Monday, September 24, 2012

Responding to the promptings of the Holy Ghost (#54)

Sometimes we are in the strangest situations and doing the most mundane work when the Holy Ghost will prompt us on how to do something.  We had one of those experiences last Tuesday while working on a service project at the church.  Originally we had planned to hang a bulletin board in the nursery and do some outdoor painting in the parking lot of the church, but a heavy downpour of rain changed our outdoor painting plans.  During the heavy rain it seemed like a good time to see if we could determine the source the water leak in the Aux. classroom building.  Back in March when we held our open house we replaced two water-damaged ceiling tiles in the YW class room in our efforts to spruce up the building.  Now 6 months later the dripping water has increased in seriousness.  Not only are the ceiling tiles becoming water saturated but the sheet rock and paint in the area under the water drip is being impacted.

In this first photo you can see Elder Fullmer on the ladder in the YW room beginning to pull down the water soaked ceiling tiles.  

After we pulled down the tiles he climbed up into the attic to see if we could find the water source.  At first it appeared it was coming from some insulated pipes that run right above those tiles—since they were wet and dripping, which we believe was the problem reported some months ago to FM—however, upon further inspection, we were able to trace the water’s source.  The water was dripping down on the pipes from a piece of insulation just under the steel roofing. We could see the path of the water as it was running down the insulation it pooled and dripped down onto the pipes and then onto the ceiling tiles.   

In first aid, the first rule of care is “stop the bleeding.” It is the same with leaks.  We looked around to see what materials we might have to stop the leak.  We didn’t have a blue tarp, like we use in the states after a hurricane damage to cover the roof.  But thanks to some sudden inspiration from the Holy Ghost we remembered that we had a couple 4x8 sheets of plywood left over from our shed siding project which we had painted on both sides.   Using a drill and wire we found in the shed, we drilled small holes in the siding at the top and ran the wire thru to basically make an A frame tent hinged by the wire.  We brought the plywood up onto the roof and placed our “tent” over the ridge line of the roof just over the place it appeared that our leak was originating.  Of course, we still had a small opening where rain could enter at the peak.  So we covered that gap with a black plastic trash bag and then created a smaller plywood tent with some pieces of plywood which remained from our siding project.  This we placed over the plastic trash bag to hold it down in the wind.  The end result is shown in the attached picture, it isn’t wholly unattractive and best of all, there is no more water coming into the building!  And our patch hasn’t blown away in the heavy wind and rain which has continued unabated.

Sometimes the Holy Ghost will prompt us to do what is right even when we planning to do something stupid.  In his sacrament meeting talk on Sunday the ex-district president related the story of a time when he and some friends were going out to buy some beer so they could get drunk.  While they were debating their purchase Walter said that he distinctly heard the spirit tell him “don’t buy beer buy- orange soda instead.”  That message is very good advice to anyone debating a similar question today.   

We also had a visitor in church from Hawaii who, some years ago, served a mission in Palau.  He was also on the sacrament meeting program and told a personal story about his dad who fought in the Vietnam war.  Ken described how his dad was very close to the Platoon commander.   They were being picked up by three helicopters following a combat mission; the Platoon commander asked Ken’s dad to come with him in his helicopter.  He was about to do so but the Holy Ghost clearly whispered that he should not ride in that helicopter.  Despite the insistence of the Platoon commander, Ken’s dad resisted and rode back to base in one of the other two aircraft.  Only two of the three craft made it back to base—the one carrying the Platoon commander was shot down with all lives lost.  Ken’s dad owed his live to receiving and following the prompting of the Holy Ghost.

In Elder Johnsen’s Sunday School class they reviewed the prophecies made by Samuel the Lamanite and how they were fulfilled at the time of the Saviors crucifixion.  One of his prophecies was that in the new world “many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many”.  After the Savior’s appearance to the people in the lands spoken of in the Book of Mormon, he asked to see “the record which ye have kept”.  He observed that the fulfillment of that prophecy had taken place but had not been recorded.  “And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.” 3 Nephi 23:12-13  Elder Johnsen challenged his class to remember and record instances in their own lives when they had responded to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  Sometimes in our darkest hours it helps us to read and reflect on our own experiences where the Lord through the Holy Ghost has given us help and direction.  We know from our personal experiences in life and in the mission field that He stands ready to give is direction.

Even though we already had a birthday dinner for Elder Early and Elder Pauga we decided to have one little thing for them on their birthday.  Since we were going to be at the church on Tuesday morning, Sister Johnsen made blueberry muffins for the Elders. Elder Early got the muffin with the candle.

On Thursday we went for our end of the transfer lunch and then went back to the church for district meeting. Sister Johnsen made cupcakes for everyone and we took a district picture. Elder Pauga is the one with the candle this time. Happy Birthday to our two 22 year olds!
As we complete our week, we hope we can remember that following the Holy Ghost has two parts. First, seeking and receiving inspiration and then follow the inspiration we have received.  That’s our challenge to ourselves every single day.

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