(ksl.com for image)
So on Sunday the 4th, 2 days after the wind storm, my family and I were late to church. Something that is very common when trying to keep 4 kids clean and dressed long enough that Mike and I could get ready as well. Anyways due to our tardiness we had missed an announcement. So as we walked to our classes a friend of ours told us that church was CANCELED! Mike and I have never experienced this before. So as every one was piling into their vehicles I was asking why this was happening. The reason due to a weather warning for ANOTHER wind storm that was scheduled to hit later that evening. So our bishopric asked everyone to go home, prepare their homes, and all able bodies go meet by the neighborhood garden so we could clean up all the debris. Thinking about it....if all the trees, fences, and debris were left they'd become very dangerous weapon.
When we got home Mike changed into some work clothes and left within 2 minutes of coming home. Me on the other- I really wanted to help out my community but I also knew that having my little ones come along would be a disaster all in itself. So I tried to find a sitter but no luck. So the kids and I started to prepare our home just in case we had another power outage. However Heavenly Father had another plan for me. After 15 minutes of cleaning up I received a phone call from a sister from our ward who offered to babysit so I could go help out. I was so grateful that she did provide the service that she was able to provide; even if it was babysitting kids while the parents went out to clean. After hanging up I called Mike and told him the details. Hailey decided to stay home to help the sister just in case she might have a questions about Cati's food allergy. So withing 30 minutes Mike picked us up and drove the few blocks to where he was stationed and all I can say is WOW!
All I could see were people everywhere. The entire ward was out helping pick up shingles, branches, broken fences, etc. Some people where cutting trees with chainsaws. My husband didn't just stand by. He used his handsaw and started to cut branches. I am still amazed that he did what he could with what he had without any delay.
I was just so happy to help out. Even if it was something small like picking up shingles while others carried fences to trailers. Mason was really happy to be helping too. He really enjoyed the work since he had a smile on his face the entire time. It was so amazing to watch him since I knew his testimony was growing just by being there.
After a few hours of cleaning our neighborhood was cleaned up. Every house was cleared and cleaned. So everyone met up at a sister's house for a quick lunch and to be reassigned. At this point we had left since Mike had to get ready for work. Here's a photo that KSL news happened to take of our ward while we were gathered for a quick lunch.
The reason I write about this a week later is due to church. While in both Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society we talked about the amazing miracle that happened the week prior.
I learned today that someone from the Quorum of the seventy had called a stake president in Bountiful to have him relay this message to others stakes. Since there's another storm coming he was asking all the members to help clean up the neighborhoods. The decision to cancel church meeting would be up to either the stake or ward presidency. But to ask everyone to help. After this phone call this stake president called the Mayor of his town and asked him to open the dump tomorrow (Sunday) so that everyone could have someplace to put all this debris. And the mayor asked him,"Will anyone even show up to use it?"
Well..... the next day when church was canceled every ward was out and about. Every truck and trailer was filled with green and non-green debris.
(ksl.com photo source)
The road to the dump was so backed up that it was estimated to be a 1 hour wait to unload things. There were make sift dumps in park parking lots, church parking lots, and at a few school parking lots. The Utah National Guard was sent out to help with the clean up but I read in an article that the time they received their assignments most was collected. So they used their trucks to help transport the garbage to 1 of 4 dumps that were open.
This touched my heart so much that I started to shed a few tears.
1 sister told everyone about an article she read about the people in California that were effected by this storm. She talked about an interview of a woman who had stated that so much has happened that she didn't even know where to start.
And here in my county thousands of residents took matters into our own hands. From the time 1 person started the phone call to that stake president to when my family and I were leaving church around 6-8 hours had passed. The clean up took about 10 hours from disaster zone to not even knowing anything happened.
While in class everyone shared stories and I was so touched by the spirit that I was now crying my eyes out in the corner of the room. I heard stories of about how co-workers and neighbors who were non-members were worried how they were going to clear their fallen tree or how they didn't know how they were going to clean up their yards. Then all of a sudden they would see a crowd of people in their yard cutting the tree and clearing everything out in a manner of minutes. One person said that she was so touched that LDS people would do this when no one even knew her. My heart was overwhelmed that I couldn't wait until class was over to I could tell Mike all of this.
It was truly amazing to be apart of this. That doing the Lords work without delay could bring so many blessings to not only you but others. And I strongly feel that Heavenly Father blessed us for acting when he called by having this storm of 70 mph only be a small gust of wind. It was a blessing to have our power out for only 1 hour. It was a blessing to have our ward and community become more united.
One sister said that she prayed for this storm. For the past weeks she had been praying for an opportunity for the sisters in the ward to experience something that could bring us closer together. Well her prayer was answered