Many families were away on trips over the long holiday weekend, but five LDS Church leaders and many Mormon volunteers, including David Archuleta, traveled to Louisiana to help and encourage those whose homes were damaged by the recent flooding.
President Russell M. Nelson, Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy, Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric, and Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, met with more than 5,000 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers who have been tirelessly working to provide food and shelter for flood victims.
They toured one of four LDS meetinghouses that has been transformed into a "command center" to organize volunteer efforts as well as a Baptist church that LDS volunteers are helping to salvage from the flood.
“It’s wonderful to see people like you help other people,” senior pastor Melvin Meister told President Nelson, according to the Deseret News. “That’s what this country was built on: people helping people. We read about it in history, talk about it, and here it’s happening today."
After the flooding, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank lost 500,000 pounds of food, forklifts, and rolling equipment along with the use of their offices. As they've tried to recover from this disaster, Elder Ballard, on behalf of the Church, presented a $50,000 donation. Afterward, Bishop Davies announced that three semi-truck loads of food would arrive at the food bank this week.
Among those who've made these relief efforts possible is David Archuleta, who traveled to Louisiana to volunteer with Mormon Helping Hands. About his experience, he wrote on Facebook:
One of the areas where we were helping clean this weekend. Couldn't believe how much everyone had to get rid of and cleanup from flood-damage. It was sad to see how so many people lost everything in Louisiana, but it was a privilege to get to go down with my church group and help out as part of Mormon Helping Hands.
Thanks everyone for looking out for us and we'll keep sending our love to those who are still in the process of starting new! This has made me think twice about what really matters and what I could live without, as everyone here had to learn what they didn't need and what they did need to start moving forward.
Appreciate what you have. I know I need to reconsider a lot of things as I've gotten caught up lately in "worldly things" that could easily be gone tomorrow and then I realize I really didn't need.
It reminds me of some verses in the New Testament:
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:20-21)
Happy Labor Day weekend y'all, and don't forget to appreciate the family and friends that you're around. I think amongst all the sales and trips that happen this Labor Day weekend they are who we ought to treasure the most. If you aren't going hungry, have a shirt on your back, have shelter, and loved ones around you show some gratitude today. #Louisiana #louisianaflood2016 #treasuresinheaven #labordayweekend #happylaborday #gratitude