Monday, November 12, 2012

Mormon Helping Hands

We learned that the whole Mission is going down to New Haven area Friday night through Sunday night to help clean up.  We are trying to juggle Bob's baptism and this amazing chance to serve.  But it will all work out in the Lord's way.  Cause the baptism has certainly been on God's time schedule.

November 9th: Friday
We had Ward Correlation early in the morning with Brother W. and then went to Sister R’s. She is a less active in the Groton Ward but we go see her because her husband is on a boat right now.  
We had a good time there and then ran some errands to get ready to go down to New Haven for the night so we could help with clean-up the next day.
And then we packed and headed to New Haven area.
We arrived at the Madison chapel and had a Mission Gathering.  Normally those are highly discouraged but because we were going to help out Mormon Helping Hands, President Packard got special permission for it.  It was amazing to have all but 4 missionaries from our mission there.  All of the Packards spoke and it was just amazing.  

Then Sister S. and I drove Sisters E. and H. to the Madison apartment and then drove to a Church member's house and stayed the night there.

November 10th: Saturday
We picked up the same Sisters at 6:20 AM and drove to the chapel to have a Mission breakfast and to find out where we were going to be assigned to work.  
We went to the Stake Center and were organized into groups and sent on our way.
We were stationed in Milton.  We helped scrub a basement so mold wouldn't grow, we helped a member pack up the things on their ground floor that weren't water damaged, and we helped take out insulation in a basement that had been flooded.  Did I mention it was a dirt floor basement so it was mud at this point?  We had great fun.  The houses neighboring that house had been washed out to sea, quite literally. The foundation and everything had been swept out during the storm.  There was nothing left of them.  And people now have sand yards instead of grass for about a hundred yards in from the beach.  It was a lot of fun to be able to help with the clean up.

We had to leave early to get back in time for Bob's baptism.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy Follow-up

So this past week has been interesting.

On Sunday evening we went up to Providence to spend a few days with the Providence Sisters.  
Monday we were told to stay inside all day. Which we did.  There were 6 Elders (the ZLs have their apartment in the same building, Groton, Our DL, and another pair were there with the ZLs), and us and Providence Sisters.  
Tuesday we came down to access the damage in our area.  There actually isn't that much damage around here.  Some houses next to the beach are now on a beach. We drove around with the ZLs and checked out New Port and Narragansett areas.  Then we checked on members in our area since Providence wasn't hit with anything except some wind and rain. 
The W.’s (our apartment) were still out of power so we drove back up that night and slept in Providence. We were the only apartment of the whole mission still without power, or at least in our zone.  All other missionaries went back to their areas. Wednesday we once again drove down and started to actually help people. Sister S. and I helped a couple shovel their driveway free of sand and another woman clean off her lawn of all sorts of debris in New London.  Then we had to drive back up to Providence because we had to be in early because of Halloween.  We didn't really do anything fun because we were so tired and had to debrief with the ZLs.
Then there was today.  We went back to our area and helped clean up again, along the same road.  Did I mention there was 2-3 feet of sand in the roads?  The city had mostly cleaned off the roads but home owners have to clean it off their property and people’s basements were flooded. 
Then we once again drove around more of our area and Groton's area looking for areas that had been "wiped out."  We couldn't find those areas.  We drove and drove and drove.  Nothing was found.  Apparently these "wiped out" sections were greatly exaggerated by the press.  We are now calling the cities to see if we can find opportunities to serve that way. 
The W.'s got power today!!  Which means no more driving up to Providence!!  So that is were we stand right now.  Tired from service and driving.
For now the service has died down in our area because a lot of it now is waiting for insurance to evaluate.  Plus we didn't get hit as hard as the lower half of the state. 
We might get to be part of Mormon Helping Hands in a week or so down in New Haven and Bridgeport.  If needed the whole Mission will be down there.  How cool will that be?  If that happens I will have been all over Connecticut and Rhode Island (roughly 2/3s of the mission) in two weeks.  It's awesome.