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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Congratulations to our precious grandson, Landon, on his baptism on Saturday, May 20th, his very special 8th birthday. It was hard to be so far away and miss this sacred event, but the most important people were there for this significant ordinance, Landon and his righteous father to baptize him. We are very pleased with the decision Landon made to prepare himself to be ready to enter the waters of baptism for the remission of sins, to be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Left to right: Emily, Grandpa David Cohoon, Landon, 
Grandma Robyn Cohoon, Eli, Savannah, and Bobby

The rains came down, and the floods came up!

We were in Kingston all week mostly working in our apartment office. It was definitely a good week to be able to stay in because of the torrential rainfall all over Jamaica causing major flooding and landslides. A weather system across the central Caribbean dumped extremely heavy rain on most of Jamaica. The flooding affected 10 of the country's 14 parishes, with Clarendon (one parish west of us) being the worst hit. Some parishes received more rain over four days than the usual average for the entire month of May. One area received 10 inches in less than 12 hours. That's a lot of water! Bridges washed away, and many roads were damaged marooning several communities. 

                                                         Jamaica is right in the light pink - over 10 inches of rain.

We were supposed to meet this week with a young sister who lives in Linstead which is up in the mountains northwest of Kingston, but she couldn't get out of Linstead because of the flooding. We are grateful we were safe and dry in our apartment. Our prayers are for comfort to those affected by this severe weather. 

The Rio Cobre comes down out of the mountains 
and meets the Caribbean Sea at the Kingston Harbour. 
You can see it's almost up to the bridge. 

Buddy took this video of the Rio Cobre on one of our 
quick errand trips to the southern area of Kingston. 

Saturday, we participated in a Relief Society enrichment activity on Disaster Preparedness. The Relief Society President had asked us to give a short presentation about 72 hour kits - certainly a timely request. We gathered items from around our apartment to assemble a make-shift 72 hour kit for demonstration, but we quickly found we were lacking several essential items. Where we live is not vulnerable to flooding, but we realized if there were some other type of disaster necessitating evacuation, we are not as prepared as we need to be. 

We're being told that hurricane season is upon us, so we are extra motivated to get more prepared. Evidently, usually the hurricane season begins in June, but we have already seen two potentially dangerous weather patterns out in the Caribbean that fortunately did not develop into tropical storms. 

Of course, back at home, we've concentrated for years to make sure we had well-stocked 72 hour kits for our home and for our cars. We are certainly motivated now to get one put together for here right away.

Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear."


We have had two opportunities for wonderful interaction with members of the Portmore Ward over the past two days. First of all, we went to do the apartment inspection for the Portmore Sisters - our lovely Hawaiian sisters. They actually live right by the ocean in Hellshire outside of Portmore. I received a very special belated Mother's Day gift as they sang "Love is Spoken Here" for me. Yes, we cried, but we assured them they were happy tears as we heard them sing this special song which is associated with so many memories. This is a song we sang in Family Home Evenings, at family reunions, and even at the funeral of a dear nephew. One of the sisters plays the guitar beautifully, and their voices were angelic. 

Today we then attended the Portmore Ward for Sunday meetings. After the regular block of meetings, we met with the bishop and some members of the ward who are participating in a Member Welfare Project that was just recently approved by the Area. The families involved in this project will be raising broiler (meat) chickens. These types of projects are a blessing to those who are seriously seeking to be self reliant.  Member Welfare Projects are under the direction of the local Priesthood Leaders. A Project Champion or Project Manager is a member of the ward or branch who may or may not be a project participant; they oversee the project. Our role as In Country Coordinators is to monitor the progress of the project, but we are never to direct or take over the project. We facilitate the budgeted purchases in connection with the project. We ensure that the local leaders maintain good working relationships with honest, reliable vendors and follow up with the local Project Manager to see that project materials are delivered to the project participants. During the implementation phase, we make certain that the leaders have engaged the services of a local expert to assist the Project Manager. We will have some type of bi-weekly contact to receive a report on the progress of the project participants, and especially at the onset we will make two on-site visits to the project participants. We then report to the Area Welfare Specialists. We appreciate working within the orderly structure of the programs in the Church. 

We are learning a lot about chickens. We're thinking something like this would be awesome in our back yard when we get home. But then again, having to care for livestock might inhibit our frequent traveling to visit the grandchildren. That would never do!

Until next week...

All our love.

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