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.