I have the hardest time thinking of what to say…
We had some interesting trials this week with some interesting solutions. We were cooking on Tuesday and started to smell cooking gas. At first we thought the smell was from when we first turned the stove on. Not long after we realized that it was where the valve connected to the propane tank that was leaking. We started to turn the valve off after we used it so that it wouldn’t constantly be leaking. By Thursday it started leaking more and more to the point we did not feel comfortable using it so we called and asked about getting the valve replaced. We were told they would try to get the part to us that night but they were very busy and forgot to bring it to us. It worked out fine because we had some bread we could eat for dinner.
The next day (Wednesday) they worked out a way for our branch clerk to pick up the part on Saturday. In the meantime they suggested we try putting something heavy on it or applying some pressure to it so it wouldn’t leak when we wanted to turn it on to cook. Elder Jorgensen and I tried filling up pots with water and placing it on top of the valve and a few other things. Nothing was heavy enough to keep it from leaking. On Friday we ended up taking turns holding the valve and pressing down on it with all of our weight. When my companion wanted to cook I would hold it down and when I wanted to cook he would hold it down and this seemed to work OK.
Then Saturday came. Elder Jorgensen and I had planned to fast with our recent converts Reuben and Mary who were going through some difficult times. It ended up being a great day. We went over to their house at 7:00 in the morning to pray with them and start the fast. It was great to see the faith both of them had. The rest of the day went well but the new valve never came. We called to ask our clerk if he would be able to bring it. He explained how he gave the part to one of the young women hours ago and that she was on her way to the church. She never came so we didn’t get the valve on Saturday. It ended up being the perfect day to fast, ha ha. We went back over to Rubens house just before 7:00 pm to have a lesson with them before we broke our fast.
We found out that Reuben and Mary spent the whole day washing their cloths by hand because they had been without running water for the past two weeks. Their family had built up quite a pile of dirty cloths and it wasn’t until Saturday morning the water was fixed. I was blown away they were able to do that because I wash my own personal laundry each week by hand and if ever I don’t eat and I wash my cloths I feel very weak after. Reuben and Mary did a lot more then I have ever done.
I know that the fast helped Reuben and his family. I could feel a difference in his home and I saw a difference in his attitude. It was a wonderful experience to see how the Lord chooses to help individuals in their individual challenges in a way you almost never expect. As we were ending our lesson his eleven year old girl walked in the house. She had been out selling treats all day that her mom makes. Selling treats is their small family business to earn a little money on the side. She walked in with an empty tray. When they asked where all of the treats went she said, “I sold them.” Apparently that almost never happens, it usually would take a few days to sell all of the treats but she was able to sell all of them that day. It was nice little miracle.
We did end up getting that valve on Sunday after church so now we are able to cook our food like normal. It is amazing how many little things I still take for granted even though I am in Africa. I never knew how much of a blessing it really was to have a working propane valve until it was gone but now I know and realize how much of a blessing it is. Just another item to add to my list of things to be grateful for.
Have a great week. -Elder Orton