I’m supposed to be packing my bags. Instead I keep packing kits. This morning we prepared 520 kits to be picked up off my front porch. Daniela Larsen and her non-profit organization, Small Candles, are taking 210 kits to Nepal this week. They are working with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and Operation Underground Railroad (they educate women and help keep them safe from slave and sex trafficking). They are coordinating their efforts with DFGI and work we are also doing in Nepal with school girls there.
Michelle Larsen is taking 210 kits to Zambia next week. Michelle works with an organization called GrowLearnLive. They have 3 interns headed to Zambia June 27th, where they will be teaching lessons to school girls on puberty, menstruation, safety and emotional health. They will also teach local Relief Society groups how to make Days for Girls kits as a service to underprivileged girls there. Wonderful work! Lucky girls!
The third batch of kits going from my porch will be taken to Nicaragua. Nicole Johansen is a amazing mom. When I sent her this photo of her kits on the porch with my address, she replied with this email:
Ann, that is sooo great! I can pick them up tomorrow around 11:45am (after my boys are done with the BYU football camp:) ).
I will leave an envelope with the money my 13 year old daughter Glory has earned to help replenish the fabric supply! Here are some photos of “Glory’s Days Spa for Girls”. She held a couple of them to earn money for the kits. Also a photo of the items we’ve been translating, enlarging and laminating. Since this is my first time I want to be prepared! The foundation we are traveling with (Worldwide Child’s Relief Foundation) is so excited to bring these kits to the 7-10th graders in the school. They have been serving in the La Calle Real village for about 8 years now and have never thought to address the feminine needs of the girls. It’s actually an interesting story I think you will enjoy….
The foundation asks that we each bring something with us that the community or schools could benefit from. So . . . I have been working with my son on his Eagle Project the past few months. We are bringing 200 lbs of English books to the children in the schools. This has been a little bit of a time commitment.:)
For my daughter Glory’s service We were planning on taking “Girls Pamper Kits”. You know things like nail clippers, nail polish, lotion, files, hairbrush. But I kept having this feeling that we were missing something. (Not that We weren’t bringing enough….200 lbs of books, 100 hygeine kits for townspeople and these 200 pamper kits.). I knew they would love to get their nails painted and hands massaged for the first time and have one on one contact with the 4 young women going. But it was more than that, we were missing something that those girls needed.
For a few days I asked friends and family what else we could put in the little pamper kits? They said everything seems great you guys are doing enough, and your over your weight limit already! But one day I was picking up some feminine pads for my own daughter and they seemed a little expensive. As I walked out the spirit whispered, “what about the Nicaraguan girls?” As I was driving home things started clicking and I started wondering what those girls did for their products. So the wheels kept turning and I called my friend from the foundation thinking for sure the girls feminine needs were covered…. To my surprise they weren’t! My friend called me back with emotion in her voice and said “Nicole we have been to this village over twenty times, for 8 years and I cannot believe we’ve never thought of what the girls are doing during their period!” (They truly have done inspiring christlike service there. They have built brought homes, fed, clothed built wells, brought education, community centers. My friend has also started a Value program that all 7th and 8th graders take. They learn about all 8 of the young women values during two terms of the year! So during each of our 90 minute girls classes we will be talking with them 200 about Virtue and Divine Nature. They will each get to make a little gold and white beaded bracelet to tie to their little feminine kit bag.)
Anyways this experience has been another confirmation to my family and I that God truly cares about each and every one of his children, especially in the smallest, impoverished poorest of villages. He truly will see to it that his children’s needs and desires are taken care of even if it needs to met from an army of women serving from Utah County to La Calle Real Nicaragua! I am so grateful for all the women and girls that have spent hours of their time providing these kits for us to deliver! We feel soooo lucky and blessed to be the ones to deliver them for you!!!💕💕
And I am preparing to walk away from all of this. It feels impossible to consider. But it will happen. Tomorrow we go to Salt Lake, where Elder Bednar will set us apart as missionaries. Friday the moving truck comes for our stuff. Sunday we speak in church, Wednesday we go to the Missionary Training Center, and after 4 days of training there, we drive to Washington. Then the fun there begins!
I know in my mind this will all happen, but in my heart, I’m not sure how. This I know: I have a Father in Heaven who knows me and loves me. Taking me away from here was not my idea, it was His. So I will go and give what I can and learn all I can from my next place and my next assignment and I have no doubt I will love every minute of it–as soon as I get there.