Elder F. Michael Watson of the Seventy and his wife, Jolene, spent three days before Christmas (22-24 December) comforting victims of Cyclone Evan in Samoa. The 13 December storm was one of the most powerful to hit Samoa and American Samoa in 20 years.
Elder Watson and his wife offered words of love and hope to those who lost homes, property and crops. Elder Watson commended local Church leaders, who had made an assessment of the needs of members and their neighbors and had already assisted many through the Church’s welfare efforts. He also thanked missionaries for working in communities to help remove tree trunks, limbs, branches, mud and other debris blown down by high winds or washed down by flood waters.
“My heart is heavy as I witness the destruction here,” Elder Watson told one group of Latter-day Saints, “but I am greatly encouraged by your faith and spirit. Look around you; you have each other. You may not have much of a Christmas this year, but you have your family.”
Read the full story at the Church’s Pacific area Mormon Newsroom site.