September 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to Sister Murdock
Well Monday was my birthday and we decided to throw a party!!!  We called all the senior missionaries together and we had dinner at the South Avenue Grill.  It was an enjoyable evening, as it always is, whenever we spend time together with the other missionaries.  Not too many knew it was my birthday when we called them, we just love getting together whenever we can.  It was a good night.
The picture below is of our visit to Captain Mitchell’s family to see their new Baby.  They have become our good friends and couldn’t wait to show off their new baby.  Little Derrick will be two months old on September 3rd.  He is a chunk and the sweetest baby. He was yawning and quickly fell asleep.  Captain Mitchell said he sleeps wonderfully during the day and keeps them up all night!  Apparently he has quite a set of lungs!  We work a lot with the Mitchells and treasure their friendship.  What great people we get to associate with.  Now if we could just convince them to read the Book of Mormon!  Captain Mitchell works for the Salvation Army and is a valuable partner with us.  They are expecting their first shipment of wheelchairs in a few months.  They have Salvation Army outlets all over Jamaica and will distribute the chairs for us to needy people.
Below is a picture of their whole family.  Captain Derrick Mitchell, Baby Derrick, Serina, who is 3 years old, and Captain Sandra Mitchell.  They are truly a wonderful family.  The Salvation Army has a great asset in these people.  They do Humanitarian Service for the S.A.
We didn’t get to participate in the normal transfers of young elders and sisters this month.  But we did get to move the Mortensen’s from Linstead into our apartment complex.  So we have new neighbors!! Yay!!  They will be helping in the Boulevard and the Port Antonio Branches for the next 10 months.  For those who know the island, that is quite a stretch of traveling they will be doing every other week.  It is a 2 hour ride to Port Antonio… one way.  They will be racking up the mileage on their truck!  Sister Mortensen said she felt like the Beverly Hillbilly’s,  all she needed was a rocking chair on the top!  They will be wonderful neighbors.  They live upstairs and at the other end of the building.  We excited to have them so close.  We are discussing having a regular FHE with them and the Evans who live across the street, each week now that we are close.  The Evans promised me popcorn so that sealed that deal!
It kind of looked like the Beverly Hillbillies but we made the hour long trip down narrow twisty canyon roads in one peace.  The Mortensen’s stayed with us for the night because they didn’t have any electricity in their apartment yet.  They thought they would end up staying another night but at the end of day on Thursday they were notified that they had electricity.   This is the first time they’ve had hot water since they started serving their mission.  It really wasn’t too bad though.  The cold water here is pretty warm anyway.   I was making cookies and so we called the Evans over and celebrated together having new neighbors.
On Saturday we drove to Port Antonio to show the Mortensen’s the Branch they will be working in.  It was a hard trip we had to drive through beautiful jungle and along the coast on both sides of the Island.  Man it was rough!  Especially for Dad, he got to sit and relax while Elder Mortensen did all the driving, a rare privilege for dad.

We also fed the two sets of Elders in the Kingston Branch this past week.  I told them that if they got their apartment cleaned up before transfers last Wednesday, I would cook for them.  I was told I wouldn’t have to twist anybody’s arm; they would have their apartment clean for the new elders.  These four elders used to live in two houses but now they are combined into one home.  They had a lot of organizing and cleaning to do in order to have a home cooked meal.  They are really had to work hard to get it all done.
As far as mission news goes. Elder Barker is now the Branch President in Negril, and Elder Gale who just returned home from his mission will be the Junction Branch President.  (He is Jamaican for those who don’t know).  It will be good to have local leadership for this branch.  There are more changes but we haven’t been told of all of them yet.  We will report next week when we find out more.