Monday, June 23, 2008

"There are days when it's easy and days when it's hard, but if you are doing God's work, then there are no bad days."

This quote compliments of Amanda Lilly Menghini who found it in a book. Good find! Good quote. :)

So really don’t ask me for an update cause we really haven’t been able to see how bad it is. Everything still seems fine here in Nauvoo but apparently there’s been tons of damage done in some of the surrounding areas. But the sandbagging has definitely helped. The coolest thing was that since the flood’s so severe, we got more chances to help sandbag. Tues we went back to the tiny town of Niota (by tiny I mean abt. 60 ppl) and then Wed they took all the young sisters off the schedules again, did serious rearranging and sent us all down to Quincy (abt 45 min away) for a full day of sandbagging. There we met up with about 70 missionaries from the Peoria mission and about 30 from St. Louis. Wow. It was quite the force. About 130 missionaries total. We all got those yellow shirts that the Church passes out now for natural disasters and on the back they say “Mormon Helping Hands” so there was no mistaking what group we were with—just in case people missed seeing the black badges. :) It really was amazing how many of us were able to go and we worked with the National Guard, the community members, and the convicts (they kept to themselves…) So yeah, it was way awesome.

So while we were sandbagging in Quincy I saw this woman there with her 3 little kids, ages 10, 7, and 5. They, obviously, weren’t the MOST skilled sandbaggers, the little 5-yr old taking fistfuls of sand to dump in buckets, but they were out there working as a fam. It was a little strange to have all those kids out there and even stranger cause they weren’t LDS. But I started talking to her and she’s totally my hero! This woman lives in Chicago (at least a 4-hr drive) and saw on the news that they needed help sandbagging on the Mississippi. She loaded her kids in the car (she thinks it’s vital that they’re personally involved with service as often as possible and takes them to soup kitchens at least once a month, among many other things), drove out to Quincy, rented a hotel room and are planning on staying until the river crests. Wow. She was so stinkin cool. We talked for a long time. She told me about how she never thought she wanted to have a family because she loved her career traveling as a filmmaker. However, as soon as she had her first daughter she dropped everything and now her family is the total center of her life. She was way excited to bring her kids to Nauvoo when I told her about it and even more excited when I told her about the Book of Mormon and how it’s another record testifying of Christ. I told her of all the things my family could’ve taught me, what I valued most were the teachings of Jesus Christ found in the Book of Mormon. She’d heard of the book before, but like most people, didn’t really understand what it was. It was so cool to talk to her. She said, “I believe you can always add to the truth you have” and she’s dead on. I’m so excited for her to get to read the Book of Mormon and see the changes in her life and her family’s.

Got 2 new sisters this week. Woohoo! Sis. Rancie and I moved into our little house down on the flats with 1 other companionship. It’s right there in the middle of everything.

Friday is the anniversary of the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith so we'll be down in Carthage for that.

Keep up all the good work and remember that Heavenly Father loves you each enough to provide miracles in your lives. :)

Sis Cartwright

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