Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the 24th (25th) of July Party

Here are the 7 senior couples and President and Sister Hendricks on the 25th of July party at the mission home - lots of great food and good company!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Counselor in the Branch Presidency

This is a picture of Brother Paul Lester and I. Paul was sustained as the new Counselor in the Branch Presidency on Sunday, July 10, 2011. He replaced Bro. Grant who moved to Highgate to live with his new wife and family. Paul was baptised on October 17, 2010 just 8 days after we arrived in Jamaica. Because of the situation, I was asked by the Mission President to interview him for baptism. He then asked me to baptise him, which I did. He was confirmed by Elder Tracy one of the young Elders. I also conferred him to the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained him to the office of Priest. About six weeks ago, I recommended that he receive the Melchizedek Priesthood which was approved. He then asked me to confer the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordain him an Elder therein, which I did. I then recommended that he be the new counselor in the Presidency which was approved by the Mission Presidency and because President Hendricks was unable to personally extent the call to him, I was asked to do so. I also was asked to sustain him in Sacrament meeting, which again I did. The following Wednesday was Zone Conference here in Ocho Rios and President Hendricks was able to set him apart in his new calling, I was asked to assist. So, it has been my pleasure to help him in his Church and Priesthood development. He has been and continues to be a real blessing to the Branch. He is a very atypical Jamaican man who has fully embraced the Gospel in his life.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jamaican Life

Some misc. happenings - we found the hermit crab on the grounds of the Seacrest Beach Hotel - where we are having the Young Single Adult Conference in August. Picture of Emilee and Baden - closest I can get to holding this beautiful new grandson! Dad was sitting in the white chair skyping with Dan and Lindsey and it broke apart - down to the floor he went - wasn't hurt but the chair was surely trashed!!

Zone Conference July 2011

I love Zone Conferences! this is our third one and they just keep getting better and better!! Pres. and Sister Hendricks are so full of wisdom and great advice and give us so many scriptures and spiritual ideas to think about. We also had guests from the Area Office in the Dominican Republic - Dr. and Sister Kilgore, our mission MD - and Elder and Sister McDermid - mental health experts...all of them gave such great advice and ideas to make us better missionaries and better people!! Love the AP's and their "laundry list" of suggestions - love the testimonies, love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Happiness for all of us in the world. Also had a great time eating dinner with all the senior couples at Mama Marleys!!

Branch Birthday Party

July 15th, 1966 - our wedding day! Now 45 years later we are in Jamaica serving a mission and loving it! At Zone Conference this week Pres. Hendricks said: "Sister Smith, I'll bet 45 years ago Elder Smith promised you that for your anniversary he would take you to the Caribbean!" nope - not really! It was also Kerry-gaye's 20th birthday - she was baptized in January - and she wrote the sweet message on the white board - we played some fun games and frosted cupcakes with toppings. The rope across the church served as a volleyball net and the balloons as volleyballs!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fourth of July

Sister Daniels is our Mission Secretary and we stay at their apt. when we stay in Kingston - she and I wore such similar skirts that we needed a picture! This building is the American Embassy in Kingston, Elder Smith was getting gas across the street so I took a picture, but you can't see the flag - oh well - it was on the 4th of July! Here is our group at the Mission Home after a delicious lunch - Pres. Hendricks barbequed chicken and made a big pot of Texas beans for us...everybody else brought pot luck - potato salad, lemon cake, mint fudge, veggies, chips and salsa, etc. We always have a good time when we get together.

Graduation Party

We had a great party Friday evening - celebrating 10 graduations in the Branch - from junior high school to University! Here are the six graduates who came and the huge cake that Elder Smith carried about four blocks downtown - with people asking who's birthday or can I have some cake? We played the wrap up a candy bar game and try to unwarp it with gloves on and a knife and fork - before the person in front of you throws the double sixes with the dice! then we played the stomp on someone's balloon before they stomp on yours - lots of fun for all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hospital Bench

Here is the hospital assessment bench the Church Humanitarian Mission donated to the Saint Ann's Bay Hospital. They had wheelchair fitting training in Montego Bay and trained some of the St. Ann's Bay Physical Therapists - then we got to deliver this bench to them - nice to have a mission truck!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Funeral - gravesite

After the wedding celebrations we drove 1 and 1/2 hours to Brownstown to see if we could support the family of one of our inactive members - who died June 14th. We got to the church just as the hearse was leaving to go to the cemetery - another of our members was standing there - Sister Alexander, our Primary President. I took a quick picture of the beautiful old church and we went to the Cemetery - they place the coffin in the vault and then cement it on top - Elder Smith and I with Sister Aleisa Lynch - our active member, and one of her nieces. "Life is real" - great-grandpa Wood!

More wedding pictures

I made Spam sandwiches, also crab and cream cheese ones, ambrosia salad and coleslaw, plus the wedding cake - and mixed nuts and Cheers (like M and M'). Here I am giving Luke a Primary CTR ring - The cake cutting, and the new family. We took the curtains off our bedroom wall and put them up over the church blue ones, took the rug from the floor of the YW room - looked lots nicer we thought!

Elder Grant and Sister Dryden's wedding

We had a wonderful opportunity this morning to be the witnesses to Elder Dorran Grant and Sister Nadine Dryden's civil wedding in our chapel in Ocho Rios. Bro. Medley came from Kingston to perform the ceremony - he is authorized by the Jamaican Government to do so ... the Grants will fly to Panama City and be sealed in the temple next week. We are so happy for the whole family - Maria looked glamorous and Luke very handsome - yeah for LOVE!