My stake had the opportunity to help another stake down in Salt Lake this weekend. This stake was in much need for some service. We kept hearing about this great service project that would be happening, but I had no idea how truly great it would be. 8am on Saturday morning my ward showed up to help the Arbor Spanish Speaking Branch. They are incredible people. They were so kind to all of us and you could tell how much they appreciated our hard work. I wish I had taken before and after pictures of some of the projects, but I was working and moving between houses so I didn't get a chance. We did yard work, planted flowers, mowed, built patios, fixed roofs, bathrooms, painted interiors, removed trash and old appliances, trimmed trees, etc. I was assigned to the "trashy" group as Jake called it. Brother Anderson, Jake, Patrick and I would go to each house and load up a trailer full of trash, weeds, dirt, appliances, etc. and then take them to the large dumpsters. We would often stop and help with random projects as well. This sounds like a simple job, but we did it from 8 am until 6pm. There was that much trash! We had a blast doing it though and in the end I was so grateful to have spent the day with those 3.
No idea what this large chunk of cement was at one point, but we had to get rid of it. The boys went to town at breaking it down. At this house we fixed a leaking roof, painted 3 rooms, cleared out room for a garden, built a stone patio and walkway, planted flowers, mowed, cleaned out trash. We gave them a lawn mower as a gift and the older man said this was his first new law mower and was so grateful. As we left we saw them continue to work and clean and take pride in their "new" home.
We cleared out a lot of green waste. This sometimes meant we had to break down the bigger tree branches before we could put them in the trailer.
Brother Anderson, Patrick, & Jake (the trashy group).
At the dump! We probably had too much fun at the dump. It was nice to laugh and throw things away hearing the breaking glass. We also saw a great fridge that someone had trashed with the food still in it! Classy!
Ashlee and Megan enjoying the much needed oranges. It rained all morning and at times got chilly. Oranges were a highlight that morning.
Beethoven! This dog was HUGE! Luckily stayed tied up the whole time we worked in the yard.
At one house we were working in the yard and one of our guys Carl who was in charge of the construction said, "Hey I need someone who isn't afraid of heights to go on the roof and in a tree!" I volunteered very quickly! He had me get on the garage roof and tear off shingles then cut back and trim a tree so that he could then get up there and lay down some new shingles. It was one of my favorite parts of the day. I love climbing things!
It was a long hard day of work, but so worth it! I needed to be there and to forget myself and just serve these wonderful people. I hope that we get a chance to do something this great and this big again.
It's amazing how truly happy you can be when you forget yourself and just serve those around you.