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Monday, March 26, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

This Holy Week, change is possible. 

In the span of one week, Jesus rewrote humanity’s story. This Holy Week, He can help you start to rewrite your own. This Easter, we invite you to follow the example and teachings of the Savior by loving others, loving God, and making changes that will lead to lasting joy and peace in your life.

Our daughter, Heather, was talking to her children about next Sunday being Easter and General Conference and April Fool's Day. One of the younger ones said, "Well, Mom, which one is it?"
True, Sunday, April 1st is all three, but for us the order of priority will definitely be remembering Our Savior's miraculous Resurrection, receiving instruction and inspiration watching General Conference, and resisting playing any April Fools pranks on one another. 
One of the senior missionary couples went home earlier this month. While serving here, Elder Gotfredson demonstrated his expertise in tanning goat hides and even taught several members the whole procedure. Some of these members are supplementing their income now by making these beautiful pieces to sell. Elder Gotfredson knew we admired his work and was very kind to give us one of the hides he had tanned.

Not exactly sure where this might end up hanging in our home, 
but it's great to have this to remember our dear friend, Elder Gotfredson, 
AND to never forget the thousands of goats in Jamaica.

We were away from Kingston for a long weekend March 17-19 to travel to several places on the island. We started out in Spanish Town for a Public Affairs meeting. As First Counselor in the Mission Presidency, Buddy serves as the Priesthood Advisor for the National Public Affairs Council for the Church. 

LDS National Public Affairs Council for Jamaica

We then traveled on east with stops in May Pen and Mandeville to deliver mail to the young missionaries; they always love receiving mail. We also stopped for a few minutes to take a look at the farming project outside of Mandeville. 

We never know what we'll encounter during our drives around the island. 

We then went to Santa Cruz with intentions to make visits to the families with chicken and bee projects, but because of torrential rain, we instead just met with most of the families at the church building. Many sisters were there for an activity to celebrate the 176th anniversary of the organization of Relief Society. The sisters had a display of homemade crafts and produce, and we were excited to see bottles of honey from the bees of one of the sisters in the Member Welfare Project group.

Some of the Santa Cruz Relief Society Sisters 
enjoying an afternoon of socializing.

We loved witnessing Elder Shepherd taking some time out of he and his companion's busy schedule as Zone Leaders to tutor this young man to help him understand some higher level math concepts.
Oh, to be young and still have a brain for complex math!


We stayed at a small inn right on the ocean and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset 
in the evening and a tranquil view in the morning. 


We attended church at the Savanna-la-Mar Branch on Sunday. Buddy presented a training session to the Branch Council after the regular three hour block of meetings. We always come away feeling inspired and uplifted after being with these great saints.

Some of the members of the Savanna-la-Mar Branch

On Monday, we traveled up the west coast to Montego Bay to make the last of the mail deliveries and made it safely back to Kingston after a wonderful and productive weekend. 

We want to share some of the beautiful flowers of Jamaica in this post. We've been having fun using a new phone app to identify plants and trees.  


This past weekend we went to the Ocho Rios Branch for church. Once again, at the request of the Branch President, Buddy offered a training session for the Branch Council. Many of the leaders in the branches are very new members, and occasionally some incorrect procedures and policies have been passed down as new callings were filled. These training sessions are excellent opportunities to teach the correct order and organizational structure of the Lord's Church,  clear up misunderstandings, and answer questions. 

Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. 
Doctrine and Covenants 132:8

We wish everyone a very special Easter 
and General Conference weekend.

Because of Him - Easter 2018
Until next week...all our love. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

We haven't quite gathered our thoughts to create a post for last week because we were "on the road" all weekend. Instead of a regular post, we thought we'd share this inspired proclamation to the world. 

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World'' remains "a clarion call to protect and strengthen families,'' according to Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who says it is also 'a stern warning in a world where declining values and misplaced priorities threaten to destroy society by undermining its basic unit" (“What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest" Oct. 2005 General Conference)."

We are so grateful for this document and admonish all to read it, implement its principles, and be bold in sharing the doctrines taught, especially if you haven't read and studied it lately. 

We love the members of our eternal family and thank each and every one of them for their love and support while we are serving this wonderful mission. We miss them all very much, but we know, Families Are Forever.

Until next week...all our love.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The long and short of last week...😉

We hated having to say good-bye to Vickie and Dan Overpeck at Montego Bay Airport on Saturday, but we had such a wonderful week with them all around the island. They have responsibilities back in New Mexico, and we have a lot we want and need to do here before July. As far as we know, this is the last visit from family until we leave. We'll be like a couple of road runners these next 4 months. 

Meep Meep!

We were excited to be able to share several of the interesting attractions here in Jamaica. After staying the first night in Montego Bay, we took the beautiful drive around the west coast to Negril so Vickie and Dan could enjoy one of the very nice small resorts, the beach, and some of the sights in Negril. We personally stayed one night and then a few hours the next morning on Monday, so we too could have a few hours to bask in the warm Jamaica sun. 

        A cute little beach friend and a typical Jamaican woman selling her wares. 

While Vickie and Dan were enjoying Negril, we came back to Kingston to resume our responsibilities on a few of our current projects and office work. One of our accomplishments was to deliver 20 more cleaning kits to the emergency container. It is always a good feeling to be able to add to the preparations for whatever may happen. 


We drove back to Negril later in the week to then bring the Overpecks to Kingston for a few days. We took the scenic route, along the southern coast and stopped in Black River to go on the boat ride at Black River Safari to see the crocodiles. This was our 4th time to do this guided tour, but it's something we always enjoy. There are new wonders of nature to notice each time. You may need  to look closely, but there are crocs in some of these photos. 

Mangrove trees 

Their grandsons, Jonas and Asher, will be thrilled to see this photo!

On Thursday, we went to Fort Charles at Port Royal. Even though we've gone here multiple times, it's interesting each time as we hear and see new historical facts and artifacts. We've had the same tour guide every time; he makes the tour so much fun. 

Our tour guide and new friend, 
Buccaneer Jermonie.



After Port Royal, we had a wonderful lunch at one of the restaurants with excellent ambiance at Devon House. It is located in what used to be the carriage house of the mansion. And no trip to Devon House is complete until having some yummy Devon House ice cream. We only indulge in ice cream when we have visitors because of the cost - money and calories, so there's another reason we're sad they were our last visitors. 

Friday, we drove up and over the mountains toward the north coast through the Bog Walk gorge. 

This was Vickie and Dan's last chance to really experience the lush tropical jungles of the island. We then took the fascinating tour at Rose Hall Great House - definitely one of their favorite stops. 

We had a great dinner at the open air restaurant at Glistening Waters Friday evening. We were worried we wouldn't be able to go on the boat tour because it was pouring, but it stopped raining long enough for us to go out and be fascinated once again by the luminous lagoon. 

In our younger years when we lived close, the four of us used to play a lot of card games with Spades being one of our favorites and most competitive. We haven't lost our partnership knack...Vickie and I beat the "boys" unmercifully; in fact they conceded. 


We stayed at the Glistening Waters hotel for the night so we wouldn't have to drive all the way back to Kingston to then come right back to the North Coast the next day. 

We had enough time before going on into Montego Bay to take the drive to show vickie and Dan another great house (plantation house) not far from where we stayed in Falmouth. The drive up to the estate is an adventure, and the view from the top is amazing. Before we leave this summer, we definitely want to go on the tour.


We so enjoyed having the Overpecks here in Jamaica not only to show them some of the sights and the beauty of this island, but also to be able to share details about the rewarding work we do here.  They commented on the friendliness of the Jamaican people and like us hope the country can remain an island of peace and good will. 

It's back to our busy missionary schedule this week.  We're anxious to proceed with the four current projects and to develop the others we've researched for submission and hopefully approval. Additionally, we've been asked by the Area Welfare Manager to revisit emergency preparedness with all the units over the next few weeks. Elder will continue using his many years of experience in training leaders throughout the island. 

We attended the May Pen Branch today. Our dear friends, Elder and Sister Gotfredson return to Utah this week, so we wanted to be there for their last Sunday. They have diligently served as a Member Leader Support couple for 18 months. We love them and are so appreciative of their example of unconditional kindness and indefatigable service. We know the members of the May Pen Branch as well as countless other Jamaicans have had their lives touched for good by these two faithful servants of the Lord.

 Sister Gotfredson surrounded by her loving sisters 
of the May Pen Branch Relief Society

We love serving a mission. We testify that Jesus Christ is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. It may appear that we made and will continue to make sacrifices through our service as missionaries, but we know we are instantly blessed. Nothing we can ever do in the service of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our earthly brothers and sisters is really ever a sacrifice.

Christ and Rich Young Ruler

Until next week...all our love.