Sunday, June 22, 2008

LDS Missionaries Helping Out in Worldwide and Personal Crisis

Whenever there is a natural disaster LDS missionaries are called upon in the crisis to help in the the preparations and the clean up effort. In the recent disaster in the Midwest Stake President Paul Johnson said "the Church is committed to providing Latter-day Saint work crews in Parkersburg [Iowa] through December to assist in the clean-up efforts.

In response to massive Midwest flooding Church members unload truck of supplies. The Church sent cleaning kits and hygiene kits to impacted area in four states.

Photo by Ralph Watts
"We are in this for the long haul," said President Johnson. "We are not going to show up and disappear."

Now, he added, the stake will also participate in long-term flooding clean-up efforts in the area, where some communities will be without power indefinitely. Before the water breached the levees, Latter-day Saints also participated in sandbagging efforts, he said. Missionaries in Cedar Rapids provided "an endless source of energy," he added." (Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News, Saturday, [21 June 2008]: 3).L

The LDS missionaries render about two hundred thousand hours a week of service throughout their communities in around 350 major areas of the world. Conservatively estimating that a few missionaries may not help out using 50,000 missionaries as my number I came up with 10,400,000 hours of service per year 11,887 years of service as a group. That is a staggering amount of time giving service. Missionaries are called on whenever there is a crisis such as a forest fire to help in the clean up efforts.

Whenever a natural disaster occurs such as a forest fire, flood, tidal wave, etc. You find the LDS missionaries there rendering service in small but meaningful ways. It is amazing how appreciative people are at the time of the disaster but how soon they forget the missionaries efforts when their new carpet is installed or their house is rebuilt.Even for members of the LDS church the missionaries help out by doing the back-breaking work of helping members move from one place to another. I have had help from as many as six different missionaries on three different occasions in my life. I remember in my own life on one occasion when they saved me when I had a huge task and I was becoming despondent because I knew I couldn't handle it alone. One time I had asked my ward for help in moving the contents of a 2,600 square foot home and none of the members showed up for the first five hours. As a 50 year old man I fast ran out of energy as I packed and moved dozens of boxes, hugh items such as a piano or desk. Who do you think came to my rescue? In the matter of two or three hours the missionaries tranported my stuff on to my 24' truck making it possible later when two or three other men showed up to finish the job.

There are thousands of us inside and outside the church who owe the LDS missionaries a debt of gratitude. I am sure there are many of us whose lives have been made easier by the quiet service rendered by the missionaries.

1 comment:

S.Faux said...

It is nice to be reminded that community service is a legitimate form of missionary work.

I know my missionary son used a lot of his service time mowing members' lawns and trimming their trees. I hope missionary service doesn't devolve into those forms of service as a mainstay -- we already have Elders Quorums to provide those free (and sometimes unnecessary) services.

Shot in the Dark: Do you know if the Mormon Handcart Park flooded in Coralville, Iowa? I know it must have flooded, given all flooding in that area, but I have not heard how the handcart park fared.