I can't believe its been 9 years since that dreadful day....I remember very vividly what I was doing, where I was at, and even how I felt when I heard about the tragedy of the twin towers. I was a missionary in South America, in Chile....it was early in the morning and we had just finished our morning district meeting. My companion and I were walking out of the church parking lot on our way to get to work on the new goals our district leader had just set for us. In Chile, all the houses and churches are fenced off....I guess to keep intruders or burglars from getting in, well the church we met at that morning was no different. As we were walking out there was a janitor guy cleaning the leaves off the fence. We walked by him and said hi and he said "se dejaron la escoba en los estados unidos" Which translates into English as 'someone dropped the broom in the United States' meaning someone dropped the ball.....my companion and I just shrugged it off cause people always made smirk comments about the USA. We went to our first investigator of the day and they were watching it on tv. I thought it was an action movie or something cause it just kept showing the buildings crashing into the towers over and over. The investigator told us that it was live coverage from the United States.....my heart sank. I cried and cried and cried....we couldn't even teach. We apologized to the investigator and asked if we could just reschedule....he understood. It was a good thing too because as soon as we got back to our house we had tons of messages on our machine from our zone leaders and the mission President wanting us to stay in the house until further notice. Sept 11th is the day of rioting in Chile, and we didn't know if it was connected or if what happened in the US was going to cause riots. One of our neighbors brought over their little tv and we watched for the next two days straight as our beloved America was being attacked. I can't even explain how I felt watching the planes crash into the towers over and over....and to hear about the plane that hit the pentagon....and the one that crashed into the field. My heart was heavy and I felt the same pain that the entire country of America felt that day. One of the sister missionaries in my zone was from New York.....and her Dad worked in an office building not to far from the world trade center. She wasn't able to get a hold of anyone during that time....she was a wreck not knowing if her Dad was okay. A few days after it happened, our mission President called a conference and all the missionaries got together. He basically told is that its a tragedy that happened, and a sign that Satan is real and the destruction of the last days are upon us. He gave a very powerful and emotional and spiritual talk about the importance of the work we were doing and told us to go out and continue. I will never forget that week.
As a testimony that God is real and he has his hand in our lives....I want to share the letter that that sister missionary shared with us a few weeks after the attacks. The letter was from her Dad. He told her he loved her and not to worry about him. Then he told of his experience that morning. He said he was supposed to be at work at 9am, but for some reason his alarm clock didn't go off. He woke up late all frustrated and rushed to get ready so he wouldnt be late for work. He told her that all these obstacles kept coming up and he was getting really irritated. On his way to work he hit a bit of traffic. As he was sitting in the traffic jam, he witnessed the planes crash into the tower....the first one and the second one. He was just far enough that the rubble of the buildings didn't reach him. He didn't go to work that day, but was there to help pull some people out of the rubble. His letter to his daughter was very powerful and detailed....so much so that when she shared it with us we could feel and see what he went through. At the end of the letter he said how glad he was that his alarm didn't go off or that he ran into all those obstacles. If God didn't have a hand in his life that morning....things would have turned out a whole lot differently.
It's actually crazy how many of these kinds of stories I've heard or read about. Other people that had these same types of things happen that made them late enough to not be a victim. God is real and he does work in mysterious ways!
9 years ago was when it happened, but all those lives that were lost that day will never be forgotten. All those people that were directly affected, and all the rest of us who were emotionally affected by it will always remember where we were, and how we felt that dreadful day. God Bless America!