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Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Another week of transfers activities has come and gone. The mission said good-bye to one elder and two sisters; they will be missed, but we know they're excited to be reunited with family - look at these smiling faces. 

The mission welcomed 3 new elders and 2 new sisters representing Meridian, CA; Mandeville, Jamaica; West Jordan, UT; New Castle, UT; and Wiggins, CO. We love watching the new missionaries meet their companions and witnessing the immediate respect and compassion for them by their trainers. 

 Already serving as pianist...
 ...and chorister

We enjoyed spending time on long drives even though on very bumpy, windy roads to pick up an elder who was returning home 

and to deliver a new arrival to his first area. 


Sunday found us in the Yallahs Branch. 

Our wonderful Self-Reliance senior sister missionaries spoke in Sacrament Meeting and also facilitated an informative third hour Self-Reliance devotional. These devotionals are designed to start members on the path to self-reliance by helping them understand the importance of self-reliance, assess their current level of self-reliance, determine the skills and income needed to become temporally self-reliant, and select the self-reliance group that will help them reach that goal. 
The sisters were great about using personal experiences with their own path to self-reliance. Sometimes it's difficult, though, for Jamaicans to relate to the struggles and trials American missionaries have gone through. First world countries' issues and developing countries' issues can be very dissimilar. The newly sustained Mandeville District President expressed this very well at a recent district conference. He said when he hears President Pearson or President Stewart say he's hungry, the thought is he probably only missed breakfast, but when many Jamaicans say they're hungry, they truly may not have eaten for a couple of days or their family has not been able to afford any meat for weeks. 
Even though mutual understanding can be a challenge, we strive to teach the foundational principles which are applicable to self-reliance in any country. 

As shown in many of our previous posts, the Member Welfare Project initiatives (chickens, bees, gardening, etc.) we coordinate here in Jamaica are exclusively designed to promote self-reliance. The success of these projects depends on the practical application of the concepts and principles learned in the variety of free self-reliance courses available to members and nonmembers alike.
There was definitely a focus on self-reliance in the Yallahs Branch as we also held the kick-off training meeting for the Member Welfare Project families. Coops are ready to now receive the chicks and equipment to assist these families who are striving to become self-reliant.

Recently the opportunity for welfare assistance with self-relianchas expanded beyond food production projects. This is still in the early stage, but we're definitely encouraged and excited to see this new development since food production is not everyone's forte. 

"The welfare principles of the Church are not simply good ideas; they are revealed truths from God—they are His way of helping the needy." Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"I am convinced there are thousands of ways for families to build self-reliance by working together in productive pursuits. Perhaps a good family home evening discussion could produce some ideas to help make your family unit more temporally self-reliant." Elder L. Tom Perry

Until next week...all our love.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

We loved spending a wonderful week sharing some of the beauty of Jamaica as well as some of the humanitarian work we do with Emily and Bobby.



We picked up Emily and Bobby from the Montego Bay airport Monday afternoon and then drove to Negril in time to experience a gorgeous evening and have dinner on the beach. The next morning we went out to the beach, but unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest. After check out, we did a little souvenir shopping and then drove back around the northwest to the east on the coastal highway to Falmouth to tour Rose Hall Great House. That evening we had dinner and went on the amazing boat excursion at Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon - always a hit with visitors. 



With it being Ash Wednesday, many places were closed the next day. We still were able to have nice lunch at a small Mediterranean restaurant and introduce Emily and Bobby to the yummy ice cream at the Devon House in Kingston. 

We showed them some other sights in Kingston and the surrounding area and were able to introduce a few of the elders and sisters to them. We had wonderful dinner at one of the favorite restaurants - South Avenue Grill in Kingston. We usually don't have much time to "play" games, but we were able to have a rousing game of dominoes that night.  And, golly, I just can't remember exactly who won, but if I recall, the score was really close but not necessarily in the girls' favor. 


Thursday, we drove to Ocho Rios on the north coast.  

Bobby found a great place online for us to go enjoy the beach. Multiple tour buses were coming and going the whole time we were there. It was a beautiful place with great food and periodic entertainment by Jamaican dancers and fun line dancing on the beach.  

There were strong offshore winds, so the roaring and crashing of the waves was pretty spectacular. A few people were going in the water, but most just enjoyed soaking up the sun or sitting in the shade of one of the many almond trees on the beach. 

After several hours and visible signs the Jamaican sun can be really intense, we drove just a few minutes away to Dunn's River Falls for Buddy, Bobby, and Emily to climb the falls. I followed along on the boardwalk as the photographer. I think I climbed at least 500 steps - I stopped counting! These photos are evidence of what an amazingly beautiful place this is and how much fun they had.




Friday morning we went to Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston so Bobby and Emily could meet our friend, Dr. Campbell, and see the newly created Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Bobby were able to talk "doctor" while the rest of us listened with interest. Dr. Campbell spoke about the remarkable contrast in what they each deal with because of the tremendous lack of funding for facilities and equipment here in Jamaica. We are grateful the recently approved project we developed will provide some essential medical and office equipment for this new clinic. 

Much too soon, it was time to drive back to Montego Bay to take Emily and Bobby to the airport. It was definitely easier to say good-bye this year than when they were here last year on their cruise; we know it will only be a little over 4 months before we see them again. 


Good-bye until July...

Saturday, February 17
We attended the baptism in the Yallahs Branch on Saturday morning. The meeting portions of the service were held under a huge mango tree in the yard of one of the members of the ward. It was raining off and on, but it didn't matter; we all loved gathering together and witnessing this saving ordinance performed in the ocean for our new sister in the Gospel. 


    "How Firm a Foundation"                    President Stewart & Yallahs Branch   Looking very contemplative                            President Elder Osborne
Elder & Sister Osborne serve in the Mission Office.

Very wet, but still smiling!

The week ahead will be another busy one with travel connected with transfers. We always enjoy being a part of this exciting week. The mission is expecting two new sisters and three new elders. In addition, the four recently approved projects are now ready for the purchasing phase, so we will be involved with paperwork and physically going places to make purchases. We also have several new potential projects throughout the island we need to continue to work on. 

We'll be keeping our shoulders to the wheel.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Galations 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

Doctrine and Covenant 64:33 
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. 

Until next week...all our love.