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Pure religion: Pure religion: Thanks for school books

People come from all over the world to see the beauty of the Marshall Islands — ocean waves rhythmically crashing against a pristine coral reef, the calming coolness of the world's largest lagoon. Those who visit wonder at the beauty of God's creation. There is a sense of completeness — a sense that nothing could be lacking.

A little distance away, however, in a two-story, white cinder block building, is the Queen of Peace High School. Until recently, the 230 students who attended school walked into bare classrooms — rooms without chalk, textbooks and other supplies. A sign outside an empty room that housed a few ragged and scattered books indicated that this was the school library. That was before the Church learned of the need and sent pallets of textbooks and school supplies from its humanitarian center in Salt Lake City.

After receiving the materials, many of the students of the school in Gugeegue, Marshall Islands, wrote letters to express their gratitude. Here are a few excerpts:

  • "We wants to give a big thanks for your help to this school. Now every day we go to office to look at the books. I thank our Heavenly Father for this wonderful moment."
  • "Now our school's not worrying anymore about books and we're really thankful for that."
  • "We promise you guys that we will take good care of those books you have sent us."
  • "We want to thank you for the help you volunteer. We have never known the kind of person who would want to help poor students."
  • "The books and supplies really help our school. They help us to be educated. They help me and my country to get a better and brighter future."
  • "The book not only means learning new things, it also means that total strangers care for me."
  • "We're not going to use these books without thanking you a billion times."

    Helen Sievers, principal of the high school wrote: "The three shipments of books and other school supplies have supplied our entire school. Almost all our textbooks in the school for our 230 students are from you. Without textbooks, it is practically impossible to help the students gain real skills, since so much is reading-based. The math books are from you, the English, science, and history books are from you. We finally have books in our library that we can allow our students to check out. I hope you understand just how much you have done for us."

    — Neil K. Newell, Welfare Services