August 25, 2013

This weekend we went to Montego Bay.We visited with the branch members there about the Food Initiative Projects. The ‘Mo Bay’ Branch is a mission dependent branch.  Basically that means they are far enough away from the two districts on the Island that they don’t have anyone to help support them but the mission itself.  They do have young missionaries stationed there but they report to the mission president directly, not to a district president.  It also means they do everything by themselves.  The Mo Bay Branch is a pretty strong branch.  They have a really dynamic branch president, President Lee.  He has a really loud voice and doesn’t often use the microphone when he speaks in Sacrament Meeting.  He can really talk to the members on a one on one basis right from the pulpit.  He does not single out anyone but he is a great motivator for his members.  They love him a lot.  We went here thinking we were going to have a meeting with him to get them started on the paper work so they could move forward to getting some small animal projects started.   Actually they had already filled out the application forms and these are the people who will hopefully be participating.  We ended up with explaining how the program works, what is expected of their priesthood leadership, what is expected of them as recipients of the projects and what each project entails.  Needless to say they were very happy to have this opportunity to help themselves to better their families ability to be more self reliant.

 The picture below is of Bro. Grant.  He is the second counselor in the branch.  He was here in place of Pres. Lee who had to work this day.  He was really well informed on the Food Initiative and only had a few questions before the meeting started and a few more afterwards.  These members in this branch had some questions about how to help others who were not able to participate now but who still need help.  They decided they could help by donating some of their projects (aka chickens) after they were better established, to help others get started in new projects.  If everyone helped out by donating a few chicks it wouldn’t hurt anyone financially but it would be helping others.  Then the newest one would in turn pay it forward helping in the same way to others.  That is how true members of the gospel of Jesus Christ think.  We have six mission dependent branches here in Jamaica.  Not all are like this one but this is a good example for all of us

 The Picture below is of your dad doing the ‘time off pose’.  We took three days off and went to the beach.  We swam and snorkeled and walked about 5 miles.  We slept in till 7 am and I didn’t have to cook or do dishes or make bed the whole time.  We did have a meeting with the Montego Bay Branch during this time but the rest of it was spent just relaxing.  Sunday we went to church in Lindstead but was not able to visit with the Branch President there.  He was needed in Spanish Town for a water emergency they were having there.   We will have to try again soon.

 This is just me in all my glory waiting for dinner.  Personally I didn’t want dad to add this picture but he insisted…

 This picture is in Ocho Rios below the Hibiscus Hotel.  The cement you can see on the bottom left is the stairway up to the Hotel.  Dad had a blast snorkeling here.

 These pictures are all right along the area at base of the steps.

 More Fish

It was good to take a few days and replenish our energy and our spirits.  But with that said we were glad to get back home.  We like our apartment and feel most comfortable here.  This next week will be a busy one. Much going on and much to do.
Take care dear family and friends and know that you are loved and that we pray for you all daily.  The gospel is true, the time is hastening and we are happy to be here serving the Lord.
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock