July 29, 2014

Health Fair
This week we have been working with Sister Langley and her Stake Committee on the 2nd Annual Health Fair sponsored by the Church branches/wards in Kingston. Sister Langley is a marvelous lady and gives so much of her time and talents to serving the members here.
 School kits
Another project we have been working on is the School Kits.  We are getting quotations and pro formas (bids) for the supplies and will have a service project, probably with the youth in the Stake, to put them together. We will work with Sister Langley with this one too. The picture below is with Dad and Mr. Palmer who works at Campbell Office Supply. We will get a quotation from another business as well and see who will be able to get us what we need at the right price.  These school kits will be given out to the lower income school students who truly have a need for them.  It is amazing what we have noticed in the schools here in Jamaica. The teachers really strive to teach the students who have minimal supplies or no supplies. They are heroes in our book. All schools have tuition here and the students are required to have at least 2 school uniforms each. They need to supply all their own paper, pencils, and composition books. The teacher will have access to a teaching manual and she will photocopy the assignments for the students. They are very ingenious in getting what they need for the least amount of money, insuring that it goes to serve the most students.
You can see the samples of merchandise behind the glass display box’s. You seldom go and pick up what you want. You give them an order and they will fill it and bring it out to you.  Each business must guard their merchandise to prevent theft.  Larger grocery stores are the exception but they will inspect your receipt against what is in your cart.
 Feeding the Elders
It has been a while since we have fed the Elders so we invited them over for dinner. Standing at the back and moving clockwise we have Elder Henderson, Elder Martin, Elder Dawkins and then Elder Campbell…Man can these Elders eat!!! Gotta love it when the pot is empty when they are done eating.  They are marvelous Elders and we love them all.
 On our walk with Halls we saw cactus on the roof
As we go for our walks along the beach Dad noticed the roof of this abandoned building...there is barrel cactus and other cactus growing up there.  I guess the wind has blown enough sand up there to support life.  We are in a serious drought here too. We have been told that Kingston has a 30 day supply of water. If it does not rain soon we will have to buy water from other parts of the island.  Not a cheap venture but it is beginning to look like it is in our future. We have been reminding all the Missionaries to make sure their emergency water supply is filled so they will have what they need. We are encouraging at least a 3 day (72 hr) emergency supply. Also enough food for 3 days too.  Our apartment complex was without water last week. for 3 ½ days. When it came back on it came out of the spigot brown. Even now we are to cut back on all water usage. Needless to say we are praying for rain!Teaching Anthony
 Teaching Anthony
Anthony is our Property Manager here at the apartment building. We, meaning all the missionaries who live and have lived here) have been talking to him about the gospel.  He finally decided to have the missionaries come and visit with him.  Mortensen’s tried this before but he chickened out and was not available but he has been to 2 discussions this week! As with all new people in a teaching pool he is still testing the waters.  Anthony is in our prayers too. In the picture below you see starting from the left side. Bro. and Sister Chin, members from the Constant Spring Ward. They were just converted to the gospel in April. He is now 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric, then Elders Ruesch and Williams, Anthony and Mom.
 The Chins helped with the discussion and are a great couple who really embraced the gospel. We don’t often get to share missionary discussions like this so this has been a real treat! In the picture below you can see the Chin’s better. What a great family they are.
Well…it is official our release date is September 2nd, 35 days from today…no I’m not trunky…really I’m not…yeah right!!! We now know that the Whiteheads will be returning to Jamaica to replace us as Humanitarian Missionaries and we are so excited!!! They are the couple we replaced so they have a great knowledge of the island and the humanitarian work.  I cried when they left just a few days after we got here, we felt so alone, and I will probably cry when they land back on the island!! Yeah I’m like that…but we were so new and everything was so foreign and they were so comfortable with everything. Now we are where they were when they completed their mission here. The Lord really knows how to grow and stretch a person. Anyway they will arrive on Aug 25th…even move back into the same apartment they had before they left! Talk about a Deja vu moment!
Well that is all for now. Know that we love and appreciate all of you for your love and support of us. The Lord lives. He is aware of each of us and our struggles and triumphs. Remember to thank him in all things.
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock