I'm not sure if I've explained the bishop's storehouse before, but if I have, it was a long time ago, so let's do it again! Basically, one of the things that's really important to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is taking care of people who are having a hard time taking care of themselves. So every first Sunday, we're asked to fast for two meals, and donate at least as much as we would have spent on those meals as a fast offering. And the money is used to help people in need.
And that's where the bishop's storehouse comes in! It stores all the stuff that the Church has to give to the poor. There's all kinds of food and necessities, like shampoo and diapers and stuff. And if someone's going through a hard time, so they can't buy food, they can talk to the local ward leaders and get supplies. We had to do that for a while back in 2006. And all of the food packages have information printed on them about developing self-reliance, because you can only help people so much if they refuse to help themselves. That being the case, we also noticed that the LDS Employment Services are in the same building as the storehouse.
Anyway, the storehouse relies very very heavily on volunteer work, so every week, ward members are asked to go in and help out. There are a lot of wards who use the storehouse, so different wards get asked on different weeks, and obviously some people are more enthusiastic about it than others, but anyway, this week, we agreed to go. They like to ask the men from our ward (the young single adult ward) to go on Thursdays, because that's when they unload the trucks, and they want the strong young men there to do the heavy lifting. But they're having a hard time getting people to go, so now they're asking everyone.
So early this morning, we were ready to go over there and do some heavy lifting! ...A little bit at a time. But apparently the people at the storehouse didn't want to make delicate maidens such as ourselves (and our friend who drove us there) to be subjected to that kind of hard labor (the fact that our ride had a cold probably contributed), so instead, we assembled boxes. That was actually pretty intimidating in and of itself at first, because it involved tape guns. Or tape...rs? I don't know what they're officially called, but the first time we saw them, they were called tape guns, and thus we are intimidated by them. Well, that and the fact that we and tape don't get along so well.
But! we did it anyway! And of course it was super easy. Except that I'm a little worried because my tape wasn't always centered, and the boxes may not have always been perfectly squared off before I put the tape on... But anyway, it was neat, because it helped me remember that a lot of work goes into organizing something like a bishop's storehouse, and every little bit counts. And maybe someday soon, someone who needs food will get a package in a box that one of us put together!
Today I'm thankful for having the opportunity to serve, not having a severe thunderstorm right over our heads last night (the news said there could be quarter-sized hail!), not having to lift super heavy packages, tape guns being easier to use than they may at first appear, and that neat little "guess the phobia" game we just played at Dictionary.com.