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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

President Thomas Spencer Monson, 16th President of the Church, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018, in his home in Salt Lake City. He was 90 years old.


We will miss our beloved Prophet. 

As we travel around the island, we like to listen to audio books. We just finished listening to To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson. We highly recommend this inspiring biography of an amazing man of God who ministered to the one and to the many. President Monson was completely dedicated to doing whatever the Lord prompted him to do.

We look forward to the live message from President Russel M. Nelson on Tuesday , January 16, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. MST. His message will be followed by a press conference at 10:00 a.m. MST.

President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Our sorrow is assuaged by the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. His bitter cup makes our bereavement bearable,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Until next week...all our love

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

We hope everyone had a great first week of 2018.
We dare not blink, or the whole year will be gone!
We really haven't had too much going on this past week. It seems many of our contacts are still getting back into the swing of things after the holidays.
We were able to attend the baptism of three people on Saturday. We love watching the missionaries working with the investigators and seeing the smiles on their faces as these special people enter the waters of baptism. 
Somehow we only got a picture of the one young man. 
The other two were a 12 year old girl and her 9 year old brother 
who were baptized by their older brother. 

After the baptisms, the sister missionaries teased that they'd be right over for lunch. I told them, sure, we'd take them out for lunch; we didn't really have anything ready at home. There were a few other missionaries standing close by, and the the sisters asked us who actually was invited to lunch. I said, to to not make a big announcement, but anyone who followed us out the door could come. We ended up with 4 elders and 4 sisters meeting us at Chilitos - the one and only JaMexican restaurant here in Kingston - actually it's the only Mexican food available on the island that we know of. A little different than our favorite places at home but still pretty yummy. 

We love these faithful elders and sisters. 

As we were leaving the restaurant, the missionaries left a special invitation on the blackboard. 24/7 - that's the way they roll in the great Jamaica Kingston Mission!

This week is transfers. We always look forward to helping move missionaries around and to meeting the new arrivals. With his new calling as 1st Counselor in the Mission Presidency, Buddy has even more hats to wear than he did before; so far, he's keeping his head above water. He's been involved in the reorganization of a branch presidency and will conduct audits for 5 units coming up next week. My job? To remind him, you can do this...just keep swimming!
We join with the millions of Latter-day Saints and others of so many faiths all over the world who mourn the passing of our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. We have been listening to his biography in the truck as we travel around the island for the last few weeks. He is a remarkable man of God who touched ours and so many lives for good. He will be missed. 

Until next week...all our love

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017

All the beauty and splendor of the lights of the Christmas season will soon be a memory, but we can keep our hearts, our lives, and the lives of others  filled with the light of Christ every day.

"Next year will bring new things. Some old things might be repeated, but best of all, a new year can bring you one year farther in your progression as a human on this good earth." (Landau, Elliott D. Ph.D.,"A Time to Talk", Friend, Dec. 1971)


Our prayer is for 2018 to be as wonderful a year as possible for everyone. We realize some of our friends and loved ones are facing challenges and trials; we will continue to fervently pray in faith for them. We know this next year will be one of further enlightenment, learning, and new experiences for us as we continue the mission here in Jamaica. Most likely when we get home next summer, we will see some major changes and need to make quite a few adjustments to the new normal, but we face all of this with faith, trust, and hope. 

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 


Until next year...all our love

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 25, 2017 Christmas


Christmas 2017 in Jamaica

Doll ornament in typical costume of the fabric 
called Jamaican bandana. 
Every year, Jamaica Kingston Stake Patriarch and Sister McPherson host a wonderful Christmas dinner in their beautifully landscaped backyard. They actually feed all the Kingston missionaries every Sunday. On Christmas, they generously extend the invitation to include all the senior missionaries. We enjoyed their hospitality again this year. 




Kingston elders and sisters share 
their testimonies of Our Savior through music. 

We enjoyed our few simple Christmas decorations in our small but very adequate apartment. So much about our lives these past 17 months has taught us how we really don't need very many things at all to be comfortable and very happy. 

We had the opportunity to have 3 elders and 2 sisters come to our apartment at different times throughout Christmas day to Skype with their families. Hearing the squeals of their families as the connections went through brought tears to my eyes remembering the indescribably joy we felt when being able to talk with Jeff, Collin, Emily, and Blake during their missions. We didn't have the capability to Skype when they served, but the phones calls were priceless to us. 
#Light the World
The theme for this year’s Christmas initiative was Light the World. The following is an excerpt from a most inspiring Sacrament Meeting talk given by our dear new eternal friend, who is the wife of one of the counselors in the Jamaica Kingston Stake Presidency.

  • The Lord is my light when I chose to be baptized, choose to attend church and renew my covenants. 
  • He is my light when I study His words daily and strive to live them.
  • The Lord is my light when I pray always, not just when my trials seem too much. 
  • He is my Light when my family chooses to have scripture study, family home evenings, family counsel.
  • The Lord is my light when I encourage my children not only in temporal learning but also in spiritual learning such as participating in Seminary and Institute. 
  • The Lord is my light when my husband and I who have not been employed for over a year, still seek to do work that will help us provide for our family and invite the Spirit as we continue to pay our tithing no matter how small our income is. 
  • The Lord is my light when I forgive others.
  • The Lord is my light when I repent. 
  • The Lord is my light when we teach our children what is right and not force them, but influence them in the way we live and pray for them. They will make mistakes, nevertheless, they will know when you are disappointed, but they will know that you will not stop loving them.  
  • The Lord is my light when I choose Him over the things of this world.
  • He is my light when I desire an eternal marriage despite the divorces that I see happening around me. 
  • He is my light when I seek out my ancestors and provide for them access to the atonement. 
  • The Lord is my light because of His infinite eternal love and sacrifice for me to make me whole and return to live with Him and my Father. He has made the journey; there is no other that could show me the way.


May the Light of Christ fill our lives 
not only during the Christmas season but always. 

Until next week...all our love...

December 4 - 23, 2017

Merry Christmas, when it come!

That is the typical Jamaican Christmas greeting. If we say, "Merry Christmas," a Jamaican will answer, "Thank you, and Happy New Year, when it come."

Jamaicans love Christmas, and even though there is no crunching snow, we have heard a lot of silver bells and enjoyed seeing lights, lights, and more lights. It is especially interesting to see palm trees decorated with lights. 

Shopping Center in Montego Bay
I remember sharing pictures of beautiful poinsettia bushes last year, but in case you missed seeing our blog...this particular bush is right around the corner from us.
This month's Senior Missionaries Family Home Evening/Christmas Luncheon was held at the Mission Home on December 4th. Sisters Baird and Hunter, Self Reliance Missionaries, shared a beautiful Christmas lesson. We all tested our memories of Christmas carols to compete in a sisters vs elders game of Hey, Team, Guess What Carol I'm Humming. It was a lot of fun. 

The week after our last post on Sunday, December 3rd, was a busy one. Elder and Sister McBride, the Caribbean Area Member Welfare Technical Specialists from Canada, arrived on Tuesday, and we hit the road right after picking them up at the airport to start visiting wards and branches around the island who have members participating in current and potential Member Welfare Food Production Projects. We were in Yallahs, Ocho Rios, Kingston, Santa Cruz, Mandeville, and Savanna-la-mar to visit with Priesthood Leaders and participants. We figure we traveled about 800 kilometers (almost 500 miles); it was a very productive week. The highlight was visiting a sister's home in Savanna-la-mar on chicken slaughtering day!


Two of our faithful, diligent, hard-working elders were right there elbow-deep in chickens from 5:30 AM until after dark.

The regularly scheduled Kingston Stake Conference was the weekend of December 9 & 10. We enjoyed attending meetings and receiving inspiration from wonderful talks and music.
We love and appreciate these righteous men 
who so faithfully serve all the members in the Kingston Jamaica Stake.
The Jamaica Kingston Stake is really quite young. This stake, the first and only one in Jamaica at present, was formed in 2014 when Elder Jeffrey Holland visited the island. We try not to compare the workings of a long established stake in the U.S. with this budding stake filled with faithful Latter-Day Saints. 

We hosted Sunday dinner for the new senior missionary couple, the Osbornes, who arrived early Saturday morning and our visitors from Canada, the McBrides.
Just like last year, all the elder and sister missionaries were treated to a wonderful Christmas dinner this month. We have 5 Zones of missionaries covering all of Jamaica and the other islands of the mission. Each had their own day to meet at the Mission Home. Even all the missionaries serving off-island - Bahamas, Cayman, and Turks & Caicos - were flown in. 

The Senior Missionaries presented a feast for the missionaries each day. The menu consisted of smoked pork chops, chicken, Christmas potatoes (aka funeral potatoes), mixed vegetables, stuffing, rolls, raspberry butter, brownies, and strawberry cheesecake. Our contribution was to prepare the smoked pork chops, mixed vegetables, and our requested strawberry pretzel cheese-cake dessert. We prepared our dishes and delivered them before noon each day. On two of the days we stayed to serve and clean up. It is a good deal of work, but we loved doing this. 





Full tummies & plum tuckered out

Another fun activity at this time of year is wrapping and, this year delivering, all the missionaries' gifts. 

Even Santa's elves deserve a break. 
December 17th, we attended the Port Antonio Branch up on the NE coast. As a member of the Mission Presidency, Buddy was asked to speak, and then he invited me to share my testimony. I mentioned our love of Jamaica and how this Christmas it was a bit easier being away from family, but I admitted, when our children and grandchildren have shared their family Christmas activities, I have been heard to say, "Next year..." .
The week before Christmas, we were busily engaged in further preparations to make this a great Christmas for all the young missionaries. We had one more wrapping session for the last minute packages that had arrived, and we also put together packages for those missionaries who hadn't received anything from home. Several families of missionaries kindly sent extra gifts,  families who knew the Pearsons or had some other connections with the mission also sent boxes of goodies, and lastly Sister Pearson had gathered some fun things for us to include in these gift boxes.

Along with the many responsibilities Buddy has in his new assignment in the Mission Presidency, he also serves as the Jamaica Public Affairs Advisor for the Church. We attended the first meeting of the Public Affairs Council and have great trust and confidence in the sisters who are serving as the Director and Assistant Director of the National Public Affairs Council. They are quite knowledgeable and helped Buddy understand his role as the Priesthood Advisor. One of the first assignments he had was to support the #Light The World activities in Kingston and Spanish Town. Unfortunately, we had previously scheduled meetings, so we weren't able to participate. On two days during heavy morning traffic, LDS saints in the two locations gathered at busy intersections to hand out #Light The World cards. 

Here is the link to the video of the activity. I'm not able to include it because of the size. 
In addition to our regular travel for projects around the island, we put a lot of kilometers on the ol' sleigh this week as we delivered packages to the Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Port Antonio missionaries. I tried to get Buddy to let me decorate the truck, but he vetoed my suggestion. 


"Christmas is a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to living the principles taught by the Savior."  
           President Thomas S. Monson

All our love...