Thursday, February 14, 2013

Experiences That Affect Our Lives for Good

Sunday 10 February 2013
Friday we planned to get some more bank deposits done but we got a call from Sister Larsen asking us to go to Price Smart (like Costco) and get some cheese for our meal on Monday night.  Unfortunately I had procrastinated finishing cutting the mini resumes I wanted to take to institute that night so I panicked as going to Price Smart is an ordeal and we still had several banks we wanted to visit.  So I scrambled and got them done we decided to go to an out of the way bank “on our way” to Price Smart and that turned out actually okay.  We drove through a different part of town and ended up down by the containers in the harbor—sort of a rough part of town but a nice branch of the bank—I loved some huge original oil paintings they had on their walls.

We made it through Price Smart in record time but had to go home to drop off the cheese as we could not leave it in the car.  I suggested peanut butter sandwiches before going out again but Bob said we had better hurry as the banks close at 2:30.  So off we raced again.  

What an adventure we had!  We drove through the not so good part of down town.  We did not know where we were going and the streets are not marked at all well even down town so we got into some questionable neighborhoods.  We asked directions a couple of times and finally sort of stumbled onto the correct street.  This street was pretty nice.  Nice shops and buildings not such crowded sidewalks, no sidewalk stalls selling sundry things.  Then suddenly we saw the bank and it was 2:28 so Bob said for me to pull over and he would go in but of course there was nowhere for me to park so I said no.  But he said we had no choice and told me to drive around and meet back here.  That was a totally dumb idea and I knew it but I went along with it.  I waited as long as I thought I could in the spot where I stopped which was a no parking zone and in just a few minutes I saw Bob come back to the corner and talk to some guy so I of course thought he had not made it in the door before they closed.  So I backed up and honked and yelled at him and of course he did not hear me and went off down the street.  I had no choice (I thought) but to drive around the block. –Silly Girl!  So many one way streets, so much traffic, so many streets that go in different directions!  And we have only one phone which Bob had.  I was pretty calm considering that I feared Bob had come out of the bank and got himself turned around and forgot which corner to meet me on.  I did some praying and kept driving until I ended up back where we discovered the right street.  I drove back to the bank and decided I needed to go looking for him on foot so I drove several blocks until I found a parking place on the street and this street man directed my parking job and then said he would watch the car for me until I came back.  So I started off on foot downtown alone for the first time.  I really was not nervous about anything except finding Bob.  I walked past the point where we were supposed to meet to the next corner looking for him—still assuming he had not gotten into the bank and was waiting for me somewhere.  When I came back toward our corner I saw him across the street.  He had gotten in the bank (they stay open later on Friday—duh) and he had just finished and was headed for our meeting place oblivious to what I had been thinking and doing.  Even when I told him I don’t think it made much impression on him.  O well. 

We decided to try one more bank and so did some fruitless driving around again for a while until we figured out it must be down on the water where we had been before—it was and we pretty much drove to it.  It was a big beautiful very modern bank, very busy with all kinds of business.  When we came out there was a man selling fresh baked bread from a van on the street.  We stopped and bought a loaf and broke off pieces to eat as we drove home.  Um good!  I can still smell it. 

We got home in time to have some soup and bread before heading for institute class.  I handed out some of the mini resumes to some of the students and gave the rest to Chrystal Britton who is the Employment Specialist of the Constant Spring branch and an institute student and a PEF participant.  It was another great institute class.  We were studying Thessalonians and Pres Brown taught a really great lesson on chastity from 1 Thes 4:3-4.  He had been talking about how as the early Saints had joined the Church they had had to give up their traditions.  He compared them to how the people in Jamaica have to give up their traditions and culture when they join the Church today—namely common law marriage and un-chastity.  The students had a very good discussion about how the body must be controlled by the Spirit.  Satan tempts the body by its appetites but the Spirit which is of God can control the appetites of the body.  One girl changed the word ‘vessel’ from the scripture to ‘vehicle’ and made an analogy about driving a vehicle (the Spirit) or letting it just run on its own power where ever it may go (no control).  I appreciated her comment even more because it was the oldest of the Brown sisters I have often mentioned and I was so glad to hear such wisdom from the head of that family.

Brittany French, one of our beautiful institute students. 

Saturday morning we got up and leisurely got ready to go to the Health Fair (I am so glad we did not have any responsibilities there—poor Larsens worked themselves to the bone.—I know we should have helped them, and we did actually offer, but…) Bob woke to the inspiration to text the PEF participants and ask anyone who had made certain types of payments to contact us.  Well very quickly we got a call from some people calling from Sav La Mar and in a few more minutes we were able to start finding some of the information Bob has been so diligently seeking so that people get credit for all their payments.  We were happy about that and then in the middle of that we got a call from a man from our last Jobs Seminar and he told us he got a job!  He didn't just tell us but we could hear him dancing up and down and grinning from ear to ear as he told us.  He said he needed a white shirt to go in for the orientation or something so Bob gave up one of his TWO white shirts!  (I don’t remember if I ever mentioned that Bob got 6 new white shirts at the MTC.  But somehow he took them out of his suitcase in Santo Domingo on our way to Jamaica and left them at the hotel!.  We called to have someone retrieve them but to no avail—so Bob has been surviving on two white shirts (well and one long sleeve one that he wears once in a while) since we have been here.  I hope I can persuade him to get at least a couple when he goes to replace the one he gave away.

 Tevon Wilson and his wife.  He is the young man who got the job and was so excited.

Anyway, this young man is one we sort of have a soft spot for anyway because he was doing so well with his chicken project.  So we are very excited about his job and especially because he was able to benefit from some of the things we taught.  He did not use the mini resume but he used some of the other information regarding how to present yourself.  

So we went to the health fair just to see how it was going and to support the people who had worked so hard.  All we really did was hand out a few mini resumes to people we had arranged to meet there and a few pictures I had taken, and visit and get hugs form people we have met from all over the district.  It was wonderful!  I feel such affection for so many of these people I love to see them and have them come up and hug me and appear to really care about me.  I think a lot of it is that when we do our job seminar we don’t just teach them something we actually work to make something for them (the mini resume) and then we give it to them neatly printed and packaged.  I think they really appreciate getting them—they always respond with such joy.  Another thing is my pictures.  I take a lot of pictures of people and then print them up just on copy paper and give them to them the next time I see them.  They Love them!  No matter what age or sex they love having pictures of themselves and act like I have given then a huge gift when I give it to them.  I love it.  It makes me want to do it all the more!

 Sister Elaine Vassel the Relief Society Pres in Spanish Town 2 Branch.  She is very shy but serious about her new job as RS Pres.  She talked to me about visiting teaching for quite a while at the Health Fair.  She is lovely.

The other day in Pricesmart we were behind a little family and the little girl would keep peaking at us to see if we were looking at her but she refused to smile.  Finally I asked her mother if I could take her picture.  Well that was all it took.  As soon as I showed her her own picture I was her friend and she gave me lots of smiles as I continued to take pictures.  Then I took one of her mother which she also loved and by the time they were leaving she was straining her little neck to see around her mother to wave goodbye to me.

 The little girl in the shopping cart at Pricesmart.  She still didn't look at me much unless I was showing her a picture of herself.  Mommy is in yellow in the background.

When we came home Bob was talking to one of our PEF participants on the phone and the next thing I know is he is asking me if we can meet her for dinner.  I of course said yes but when he got off the phone he informed me she only works in Kingston, but she lives in Spanish Town!  So we drove to Spanish Town to have pizza with Sade. She is a young woman who has had some hard times but has grown up pretty much in the Church and with Church standards, but has recently made some very poor choices that have changed her life completely.  She did not finish her education so now she has a debt to pay and no degree to show for it and in addition she will soon have a baby to take care of as well.  She has been estranged from her family but seems to be mending some bridges now.  So basically Bob’s gentle heart went out to her and he offered our help and support.  I think things went well.  I think she knows we were sincere, but I am not sure what we can actually do for her except offer emotional support—which of course we will.  As we drove home Bob remembered something I said early on as we were getting more involved with our participants—they all have a story.

Today we had our Job Seminar in Linstead.  It went well and we had about 36 participants—many of whom had a little different profile.  They are self-employed and seeking help promoting their business.  We knew Pres Barrett was working on this in his branch and we were prepared for them but unfortunately we really don’t have any experience there.  We had them fill out a form and I am going to try to make business cards for them and maybe a poster or two.  We did not plan to go back there next week but apparently there are some who could not attend this week and were invited for next week so we will go back and take the minis and business cards and try and help a few more.  This 36 makes a total of 143 people who have attended our seminars so far.

Sister Grant the Sunday School Teacher--very good teacher.  Tall lovely and very confident as well as competent.

Sister "All" and Sister "Handerson"--in Jamaican.  Sister Anderson on the right is the Relief Society President.  She also plays the organ in Sacrament meeting.  Story later.

The Linstead Relief Society.  Fun and lively group!

 Sister Top told me how she and her husband joined the Church over 20 years ago and have been to the Temple but he has since passed away.  Very sweet lady.  Many of the older women still love to wear hats to church.

We came home exhausted as usual.  It is not that long a drive and it is along the river I have described before but we were still gone from 8-4 and the drive on terrible roads is pretty wearing.

Story about Sister Anderson the organist.  She plays very loud.  She does not know the left hand very well and often plays only one chord the whole time. She also has little sense of timing. In other words her greatest talent as organist is that she is extremely faithful.  In RS as part of the discussion she told how the breeze had turned the page of her hymn book just before we started singing the closing song in Sacrament meeting.  She did not realize it until the beginning of the second verse.  The whole congregation just kept singing as if the music actually fit the hymn.  The sad thing is not only that she did not realize she was playing from the wrong page but that it did not affect anyone that the organ did not match at all the song we were singing.  She asked if anyone noticed.  Cracked me up.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! You sure sound busy. I feel that we are, but we stay in one place and don't have to travel to various branches, etc. around the Island. It appears that I could play the organ in that one branch. Do you think anyone would notice?