Friday, January 20, 2017

New Opportunity.

Preparing to reactivate the blogspot...stay tuned.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Unplanned event

We have not posted in quite sometime so I thought it was time to catch up on our activities.   On May 5th we were in Kingston to attend the monthly PEF comittee meeting and then stayed overnight with the Schaefermeyers. On Friday we drove to Ochi and had lunch with Elder/Sister Smith then on to Montego Bay where we presented the inservice lesson to the complete institute.  We had a CD copy of Elder Oaks talk from the Caribbean Area Stake conference, held in January that we presented.  We had around 25 in attendance and Sister Andersen (Fran)conducted a review afterward and as it turned out it was a very spriritual meeting with President Lee participating and sharing his enthusiasm for the gospel and especially the law of tithing.  We stayed that night with Elder/Sister Sorensen who graciously host us monthly while in Mo Bay.  We always enjoy being with them and Elder Sorensen and I scheduled a golf date for May 23rd at Manchester Golf Club in Mandeville.  The course was built and opened in 1865 and is the third oldest golf course in the world. On Saturday morning we traveled to Savlamar and at 11 am presented a PEF fireside at the branch for six wonderful girls interested in furthering their education.  We left Sav around 12:30 and headed home.  Since we would be passing the Brick Oven Pizza place we planned on stopping there for lunch. As we continued our journey toward  home we were on a spiritual high with the success of the past three days and the wonderful association we have here in Jamaica and felt really good about our service.  While travelling Fran reached in the back of the car to retrieve something and when she turned around she said "my arm hurts" and I asked if it had come out of the socket (as that had happened servral times even to the extend that I knew how to put it back in the socket) She said no and then nothing more was said until Sunday after church when the pain increased.  She suffered through Monday and finally on Tuesday we went to Dr Singh and she did not have any mobility without intense pain so it was imposible to xray.  I will not bore you with the details other than to say we had a very difficult time acquiring proper medical attention and finally after much effort were able to get a cortisone shot on Saturday morning which by Sunday had begun to offer some relief from the pain.  Unfortunately she spend  6 nights and seven days sitting up as there was too much pain to lay down and Dr. Singh would not give any pain pills strong enough to eleviate the pain.   After the challenge of treatment and consulting with the Orthepedic specialists in Utah as well as Pres. Hendricks it was determined that we would be wise to persue discovery and treatment at home.  It was with much mixed emotions that we cut our service four months short but felt like for the sake of proper treatment it was necessary.  Therefore, on May 25th we returned home and with prosfessional diagnosis it was determined that while some damage exists in her shoulder the rotator cuff is not torn and the surgery is not immediately required an she is involve with physical therapy to restore a full range of motion in her shoulder. We are very pleased with the improvement and the therapy will hopefully conclude in mid July.

While it is nice to be in our home and have our family around we were quite taken back with our reaction to having left the wonderful saints and missionaries, Pres & Sister Hendricks and Bro Kevin Brown our wonderful supervisor, mom and dad Schaefermeyer, the other Senior missionaries.  We instantly missed our missionary associations and our opportunity to be of service and our hearts go out the Jamaican Saints who faithfully live the Gospel and try to serve one another even in difficult financial circumstances. The mission has truly had a very positive impact in our lives and we will forever treasure our relationship in Jamaica. We were fortunate to complete the PEF firesides for the entire island the Thursday prior to our departure and feel bad about missing Seminary graduation in June.

Over all our mission was a wonderful experience and when we reported to the Stake High Council we both had a hard time controlling our emotions as we shared some of our mission experiences.

If any Jamaicans read this blog know that we love you and miss you and wonderful voices and warm friendliness.  Thank you for how you accepted and treated us.  We love you.  For all those missionaries we have grown close to we look forward to our continued association her at home.

Elder/Sister Andersen (know known as Jack and Fran)

P .S .Sorry this has taken so long but life outside the mission field is extremely hectic!!

Also in reviewing this I notice I forgot to apologize to Elder Sorensen as the events I have posted caused us to miss our golf in Mandeville so I have committed to him meet in St George after he returns home for the golf experience.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

just stuff

Well, just about anything to keep from getting down to brass tacks and studying for my next inservice lesson.  These are a couple

more random conversations.

I'm carrying stuff out to the car for some expedition.  A man passing by the gate stops and asks if I have anything needs repair (sic).
Me: No, but thank you.
MPBG: Any machines need fix?
ME: No, we just rent here.
MPBG: Do you have a phone number?
Me (lying): No, no phone.
MPBG: Well, I see you in December.  You still be here?
Me: No, we go home in October.
MPBG: Oh, my birthday in October.
ME: Well, Happy Birthday in October.
MPBG: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I like you. Can I have your number?

Jack just told you about one story at Sister Bodily's mother's funeral.  I would like to share the whole thing but some other time.
Brother Williamson (a lovely man from our branch) to me: Have you looked at her in the box?
Me: No
BW: You can go look at her.
Me: That's OK.
BW: You don't want to just go look at her in the box?
Me: No
BW: Really, it's OK if you want to look at her.

I'm embarrased that Jack put the green t-shirt picture in because I try to be a little more decorous.  However, you ain't seen nuttin.  There were two young women at that funeral that I simply could not stop staring at.  I even asked the two sisters sitting on either side of me if that was actually what I was seeing.  They confirmed that it was.  They left during the first congregational singing and I'm worried it's because I could not stop staring.

On the right is Branch President Collins and Dorlan who is preparing to go on a mission.  They happened to come into the Mission Office when we we there on Monday.  We were surprized to see Dorlan with his hair cut.  He hates it but we made a big fuss and he seemed pleased.  We LOVE Pres. Collins.  He tends his flock with such love and faith in them.  Forgot to say they are from the Junction Branch which has a special place in our hearts.  We have had some unique experiences there and are always happy to need to go there..

The most recent Signs of the Times:

Enlarge this if you have to. I snapped at Jack's request but was glad he had spotted it.  Taken on Washington Blvd. coming into Kingston.

These ads (or bills) are EVERYWHERE.  Not this one specifically (although there ARE probably 11,000 of this one) and I am unable to force myself to ignore them. 

This is my favorite spot on the way to Treasure Beach.  We have stopped several times to get a good picture (from the car because the people inside scream at us when they see we are taking pictures).  Someday maybe we'll go inside the Diamond Gorcery and have a look to justify the free blog material.

I just like the idea of a sign reminding me to
"Nice up me self"

Never hurts to have a reminder.
You may have to enlarge this to get the message.
A final word from our sponser.  Manchester is our parish so we appreciate the attention.

Don't know the name of this tree but they are all over the island.  They have just turned this color in the last month or six weeks.

That is the end and I am exhausted.  Blogging really takes it out of me.  I just have time to nice meself up to go to a baptism.  I miss you all so much it makes me crazy sometimes but we are so grateful for this experience and hope that we are having SOME influence for good.  Love, Frannie.

More from Jamaica

Technology is wonderful.  We were able to attend General Conference (all sessions) via the internet and it was wonderful. We attended with the branch members at the chapel and took Marlin an investigator with us to the Sunday morning session.  The whole experience gives us great appreciation for the gospel and its universal application to those who will persue studying, praying and living its principles. We love the faithful Jamaican saints and share the bond the gospel and priesthood brings.  After the Sunday afternoon session  we were helping with the take down of equipment and window covers and after we completed that President Powell (a counselor in the district presidency) said  I have another job for you to which I replied "I hope it pays better than the last one" and he directed me to a class room with a sister from the ward who is struggling with personal challengs and said he would like me to assist in giving a blessing to her. I agreed and then he asked me to give the blessing.  All I can say is it was one of those special experiences and I was thankful for it. And it did pay well with a good feeling about the opportunity.

Fran and I have been busy with PEF firesides and inservice meetings.  Since our territory comprises of nearly 1/2 of Jamaica for CES and all of Jamaica for PEF I will share some of the pictures that will give you a flavor for this beautiful country. (as a note when we first came we saw primarily the poverty and run down building and very little in the way of beauty) Now after one year we view everything with different eyes. 

Our view while dining on Pizza

I have mentioned before that when we go to the Junction branch for engagements we usually schedule them for 3 pm which frees us up to drive to Jack Sprats at Treasure Beach for Pizza and a little relaxation. On a recent visit I was suprised to see this Jamaican.  If George Felt happens to see this blog - GO UTES! (click on the picture to enlarge)

On our way home from Montego Bay one Saturday morning we saw the laundry being done by these Jamaican ladies.

A sample of a local business woman in front of her store waiting for customers

On Tuesday March 1, 2011 we had scheduled a training session in Ocho Rios with Nigel Lee.  On our last trip (in Feb) we did not get out of Ochi until after 3 pm and encountered a construction road closure in the canyon about half way home from 4 pm - 7 pm.  We had not seen the sign (yes there really was one this time) on our way up so arrived at 4:20 with an option of taking a alternate route or waiting. We elected to take the alternate route to avoid driving after dark.  Our fuel gage was low but I thought surely there would be a gas station along the way.  We drove for a good hour up though the mountains (thank goodness we purchased a GPS and had it programmed when we got here) and eventually came down into Spanish Town.  I was very concerned as there was not even one business of any kind in the area we traveled.  Fortunately I know where we could get gas in Spanish Town so we were very happy to be there.  The next morning we found out that about the time we went through town there was two gangs and the police having a shoot out and two gang members were killed.  I am glad we did not know that at the time as personal safety is very desireable.  The shooting experience brings to mind a sermon we heard at a funeral 2 weeks ago. A sister in our branch had lost her mother who was a Seventh Day Adventist and our Branch President asked all who could attent the funeral do so to support Sister Bodly.  As part of the sermon the preacher said "When I was a boy I used to hunt birds and we could go anytime. Not so now, you  have to have a license to hunt birds. No longer can you hunt anytime but you have to have a license and it has to be in season. Now man...that is a different story, here you can shoot a man anytime but for a bird you must have a license.  That pretty much says it all.  As a side note the government is really trying to decrease the number of killings as it has been a problem for a long time giving Jamaica the number one murder capital in the world.  So you do not get alarmed know that we missionaries use the same kind of judgement you would use at home for personal safety and we do not feel unsafe here.  I have digressed a bit so now returning to our trip to Ochi.  We made arrangements to meet at the Chapel at 10:00 am which required us to leave at 7 am to make it on time.
Little did we know that part way there the road was closed due to a severe accident and all traffice was rerouted through the mountains on an alternate route.  As you will see from the following pictures this process was not well thought out as the alternate roads are approx 12 feet wide and in may places there are drop offs on one side and rocky embankments on the other which do not allow for trucks with their width to pass.

Plenty of volunteer traffic directors


The culprit

FREE AT LAST  with the trucks getting around each other we were finally able to proceed- 1 1/2 hours in this grid lock and we did arrive at 12:00 noon only 2 hours late.

There was a bright side however to this experience.  The following are pictures of Jamaica we would not have seen without this diversion.

Cane Fields

On our way home we came through Christiana just as school got out.

Some additinal random photos

Gentleman hauling his goods to market

A sample of colorful buildings in Jamaica.

When we came into this village Fran aske me to stop for this picture as it was a reminder of our trip with Josh back to his mission field in Wales.

I often encounter Melissa Brown walking to school in the mornings when I am out for my exercise.  I was suprised to find out she is 20 years old as I thought maybe 15 or so. As you can see she the cell phone is the bread of life for the young.

This week we went into the food court at our shopping center for lunch. Everything in Jamaica is very expensive except for food at the food court.  As you can see the food served is plentiful and with soup, our plate of food and drinks included the total cost is $10.00 US  for both of us, and it is good!

Enough for today.  We are enjoying ourselves and keeping busy.

Love you all and miss you all  - Jack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mission experiences

Jack writing.  It's been a while since I have shared any Jamaican experiences.  We tend to share some of the travel experiences around the island so I thought it was time to share some of the interactions with the saints here  and a little spiritual perspective.  We absolutely love the brothers and sisters who with many challeges are faithful in  living the gospel and share genuine concern about each other. We are enjoying our mission and know we have been blessed greatly as we serve. President Hinkley announced the Perpetual Education Fund in April conference 2001 and I remember distinctly that meeting.  Little did I know or realize that the day would come some nine years later that Fran and I would have the opportunity to share that vision with those who without the fund would not be able to "break the cycle of poverty they have been in for so long".  Last Wednesday we met with Nigel Lee. He is a recently returned missionary, native Jamaican, who joined the church and then had to learn to read and write at a sufficent level to go on his mission.  He was released a couple months ago and is very discouraged at his prospect for the future. We presented the PEF fireside to him and his response was one of  now having some hope that perhaps he can progress with his dreams. 

Elder Lee prior to completing his mission
We are now working with him to proceed with the loan to complete his high school then apply for mechanic training.  This is just a glimpse into the programs of the church to help our less advantaged brothers and sisters in what we call thrid world countires.

Once per month we attend Family Home Evening at the mission home with all  senior missionary couples that live within a reasonable distance.  Last Monday we had a pot luck meal as Elder/Sister Herbert were going home to Alaska having completed their mission.  President Hendricks shared much from the scriptures then we held a testimony meeting open to all after the Herberts time. It was a very spiritual meeting and something we needed as when we arrived at the FHE we were coming off a couple weeks of discouragement but when the spirit speaks...we should always listen.  We came away realizing that we had responded to the prophets request for more senior missionaries and with that peace and satisfaction we found ourselves rededicated to contnue to contribute all we can for the remaining seven months.

Below right to left: President & Sister Hendricks then Elder & Sister Herbert then sister Russell

Yesterday (Sat Mar 19th) we attended the Relief Society Anniversary (yes I said RS but  the priesthood was invited to attend).  I have included a few pictures of the event.  The meeting was announced for several weeks in Sacrament meeting and other meetings as starting at 10 am.  We arrived and there were a few sisters setting up displays and then a few people would show up now and then and at approximately 12:15 it formally got started...ya problem...Jamaica.   After the meeting I took the branch president and his counselor to visit two members in their home.  I enjoyed that experience as with our assignment we seldom visit members in their home.  One of the homes the wife is active but her husband is not.  The branch president talked for a few minutes then I was quite suprised when he said "Brother....what is your problem?" I could just see that direct approach working at you would probably be excused immediately.

Sister Williams with some of her handiwork

 Sister Andersen - she is the one in the yellow
Sister Bailey and Johnson. Sis Johnson teaches Institute.

 Sister missionaries. right to left. Sister Everette from North Carolina, sister Payne from Mesa, Arizona and Sister Wilkinson from Morgan, Utah. Vaughn White a returned missionary from our branch on the right and Anthony an investigator on the left.

Today Fran was giving piano lessons after church and I went outside and sat on the cement base to the flag pole and was reading while waited..  It is up a hill about 75 feet behind the chapel and one of the investigators the sister missionaries are teaching wandered up the hill and I could tell he wanted to talk.He is 18 years old and very sincere in his search for the truth.  During our conversation he said his is getting it and  is learning the truthfulness and shared with me that he has one thing in his favor and that is his mother is willing to support him if it makes him happy. He shared that he does not have a father in the home and when I asked about the last time he saw his father he said they tell me I was four years old.  It is sad that so many children are raised with only one parent but that is a long Jamaican cultural issue.

Jamaica is not an easy mission but we are happy to be here serving.  We have been blessed for our efforts and our family has been blessed at home.  We have missed the birth of a precious grand child (Carter Sekikawa)  the baptism of Eliza Randle and all birthdays but we knew that when we came and would do it again for the opportunity to accept the call from our prophet and serve the Lord here.

Sometimes we find it necessary to drive to Treasure Beach (one hour drive in Jamaica but the 16 miles would be about 14 min at home) for Pizza.  Last Wednesday we found it convenient to do so. We really enjoy our time there relaxing and eating in the wonderful Jamaica out of doors.  I took this picture to document Sister Andersen's new hairdo.  The picture below is our view as we dine.

We miss all of you and love you and will resume civilian life in October.

The End

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I must add one more conversation to the last post which was several hours ago.  We have just come from the baptism of 10 year old Chemieka.  You could tell as she was going into the water that she was freightened and as soon as she was standing next to Pres. Powell she started to cry. Nobody could reassure her.  One of the sister missionaries started to go but Sister Powell said to her "No, don't go".  First her mother went back but that didn't seem to help.  Next Sister Powell went and Chemieka went back into the water.

After the meeting I said to Chemieka, "I understand your fear.  When I was baptized I worried so much about going under the water but I didn't tell anyone".  Sister Powell overheard me and then pulled me aside.  "I played a little trick on her.  I went back and said to her, ' you love Presiden Powell.  If he let you drown while you were under the water the police would come and take him away and shoot him' - and off she went into the water'."  Whatever it takes, I guess.


random conversations, etc.

This blog is proudly brought to you by Pepsi - unofficial owner and sponsor of Jamaica.
Some are hard to see but by clicking on the picture you can enlarge it.

There is a whole wealth of these all over the island.  Every parish has it's "Welcome to (insert parish of your choice here) .  Yesterday several of the senior sisters went down to the Kingston Craft Market.  On the way was a double size sign  with the rotating slats but I didn't have my camera.  It was in Old Kingston (read -
 site of the Dudas War) and nobody was willing to go back so I could get a picture.

Just a quick insert here of a couple other missed pics.  Last Saturday early morning coming down from MoBay a small group of women washing their cloths in the river.  I so hope we can catch that photo op another time.  The other was today on the way home from Kingston (in Porus - my favorite) we passed a man on my side of the car (he was extremely close).  I saw that he didn't have a shirt on (nothing unusual) but as soon as we were past Jack said "That guy was completey naked".  I asked him (Jack) to turn around but he wouldn't.

Now on to a random conversation which I got second hand so this is to the best of my rememberance.
Our two local elders went into a cook shop.

Elder M:  Do you have Coke here:
Cook shop lady:  Yes...but we call it Pepsi.
Elder M.  Well, which is it Coke or Pepsi.
Csl: They're both the same.  It's Coke - we just call it Pepsi.
EM:  They're not the same Coke is Coke and Pepsi is Pepsi.
Csl.  Ours is Coke but we call it Pepsi.

The next random conversation took place when I was trying to explain time signatures for music to three of my piano students.  I was not at all sure anybody actually understood so I said "If, at any point, you don't completely understand something here stop me and I will try to think of a better way to explain it".  Very softly Sister T. said, "Why don't you explain the better way first?".  Bless her heart.  I don't know why.

Jack stopped to talk to Caspian Burton on his walk one day last week.  He asked  Brother Burton (the Methodist Minister) if he had read the Book of Mormon he had received from the previous senior missionary couple (Elder/Sister Striebel)  He man replied in his melodic Jamaican voice  "No, it has such a flimsy cover.  It's hard to handle it when it has such a flimsy cover.  It would be nice if it had a nice hard cover and was bigger print. Jack:  Well, we give these away so that is why we have the soft covers. He said "well it is such a flimsy cover and it would be nice to have a hard cover if it wouldn't be too much of a drain on the church's resources.  Yesterday we were in Kingston at the Mission office and were able to pick up a hard cover albeit it has small print but we will be presenting it to him this week. That

Our weather is very nearly perfect but it's been very dry so we really should be praying for rain.  We did have a little bit yesterday.  We actually have loved our last two or three trips to the beach and hope we get one or two more before it gets hot. That was designed to create a likkle (Jamspeak) envy.  Did it work?

We've had dinner (I should say feasts) twice in members homes.  They treat us so graciously and the food really is delicious.  We both have had curry goat - a specialy here - and I quite enjoyed it.  Too many bones for Jack.

I also have another first to report.  I DROVE part of the way between Negril and MoBay and, most importantly, all the way through Lucea which is crowded with people on very narrow streets.  Jack was shouting instructions and praying at the same time.  I felt it was good for him to have the perspective from my side of the car.

We miss you all so much.  We have our own time markers and play head games to make the time left seem less.  Which is not to say that we are not enjoying even when we are not sure we are affecting or effecting, I'm not sure (I'm not actually sure either one of those is a valid choice ).  We love you and thank Heavenly Father for each one of you who have touched our lives.  As my grandmother used to say - so long.