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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We started our week making a day-long trip to Montego Bay to complete some purchases for the project at West Haven Children's Home and to make a quick visit there - the home of some of our favorite extraordinary people in Jamaica. We were excited to see the new beds set up and in use. These beds were so needed; we are happy LDS Charities could provide them. 

Old beds

New beds for the boys' room

New beds for the girls' room
The installation of the 4 new water tanks was delayed because heavy-duty and higher platforms are needed to hold the larger tanks. The plans are all figured out now, and work has begun.

Final check of plans and materials.
Monday evening, we had a wonderful Family Home Evening at the Mission Home with most of the other senior missionaries. (We missed not having the Browns and Sister Dennis with us.) Everyone brought something made with pumpkin for the dinner. Admittedly, we were a little worried about not liking all the dishes; we haven't been known as pumpkin connoisseurs. We were pleasantly surprised by the delicious, nutritious pumpkin soup made by the Pearsons; the yummy, moist pumpkin bread made by the Gotfredsens; the clever, tasty macaroni and cheese with pumpkin made by the Chandlers; the delectable, betcha'-can't-eat-just-one pumpkin dinner rolls also made by the Chandlers. We even enjoyed our contribution - a luscious, calorie-ridden pumpkin torte.

You're right, this isn't an actual picture of our torte,
but no kidding, ours looked just as appealing. 
We truly relished the time we had around the dinner table, full as could be, to discuss the multitude and variety of experiences we're all having as we serve in our various capacities. We were also able to set the dates for a few senior outings in the near future. There are many interesting things to do and see here in Jamaica, and it's fun to share these events with others. Because there are so many activities and sites to enjoy and limited times to get together, many of the attractions we'll take in as individual couples. For example, I am so anxious to tour some of the Great Houses (old plantation homes) located around the island. Top on our list is Rose Hall, a Georgian mansion built in the 1770s. We've enjoyed reading about the history of this and other grand old manors. Rose Hall even has a spooky legend about one of the residents of the home. We'll be sure to post more pictures when we finally take the tour.


We made a follow-up visit to a basic school here in Kingston. This preschool was one of the first places we went to discuss a potential project. There was some miscommunication; we thought the school had closed, and the director thought we weren't able to help so hadn't gotten back to us since our last visit. We have certainly learned a lot since then, and we hope now to be able to partner with parents and members of the community to help with some much needed improvements. 

We closed out the week by attending a baptism in the Spanish Town 1st Ward. A young girl was baptized by one of the elders. She is part of an active family in the ward, and we could feel the joy of the other family members as they witnessed this sweet little girl make these eternal covenants and begin her journey back to Heavenly Father. Her auntie (who is actually the same age) was baptized just a few weeks ago. She bore her sweet young testimony of the special feeling she had when she entered the water to be baptized. That's how it all begins. Now line upon line, precept upon precept, these darling young girls will learn more and more about their divine nature as daughters of God - paraphrasing President Uchtdorf - to prepare for a future greater than anything they can imagine.

Look at those great smiles!

We attended church at the Yallahs Branch today. Yallahs is about 25 miles to the SE of Kingston. The trip didn't seem nearly as long or bumpy as the first time we drove there. We're evidently becoming accustomed to the travel conditions here. It was great to be back with these fine saints we met several months ago. One of the young elders serves diligently as the Branch President; he's doing a fantastic job. We were asked to speak as is often the case; we're fine with that. At first we thought we were both going to speak, but it ended up just being me. Once again, I was blessed by the Spirit to be able to spontaneously and coherently share a few thoughts from my recent study in 1 Nephi 5:10-22 about the blessing and importance of the scriptures preserving the word of God.

The amazing Yallahs Branch elders honorably representing 
their home towns of Rigby and Boise, Idaho; Ogden and Cedar City, Utah. 

We are so excited to welcome Emily, Bobby, Landon, Eli, and Savannah to Jamaica on Wednesday. Several other members of Bobby's family will be joining in the fun we plan to have that day. We hope to share typical Jamaican countryside, culture, and food and to spend time at the beach. I'm sure we'll have lots of pictures to share next week.

1 comment:

  1. What neat experiences you are having. You sure are blessings so many lives by your service.