Thursday, October 22, 2009

Va'aulu Family Project

With all the updates listed below sent from my Uncle in Samoa. I couldn't help but think of ways that I can contribute to rebuilding our paradise. So with the help of my family, we were able to gather donations to ship to Samoa. We made it a family project so that we can help our brothers and sisters over seas but at the same time remind us all (especially the little ones) of how blessed we are.

Day 1-Gathering donations! YAY! What a great turn out!

Truck load of clothes... Thanks everyone that donated!

...more clothes plus water and food... Thanks Western Friction/Page Brake for all your support and donations! You're AWESOME!

Some of the Hygiene Kits we put together.

Our lil helpers... Love them!

Since we received more than than expected we had to get sorting ASAP... So the following day that's exactly what we did!

Day 2- Sorting the clothes...

sorting the shoes... Thanks Uncle Talesi for taking this task on... LOL

The beginning of sorting thru the clothes we received! YAY! We even donated clothes to DI cause we know that Samoa does not need FUR COATS or SKI PANTS... LOL. Thanks tho' for the donations.

After all this we were finally able to build and pack our container for SAMOA! This is the best part I thought... finally being able to see all of the donations ship off... Yes! I love it!

Final Day- Packing our container

Bottom layer of the container filled with water.

then the rice...


and more food...

and some of my family members that helped pack the box!

I mentioned earlier that this was my favorite part... And I just wanted to add that this day was my birthday and just to be able to do service for others was truly the best gift ever... even tho' I wasn't the one receiving it. I'm also happy to announce that because we received so much from everyone we will be shipping another container to Samoa in November... YAY! I love family projects!

I'm grateful to my family for all of their love and support in helping me press forward with this project. Also, much THANKS to all who donated especially Western Friction, Simati's company (sorry don't know the name), our dear family and friends. But I also want to THANK my husband for being patient, loving and so supportive of me. You're the BEST! I love you all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Words of Inspiration from Samoa

This was sent from my Uncle in Samoa.

"Hello family, life here in the islands is still in the fear stages I guess. People that were affected do not want to move back near the sea and are still camping in the bushes. Supplies of basic needs are still being delivered to them. Yesterday we had 5 stakes including ours went out there in forces to help with cleaning up and it was indeed a site to see all these help, while there, people were still burying their dead. Had to rush back home after that to check on the funeral service for the parents of a sister in our ward only to be met with another tsunami warning, so had to hold that off while evacuating to higher grounds. This warning was caused by an earthquake between Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. When the warning was called off we had to hurried through the funeral service and burial before it gets dark. It was very touching to see this brother and sister losing their parents and two kids in the disaster with the wife of the brother still in hospital with critical injuries. Today we visited with our Area President and his wife to the hospital to some of our members there, and will later visit to the camps out in the affected area. I think it is one of the most needed service for these people to have some spiritual and emotional counseling and help and this visit by our leaders is very much appreciated. Early morning yesterday, the plane carrying help from the Church in SLC arrived and will be given out to the government and to the people soon. As of now the official death toll is now 142 with still 7 reported missing. People a still living in fear so any small tremor of an earthquake you see everyone in panic mode heading for the hills. We have our 72 hour back-bags by the door now that whenever we had to run, we'll just grap and move. Yesterday when the warning came Chris and Ra were at school so they just went with all the students at the gathering place allocated. Lolini was at home as she was sick with the flu while I was on my way back from the service project. Had to hurry and picked her up with our needed supplies and went to the hills. Only met with Ra and Chris later after the warning was called off. Imagine if the real thing happened and we don't get to see each other, it would be devastating, but I guess if there is a message here for all of us, we all need to be prepared no matter what. My dear family I asked that you all prepare yourselves not only for the natural disasters physically but spiritually as well so when things do happen, we will be able to cope with them. Missing a love one I guess is ok, but losing 4 or 6 at once is just too painful and that's what these people have face. So family thank you so much for all the support and help that you are all putting together to help with our people here. It would really make a difference to a life of someone that will benefit from your kindness, and we will indeed feel better that we had lend a helping hand. Please extent a thank you to those that have contributed such as Alex's company, other individuals and to all our families, I will sent you a report once this help is given to account for your kindness. God Bless you all."

I'm so grateful for my Uncle and his example that he sets. I'm also grateful for his words of inspiration and encouragement. I'm very grateful for my family and for the gospel and just knowing the "Families Are Forever". My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of the South Pacific especially my Uncle and his family. I love you and hope that all will be OK in PARADISE.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tsunami Update #3 from Samoa

So here is another update shared by my Uncle in Samoa...

"Today is hot, hotter than than the first 2 days. We are continuing to haul water to the saints and others. Church members are camping in 5 different areas high up the hills. One is in Saleapaga, one in Lalomanu,2 in Malaela and one in Leagiagi or Saleaumua. We are now setting up our own control post at the Leagiagi chapel where we are offering counseling services and a control point of distribution of immediate needs for them. Outside help from NZ and Australia are now arriving and hopefully it will be sent to these needed people soon. The Church has now approved a plane load of food (rice, sugar, hygenic etc water..) coming in from SLC hopefully within the next few days as they are negotiating for a plane now. I think once those come in it will greatly ease the suffering physically, but emotionally it will remain with our people for a long long time. I know American Samoa is going through the same trauma, but they are in good hands with the US extending a big hand to help them. Here in poor Samoa its all depending on the handouts from families and from other governments.

The Lalomanu and Malaela are the worst hit area, in fact there is no Malaela standing. The only building standing in the whole village is part of the stake president's home and the damaged chapel. Remember this village has only one religion and that is LDS, so all the casulties in the village are mostly members of the Church if not all and are mostly related to the Purcells. So it is a very devastating effect to the Church and to the saints here. People are now starting to bury their dead especially those that were found yesterday and today as they are starting to decomposed as our hospitals and government facilities are not adequate to handle these casea. As mentioned earlier, a member of my ward has lost her parents, a newphew whom they are still searching for, and a niece in the disaster. Lena/Vana you know of Segia--Nicholus mom, her mother is one of the victims of the tsunami, in fact in the 2 wards in Malaela there are about 15 deaths as of now and a few others in the other wards of Leagiagi and Vaovai. The total dead as it now stands at 110 but still counting. We are continuing to haul water and food up to the various camps and trying to provide them with some other means to use for sanitation, as well as some hygenic needs. These people only had what they wore on their bodies as they tried to run up to the bushes so it was pleasing to see them use a change of clothes from what we delievered yesterday. I think it will take a while for them to be in camps as the smell is very strong and could cause some health problems. We are trying to organize a Mormon Helping Hands cleanup project from all the other stakes that were not affected hoping for a good turnout in the 1000. I think it would be great not only for the community but also as a missionary tool for the Church. The mission president is in favor of this too and has offered his missionaries to participate in it so it will be good PR for them too. I think with most of their basic needs such as food, clothing in place we can now move to try and help them rebuilt their lives physically and emotionally so they can move on. It will probably take a while but I know with faith they can do it. As far as our Lefaga family, they are doing alright no major concern. The only death reported from there in Safaatoa is one of the fireman who was killed when their truck overturn while rushing down to the village to evacuate people to higher grounds with their siren."

Thanks Uncle for the updates. I love you all and our prayers are still with you all.