Fall into these arms of mine
I’ll catch you every time you
The reason that Clay Walkers lyrics are starting this email is because I’m EXHAUSTED!!!!!!!! But I’m SOOOOOO happy! So it doesn’t even matter! We’ve been doin service still! Not as much because we have to pace ourselves since there’s going to be work for months to come but the work we did yesterday was probably the hardest and the stinkiest. A new area of High River was finally opened up this week for people to go back to their homes and so we were called by President to go back out. The thing that we realized is that as bad as the devastation has been in recent homes that we’ve worked in, it all pales in comparison to what we’ll continue to do. I thought that I’d smelt the worst of the worst from the houses that we’ve worked in the past few weeks….but the home went into yesterday and the homes that we will continue to go in are only going to get worse and worse the longer that water is in them. Carpet and fridges are the main culprits but many other items add to the noxious fumes that we deal with. The home we went into yesterday hadn’t been touched. The owners were members and they looked at the basement for the first time when we did. The water had reached the ceiling and the dry wall soaked it up and the entire ceiling had fallen down. There were items like a workout ball that had floated up and had been wedges in the ceiling joists and many other things that were just out of place. The wood and other things are getting so water logged that demo is a lot easier for door frames and windows and such but it makes dry wall a hassle to deal with. The stuff just crumbles and weighs a TON with all of the water absorption.
Insulation, couches, and mattresses are the other troubles because they can absorb SO much water and get SO heavy. It’s such an exhausting experience to strip a basement down to studs and get things out of the house and onto the front lawn but it’s really satisfying to see the transformation from start to finish. We started work at 8:30 in the morning and finished at about 5:30……so much work. I’ve got a good before and after pic:) The houses are also getting A LOT of mold that adds to the smell and difficulty and then the river mud just smells like poop by itself. I was a genius though and took a full tresemme shampoo bottle and started squirting it everywhere to give a different edge to the smell in the basement!haha It helped quite a bit at times! The owners were pretty bummed because they only moved in about 4 months ago and had a lot of nice stuff but they had a really positive attitude and were even joking about things a lot of times. They were a nice older couple and were very appreciative. It’s crazy the destruction that water can do though. There was a piano that I just took apart with my bare hands and a shower that I dismantled without any tools. Crazy stuff but I love that I’m able to be a part of it on my mission.
It’s good to hear about everything back at home! Sounds like Jess is tearing it up and Trav and Aust are doing well!
I hope the business can see some improvements and the farm gets the right weather at the right time during this harvest season!
Love you all!
So the baptism actually happened this week! It probably couldn’t have been any more stressful for me but it made it so much more worth it!
We’ve been helping with the flood A LOT this last week. It’s been a pretty humbling experience to assist these people that have lost almost everything. We put on the helping hands vest several times this week and either went out with ward members or would just go to heavily effected areas and walk down the street looking to assist people. There are HUGE piles outside people’s home’s where they’ve thrown out demolished basements, walls, furniture and other random items. The dumpsters fill up really quick and so people just move stuff by the street. We’ve helped with every thing that you could possibly imagined. We’ve been a part of completely destroying basements and cleaning them out, to emptying muddy water from basements with buckets, to filling dumpsters with huge piles of garbage on the sides of roads. We’ve been able to meet a lot of non members and build up a respect and gratitude. We’re not aloud to proselyte when helping but if people ask questions then we can answer them. The community and Calgary in general has been amazingly supportive and helping with thousands of volunteers as well. It’s good to sport the bright yellow vests for helping hands because people will randomly thank us walking down the street and comment on how organized our group is. We definitely get muddy every time that we go out to help. The mud stinks because it’s just got everything from sewage, to river water to anything you could imagine in it. It makes thinks super heavy too! Like drywall….it is quite the sludge to try and remove. Anyways, I’ve LOVED getting to help people and be in service clothes so much. Downtown is pretty well drained but all the basements and stuff aren’t. It’s pretty funny though when we help people and they offer some food and beer….and it seems like EVERYONE smokes even though they’re doing back breaking work and it’s hard to breath! haha
We were out the morning of the baptism helping though! It was quite the change to the all white clothing that evening!
So as far as the stress of the baptism (the Lord was clearly humbling me because none of my other baptisms have had such problems) the day before the baptism we were out helping load dump trucks and I got a call from our ward mission leader. He told us that the lady that books the stake had double booked the building and that youth dinner would be happening right next to the font and it would be super loud. So we called Ruth to see if she could move it to a different time but her friend who was giving a talk and introduced her to the church needs the handi-bus and you have to book your rides more than a day in advance. So we were thinking we might just have to move the baptism back a week (even though we had the font booked first and the relief society booked it after because they were having a dinner for the youth because they were helping with flood cleanup instead of “treck” this year). Our ward mission leader called us back and said that he had good news because they did book it after us and knew that they had to be out of there by 6 o clock for our baptism and would be starting at 4:15. This was a huge relief.
So we moved to the relief society building around the room and everything was set up. Here’s where Brad Paisley’s song lyric comes in. We got a call from Ruth’s friend who needs the handi bus and she was supposed to be at the baptism at about 5:45 and it starts at 6….it was 6:05 and she hadn’t been picked up yet….and it would still be a 15 or 20 minute drive. PLUS the mission president shows up to this baptism! So we forged ahead with faith that her friend would get there soon and we did things a bit out of order but it ended up being a REALLY good meeting. Ruth’s friend showed up and gave an amazing talk and we were able finish about 15 minutes later than I usually would but it was a GREAT meeting. I loved it! And some sister missionaries in our zone had an investigator come!
Thank you SO much for the money in my account! It is greatly appreciated! I’ve had to eat out a lot more randomly and have just had random expenses with the flood and being out and about so much. I’m happy and healthy though! There’s a town out here called High River and they sit in a sort of gully and they are still under water. The water has no where to go and probably won’t be pumped out of there for another 6 weeks. That means that THOUSANDS of people won’t have homes because they’ll have to be demolished. Pretty sad…. The church has sent up SO many different disaster relief supplies though and it’s been amazing to see! Brand new chainsaws, shovels, pitch forks, pick axes, crow bars, masks, helmets, cleaning bucket and much more! Our church is amazing!
I love you so much!