Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sticky Sweet Service

It was my turn to go to Relief Society instead of Sharing Time last Sunday. I sat in the back row (I'm one of those) with my friends as the counselor went over the volunteer assignments that we needed to fulfill this week. One assignment was at the LDS Cannery in Lindon. The room was uncomfortably silent. It's the end of the summer and we're all busy. One sister volunteered and then my mouth opened and I surprised myself by volunteering to go.

I was kind of excited, actually. I've helped in the bakery before but never in the cannery. We arrived on time for our shift and joined the many volunteers to watching a quick training/safety/hygiene video. They tried to be funny. Some of us may have laughed once.

We put on our hair nets and aprons; scrubbed and washed our hands and arms (I felt like I was prepping for surgery), put on our gloves and gathered inside the plant to get our assignments. The other sister from my ward and I were standing in the midst of the group when the guy in charge called us out first. I was feeling special. The women on the previous shift taught us our tasks. Turns out, we had been given the messiest, stickiest, hardest job (according to the floor manager, but maybe he tells everyone that).

One of us was in charge of filling the cans with peaches. The other one made sure they weren't too full. The peaches came down a shoot and the cans were on a conveyor belt. It was trickier than you might think to get each can full of peaches. If we got them too full or not full enough, the manager definitely let us know.

We worked for a three hour shift filling countless cans with sticky sweet peaches. I have to admit it was a bit mind numbing. But I also couldn't help reflecting on what our true mission was today. My own contribution was minor. Nothing really. But combined with the other volunteers on all the shifts yesterday, today, tomorrow and the day after that we produced and will produce cans and cans of peaches that will go to feed the hungry all over the world. It's an amazing and impressive operation. 

Jesus said to Peter, "feed my sheep." And while we share the gospel message of Jesus Christ and feed the spirits of our fellow men, we also feed their bodies. And I love that.

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Michelle said...

Thank you for doing that! Several years ago I volunteered for a cannery assignment on my birthday, thinking that would be a selfless thing to do. We showed up for the last shift of the day and found out we would not be canning, but cleaning up after the canning. The stickiest, gooiest, strictest cleaning I've ever done. I can still see my husband's face while getting scolded for not cleaning enough pulp out of the drain. Sadly, we've not been back since. I need to humble myself and try it again. It's good work that you did while you were there.

Saimi said...

What a good girl you are!!

Momnerd said...

It is mind numbing but I also thought it was kind of therapeutic! After your post on FB today I went and found my blog post about when we went a couple years ago. We need to go back!

Unknown said...

Guess you should have gone to primary...Just kidding. Have fun this weekend while I'm in primary:)

Laura@livingabigstory said...

You are awesome! Can you tell me how your Presidency does the trade-off for RS? I would love to get more details!

Rheanna said...

Love going to the cannery, one of my favorites of all time! It's always so fun and even better to go with friends!

Cindi said...

Michelle - my friend and I decided that we would never sign up for the last shift since we figured (correctly) that the last shift would do the cleaning. What a mess!

Brimhalls said...

Go you! Isn't it amazing what can be done in just a few hours by a few good people?

Elizabeth said...

What an adorable site...I agree with your comment about missing them terribly...they do grow up fast so enjoy.