January 20, 2014

Morning, Morning
Our neighbor and good friend Ron Beason saw a young girl in a magazine who lived in a foreign country and she needed help.  This little girl is happy and has a good family but she looks like the little girl in the magazine and we are helping.  Her family received this coop 100 broiler chickens and some feed to try to help her family become self-reliant. The Church gives them a good start and they provide the work to help their family
 Her home is one at the back on the left.  There are several different family members living in this group of homes.
 The Yallahs Branch is just starting to build its chicken coops.  But first we had to order the lumber.  This is DJ’s Lumber, a little different from Larsen’s ACE Hardware where I used to work.  You cannot touch the merchandise but you can look at it through the wire mesh and point at what you want.  This does a pretty good job of cutting down on shop lifting. You pay through the little slots in the wire.
 Then you go back and wait for the material to be delivered.  We ordered it several days ago and went to the Yallahs chapel to wait for the delivery.  In the picture, on the left, you can see Elder Stuart from Woodruff Utah.  He is the Branch President, and his companion Elder Matthewson.  He is from Las Vegas but his parents have recently moved to St. George.  There are various branch members in this picture waiting around with us.  As the time for the delivery approached move members came.
 Then the building started.  George is a carpenter and our chicken coop building leader.  Most of the people were women.  George did an excellent job of helping them understand what they needed to do.  First he drew a picture of the coop on a chalk board and showed them where each board need to go.  The he cut the boards and laid it where it needed to be then he handed them a hammer and some nails and let them have at it.   Most of the women had never hammered a nail before but when they tried all the others would cheer them on and shout in glee when the nail was driven in place.  They were a hard working fun group and they were laughing and giggling all the time.  One time one of the sisters asked me how two remove the wood from a dado cut in to a board.  Well it felt good to do some woodworking again.  Maybe a little too good she finally pried the hammer from my hands a gently bumped me out of the way so she could get back to work.  It is hard to sit and watch when you so badly want to get up and swing a hammer yourself. But these people need to do the work so they have a vested interest in their projects.  The branch will build all of the coops before anyone gets any chickens.  That way everyone will help so they can get their chickens.  It also helps them to learn to love each other by serving each other. The old adage “You love who you Serve” is really true.  It was such a marvelous blessing to see them come together and help each other.
 This sister was very shy and timid but she got up and took her turn at hammering in a nail.  All the other sisters stopped what they were doing and cheered her on and sang her praises when the nail was all the way in.  Then this seventy six year old girl beamed from ear to ear.  She is the one with the green dress in the center of the picture.
 When it was time for us to go we took a group picture.  The Yallahs Branch had a great time working together and helping each other out.  It was a great day and one of the finest projects we have worked on.  The missionary couple on the right of the picture is the Evans.  They work in our Mission Office.  Without them we would be lost.  Elder Evans also served as Branch President here in Yallahs for 15 months before being released. They will be heading home to Arizona the first week of February. He really enjoyed coming back to visit these sweet people.  Elder Stuart will serve here until it is time for him to return home in May of this year.  By then we are hoping there will be a Jamaican who can serve as Branch President.
It has been a busy week and the next few weeks promise to be even more so.  I remember Sister Marjory Hinckley saying that when she got to heaven she didn’t want to arrive in a fancy car with a beautiful young body, looking like she just walked out of the beauty parlor…she wanted to get there completely worn out, driving an old station wagon, and barely able to walk.  She wanted to be worn out working for the Lord.  I am beginning to get a better understanding of the sentiment…

Take care our precious family and friends, we love you all
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Murdock