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