OREM, Utah Over the years, when Stan and Anne Carroll Darger of Boise, Idaho, traveled with their young children, they arranged to attend all Church meetings on Sunday wherever they were in the world.
Elizabeth Darger, one of their daughters who is now a school counselor at Oak Canyon Junior High School in Orem, Utah, said the children didn't always like that, especially attending a Primary class in a strange ward. But, she continued during a Church News telephone interview, her parents' commitment is shared by the children now that they are older and that commitment might have saved their lives.
Over Christmas holidays, Brother and Sister Darger took their children to Thailand to share the beauty of the country they became familiar with when they picked up son Ford from his mission there several years earlier.
Early in the trip, the nine of them stayed at Krabi near the resort area of Phuket. For two days, they enjoyed the beauty of the area, playing in the water and riding in longboats to secluded, pristine beaches, according to Elizabeth.
Because there was nowhere in that area to attend Church, the family's itinerary called for travel to Chiang Rai in the far north of Thailand by Sunday, she said. But the beauty of area and the fun they were having on the beach led the family to consider extending their time there. However, she continued, if they did, they couldn't get transportation to the north in time for Sunday, and missing Church was not an option.
So the family spent Christmas Eve on a train, singing Christmas carols and reading the scripture story of Christ's birth.
At breakfast Sunday, before going to Church, they felt what they thought might be an earthquake. It was later, Elizabeth said, that they heard about the severity of the quake in the Indian Ocean and the resulting tsunamis. They came to realize what their fate might have been if they had been on the beaches of the Krabi area when the tsunamis hit.
"We were just so humbled," she said. "We all said a prayer of thanksgiving in our hearts. How grateful we were to have been in Church."
E-mail to: [email protected]