Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In Which I Learn About Mormons and Tornadoes

This week has been epic, y'all. I have had some great experiences, and life has been a little all over the place. And because of Memorial Day, the libraries were closed, so we're emailing today!
Let's start with the Trail Center. Last week was the last week of school, so there were school tours all over the place, and Sister Harris and I took one tour together. We teach them interesting facts about the trek of the Mormon pioneers across Iowa, why they were going, and how they got there. One of those facts deals with the cabins and how many people often had to live in one cabin. We ask students how many they think could live in the replica cabin we have, and they are amazed when we say that usually between 10 and 15 people would have to live in one cabin, and frequently that was more than one family. By the time we got to the end of the tour, we had pumped them full of facts! Sister Harris asked what they had learned, and one boy raised his hands. "A lot of Mormons died!" Yep, that's true. Another boy: "Some of them joined the army!" Yep, also true. Then one girl raised her hand: "You can fit 15 Mormons in a cabin!" Er, what? After a momentary pause, Sister Harris continued with, "Or people!" Ha!
With a group from the same school, there was one little boy who said at the end to the sister leading the tour, "I wanted to see a real Mormon..." When she replied that she was a Mormon, the little boy stared at her like she was an artifact from an ancient time! I wonder how these school kids are prepared for the tour, and if they realize that Mormons are people. Real people. And that we still exist.
I also took my first solo tours this last week, which, let's face it, terrified me. I wasn't scared to be with unknown people--I was scared I wouldn't know enough or that I would give the wrong facts. Luckily, I seem to be doing okay. I even gave a tour to a group coming from BYU to do research on Nauvoo. Like, research research. Yikes! That one really intimidated me. But I think all went well. I decided to go with what my mission president has taught, which is that the Lord doesn't want someone else, He wants me. So I was myself, and just shared with them my insights on the pioneers, the exhibits, and the Book of Mormon. I think that turned out well. I felt good about it at the end, anyway.
We have been experiencing the miracle of planning and following through on plans. On Saturday night, we made plans to visit some specific people, and as we followed the promptings to visit people, we were blessed with some great contacts and return appointments with two people.
The investigator we thought might come to church didn't, which made us a little sad, but we have an appointment to see her on Thursday, and we dropped by last night, just to check in. I think we are still making progress there. I pray for her all the time.
Okay, now on to the part I know has you all on your tippy toes: tornadoes! No, we haven't had any (I think?), though we have had some warnings and watches. In fact, there was one early Monday morning, though Sister Harris and I didn't realize it.
It was hot and muggy, so we slept with the windows open. Around 2 in the morning, it started to get loud. Really loud. Between the torrential rain, massive winds, and thunder from lightning less than a mile away, we were definitely awakened! We shut the windows and tried to sleep, but it was so loud! We didn't sleep well that whole night.
In the morning, we got up, groggy from lack of sleep, and began our day. Sister Harris was in the shower when the home phone where we live rang. I thought that was odd--it was so early in the morning!--so I looked at the caller ID, which said LDS Missions. Huh.  They must be trying to reach us. So I ran upstairs to get our cell phone and found about eleventy thousand missed phone calls and texts. Starting with one from our mission president at 2:01 am telling us there was a severe storm with possible tornado warnings headed our way. And then our sister training leaders, Trail Center leaders, District Leader, and Zone Leaders. And then a whole bunch of them asking us if we were okay, could we please call in and let everyone know we were fine, etc.
Yeah, our phone had been on silent all night, so we had missed our warnings. Luckily, it was just a severe storm, nothing more dangerous. We learned our lesson, however: Turn the phone up at night! I think it makes for a good gospel parallel, though:
If we aren't receptive to the warnings of the Spirit, we could be in trouble. In order to be safe, we need to be prepared to receive warnings and promptings at all times, and so we should be exercising (channeling Professor Moody) CONSTANT VIGILANCE! Otherwise you could attempt to sleep through a potential tornado!
(Don't worry, Mom, we have a basement where we live, so we'll be fine, no matter what!)
I love you! Say a prayer for us out here!
Sister May

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