Well this week has been pure service projects with the flooding. It has been really cool to see how the community reacted to help everyone in need. First we had to clean and sanitize and fumigate all the houses because the water was super contaminated with who knows what. From there we helped throw away all the garbage they had, from what got brought in from the water or from what is ruined of their things. It was sad because in one house that we went to, they just had piles and piles of garbage outside ( i have pics) and then inside the house there is literally nothing. Luckily the government reacted fast and got everyone water, beds and some food and then from there the Church did this huge project and bought everyone tons of food and water plus beds for everyone and stoves for cooking and everything they need to live. There is this one member that her house was kinda old so when it got flooded, mud and nasty stuff soaked into the walls so this week we have to go there to knock the whole house down and start over new. Luckily she lives next to her parents so they have somewhere to live during all this. The family home in the picture of me with the house in the background, where you couldn´t even see the roof, well they live super close to the river and this Friday the river flooded again, not as bad but for the people that live close like them, it just started the nightmare over again because everything that had cleaned up, needs to be done again. The mom of the family got up in church to bear her testimony and it was amazing, she talked about how this is just helping her faith because she can see the blessings of being a good church goer but near the end she kinda broke down because she was so sad and frustrated. Overall, the floods did alot of damage physically and emotionally for lots of people, but the church is doing a good job helping out. The coolest thing was seeing the members who don´t have very much to start with, giving so much. We visited this family who´s house is about the size of our kitchen and dining room, but the last time we visited they brought out two huge bags of clothes, a stove, a TV and other random stuff to give to the the affected families and she explained to me how her time in the church has helped her realize how unimportant material things are and that she knows the blessings will come when she helps those in need.
Sounds like a fun adventure for Dad in Montevideo, Uruguay. Dad, did you pretend to be a non-member when the two missionaries came and sat by you in Church? You should next time just to mess with them ha ha. Here all the women give kisses on the cheek, but the men not so much unless they are good friends. I´ve had a couple of people give me kisses here who weren´t members and didn´t know. It was really awkward because i didn´t realized what they were doing at first so i just sat there awkwardly and then when i didn´t kiss them back they just look at me awkwardly... good times ha ha.
So did the floods here in Panama really make the news in America? what did they say? Luckily the church building wasn´t flooded because it is high up but apparently it is in a dangerous neighborhood so the bishop on Saturday, after they bought all the stuff to give away, asked us to sleep in the church to watch over it and he said we could just sleep on the beds, todo cool...But when we got there they had locked everything up including the beds so we ending up putting chairs together to sleep on. It was super super uncomfortable but kinda a fun time sleeping in the church haha.
Well i have to finish up but i´ll do it saying how i´ve really come to realize the true joy of offering service to someone that really needs it. You can see in their eyes and feel in your heart that you are doing something great and you grow to really care and love them. Though it was terrible what happened, it was great to see how everyone opened their hearts to help out and give what they could. Service and charity really is the true love of Christ! I love you guys! Take care and enjoy the Christmas season that is soon coming!