July 5, 2014

Great day in Jamaica…Of course every day in Jamaica is a pretty great day. The picture below is at the Hope Gardens. We visited there Saturday with the Halls. It was their first time to visit this place. It is a beautiful restful area in Kingston.  Not all is this lush but it sure makes it quiet there.
This week we did some apartment inspections at the Office Elders/Kingston Elders Apartments and also got our Temple Recommends renewed. It will probably be the only time when we will have only one signature on it instead of two. The Mission President is our only ecclesiastical leader so just one signature is required! It is always a blessing to have a temple recommend.   We may not have a temple here but we should always live worthy to hold a recommend.

 Elder and Sister Hall are from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. They are the couple who are now serving as our Mission Office Couple. They have been serving up on Ocho Rios for the first 4-5 months of their mission and will finish out the rest of their time in the Office…another good couple we get to work with.

We are getting another project finished up and ready to close. This one is with the School for the Blind here in Kingston. They are run by the Salvation Army and are the only school for the blind in the Caribbean area. We helped them get a chicken coop large enough to house 200 laying hens. We got their chicken food, water and feed pans purchased this week and the hens should be here next week. For the Laying hens we have to order them well in advance of completion of the project. These birds were ordered the first of January 2014. In the picture below is the box of automatic water pans.
 The Salvation Army chicken project also included a chicken coop and several bags of chicken food to get their project off to a good start.  We are still waiting for the chickens they should come in the next couple of week.
 By the time they were done the van was full and the tires were almost flat.
 Saw an interesting thing this week.  There was this guy in a wheelchair going down a narrow mountain road doing about 30 miles per hour…that in and of its self is interesting as he was really flying down the steep winding road in the middle of all the traffic going up and down the mountain…but this guy was doing a wheelie the whole time!!! We were so shocked to see him going so fast in a wheelchair that we did not notice he was doing a wheelie until we passed him.  It was amazing!!! I tell you, you can see just about anything here. These people can do so much with so little. Like the guy at the tire shop. We had a flat tire so we pulled over at this place that had stacks of tires out front…tire store right? Well that’s what the old man said when we asked him if he could fix our tire.  Come to find out they did not have a jack or air to inflate our tire. So they borrowed our jack from our truck, fixed the flat by putting a plug in it and then wheeled the tire about a block and a half down the road and across the 4 lane road to a place that had compressed air (their own air machine was broke), then wheeled the tire back to our truck and put it back on for $5.00.  If they can’t fix it they will work with someone else to get the job done! Jamaican’s really are resourceful.

The Pictures below are of a tree called “Flame of the Forest”. We have seen them mostly like this one with orange blossoms. Sometimes we see them in bright red. They are a real beautiful tree.
 Doctor Sinclair owner of Singram Medical had a celebration for one year in business for and a birthday party for Doctor Sinclair.  Doctor Sinclair has been doing prospective Missionary exams and shots for almost a year she also help members and missionaries with their medical problems.  Doctor Sinclair is on the left.
Time for another 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.
We hope you had a happy 4th of July…Stay safe and know that we love you…
Mom and Dad
E/S Murdock