I’ve grown up being taught that Sunday is a day of rest, worship, and reverence. It is also a day of preparation, but I didn’t expect the kind of preparation that I experienced yesterday. Though it was unexpected, that Sunday of preparation turned out to be one of the best experiences that I have had.
Last Thursday, when the large wind storm blew through my hometown, Kaysville, and the surrounding cities. That storm left thousands without electricity, knocked over countless trees and damaged every house in some way. Though everyone had worked through Friday and Saturday cleaning up the debris, there was still much to be done. Piles of downed tree branches littered the curb after being chopped and piled. Fences were shattered and scattered around yards. Houses had bare spots on the roofs from escaped shingles, and some houses lost windows or siding.
I was not present during the time when the storm was going on, but Saturday night I drove home, to visit, and to see what damage had been done. It was incredible and devastating! My beautiful Kaysville looked like a war zone. Around 9:30, Sunday morning, our bishop called to ask anyone who was able, to aid in the clean up of our neighborhood. Another wind storm was coming and all the branches that were plied on the curbs would be blown back into the houses and yards unless carried away that day. The governor of Utah, as well as the mayor of Kaysville, had also asked the community to clean up any loose objects as to avoid further damage.
That being said, Kyle and I, and my whole family geared up and ventured out into the neighborhood to clean underneath overcast skies. Starting at one end of our ward boundaries, we worked our way from house to house, cleaning up anything that the owner need to be removed. The number of people helping was large, but the amount of work to do was extensive causing the clean up to go on for a good 4 hours. This time went on longer for others that spent more time going on to the next ward to assist them.
By noon, all of Kaysville was out preparing while snow fell down as if it was trying to prevent the clean up. Lines of cars hauling trailers full of branches or pieces of fence could be seen driving too and from the dumping zones. The traffic became so bad at one dumping zone, that Kaysville city had to open a random field to be a place to store the broken pieces of tree and fence. Even then, the area was so crowded by people, that the field quickly filled up. The national guard was then called in to aid in cleaning out that area, and shipping the branches elsewhere.
Church was canceled, but the unity felt among the people in the neighborhood was the lesson we received for the day. As for me, my testimony grew from this experience. I learned that God will help us, but first, we must do everything possible to help ourselves. The storm that was supposed to come that night was minimal in comparison to what was expected. Thank goodness we had taken heed to the warnings and call of our leaders, and made that Sunday a day of preparation.