Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seeking Higher Ground

Oh how my heart goes out to the people of Japan.
It just aches for them.

My dad served his mission in Japan and holds a special place in his heart for those people.

The Church posted this message:

"As the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami continues to unfold, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is assessing how it will best provide relief. News reports indicate that the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is nearing 3,000 and will likely continue to rise. The majority of casualties in Japan are expected to be from the tsunami rather than the earthquake. Tens of thousands more are homeless and millions are without power. The government of Japan has mobilized thousands of troops, planes and ships for a large-scale emergency response operation.
The Church’s First Presidency made the following statement regarding the disaster:
We express our love and support to the people of Japan as they deal with this terrible tragedy. Our prayers, and the prayers of millions of Latter-day Saints across the world, are with them as they begin to recover from this disaster."
If you would like to find out how you could help, go here:
It's very sad to hear of all the earthquakes and natural disasters that are happening more frequently all around us. With all the hurt and turmoil in the world today, it's up to us to be a little better and to stand a little taller. Be kind to those who come in your path, lend a helping hand, and love your neighbors. Comfort those who stand in need of comfort.
Look to the Savior as your guide, He will show you the way.

The following is an experience a friend of mine experienced as she heard the devastating news of the large earthquake that hurt Japan. She lives in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. The people of Hawaii were asked to prepare and brace themselves for, what could be, a large tsunami.
In her own words, here's her experience:
"A few hours ago I heard someone announce that an 8.9 earthquake just occured in Japan, and that there is now a Tsunami watch. So pray for our friends in Japan, and get your 72 hour kits ready, just in case."

The events then went like so: I went home, and informed the couple I live with of the awful news. We then turned on the TV, and watched the horrible things that are occurring over in Japan.

Then the news casters announced that the "watch" had been turned to a "warning". And clarified that Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami. I then continued to get texts from friends here in Hawaii informing me about what had happened and about the warning.
Up to this point I wasn't nervous. A sweet sister (who I live with) was getting a little nervous, so I helped them move some of their belongings up to the second story, and then they left to go move their car up to the temple (just in case). So as I was sitting there alone watching the news, and getting texts...I was still pretty calm, not scared at all. My friend called a bit nervous and I informed her that everything was fine, no alarms were going so that was good sign.
Within seconds of hanging up the ALARM SOUNDED. My heart automatically started beating faster, and I could feel the panic. I was ALONE. I went to call my friend back and my phone said "NETWORK BUSY". I began to feel nervous, my face felt hot, I walked out on the back porch as the wind was blowing like crazy and the alarm was blaring. I just kept thinking " I am alone, and my phone won't work...am I supposed to be doing something right now...maybe running for the hills?"
Luckily the couple arrived home a few minutes later, followed by my friend. Then all my panic left (I was fine as long as I wasn't alone). So for now we are just going to sleep. I am not really worried. It is however interesting how different people react to situations like this. There are the people who panic and make you more nervous about the situations. The ones who stay calm and collective, taking action and helping make sure others are okay. And the ones who could care less, and do nothing. Throughout this night I have encountered all three, changing my mood and feelings on the matter after each person I talk to.
It says the estimated earliest arrival in Hawaii of the first tsunami wave is 2:59 a.m. local time time Friday (7:59 a.m. ET). "A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's bulletin said. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property." (The newscaster repeated the "urgent action" should be taken at least twice, explaining that they word these things very carefully, and that people should take action!!)

Thankfully, the people of Hawaii are okay and nothing major happened there.
My friend who experienced this for the first time, later told me that she hiked the hill around 2 am, behind the temple, to seek higher ground. The alarms were sounding every half hour. She knew that by finding higher ground, she would be safer. There were many others on that hill, anxiously awaiting for a large tsunami to hit the island.
We could all relate this experience to our own lives. When "tsunamis" or "earthquakes" threaten to destroy our personal lives, what is our reaction? Do we stay on ground level awaiting our fate? or do we SEEK HIGHER GROUND?
Do we rely on our Heavenly Father not just during the hard times, but every moment of our lives?

Please continue to pray for our friends in Japan and I hope we can find ways to help even though we are thousands of miles away.

go here to find out how you can help.

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