Once it is completed it will last for about 3-4 weeks, depending on how fast the hair grows.  She and her mom were sitting across the aisle and one row up from us and dad was fascinated with her little antics.  Missing our little ones I guess…
 Below is Sister Raia Peart.  She was the MC for the night.  She was speaking in Patois so fast that we had a difficult time understanding her.  She kept asking Pres. H did you understand what they said.  He would say he understood the song and the love from them…Then Sister Peart would say ’when yo don unastan wha me say just say “ya mon!”.  So for the rest of the night when she asked him if he understood he would shout “Ya Mon!!  She kept everyone laughing.  The color of her dress is the official Jamaican Plaid.  It is loved by all the people here.  A lot of the costumes we saw that night have some of this material in it.
 After the program we all shared dinner together.  Quite typical of LDS people everywhere; you get together and you eat!!  We had Curry Chicken, Baked Chicken, Bread Fruit, and Coleslaw with Ackie, Festival, Bread Pudding, fruit punch, and even a regular roll.
 Then the people started to say their goodbyes to Pres. H personally.  He is so patient with them and visited with as many as desired to have a few words with him.  He hardly got to eat his dinner.  But that didn’t matter he wanted the time with the members.  He will miss them very much

Our time has been on the computer working on a new program that we are trying to develop, Eliminating Poverty.  It is putting together all the resources available here on Island and what resources the church has to contribute as well. We are also getting ready for a new Wheel Chair Training with our new partners.  That is not until January but we have a ton of details to take care of before then.
We had one family birthday this week.  Lori and (her) Aaron’s middle daughter has just turned 5 on June 22nd.  She, like the rest of the grandkids, is loved by her Grandma and Grandpa Murdock very much.  We send hugs and kisses and the very best birthday wishes for a wonderful year.
Well Much to do and it is time to get doing it!  Take care and you older folks…SEND IN THOSE MISSION PAPERS!!!! YOU ARE NEEDED!!!!!
Love to all
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock

June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day
We went to Church in Yallahs today.  The First Councilor in the Branch Presidency gave the opening remarks. “Today is a special day it is Father’s day but the children love their mothers more.   I don’t know why but it is.  We do provide for our families though I guess.”
I also learned from a new convert  that “This is not just a white man’s Church it is an everyman Church”.
While at Church each father received two Father’s Day gifts, a boutonniere to wear during church and half a cheese sandwich and a piece of cake to eat after church.
I didn’t have and grand kids to play with on Father’s Day so I had to bribe this little guy, to sit with me and have our picture taken.

 I also bribed this little girl to but she could not hold still long enough sit with me.  After I gave her some candy she keep coming back for more, but she was wound so tight I did not dare giver her any more (even though I did).  Then I took her picture and she keep coming back to see herself.  This was not good ether because she laughed out loud every time I showed her, her picture.  Not so good during Priesthood meeting.  She was known as the Branch Mascot because she goes to everyone and wants them to play with her (most do).
 These two young ladies played  the songs for Sacrament meeting.
 But there is not enough room inside the Chapel for the keyboard so they put it in a breeze way outside the Chapel.
We have been working on an eliminating poverty project.   This is a very, very difficult task as you can imagine.  Fortunately we don’t have to come up with specific how to answers, just a general outline and guidance. The Priesthood leaders are the ones who have the Keys and inspiration to come up with the specific programs and actions that will Eliminate Poverty.     We have been prayerfully working on this project for a long time now and have finally got a draft we feel we can present to President Brown when he becomes our new Mission President the end of this month.  Many of the ideas came from existing church programs. The rest came as answer to our prayers.  From the very first few weeks of our mission I have felt an over whelming drive that we need to be helping our Jamaican members get out of Poverty.  It has often kept me awake at night which seems like the time when new inspired thoughts have come to mind.  Of course then I have to get up and write everything down be for I forget.  With lots of help from Sister Murdock it is looking pretty good however I suspect it will undergo many more changes before it reaches the final approval from the Mission President, the Area Welfare Authority, The General Welfare Committee, and the Presiding Bishopric. 
We also got the contract for the Salvation Army Wheel Chair Project signed this week.  It has been a long process.  We had a lot of help from Elder and Sister Cullimore. They are our Short Term Specialists with the Wheel Chair Program.  What a blessing to have them in our lives.  Now we need to begin to get the training procedures (and the ceremony and supplies that go with it) going. 
We are also working on updating the Emergency Preparedness Notebook with phone numbers for who is where, driving which vehicle with the license plate numbers riding bikes/or walking.  Our hurricane season began June 1st and will go until Nov. 30th.  We are receiving 15 new missionaries next month so there will be at least six new apartments to find so we will have to add all this information too.  Wish we had a Senior Missionary Couple to help with the apartments hunting. Our current mission president does all of that now, but they will be returning home in 2 weeks.    Much to do in the update department…
We had two family birthdays this week.  Our daughter Katie Larsen and our granddaughter Bodi Bitton each had a special day  .  We did get to Skype with Katie but Facebook was the alternative for Bodi.  If anyone knows of an email for Bodi and Kennen please send it to me. We hope you both had wonderful days.  You are such a blessing to our family; we love you so very much

June 10, 2013

Dear Family and  Friends
This week we bid tearful a farewell to the Elder Ron and Sister Linda Larsen.  They have become dear and forever friends.  Their service here in Jamaica was truly remarkable.  I think we attended two of their going away parties and probably missed two more!  They were loved by everyone they came into contact with.  They have a way of making everyone feel like you were their best friend!  What an awesome couple.  And they live in Parowan so they are close to home!! Oh the benefits of a mission, wherever you go you make eternal friends!  However our hearts are happy that they are back home safe in the arms of their family.  God bless you both…
We always to a lot of computer work so we’ll not bore you with that this week. Instead we will tell you of a tale misfortune and love…
President Lester lives in the jungle and has been a member of the church for less than three years.  He has been a branch President for over one year. He and his 14 year old son Peter live in this small house.  He tries to be as self-reliant as possible.  He grows a garden and many fruit trees on his property.  He raises Broiler Chickens for meat and has some Laying Hens for eggs. Everything he needs to live on he produces right here on his property.  He also has a nursery for a landscaping business he owns and works part time at the stone quarry. Two Years ago one of his neighbors started to steal his garden produce.  When confronted and asked to stop this behavior, the neighbor burned down Pres. Lester’s home.  Being a new convert and wanting to follow Christ’s example he forgave the man and put a fence around his property to help the man resist temptation.  This man still stole Pres. Lester’s garden produce. When confronted again he burnt his home again!!  This time Pres. Lester decided to take the matter to the police.  Well the neighbor is now in prison and President Lester has been saving his money for two years now to replace the roof to his little home.  He purchased all the materials ad had them delivered (at extra cost) to his home.  He asked his branch members to help him put up the new roof but no one could afford the taxi fair to get to the President home.  Most could only scrape enough money to come to church each week.  When we found out about this we asked our mission president if we could ask the Senior Missionaries to help him out.  President Hendricks was so glad to hear this.  He had been trying to get some supplies for this faithful branch president for 2 years now from one of the church’s partners here in Jamaica.  All he was asking for was the supplies but could not get any response.  In the meantime Pres. Lester was doing all in his power to do what he could for himself.  He was so grateful for the help that we could offer him.  This man is truly a humble and faithful servant of the Lord.  Oh I forgot to mention that he has a brain tumor.  He is afraid to have an operation because it might change his personality or he might not wake up from the surgery.  He still has Peter to raise by himself.  His wife left him a while back.  The only other family his has is his mother who lives an hour away by taxi.  She is a dear lady but not a member of the church.  As a gift to hang in the new portion of the house; we had a picture printed and framed that we took of him, his mother, and his son.  He was so happy.
Roof raising party for President Lester.

Before any work was done…

 On the right is the landscaping shade house with the broiler chickens behind it. On the left you can see the small roof of the laying hen house.

 There was no electricity at the house. It took four senior missionaries to rip this board.  We would saw for a while, until we got tired then the next one would take his place.

 No electricity no gas everything is cook on a fire or a small charcoal cooker.  The cooker is on the bottom right of the above picture it looks like a wok.  Charcoal (burnt wood) is put in the bottom with a grate and a pan on top.

 Some day he hopes to save enough to get a new small gas stove that will look like a camp chef type propane stove.

 The other side of his kitchen. These are the only pictures in the home.  All are church pictures.  As you can see he is living in on half of a burned out house limbs and partially burned boards hold up the zinc roof.

 This is his big black water tank.  It has a spigot on the bottom.  All the laundry is done by hand and hung up in the back.  We thought we would help do this chore while Pres. Lester directed the workers with the roof.

 The boards are 1x2’s.  There is a simple frame work and then the Zinc (corrugated tin) is nailed to the top.  No snow load problems here…

What a privilege it is to serve the Lord by serving his children. We are so happy to know of the Young and Senior Missionaries who serve from our ward and from all over the church.  With the opening of 58 new missions the ‘need factor’ for more Senior Missionaries just went from severe to explosive.
 The following quote was sent to us in a newsletter.
The Field is White!
The following list indicates locations with critical PEF Self-Reliance Senior Missionary needs. If you are aware of friends, relatives who are contemplating a mission, please let them know of the following critical needs for PEF Self-Reliance missionaries: Cambodia, Mexico, Central America Area, Armenia, Ivory Coast (French-Speaking), Chile, Paraguay, and Jamaica.
Anyone interested PLEASE CONTACT YOUR BISHOP!!  You can start singing “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” anytime now.
 This last week was our Daughter-in-law Megan Murdock’s birthday!!! Happy birthday sweetie!! Take care and know that we love you all.
God Bless
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock

June 2, 2013

Dear Family and Friends

We were our usual selves being busy on the computers, but that’s a ‘given’.  It always happens; you never get that work finished.  We had another closing ceremony this week.  It was at the Dunrobin Basic School.  We (meaning the Church) helped them expand and furnish their Enrichment Center.   We provided the flooring tiles, electrical wiring, lights, air conditioners and 2 new computers with many educational programs and games installed on them.  We had them all set up for the students so they could make use of them the first day after the ceremony was completed.

 These young men were our escorts while we were on the School grounds.  They met us at the front gate and took us around to where the Enrichment Center was located and stayed with us until the program began.  They were so excited to be our guides for the morning.  We asked them what they had to do to get chosen for this rare opportunity to get out of class; they said they had to do all their school studies properly and on time, be polite, be good examples to the younger students and they had to be nice to the girls!  All the Students here in Jamaica have devotionals before school begins.  They have a prayer, song and bible lessons.

 It is interesting to me all the different patterns of braiding that you see in the young girls’ hair.

It is seldom that we will see the same braid pattern.  Every day we see a new pattern on a little head.  These hair styles will take about 3-4 hours to do and will last about a month.  They start training them as infants to sit still.  It amazes me to see the creativity of it all.  There were about six girls in front of us and no two patterns were alike.
We are starting to say good bye to more people this month.  Our Area Welfare Manager Benny Lilly (Stationed in the D.R.) has returned home to Layton Utah this past Friday.  We now have Julio Acosta (a Dominican) for our fearless leader.  He is a wonderful man and we look forward to his leadership and guidance.  He speaks very good English so that is a definite plus in our book!
Dad has been going through the old gray computer desk here in our apartment.  It has things from at least 3 sets of missionaries!  Some wonderful Pictures, and some useless STUFF as well.  He got it all cleaned out and now our STUFF occupies the spaces there.  One day someone else will do the same thing and clear out all out junk and wonder what to do with it too.  Life marches forward…
I have been working on a baby blanket and burp cloth set.  It is finished now and we will take it over to the Salvation Army Captain Mitchell and his wife Sandra.  She will be having a baby boy the last part of this month I think.  It is their second child and first boy.  They are such a great couple to work with.  The Wheelchair Project we have been working on with them finally got approved!  We are excited to be able to work with them in bringing wheelchairs to the island and later the kits and clothing bundles as well (…we hope).  The Langleys, (District Young Women’s’ President) has a farewell dinner for the Larsens.  They will be going home Tuesday to Parowan.  We will miss them here. They are a marvelous couple who served so well in the Kingston and Boulevard Branches.  They will be missed by all.

Here you see the back of Sister Langley (sorry about that), Sister Larsen in the Black blouse, Sister Hendricks, Sister Pearson and Elder Larsen.  Plus is you look close to Sister Larsen’s head you will see part of dad Sorry about just the partial dad shot too). 
Also at the dinner, our new Mission President, Kevin Brown. He is wearing the white shirt.  He will be a wonderful addition for us here.  He was the CES Coordinator and has a wonderful knowledge of the scriptures.  He is a very spiritual man and he has a deep love for all the Jamaicans.  We look forward to serving under his direction. Sitting next to him is Elder MacPherson.  He has been a branch president and a district president.  Currently he is part of a branch presidency.  His wife is the District Relief Society President. She helped a lot with the dinner.  Such a great cook!

Dad is currently working on a new project…stirring the pot so to speak.  We will see how things turn out on this one.  Rex has a marvelous mind. He is able to envision something and all the steps it takes to make it work.  Such a logical mind.  To me it is a foreign language!! Hahahaha
We also had visits from our Area Authorities, Elders Gamiet and Cornish.  With the upcoming change in the Mission President, there is a need to do some reorganizing.  We will let you know more when we know more. 
We love and appreciate each and every one of you for your support of us here on our mission.  We are working hard to be good missionaries…Keep the Faith Brothers and Sisters; the work will go forward…
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Murdock

May 26, 2013

Hello from Jamaica
We had another good week with two service project to finish two Humanitarian Projects.
The biggest one was at Salvation Army’s Havendale School; the Boulevard Branch came out in force and worked hard.

First we moved all the desks and chairs out of the School.  The Yellow shirts are Humanitarian Helping Hands T-Shirts.

 Then they swept and mopped the Floors.

 Then they cleaned and disinfected all the desks and chairs.

 While all this was going on they painted all the doors and window shutters.

 Even the Missionaries helped.  The Missionaries even got some paint on the School, with the rest they painted each other.

 The next day we went to Spanish Town where two other Senior Missionary couples helped us organize the Emergency Humanitarian Supplies.  The Supplies are stored in a metal container (box trailer from a diesel truck) Outside it was near 100 degrees with high humidly and in the container, it was like a giant oven.  We must have sweat off at least 3 pounds.  We had to take turns working in the back of the container because it was just too hot. When we were done we went to Pizza Hut for lunch and gained back at least 4 pounds.

Larsen’s (the couple on the left) are going home to Parowan in a couple of weeks.  They have been great friends and have helped whenever we yelled for help.  We are going to miss the Larsen’s a lot.  We will have three couples go home in about a 30 day period, including the Mission President and his wife. 
The Larsen’s have been working with the Kingston and the Boulevard Branches.  The Branch members grew to love the Larsen’s and gave them a going home party.  It even included a Mackerel dinner we got two whole fish (heads tails and bones) about the size of a sardine, a Festival and a Yam Cake.

We are loving our Mission.  The second Service Project was completed by Spanish Town District President Medley, (sitting next to mom) and his Elders Quorum President.  They went to the Dunrobin Basic School and assisted with some repairs and painting to their restrooms.  Including repairs and hinges to their doors.  We will have another closing ceremony for the other Dunrobin School, (the Primary School),  next week.  We helped expand their computer/reading  lab.  We are getting closer to having the Yallahs Project ready for submission and we just heard that our Wheelchair Project with the Salvation Army was approved do we will be moving forward with that one next week as well.
Hope you all have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.  Know that we love and miss you all…but we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.  What a privilege to be able to serve the Lord in this ‘hastening of times”.   May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock

May 20, 2013

Hello Again
Hope you are all having fun and being good.  It is sad to hear about Francis Monson’s death, it will be hard for the Prophet, let’s keep him in our prayers.
We had another busy week it seems like we add two or three new tasks for every task we get done so our list just keeps getting bigger.  Here is a plug for any of you seniors who are thinking about going on a mission “Go Now”!  Forget all the excuses and just go.  As you know the Church (the Lord) has hastened the work by adding 58 new missions.  There are lots of new and even younger Elders and Sisters ready to fill Missions all over the world.  However new Seniors Missionaries are in short supply, with many who received mission calls going to the 58 new Missions.  Our Mission has five senior Missionaries going home in the next couple of months with no replacements, and as far as we know there will be none for at least six months, by that time more seniors will be going home.  It is possible there may be only two senior Missionary couples in Jamaica.  We need help if any of you are thinking about a mission please come.  We will even speak to our Mission President if you are interested in coming to Jamaica.
Back to our report. 

We have received some wheelchair parts to repair broken wheelchairs.  We are going through the parts to see what we have.  The problem is right now we have no one to repair wheelchairs for the Church.  One organization, the Salvation Army, is trying to get a wheelchair repair facility started so we hope to have something soon.  The Salvation Army has facilities all over the Island and  they are talking about setting up dates in different locations where people who have a broken wheelchairs can come for repaired.
Tracy (our wheelchair monitor) is helping us check the parts.
 This week we traveled to Ocho Rio to drop off some of the Churches Clothing to help Branch members who are in need.  The Branch President will be in charge of getting the clothing to his members.   We also delivered clothing to Port Antonio.

We were asked to present the Food Initiative to Port Antonio this Sunday.  As you know the Food Initiative helps needy members start a garden, raise broiler chickens, or layer chickens for their own use and maybe a little extra to sell to supplement their income.   Many of the members live in poverty these projects help them become self-reliant.  During the project training they receive Spiritual training, how to purchase animals, pen construction, animal feeding, Marketing, animal harvesting, how to preserve the meat, family diet and nutrition and last but definitely not least Money Management.  The training we gave at Port Antonio explained what they need to do and what information they need to gather in order to get project approval.  Under Priesthood direction they will need to fill out a baseline survey form, make a line item list of materials needed including the cost of each item, track all material, build the pens or garden area, attend all the training, etc.  In other words it is not just a giveaway they really have to work for their projects. 
This was a hard presentation the Branch is small and we needed to make sure they knew it was all up to them to do all the work.  We are worried they don’t have enough active Priesthood.  To add to this we are getting a new Mission President next month and he will have to approve the project before they can start.  This is hard because they have been waiting a long time to be able to start food project.

 When we get a chance we go for a walk on the beach.  It is really relaxing and the sound of the waves seems to wash all the worries and stress away.

We have also been working on the Yallahs Branch Project.  Just when we think we have it ready to submit we find that there is more to incorporate into it.  Now we are gathering more information about the different family situations…checking for member-nonmember ratios and that sort of thing. Plus some of the forms have been changed recently so we need to use the updated ones instead.  Everything is a process.
It was great to visit with our children on Mother’s Day.  Some called/Skyped that day others, a day or two earlier.  We heard from all but Richard.  We tried to contact him but were unable to make a connection.  Sometimes our Internet is a little shaky.  We hope he is well and that his little family is doing great.  All of our children have been such a support for us and we truly appreciate them and their efforts on our behalf.  Our daughter Lori graduated from AmeriTech with her Registered Nursing Degree and passed her State Exams and is officially an RN!!  She and her little family worked really hard to help her accomplish this.  They have moved back to St. George where Aaron is currently enrolled at Dixie so he can now resume his education and head towards his degree.  He took a four month break from school to enable Lori to finish her degree and now she will work to assist Aaron in his.
Well that is all for now.   We hope this note finds you all happy and growing in the gospel.  May your testimonies continue to increase the joy and love you have in the sure knowledge that our Savior Lives; that he is at the head of this marvelous work, and that it will move forward at an increasing rate of speed.  Our current mission president is feeling at a loss.  He and Sister Hendricks will go home the end of June.  He said that it he does not want to go home and get off this gospel train…the Lord is hastening his work for one last hard push, it is time to jump on with both feet, to be a part of this great and marvelous work which the Lord has to perform is such a tremendous blessing.  He doesn’t want to go home…to see his family yes, but not to stay there, to stop doing the Lords work as he has been doing for the past three years.  He just may be called somewhere else…
Take care and know that we love you all…
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock

Mothers Day 2013

We hope you are all having a happy Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day even though Mother ran away to Jamaica.
Here’s one reason why.  The Church donated a few computers to Salvation Army’s Havendale School.  The computers will be used by the children during the day, by teenagers and their parents in the afternoon, and by the Golden Age Group (elderly Salvation Army volunteers) in the evening.
When the project was finished we had a closing ceremony in the Salvation Army’s Chapel.  Our Mission President Hendricks and District President Medley went to the ceremony with us.

Before the meeting President Hendricks got caught playing with the kids,(touching a white person is kind of fun for the kids) while I was fixing a flat tire, (tied a shoe).

 The kids are telling each other to shush so the meeting can get started.  Each day they come to the chapel for morning devotional before they start class.  Just as we do in our homes with Scripture Study and Morning Family Prayer.  So many good people and organizations trying to help and find the truth through bible study.  The Lord is preparing his people to accept the gospel we just need to supply the teachers and the materials to help them find the truth.

 It was a great meeting I got to say the opening prayer.  Notice the words on the table cloth behind me, kind of interesting. Mostly we sang songs and danced.  Sister Murdock took some fun video but we don’t know how to attach it to the e-mails because the files are too big.  If anyone knows how we can do this please explain it to us.

 This song was called “Big Foot Little Foot”. We also sang a song that said “I Command My Hands (Head, Belly, Feet, Body) To Praise The Lord”. We sang “I Feel Fine” and one you know “If Your Happy and You Know It”…..  Mission President Hendricks joined right in.  He even sang “I have two little hands” to them.  They loved it.  (Dad even danced!  Well he swung to the left and the right anyway!) Well everyone knows white men can’t dance.

 After the ceremony we visited some of the classrooms. This one is for the Five year old children. Look at all the stories and stuff on the walls and hanging from the ceiling, just like my sister Vicky would make.  Most of the class rooms look similar to this one at this school.  Their materials are photocopied so there is enough for the students to use and to do their own work.  Captain Mitchell oversees this school and he is a very ‘hands on’ administrator.  The children love him. This is a good school, one of the best we have seen here in Jamaica.  It is clean, orderly, the children are taught by caring teachers, fed a good lunch, and a snack before going home in the afternoon.

 Here is a picture of the Computer Lab.  Salvation Army has plans to use the desk top computers to slave other dumb terminals until there a total of 30 work stations.  Captain Mitchell is very smart when it comes to computers.  He can install and maintain the system himself.  He will also train one of the older Kids in another school on this compound to do the repair and maintenance on them.  Captain Mitchell and his wife Captain Sandra and Salvation Army employees and they get assigned to different areas of the world like we send out missionaries.  They have a 3 year stay in each place.  Captain Sandra will give birth to their first child in July.  A little boy, going to be named after his father, Derrick.  He will be loved and cherished upon his arrival.  

This week has been a slower week. We did however get our air conditioners fixed yesterday.  That was a marvelous Mother’s Day Gift.  The weather is starting to warm up now.  It was 99 degrees yesterday by lunch time.  We are really thankful it has been repaired.  It took the workman about 3 hours to get everything done right.  He even cleaned out all three of them so they should be good to go for another year…we hope!
At church this morning instead of handing out the usual Mother’s Day Flowers, in the Boulevard Branch they gave all the Mothers small bags of rice, sugar, corn meal, and a large tin of peas (red beans).  If you think about it, it is the perfect gift to give them.  It will provide food for the family for several days.  What more could a poor mother want than to know there is food to eat for a while? Most of the members do ok but there are a lot who struggle to feed their families.  And there are a lot of single mothers trying to feed their little ones without any help from the fathers.
We want to wish our daughters, and daughters-in-law, as well as our women friends, a very Happy Mother’s Day.  You all are cherished in our hearts for you love you show to all those around you. 
May the Lord bless you all
Mom and Dad