Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015

Sorry we didn't email today, we were volunteering with the emergency management team, distributing water...we will likely email tomorrow. We were distributing water from 7am to 7pm. We will be with out water for two more days.

love you it has been a great week exciting things to share


We have had another day of filling water, with the city, this time inside at the National Guard Armory...They must trust us to get the work done, because they just left us here with the two 7,500 gallon tankers all day today from 7:00am to 7:00pm, I am sending this from one of the national guard computers, in a slow pitch of no people.
The city water treatment plant resumed operation at 7:00pm last night and water reached it's first consumers who live in the lower elevation areas today around 6:00am however it hasn't been officially deemed drinkable and won't be till Wednesday night (48 hours from when the water treatment plant resumed operation), but as soon as people get their water running they can flush which is a big relief to most, (pun-intended). There are still some residents who live in high elevation areas which it will take any where from 48-72 hours to reach them. All in all everything is expected to return to normal by Friday Morning, 

The Bulk water distribution (from the tankers you saw us working with on the news) will be in use for two more days and the city has asked us to work the tankers from 7:00am to 7:00pm Monday, today, Wednesday and Thursday.
All in all aside from everything else it has been a fantastic missionary opportunity.
"everyone at the 911 center loves you guys."
we have established a really strong relationship with The city of Lewisburg and the County, not to mention every citizen in the city recognizes the church a little more now.
In regard to Elder Sawyer and I We lost water service at our apartment shortly after church on Sunday and Had water flowing full pressure again at 6:30am this morning (Tuesday) We have had plenty of water to drink from bottles and members supplied us with flushing and dish washing water from their well.

Love you
Probably give you another update tomorrow evening.
p.s. maybe soon we even take a P-day.
#exhausted but loving it

Hello Everyone, Thank you for your emails and sending your love my way, the first two weeks here have not been easy ones, but I have found my love for this city now and that makes everything easier. 

Lots of exciting things to cover.
First off Allen, our super awesome investigator who has just simply become my best friend here and he came to church! More about him in a moment.

Here are some photos from the weekend with no water.

 I just barely took this photo on our way to the library tonight outside the city hall building. the water is back on in Lewisburg, however a boil water advisory is in effect until further notice.

 But lets go back to the beginning...Friday night a diesel Tanker wrecked and the trailer detached from the truck and rolled ejecting diesel fuel 150 yards from the crash site,  all totall some 3,900 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled into Anthony creek, which feeds into the greenbriar river (which is where the city intakes water from) Saturday morning the decision was made to shutdown the water treatment plant and stop intaking water before the diesel reached the plant. We were asked to conserve water, relying on what would be left in the system flowing from the water towers, by Sunday night all the water pressure was gone, that evening Elder Sawyer and I caught wind of an emergency city council meeting that was being held to address the situation, we met with the fire chief who put us in touch with the county Emergency Management team. 

Sunday night with the store shelves picked clean of any bottled water that was in stock you could feel the tension rising in the air with people beginning to stress out, and while there were no major incidents  there was a lot of high tension emotions as people began to panic. Then West Virginia American Water well prepared from last year's water situation in Charleston with a state police escorted three mobile water supplies and from Charleston along with all the county equipment and trucks and trailers came rolling into town like a parade and calmed everyone's nerves. 

By Monday morning 6:30 AM in a were meeting at the fairgrounds with The City, County, American Red Cross and us was set up to distribute water to the public from the 7,500 gallon tanks, and the Red Cross worked on distributing bottled water to homebound, hospitals and nursing homes. 7:00am the first of the public was lined up to get water and we set to work. 

 On monday the Water tanks were at the State Fairgrounds Main Gate, which was really neat for my Coaster Geek
 ​The Topetto heaters were blasting heat on the pipes all day to keep them from freezing in the below freezing temperatures. It was a great day to play in the water ;) but we were well dressed and moving the whole day we didn't get a chance to get cold.
Everyone really came together, between the state fair, city, county, and state police (shoutout to Uncle Bill and Aunti Becca the state troopers we worked with were awesome and I am super grateful to have had them.) and department of transportation to make everything go smooth and while we had a constant usage no one really had to wait that long. some people didn't even have to get out of their cars we would fill so fast.

5 gallon buckets with lids were the most common thing we filled, but some people came with whatever they had, including the bins they kept their christmas decorations in. to big pots and pans and an endless amount of 1 gallon milk jugs. Needless to say Lowes was making their money in buckets.
 ​at about 2:00pm the first 7,500 gallon tank was emptied 
 ​We shipped it off to White Sulfur Springs to refill...meanwhile this for a good portion of the day about 10 different news stations and a few newspapers were watching us like hawks!
 We took a short break where the red cross had a nice lunch and some snacks and coffee :p...seriously couldn't tell you how many times people kept offering us coffee...the joke was that they didn't need water...they just needed water to make their coffee...people out here love the stuff...but the state fair offices and photos of the history of the fair made me drool a bit along with their expansion plan.
 carousel horse :)
 ​warm food...it was cold outside! 
 ​In one of the exhibit halls at the fairgrounds the red cross was hard at work unloading, inventorying and distributing pallet after pallet of bottled water.
 As the night set in, the ground quickly turned to ice and the snow started to fall with the wind picking up the call was made to move the to the national guard armory at the Airport to keep the tanks from freezing. The man with me is Rodney Evans and he was the man ensuring all was where it was supposed to be, he is a great guy and really cared about the personal problems that were impacted by the spill...he was actually the second person on site to the diesel crash. 
 at 7:00pm we  filled the last container of the day and packed up moved the armory....ready to resume distribution at 7:00am the next morning. After we finished up that night we went to a Less-active family who had offered up their well for us to refill our bucket and we warmed up with them in their super neat pre-civil war cabin. 

 ​For the next two days we were at the Armory (which was huge by the way)  to distribute water and help people get it to their cars...the 3 national guard guys that were there were super awesome to hang out with. They invited us back to come use their gym any time. After Monday I think the city trusted us to handle distributing water from these tanks because it was just us two (the national guard had their other regular duties to attend too) 
 By the end of today, water was running again but not drinkable yet so we began distributing bottled water to the public as well. (the water in the tanks was drinkable too, but the bottles were nice to have.). At the end of it all, the Emergency Manager at the 911 center asked us to come down and personally thanked us. Before we left a woman from the 911 center..."your face is everywhere, news and all over facebook" since then several people have recognized me...I hope that makes things easier when we tract. The church and missionaries in general did get some good exposure from the news  media. Not mention we handed out countless pass-along cards as we could with all the water gave out. It is nothing like a good emergency to bring people together, it was a lot of fun to see neighbors and old friend who hadn't seen each other in a while smile and laugh as they all came to the watering hole. In total we distributed about 12,000 gallons of water from the tanks alone, (that is about 1 gallon for every resident in lewisburg).  My favorite comment from a man when he saw my name tag was "Jesus Christ now that is a man I know" Made me realize how truly and directly we represent him.
 A few other Photos from the past week...this is the Amtrak station in White Sulphur Springs across the street from the Greenbriar.
 We were helping a member John install his main electrical line on this new home...we dug out the trench, laid the conduit and drove in the ground rods...I felt a little like a stone mason on the pioneer temples haha..."you've got a good heart lineman...I hope you have a good eye" (that is a quote from prophet of the restoration) 
 Allen continues to be super awesome, we meet with him twice a week and he came to church, and is planning on bringing his wife and two children this coming week, he is a collector of antiques and just gave me this old disneyland paraphernalia from 1973 as a gift. he is really what re-lit my hope and excitement for the work here in white sulfur springs, I have never had so much opposition to teaching the gospel but Allen has a sincerity of heart to learn and fellowship and outside of that he is a real stand up guy and a lot of fun to be around. We are meeting with him next on Tomorrow...send your prayers his way he is already far along in the process of quitting smoking too...the elect do exist! 

till next week...love ya

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