Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tuesday, January 28th

It was another FULL DAY!! We didn’t make it into the office again today. Ana had meetings here at Liahona, so we decided to stay and work in our office here. I had my monthly financial report for the Welfare Department to work on. It was a bad decision to stay. Our air conditioner is still on the blink and we couldn’t stand it in the office for more than 2 hours, even with the fans going full force. It got so hot in there that I literally couldn’t breathe. I hate doing that report in the first place and to do it under those circumstances was unbearable. I am about half done with it, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

We had a meeting with Ana this morning and we changed it to our house. The air conditioner is working fine there and it felt soooooooooooooo good! We are trying to keep up on all of our projects as well as the relief effort in Ha’api. That cyclone has tripled our work load! We need to get Sam moving on the Lavengatonga project. He has had plenty of time to fix the problems. We need to close that one out. The Central Pharmacy called and their floor is DONE!!! They are thrilled and so are we. Now all we need to do there is pay the bills and we are done with that one.

After lunch we had a conference call with the Area Office. We called them 3 times and each time the connection was bad. We had to go ahead anyway. It was almost impossible to hear them so it made for a very long hour. Somehow we got through it and made assignments for what needs to be done this week. The main concern is still getting clean drinking water to the people. We are sending 3,000 liter tanks up loaded with water on the boat. The fire truck will come and suck the water out and then put it in our clean church tanks. All of the people can come to the churches to get water. Then the empty tanks will come back on the boat and we will fill them again. Hopefully that will work until we can get fresh water from under ground and from the rain. It will be cheaper than sending bottled water every other day.

My financial report was well received and they are very supportive of my trying to get all of the receipts that are needed. They told the priesthood to set a hard line and get that information to me ASAP and make sure that others did too. Maybe now it will happen.

As soon as that call was over, Ha’utu called and said that they were ready to hook up the engine and pump. We jumped in the car and headed out to the village. We told them that we wanted to be there to hear it start and see it work. When we got there, there were a lot of the villagers there working on cleaning up the area and building a fence around the shed to keep the animals out. I took a video as they started the engine. It was so fun to see the excitement on the faces of those men. Then we watched them hook up the pump and start pumping the water from the well. When the first water came out of the pipe they all started laughing and jumping in it. Once the dirty water was out and clean water started to flow, they took turns leaning over and splashing it on their faces and into their hair. It was amazing to watch. We knew that they had been without water for awhile, but we found out today that it has been since before Christmas. They have been getting drinking water from the church and washing their clothes and taking baths in the ocean all that time.

We had to step back and realize that things are bad in Ha’api and everyone is trying to help those people, but some things are just as bad right here in Ha’utu and no one seems to care. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father prompted us to help this village. He cares! And He knew that we could make a difference in so many lives there. They will be celebrating tonight --- and doing laundry. Once again I am overwhelmed that the Lord would trust us enough to send us here to do His work. I just pray that we are hearing every prompting and doing everything that He sent us here to do.

We will have the closing ceremony for Ha’utu on Thursday. They were concerned about that and begged us to have it tomorrow. They thought that they couldn’t use the water until the ceremony was held. Alan and I just looked at each other and said, “No way! You fill that water tank and then send the water to the homes tonight.” There is no reason for them to wait any longer. Grown men, covered with mud and dirt, had tears in their eyes. They can fill their water tank in two hours with the new equipment and then they will send it to the homes. They were so grateful!!! This is the best part of our job - seeing that kind of joy in the eyes of the villagers. Hopefully the members and non-members alike will realize that the Lord knows them, He is aware of them and He loves them. He sent help when they were desperate. We know that this will be a missionary moment for many of them.

We came home hot and tired, but it was a VERY GOOD DAY!!!!!