Monday, November 7, 2011

Rolling Blackouts (#8)

We’re always hearing interesting stories from members who attend our meetings here in Palau. Sister Marina Oei is a woman of great faith who is accustomed to having the Lord answer her prayers and attend to her needs in miraculous ways. In fast and testimony meeting she told the story of a time when her daughter was the only one working in the family, and she had just received her pay check which she gave to her parents to go and buy food for they had none in the house. Unfortunately, she failed to endorse the check so when they took it to one bank to cash it they would not. Sister Oei however, would not be deterred. She had the impression that they should go to another bank (of course, those with her were telling her that she’d get the same treatment). Undaunted, she had her husband drive to another bank where she was greeted at the door by a gentleman who said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, enter”. She went in and they readily cashed her check. She asked the teller who was the man who had opened the door for her. They said that there was no man. When she got back to the car no one in the car had seen any man open the door for her. Now if that experience had happened to one of us North Americans I’d question it, but not from Sister Oei. She’s tight with the Lord, and what she asks for, she gets!

Mitch Hibbard is a Doctor on temporary 6 month army reserve assignment from his practice in South Carolina. He’s been bishop several times in the states and in Priesthood yesterday told us the story of his experience helping clean-up damage from Katrina. After working all day Saturday and Sunday (after a brief sacrament meeting) they packed up their chain saws and other “Mormon helping hands” equipment to make the 7 hour drive back home. As he was pulling out he had the impression that he needed to go up the hill to a green painted house that he could see in the distance (much to the consternation of the other brethren in his vehicle because with no stops they would not be home until 2:00 a.m. Monday morning). As they pulled up the woman who was standing in the yard with her 3 children dropped a cigarette, she obviously wasn’t a member of the church. Mitch asked her if they could do something for her. She explained that her daughter had this rash which covered her practically from head to foot and her doctor had evacuated and there was no one who could help her. She said that she had been praying for help. Mitch took a look at the daughter and found that she had a serious staph infection called MRSA. Remarkably he just happened to have the antibiotic and ointment in his trunk which would help her daughter—which he promptly administered. Mitch testified that God answers the prayers of all people. He said that it was a remarkable experience to be part of God’s solution to one of His children’s problems. The experience reminded me of some instruction we received in the MTC. One of the teachers drew a triangle on the board. The top point was A signifying God. B and C points were respectively us and our investigator. In this case C talked to A seeking His blessing. A talked to B so that C’s need would be met.

The week earlier Mitch described the job he had after his mission at the granite vaults that the church uses to store the microfilmed ancestral records and all other records of the church. This vault is in the mountains outside Salt Lake City. Mitch explained that he was told that when they were carving out the granite for the inside of the vault that President Heber J. Grant came and asked them to dig a little further. When they did that, they found a spring of pure water. This water has been used to process the microfilm which has to have pure water without any chemicals to be able to be stored properly.

Just when you think that you have the hang of living in Palau, a new challenge, I mean ADVENTURE, occurs. Four of the six generators that power the island started on fire on Saturday. We lost power just before we opened our fast and had to be really creative to think of something to eat. We are now on rolling blackouts and sat in the dark all evening on Saturday and then with the 4 Elders on Sunday night. Luckily my big Boy Scout, Elder Johnsen (a scout is prepared, as well as thrifty) brought the coal miner head lamps with him and so we put those on to see around the apartment until the power came back on at 11:00 p.m. (Think camping in Houston in the summer to envision how hot and humid it gets.) We have included a picture. The President of Palau has declared a state of emergency; we understand that we’ll be without power 10 hours a day for 11 more days till the 18th of November. It could be worse, the Elders who live at the north end of the big island won’t have ANY power until then.

1 comment:

  1. Such wonderfully inspiring stories and experiences! Thank you for sharing. On a separate note, clearly having your air conditioner broken for a whole summer in Houston has served you well-- you are prepared to feel "hot and sticky" like there is no tomorrow. Maybe in some hiding place non-coincidence it will turn out that having no power somehow blessed everyone's lives! I miss you so much and hope you are doing well.