August 24, 2014

One of the last projects we have been working on is to purchase supplies for 1100 school kits.  Priesthood leaders will organize members and take kits into worthy organizations like orphanages and schools with needy children who cannot afford the basics of life and school expenses.
 Elder Tuala (on the left) and Elder Martin are loading the supplies into our truck.
 We have had projects like this where Branch’s took hygiene kits into infirmaries, hospitals, schools and shut-in’s.  We have attached one of the reports from the Hopeton Branch Trinity Basic School project.  It is written in their own words, read it, you’ll like it.
We also participated in the Kingston Jamaica Zone Conference.  Sister Murdock and Sister Hall prepared lunch for the Missionaries.
 Elder (Seventy, General Authority and Caribbean Area President) Cornish presided over and spoke at the meeting.  He took time to shake everyone’s hand and then took about an hour to answer their questions.  It is wonderful to learn from a servant of the Lord.
We had to take a picture of the beautiful Sister Missionaries too.  They add so much love and kindness to the Mission.
A while back we told you this story.
The Kingston Branch is within the new Kingston Jamaica Stake boundaries.  The Branch did not qualify to become a Ward so they remain a Branch.  During the Branch combined Priesthood and Relief Society meeting the Branch President made a list of things they needed in order to become a Ward.  One of the main things they need is three more worthy Tithing Paying Melchezidic Priesthood holders.  They talked about having the Missionaries baptize some good men that could become priesthood holders.  They talked about reactivating in-active members through home and visiting teaching. 
Then a Young man stood up and introduced himself as a return Missionary who had been excommunicated, but had been trying to come back to church.  He tried coming to church a few times but each time no one spoke to him or encouraged him to come back.  With tears in his eyes he said I know the gospel is true and I want to come back but I need to know I have friends here someone to talk to.  Overcome with emotion he sat down.  Another young man stood up introduced himself as a return Missionary who also had been excommunicated from the church.  He bore his testimony and expressed his desire to become a better man and be re-baptized a member of the church.  He also told a similar story about not feeling welcome at church and asked the members for friendship and home teachers.  We know of one other young man from this branch with an almost identical story only he has been attending church faithfully and often volunteers for service projects and offers help where ever he can. 
Isn’t it interesting, the Branch needs three more Melchezidic Priesthood and three young men with Mission experience stand up and say “here am I pick me I’m going to need some help but I am willing to try”.  The road ahead of these three men will not be easy but with help it can be done.  We will be praying for them.
I spoke to Elder Cornish about this experience and he asked me to check up on these young men and make sure they do not fall through the cracks.   As a follow up we attended the Kingston Branch church meeting today.  The young man #1 who was attending church is still attending church with his family and has become a great strength to the Branch supporting and participating in almost all the service project and activities.  One of the other young men #2 has been attending church every Sunday with his daughter and along with the other young man supports and participates in the service projects and activities.  Today he told a story about promising the Young Men and Young Women that they would go on an activity before school started.  The week they were to go was a difficult time for him as his family was without money and could not even buy supplies for the baby.  He wanted to keep his promise but did not see how it could be done. He prayed for help then he called young man #1 and ask if he knew how they could take the Youth on their promised activity.  While talking on the phone his wife over heard the conversation and went to the kitchen and made meat patties for the outing.  In his words they received spiritual blessing soon another member came up with gas money and young man #1 drove his car and the Youth to the activity.  Everyone had a good time and the promise was kept.  The Youth speaker in Sacrament meeting was one of the Young Men who participated in the activity and he bore his testimony of the spiritual blessings received that allowed them to go on their activity and spirit of love and friendship that all the youth experience.  Both of these young men are taking steps to being baptized.
This week we have been busy cleaning and getting the apartment ready for the next Senior Missionary Couple who will be replacing us, the Whiteheads. Today they are on the road to Salt Lake from their Idaho home. They will fly out early tomorrow morning and we will pick them up from the Norman Manley Kingston Airport tomorrow night. What a great couple they are. We have had the privilege of following in their footsteps and now they will continue in ours as the work of the Lord moves forward.
 If there is anyone of you who is reading this missive, and feels the spirit prompting you to consider a mission; we urge you to act upon that prompting. The world has need of willing men and women who will wear the workers seal. Those with faith to put their footsteps in the Lords pathway, to be of assistance to others who are struggling to find their way.  The work is hard, but the blessings come daily.  Ask any Returned Missionary young or senior, they will testify of the many instances where the Spirit has guided them in the tasks they were asked to perform. They have grown in faith, testimony, and knowledge. Their hearts have been changed to be more loving and patient. It is a decision none of the regret.  Does that make us or them perfect? No, but it makes us more aware of our thoughts and actions, more aware of our complacency. It helps us see the path we want to take more clearly. The closer we align our will with our Heavenly Father’s will the happier we become as individuals, families, cities, states and a nation.
May the Lord bless you all…
See you soon
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Murdock