Skipping to a Jamaican Beat


On a warm evening in Kingston, Jamaica, you might find Samuel (age 10) and Giordayne (age 7) outside skipping with their two brothers. As they skip, they sing to the beat:

1, 2, 3, Aunty Lulu,
4, 5, 6, Aunty Lulu,
7, 8, 9, Aunty Lulu,
10, Aunty Lulu,
10, Aunty Lulu.

Samuel and Giordayne are two happy children who are good at many things. They enjoy playing sports, studying hard at school, helping around the house, and being an example to those around them with their big smiles and cheerful attitudes.

School Days

In Jamaica, schools have Boy Day and Girl Day every year. On Girl Day, boys don’t go to school. Instead, mothers may go to school with their daughters. They have a talent show, a spelling contest, and other fun activities.

Giordayne was chosen from her class to compete in the spelling contest, and she won. “My favorite word to spell is environment,” Giordayne says.

On Boy Day, fathers may attend school with their sons. Samuel entered the writing contest. He wrote an essay explaining how he shows respect to himself and others. He also won first place.

A Visit to the Temple

Samuel looks forward to the day when he can attend the temple. For many families in Jamaica, it’s a big sacrifice to visit the temple because there isn’t a temple there. It is expensive to go to the United States to attend the temple.

Fortunately, Samuel and Giordayne’s family was able to go. Samuel says, “My favorite family vacation was when we went to New York City to visit my aunt. We saw the Manhattan Temple. It is the only temple I have ever seen.”

The whole family was very excited when the Panama City Panama Temple opened in 2008 because it’s not as hard to go there. Once or twice a year, the members in Jamaica travel to the Panama City Temple. “I am excited to go to the temple when I turn 12,” Samuel says.

An Answer to Prayer

One time their father’s company was going to be shut down. Giordayne encouraged her family to ask Heavenly Father for help. “Giordayne is so diligent in her prayers. She always reminds our family of the things we need to pray for,” her mother says. The family’s prayers were answered when their dad got a new job. “I knew that if we prayed, everything would be OK,” Giordayne says confidently.

Two Great Teachers

Samuel dreams of becoming a teacher when he grows up. He wants to teach his favorite subjects: mathematics and science. Giordayne, who looks up to her older brother, wants to be a teacher too.

Samuel and Giordayne are already teachers now by being great examples to their friends. There are only a few children at their school who are members of the Church.

“When someone is doing something bad, such as fighting, I tell them to do what’s right,” Samuel says.

Samuel and Giordayne enjoy sharing their testimonies, and their Primary president knows she can rely on them to give a talk if the speaker is unable to attend. On Sunday mornings they wake up extra early to prepare a talk just in case they are needed to speak.

Samuel and Giordayne try to faithfully serve the Lord in everything they do. Giordayne says, “I know that if I have faith, I shall not perish, but I will live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.”

Turn to page 38 to read a poem that Samuel wrote.

Photographs of family and children courtesy of the family; image of flag © Nova Development; photograph of palm trees © Getty Images