Hello to you all! I am alive and well!
No thanks to Missouri. This place is crazy.
Crystal City and the surrounding area is right along the Mississippi in most parts, with lots of rivers and outshoots connecting to it. So after the storms from the week before, the water had really nowhere to go but...everywhere.
Essentially starting Wednesday at, the highway connecting us to the rest of the mission would be closed, because one of it's bridges was about to overflow at the Meramec River. So we wouldn't make it to Zone Conference that morning. We Three figured okay, guess we can't go to Zone conference, oh well, we'll just stay in our area! We've got a Walmart, what else do ya need?
Not so. We got notice from our leaders Tuesday night to leave our area as soon as possible and stay in Waterloo, IL so we could go to Zone conference. What about getting back to our area, right? NO getting back, not until the flood went down. Of which time we hadn't a clue--so we grabbed a few extra pairs of clothing, the bare essentials for toiletries, and a few packages of ramen!
The Waterloo sisters were *so* wonderful and hospitable to We Three, even if their tiny apartment wasn't so much, haha. It got pretty freezing, and much worse, we had to cancel a lot of appointments with people we're teaching. But Zone Conference was awesome, and on Thursday we decided to call every single person with a phone number in our records! And set a lot of appointments for this coming week! I think we actually talked to a lot more people in our area than we would have otherwise. "The Lord works in mysterious ways," and this week was a prime example of that.
Eventually we returned home. We searched for some opportunities to do community service in our flooded area, and we're still going around trying to offer help. One older woman visited with us after we helped her and her husband with their backyard, and when we explained we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints she asked about the St. Louis Temple and if we'd ever been. We talked, and she told us how she never forgot going to the Open House for the public, now twenty years ago (the year I was born!), because of the special feeling the building seemed to have inside.
I can testify to you all that temples are special, not just because of how beautifully they are built, but because of the beautiful things that happen inside of them. We make promises to God, binding ourselves to him. We make promises to our spouse, binding ourselves to each other and to our families forever. All this, and all that we do to continue returning to the temple, is done so that one day after this life ends we will be united in heaven with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families, never to part.
There is nothing more beautiful than that.
I love you all so!
Picture 1: We Three!
Picture 2: A road we usually use a lot...
Picture 3: Driving to Illinois!
Picture 4: Us with the lovely Waterloo sisters!! They were too cool :)
Picture 5: May the 4th be with you!
Picture 6: The Waterloo sleeping situation
Picture 7: Floods? Shmuds! Let's tract down this street!
Picture 8: Cookie bars, the new missionary tactic