Missionary Miracles

The LDS missionaries in NYC September 11
Elder Joseph Seymour on September 11, 2001 near the crippled twin towers
Every American remembers exactly where they were on September 11, 2001. Some were in school. Some were at work. Some were driving. And some were on full-time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Very few of those missionaries were serving in New York City and this missionary and his companion were serving in the area where the twin towers fell. The following is the never-been-published, firsthand account of the missionary in this historic and haunting photo: Elder Joseph Seymour. 15 years later, he gave us permission to publish this image and his personal account. 
It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years since 9/11. The experience Elder Fillmore and I had taught me lessons that have blessed me ever since. Our day started like any other at the time, getting ready and leaving early to go so service at Ellis Island. On the subway trip to the south of Manhattan we were alerted to “police action” at the World Trade Center and that we would be skipping that stop. Which was answered by loud groans of those who were inconvenienced by the change in plans (little did they know).
LDS Missionary September 11 NYC Twin Tower
Elder Joseph Seymour uses his tie to cover his mouth in New York City on September 11, 2001 just moments before both towers fell.

We arrived at the south of Manhattan to find both World Trade Center towers engulfed in flames. Obviously the result of a terrorist attack. We soon found out the weapon of choice were airliners used to crash into the towers. The plans for our day changed as we learned that all subway trains and busses stopped running, leaving us stranded. We met a member of the church who offered to take us to his apartment that was close by until we figured out our next step. We naively followed him closer and closer to the towers, the smoke pouring from each building growing larger and larger.At the apartment building we were prevented from going past the lobby due to the danger, being only three blocks away. As we waited an enormous rumbling shook the ground like a lightning fast earthquake. The building began filling with dust, the first tower had fallen just a stone’s throw away from us. As we left the building to be enveloped in the dust cloud there was panic in the street, but Elder Fillmore and I were as calm as a lake on a clear day. We knew we were on the Lord’s errand and had his protection.

We flowed into the human mass migrating south, away from the source of the choking dust. Arriving soon at the unyielding ocean, blocking any further escape.  As we waited and the dust slowly cleared we watched as the second tower fell and a second dust cloud flowed out to envelop the crowd again. We met a new member of the church who decided the safest place would be wherever the missionsaries were, so we added a third companion for the rest of the day.

We were evacuated across the river to New Jersey and spent the rest of the day trying to contact our mission president and then figure out a way to get back home. At each step of the way we were remarkably calm and knew that everything would work out, which it did.  We helped our new member friend get to an essential doctor’s appointment the next morning that they probably would not have made if not for our intervention.

I learned the Lord looks after his servants, both in times of duress as well as in times of ease. I’ve been able to rely on this lesson again and again in life, knowing that if I follow the Lord everything else will work out, just as it did on that fateful day 15 years ago.

This is an epic story about a rebellious missionary who was swallowed by a figurative “whale”, turned around and successfully finished his mission.

Enjoy the story!

*Watch videos about crazy/dangerous missionary stories.

*Watch videos about spiritual missionary stories.

*Watch videos for early returned missionaries.

image from Fox 2 News.

Two sister missionaries in Southfield, Michigan, Sister Adams and Sister Rambert, were woken early Sunday morning when their carbon monoxide alarm went off. Deadly gas began filling their apartment, coming from a faulty water heater, according to Fox 2 News.

As they called 911 and started to leave the building, the sisters quickly realized they were the only ones with a carbon monoxide detector in the Cambridge Square apartments.

So these missionaries did what they do best: they went door to door. But instead of sharing the gospel, they were saving lives.

Read LDS Living’s report here and see the full story at Fox 2 News.

 

Image from KSL.com

Little more than two months after Sister Fanny Clain was injured in the terrorist attack at the Brussels Airport, she’s ready to begin her LDS mission in Ohio. She said experience, and the miracles that followed, can only make her a better missionary.

Clain was all smiles during a meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Missionary Training Center in Provo. After three weeks of study, she said she’s anxious to begin her service at the LDS Church’s visitors center in Kirtland, Ohio, with English as her second language.

“It’s an adventure, and I like adventures,” she said.

But as a 20-year-old Latter-day Saint from Reunion Island, France, answering her call to serve in America hasn’t come easy.

“God is the answer to everything so we cannot keep Him for ourselves because He is just too wonderful,” Sister Fanny Clain shares as she prepares to begin her mission in the U.S. after being injured in the terrorist attacks in Belgium.

Full story available at KSL.com.

A man had an incredible vision of the world while hiking in Russia. In his vision he saw white men with nametags and blue books. After the vision he searched online to try to discover who were the white men with nametags.  After a while of searching the man came across Mormon.org and referred himself to the missionaries.

Such a cool story!  God is a God of miracles and can be in our lives, if we let Him. Enjoy the video!

*Watch the rest of Ryen’s Mission Interview.

*Watch a video about two missionaries in Africa whose prayer ended a drought.

*More resources about LDS Missions in Russia.

Image from President Nelson's facebook page

On Facebook, President Nelson shared an incredible and powerful story of two little girls he operated on who visited him one night from beyond the veil.

President Nelson told more of the story in October 2015 general conference:

“Fifty-eight years ago I was asked to operate upon a little girl, gravely ill from congenital heart disease. Her older brother had previously died of a similar condition. Her parents pleaded for help. I was not optimistic about the outcome but vowed to do all in my power to save her life. Despite my best efforts, the child died. Later, the same parents brought another daughter to me, then just 16 months old, also born with a malformed heart. Again, at their request, I performed an operation. This child also died. This third heartbreaking loss in one family literally undid me.

“I went home grief stricken. I threw myself upon our living room floor and cried all night long. Dantzel stayed by my side, listening as I repeatedly declared that I would never perform another heart operation. Then, around 5:00 in the morning, Dantzel looked at me and lovingly asked, ‘Are you finished crying? Then get dressed. Go back to the lab. Go to work! You need to learn more. If you quit now, others will have to painfully learn what you already know.’”

In the April 2016 Priesthood Session, President Nelson told the rest of the story—a beautiful ending for both him and the grieving family.

Here’s how he summarized it on facebook just recently:

 

Read the full account on his General Conference talk here.

Image via ldschurchtemples.com

Through the years, temples have had direct or close encounters with brush fires, sand storms, tsunamis, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes/typhoons, flooding, and lightning strikes.

For the most part, the temples dotting the earth have withstood these forces with very few consequences. This is partly the result of the high level of construction integrity utilized in all of the latter-day temples. Brigham Young established this incredibly high construction standard starting with the Salt Lake Temple: “When the Temple is built I want it to stand through the millennium, in connection with many others that will yet be built.”

Today, temple builders have faithfully perpetuated this tradition of construction excellence. To protect against earthquakes, temples are often built to far exceed local seismic building codes. For example, although the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple was built in a region with minimal seismic activity, the foundation was built strong enough to sustain another 13 stories, making the structure virtually earthquake proof. The Redlands California Temple was built in an area frequented by many seismic events. According to the temple’s construction missionary Elder Jerry Quinn, “The massive reinforced concrete foundation and walls create a building with a seismic rating designed to withstand two levels above the largest earthquake ever recorded in California. There has never been a recorded earthquake in California that would even touch this structure. Redlands’ City inspectors were so impressed with our building that they used photos and data from this building to show other contractors how they should build.” And while these temples are built sturdily, it doesn’t mean that others haven’t been damaged or affected by natural disasters. Here are some incredible stories from just a few.

IN THE PATH OF HURRICANES – Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

In 2005, the Atlantic hurricane season proved to be the most active season in recorded history. Category 5 Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. President D. Gregory Brumfield and Sister Alicia Brumfield served as the temple’s first President and Matron (2000-2005). Hurricane Katrina proved to be the most dramatic experience of their five years of service and occurred only months prior to their release. Of the experience, Sister Brumfield related the following: “The President and I knew the storm was coming so we went to the temple to lock it up and make sure everything was secure. Before we left, we said a prayer… you know if there is something large in a river, the river goes around the object on both sides… that is exactly what happened at the temple. The hurricane went around the temple on both sides and we sustained very little damage.”

“After being closed for a couple of days we opened the temple. We only had a couple of temple workers but we knew we needed to be open for those who wanted to come to the temple. Our policy was, ‘The Lord will provide and He will take care of us. We just need to move forward.’ “

“As the temple matron, I watched my brothers and sisters come to the temple looking like zombies. Their home was gone, their neighbors were gone, their food storage is gone their genealogy is gone… they only had the clothes on their backs and nothing more. They had lost their facial expression. Think of someone who is disoriented but somehow knew where they needed to be. The temple was their refuge… As the matron, I would welcome them and give them a hug.”

Three years later, in 2008, category 4 Hurricane Gustav’s devastation also had an indirect impact on the temple. Immediately following the hurricane’s aftermath, thousands of member volunteers from the southern states descended upon the temple grounds to gather, pitch tents and prepare to serve the Baton Rouge community. The adjoining stake center served as a command center for the hurricane rescue and cleanup operation for the 2,000+ service requests. As volunteers pitched their tents on the temple property, they purposefully positioned their tent “door towards the temple” (See Mosiah 2:6).

The number of gathered volunteers necessitated that sacrament meeting be held outdoors on the temple grounds one Sabbath morning. Stake President Randall Bluth described the special experience, “It really was a remarkable event to look at the sea of yellow ‘Helping Hands’ t-shirts gathered on the hill around the temple. We didn’t have enough sacrament trays, so we used huge cookie sheets for the bread and water cups. Following the brief sacrament meeting, we all went out into the community and worked where needed.”

“It was powerful. It is hard to describe in words what kind of an event that was… it just felt like the heavens opened as we were there to serve people after a disaster… and then to look over at the temple and realize that there is an eternal purpose for all that we do. It was unforgettable.”

Read the full article at LDS Living.

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Before I left on my mission, I was blessed to receive quite a few gifts. Among these was a small book full of missionary miracles. It contained small, true stories written by returned missionaries about unbelievable, incredible acts of God they witnessed on their mission.

While this book was uplifting and made me excited about the work, it might have made my expectations a little too high. I went out into the mission field expecting miracles like the ones I’d read about–we would knock on a door and find someone who had dreamed about us coming the day before, we would pray mightily and be blessed with fifteen new investigators in one day, or we would open a new area, reactivate an entire family, etc. But none of those things happened. A few months into my mission, I began to doubt.

Where were my miracles? When would something that fantastic happen to me?

During my study one day, I read in the Bible Dictionary about miracles. It stated, “Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If miracles cease it is because faith has ceased.” I began to fear that my faith was too weak to produce miracles.

Read the full article at SheTraveled.

Woman recalls harrowing ordeal that ended when officer shot her attacker
(Image via DeseretNews.com)

(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As Breann Lasley watched her younger sister run out of their house to get help, she thought it was for the last time.

“I just saw her go upstairs and I thought that was the last time I’d see Kayli because that’s when he started stabbing me. I said, ‘Kayli, he’s stabbing me, he’s stabbing me,'” Lasley recalled Monday.

But it was at that moment that Lasley believes she was protected by two people.

The first was her Savior, Jesus Christ. Lasley said when she went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she had an experience where she felt he was sitting next to her.

“And I had that exact same feeling in that moment,” she recalled.

The second was a Salt Lake police officer who arrived as she was being attacked and stabbed multiple times with a knife. He shot and killed the intruder just after the man whispered to her that she was going to die.

“That officer came down so composed. And he came downstairs, and right when we made eye contact I knew I was safe. It’s a miracle that he had so much composure and was able to take that shot,” she told the Deseret News.

On Monday, Lasley told the remarkable story of her terrifying ordeal that left her with both physical and emotional scars.

On Sept. 23, Robert Richard Berger, 48, was shot and killed inside Lasley’s house after he forced his way in through an open window. He had just been chased out of an apartment by another family just a few doors away after he tried to enter through their window, but the homeowners had fought back.

Read the rest at Deseret News