Last week we had "Break the fast" after church. Every month after Fast and Testimony Meeting the Branch has a potluck and we enjoy some great food and socializing. This is the group we had to the Branch last week. Our numbers are growing and everyone is getting very excited. We had over 50 YSA's to Sacrament meeting last week.
We also had some exciting things happen this last week in the Mission. We sent 8 missionaries off to their foreign missions. They all had been waiting for visas. President Keyes was so happy for these Elders. Elder Weatherford had been waiting for his visa to India for 17 months. He was afraid he wouldn't get to go. Everyone was so thrilled for him and he was so very excited. This was the largest group of Visa Waiters that the Mission has ever sent out at the same time.
This week was also transfer week. We had 28 new missionaries arrive Wednesday afternoon. It took two rented vans and 4 vehicles to pick up all the missionaries and their luggage. It was pretty crazy here for two days getting everyone where they were suppose to be with their right luggage and their right companion. The transfer involved 104 Elders and Sisters. Everyone met at the Stake Center by the Mission Office and found their new companion and said goodbye to their old companion. It is a pretty emotional time. In the midst of all of this commotion we had one of the worst storms of the year. We received a foot of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Somehow we all survived and nobody crashed! We all prayed very hard for the missionaries safety.
We also had 8 sisters and 3 Elders go home on Friday. These are fantastic missionaries (Sorry, I don't have a picture of the Elders). They have all served so faithfully and have brought many people into the gospel. The Sisters also have served at the Visitor Center and the Historic Liberty Jail. They have worked hard and now they are home with their families.
New ones come and the seasoned homes go home. The growth from being a new missionary to one who has served faithfully is amazing. They change so much physically and spiritually. They are much more confident in themselves and sure in their testimony. It is such a blessing to be involved with the young people of the Church. We are surrounded by the Young Single Adults and the young missionaries. We are in awe of the strength of the Youth. They are truly a mighty army for the Lord.
This week we were hit with a terrible snow storm that shut down the airport, stranding a lot of travelers, and closing most of the businesses and schools. We have a couple of feet of snow on the ground. It is also very cold--near zero or even below. But it will warm up, and then the snow will melt and if it rains while the snow is melting we will see flooding.
The terrain here is up and down through little valleys. This, it appears, is caused by all of this moisture and the flooding that follows. We have seen some pretty cool bridges. The big ones that cross the Mighty Mo are all different and magnificent, but the smaller ones are also very interesting.
|This bridge is made of cement and carries the rail road over the traffic|
|This is a stone bridge--a road over a road|
There are lots of levies around the cities that are near rivers. Here this one in Ottawa also has a flood wall and flood gate that they can close if the river rises that far. It is amazing that this little creek can rise high enough to need this flood wall, but it has several times over the years, even killing several people and destroying property and the city.
There are lots of signs on dips in the road warning us not to try to cross in high water. We will keep an eye out in the next couple of months.