A Fan, a Vacuum, and a Plate of Cookies

“A Fan, a Vacuum, and a Plate of Cookies,” Ensign, July 2010, 66–67

A Fan, a Vacuum, and a Plate of Cookies

Rindi Haws Jacobsen, Utah, USA

One summer our young family traveled 2,000 miles (3,200 km) across the country for my husband’s new job. We were excited for our new adventure, but we felt very far from our home, our families, and everything else we knew. We pulled up to our new home during a downpour, and in an attempt to protect our home’s newly laid carpet, we unloaded the truck with umbrellas overhead and sheets underfoot. We knew that heavy rains had been causing basements to flood, and we nervously kept an eye on ours after everything was unloaded.

All seemed well that night, and with our three young children finally asleep, Greg and I hurriedly made our bed. We were both exhausted, and falling into bed sounded so good. For some reason, though, Greg felt that he should unpack another box.

“Please,” I said, “let’s just go to sleep. We can unpack in the morning.”

He shook his head and headed to the basement. After a few moments, I heard him scream. Panicked, I ran to the basement only to be met by a miniature flash flood. We stood there shoulder to shoulder as cold rainwater began pooling around our ankles. Instantly we snapped into action and began dragging box after box up the steep staircase. I felt completely and hopelessly lost, my tears mixing with the floodwater on the floor.

I called the only member of the Church we knew in our new ward, Brother Lindsay Sewell, to ask for instructions on running our sump pump to drain the water. Brother Sewell gave some quick advice, and then I went back to work trying to save our belongings. At midnight, the doorbell rang. Pulling the door open, I was met by Brother Sewell, his arms laden with a fan, a wet vacuum, and a plate of chocolate-chip cookies.

“Sounds like you guys could use some help,” he said with a bright smile. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so far from home.

All through the night, Brother Sewell stayed with us, trying to conquer the flood. When the water level in the basement rose to more than a foot (30 cm) deep, he suggested that we call the fire department; they brought large pumps that eventually solved the problem.

The next morning Sister Sewell and other members of our new ward arrived with food, extension cords, and more vacuums. We were overwhelmed by their goodness. In the end we saved all of our belongings.

I am so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No matter where I go, I have brothers and sisters waiting with open arms to welcome my family and to help in times of need.