Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Largest Cruise Ship in the World

Between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay is a little town - Fallmouth. Years ago they were awarded a contract to dredge their harbor deeper to accomodate the largest cruise ship ever built - the Allure of the Seas... we saw it today and took pictures. There was a 'normal' sized boat at one dock so you can see the difference - note the end of the Allure out beyond the front of the smaller one!
I have learned more - the Allure of the Seas has a sister ship the same size - the Oasis of the Seas - both are the largest in the world!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

prayers answered

I know it is a really small detail but I just wanted to share a part of our life here. We met a couple from Flint, Michigan about a month ago when we were getting our exercise in the early morning. They were out walking up and down the hills of our complex also. We learned they have been coming to Jamaica for 15 years! She is African-American and he is white. We became pretty good friends and when out to dinner last week to celebrate them leaving yesterday for home. I said a small prayer that we could find someone else to share the gospel with when we were walking - thinking in a few days, weeks, maybe a month - nope TODAY - the first time Jim and Bonnie aren't in Jamaica we found another white man out walking our hills - just barely said hello but if we see him again we'll stop and introduce ourselves like we did with Jim. Thankful for all the blessings of serving the Lord.

prayers answered

I know it is a really small detail but I just wanted to share a part of our life here. We met a couple from Flint, Michigan about a month ago when we were getting our exercise in the early morning. They were out walking up and down the hills of our complex also. We learned they have been coming to Jamaica for 15 years! She is African-American and he is Ang

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sister Richardson - YW President

This is our sweet YW President - she and her husband are expecting their first baby in July. They are moving to another island for work and our YW will miss her! Elder Smith and I were privileged to teach them the Temple Prep lessons... the last few weeks. They want to go to the temple and be sealed before the baby comes - they got married last May so they have to wait until then...we will miss them a lot! but are excited for them.

Carrot-orange cake

I have given several of you a good laugh at my baking efforts! so I thought I would post a successful one! This is a carrot-mandarian oranges - coconut cake and it was delicious and easy! And the elders will eat just about anything that doesn't crawl off of their plates!

Jamaican 'Snow'

As we were walking for exercise around our complex the other day - it was 'snowing' small white blossoms! I got the camera and took pictures - the closest we will come to 'snow' here! They are from a high tree and it is hard to see them on the tree but they come falling down like snow.

Jamaican 'Snow'

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baptismal Covenants

This is a small one half page flyer that we put together to take to our less active members - when you ask them about their baptism they usually get a smile and tell us of the good feelings they had at the time...we wanted to remind them of the promises they made and how many blessings Heavenly Father has for them - if they fulfill their part of the covenant - thanks so much Polly for the pictures and Lindsey for the written words! We put the persons name first, and their date of baptism - only one in the branch in the 80's, most in the 2000's! a few in the 90's. Good reminder to all of us of the promises and blessings of obedience - I know these promises are SURE!

Walking Wal-Mart

Here in Ocho Rios we have what one senior sister called: Walking Wal-mart! On the street people have a box of belts (mens wear department) socks and underwear (women's lingerie) we actually purchased a phone holder for Elder Smith from the walking electronics guy! At the bridge over the Ocho Rios River, they stop and put their things on boxes - low overhead, huh?

cliff divers

Next to the Ricks Restaurant they had cliff divers. They would go around getting money in a bucket and then dive! The highest was from a stand way up in a tree! A family was there from Denver and the daughter must have been a college diver - she did way better than any of the 'real' divers! She is in the middle of a back dive!

Negril Trip

Here we are with Elder and Sister Russell at Ricks Restaurant in Negril, Jamaica. It is on the far west end of the island. This cafe has been destroyed twice by hurricanes and rebuilt even bigger and better. There was a small lighthouse in the distance, and we had lobster for lunch - just like Maine! Here is the light house closer and Elder Smith and our mission truck - fun trip.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day we went out to dinner with our walking friends - Jim and Bonnie Pease. They live in Flint, Michigan and have been coming to Jamaica for 15 years! We met them walking in the mornings and it is fun to have friends who we can talk about the United States to!! On the grounds of the restaurant we went to were these wonderful wild orchids - notice my green blouse! The water jugs are the ones we filled for Sister Barrett after we visited and learned that the town pump had been down for a month! Glad the mission has us drive a pick up truck!

Primary Repentance Clothesline

This is our Primary demo today about repentance - the dirty cloth at the front of the clothesline is the one we wash the truck with each week - then we did the steps of repentance and different children pinned them on the clothesline - and then the cloth at the end was clean! Primary is fun! This is a picture of our three visiting helpers today - two from Cedar City, Utah and one from Alberta, Canada. The little girls love to play with the long, blond hair and the Callisters were very kind to let them. Here we are coloring the picture to take home - last picture is of Jody-Ann and the keyboard that she is taking home to practice for the Easter Sacrament meeting when she will play for the whole branch.

Tobacco Education

This post is for Emilee - our family health educator! These cigarette packages were in a restaurant we ate at last week and I just had to take a picture - why would anyone buy a packages of these so labeled? Made us laugh - then the cockroaches at the church like to eat the glue from the Primary posters I put up - this one is the worst - I tried to whiteout some of them but it didn't help - today I just throw this away - Elder Smith took a picture first. I have killed two big bugs in the room before the Primary kids come in - now we are getting some traps and hopefully will save our posters from them.

more flowers!

Some more of the beauty of Jamaica! Flowers and wild orchids on the palm tree - plus a ruffled leave bush - there is no end to the beauty here!

Digging a hole!

This is a latrine pit - Sister Ester needed one dug for her house - The young Elders and us and Paul came Saturday morning...Elder Peterson swinging the pick, would get a bit dug out and then Paul would shovel it out. The pit needs to be 5 feet across and 10 feel deep!! There are limestone rocks in the ground and they are harder to chip away - but they got about four feet dug last week and another two feet this week. Hopefully in a couple weeks it will be ready - the little girl is Dayiva - Ester's youngest daughter. I was impressed with the young elders hard work.

Jamaican Apples

These are Jamaican apples - they taste and have a texture like pears - but they are red! I used them in an ambrosia salad along with mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, coconut and whipped cream - it was delicious and the red/purple of the apples made it very pretty!!

Jamaican Apples

These are Jamaican apples - very pear like in taste and texture and looks! I made an ambrosia salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, coconut and used cute up

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wonderful Scriptures

It is pretty neat to have so much time to study the scriptures -- and pray. When Polly was on her mission in Peru, I quickly learned to 'have a prayer in my heart' - always. But now I get to actually kneel several times a day and read and study the scriptures every morning and most evenings - at least a little bit. So many of the Book of Mormon passages are about missionary work, and the Doctrine and Covenants - - although I have read them multiple times before, and taught them to others, now when I have the opportunity to spend 24/7 working for the Lord, they have a different meaning. For example, Doc. & Cov. 1:1 - "Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together." Really didn't catch that "...islands of the sea..." until I'm here on one of them!! Also Alma17:11, talking about missionary 'long suffering', 19:35 importance of baptism, 22:1 - being 'led by the spirit' and 28:8 - gospel is "for all nations" - and I could go on and on. Dearly love this gospel of the Son of God and all the happiness it brings to those who are obedient to it - dearly love my companion and all the missionaries serving throughout the whole world. I find it very interesting that the Sendai zone was 35 miles inland from the coast at a Mission Zone Conference when the big waves hit. The Lord loves ALL His children and wants ALL to return to Him. Wow - that sounds like preaching, I'd better quit!
love, Sister Smith P.S. fun flowers from Chile bookmark from Lindsey!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Small and Simple Things

It is meaningful to me that our Heavenly Father is so aware of the small details of our lives and is willing to guide us in them. Our mission instructions included bringing a sewing kit - so I got this plastic box and proceeded to decide from my 8 drawers of sewing supplies just what was I going to need in Jamaica? I made it a matter of a short prayer and proceeded to pick out the things, elastic, iron on patches (white) and several different colors of thread...among other items. Just this week I had the occasion to use three of the exact colors that I had included - I know it is a small and simple thing, but just reaffirmed my faith in our loving Father to guide us. I am grateful for all the small and simple things in life... and love this gospel!

Friday, March 11, 2011

School Holiday

It has been a school holiday here - Ash Wednesday and also Thursday & Friday. Yesterday some of the YW/YM called and asked if they could swim at our complex pool. They came about 1:00 and stayed until 4:00!! I think they might have stayed longer but we had an appointment so they had to leave - loads of fun! It amazes me that some of them can't swim - they live on an island, for goodness sake! Hope we can have a whole branch activity here in the summertime.

Herbert's Leaving

Elder and Sister Herbert picked us up at the Airport when we came to Jamaica. The Mission Pres. and wife were on the other side of the island at the time. We found out they were from Eagle River AK and Elder Herbert and my twin brother Derrell served as Bishops in the same stake at the same time! They have been very helpful to us and we are excited for them to return home. Their daughter emailed from Seattle that her kids were debating who was going to sit where when they picked them up at the airport in Seattle - they leave next Tuesday. Now we have another reason to visit AK often - not that we needed another one!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flowers and misc.

Here is another picture of the very different and beautiful flowers here in Ocho Rios. The next picture is of wild orchids - growing on a tree just outside our front door! We visited a gardens place and they had a peacock on a bench! We went to visit a member's house and these little boys were playing cricket with a board and a milk carton for a ball - see it in the man's hand - he is getting ready to pitch it. After doing our Church business, we continued down this road and there were three little girls, kicking another milk carton for a soccer ball. Appreciate what you have!