Monday, November 1, 2010

Strengthening The Feeble Knees (D&C 81:5)

Our mission has taken on a frantic "rush to the finish" flavor as we have been scrambling to complete projects before the Winter and Christmas craziness sets in. A few weeks ago we wrapped up a project we enjoyed developing in which we made life a little more comfortable for senior citizens. Through our resources, we learned of an organization in Galati that cares for the homeless elderly. We went to visit them and on a tour, we were appalled by their moldy bathrooms and showers and the condition of their beds. Our project called for the demolition of the bathrooms with new tile and fixtures AND replacement of the old mattresses. Little did we know the fun was just beginning.
These are old futon-like pads, complete with lumps and bedbug colonies.

They were replaced with the best innerspring Romanian money could buy.

This is the old bathroom. The moldy floor was too disgusting to photograph.

The new and improved bathroom.

As a little surprise for the management of the shelter and the residents, we also wrote into the project the purchase of mattress pads, sheets, pillows and cases which we would deliver when we made the trip to Galati for the celebration.

This picture is proof that you can take the man out of furniture but you can't take the furniture man out of the missionary!

We were lucky to have a wonderful taxi driver who patiently stuffed all our purchases into his taxi and then helped us deliver it all to the home.

We assembled all the missionaries in the area. On the left is Elder and Sora Van Wagoner who live in Galati and helped us with the shopping. Elders Allphin and Lyon and Soras Mudge and Hupp also serve in Galati. Finally, Elder and Sora Dummar serve with us in Bucharest and wanted to spend the weekend with us and share in our humanitarian experiences. We descended on the "home", each of us hauling in all the bedding we could carry.

We were welcomed by the foundation president and we were asked to speak to the residents.
This is called a "Hand over ceremony" and it is customary at the conclusion of every project.

We were treated royally with a lunch of chicken legs, bread and vegetables.

We sang "As I Have Loved You" and "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today" for the residents.

As you can tell, they were excited about the singing.

We explained that we had a surprise for them and if they would help, we would outfit their beds with new sheets and pillows.
Hospital corners were planned but didn't actually happen!

The mattresses still had the noisy plastic bag covering so we replaced them with protective mattress pads. Elder and Sora Dummar not only made the beds but gave everyone a "high-five" at the completion! We were tickled by the "treasures" we found under the mattresses which included toast from breakfast wrapped in napkins, underwear, magazines, letters. Those old people can move with lightening speed when the stash is uncovered!
The Van Wagoners were a great help. . .

. . . as were all the young missionaries.

Denny was in heaven.

These men wanted to pose on their newly made beds.

This lady cried as she expressed her gratitude.

The beds looked very inviting and after our 45 minute workout, we were ready to try them out!

We're not sure when this man slipped into his jammies but he was ready for bed when we left. His smile will be forever in our memories.

As we left, we felt so warmly thanked. Humanitarian funds, sent to Romania to relieve suffering, were well spent.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:
"We are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, whenever we find do good unto all men". (Times and Seasons, 15 March 1842)

This is our mission and we love being here. Now you know why.


  1. Beautiful, mom. What a great project! You are making such a difference for so many people, most of them who probably thought they'd been forgotten.

  2. What a sweet experience! I'm recommitted to giving to the Humanitarian Fund each month. Couldn't you take two of those mattresses back to your apartment? . . .

  3. Beautiful!! I can definitely see where experiences like these make your mission all worthwhile. A couple in Canada recently won the lotto and gave all the money away. They were in their 80's and said they had all they needed with "each other and their health." I thought THAT was a sweet story, but yours compares favorably. I especially loved the little lady in the pink robe!! I echo Julia's comment!!

  4. Wait, I wanna know who this couple in Canada is... why did they not give ME the money?! Oh... I mean, good job on your humanitarian mission. Ha! No really, great job! Love reading the updates. Steven and I got wedding pics back. One of these days, I really am going to fulfill my promise and send you some! Oh man, sorry I'm not so good at that! You guys are great! Love ya!