Monday, September 12, 2016

...the rains came down and the floods came up...

It's been a most exciting week. Dinner on p-day was entertaining. Sister Wall gave herself a chocolate mustache complete with a soul patch. Needless to say, all of us were very entertained by her shenanigans.

We have had enormous amounts of rain. All of the rapid moisture has resulted in some flash flooding. The lightest of the storms came as Elder Wood and I were biking home from the church - perhaps a thirty-minute ride. The majority of that time was spent battling a torrent of rain. I've been less wet six feet underwater. Luckily the damage from the amount of rain was minimal. We should have known this storm was only the forerunner to the next few storms.

On an exchange, Elder Candland and I attended a wedding in Andover, a member/investigator couple: Jenny and Jeremiah Daffron. Jeremiah is the investigator. Elder Goldsberry, Elder Candland's companion, teamed with Elder Wood in the Rolling Hills area. Consecration was a big effort. There I am dressed in a suit, sipping lemonade out of a fancy glass, having a staring contest with the dance floor, surrounded by flashing lights and laughter. Good thing Elder Candland is such great company! He helped me stay focused. The wedding was amazing. Elder Candland is ecstatic to baptize Jeremiah after attending. Apparently, Jeremiah has been investigating for over a year. Here is the venue in which the wedding was held:

The rains came down and the floods came up. On the way back to Sister Pinkerton's, the car stalled in a four-foot-deep puddle. We jerked the car into neutral and pushed it to higher ground. It wasn't long until many more cars became stuck. We rushed to the rescue and preached the gospel to those we helped. Elder Candland said he "felt like a superhero helping everyone." I say it felt like a dramatic apocalypse setting like the Last of Us. We waded in water pushing cars into parking lots from the streets until eleven at night. The zone leaders came to pick us up and even lent a hand in pushing vehicles. I recall one of the couples we helped saying, "I feel bad for accepting your help and just leaving you. How can we help you?" I say to them, "You want to help us? Help yourself! Check out and find a way you can come closer to Christ. Here's our card." Maybe it was necessary to be stranded in order to teach those people. Perhaps I'll know one day in the eternities.

Javier Orlando Cervantes Garcia has been baptized! Hooray! Javi was baptized two times. After the ordinance was over the first time, the font drained, nearly everyone returned to their homes, both Javi and I changed, it was mentioned Javi has TWO last names! Oy vey! We turned the font back on, scrambled into our wet clothes, and sat in the font to keep warm while it filled. I am pleased to say, Javi has been baptized in the right way the second time by yours truly. Also, the following day, I confirmed Javi. I remember something I said that struck me greatly. "Javi, you will one day stand before your Lord and testify of this day. As you continue to be faithful, you will always be welcome in His fold." I felt that to be a powerful statement. I truly believe this is true for each and every one of us. Brother Javi, as he prefers to be called, is a fantastic addition to the ward. The Rolling Hills Ward will be blessed by his faithfulness. The council is already executing a plan to allow Javi to join with them in the next temple trip for the youth. What a blessing to us all!

Elder Wood, Javier Orlando Cervantes Garcia, Elder LaMont

I even capped the week with an enormous nosebleed while teaching about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies unwilling to stain their swords with blood and all of a sudden... Niagara Falls. Perhaps you can enjoy the irony. Maybe it's time to take after Channing Tatum's character in the movie: She's the Man...

Elder Wood continues to impress me day by day. He is an amazing missionary. One of the very best things to ever happen to this mission. I haven't trained him really, as much as I try. Most times he teaches himself before I have the opportunity to help him. My effort includes frequent encouragement, but I truly believe he surpasses me in every aspect. The Lord will be very pleased with his contributions to this mission in the near future.

More pictures?  

The district after our district meeting - Sisters Wall and Pederson, Elder Michaelis, yours truly, Elders Wood, Clifford, Goldsberry, and Candland.

Funny picture! 

This IS a sign! 

They come. They eat. They leave. (; 

Love all of you so much. A thank you, thank you, thank you to you. I am so grateful for the enormous support, the miracles wrought by the prayers of the righteous people you are, the thoughts, concerns, emails, your love and thoughts.

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