September 8, 2013

Jamaica, Out of Many, One Land, One Love
This is a slogan we see all over the Island.  It talks of many people coming to one land and the love of Jamaica.  There is a great national pride here.
This week we have had seven different meetings with Branch Presidents from Spanish Town 1 & Spanish Town 2, Portmore and District President Medley and President Ulett from the Mission Presidency.  We have been going over the Building Self-Reliance and Eliminating Poverty again with each on an individual basis, so that we could get their ideas as to how to implement this massive program.  Getting to know how the schools, communities, and governments run and how they interrelate with each other has been a challenge.   But with the help of the Jamaican members we are starting to gather a list of where the members can go to get individual help to overcome their separate issues with poverty.  Brother and Sister Banhan, our Education and Employment Specialists, are a marvelous help in getting a lot of the leg work done.  Utilizing the local Priesthood will also help build Self-Reliance here.  Our Short Term Specialist’s in SLC, the Cullimore’s, have likened it to ‘cutting up the elephant into small size chunks’.  I fear they may be right!! It is a large program with many aspects and possible solutions.  But the need here is so great if we don’t start somewhere the problem never goes away.
We also meet with President Evans from the Yallahs Branch to discuss some questions Welfare Authorities in SLC have about their the Food Projects (Raising Chickens) that has been submitted for approval.
The Mortensen’s have been getting settled in their apartment up above us.   It has been fun getting to know them.  They have been on their mission 2 months longer than we have, but because they were in Lindstead we really didn’t see them very much.  Now we are happily getting to know them better.  We took them yesterday (Saturday), to the shoreline by Rocky Fort on the airport road.  Sister Mortensen gathered so many shells to bring back with her that we had to start leaving stashes of them and picked them up on our way back to the truck.  We enjoyed a lunch together before returning home to get back to work.
We are still waiting to find out the status of the Yallahs and the Singram Medical Services Projects.  They have been submitted but no word on them yet.  We are anxious to find out if they will be approved or not.
We have found a new Jamaican favorite ‘Mango Smoothies’.  They are all natural with no sugar just Apple juice, pineapple juice, ice and Mango’s.  Here in Jamaica they have many types of mangos some are large like this one and others are only pear size.  We make smoothies every chance get they are great on a hot day and every day is hot here.

Well it is late and we are ready to end the day.  We pray for you all constantly.  We love each of you and ask that the Lord will bless your efforts in serving Him and in all righteous endeavors.  Take care dear family and friends…
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock