Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013 - Humanitarian Service Opportunity II

By the grace of God, I was invited by Sister Byam, the Relief Society President of the Lethbridge West Stake, to travel to High River with her and her family and give of my time to help because new areas of the town opened up and because I asked to go and help out.

When we got to Okotoks, we went through a brief orientation and then got properly suited up for going into 'The Hamptons' neighborhood; it was a newer area at the edge of High River that got hit hard.

We first went to a house where the owners had already done most of the clearing of his basement by himself, but we moved a few appliances outside and also lots of small pieces of drywall and underlay; I gave the lady owner a reassuring hug and she and her husband were so grateful for our help. We got dirty, but it was fun.

We then went to a house that ended up being unsafe to enter, which unexpectedly led to us being told by a neighbor that help was needed at houses near the Anglican Church near the downtown area. As we drove through downtown, I couldn't help but reminisce about where I grew up; I lived on 8th Street and 2nd Avenue while my family and I lived there and a piece of my heart will always rest with High River. 

When we arrived at the church, we ended up getting garbage out of a nearby yard that was close to the church. A few people stopped by with food, lemonade, and thank you's as we worked and it truly awed me.

I admire the unity and hard work I have seen and participated in that emerged as a result of this unexpected event and High River will, after much work and time, be able to rise above this. I truly believe that. I enjoyed going up and giving of my time and compassion to help those who strive to rise above the raging waters.

July 16, 2013

I got to the storehouse in a cab and immediately helped Sister Woolf with the paperwork for the out of town order. After group prayer with the Woolfs and Gallups, we filled all the out of town orders and then stocked various shelves.

July 13, 2013

When I got to the storehouse at 8:30 in a cab, I found that everyone else had beaten me there and after prayer and for the next hour and a half, it wasn't busy at all. We ended up cleaning, reading Church literature, and talking about how we wished it were busy so we could help people.

Blessings come to those who ask...

Suddenly, we were blessed to have a small sea of patrons come in and helping people kept us busy and it was absolutely wonderful; missionaries often thrive when they forget themselves and go to work as helping hands of the Lord.

We ended up being busy until 12:20, but it was totally worth it to stay late and help the people who came in late because they really did need it and they were so grateful that time was taken to fulfill their needs and care about not only their situation, but also about them as valuable children of God.

Seeing the relief and joy that patrons express when they are helped is worth every bit of hard work involved in this mission.

July 12, 2013

When I arrived at the storehouse in a cab, I let the taxi driver keep the change. After I came into the Storehouse through the Field Office, I put my stuff away and turned on all of the lights. I then checked the produce and doctored cabbages in the veggie prep room. After prayer with Woolfs, Gallups, and Anne, I swept and mopped the break room and the storehouse maintenance room. I then stocked shelves.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 - Humanitarian Service Opportunity!

I finally got to take part in helping High River today and I was born there in November of 1987 and lived there for the majority of my childhood (from age 0 to 9), so it meant a lot to be able to help there.

I decided to come out to Raymond and visit my parents and while I was out here, I made the wonderfully impulsive decision to join the Raymond Stake in service for the day. The bus left the Raymond Stake Center at 7 a.m., which meant getting up at 5:45 to be able to be ready on time, but that was okay with me.

When we arrived in High River, we had a bit of a view of some of the town and it's really an opportunity for growth and to gain strength from both the situation and each other. Even in this situation, joy can be found.

I remember being evacuated from my home during the flood of 1995, but I understand that it can't compare to what happened very recently. I commend all those who were affected, all those who are involved, and all those who were, are, and will be able to find strength in each other and in what they can to endure this refiner's fire.

Anyway, the bus went straight to the LDS Church there and dispersed into the teams that we had been  divided into during the bus ride up to High River. While the team leaders were briefed, the rest of us gathered our things and switched from our street shoes into boots and put on other personal protective equipment that we would need to successfully and safely help take care of the houses we were all assigned to.

Once we were all given assignments, we all got back on the bus and each group was dropped off at their various locations to get to work. We worked from 9 to 11:30 and then took a lunch break for about half an hour before going back to work until 3 p.m..

Some of what I saw was unbelievable, but it was not unrepairable; it may take a lot of time, effort, outside resources, and unity, but joy can always be found everywhere.

Even in times where everything seems to be overwhelming, can small things bring a light of hope...

If this tiny little drive-in can withstand and beat all odds, so can anyone and everyone. Don't lose hope!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 6, 2013

I got to the storehouse around 8:25 in a cab and immediately got a blessing from Elder Kearls so that I would be calm when I went to look at a new place to live; see, on June 21, 2013, I was notified by my landlords that my current residence would turn into an all-male household beginning August 1st and that I would need a new place to live. The blessing was helpful and it helped me to focus on the tasks of the day.

After the blessing, I gathered for prayer with Sister Kearls, Elder Kearls, and Sister Pilling and since we ended up not being very busy, we ended up cleaning a great deal when we weren't assisting patrons.

The blessings and hope I had for a new house were successful. Thank you, my dear Heavenly Father.

July 5, 2013

I've been serving since March 4, 2013 and it's already past July 4, 2013; truly amazing, isn't it?

I arrived at the storehouse in a cab, immediately checked the vegetables, and put any vegetables that needed doctoring into the veggie prep room for special care. I then helped Sister Gallup doctor and re-bag the vegetables.

After prayer, I cleaned a few shelves and then stocked shelves alongside wonderful volunteers from Magrath; they were a mother and daughter who were passionate about volunteering at the storehouse.

July 2, 2013

I got to the storehouse around 8:15 and helped Sister Woolf with the paperwork for the out of town orders for several minutes and then we had group prayer in the warehouse.

After prayer, I had the opportunity to have two of Sister Woolf's young granddaughters, Ellie and Paige, to help Sister Woolf and I fill the out of town orders and I always love every single opportunity I get to work with children at the storehouse, whether it be children of patrons or children or grandchildren of fellow missionaries.

I also helped Sister Woolf collect the cottage cheese and sour cream for all of the orders.

Once the out of town orders were finished, all the missionaries participated in carefully checking the inventories for both the warehouse and the storehouse; it took a while, but attention to detail is very important and doing inventory was a unique experience.

June 29, 2013

I took a taxi from my house to the storehouse because Sister Bly is away and I arrived at the storehouse at about 8:20. After signing in, I joined Elder Kearls, Sister Kearls, and Sister Pilling for group prayer.

I helped a few patrons with their orders and after a while, Elder Woolf came into the storehouse  and organized food in the warehouse so that we could stock the shelves that we removed products from the day before to put into the food kits, which I sincerely thank God for.

I also cleaned a bit and did the paperwork relating to food orders and supplies.

It was amazing that everything seemed to work out as it did; the mysteries of God and the blessings He offers are great in value and number for those who truly wish to see them.

June 28, 2013

I arrived at the storehouse around 8:30 and quickly got to work checking for faxes, phone messages, and turning on the cooler and freezer lights while people set up tables in the warehouse so that volunteers could put together food and hygiene kits to send to the High River/Calgary area.

While a lot of volunteers worked in the warehouse, I was in the storehouse topping and stocking shelves with the help of three of Sister Woolf's young granddaughters and when I was done with the shelves, I also cleaned various things in the storehouse. I also helped the volunteers take products from the storehouse and put them into the hygiene and food kits.

June 22, 2013

I arrived at the storehouse with Sister Bly around 8:30 and after prayer, I spent the morning helping a few patrons, I stocked a few shelves, and I also did the paperwork for the patrons.

June 21, 2013

I arrived at the storehouse around 8:15 and turned all the lights on in the storehouse and also the lights for the coolers and freezers. After that, I joined Elder Gallup, Grandma Woolf, Anne, a volunteers who was new to the storehouse, and a young volunteer named Brendan in group prayer before we all topped off the different shelves of products. Since the usual order didn't arrive, we all got sent home early.

June 18, 2013

When I arrived at the storehouse, I helped Sister Bly with the paperwork for the out of town orders and then I checked the produce, taking care to doctor any of the produce that needed taking care of.

I then had prayer with Sister Woolf, Sister Bly, Elder Gallup, and Elder LeFeuvre before we got to work filling the out of town orders. I then restocked the storehouse cooler and Elder Gallup also taught me how to properly bag bananas.

June 15, 2013

Sister Bly picked me up at 8:10 and we made it to the storehouse around 8:30.

After prayer with Elder Kearls, Sister Kearls, and Sister Pilling, we spent the morning stocking a few shelves and ended up helping many patrons, which I love doing. It makes me feel so good to serve this mission, as I am doing the work of the Lord and also being prepared for the future.