Amanda, 26 years old

I want to share a story, one of the many that can no longer be read in my journals. Between my junior and senior year of high school, I embarked on a service trip (with Val Shippen’s group) to West Virginia. They had really bad flooding shortly before we got there, and I volunteered for one of the "mucking" crews, which meant I helped transport people’s soiled belongings outside of their homes to dumpsters; everything was ruined by the water/sewage mixture. My most memorable experience down there was when we were helping this woman carry out all of her belongings (they had all been ruined), but she was working alongside us with a smile on her face. I asked her how can you be so happy when you have nothing. She looked at me and told me their prayers had been answered because although so many people had lost so much, only one person had lost their life. From her I learned that there was a Heavenly Father who watched out for us and kept us safe. She had so much strength and courage, and she taught me a lesson that helped change who I was. Little did I know that her physical example would be so beneficial 10 years later, when I too, lost all of my "stuff".