"And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth." -D&C 115:6All is well... now! One evening a few weeks ago, President Trayner and I were in the mission home preparing for upcoming trainings. We could hear the sound of rain beginning to fall outside. It was a welcome sound- it is always so hot and humid here. A good rain storm can feel real good. Eventually, however, the rain turned into loud pounding sounds. The wind howled fiercely. With growing concern, I got up and looked out a front window. I saw a river of water flowing down the street and through our front yard. Hailstones, solid pieces of ice the size of golf balls, were being furled horizontally at the house. I quickly backed away from the window and walked toward my husband's office. He met me in the entry way. We knew something big was happening outside. I turned and looked back to where I had been standing moments before to only see broken glass, hail, and leaves inside the home. The storm had totally broken out the windows of three of the rooms that face the front yard, including the office where my husband had just been sitting. We retreated to the back of the home and began to make phone calls to missionaries. It was nearly 9:00 pm and we wanted to confirm that everyone was safely at home. We feared for any missionaries that may still be out on bikes in the storm. We also wanted to warn them to stay away from their windows. To our relief, everyone was safe.
Eventually, after about forty-five minutes, the hail stopped and the wind calmed down. We had made it through the storm, but we had a mess on our hands. Three rooms were full of hail, glass , and leaves. Not only had we lost windows (and had no one to repair them that night), we had lost a great deal of our roof. Our landscape was non-existent. Paint on the front door was missing. The rain gutters had taken such a beating that they were dented, smashed, and worthless. Unbelievable, but true, even the brick on the front of the house had dents from the hailstones. Not a single leaf was left on a tree, except on the hardy palm in our back yard.
So what did we do? We picked up the pieces, we're fixing it up, and we will go on!
Like other people, I have had to face storms of other varieties in my life. I have never asked for any of them, but they have helped form the person that I am today. Although I did not welcome them then, I am now grateful for them. I made the choice of how I would respond to each storm, and I have grown from my experiences. I have had to learn to pick up the pieces, fix up the best I can, and go on. I have learned that the only place to find refuge and peace when these storms hit is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The prophet Nephi taught, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad..." (2 Nephi 2:11)
The morning after the storm, some missionaries came to our neighborhood and volunteered their time to help us and our neighbors clean up. I am so grateful for them!