Sunday, October 31, 2010

Primary - Ocho Rios

Look at these beautiful Primary children! Our first week we had only two and they refused to go into the Primary room with me (they have a myth/legend here in Jamaica about a white witch - Annie Palmer, killed her husbands and then her slaves that disposed of the husbands bodies!) anyway I think those two little ones thought I was the white witch!! Our next week we had 9 Primary kids and I struggled through two hours of not being prepared - but we played lots of fun games and sang songs. This week I was sustained as the Primary President and I was really prepared - besides sit was Halloween so I had bags of treats for the kids - 14 kids came!! then after church several parents asked me for a 'sweet' - so I gave out all I had. Glad I kept two bags for the young elders at our house!! We had a great time and I'll look forward to Primary and getting some Jamaican members to help out. Happy Sunday everybody!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cement construction

Here are the concrete telephone poles on the side of the roads - I'm thinking that wooden ones would rot in the humidity! Also cement is the way people build houses here - first a lower level and then an upper level to rent out - looks better when painted!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Here is my Seminary class on the fourth day of holding it - three girls and two boys...course we had pizza delivered for Friday treat!! that brought the boys. I took a picture of Elder Smith in the Branch Presidents office - cute isn't he? and also a picture of the Primary room. I went to the store to buy a few Halloween decorations for my door and walls - they didn't have any! I guess it isn't a Jamaican holiday - anyway thankfully Joel and Anna drew me some and Kate sent them - got them yesterday at Zone Conference... yeah! Thanks so much Mortensens! They are up in my living room wall and I will enjoy them for a while.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More construction

Here are more pictures of the sidewalk construction - the men worked really hard with their pick and shovels - and they mixed the cement right on the sidewalk - just a pile of sand, rocks and the cement powder.

Sidewalk construction

In the parking lot we use they were taking pick and shovel to an end of the sidewalk - next time we came by they had it framed out to pour concrete and make a ramp - do you think it is up to code? Works for Jamaica - see the finished result!

Using your head II

Here is another gentleman with a load on his head - they usually walk too fast for me to get the camera out of my bag and take their picture! Jennie reported that Sophie is trying to balance her plastic pumpkin on her head and walk around their house - silly girl!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Up in the Mountains

Today we headed to the west of town to find some members. We first went to Runaway Bay and spoke with Sister White - she just moved from Mandeville and knew Elder and Sister Strieble (Ted's parents - Stefan's best friend) - small world. She is now a member of our branch and has come two Sundays in a row..even offered to teach the gospel doctrine class this week - she lived in the Cayman Islands before living in Mandeville. We couldn't find the Brown's - actually we found the store they own but the manager said he didn't know them - Dad thinks it was him!! oh well - some want to stay 'lost'! Then we drove to Browntown - up a high mountain - ALL the way up! and quite a bit town all the way up there - even had a community college...crazy narrow mountain road. Elder Smith is doing well to navigate these roads - course the new truck helps also. I taught Seminary tonight to 2 YW - really neat girls. One walks to church and the other one has about a 10 minute Taxi ride. We have our first Zone Conference tomorrow - don't know quite what to expect - but it will be good to have the Mission Pres. here.
Elder Smith tried again at the bank to get the signature cards changed - now they say he has to have a personal account there! What? we are going to ask the MP tomorrow. All in all a good day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Swimming in the Ocean

For FHE tonight we went swimming in the ocean! - it is warm and clear! We found out some prices for recreation - scuba $60, snorkeling 30, jet ski 1/2 hr. 70 and whole hour 120.00 they have a glass bottom boat ride but we don't remember the cost. I took a picture of our apt. complex from the beach - and a picture in the store of the chicken feet that they make soup out of - it's not back - they soften when cooked. Also another postcard to let you see the hills we climb when we go into the bush to find members...two cruise ships are in port in this photo.

Our 'House"

Here is a tour of our one bedroom apt... bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room - Dad at the computer! We finally got rugs, waste baskets, etc. so now it feels more like our home.

on our morning walk

Most mornings we walk around our apartment complex for about 30 minutes - it is uphill and downhill some and a pretty good workout - we sweat! Here is a huge fan shaped palm tree we pass, also a fire hydrant, Dad by long vines hanging down from a big tree and me by one of our gate guards - Mr. Smith! He is really fun - we went in and out today - PDay, did our laundry downtown, fixed our computer - took two trips, and then went swimming in the ocean... on about our 10th trip back in - Mr. Smith said: last one! you have used us all your times today!

Our Morning Walk

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pictures of Postcards

This man was using a 'push cart' See the movie Cool Runnings" - downtown and smiled when I took his picture! The other two pictures are postcards that I bought today - since it has been two weeks since I mailed the first one to the states - I thought I'd try and share this way. The buildings at the lower right hand side of the ocean postcard - is our apartment complex! It is called Columbus Heights and it is high on the side of the mountain. The other picture is of Dunn's River Falls - about 1 2/2 miles from us and very famous. People climb up them as you can see.

Into the bush

Here is the road we drove on today - into the bush! This is one of the better ones, wider and smoother than most! Also a picture of Elder Smith next to our new mission truck - pretty nice, huh? It shifts into 4 wheel drive as you are moving - no need to stop. We have a Club thing for the steering wheel to deter thieves.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time to Clean

We spent most of the day cleaning out the Branch Presidents office - - lots of old stuff to be thrown away - Elder Smith moved the desk and file cabinets around to make more room and all in all just made the small office more efficient - only had to kill one huge cockroach in the process! During the afternoon it rained buckets and the roof leaked in only one place - just a few drops luckily. I felt sorry for the cruise ship people who were in port today - but they had a few hours before and after the rain storm to get their shopping is sure more crowded and interesting when a ship is in! This Royal Caribbean boat is the world's largest right now, a bigger one is being built! Freedom of the Seas - 10 decks!

On your Head!

There are lots of very talented people here who carry large loads on their heads - it does free up your hands - this man is carrying cotton candy! at least it's not very heavy! The eggs here are all brown - and good! We watched the Freedom of the Seas, largest cruise ship in the world right now, dock as we walked the other morning. View from our balconey. Ships come 3 days a week it seems.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Branch President Smith

Today Elder Smith was made the Branch President of the Ocho Rios branch! We knew it was going to happen because our Mission President told us - but no one else did. Harold will do a great job and the members here are very supportive... after Church we had our first baptism - Paul Lester. He has been studying with the missionaries a couple of months - and is the greatest convert - just wants to do everything right. He asked Elder Smith to baptize him and so he did! love to all, the Smiths
Elder Smith said I shouldn't have taken the picture of the ordinance - I KNOW we don't do that and I took the picture just as he was raising his hand - please note that! and I won't do even that again. The Branch President asked me to speak on Obedience in church Sunday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Activities

We did our laundry, watched the gardeners hack bushes with their machetes, had a fun branch party - busy Friday.

Friday Activities

We did our laundry, watched the gardeners hack bushes with their machetes, had a fun branch party - busy Friday.

into the bush

WOW - last night we went into the 'bush' with the young elders. Just about dirt climbing into the hills around town - up muddy roads, walking down muddy trails, hiking around a cinder block fence, etc. Couldn't imagine the number of shacks there were up there - a whole city of them. We helped teach an investigator - young women, 17-19 years old. She was so sweet and accepted the gospel very readily - when we taught her about dressing modestly she said: I need to get different clothes - to cover up. Wow - it felt really good to actually do missionary work. There are some changes coming in our Branch Presidency this Sunday and then we will have more to do! love to all, Elder and Sister Smith
PS - if the Mormon missionaries knock on your door - let them in and listen to them!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This weeks activities

Here are scenes from Jamaica - the Blue Mtns - 7000 feet - highest in the island. A road picture - two lanes and people using them! The Chapel at Montego Bay - and our District Meeting!! love to all, Elder and Sister Smith

We are in Jamaica - no problem, mon

Here are the Herberts, a senior couple from Eagle River AK - they know my twin brother Derrell! We are having a great time getting to know all the roads, areas, etc. Elder and Sister Smith

We are in Jamaica - no problem, mon

Wow - this country is amazing - - so green and pretty! The ocean is beautiful blue and the mountains green - the roads, however, very scary!! Pres. Hendricks said he was talking to a native Jamaican who asked how he liked it here. Pres: I love it - but you could fix the roads and I wouldn't mind it. Jamaican: Then it wouldn't be Jamaica!! We have driven with the other senior couple in our area for two days now, visited some wonderful members, given a blessing to a mother of a member, had district meeting, and saw some wonderful country. We should get into our own apt. today and finally unpack all our stuff. That will be very nice! Have to run - love, Elder and Sister Smith

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our wonderful In-Laws

Here are the wonderful men and beautiful Emily who have elected to join our crazy family - we are so much the better because of them - thanks Chris W. Emily, Ben M. Ben P. Chris K. and Dan... we love you so much and appreciate you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Fairbanks Family

Dan, Lindsey and sweet Olivia - we loved spending time with your family this last little while - wish it could have been extended. Thanks for all the driving down the canyon coming to family events! - both families!! Happy Birthday Dan and Olivia this week!

Kroebers at the Party

Heather, Chris, Eli, Isaac and newest member of the family - Keenyn Samuel!! Thanks for all you have done these last 6 weeks - we will miss you ( and everybody). Thanks for taking care of things while we are gone - gotta love on line bill paying!

The Pikes

Emilee, Ben and Darling Talus,
Thanks so much for having the whole group invade your house - thanks Ben for letting a doting grandma allow grandchildren to 'play' your guitar, ride your boards and make a mess of your lodgings!! Great food, Em - thanks for baking.