Joy In Service

January 26, 2013
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When Mr. Barnes passed out the sheet for the second time, groans sounded throughout the classroom. I perked up, instantly thinking of the many things I could do in order to complete my next five hours of community service. As time went on though, I had yet to find anything I really wanted to do. Then I found out we were doing Mormon Helping Hands again, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

First of all, Mormon Helping Hands is a volunteer program started in 1998 when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked local Church leaders in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile to reach out to their communities in service. In response, the local Church leaders of South America began to establish an annual day of service. The idea of having an annual day of service has since spread to Church members across the globe, and members have begun to gather together and perform works of service such as, cleaning parks, streets, and other public places, repairing hospitals and schools, and providing disaster relief for members and non-members alike around the world.

Our assignment for Mormon Helping Hands was to clean up, repair, paint, and shine up Del Campo High School. I thought that it sounded like a lot of fun, so I invited my friend Ghonna to come along and help. A little bit after we had gotten to Del Campo we broke up into teams of workers. There were concrete workers, diggers, mulch-spreaders, roof workers, garbage can painters, and more. I joined the painting team. Our job was to go around and paint all 65+ garbage cans with a fresh coat of blue paint. We got our supplies and headed over to our first garbage can and got ready to slide the cardboard under it as instructed….only to find out that the cans were bolted to the ground. Made our job a little harder because we had to paint the cans WITHOUT getting paint on the ground.
Let me just say that was VERY difficult, and instead of the paint getting on the ground, it got ALL OVER me. My arms up to my elbows were completely blue, my jeans were covered in a layer of blue, my shoes were blue, I had paint on my face, and even my shirt (hidden under my Mormon Helping Hands yellow jersey) had blue spots all over it. I had a great time though, and we painted a good 10+ cans with a bright, blue coat of paint.
Afterwards, all of the members that had worked at Legette, Northridge, Will Rogers, Del Campo, and Deterding all met at Will Rogers for a barbeque. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, banana bread, and even more. After my friends and I had eaten our fill of food, we grabbed a couple of plastic garbage bags and walked around picking up trash from the ground and from people. I think the weirdest thing we found was an “ARD SALE” sign that I found, and we’re really not sure how it got there. ?
All in all, I had a really great time. But then again, I can’t think of a year I haven’t had fun at a Mormon Helping Hands project. Even though they work you hard, I always seem to have a lot of fun. I guess it all depends on your attitude about the work. I wanted to have a good time, so I did. I can’t wait for the next Mormon Helping Hands so I can go and serve with my friends and family and have a blast. May we all find joy in service!

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