Well sorry about not emailing last week! We had no where to email and were doing a ton of service! Yup, Baton Rouge got flooded! Btw, if I don’t email you back please send me another email! I might have missed a few people…. there has been a ton going on…
Lets just say it has been a long wet 2 weeks. I’m now in Baton Rouge which was probably more of a lake…. We’ve been doing a ton of service! yup! My new companion is Elder Dobie and new area is Tiger bend! It is the backyard of the mission president! It is the backyard of the the mission home is literally 1.5 miles away! IM ON A BKiE AGAIN!!! 😀 the area is also know as the baby sitting area…. basically its where the missionaries go that need to be watched by president or babysat by him and/or another missionary… In our ward we have our mission president, stake president and the area 70! I got here Wednesday. and had peace for 2 days…..
Thursday, we went and met some members, a few investigators and helped a member move.
Friday, we got put on lock down due to tons of rain… it has literally rained everyday for the past month.
Saturday, we helped a member move! It ended up being a huge blessing for them because the house we moved themfrom got flooded, like 6ish feet of water…. We almost didn’t get out of their area before the water got to deep, the cars nearly got flooded and it honestly feels like noah’s flood! I have ever seen so much water! When you look down the street and can’t see the mail boxes there’s something wrong. A ton of the roads are closed because of flooding!
We were helping people get stuff out so that they wouldn’t lose it if their houses got flooded… and the water was rising really fast…. about half of our area got flooded. While we were helping someone get out of their house a lady across the street yelled at us saying that she would fill us and the boat motor with lead if we made another wake. btw, my companion and I were walking by the houses in about 6 inches of water, we were not in the boat with the member. Oh having to deal with stupid people. Remember, just because you have a gun doesn’t mean no one else has one. Also remember, there are a ton more of us and a bunch of witnesses.
Sunday we missed church…. and woke up to our phones not working…. our ride to church never showed up and so we walked to the other elders apartment. They were not home so we ended up going to the mission home to find out that our mission president was flooded in. hahaha. Then about 5 mins later basically the whole zone showed up… and our mission president fed us all lunch! Then we went out and helped people…. it was easier to get around on a bike then in a car! Thankfully Bikes can go through much deeper water then most cars! It was a bit stressful trying to get ahold of all the missionaries in you district when then phones dont work….thankfully, everyone was fine! The ones with problems just stayed at members houses!
Monday, we didn’t take our P-day instead we went to the celtic center and unloaded donations people brought to help all the flooded people! We spent 4 1/2 hours doing that, I have never seen so much stuff! There was a ton! The place had about 5000 people staying there…. so yeah, really, really crazy and busy!
Tuesday we spent 6 1/2 hours sorting all the stuff we unloaded… there was so much! We didn’t even get half of it done! A member from New Orleans was there helping and that was really nice because the other 3 missionaries didn’t really do much.. at all… so out of the 7 of us only 4 really worked… Then we helped clean up some peoples houses. We have to take put everything that got wet and cut out the dry wall 3 feet above the water line, not easy work…
Wednesday, we spent 10 hours gutting out people houses and it was a bit of a long day….
Thursday, we did the same thing.. gutted peoples houses…. there is so much to do….. later that night we went over to the stake center to help unload a truck that was coming with supplies but it didn’t show up.
Friday, the truck got there at like 3 am so we had to wake up at 5 am and have a member give us a ride over to the stake center so we could unload it! We went, gave out some of the stuff and help gut some more peoples houses! It ended up being a 13 hour day with tons of heavy lifting…. I was soooooo sore and tired by the end! We ended up being in a meeting with the area 70, stake president and a few other people! We learned that there are about 5 to 8 thousand volunteers coming to help clean up all the flood damage! It will be nice to have some more help because we are on bikes we get rides from people and well… when your ride has a meeting and your 12 miles away from your apartment your kinda stuck…
Saturday, we got a call from our mission president telling us a couple of things. He found a non-member that needed help and said he would send us over.
Sunday morning we biked to a members house and had a little sacrament meeting before we started to gut their house! Then at 11 we headed over to Donalds house so we could help him clean it out! Then we went with some members to help them unload supplies that they brought with them from Georgia! That was a needed break from tearing apart the insides of peoples houses! We went back and finished up Donald house for the day! We are going back Tuesday to help him again!
I have been confronted by a bunch of drunk and really high guys….thankfully, I am in the south and everyone loves Jesus so ask them if they wanna pray and 99% of the time its YES! My companion and I probably would have ended up in the Hospital or 6 feet under.
I’ve heard a lot of people tell me on my mission that God doesn’t do miracles anymore. Well, that not only is a lie from Satan, is completely wrong and it ticks me off. You are telling me that God changes? If He used to do miracles in the past, why not now? If the Lord wants something done, you are not going to be able to do anything to stop it. He will get it done. Someone I know really well, has been able to work with a ton, was having back problems. Its got to the point where that person couldn’t get out of bed, after a while asked for a blessing, was told that the lord had a lot for that person to do, that the back issues would not cause anymore problems. To this day that person has kept up with everyone around and done more them most. Again, if the Lord has something for you to do, He will provide a way. No matter what anyone else says. If the Lord tells you something, you do it. If it’s through a priesthood leader, pray about it. Get an answer and act. The Lord wont lead you wrong. Another thing I have noticed… when there’s a chance that you might get flooded out or in your house, please leave! It Makes a lot of peoples jobs a ton easier when they dont have to come and get you out of 6 feet or even 2 inches of water! I have also learned that it is really hard to teach people when their houses are, in some cases, 6 feet under. Service softens hearts 🙂
The flooding was really bad…. over 100,000 homes got flooded in Baton Rouge…. and some area’s out side of Baton Rouge got hit bad.. like the stake center and mission office in Denham Springs had 6ish feet of water inside… the missionaries are all fine, Only 2 had to get boated out and a bunch evacuated but everyone is fine! The sisters in our ward had to move in with a member. The people are doing good! They are all helping each other out! It’s really cool, because before all this flooding, it was literally brother against brother, son against father and such. Now, thanks to all the flooding,everyone is getting along again! God had to kick Baton Rouge in the butt to get them to get along again… the water is almost all gone now! It took about a week!
Could y’all pray for Gene Duncan? My companion is great and as of right now, between the 2 of us, we have the most mission experience then any other companionship in the mission haha! It is interesting that I got transferred here before this all happen…. I was told in a blessing that the Lord had a great physical work for me to do, about 3 weeks before I was moved here. This lady walked up to me and told me that Ernesto was her boss, hahaha! yeah… there will be a lot of stories… some to share and some not to. The members have been really helpful here! It’s been great.
Apparently, there is a tropical storm heading towards the gulf the last thing we need is more water.
Hope Y’all are high and dry!
Elder Micah A. Ralph