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