October 6, 2013

Dear Family and Friends

Conference just ended and we have been lovingly fed by the leaders of Christ’s church.   What a wonderful weekend.   We had most of the senior couples at our apartment to watch the Saturday sessions of Conference on the ‘big screen’.  Thanks to the Whiteheads, the Humanitarian couple before us, our apartment was all set up and we walked into our little home away from home with all the comforts of home in place for us. Starting at the back by the door is Elder and Sister Evans, Elder Mortensen, Dad, Elder and Sister Pearson, and Sister Mortensen.  We had a pot luck dinner afterwards.  We all enjoyed watching conference together.  Today (Sunday), they all went to their respective branches to be with the members they serve with.

 Our week here has been a little different than most.  We spend several days in the Mission Office learning how to do some the work there.  Our funding for our projects was in the process of being replenished so we had some time on our hands and thought we would be useful,(or useless depending on who you talked to)and help out the office couple.  Most missions have two or sometimes three couples working in the office depending on the size of the mission.  We have one office couple and our mission has almost doubled our compliment of missionaries so that places a real strain on them.  We Love the Evans!

We don’t have a couple doing the cars or apartments our single couple do it all.  The Evans are a marvelous pair and they strive to do their best in the office.  They really know their jobs.  They know all that is going on in the mission concerning the missionaries.  With transfers coming up this week they are really busy.  I have been learning how to enter the baptisms on the CDE system and been making phone calls checking up of missionaries and putting together booklets for the new missionaries called to serve here in Jamaica.  Dad has been learning the financial side of the office.  Wow now that’s a job!!  And Pres. Brown just told Elder Cornish that he could have places to put 22 more sister missionaries, so they will really be busy when that happens.
Monday we finalized the dates for the wheelchair training with the Salvation Army and our SLC people, the Spencers and the Cullimores.  It will be the last week of January and the first week of February.  We are in the process of letting our 22 sub-partners know of the dates so they will be able to send people in for training.  Some people just need a refresher course and others will be newly trained as they may be new to the organizations we work with.  This is all done on a voluntary basis and without any pay.  The people (generally Physical Therapists, or similar occupations), do this out of the goodness of their hearts and because they see a need and no one to fill it.  Most organizations do not pay for their time or gas money.   They are too short handed, so any training and or wheelchair assessments they do is at their own expense and on their own time.  If they leave work to do a wheelchair assessment they are not paid for their time away, and they are still expected to fulfill all their normal job requirements.  Our Wheelchair Assessors really are dedicated to helping those in need.
We also had a meeting with Pres. Brown to keep him informed as to what we are doing with our Humanitarian Service.  We also discussed the new Media Communications Committee.  We had our first meeting with them last week.  They are a power packed trio of women who are very excited about their new callings.  We will be gathering information on ‘opinion leaders’ and getting to know them to help clear up some misconceptions, let them know we love and worship Jesus Christ and help the church have  more positive influence here.  It will be exciting to have a web page for our mission…maybe even a Facebook page!
We have had a good week here and hope that you were blessed as well. We have felt of our prayers on our behalf and truly appreciate and love each of you for what you do to support us here on our mission.  Everything we do becomes easier because of your love and support for us.  May the Lord bless you this coming week.
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock