The path of the tornado tore right through the middle of our ward, right to the heart of the ward.
As this storm hit us, I offered a prayer and even-- sorry, a priesthood blessing that God would protect us. And He did. Homes just a few hundred feet had nothing left. Becky and Mike are very much into food storage and being prepared. Physically, we were very prepared. And then in January of this year I felt like that was over. We did that. It's complete. We don't need to do that anymore. I mean 2011 is now a time for spiritual preparation. When the tornado came through it took their house and little house, but it didn't take the shed with their food storage. The only thing that happened is there was a tiny little leak on their roof. And almost all of their food, I think, was saved. Others, they've lost their food storage, understandably, in this type of a disaster. But they have built up and conserved what they have. And have moved forward with the faith that's kept them going in relation to following the counsel to be prepared. Heavenly Father protects those who really are trying. Now granted, there are good people who lost their lives. I'm not saying that. But the stories are legion of those who've been protected just through the whole crisis. We didn't have power so we met around candles, with candles burning from our food storage. And a member brought us a wonderful lantern that came from her food storage. So actually the preparation was very instrumental allowing the stake to get organized, to getting the command center up. We'd put together an emergency preparedness plan as a stake. Now we have to get out and help people immediately. But unless you know someone that needs your help, just to go out there just because you're on an adrenaline high doesn't help. Another disaster is about to come upon the city of Joplin. Oftentimes everybody wants to get into the fray. And that was probably one of our biggest challenges. They came in so quickly and through an unorganized fashion, that it became a big burden to an already burdened infrastructure. The Mormon Helping Hands are what very methodically created work orders. And those work orders were done in such a way that we knew where we were going and what we were going to do, what crews were needed, what kind of equipment, what kind of labor, what kind of supplies were needed. Any organization that can come in here with 600 people and can basically have them out of here within two hours is very organized and can do lot of stuff. For me, being prepared is that I know that I can feel peace. I know that I don't need to worry. I know that I've done my part if I prepare myself spiritually and if I prepare my food storage. And if I'm willing to share that with my neighbors, with my children, with others, then it gives me a sense that I'm going to be OK. The Lord will bless me whatever happens. It works. It works. Preparedness works.