Visitors from the West

Twenty one of our former missionaries returned in October to help with the hurricane cleanup. They had many great adventures, including meeting Pres. Oaks and Elder Bednar. It was also great to see them again!

At a rest stop in Utah. Just getting started.

The white car on the right is a mission car that didn’t make it. Our only casualty.

The chapel in Marianna got hit hard.We met up for a brief moment just before this group drove the last leg of their 32 hour odyssey to Panama City. So great to see them all!

This is what we are dealing with.

Elder Bednar spoke at a special sacrament meeting in Marianna. He spoke of the “palpable” power in the room as 1200 saints in yellow shirts prepared to go out and serve the community that day. In Haiti after a hurricane, Church buildings were some of the few still standing. They were immediately used as relief and supply centers, and mission vehicles were used to deliver needed goods and supplies.

“No one else can do this!” Elder Bednar exclaimed. “You are Church history… I commend you!”

The Church mobilized over 3500 volunteers in 72 hours to help in the Panhandle. Hundreds of chainsaws, wheelbarrows, generators and other tools, as well as thousands of cases of bottled water, canned goods, diapers, etc. arrived as well. The estimated value of all the service to date – not counting the supplies – is over $4 million!

Elder Bednar encouraged us to study the character of Christ in the four gospels and 3 Nephi Chapter 11. He told us that we didn’t choose our trials [its not like the Choose Your Adventure books]. But we DID sign up for mortality, and we deal with what we get. Consider Joseph Smith’s 14 years as president of the Church. Subtract time traveling, trying to provide for his family, and in jail or court. It is amazing what he accomplished!

Being attractive may be a trial not a blessing. If you skate by on your looks.. Same with having money. Trial? Or blessing?  How about being disabled?

Why do bad things happen to good people? “Because God trusts you to learn what you need to through that experience.” We must be “all in.”


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