August 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends
Well we have begun the process of starting our Building Self-Reliance and & Eliminating Poverty program.   We presented it to the Spanish Town District Branch Presidents in a meeting last Saturday.  This week we are visiting each Branch President on an individual basis, to get a more personal one on one response about their ideas.  Sometimes it is more comfortable to express yourself when you don’t have to worry what the others may think of your ideas.  This past week we visited with President Stewart of the Kingston Branch.  He is a wonderful man who loves his members and truly wants what is best for them. He has presented us with a few ideas to incorporate into the plan.  This will be all accomplished with the help of the Branch Presidents selecting a few of the members he feels would benefit from the program.  Then they will interview each head of household to help them determine a plan that will help that particular family.   Working with the Branch Council and the Home and Visiting Teachers, they will keep track of these individuals to help inspire and keep track of their progress as they work towards being independent of outside support and more capable of acquiring and holding a job that will support their families.  There is much to do and it will be a blessing to help them along their path to success.  As we were sitting in the foyer of this building there were no fans or AC.  It felt about 110 degrees with the humidity.  Dad and I were sweating rivers and President Stewart never broke a sweat!  Not sure how they do it but they don’t seem to sweat that much.  We finally opened the outside door (yeah I should have thought of that earlier right?) and the breeze felt heavenly!!
 And Boulevard Branch the Boulevard Branch President Hamilton meeting went much cooler.  We had the AC cranked up and the overhead fan going on high speed!!  It felt so good!!!!  President Hamilton also had some excellent ideas on literacy classes and employment opportunities with his company.  He will call the Education/Employment couple and let them know.  We will be getting an Employment Specialist for Jamaica soon.  We are hoping by the end of the year.  More exciting news for next year is hopefully in our Jamaican future as well.  Can’t wait!!
 This gentleman lives outside the fence of the Boulevard / Constant Springs Branch.   While we were waiting for President Hamilton to arrive he packed up all his belongings and cleaned up the area. He was so meticulous in his packing and the cleaning of his little area. When he left there was no evidence he had been there except the flat spot where he slept.   He returns every evening to set up his home again and to sleep on his cardboard mats.  
 The picture below is of the Medical Meeting we had with the Area Medical Specialist Dr. Walker.  Sitting around the table starting at the left is Sister Brown Mission Presidents wife. She is in charge of the missionary’s health. Next to her is Sister Thompson. She works at the Ministry of Health.  So she was able to bring a lot of information as to what medical facilities were available here and where they were located at.  Then there is Craig Graham and his wife Dr. Sinclair-Graham.  He is the director of medical services in the Singram Medical Office.  Dr. Sinclair-Graham knows the hospitals and some of the Dr’s. who work there and what services are offered at what hospital.  Then we have Tracy Anderson. She is our Wheelchair specialist and next to her are Dr. Walker and his wife and then dad.    This meeting was quite beneficial in ascertaining which places Dr. Walker wanted to see.  After about three days we discovered several places that he felt comfortable taking the missionaries to if a medical need arose.  He said that Jamaica is better off medically than the Dominican Republic was as far as what medical services he would feel good about sending our missionaries, young and old, too.
Well I guess that is all for now. 
Just remember to keep the faith and as Elder Holland said ‘catch the wave’ of missionary service.  Not everyone can go in a mission but everyone can be a missionary.  The time for sitting back and waiting or someone else to do the job is past.  The Lord needs you up and participating in your part wherever you are living.  Missionary work is not always easy but it’s always worth it.  You will be blessed for your efforts.  Start in your own homes and then your neighborhoods and then your ward.  “There is work enough to do ere the sun goes down…”
Know that we love each of you and feel of your love and prayers.  Keep them coming as we sure need them.    Happy birthday to our sweet Marci this past week.   We love you all…
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock