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.


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.


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.