Elder Reynolds Nametag

Elder Reynolds Nametag

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Outage

When we awoke on that unforgettable Saturday morning, we never could have imagined what was in store. From our limited perspectives, the weekend was going to be as ordinary as any other weekend; the cloudy skies and light breeze was nothing notable in the eyes of a couple of young men with a purpose. The sprinkling rain was no bother; in fact, it was extremely welcome, and the occasional broken branch created a humorous scene as it was carried away by the wind.

That afternoon, we were feasting on pizza as we eagerly prepared for the upcoming baptismal service. Our spirits were high as we anticipated the beautiful ordinance which was about to take place. Access to activate the baptismal font faucet was denied us by a locked door. Immediately, Elder Kelly retrieved several small materials for the purpose of picking the lock. Harnessing skills he'd acquired in Coquitlam, the lock was picked within seconds, and the lever was pulled to free the water. As we set up chairs for the wonderful people we were anxious to see, our ears alerted us to the diminishing sound of water filling up the font. Our eyes, demanding explanation, were drawn to the font, where the water pressure had indeed decreased to a slow trickle. This was an obstacle, but no cause for alarm, for we devised a plan to start filling up buckets and dump the water in the font.

And then... it happened.

The lights began to flicker, as though struggling for dear life to stay on. The struggle was quickly lost, and electricity fled the building, leaving only the emergency lights for illumination. Puzzled, though not deterred, we continued to set up chairs and tables; the ordinance did not require electricity, and surely the Lord, who "seeth in secret," could observe the baptism regardless. However, our ears soon alerted us to the utter silence filling the room. Now filled with concern, we checked the baptismal font to confirm our fears: the water had completely ceased. We frantically rushed to the kitchen, where we collected several pots, buckets, and bowls. We turned on the kitchen sink faucets, whose water pressure soon came to a deadening stop. We hurried to every washroom, every sink, every drinking fountain, retrieving every last drop that we could muster, but it was hopeless. We walked through the building, desperately searching for solutions. We saw the gym, where we had once shared memories of basketball and soccer. We walked through the classrooms, where laughter and wisdom has once exuded. Now, only darkness remained, and the hallways were filled with the faint sound of an emergency alarm buzzing from a maintenance panel. How sad it was that the only source of life within the entire building was a solitary alarm, desperately attempting to reach out to someone, anyone, that could assist the situation. The depressing sight was almost too much to bear, and we departed.

However, the Lord's purposes shall not be stopped. The baptism proceeded at another building half an hour away. It was a delightful service, and Kushal Sra made sacred promises with his Father in Heaven and committed to follow Christ.

The following day, we happily prepared to attend church. We received a phone call that the chapel still had no power, but sacrament meeting would still be held to accommodate for Kushal's confirmation. We arrived at the building an hour early, and the bishop gave us several assignments as we prepared to have the meeting in one of the large classrooms, and we labored side-by-side with our members to ensure the service still happened. Armed with flashlights and willpower, we delved into the shadowy corridors to retrieve the necessary supplies. We journeyed into the empty chapel; as we collected hymnbooks, we could not help but reflect upon the many things which we had learned as we sat on the now-abandoned benches. What a sight it was to travel back with our minds to when we would take this chapel for granted. There we were, young men in darkness, standing within walls that contained no light, no power, and worst of all, no water. The back-up lights had lost all resolve to combat the darkness, and now hung lifelessly upon the blackened walls. The cry of the little alarm continued to pierce our hearts as we completed our tasks.

Sacrament meeting was amazing; huddled in that little room, we were all filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and Kushal was confirmed and sustained as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. No power, or lack thereof, can halt this work.

Today is Day 3 after the Outage. Many are still without power, including our once-beloved chapel. The storms continue and roads are blocked as trees are uprooted. The Surrey 1st West Elders' car was smashed by such a tree, but fortunately the car was empty. We've had missionaries stay at our apartment, for we were blessed to receive power again, and we've stored others' food within our refrigerator to preserve what food remains. I do not know whether we shall survive this impending apocalypse, nor does there seem to be an end in sight, but this I do know: I've been called of God to minister to His children, rain or shine.

(It's really not as bad as I'm making it sound, I just wanted to write a dramatic story. All of the above is true though.)


Baptized with water

Though the font was never filled.

We cannot be stopped.

-Elder Reynolds

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