This weekend we had a very unique opportunity to go to our neighboring area, Robert!
So to clear up something kind of confusing right at the beginning....
The Covington mission area is the Covington Ward Boundries. Okay?
The Covington mission area is in the Denham Springs Missionary ZONE. okay?
So when we go to zone meetings with missionaries and have zone specific instructions, we look at the Denham zone.
The Covington ward is in the NOLA stake. (New Orleans, LouisiAna) Okay? So when we go to Stake Conference we go to New Orleans and we know all the NOLA stake members and presidency.
We know all the Denham Springs missionaries and we know all the NOLA members. Cool.
The town of Robert got hit even worse than Covington did.
So a bunch of people from our ward and from both the Denham stake and NOLA stake came and helped mucking out house and working together with a Christian program that helps with natural disasters called Operation Blessings. We were able to go because Robert is very close to Covington and some of the Denham missionaries were called in to help and the NOLA stake was called to help! It was an amazing experience and it was really fun to get to know some of the Denham members and serve with the NOLA members more.
Our experience with the Robert service day:
Everyone helping for the day gathered together early Saturday morning. We split into groups to go conquer some devastation.
Sister Stevenson and I were in a group with one of the best families the Conlins, who gave us a ride, and then some members from the NOLA stake.
We went to a home with a TON of work to do.
The home we went to was up a tiny hill from a creek. far enough away that I didn't see it.
But this creek flooded 23 feet.
yes. 23 FEET.
This home was underwater all the way up to the attic.
This is crazy serious business.
So this home had already been cleaned out in the way that everything in the home was out. By any means necessary.
That means that everything that was inside was shoved out of the broken windows and our job was to bag it in trash bags and throw it in a big truck and then when the truck got full we go ride down a half mile dirt road to go unload it on the side of the road so the bigger trucks can come pick it up then we ride back and continue.
It was a lot of hard work. Emotionally and physically.
The owner of the home was a lady named Theresa.
She is a religion that doesn't believe in wearing pants.
We probably went through a billion black trash bags, no exaggeration.
We tossed and bagged window frames, Christmas decorations, sheet rock, clothes, couches, insulation, mattresses, bed frames, books, photo albums, letters, dressers, bureaus, mirrors, bibles, planners, calendars, pictures, picture frames, stuffed animals, and so much stuff that I cant even remember. So. Much. Stuff.
It was a hard business but we whistled while we worked and talked and laughed and talked about the gospel and talked with Theresa about life.
There was an extremely tender moment where we had been on the look out for a unicorn chest on an assignment from Theresa because it was her wedding box. We found it in the center of the debris upside down.
As we excavated out the box it became a holy place as everyone went silent as we pulled it out and she assessed the damage. We didn't know how she would react but with our previous relationship formed with her, there was the spirit of love and unconditional support ready to lift her up.
|Our pile of bads and trash. it doesn't looklike too much but lemme tell you. it was 8 hours of work with 3 couches and a couple mattresses and dressers in there.|
I have a testimony about serving happily.
This is how we support others in their trials.
Sharing our happiness and our light with others.
Understanding the seriousness and the gravity of the situation but making it a positive, happy experience.
Having compassion and comfort but also helping lift the heart with love and laughter.
"The best compliment you can give someone is listening." - Raymond from Operation Blessings
I love my mission and I am so grateful for this area right now that I am able to serve people on a level I have never reached before.
Women's Conference was inspired to teach me how to serve with more love and heart.
I can wait for conference this week to help me to make goals to be an even better missionary!
I loved hearing about yalls coming home experiences. so fun.
Missed yall extra this week but know that the work is true.
I lava yall!!