Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stormin' Mormons

Dear Family,
I am alive, and I'm surprised you didn't want more info on the storms!  This week has been a week of storms, spiritual and literal.  Sunday was the biggest storm.  It started that morning when we were late getting to church, and in MCM...but we won't go there.  I've learned to change a lot while I'm out here, and I'm starting to realize that just because it's not my idea, or it's not what I'm used to doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
A week ago Brother Bowman told us that we would be speaking the last Sunday of the month and told us it was on Missionary Work, and that he would get us more details on it later.  So we didn't start preparing or thinking about it really at all.  Then I asked him this Sunday and he said, "Oh, ya know, it's on missionary work. It's broad, pray about it, and prepare somethin'."  Great!  Missionary Work!  Do you know how many ways I could go with that?  And I only have a week?  And here's the girl that likes 2 or 3 weeks to write an essay!  2-3 days to think about it, 2-3 days to play around with thesis and main points on the computer, of course there's the couple days of research, and then the actual writing of it, scratching it, writing it again, revising for a couple days, giving it to Cali or Whitney to edit, editing it myself for the last time, then printing it, only to realize I'm out of ink, then printing it again, then handing it in, still not sure that it's the best you can do, but when you get it back with a 94 on it you know you did good.  But what can ya do in this situation?  Pray a lot.  It's a church talk, not an essay!
So that was going on in my head, then after sacrament meeting I talked to Kim about his baptism and who would give talks and what not.  He wanted President Cameron to do everything, baptize him, confirm him, give both talks, and he wanted to sing a song that wasn't in the hymn book.  Stressful!  Oh, and he wanted Sister Clark to record a prayer and then we would play it at the baptism.  What the?  So I had to explain that #1 President Cameron couldn't do everything, and #2 It was kind of against church policy for a prayer to be recorded.  I said, with prayers a person is sometimes prompted to say something in that setting that they wouldn't have said if it was recorded...or something like that.  And then he wanted me to give the talk on baptism...great!  Another talk!  And this was Kim's baptism!  I couldn't write it that morning, I had to really prepare for this one!
I then rushed into Sunday School where Sister Mondelli was already teaching about the Holy Ghost.  Sonja and her bf came to church!  A true miracle, since we had lost contact with her since pretty much Sister Clark left.  But we went by Saturday evening and told her to come to church, and she did!  Well I went into Sunday School and pretty sure chased away the spirit with my confused mind and stumbling over thoughts and ideas as they came out.  Thank goodness for Brother Fernandez who brought the Spirit back!
Relief Society was good.  It was on Elder Bednar's talk from this last General Conference on Revelation.  It really helped me, and Sister Cameron is such a good teacher!!!  And then after church I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off talking to these people, working things out with President Cameron, confirming these appointments etc.  Then we went home, ate, and then Sister Mondelli told me a concern she had. . . . . . . it was our responsibility as the Lord's servants to postpone the baptism.  But how was I supposed to do that to Kim and to the branch?  I've learned to fear God more than man though.
Well before we called Kim we went to Remmington.  We were supposed to meet with three people down there.  I wasn't sure I could do it though, I was winded.  Plus my Spirit was upset, and I wasn't quite sure why.  I thought it was because on Thursday we decided to go to Remmington on Sunday instead of on Saturday like we usually do.  I wasn't really sure though.
Well we got down there and talked with Marlene and Sheila.  They're neighbors in an apartment complex.  The first thing she said when we sat down was, "Do you know anything about DNA testing?"  I thought, "What have we got ourselves into?  There is nothing in the Book Of Mormon about that!"  She went on to explain that . . . . . ladadadadada.   So we started to explain about Heavenly Father's love for us, and how HE is our father.  Then she randomly left to go wash her car and we ended up calling Marlene to repentance.  That didn't work since she has no desire to change.  Such a nice, sweet, kind-hearted lady, but her life style is not Christ-like.  This gospel would help her get rid of the evil spirits lurking around her, but she won't even pray.  She'll let us pray, but she won't pray.  She doesn't feel right in doing it.  But we're going to go back every other Sunday or so.
Near the end of our lesson the weather changed.  It was really hot before, I wasn't wearing nylons even.  Then it turned cold.  We were all sitting outside:  us, Sheila, who came back, and Marlene, plus this other guy, Mike? who was sleeping in his wheelchair.  That's when we heard the sirens.  TORNADO SIRENS.  I later learned from momma Stacey that when those go off a tornado has been spotted in Jasper county, and for however long they are on that's how long the tornado is on the ground.  At that time I just thought that they meant a tornado could happen.  But the clouds were swirling, and my stomach was in knots.  Everyone around me, including Sister Mondelli were perfectly calm.
Well at this time I decided to call Kim.  I did.  Tears were in my eyes.  We started to discuss how he wasn't going to be baptized this Saturday.  I told him that yes the Holy Ghost can help us.  I got the impression that he felt he had done all he could do and he needed major help.  So I said that President Cameron would be coming with us on Wednesday (today) to visit him and he'd give him a blessing.  He said that was what he needed.  After hanging up, BOTH Sister Mondelli and I felt good.  We felt at peace, and we felt calm about it all.  Kim wasn't ready and that's okay.
After that, my phone went out of service cuz of the storm.  We drove over to Tim's house because we thought the storm was over...wrongo shmongo.  To make a long story short, it starting raining sideways the wind was so strong, a tornado hit in Remmington, and about 1.5 miles from our apartment in Rensselaer.  We called Sister Doll to ask what to do.  She said to go home cuz people were saying it was going to get worse.  So we did.  And we drove in a downpour for about 2 miles.  Then it started to let up, we saw blue sky in the distance, and by the time we got home the rain had pretty much stopped.  Shingles had blown off our roof, and the power in Rensselaer had gone out while we were away.  We also didn't get to go see Tina and Jessica (Arnie's family) cuz of the storm.  And they don't have a phone so we can’t contact them:(  But we'll go see them eventually.
Last night right before planning, Stacey knocked on our door and pointed to the West/South where a storm was coming in.  She said to keep our phone by us so she could get a hold of us if a tornado hit.  We were laughing that we were going to die and Sister Mondelli said she was going to eat all the Nutella tonight--her last night on earth.  (We're on a chocolate free diet this week.  She's already failed...and I got after her for it :)  I love her so much!  We have such fun!!!!
Well we didn't die last night, but this morning while we were doing our comp study we heard the sirens go off faintly, we called Stacey to see if she knew anything.  She was driving home from Remington and while talking to us drove past the collage and she saw a huge tree knocked down along with some smaller ones.  A TORNADO HIT IN RENSSELAER!!! Crazy huh?  Yeah, we decided we aren't going to Valpo today.  The boys are just going to play bball...what fun!

The picture is of this morning.  The storm that was over Renssy was going to Francisville.  And yes, I cut my hair.  I miss Shelly :(  I don't think I"ll get my hair cut by a anyone else BUT her!  And you can tell her that!

Oh and thanks for the frisbee!  Stacey got one too...the exact same one.  She got hers before you sent me mine.  I opened it and laughed.  I showed it to Stacey and we laughed.
Good luck on weight watchers.  I lost a pound this week!  I was excited!
And that's awesome that Jackson is training!  He'll grow so much!  Get on your knees buddy!  Well if he's like Sister Mondelli it'll be a piece of cake.  She is AWESOME!  We can even talk about deep doctrine stuff!
Oh, and what you said about Ashely Mom, I know that she didn't reject ME, and that's what makes it hard.  She rejected eternal life, greater happiness, blessings pouring from Heaven.  At the moment when you realize that these people aren't numbers but your brothers and sisters, your whole prospective changes.  You realize that no, they aren't rejecting you, they are only hurting themselves, but at the same time they're hurting us, cuz we know what lies in store for them if they come into the only fold of God, and it hurts so much when someone you love says no.

Sister Mondelli
The lasagna turned out fantastic, as you can see by the picture.  So very good!  And the garlic bread was really good to!  I loved it!  I'll make it for you when I get home!

A note for Devey:
"I want to be there so bad this weekend!  But sadly I can't.  The Lord needs me here, and you need to be in the Temple!!!!!  I'm sure you just LOVED getting your endowments out.  you were prolly way more prepared than I was!  If Bradly doesn't take you to the temple as often as you guys can go then tell him he'll have to answer to me.  I love you, and have so much fun this weekend!  I want pictures too!  And thank you for the wedding announcement!  I also need a mailing address for you two!  I love you so much!  You've been such an example to me these past couple years, and I tell all my comps about you and you're wonderfulness!"
All right, well, no baptism this week, but maybe in a few.  Thank you for your prayers! 
I love you all, and tell the family that's coming this weekend I said hi, and I love them all!  Have a wonderful week!

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