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Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday, October 16, 2016


Smart Start Basic (Preschool) School      Linstead, Jamaica
Today was National Heroes Day here in Jamaica. It is a day when the people of Jamaica give thanks and honor to seven National Heroes who fought for freedom against the tyranny of slavery, for adult suffrage, and for the birth of independent Jamaica. There are awards ceremonies, celebrations, and events going on all over the island, but we actually were advised to pretty much stay in. Evidently, some of the celebrating can get a bit wild. 

The seven national heroes are shown above painted on the side of the building of one of the preschools we work with. Jamaicans are very proud of their heroes and their heritage. 



On this day not only are the national heroes of the past honored, but also modern day heroes are recognized for gallantry and service in the community. This young man heroically saved people from a house fire. Maybe next year, we'll brave the crowds and attend the awards ceremony that is held on the lawn of the King's House here in Kingston. (The official residence of Governors of Jamaica have always been called King’s House even during the reign of Queens.) It's a beautiful place we pass by almost every day. We need to check to see if there are public tours. 


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This week we spent a fair amount of our time in the "office" in our apartment. We successfully made many necessary contacts and continued to organize and plan our efforts. We have 11 files on Buddy's desk containing the information about projects in various stages of progress including some we are continuing from our predecessors. Some projects can take a couple of years to complete. We received information this week from SLC that another major vision project is planned for 2017. Our part is to provide logistical support on this end. In the past these projects have involved multiple donations of sophisticated optical equipment and the training for use and maintenance. 

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Hi, all, Buddy here. It was suggested that I occasionally add my perspective, so here goes. It is hard to believe that this week will mark the end of our second month in Jamaica. We have been busily engaged in the task of learning our duty and coming to grips with the enormity of what needs to be done. It is a lot like quail hunting: the birds flush, they all rapidly take flight at the same time and go in all different directions. If you just shoot in all directions, generally you will miss everything and accomplish nothing. You have to find one bird and concentrate on it to have a chance for success. There is so much that needs to be done; it is difficult to narrow things down. This is where the Spirit comes in. As we pray to know what direction to go, we receive the insight to move. Remembering that this is His work and not ours provides motivation to serve with love and compassion.

This missionary experience has been a blessing to Debbie and me. We have drawn closer to each other in wonderful ways. After over four decades of married life, we have the opportunity and blessing of really concentrating our attention and service on each other. Our daily companion study has been enlightening and a delight as we discuss gospel principles. Morning and evening prayers together draw us closer to heaven and the Divine as we in unity petition Father on behalf of our family members at home and our new family in the Jamaica Kingston Mission. We are learning to live on less and to be grateful for what we do have.

Our love for the Jamaican people grows each day, as we serve them and come to know them individually. They are delightful souls that have welcomed us with open arms, literally. The women greet each other with hugs and smiles on the first encounter. It has been fun to watch the open way they have embraced Debbie in church meetings. The little ones are adorable and very much loved by all. The saints are the same all over the world. The gospel life is the best life.

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We'll close this week with a sweet experience Emily shared in an email: 

Oh my gosh the cutest story: so I was putting the boys to bed and Landon had some questions. He started asking about the resurrection and where our bodies will go, how will it happen, and where will we be, etc. Our conversation just kept going, and I was talking about signs of the Second Coming and how there will be wars, earthquakes, and things, but that more importantly people on the Earth needed to get the chance to hear about Christ before the Second Coming can happen. Landon replied with a sweet but anxious tone in his voice, "Grandma, Papa, hurry, get lots of missionary work done so we can have the Second Coming before the wars!" 

Emily went on to remind us, that even though we are not knocking on doors we are sharing the light of Christ with the people we are serving. We are certainly doing our best. 


I love this quote from Sister Jean B. Bingham, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, so I made a little poster for the wall by our desks.


Love to all.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your notes and comments. I try to pass the blog along so others in the temple know about it and also to the family in our ward whose son is there on his mission. Elder Stever... See ya, Furqueron

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