Friday, December 31, 2010

Bananas growing

We were driving up in the bush to visit an investigator and take her some books and we found this banana grove - I think it is interesting that they grow upside down - at least from what I would expect. The commercial groves have the bunches covered with blue plastic - keeps bugs out, I guess.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr. Bird

We are so glad we got a hummingbird feeder and hung it in our patio - we have had a good time watching the hummingbirds come and feed - we saw a Dr. Bird the other night just at dusk - and now one came during the daylight!! Notice the long tail feathers! It was fun - it came to feed and then went away and Elder Smith went out to be sure the food was coming down - and while he stood there - it came back! He stood really still and it almost landed on him! So close - I was watching from the house and didn't think to get the camera and take a video - but I did get the camera and it came back! or one of it's friends!

Branch Holiday Party

Here are the Primary Children singing: Stars were Gleaming - the gold glitter stayed in their hair and on their beautiful dark skin! They also sang: Picture A Christmas - holding the Church pictures from Isiah's prophecy to the Second Coming with scriptures. Last is a picture of the whole party - or most of it. Dad did a good job of moving things along - we had the hall rented until 8:00 and the last people out were at 7:50!! It was fun...met our new missionaries there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Elder Smith's glasses

Elder Smith's glasses broke into two pieces on Sunday evening - Monday was a holiday so we took them to the only optical shop we know of today. They said that the jewelry shop across the plaza does their repair jobs - who knew!? yup - they are fixed - - and new ones ordered!

Transfer Day

This morning - early - 5:30 - we picked up the three elders to help out with their transfers. We loaded their things in the back and then drove to Kingston - 2 hours. Traffic wasn't too bad - Elder Tracy is going to the Bahamas, Elder Conder to Highgate and Elder Gardner will be an Assistant to the President in Kingston. We will miss them - I called them 'our trainers' because they are the first elders we knew here in Ocho Rios - good men!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas "Tree" 2010

Here is our Christmas 'tree' - our corner with all the cute decorations the grandkids made and sent to us - plus our little pile of presents - Elder Smith got a new frying pan and I got a small sauce pan..among other more fun (candy) gifts! thanks to all - we are looking forward to a couple other packages that didn't make it for Christmas - BUT we accept gifts all year long!! Our Mission Pres. and wife gave all the missionaries a tee shirt - very symbolic - our Pres. designed them - in the 33rd chapter of Deut. ..."Joseph blessed above all; he shall gather Israel in the latter days ... 16-17 - "let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph ...His glory is like the firstling of his bullock (ox) and his horns are like the horns of unicorns (wild ox) - with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Mannasah." The horn is a symbol of power, in this case the power to push scattered Israel together, at the gathering place which is the font..(in the temple). It is believed that Joseph's banner bore the symbol of his tribe , a wild ox on a black field. The prophet has called: "Come join the rants" and this Christmas, in honor of your enlistment, we would like you to have a token that is symbolic of your sacred responsibility and power. We are proud to be enlisted with you, to camp with you in Jamaica, to march with you and to fight with you. Pres. and Sister Scott Hendricks

Happy Boxing Day

We had been told that Sunday, Dec. 26 - Boxing Day - there would be almost no one at church - some years they didn't even hold church when the 26th was Boxing Day - a national holiday. Of course, our Mission Pres. said - all three meetings and we agreed...we had the most people in the three months we have been here! over 60 - we had to bring more chairs down from the upstairs rooms. There were two cruise ships in dock and about 14 members of a Provo family came - we had Aaronic Priesthood to bless AND pass the Sacrament!! They even sang a special musical number - beautifully - thanks Sheets family!! Primary we had 18 - only one visitor. Somehow Christmas brings out the members - we had been told that! yeah - now for the branch party on Wednesday and hopefully as many coming on Sunday to start the new year! Next picture is our apartment Sunday Dinner - and the kind of sad cake I made for our dessert - - recipe called for cool whip - not found in Jamaica - us I used dream whip - the powder kind - didn't work as well as you can see!! tasted good..and it all got eaten!

Friday, December 24, 2010

More Christmas Party

Here we are with Elder Tracy (Santa) and Elder Gardner - they are both being transferred on Wednesday - Elder Tracy to the Bahamas - Freeport, and Elder Gardner to the Office as an Assistant to the President. Here is our North Coast Zone's skit - Tracting in a Reggea Wonderland - I'll post the words when I get them - then the Spanish Town Zone doing a Maori war chant, and the office elders with Elder Herbert (from AK - Derrell's friend) and Pres. Hendricks - finding the one ties!

Mission Christmas Eve Party

Here we are at the Mission Christmas Eve party - Dec. 24th 10:00 - 3:00 - Elder and Sister Russell, and the whole gang - in the Constant Springs Chapel... Kingston

Thursday, December 23, 2010

more Jamaican Life

The school children here all wear uniforms and look so cute - these are the youngest I think - aren't they beautiful? The other postcard of Ocho Rios shows our apartment complex on the hills - the white buildings on the far hills. Here is the poinsettia tree but I wanted one with me in front so you can see how tall it is! Then I just threw in a picture of the mail stacks at the O.R. Post Office - general delivery. I heard a lady ask for her mail - she said her last name and the clerk picked up the whole packet of letters that started with that letter how inefficient is that?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

more Jamaican Life

More random events from the island - I saw this package of Local Cow Skin - and thought I would share with you - I don't know what they do with it!! I'll ask someone. Then the good Dr. Crooks, I thought you might get a laugh - people here don't have much of an American sense of humor - so Elder Smith and I have to not joke with them the way we would in the USA. Isn't this a beautiful poinsetta bush - huge and pretty! and last is Elder Smith at the most inefficient store we have ever been in. It is a store in town - they have really good prices on toys right now and we needed some for our branch holiday party. You find what you want - write down the number and take it to a window - they check the price and see if it is in stock - then hand you back your paper and you go to the back of the store to a cashiers window to pay for it - waiting in line, of course. THEN after you pay for it you take your paper stamped paid and wait in another line to pick it up!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rain in Ocho Rios

When the young elders had our truck on Saturday we walked downtown - and got to a plaza that is covered just as the sprinkling rain turned into a downpour!! Here is a picture of the rain at that plaza - and Elder Smith with the umbrella we purchased because we left ours in the truck! When the elders brought the truck back they had us take them to their next appointment - up in the bush - and it was still raining pretty hard. They got garbage bags out of their backpacks and put their scriptures in them, cameras, papers, and then took off up to teach a young lady - who came to church last week and today!!! She has a baptismal date set and the YW in the branch have made her feel welcome.

Christmas Tree

We thought we should have a picture by the Christmas Tree that is in the foyer of the building that the Church is in - so we set the timer and posed!! Here is the Christopher Columbus statue in St. Ann's Bay that has weeds growing out of his head! We drove over there to visit our member in the hospital. In the field outside of the Maternity ward - there was this mother goat and her 'kids' - I thought that was appropriate for the maternity ward!!

Primary - Ocho Rios

We had a really nice lesson on the Birth of Jesus in Primary today - the children colored two pictures and then we frosted and sprinkled the cookies I made last week - and froze. They had a good time - we made Christmas Cards to thank our families for all they do for us and added them to the plate of cookies.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Baby!

After the baptism we got a call from a sweet sister - who had delivered her baby 3 weeks early1 So we drove to the hospital and saw them - such a sweet mother - she has a one year old also - and is married! Her husband is a police officer in a town near Ocho Rios. Aren't they beautiful?

Cindy's Baptism

This is the baptism of Cindy - she is a nine year old... isn't she beautiful? Her little sister who is 5 wanted to get in the water also! Also pictured she is with her mom, and her whole family at the Russells front room. The swimming pool is right outside of the Russells apartment so we have the services there and then go out for the baptism. Cindy's Mom and Aunts and cousins were baptized in the River. It was a very special Saturday morning for us all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Community Tree

Here is the Community Christmas Tree with the lights on in the evening...also another better photo of the Jamaican Nativity Scene with the houses stuck on sides of the mountains - very realistic!


Our young Elders truck was broken into last night - the back window broken out and then the hood lifted and all the parts of the engine that could come off stolen - battery, carburater,(SP) alternator, etc. They had to drive to Kingston today and take a missionary to his new assignment so we let them take our truck. So we are walking today! that's fine except it is raining buckets!! We have an umbrella and that will keep our heads dry! We hope their truck can be repaired soon - matter of getting it to Kingston and if they have all the parts needed at the dealer's - it is as new as our and still under warranty - does that cover theft?

more Jamaican Life

Here is a darling little girl that was with her Mom outside the grocery store - I asked if I could take a picture of her - she had every color of clip in her little hair! Also a picture of our new mission office - yellow is a favorite color here in Jamaica. Our friends Jamaican Nativity Set - hand craved in our craft market.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Here the evidence of our Christmas baking - I don't have a rolling pin so used a 2 liter bottle filled with water instead. I'm holding the tomato sauce can that I used for a cookie cutter also. I found some star and heart ones downtown and I'll save the heart ones for Valentine's Day.

Christmas Cookies

Hi All,
It is a rainy cool (70 degrees) here today and I am heating up the kitchen making Christmas Cookies. I will freeze them and on Sunday the Primary children will frost them and decorate them to take a plate home. It is the closest I can come this year to my annual Children's Party. I just told Elder Smith that I don't remember EVER making Christmas cookies alone in the kitchen!! Happy Holidays all - keep it simple and stress and hugs, Mom, Grandma, Sister Smith, Dianne

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

more Jamaican Life

This is the second dead bat that we have found on our morning walks around our complex! Do any of you remember the Sears Christmas Window on 4th South Salt Lake City? We would drive up from Sandy to watch the figures in it! This is the Ocho Rios version - the nativity on the bottom and the houses stuck up on the hills! Very true to reality!! glad we have a four wheel drive truck to get places up there.