March 24, 2013

Dear Family and friends:
Sorry this letter is late but we have been traveling a lot!  We have been Junction, Lindstead, Ocho Rios, St Ann’s, Port Antonio and Port Maria.  We have been working on the Wheel  Chair Program and checking on how the Assessors and their Organizations are doing.  It has been a while since they have been contacted and we are trying to get things up to date.  There are 22 organizations and assessors to visit and see how they are.  It takes time but we are whittling away at them and will have them finished up this week.  Once that is done there is more paperwork to do.  It seems we are always doing reports on something!  It has been nice to travel the island but tiring for Rex…he does the driving. I just hang on as we go up winding, narrow mountain roads.
On Sunday the 17th we planned to go to Old Harbour but in the morning Rex felt we should call President Piper in the Mandeville district and visit with him.  When we got a hold of him he was traveling to Junction.  He was so excited to hear from us, and would meet us after services in Junction.  He said he way pleading with the Lord for a solution to a problem and then we called. He hoped we could help him.  So we hurried and left our apartment and headed that direction. We knew we would be late and not be able to partake of the Sacrament so we stopped in Hopeton on the way.  There we ran into Elder and Sister Wright (from Junction), who were going to speak in Hopeton, so we said we would listen to their talks and continue on to Junction.  As we were visiting in the parking lot President and Sister Hendricks pulled up.  He needed to do some interviews in Hopeton.  Of course he spoke for a few minutes as well.  After sacrament meeting we were going to head out when Wrights invited us  and Pres. Piper  for dinner at their apartment just a few blocks from the Junction Chapel.  So off we went to Junction for Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society meetings. As we were meeting with Pres. Piper after the meetings in Junction, he was thrilled with the new “member short term projects” that are available for members to help them get the training and jobs they so desperately need.  It was what he had been pleading with the Lord for that very morning when we called.   It was more than one of those ‘lovely coincidences’, he prayed us there.  You can always feel the Lords love for his children in all we do.
The rest of the week was spent in traveling and catching up on the little necessities of life.  You know the things that never go away…dishes and laundry, oh and now I can add reports to the list!
 Our visits to the Wheel Chair Assessors and their organizations (hospitals, care facilities etc.), has been going well.  There are a couple organizations that are no longer doing it and a couple more that cannot fulfill the church’s requirements in doing the Assessments and Fittings.  If the fittings are not completed after the assessment, we could be causing more health problems for the very people we desire to help.  When a patient is not fitted properly to the chair they can develop bed and pressure sores.  The Church wants to do good, not cause harm, if we cannot do this right, we will be causing more harm, and that is just not acceptable.  Most of the problems for the organizations are because there are just not enough resources for the organizations to do what is necessary.  Most of the Assessors are traveling at their own expense and on their own time, as the places they work for cannot supply a vehicle or the gas money to travel.  Their budgets are so tight and the need so great, that the staff members  have multiple jobs to perform, and the time is just not there to do everything, so they have to pick and choose.  We hate to lose a single one but we understand their dilemma as well.    We are supposed to have a shipment of wheelchairs in port now and are waiting for them to clear customs.  Another order of chairs should be on its way sometime this summer.  Then we will have a “Refresher Course” for those Assessors who were trained two years ago and a new training for those are interested in doing this for new organizations or replacing someone who has left their positions at their organization.
Our oldest granddaughter Bodi Murdock was married on the 23rd and we are so filled with joy for her, her new husband and of course for her family.  She begins the fourth generation of our family to be married in the Manti Temple.

Ok now for a few pictures! Yay!!!  This one is in Fern Gully on our way to Ohco Rios.  This is a Jack in the Bush.  I don’t know if that is the guys name or what but we stopped at his “vending shop” by the side of the road when we saw him flapping his wings.  Just couldn’t resist a picture.
This one is in Fern Gully on our way to Ohco Rios.  This is a Jack in the Bush.  I don’t know if that is the guys name or what but we stopped at his “vending shop” by the side of the road when we saw him flapping his wings.  Just couldn’t resist a picture.

We drove past the Columbus Park.  In 1494 Columbus sailed into Discovery Bay in Jamaica.  There was a Tally Machine here where the Indians would carry their bananas on the ships to sell and the tally machine would give them a slip of paper.  At the end of the day they would take their Tally Slips and collect their pay.  This is what happens when you aren’t paying attention to the guide.

This is the Chapel in Ocho Rios.  You went up a long stair way and into the rented building.  It is a great little branch. Branch Pres. Lester has only been a member for 2 years

This is one of our Wheel Chair recipients. He has been in the hospital for a little while to take care of some illness he has been suffering from.  He said his chair is waiting for him at home. He is excited to go home so he can get moving again.

We saw this sign on our way to one of the Wheel Chair Assessors we were meeting with.  It made us chuckle…

We spotted this guy from the road with another row of Vending shops.  He was there just for the tourists to take a picture….for a fee of course.
The work moves forward.  The Lord blesses us daily and we are so thankful for all of you.  Your love and support mean everything to us.  We need your prayers daily.  Stay true to the faith…hold to the rod…
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Murdock