April 27, 2014

We really had a fun time visiting with Carma, Vicky and Virgil this past week.  We took them up to Ocho Rios and did a few tourist things. We walked through this park and went to the Craft Market and visited with John John and some of the other vendors we know there. They were real helpful in finding the treasures we were looking for. One lady even ran all over the market looking for one specific item for Dad. After the bartering was done he ended up with 3 of them! She was a real trooper in our hot and humid climate! He was having a good of a time in there. 
 We had President Lester of the Ocho Rios Branch cook a traditional Jamaican meal of Brown Stewed Chicken, steamed vegetables, and Rice and Peas. He cooked it over a fire outside and in back of his house. He raised the chickens himself. He firmly believes in being self-reliant and started his chicken coop by himself by saving his money to purchase his first chicks and finding scrap materials to build his coop.  He is a very resourceful man. The second picture shows his cooking the chicken in a large pot over the fire.

 His son Peter even helped pluck the chicken.  The man on the right is someone who Pres. Lester has sold some chickens to and he came to prepare his own chickens to take home. They even save the feet of the Birds to make chicken foot soup…it tastes really good!

 President Lester has quite the yard. He even has his own chocolate tree!  Inside that pod are many cocoa beans.  Too bad we can’t get this tree to grow in my backyard!
  Carma, Vicky, and Virgil stayed in this lovely place. Since it had a big table we came to their place to have breakfast to start each day. Dad and I stayed in a different room in this complex. We went out their front door to the road and then started down 72 steps and around the pool area to get to our room. It was quite a hike traversing those steps but we enjoyed it.
 On our last day here we saw this man coming up the drive with his catch of the morning.  The colors on the fish were amazing! Some were pink, red, green and blue. They were really beautiful.  He planned on selling them to someone farther up in the housing complex.
 We did get time for a little swim in the Caribbean Sea. The weather cooperated and the rain held off until well after we were done here.
It was hard to send them home on the airplane. We love and miss our families so much, but the Lord still has some work for us to do here.

The temple trip for the Jamaican members was a great success. The youth had an Area YSA Conference and were able to do baptisms for the dead. We had temple marriages performed, and had families sealed together. It was a marvelous experience for them. They had so many attend that they not only filled the chartered flight full but they had to have some go on a commercial flight too. What a glorious opportunity for all involved. Next we are looking forward to the organization on the first Stake in Jamaica, just about 5 weeks away!
Take care dear family and friends, know that we love and pray for you all…
Mom and Dad
E.S Murdock
P.S. Dad got his new glasses and they are helping quite a bit!! Still no driving after dark but at least in the daylight he can see clearly now!! What a blessing…