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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Christmas has come and gone, and a new year is here. We thoroughly enjoyed the various activities with the missionaries and wards/branches, yet it was just not quite the same not being at home and especially having it be so warm. We loved participating in the various types of service for the 25 Ways in 25 Days during the Light the World campaign.This made a lasting impression on us, and we are sure we join with others in a desire to continue finding acts of service to show the love of and for our Savior during this new year of 2017 and always.



We experienced Boxing Day for the first time. We knew it was a British holiday, but we had to look up the origin. [From good ol' Wikipedia: "There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which is definitive.ThOxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as 'the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box'."] It's a national holiday, so since Christmas was on Sunday, banks and most businesses were closed Monday, but then everything was also closed Tuesday for observance of Boxing Day which was really on Monday. Confused now? We participated in showing gratitude by sharing a dinner with a young man who takes cares of maintenance and security for our apartment complex. 


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President and Sister Pearson shared this inspiring video at the Zone Christmas dinners, and we want to share it with you. Paul Cardall, the composer, tells the backstory of the song, “As I began thinking about a new album, ironically I was approached by a man who I deeply admire and respect, the spiritual mentor for millions of people. His name is David Bednar, and he asked me if I would help him write a song because there's a message he wanted to get out. The text is incredibly touching. Christ ministers to us on an individual basis, and I believe it with all my heart.” Elder David A. Bednar is member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



The last line of the song is, "Strength from His grace gives us power to become." With a new year before us, we can continue to progress to become what our Father in Heaven would have us become. He, through our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, has given us all of the tools we need to progress toward perfection in this life. He has given us the restored gospel, the restored priesthood, an inspired church organization, and holy temples. Most importantly our Savior has provided the Atonement that makes possible the overcoming of sin, error, and mistakes to stand perfected before our Father. He saves us “One by One.”


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We were excited to help with transfers this week. We have offered in the past, but this was the first time we were needed. [For those who are not familiar with missionary lingo - transfers occur every six weeks. Missionaries are assigned to certain areas of the mission and specific companionships are established based on inspiration given to the mission president. The missionaries serve in an area and with a companion for 1, 2, 3, or more transfers. [Of course, we as senior missionaries usually stay in a specific area and of course we're stuck with our companion for the duration. !] We started our day by picking up an elder who has served here in Kingston for several months. We drove him to Mandeville to join his new companion.The drive afforded us a length of time to hear all about his missionary service and his family, and to recognize his devotion and love for the Savior. We then picked up a sister who has been serving in Hopeton (right next to Mandeville) for quite awhile and drove her to May Pen to begin her service there with a new companion. It was interesting to witness the tender good-byes and the dynamics of the new companionships. We continue to be amazed by the goodness and dedication of these young people. 



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During our latest trip to Mandeville, we remembered to take a picture of the gate to this park. In December of 1978, Elder M.Russell Ballard dedicated the land of Jamaica for the preaching of the gospel here in Brooks Park in Mandeville. Elder Ballard organized the first branch in Jamaica in an outdoor meeting under a large old banyan tree in this park.


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We received one of the greatest Christmas presents ever when we received notification this week that a project we had submitted was approved. This project will provide much needed assistance to a home for disabled children near Montego Bay. The Montego Bay Branch members have been and will continue to be involved in service projects at this facility. Our hearts are touched by the generosity of members and non-members all over the world who donate to the humanitarian fund of the Church to help provide necessary relief to places such as this. It's hard to convey in words the amount of gratitude that is expressed by the recipients who are in these most humble of circumstances.



Some of our new dear, young friends. 

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It is our prayer that 2017 will be a wonderful year of peace, prosperity, good health, love, and strong testimonies of truth for all. We bear our witness that God lives and loves us. 





1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your great adventure. As we read about transfers we were a little jealous as that was one of our favorite mission experiences. May 2017 be a wonderful year as you serve the Lord as senior missionaries.

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