I know you are following closely the news from Oklahoma so I thought you would appreciate a quick update. First, your sons and daughters are safe. They are wonderfully capable young people who are expanding their capacities through their mission experiences here in Oklahoma and Texas. They are learning to rely on the Lord and apply His teachings as they face the challenges and opportunities of their missions. They are all eager to assist the people of Oklahoma who are affected by the recent tornadoes and help them rebuild their lives. All things are spiritual to the Lord. Your sons and daughters represent Jesus Christ and they minister powerfully to everyone they meet. They will continue to be a great blessing here as they lift, encourage, inspire and bless the people who are put in their path.
Access to the affected areas has been restricted up to this point so we have been limited in what we could do to provide assistance to those in need. We have used this time to make sure our missionaries are prepared with the proper gear to assist when called upon. They have been instructed to purchase thick-soled work boots as well as leather gloves, filtering masks and safety glasses. Those who cannot afford these items will be able to obtain them through Mission funds or from donors. We have advised our missionaries to wear jeans, long sleeve shirts , hats and sunscreen when they are working in the affected areas. We advise them on safety issues before they can participate in the cleanup. Those with health restrictions will be given the opportunity to assist in appropriate ways.
Many of you have asked how you can help with the relief effort. We are grateful for the outpouring of support and concern and especially for your prayers. Other than prayer, the best way to help is to donate to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church using a tithing slip available from your bishopric. Donated goods, while appreciated, create more work on this end because we have to obtain a warehouse to house the goods and staff the warehouse with volunteers to sort through the goods and distribute them. Cash contributed to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church is the most helpful and direct way to assist. Please do not send cash or gift cards for the relief effort to the Mission or your missionaries.
Please be aware that your missionaries will be emailing you next Tuesday morning because of the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday (libraries will be closed).
We are grateful for your prayers and for the character and faith you have developed in your children. It is an honor to serve with them.