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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Of course, 4th of July here in Jamaica is a regular day, but we will certainly be celebrating in our hearts and have a twinge of homesickness missing all the fun family time and fireworks. We will be blessed to have Collin and Megan here, so maybe we can find someway to show our love of the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

For the wonderful true story of the National Anthem, we recommend: 


We are so excited to welcome Collin and Megan to Jamaica. They arrive early tomorrow morning and will be here for a week - WOO HOO! We have planned a week filled with Jamaican experiences. By the time they leave, they will have been around the whole perimeter of the island, plus a few places north and south, AND east and west. We'll have pictures to share in our next post.


Jamaican sunset as seen from Kingston. 

We spent the week here in Kingston working in our office, attending meetings, and helping with and attending one special event. 

Several days, we did treat ourselves to about 30 minutes out in the apartment complex pool. Our mission president tells us to be sure take time for recreation and relaxation as needed. 

My own "Pool Boy"

On Wednesday, we attended several meetings. Two were with bishops to discuss the Member Welfare Projects which have been approved for members in their wards. Both wards will have families participating in the project raising either layer or broiler chickens. Some of these families were part of projects a few years ago, but the projects failed due to various reasons. Usually the failure of the projects was due to lack of training and understanding of the principles of running a business like the financial management and record-keeping involved, marketing strategies, and importance of not eating up the profit. Now, all participants are required to take a 12-week course, "Starting and Growing My Business" freely offered by the Church through Self-Reliance. Everyone feels this is going to make a huge difference. Also, now there is much more follow-up and continuing education to keep the businesses on the right track. Our responsibilities include this follow-up, and we will attend each group's monthly meetings. We currently have 5 groups underway, with 4 more in the proposal stage. Needless to say, we are busy with these groups, but we really enjoy this part of our calling. As we've mentioned before, we're learning a lot about raising chickens and bees. 

We did take a quick trip over to Yallahs yesterday to visit some of the families who will need some repairs to their coops.


Our main event of the week was helping with and attending a basic school's graduation/handing-over ceremony held in another denomination's church building near the school. We just finished a project with this little preschool. They had the graduation of the 5 year-olds planned for this week, so we asked if we could be just a quick little piece of the program to do the official closing with them since all the parents and children would be there. It worked out beautifully. We (well, of course, we mean LDS Charities) provided the refreshments, and the darling children provided the entertainment. It was quite the production lasting almost 3 hours. Those little kiddos were so cute as they recited, sang, danced, signed, and gave very eloquent (and long) prepared speeches. The valedictorians delivered a 4 page speech; we could tell they had practiced a long time. Their elocution was better than we've heard at some high school graduations. We were up on the stand behind them, so we could see the length of the speech on the paper on the podium. 


Each of the age groups - 2 through 5 - performed.

As with many events here in Jamaica, the MC made sure the celebration of these sweet little ones' graduation focused on the love of Christ for His people, especially the children, and the calling for us all to love one another. We love how the schools from preschool through college here do not shut their doors to the Lord. He is invited in everyday. This event was more like one of their church services. We all sang this inspiring song to open the program. 

 Go Light Your World
There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
And hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world.

Frustrated brother, see how he's tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she's been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame.

So carry your candle, run to the darkness
'Cause we are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let's raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus.

Make us a beacon in darkest times
Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world.

We continue to prepare for unforeseen emergency or disaster situations especially with the onset of hurricane season, and we may even put Collin and Megan to work for part of one of the days they're here helping us do some shopping. We need to purchase and then assemble 20 cleaning kits and 20 kitchen kits  to add to the other items in the big 40' emergency container.
Like this:

These types of kits can be sent from SLC, but we're encouraged to purchase everything here to make our own instead. It stimulates the economy and saves $1000s in shipping. 


We had our interviews with President Pearson and then shared a yummy Chinese dinner with them at the Mission Home. We rarely get a chance to sit down with them and talk about our homes, our families, and just life in general. We treasure their friendship. 


We both are continuing with our ??th time of reading the Book of Mormon.  We are grateful for a young brother reminding us in Sacrament Meeting today of President Monson's admonition and encouragement in his talk in the last General Conference.

President Monson said, "If you will read it [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you."

"As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven's help in our lives." 

We invite everyone to join us as we "feast upon the word" to draw ever closer to Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Go to: mormon.org
You'll see a similar page and can order a free Book of Mormon. 

Buddy's thoughts:

In my reading from the Book of Mormon this week, I ran across a very short verse that really had an impact on my thinking. In 2 Nephi 5:27, Nephi states, "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." It caused me to reflect on my own life and evaluate my own "state of happiness." I can truly say that I am as happy as I have ever been. Debbie and I are really happy with our place in life right now. We are happy with our missionary work, our associations, our relationship with God, and especially with each other. This Senior Missionary experience has brought us closer to heaven and has enhanced our eternal companion relationship. As we unitedly follow the Savior, Jesus Christ, and live fully the restored gospel, we are living "after the manner of happiness." Let us all find happiness in discipleship.

Until next week - love to you all...

1 comment:

  1. We hope that the chicken program works this time as we have yet to hear of a successful one from any of our welfare missionaries. While in Indonesia both goat and chicken projects were stopped because the families ended up eating or selling the stock! The old saw about give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teach a man to fish and he will feed himself forever is a good idea. But I think there should be an addition that you better make sure you feed him while he is learning to fish! Thanks for sharing your great experiences from your mission.