We had gone to District Meeting in Pinamungajan the day before. The elders in Aloguinsen reported plumbing problems in their apartment. We took the Zone Leader who had traveled with us back to Toledo, then went back to Aloguinsen after lunch. The elders took us to visit the caretaker of the apartments. He had turned off the water to the elders’ apartment because the kitchen faucet was leaking into the rooms below.
It will be fixed by tomorrow. It will be fixed by noon. We’ll put a new faucet on. There is a faucet outside by the building. The missionaries can get water there.
We went back to the apartment. The elders had a large barrel partly full of water that they were using.
You said that the toilet was not working.
Well…yes…but Elder Hall, you do not want to go in there.
I need to look at the toilet. I can’t fix it if I can’t see it.
Elder Hall went into the CR (comfort room).
Do you have a plunger?
The native elder looked confused. His branch missionary companion thought for a moment, then pantomimed using a plunger.
That’s it. Can we buy one here?
Not here. In Pinamungajan.
Do you have a bucket?
Elder Hall looked at a faucet on the wall.
Was a shower head attached here?
Maybe sometime. Not since I have been here.
Let’s go to Pinamungajan.
We went to the market. The missionaries led us to a small shop, where they ducked under some merchandise to enter. The clerk took buckets from a pile to show to them. I watched the elders stand with their heads surrounded by bras handing from the ceiling. The incongruous picture sent me out to the street to chuckle.
After they purchased the bucket and plunger, we went to the next street to a little hardware shop. Elder Hall asked for a hand held shower head attachment. They showed him several things, but not what he wanted. We walked down the street to another shop. They didn’t have it. We walked down the street to another shop. After several substitutes and much conversation, what he needed was found in a kit. We bought the kit and drove back to Aloguuisen.
As there was no water to the apartment, there was not water in the toilet tank to flush the toilet.
Have you tried dumping water down the toilet?
Let’s go get a bucket of water.
They took the bucket down the stairs and filled it, then brought it back to the apartment. Elder Hall demonstrated how to dump the water into the toilet bowl and drain the contents. He attached the shower head with his limited tools, then promised to come back after the water was back on to tighten it.
The water was not back on the next day. There was an earthquake that day instead, and all electricity and water was off for several hours. Fortunately, the apartment building was not damaged.
We went back Wednesday with a rack so the young elders to hang their clothes, and some cleaning supplies. The elders reported that they had water. They had washed their clothes, moped the tile floors, washed all the dishes, scrubbed the counter tops and sink, and were working on the CR.
Elder Hall tightened the shower attachment and told the elders that they were doing a great job. Attention and a little help works miracles.