October 13, 2013

Hello again!
Well this week has been a little different other than lots more computer work.  We got an invitation from Pres. Brown last Monday to take one of the missionaries to Montego Bay.  The Missionary was Elder Stuart who is serving in Yallahs, (east end of island) and needed to be taken to Montego Bay, (west end and on the north side of island).  That would have entailed a twelve + hour drive in one day to accomplish what needed to be done, so we made a two day trip of it.  Elder Stuart and his companion were involved in a traffic accident in Mo. Bay.  He ran a red light and hit a car, the Elders were not hurt but 3 Jamaicans in the other car ended up hospitalized.  We were there to deliver him for his court date and give support.  The church provided the lawyer.  The missionaries have all been praying for Elder Stuart and for the people who were hurt.  He was charged with Dangerous Driving which carries a fine of $20,000.00 (Jamaican Dollars, about 200. U.S.); and a possible jail term, so you can see how serious it was.   Elder Stewart put on a good face but he was one very scared young man.  We prayed with him and did everything we could to reassure him and make him feel better.  When we arrived at the court house, there was a huge line with over 100 people waiting to see the Judge.  We thought, oh man this is going to take all day…but the lawyer said just to wait for a minute and she will come back and get us.  In less than that time she was back and issued us into the court room.  When the Judge heard the case she asked the lawyer why ‘Mr. Stuart’ was in Jamaica.  She explained about the missionaries and how they are here for 2 years serving Jamaican people and pay all expenses by themselves.  It was also brought up that the Elders went right to the hospital and gave blessings to the injured parties and talked about the gospel.   We were hoping to get the charge reduced to Wreckless Driving because of bad weather conditions.  It was pouring down rain and the truck hydroplaned through a red light. But the judge reduced the charge to Careless Driving a non-criminal charge.  She stated the fine would be $6,000.00 and asked if Mr. Stuart had that much money.  He said ‘No’.  The Judge then asked how much money he had and he took out his wallet and said $3500.00. The Judge said that would be enough.  So he paid the fine and left the court as soon as possible.  It was absolute proof that the Lord watches over his missionaries.   Even the arresting officer (who phoned in) agreed with the lowered fine and no jail time.  We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing Elder Stuart in this matter.  He is a great young Elder who was anxious to get back to his missionary work.  He told us that two days of not doing missionary work was just too much time off.  He was so glad to get back to Yallahs.  We were glad to have him with us as we had a flat tire just past Bull Bay on the way to Yallahs!  His young muscles and agile body to crawl under the truck and get the spare tire out was a blessing to us.  We really appreciated his helping hands.  He was so full of joy all the way home.  We also had about four or five locals stop to see if we needed any more help.  Even a Detective Sargent with the Jamaican Police stopped to make sure we were ok.  We all were glad to get back to our missionary work.

We made a stop at Discovery Bay and had lunch at Columbus Park (great Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork) on the way home.  Elder Stuart was busy talking to all the people around us. Even the Pirates.  He did get a commitment from our waitress to go to the Ocho Rios Branch for church, such a good Elder.  Our mission is full of really wonderful, special, missionaries. Elder Stuart is from Woodruff Utah and has been on his mission about 17 months now.

 The place we stayed at was up on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  The sunsets are always pretty here.  There was no time to enjoy the Beach or the town.  However we did take a little walk and took some pictures before going sleep.

 It also overlooks Doctors Cave Beach. It is a local attraction that a lot of the tourists use too.

 Outside of our Hotel you can see the ‘bush’. It is hard to keep back the growth, but it sure is pretty to look at.

 When we first got to Mo Bay we met the Zone Leaders and the Mo Bay Elders at the Mo Bay Chapel.  We left Elder Stuart in their capable hands and headed to our hotel.  We picked him back up Tuesday morning in time to go to court.

The picture below is of Mr. Martin and Bro. Graham from the Kingston Branch.  They are working on an Elders Quorum service project to help one of the members get a roof on his house.  It was good to see the Priesthood at work and to see Jamaican members help each other out.  Life is a lot tougher here so I will tell you about this service project and hope you can understand a little more about what it is like to be a Jamaican church member.
A Branch member lost his home so the other members found him a new home.  The home is not finished just a little building 10’ X 12’ cinder block home with walls but no roof.  One of the members had a tarp so they put that up for a temporary roof.
They have struggled for several weeks to try to get enough materials and money for a new roof.   It has taken some time to gather up what they need but we are so proud of them for doing it the right way.  They need 16= 2X4’s for rafters.    Members donated 4= 2X4’s.  Some Zinc (Corrugated steel) for the roof.  Members Donated or promised to donate $8,000 or ($80. U.S.).  It will cost another 10,000 Jamaican to buy the rest of the zinc to finish the project.  The Branch President believes he can help with some Branch Money.  Lots of Branch Members are going to donate the labor.  The Mission is donating an old missionary mattress.  It may seem like a simple thing for you to think about and do at home but here; ‘service’ to others is a difficult concept and money is very hard to come by.   Bro. Graham and his family are new to the branch and he is really helping them get together and help each other out

The Primary presented their Sacrament Meeting today in the Kingston Branch.  They had five children participate.  Four gave talks, one was too shy to give his talk, and they all sang.  It is so fun to watch the children.  They are not shy about singing right into the microphone and they will push the others away to get there!!  They really did a good job.   Mom got a hug from all of them when Sacrament meeting was over.
We love you all and hope you are doing well.