Thursday, December 30, 2010

year's end

Last posting for 2010 and a recap of our Christmas week-end seems in order.  The mission party on the 24th really was fun.  (For those of you have been concerned about which skirt I wore - white linen won out.)
We arrived a little before 10 am and there was already a crowd.  The Herbert's were busily making popcorn and putting it in large plastic cups and setting out bowls of candy.  These were for watching a couple of movies with.  Several other Sr. sisters were helping get the meat hot and ready for our Mexican Haystacks lunch and the younger mishes were all chatting and rehearsing their skits. 

Before we got started officially a woman wandered in off the street and wanted food.  Poor Sis. Hendricks was just undone because it is so hard to say no, but she was untirely unsure we actually had enough to feed the missionaries and she knew if she fed this lady she would have half of Kingston sitting down with us. 

We started with a carol and Bro. Herbert reading T'was the Night Before Christmas and then Pres. H. talked about the history of that poem.  Let me interject here that when I was a little girl every Saturday my mother would shampoo my hair and then roll it in curlers (in those days rather primitive contraptions).  In the curler box was a newspaper clipping of that wonderful poem and she would recite it to me while I got curled.

After that we watched the old Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Mr. Kreuger's Christmas with the aforementioned treats.  Sometime before the movies a couple of elders serenaded us on their guitars.

After lunch we had skits which were really very creative.  One Maori group did the squating, clipped chanting and that was a huge hit.  One group gave us the "actual version" of what happened Christmas Eve.  Mary was one of the native Jamaican elders as was baby Jesus also.  One of the "blind" shepherds exclaimed, "see, I KNEW  he was black"  Herod was a too cool dude with sunglasses and a cell phone ordering "hit men" when he realized the wise men had dissed him.

The Sr.s did a version of The Twelve Days of Christmas written by Elder Schaefermeyer.  Part is as follows:
On the first daily visit my Elders taught to me
A life with no ganja or tea.
On the second daily visit my Elders taught to me
two year missions...
On the third daily visit my Elders taught to me
Three Nephites...
On the fourth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Fore-ordained...
On the fifth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Five golden plates, four standard works, three hours of church...
On the sixth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Sex not til marriage...
On the seventh daily visit my Elders taught to me
Seventh day's no sabbath, six days to labor...............two meals to fast and a life without ganja or tea.
On the eighth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Eight's when you're baptized............six days to labor, No golden calves........
On the ninth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Nine is when Church starts (spoken in a dramatic voice) "It;s really 10:00 but we tell them it's 9:00 so they'll be there on time"........Seven steps to repent................for-ty day flood, three realms in heaven.......
On the tenth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Ten percent tithing, Nine is when Church starts (spoken) "Unless you're in a building that has two branches", eight special witnesses.........
On the Eleventh daily visit my Elders taught to me
Eleven's not a quorum, still ten commandments, Nine is when Church starts (spoken) "It will probably start ten minutes late anyway."......
On the twelfth daily visit my Elders taught to me
Twelve year old deacons...................seven times forgiven..............And a life with no ganja or tea

After the skits Pres. Hendricks was "inspired" to bring us all back to the importance and solemnity of the celebration and spoke to us about the spiritual reality of Christmas.  It was beautiful. 

We then had ice cream, cookies and presents.  Pres. & Sis. Hendricks gave everyone a T-shirt with a stylized picture of an ox and a paper with it's symbolism in Israel (a favorite topic of his).  The mail was distributed and we had to part.

Christmas day we fixed a good dinner - for those of you who don't know Jack made his first batch of rolls and his famous twice--baked potatoes.  The sister missionaries came for dinner and long talks with their families.

Sunday I gave three piano lessons after church and on Boxing Day (Monday) we got permission to take the sisters down to Treasure Beach for pizza.  That was a real party.  There were a lot of people just enjoying the holiday, eating,, playing soccer on the grass, music blaring.

OK, SORRY about that laborious description.  I have just one more thing .  I HAVE HAD IT WITH LIZARDS.  Last Sunday night Jack typed and printed our weekly report.  I took it, stuck it in the three hole punch, gave it a good hard whack, pulled it out and a tiny lizard was sitting there on the paper as if by  magic.   I live in fear of the next sighting.

Sorry I did not include these picture where they belong but Jack was asleep and I was , obviously, on a roll.

Happy New Year to you all.  We love you so much.  Frannie















This week's Signs of the Times.Right now there are a lot of signs for All White New Year's parties.  That is not what I thought it was.  It just means everyone wears white.  Ricardo Mullings and Allison were obviously amused at my assumption.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Dearest Family and Friends,

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we will be thinking of all of you.  We will be celebrating with all of the missionaries here on the island.  We will drive into Kingston to the Constant Spring (that is singular, NOT plural as almost everyone calls it) Branch for fun and food.  Sister Hendricks has been alsolutely adament that there be no basketball, hoping to prove to the elders that it is possible to celebrate something, however significant, without a basketball in one's hands.  She loves basketball as much as the next guy (girl) except maybe the elders. 

Our feelings have been tender not so much because it is Christmas but because we do miss you and are so grateful for all you do for us.  And Jack has had a discouraging couple of weeks questioning our effectiveness.  I, of course, know we are turning Jamaica on it's ear as evidenced by the piano lesson photo on his last post.  That was a volunteer thing for me but I was rather dreading it;  what the heck do I know about teaching piano?  It is so much fun and I have at least two other men who want to start next Sunday.
Five Browns look out for the Mandeville Branch piano ensemble.

Christmas Day the sister missionaries (we have two on the island and we are lucky enough to have them here in Mandeville for awhile) will be here to call their families and have dinner with us.  And I hope to be able to inform you on my next post that Elder Andersen successfully  made and baked Parkerhouse rolls for our feast.  He has wanted to make/bake bread for years and will now pull that rabbit out of the hat/oven.

This photo was taken at Strawberry Hill, the sight of one of the old Great Houses, and is now a hotel/ restaurant.  Spectacularly beautiful and that was a lovely day.

We have both admitted that it is a real blessing that it just
does't seem like Christmas; therefore, we aren't thinking
 about Christmas and missing Christmas.  House cleaning
and baking and running into Kingston on a Friday are just
things you do in December.  What is wierd is trying to
decide between a white linen or a cotton print skirt to
weat to the party.  I've about decided on the white linen.

Along with the picture of us I also wanted to include a
couple of signs of the times which I hope to make a regular
feature of in this irregular blog.


There is a second installment  to this if I can get Jack to stop when we pass it.  We don't know if anyone does actually get caught but would you want that Meter Monster  breathing down your back?
Evidently ther has been some confusion.

Despite my levity, I do want you all to know that I am so grateful for our Saviorl, Jesus Christ and his miraculous birth, his mission to this earth and his willing, selfless sacrifice for all of us.  I am committed to consecrating this time of service to him hoping, at the end, to feel that I know him and have helped others to have a desire to know him. 

Please pray for these beautiful people, especially those stalwart members of the church who have such a desire for the church to be strong for their posterity and are carrying heavy burdens to make that a reality.

We love you and miss you and pray for you.  Frannie

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas....NOT



With sunshine and mid 80's and little in the way of homes lit up it really doesn't seem like Christmas.  Last Sunday we had the Morrison boys share the season in dress and I have included a picture of them.
  (you can click on the pictures to enlarge)


 When I started taking pictures all the children wanted to get into the act so here I have included a couple more pictures of the beautiful children















 About 3 weeks ago we had a change in the District Presidency and after a recent Dist Pres Mtg we took a picture of them.  L-R Bro Morgan a district counselor (high council), Pres Powell 1st counselor Pres Morrison new Dist Pres, Pres Hosang 2nd counselor and Bro Topy Exec Sec.  Not all have it easy in the church.  Bro Topy's wife belongs and is active in another church but he has a solid testimony and is very faithful. He say's baptized a Mormon, living a Mormon and will die a Mormon.



 
Next we have our resident piano teacher Sister Andersen.  Brother Johnson is on his 2nd lesson and Bro Baily is looking on and has asked to be added to the list of students along with Hopeton Haughton.





We were in Negril last Friday to visit an institute class and spent the night.  Of course on Saturday morning we were able to spend time on the beach and swim.  On the way home we stopped at the Brick Oven Pizza stop (described on an earlier blog) and Fran took this picture just inside the gate.The flowers are spectactular this time of year.

Christmas eve will find us in Kingston for a luncheon with all the missionaries on the island and then on Christmas day we have invited the Sister Wilkinson and Sister Payne who are serving in our branch to come to dinner and use our vonage phone to tallk with their families.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL - we miss you and love you.

Elder/Sister Andersen  ..... Jack and Fran

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Prep





Well, PHEW!!  I finally have the Christmas decorations up and I will tell you the saga of how we got there.  The young man on the left is John-John who is a wood carver at the craft market in Ocho Rios and famous amongst the missionaries here in Jamaica.  If you want something carved you call him (everyone has his phone number) and order whatever it is you want.  Well - with a catch.  He needs a $2,000JD deposit.  We really didn't want to buy before we saw but  - what can you do. 

He was there and we were here (a several hour drive) so we called the Smiths (Senior couple in Ochie) and asked Elder Smith if they could possibly go over and make our down payment.  He advised me he didn't think that was necessary so I agreed to take his council.  Sister Smith called back immediately saying "Men don't understand shopping".  The deposit was made and we were committed.  Turns out we loved the nativity set we had ordered so he wrapped it in newspaper and put it in a black plastic bag (what else) and we were on our way.

This charming man has nothing to do with our Christmas
decorations but he was peeling coconuts across from John-John and was more than happy to pose for me. 
It actually took me quite awhile to get this just right but as you can see below it turned out nicely with the addition of the Christmas tree Susan sent.  Our other preparations/aactivities have been rather pedestrian compared to the arranging of the nativity. 


Our seminary and institute classes in our branch planned a party for last Friday night and after much drama the organizers were unable to get any funds for a dinner so we volunteered to furnish dessert.  So I made a LOT of cookies and we got ice cream to go with it.  The party was deemed a success by those who attended.

I also made enough cookies to take for the Sr. couple FHE on Monday night but the real hit will be Jack's chocolate cake.  His reputation has already spread among those who care about such things. 

There are others who are planning Christmas dos.  Our Relief Society president, Sis. Heath, has been quite excited about the dinner she is going to fix for the branch adults.  It was originally supposed to be just for RS but it was so close to the Priesthood dinner that they have decided to combine.  She is going to fix fish and this morning she told us she would like to make a potato salad if she can find sweet potatoes.  The sister conducting (this was after the OH, OP, PH, Theme) said the farmer by her had sweet potatoes to dig.  Sister Heath informed her that they had to be Big because she bakes them for potato salad, she doesn't cook them .  Sister Tomlin thought they were quite big and drew the size on the board.  Sister Heath said if they wern't big enough she would have to take them back.  This also included a discussion on the price and whether it would be better to get them from the farmer or in the market.  Unfortunately, we will be in Negril that night because I really would love to sample that salad.

Sister Heath graciously invited us for Christmas dinner but we had already invited the sisters so they can call their families on our Vonnage line. 

Well, it doesn't feel much like Christmas but we celebrate the wonderful occasion with all of you in our hearts and memories.

I was going to end this blog with some more pictures but the whole process takes more energy and patience than I have in store.  Next time which I hope will be sooner than so later.

Love you all.  Fran

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heinz post


For those of you who live in wonderful winter climates - this is Elder Andersen out on the front step Sunday evening November 28th watching the world wide leadership training broadcast on the web.  It was just a very comfortable temperature.  Go ahead remove your snow from your driveways.







It is always nice when some neighborhood people advertise the upcoming pot holes.  Here is an example of what we dodge mile after mile while traveling the intereior of Jamiac.  This example is not bad compared to about a 8 kilometer stretch in Haddo which is on the way to Montego Bay.

Elder and Sister Cheesman were released recently and the Sr. Couples went to Strawberry Hill which as you can see is a very nice place atop a mountian overlooking Kingston. We had a very nice time and a very pricey lunch.  It was fun to be together with the other couples

When you are in Rome do as the Romans do.  When in Jamaica Sister Andersen ( I forgot I was typing on the blog and should have said Fran but it is a habit not to)  has found a way to decorate the wall in the kitchen . We enjoy the change from a very plain wall.


On all our trips to Negril we slip out to the Rock House for a jerk chicken sandwich.  This is the view we have to contend with.
On Thanksgiving the Sr Couples were invited to the Mission Home for Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was delicious and a fun time was had by all.







On Friday the 26th we visited the Seminary at Junction.  Pictured below is President Collins the branch president, Sister Collins his wife and the semianry teacher and Chris Anthony Collins the son and only class member.  Faithful they are to carry out the programs of the church in spite of numbers. They are certainly wonderful people.


Thats it for the 57 varieties.  Things are going well and we are not missing winter but miss all of you.

Jack.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Travel etc

On Monday the 15th we went into Kingston and worked in the office until closing time then went to the mission home for a Sr couple family home evening. Elder/Sister Flake had served their last mission in Nauvoo so they shared some slides and experiences that we enjoyed.  It was the last Monday for Elder and Sister Cheesman as they were returning home on Thursday so it was very nice to be with everyone prior to their departure. On Thursday we traveled to Savannah La Mar and visited classes and Fran gave the inservice lesson.  Then on to Negril for 2 nights as we were visiting Brother Baileys institute class on Friday night.  Also on Friday we stayed after class as the Elders were hosting a Friday night activity.  They had prepared well and we had a very nice time but our hearts were heavy as there were only 3 members in attendance.  They are really struggling in the branch and the President Henry the branch president asked if we could come once per month and spend a day trying to reactivate the members. Unfortunately that is not part of our assignment and we do not have time to accept an assignment like that.  I suggested he contact the mission president and ask for a Sr Couple to be assigned. For you Sr couples reading this there are hundreds of branches in the church that need a Sr couple for strength and shadow leadership.  It is hard economically for many members to even come to church on Sunday let alone a Friday night activity.  It is hard to generate enthusiasm or create any excitement without support and attendance.

On our trips to and from Sav and Negril we have always been interested in a sign along the highway for "Brick Oven Pizza"  Those of you who know me would know that I would like to stop and see how their pizza is.  Well Fran and I planned ahead to stop on the way home.  We got off the road and drove about a mile but did not see any business of any kind.  There was a young girl about 12 or 13 walking along the road so we stopped and asked her where the pizza parlor was but she did not know about any pizza parlor there but was quick to request some money for a soda and biscuit and when I told her I did not have money for a buscuit she said will do you have fifty dollars then I could have (that is about 65 cents US) and I told her I did not have any change.  (this is typical for many many Jamaicans to ask for money - even at church) Many of them think all Americans are rich and they are not bashful about asking.  We continued and came to a Guest House but there were no signs so we returned to the highway and got the phone number and called for directions.  Well the directions actually returned us to the guest house but still there was no sign for pizza or eats of any kine.  I got out and went to the registration desk and asked where the pizza parlor was.  She said under the thatch.  Now  I will post some pictures and then continue with the experience.






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Well as you can see under the thatch there was 3 picnic tables a plain counter and an brick oven at the end.  The setting is wonderful as it sits right on the Carribbean.  We then told the registration clerk that we wanted to have a pizza.  She said OK I will go get the pizza man.  We waited and waited (typical in Jamaica) and discussed whether we should  wait or leave but decided to stick it out so we would know.  Finally a gentleman appears carrying the above pcinic cooler with all three sizes of pizza rounds on the top. He started back into the guest house and I said can we get some drinks?  He turned around and said "Oh you want some drinks?" Then he returned with another arm load of condiments and I asked if he had a menu to which he once again disappeared into the guest house and finally returned with one copy of a menu. Picture enclosed.


We ordered our pizza and Fran ordered shrimp to which he stated I will have to cook some so he disappeared into the guest house again and in about ten minutes reappeared with the cooked shrimp. He then proceeded to prepare our pizza and cook it in the brick oven.







This was our view while we dined and the Pizza turned out quite good and we were glad we stuck it out. 


Neighborhood update: while walking one morning this past week I was early enough to meet Dawn and Audry the ladies I gave the Book of Mormon.  I asked it they were still reading and they both said yes then Audrey said "It's just like the Bible and when you read it it really gets you going" as she was swinging her arm up.  I told them again wat it was and she said " In my  Sunday school I have asked and answered alot of questions and people will say where did you get that from" and she said she answers "Talk to Elder Andersen".  Also met Elder Higgin the pentecostal minister and we are still trying to get he and his wife to come to our home for a visit.  They are both reading the Book of Mormon and she is recuperating from major surgery so it may be a while yet.

For those of you in the COLD country rest assured we are still having our meals outside with a temperature in the low 80"s.   Today we are going into Kingston to work in the office then tomorrow all the Sr couples are meeting at the mission home for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.   Jack & Fran

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back to Jamaica and lovin it.

We are busy busy with travel, visiting classes, reconciling the PEF account and Sister Andersen's new assignment of calling and talking with every PEF student on the island once per month. On October 31st we visited the Junction Branch for all three Sunday Meetings.  They had 4 young men in attendance who as of yet do not belong to the church.  I do not think they yet have the understanding of Sacrament meeting as all 4 came into the meeting with their coke soft drinks and put them under their chairs while meeting was going on.  One of the Elders from Bountiful played the keyboard while we sang the opening and sacrament hymns then a little girl kept wandering around during the meeting and tripped over the electrical cord and rendered it unusable so there went the music.  Our purpose for going was to meet Sister Green the institute teacher and find out when she holds her class.  She advised us that it would be held on Thursday evenings at 6 pm. On Thursday we were about to leave for the branch (45 min to one hr away) and I thought we should call the branch president to make sure it would be held that night and he advised us no - she had held it on Tuesday and had permenantly changed the day to Tuesday.  no problem... we did manage to visit her class however last Tuesday the 9th. There was one non member in attendance and we certainly enjoyed our time with the 5 in attendance.  That started our busy week. On Thursday we went into Kingston and I worked Thrusday and Friday on the PEF account while Fran did her student calling. She was able to complete all calls in the 2 days and now will repeat the process next month.  On Thursday evening we attended the Jamaica PEF committee meeting and made plans for starting the firesides again in April/May time frame. We would like to get several more members into the program...especially the male population.  Worldwide in the program the percentages are 49% male and 51% female.  Here in Jamaica we are running only 36% male. Hopefully we can get more of them interested and enrolled in University or a trade school.

Neighborhood update.  This past week we were disappointed in that Elder Higgin and his wife could not come to our home to discuss the Book of Mormon he is reading.  However, in a subsequent conversation I said "you are reading the Book of Mormon but I think it is not fair that only you have the book, would you like one for Sister Higgin so she can read too."?   I am happy to report that he was very accepting of having a book for her too which I promptly delivered.  In addition, I have gotten 2 more books out in the neighborhood and one more to get to another neighbor I talked with last week.  Fran and I are planning to have a "cottage meeting" one of these evenings and invite the whole neighborhood to see how many will actually come and listen to us about the church.  Elder Higgin and his wife will come to our home as soon as here health permits and we are anxious to share the Joseph Smith story and our testimonies with them.  The Jamaican people are very friendly and outgoing people and we are enjoying our service here.  We do not know if we will see any fruits of our labors but even if we do not there will be one neighborhood that will know of the church.  Signed: 7/11....Seven down and eleven to go... but whose counting..  Jack.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

random thoughts on clothing care and more important things

Lest any of you think I have somehow gotten a life and lost my obsession with clothing care, fear not; that has not happened.  It has rained every day but one since we returned to Jamaica which, of course, means a lot of taking down and rehanging.  However, the latest is so much more serious. 

As you know our original dresser was "replaced" and for some #%&*@@#$ reason the insides of the "new" dresser had been stained.  Go figure. 

Last weekend we had classes in Sav/Negril so I got out a pair of shorts I use as a swimsuit cover-up and noticed a big dark stain on the back.  Didn't really analyse but couldn't get it out.  Soon discovered that almost everything in those drawers had the same stains.  Now I am catching on so I called my son-in-law Randy for his advise (Sherwin-Williams paint pro).  He suggested I try paint thinner. 

I totally saturated the stains and that worked wonders - thanks Randy.  What we now have, however, is a large pile of clothes that reek of paint thinner.  Two washings later we are ready to leave for MoBay where we have classes.  Hoping Sister Sorenson  (our hostess, another Sr. missionary) had a dryer we took that pile with us - in plastic bags, in the trunk.  Our car now reeks  of paint thinner (better than spoiled milk) and we went to a laundromat because we didn't feel like we could do that to Sis. Sorenson.  (Turns out she doesn't have a dryer anyway.  Ten dollars and twenty minutes later we had that problem solved, or closely thereto.  Now if I could just find a can of rust remover.  I know you can get it in Cayman.

The more important things are the things we are here for.  I find myself "Book of Mormon" caring that these, our Jamaican brothers and sisters, have the richness, the fullness, the fatness that we so abundantly experience with our temples, our chapels, and friends and neighbors and teachers.  I have often felt that "Oh, that I were an angel" feeling .

We have been visiting seminary and institute classes and doing some inservice lessons.  Those are really great and rewarding experiences.  We have been somewhat instrumental in getting a couple of those classes started so that is very satisfying.  It feels good to be teaching a lesson now and then. 

We were in MoBay, overnite and when we arrived home it was chilly.  Now it is bordering on cold.- partly because it is fast Saturday/Sunday.  Nice sensation though. 

I must let you know that Mollie and Tony and Anthony welcomed Carter Michael last Saturday, 30 Oct.  He has a lot of black hair and a very cute face.  They are doing well - mostly. 

Sorry I have no pics to enliven this rather dull posting but I am having a hard time restarting.  I will be looking for worthy subjects.

I did forget to tell you that Jack left his Dopp kit in MoBay so we will be making that six hour trip again Monday.  At least we should be able to have lunch this time. 

Love and miss you all.

Frannie

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back to work

We are very happy to be back to work with our misionary assignments.  Yesterday Oct 28th we had our first inservice lesson in Sav-la-mar.  The teachers from Negril also come to Sav for the inservice meeting. Negril is about 18 kil away.  Sister Opoku is the seminary teacher at Negril and Brother Bailey teaches Institute.  Both were in attendance along with Sister Smith who teaches institute in Sav and Sister Woolery who teaches seminary.  These sisters and brother are very dedicated to their callings.  Sister Opoku does not have any students and only 4 potentials who are all inactive. She is trying to work with them to get her class going.  We were impressed that even though she does not have any students she would still travel 1/2 hour to attend the inservice meeting.  I  (Elder Andersen) wonder if I would be that dedicated or just say "no need for me to got to that meeting."  We love the Jamaican saints.  Life is not easy for any of them but they show their love for the gospel and our saviour by doing what they can even with limited resources. Following the inservice lession which was very well coordinated and done by Sister Andersen she went to teh institute classs to attend and observe while I presented the PEF fireside to another potential student.  Whenever we are involved with the PEF firside I have an overwhelming appreciation for President Hinkley and his vision of the potential impact on those who have not. I alwasy come away on a high realizing that we have been given the opportunity to play a small role in that program.

Since we were not going to complete our assignment until 9 pm or so and being 2 1/2 hours away from home we made reservations at CocoLaPalm in Negril.  Negril is the tourist beach on the west end of the island. It has 7 miles of continuous beach and while it was hit hard by the tropical storm Nicole they have been able to restore it as before.  There is one farily large sail boat that did not fare well and is broken up and partially burried in sand about 100 feet off shore.  They have a guard there to prevent people from getting into the weckage as the boat belongs to someone in the USA and they have not been able to contact the person yet so cannot move it until they get permission. We spend a couple hours on the beach on Thursday afternoon before going to Sav and then this morning (Fri) we once again took a walk on the beach and then I went swimming in the Caribbean and Fran went swining in the pool.  The water was very nice and I really enjoyed myself especailly after talking wiith our family in Utah where snow blankets the ground.

Now to the neighborhood.  I started my morning walks right after we got back. It has been fun to reconnect with the people I know.  Marlin is about 32 yrs old and he said he is reading the Book of Mormon I gave hime. I have asked him to get his neighbor Roger Burton (who lives accross the street and is about the same age but inactive) to bring him to church. Hopefully we can get that to happen while we are here.  I had a short viist with Elder Higgin who is the pastor of the penecostal church and he is reading the Book of Mormon I gave him.  I did make an appointment for he and his wife to come to our apartment last Wed afternoon to discuss how the Book of Mormon came about but he had not come by 3:30 I called him and he said unfortunately they could not come and we would reschedule.  I have visited with James Chambers,
Brother Bell, Omar and  Dawn  who all have Books of Mormon but they need more encouragement to read.

Health: I am happy to report that the blessing I received upon returning has been just that .. a blessing. I am doing fine and feel thankful for all the prayers that I was included in as well as the promises given.  The priesthood is real and the gospel is true and we are seeing Jamaica thru new eyes and really enjoying it.

Of course I cannot speak for Fran who is back to hanging out clothes then pulling them down when suddenly it rains the hanging them out again when the sun peeks though then calling "Jack come quick and help me get these clothes off the line" as the rain starts again.   The end for now.  Jack.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday in Jamaica

We arrived in Kingston on Thrusday night at 9 pm. (2 hrs late - which seems to be standard for A Airlines)
 The Schaefermeyers picked us up and we spent the night with them in Kingston.  Friday morning we went to tthe mission office and had a nice reunion with the President Hendricks, Kevin Brown,  the Chessmans and met the new office couple Elder and Sister Daniels from Mesa, Az.  Picked up our trusty Mitsuibishi Lancer and after lunch with Brother Brown journeyed to our apartment in Mandeville.  Upon entering our apartment a few things were different.  Our landlady had left her husband while we were gone and apparently needed some of "her" furnishing", which left us without one bed in the guest room, the iron, the microwave, disconnected cable tv along with our dresser from the master bedroom. Needless to say it took a few telephone calls and alot of interenal pressure to aleviate to resolve the issues.  We were able to get a dressser from the apartment next door but were advised that the "fully furnished apartments in Jamaica do not include a microwave and iron." I guess we just lucked out to have had one included for the past 6 months. Seems like it is ok to change the rules as you go for individual convenience.  We did determine that we would just buy a new microwave and iron which we have done and have been promised that the  bed will be replaced (lucky for those of you who are planning to visit and stay with us).  Now on to the Sabbath.  Today was wonderful being back in the branch with the Jamaican saints. We were greeted warmly and asked to come to the pulpit during Sacrament meeting and give a report of our health status.  Few in number but great in spirit and devotion. We are back to the famailiar windows open, fans whirring, dogs barking, and the energetic soloist and band at the church down the street sharing their spiritual happiness loud and clear with all within a half mile range. We were home again. We have it so easy in SLC and here many brothers and sisters cannot come to meeting simply because they cannot afford the $1.00 cab fare to attend.
While we were away tropical storm Nicole came through Jamaica and while we are up in the mountains just outside Mandeville we did not have damage, we were advised that the power was off for a couple of days so we had to discard all the frozen food we had left in the freezer.  Sister Andersen received some additonal responsibilities that are part of the PEF activities and so we are looking forward to contributing jointly with  another area of the PEF as we go forward.
To all at home - we had a wonderful time while there with you and have been blessed with adequate health and strength to return.  Since I did have some continuing abdominal discomfort and not having an assigned home teacher in the ward, I  called President Bekker and asked if he and his son William could admininster to me before my return.  He graciously agreed and asked if it would be alright if he brought somone else if they were available.  On Tuesday evening at 7 pm President Bekker and Elder Richard G. Scott arrived at our home and I was administered to by these wonderful brothers.  President Bekker anointed with oil that had been consecrated in Jerusalem and Elder Scott gave me a wonderful priesthood blessing that has allowed us to return with full confidence to complete our misison.  It was an honor for us to have had this experience and blessing in our home. We are looking forward to making an energetic contribution here. Jack.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's been a while....

I just noticed our last posting was August 17th.  There is a reason....On August 8th I (Elder Andersen) was stricken with unbearable pain in the right side where my gall bladder used to be.  We did seek medical care in Mandeville (Dr. Singh) and after 2 weeks and consuming both prescriptions the pain and discomfort did not disappiate so in counsel with the Caribbean area doctor we were advised to return to Utah for medical treatment.  We did so on August 30th and have been successful in discovery and treatment (no life threatening diseases thankfully) so we will be returning to Jamaica on Thursday October 14th to resume/complete our year that is left. We were able to be fully functional with our duties right up until we left for Utah. On August 21st we participated in a one day training for all seminary/institute teachers who came to Mandeville from all parts of the island ,as well as getting seminary and institute classes in one branch where none was being held, along with getting two more teachers called to fill out the program in two other branches.  On the 28th we travelled to Sav and Negril to deliver manuals and Fran presented a PEF fireside in Sav while I performed my first branch financial audit, then to church on Sunday and out to Salt Lake on Monday.  As we reviewed the past 4 months we were able to present the PEF materials to 27 potential new students for higher education and actually had 5 that completed the application process, were approved and started school in September. We do have a deep appreciation for home, our family and all our friends. It has been a bit of heaven on earth and the weather has been perfect.  I had forgotten how it felt to wear long sleeve shirts, sweaters and suits. Now back to the warm moist climate and the wondeful Jamaicans. Jack.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ten Top Things That Are Driving Me CRAZY

These are in no particular order and any one alone could probably push me over the edge.

1.  Days with no water - This is probably due to my paranoia/obsession on the topic of water.  I have always worried about a water shortage and could be in, on, or under the water 24-7.  It  IS our lifeline - or at least one of them.  The upside is that I have really surprized myself at how adaptable I didn't know I was.  I remember Lowell and Ann Benson telling us about Scott not having water often when he was serving in the Dominican Republic - my thought then was IMPOSSIBLE.  Now I would just say buck up and take your shower with the water stored in your Clorox bottle.  I'm pretty much a pro at that now.

2.  Smoke - Not cigarette smoke.  Almost no one in Jamaica smokes.  The smoke, which comes in many different flavors comes from bonfires - all the time - everywhere.  From huge fires burning sugar cane fields to across the street weed burning (usually when I have hung a fresh batch of laundry out) it really becomes annoying.  There don't seem to be any regulations and it seems to be as integral to Jamaican life as loudspeakers on top of cars and potholes.

3.  Clicking Ceiling Fans - Which Jack doesn't even hear.  It comes and goes, inexplicably, but when it's going you can hear it all the way outside.  One day I was hanging clothes and thought it was the landlady's washing machine banging out of balance.  No, just the ceiling fan in our office.

4.  Black Plastic Bags - Totally irrational, I know, but there you are.  Most stores use them and they are so dreadfully ugly and seem to have been designed to keep whatever you have purchased a big, black secret.

5.  Car Alarms - Put this in the same category as smoke.  OMNIPRESENT   You can't escape them - they are everywhere, all the time.

6.  HUMIDITY - This actually should have been at the TOP of the list and then listed as a subtitle line to every other listing.  It makes anything that is on the floor stick to it, it makes you stick to yourself, it makes your clothes wet just from sitting on the sofa, it makes your hair curley or straight - naturally opposite of what you want it to be, it grows mold on Jack's suit and makes closed cupboards and drawers stink, it makes all fruits and vegetables mildew and/or rot.  I hate to admit it, but it also makes your skin soft. Drat!!

7.  Rust - Our washer spews rust - mainly on nice white shirts and blouses, but has also generously peppered our best white sheets and pillow cases.  The white things can be soaked with lemon juice and put in the sun to dry which does a fairly good job of erasing the rust but I'm afraid to try that on the colored clothes because I think it will bleach out the color.  The landlady has committed to do something about it - we just don't know what or when.

8.  Microscopic black bugs - These breed and grow in thin air and then congregate on counters and walls pretty much everywhere in your house.  Usually they are enmasse but on my desk they race around one at a time which makes them harder to catch.  They are about the size of this dot . and move about in crazy circles at the speed of light.  The most maddening part is when they are on your arms or hands - especially when you are fixing food

9.  Cheap, Broken Umbrellas - On our first night in Mandeville we were in the drugstore picking up some essentials and saw these perfect umbrellas - perfect size, automatic pop-up, nice wooden handles, good price.  They lasted not quite four months.  The real tragedy here is we can find huge beach size, or tiny pocket size but nothing that will guarantee to disintegrate in less than four months. I defy you to make some sense of that.

10.  Waiting - Right now for a wonderful talk that Elaine Dalton gave at the churchwide CES training seminar a couple of weeks ago.  Our CES Co-ordinator for Jamaica, Kevin Brown, wanted to show it to our Seminary and Institute leaders at our island wide training meeting this Saturday and then have me lead a discussion on how we can use her message in S&I classes.  We check the internet two and three times a day but it is not yet available.  So we'll see what we can pull out of the hat at this late date.  Yagottaloveit.

To counter this rant and outweigh my negative vibes are the people we deal with almost every day.  Our wonderful mission president and his darling wife - The incomparable Kevin Brown, our boss, who is
possibly  the coolest person in Jamaica - Our really boss, Kent Rappleye, who is the coolest person in the Caribbean ,always so graciously complementary- Our friends, the other senior couples in the mission - The dedicated elders and sisters who keep us young - this is an example:  Last night we were driving home from Kingston with three elders.  Elder Mackey, who has been out about a month, told us he had decided to adjust very quickly to Jamaica so that he would have more missionary time.  Jamaican neighbors and strangers who smile, help, respond, joke, offer you a guinep or a pass into the traffic.

Our testimonies, our love for each other and all of you.  Our gratitude for all the Lord has blesssed us with not the least of which is your love for us and your wonderful support.  Thank you for all you are and are doing to make this mission experience possible.  We are trying to make you proud of us.  Love, Frannie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Neighborhood update 2

Just reviewed the blog and discovered it has been  a month since I reported on the neighboorhood walks. In the past month I have walked several times with James Chambers but only a couple times with Caspian Burton. When I met Caspain he said he and his wife Darcea were friends with a missionary couple sometime ago.  I asked our landlady who that couple was and she said the Srtiebels from Canada. Jackie (our landlady) gave me their email address and I contacted them and told that I had served my mission in Canada and was looking for any information about the neighbors they knew.  In response they advised that Caspian and Darcea Burton's grandson had been baptized into our church about 5 years ago. I have tried subsequently to get to meet him (Roger Burton) but have not been successful yet - but will as he is in the age group for institute. Another coincidence is that Brother Stribel and I were serving in the Wesrtern Canadian Mission at the same time 1959 & 1960. Small world. 

Now on to others we have become friendly with.  Marlin is a landscaper that lives on the walking route, accross the road I met Janet Ramsey who is Audrey's employer (Audrey is one of the ladies I meet walking to work in the morning that I gave a Book of Mormon to). Mrs Ramsey and I had a nice conversaton as she was working with the flowers in her yard and I found out that she also has a Book of Mormon and has welcomed me to bring Fran up to meet her. In addition have met 3 other families.

A couple weeks ago I saw Elder Heegan (the pentacostal minister) on his front porch. It was Monday morning so I asked him what his sermon was about yesterday.  He reponded it was about the Savior and repentance before the Savior comes again.  I told him we both agreed on the sermon and that some other things needed to happen also, that being the gathering of the ten tribes and the restoration of the church due to apostacy.  I really enjoy talking with him as he is such a genteel spirit.  Then on last Monday he was out in the yard so I stopped and visited again and told him about the Book of Mormon that it is a history of the peoples in north and south America fromm 600 BC to 400 AD. I also told him that the Savior had visited those people after his resurrection and acension and it contained the record of that event, to which he replied 'Oh it is another recored of Jesus Christ" - to which I affirmed him that he was correct.  He has agreed to accept a copy of the Book of Mormon and I will be delivering that this coming week.

 Then as luck would have it I met Mr Wilson out fixing his driveway gate.  That came about as he had his 4 passenger golf cart parked there and I suggested we should be playing golf instead of him working on his gate.  We talked for a few minutes and he said he is a member of the Manchester Club and we would go together. He is not going to be available uttil the week of the 23rd  so we will go then and I am sure I will meet more people to talk about the gospel then. About a month ago I did go to the Manchester Club which is the golf course in Mandeville. It was built in 1865 and has been in contiuous operation since.  Part of the rock wall that borders the road is still in tact.  Our chapel property actually borders the golf course.  Since it is a private course I went to ask if I could play there or not.  I met Janice who manages the counter and she said yes I could come as a guest.  I got the prices for green fees, club rental from her, and she also advised I would need a caddy and gave me the price for him. Caddy fees one thousand dollars Jamaican.  That is $11.50 US dollars. Not bad to have someone who knows the course and will carry your clubs for you.  I have played twice since then (first caddy Stanley and second caddy Affiele).  Janice told me she knew our church bordered the course and she likes Christians.  When it came time to pay her she gave me half price of what she had quoted.  A very nice lady.

Just a closing note and that is Fran and I have been busy with the PEF firesides and will have presented it in every branch in Jamaica by the end of September.  The goal was to complete every fireside during the month of July. But then this is Jamaica and No Problem Mon.... Next Saturday we will attend a one day training session for alll seminary and institute teachers in Jamaica and then prepare to assist as the school year begins. On the reconciliation for the Cash Not Applied fund I have now located 40% and hopefully will wrap up that project by the end of September or October.

 Finally I have to report that I am now adjusted to the mission. I did not know what to expect as a Sr missionary couple and the transition to life in Jamaica was tough but I am now settled in and am going to just enjoy the mission experience.  Fran is smarter than me and she adjusted much faster.  Mentally I reflect often on President Hinkley who was always very positive and forward looking in his attitude and then the great talk by Elder Witrhlin "Come what may and love it". We miss and love all of you.   Jack.  a.k.a. Elder Andersen

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday nite after YSA



If you have read the title you probably don't have to read any further.  Friday nite overnite to Saturday with 90 18 to 30 (and there were a few 30 pluses) and you surely have some idea where this might be going.

Let me say that we actually have been working with the YSA Conference Committee since the first part of June.  Our first meeting was in Spanish Town on a Sunday when there was a tropical downpour.  The roofs of the church buildings are metal and when it rains that sound is deafening and of course makes it impossible to communicate in any other language than sign.  We did get started with our plans in spite of having to shout at each other.  The man who was leading the committee and his wife were wonderful to work with and also the young people who were on the committee. 

Jack and I both approached the actual time with MUCH anxiety - that dreaded unknown.  After we fell into bed last nite we each confessed that we were profoundly grateful for the whole experience.  Not the least ingredient of our gratitude was the bald fact that WE DID IT.  With the Lord's help.

Here are some random observations on the experience - not necessarily in order:

These beautiful Jamaican youth are so cheerful and fun loving and at the same time very deeply spiritual.  We had an impromtu testimony meeting because our class leaders had not yet arrived.  The young man sitting next to me asked if they had just announced that we would have an opportunity to bear our testimonies.  I said yes.  He was visably agitated until after the conducting brother had expressed his testimony and then he almost tripped over me to be the first one up.

The attendees spent all of Saturday in Sunday dress - note the white satin shirt and tie and the orange satin shirt.  They love to DRESS and were very concerned about being able to iron their clothes.  We had to promise that we would bring our iron and ironing board.

After everyone was registered we had a brief welcome.  Whoever was conducting asked if there was a volunteer to lead the singing.  This young man lept onto the stage and gave the most dramatic song leading I have ever witnessed.  Later we were chatting and he told me that he had learned to conduct by watching the Motab Choir.   He conducted all the rest of the group singing except the last hymn.  He also recited an obviously funny poem for the talent show but neither one of us really understood - which goes for most of the rest of the numbers on the talent show. 




Neither Jack nor I have made great strides in learning to love most Jamaican food but Jamaican-girl's-boarding-school-cafeteria food certainly didn't put another notch in our belts.  Every meal except breakfast is the obligatory rice and peas (peas are actually red beans) and some kind of meat.  Ours was accompanied by a tablespoon of coleslaw.    The coleslaw is usually very good . No fruits, almost no vegetables. 

Nothing is funner than watching a bunch of Jamaican young adults dancing.  The energy is off the charts.

Elder Hugo Martinez, an Area Authority Seventy attended and couldn't have been funnier, more gracious or have delivered a better message.  We all loved him. 

Ditto for our wonderful mission president, President Hendricks and his darling wife.  He rarely stops teasing but so obviously adores her and she just takes it all in with the cutest smile and a roll of her eyes - and then she will tell us what really happened.  They are a great advertisement for happily-ever-after even when the road is sometimes bumpy.  And so completely down to earth.  We all could listen to Pres. Hendricks speak for hours - it's always a learning feast. 

Our rooms were actually better than we had anticipated.  We were expecting to be on bunkbeds in the dorms with cold gang showers but Jack & I and the Cheesmans had private rooms - I had a matress on the floor, Jack got the bed.  That was determined by who has to get up the most times in the nite.  He won hands down.  The water was still cold but that was OK because it served nicely to bring my body temp down to just above normal - maybe 102 degrees.  The floor was a green plaid contact paper over cement - not matched and very torn but if one has flip-flops it doesn't matter.  The worst maybe was the toilet seat that fell off the edge to one side or the other while the cover rested on your back.  Clean anything is not really a priority.

I suppose every supervised event needs a drama queen.  We had ours.

There was an avocado tree behing our suite.  We picked a couple - hope we won't be poisened for stealing avocados.

The Cheesmans advised us to look for the huge Banyon tree just before we exited the property of the school.  The low "wall " you see is actually the tree root doubling back on itself.  I love tree trunks and roots.

After a VERY busy week we are sooooo looking forward to a week of 99 account and housekeeping.

To our family - hope you have a wonderful week at Alturas.  We love you all.  Fran

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Water Water everywhere except in the tap!!!

On Wednesday we had a zone conference in Savannah la Mar that started at 10 am and lasted until 3:30 pm. It was a very good meeting with President Hendricks and Sister Hendricks speaking and introducing a new approach in teaching "the doctrine of Christ".  It was a long meeting and concluded with a testimony meeting of the departing Elders of which there were 5.  Met Elder Trumpet who just arrived. His home is Toronto, Canada so we asked him if he knew Elders Marlow and Diehl and he gor excited to know they are from our home ward.  It was a fun connection.  Now to water.

On Tuesday afternoon we came home and no water.  Fran was upset and left a message on the landlady's cell phone, then went over to her apartment and no response.  We needed to shower at 6 am Wed in order to drive to the conference some 2 hours away.  Finally she came over and announced that no one in the neighborhood had water.  It seems as though when there is an exceptional amount of rain that the water company cannot treat the water fast enough so they turn it off.  We both had plans of how we would get clean the next morning and foutunately the water was on and we got our showers.

We arrived at the chapel in Sav and you guessed it.  No water. 5 1/2 hr meeting and no water. Well we were very apprehensive about whether or not we would have water when we returned home.  Right- no water. Dishes are piling up and we have a PEF fireside scheduled for Thursday afternoon so are hopeful we will have water then.  I came home from my walk at 8 am and we had water so I took advantage and showered. Then we got the dishes done and Fran decided (unfortunately) to do some other house work before she showered. 

We have been counseled to have water storage because we are in  the hurricane season.  We have several gallon jugs full as well as a 5 gallon jug for drinking.  Today we started using it.  Fran in the shower and Jack with the open bottle (cold) pouring it on her head as directed.  Actually it is a proven fact that one can take a whole shower with washing one's hair and rinsing out the creame rinse, soap and rinse on 2 gallons of cold water.  This is really a green beret mission and Jamaica. 

We do not know what tomorrow will bring but we hope and pray for WATER.

Jack.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Neighborhood update

As you know I walk 5 mornings per week and have met 23 regulars in along the route I take.  Last Monday I ran into (I call of them  brother) brother Casey again he is one of the school teachers and he said he would come by next week so we can talk. I had put a copy of an article from the April 2006 Ensign in my pocket in case I ran into Brother Burton as I wanted to give it to him.  The title is "Your Book is a True Book" by Ann Cue. (Who ever reads this blog entry I would suggest you go to lds.org and get a copy as it is my favorite article on the Book of Mormon) So I gave the article to Brother Casey and I'm anxious to talk with him again.  Then while coming home a gentleman was waiting at our place and I introduced myself and asked his name and he told me we had met the week before did I not remember him? When he told me where he lived then I remembered his name was Chambers and he said yes James Chambers. He was out for his walk so I told him we should walk together someday.  Well on Wednesday morning I was suprised as he was waiting in front of his home to walk. We had a good visit and he is another retired school teacher a widower with two children that preceded his wife in death.  He also has a  Book of Mormon from a set of Sr missionaries that were her a few years ago. With him discussing the loss of his wife it naturally led into a plan of salvation discussion.  Sister Andersen and I were then leaving for Montego Bay on Thrusday morning so I told him I would not be out again until Monday.  I was a little disappointed this morning as he was not out but know he will join me again.  I also told him we needed to get Brother Burton to join us. He is the Methodist Minister and also has a Book of Mormon.  As mentioned in an earlier blog Sister Andersen had prayed that I might meet some home owners who were well educated that could be leaders and since that morning we now have met 4 school teachers, one school administrator and one man who owns a construction company. We are just friendshiping them and getting in some gospel discussion as we can.  Also a couple weeks ago we were in Kingston for meetings three different days so I was not out walking.  The first morning back on the beat I ran into the two ladies I have given Book of Mormon's to and told them I had been in Kingston so right away they ask what I had brought them (not an uncommon request to us especially the children) so I told them I had not purchased a gift but it they would tell me when they have completed reading the Book of Mormon I would them bring them a gift.  Perhaps they will or perhaps they won't but I thought it might be a good motivator.  Another thought just crossed my mind and that was an experience in the grocery store in Mandeville.  As Fran and I approached the dairy case a clerk was there stocking a shelf and I said "how are you?" and she responded with the typical Jamaican answer "oh I'm alright" and I said how about when I ask you you say MAGNIFICIENT. So we tried it and she answered Magnificient so I asked her again and she said MAGNIFICIENT and I said now how do you feel and she lighted up and and said "that lifts you" which I thought was interesting and fun. Well Fran is out doing the dishes so I must close and go dry and put them away so til next time enjoy your environment - whether you know it or not your environment is wonderful
Jack. We miss all of you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fran Overcomes Writer's Block

Curious about the pretentious title?  That's because I just had this whole post almost done and lost it because it did not yet have a title.

As must be evident I have had a serious case of writer's block.  I have heard that the best remedy for that condition is to just start writing something, anything - good, bad or nonsense.  I couldn't even do nonsense.  I'm now convinced that the remedy is to actually do something worth writing about.  Here was our solution:

Several weeks ago we had arranged to meet the BP (branch president) of the MoBay (Montego Bay) Branch but because of Jack's hearing handicap and Pres. Lee's very Jamaican speech there was a formidable communication gap and we literally left him standing at the altar - actually church.  Jack apologized profusely but we felt we wanted to make every effort to meet him and make amends.  Because we had PEF Firesides scheduled in somewhat nearby Negril and Savannah-La-Mar (Sav) on Thurs. and Fri. nites we decided to make one grand round of the whole thing.  One whole really darn good experience. 

Pres. Lee is a very tall, handsome, natty Jamaican with his counselor Pres. Grant, a much quieter man in every way.  Pres. Grant was the BP when Pres. Lee joined the church twenty years ago and has been his mentor ever since.  They have served as pres/counselor to each other (it goes back and forth as to who is pres.) for most of those twenty years.  Either branch or district.  Pres. Lee told us he used to be the #1  rum drinker in MoBay but now is the #1 Christian.  They chose to go to a Chinese restaurant which neither one had been to before but after our meal Pres. Lee exhuberantly exclaimed that we had done very well there and that that was where he was going to bring his wife and the Grants for his wedding anniversary.  He just so enthusiastically loves the gospel, Bro. Grant, life, the church, dominoes, good food and almost everything in his path.  That was a wonderful experience - thank you Pres.s Lee and Grant.

Thurs. nite we gave a PEFF in Negril.  Negril is probably the best kept, most tourist savvy town on the island.  They boast a 7 mile white sands beach and that is very nice, very colorful.  We stayed at CocoLaPalm which had been recommended by former Sr. missionaries.  The grounds were quite nice and it was right on the beach but lest you get any false ideas remember we ARE in Jamaica and on a MISSIONARY budget. 

Friday afternoon I was in the pool when a young man came out to the pool, looked it over for a couple of minutes, saw that the deepest part was about five feet and I heard him say to himself "that's not bad."  He left and was back in a few minutes with a young woman and they got into the pool.  She seemed rather tentative but he was soon splashing around in a , loosly defined, swim.  He then asked me if I knew how to swim, I told him yes.  He asked me if what he had been doing was swimming.  I said yes and then asked him if he would like me to show him some "other" strokes.  He was very eager to learn.  I demonstrated several strokes but when I did a back stroke he told me he wouldn't be able to do that because he didn't know how to float.  I tried every way I could think of to teach him how to float but it just wouldn't come.  As soon as I would pull my hands out from beneath him he would go down like a rock - he simply couldn't relax.

We met up with them on the beach again Saturday morning and talked for a long time.  He and his wife were celebrating their first wedding anniversary.  They both teach high school, (they look like they are IN high school) and live in Mandeville.  We hope to be able to bring you more news of them from time to time.  He is going to try to find a book on Caribbean History for me    - that is the subject he teaches.  She teaches math in a different school.  Very likeable, sharp, easy to talk to young adults.  We fell in love with them.

Our PEFF in Sav Friday nite was just delightful.  The Sav Branch has an activity every Friday nite and we were it.  There were branch leaders, a young man waiting for his mission call., little children running everywhere, young couples, some actual potential PEF candidates, etc.  After our presentation several of the men retired to a corner of the parking lot under a light to play dominoes.  The women stayed in the chapel and talked and the kids ran around intoxicated with the freedom of being out probably later than usual.

Saturday morning we walked on the beach, talked with our new friends and then checked out and drove out to a restaurant/hotel on the west end called the Rock House.  Very good/spicy jerk chicken sandwich anda spectacular view of the ocean.

Somewhere between Sav and home (now I"m really getting technical) is a fruit stand where we had stopped once before for watermelon.  (We were actually having a lively discussion as to whether that was the same stand - I, Fran, won that one.)  As soon as we got out of the car the young man who runs the stand came running, exclaiming that this WAS the truth - he had been thinking about us and the spirit had told him that we were coming.  He was practically jumping up and down and repeating "that's the truth".  We, of course, were exhilarated with such a welcome.  We chatted and took a picture or two.  Our first picture with he and Jack is back on our 11 June post and this is an update.  We promised him we will stop whenever we are out that way.

I just want to add a couple of things - first if you knew what we had been through to get this entry posted you wouldn't wonder that I had writer's block but to end on a positive note here are a few images from this weekend.  The first is a scene from the bridge over the Negril River just as you are entering the town.  The white things are not flowers (which is what I originally thought, but some exotic white birds.)  The second is a funny man on who was just dancing his way down the beach and the third, a very nice woman who was selling fresh fruit from the tray on her head.  We didn't buy anything, but she wished us to have a very fine day and we did.  Thank you for reading.  Fran