March 30, 2014

What’s happening in Jamaica?
Last week we had the Hunsaker’s and the Harris’s here doing a vision project.  Sister Harris is in the orange skirt and Sister Hunsaker is in the red print.  We were going to take a picture of the three of us when one lone primary child came by. Well Sister Harris is the primary president in her ward at home so that child was invited to be inn or picture…one child led to another and before we had taken 6 other pictures there was only one child left out so we had to do one more picture to get the little one with the tie on too!  This at the May Pen Chapel Sunday March 23, 2014.
 We met with the F.I.S.H. (Foundation for International Self Help) last week. We were waiting in their board room for the Executive Director Anton Thompson.  He runs this foundation for the poor and the needy in Jamaica.  It started out as an eye clinic but now it includes a dental and medical facility with its own pharmacy. It is small but they do a lot of good work here. They have a part time ophthalmologist who comes twice a week to do eye exams.  He does his surgeries at Kingston Public Hospital. We will do the Vision Project with Kingston Public Hospital, KPH, and the ophthalmologist at Fish will benefit from this as well.  Drs. Hunsaker (Cataracts and Glaucoma) and Harris (Optical Plastics) have gone home now and they will write up the project and, if all go well, they will be back in August.  The project may include some training of the ophthalmologists, some Church donated equipment, and some medical procedures done at KPH to increase ability, knowledge and experience of the Drs. there.  That is an over simplification of the process but you probably don’t want to hear all of the details anyway…
 Wednesday was transfer day!! We picked up a couple of elders at the mission office and took them to Spanish town and then continued on to May Pen to pick up the elders there and brought them back to Spanish Town. Then after the Transfer meeting we picked up these lovely Sisters Walker, Gill and Woolf, and took them to their new area in Mandeville.  All of these were short hops to it wasn’t too long of a day and we were home by 8:30 pm.  Sister Gill is a new missionary and these sisters get to be a trio for a while. They were bubbly, happy and excited for the adventure together.  Sister Woolf is the Trainer for Sister Gill.
 The picture below is of the waiting room at the eye clinic at KPH. These people all filled out their applications to be seen by one of the eye care givers and are crowding up to the reception desk to hear if their name is going to be called out so they can see the Drs. this morning. There were about fifty of them who were the lucky ones today…  You can see Sister Murdock Under the TV near the front of the line trying to let the Director know we were there.
 Doctor Hunsaker and Doctor Lue are looking at one of the machines in the eye clinic that is not working.  It only needs a part (a special one of course) and Dr. Hunsaker is taking down all of the information so hopefully he will be able to bring one back in August.  They will also be bringing some other specialized equipment to help this hospital be able to facilitate the vision needs of the people they see every day.  This clinic runs 6 days a week all year long with just a few ophthalmologists and nurses. They do have some residents and they will be included in the training.
 I have been having some trouble with my eyes.  They have been getting hard to see out of.  I have known they were getting bad for a long time now.   It hard for me to drive at night and my vision is blurry so driving has become a problem.  Especially since we drive so much to get to all our projects.  I got worried because I did not know what was causing my eyes to get so bad and I was beginning to think we may have to cut our mission short.   I really did not want to go home yet; we have so much to do and just a short time to do it all in.  All night I prayed and worried what should be done fearing I may even lose my sight entirely.  Instantly I knew Satan was putting these fears in my mind and he was working to destroy our mission.   The next morning we went to the Mission office and President Brown was there. He asked if I was OK.  I try not to give him any more problems than he already has.  So I reluctantly I told him about my eyes.  The first thing he said was that maybe I should go home and get them fixed.  I’m not a man that cries much but I cried  “I don’t want to go home, there is too much work to do”.  He called in Elder Mortensen and they gave me a blessing.   I wish I had as much of the spirit as he has, the Holy Ghost speaks to him and things just flow from his lips.  He blessed me that I would be able to complete our Mission and that the doctor would give me some glasses that would help me see until it was time to go home. Then he said this was not a blessing but a promise given by the spirit of revelation.  I received many other blessing and promises during that blessing that he gave me.  If it were possible it gave me more determination to go forward and serve diligently to accomplish all that the Savior would have us do here in Jamaica.

In all this I think the Lord was trying to teach me how important the work we are doing is.  Remember we are trying to set up a vision program to help the poor receive vision care.  Now I know how desperate they feel thinking they are losing their sight and don’t have the money or ability to get the care they need.
Doctor Hunsaker got permission to use one of KPH’s machines to check my eyes.  He found I have cataracts and that I would need surgery to repair my eyes.  He said I should be able to get glasses to correct my vision long enough to complete our mission.  We went to the optometrist and she said new glass could correct my vision to 20/25 which is really good.  So the glasses are ordered and the world will be clear again.
Thanks President Brown and Doctor Hunsaker. The Picture below is at South Avenue Grill where we had lunch with President and Sister Brown this is one of our favorite places to go for a great meal.
We have had so many tender mercies from the Lord but this blessing was so powerful…our testimonies have increased and our love and of the Lord and Pres. Brown has grown yet again.  What a marvelous experience this is…it is not always easy being a missionary, but the benefits far outweigh any inconvenience.  Each time we think we are sacrificing our time away from our family we are blessed beyond measure, we are always in debt to the Lord.  What a wonderful time to be in His service.

This past week we had three events: Rob Larsen, who is Katie’s husband and Canyon Larsen her son both had birthdays and our granddaughter Bodi Bitton, Richards Daughter celebrated her 1st wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them all and we wish them the Lords sweetest blessings in their lives. We are sorry we have missed these mile stones in your lives but we will be home soon enough…
Love to you all
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock