Sorry to scare everyone with the late email. We had Zone Conference yesterday and so they moved P-Day for this week to today. As for the tornado that you've been hearing and wondering about the destruction here was not nearly as bad as in Missouri that's for sure. We have church at 11 and after the block we usually go on the stage in the gym to have our weekly missionary coordination meeting with the Ward Mission Leader. We had to sit on the stage for a few minutes at the end of the Maple Grove's sacrament meeting because they went a little over time. As we were sitting there we heard the tornado sirens go off but didn't think anything of it. Down in Kasson the tornado siren was right on Main St. a couple blocks from where we lived and was always going off because they were testing it. I'd heard that yes this is the top of "Tornado Alley" here in the Twin Cities, but that tornadoes only rarely hit in Minnesota at all and that when they do it's usually in the South more like the Kasson area in the rural parts of the state. Even when I was there the members said it only happens where a tornado touches down once a year maybe and never really does any damage with it being mostly fields down there. That's some of the reason I didn't think much of it. Then right before sacrament meeting ended the Bishop got up and said the the sirens were going off and that everyone needed to move to the hallways away from windows because they'd reported funnel clouds beginning to form. Our Ward Mission Leader said that the people here "like to think there are tornadoes all the time" and that they "freak out about it like this every time and it's kind of annoying after 5 years". So we went on with our meeting while everyone cleared out to the hall. Once we went out to go get on our bikes is when we saw how black the sky really was and the torrential downpour that was taking place outside. We've had some crazy thunder storms the past week, which I think are because I now have the privilege of biking ;) haha, but I've never seen that much rain at once in my life. Luckily we started to see it pass and kind of head North of us. We waited for the brunt of the rain to pass and once we could see the sun down south getting brighter we took off for the appointment we had across our area. We got wet but nothing too bad, but once we were out biking through it I got to see how much rain really fell as we tried to wade through 6 inch puddles. One intersection we went through was completely flooded with about 7 inches of water that came up to the peddles on my bike. I started to think that was a pretty crazy storm, but didn't consider that a tornado had actually hit. It was later that night after we got home that we were told that it had touched down on James and 33rd in North Minne. Just 9 blocks South of our area and about 13 blocks South of where our Ward Mission Leader lives. Before we'd been told about the tornado that night we were out on the porch planning for yesterday and watching the crazy thunder storm with the lightening just like Mom had described that was almost constantly going across the sky lie a spider web. I just kept thinking that these were some intense storms they get here in Minnesota. As you've already learned from the news probably there were 2 people killed, but all the missionaries are fine. Like I said it's nothing like what hit in Missouri. It is still devastating that people did lose their lives, but it could have been much worse. We talked with President Howell yesterday and President Paynter this morning and the stake is going to help in the clean up efforts. We haven't been able to do anything so far because they've had to make it safe for volunteers to go in first. They will need them later this week so we will most likely be spending a few hours in some "Mormon Helping Hands" shirts to help move trees and debris. I hope that that was able to answer all your questions and reassure especially Mom that yes I am alright and have been this whole time. We still have power but like I said sorry that I scared you not emailing. Dang Zone Conference and the inevitable timing of that ;) haha.
On a lighter note the Zone Conference was really great! The inspiration and motivation the comes as a result is so amazing. President Howell taught us more about The Role of the Holy Ghost and gave his training on that. It really helped me to see the power and blessing that personal revelation is for each of us. We're all entitled to that direct communication from our Father in Heaven because we are all his children. He wants to speak to us. We don't have to think of revelation coming to us like a a pedigree chart starting with the prophet and filtering down through the apostles, area authorities, bishops and then to us. It's diractly to us for a reason. We all get thoughts and ideas and promptings but the really powerful thing for me that I'm going to be applying here is that once we recieve that thought we need to "ponder it in our hearts" and see if it feels good. If it does go for it. If it doesn't change something until it feels good. It's just that simple. Through having the spirit speak to our minds and then to our hearts we can confirm that revelation and be divinely led and inspired throughout our lives. That's so amazing! Like I said I loved that part of Zone Conference and wanted to share it with you.
Even with the recent destruction things here are going well. My first District Meeting went fairly well I thought on working with members to do missionary work and the exchange with the Zone Leaders after was good too. Also, we didn't all die with "the end of the world on May 21st", so that's really good haha. I was laughing when we were out talking to people and they would ask us about that. I wonder what the preacher (false prophet) in California was thinking Sunday morning when he woke up. Something along the lines of "well I guess I wasn't one of the righteous lifted up at the last days", "missed my chance", or "better luck next time" haha. That whole thing just made me laugh. Our investigators Micheal and Tony that I was talking about before are still doing well and working to be baptized in June. Micheal talked about last night when we taught him about that priesthood that even he could go on a mission after he got the priesthood? We told him yes and bore testimony on the blessings that would come but tried not to overwhelm him with too much. We told him once he's baptized and wants to still do that he should talk to Bishop Macdonald and he'd help him out with that. That would be so legit if he went on a mission though. I think I mentioned before that he wants to finish The Book of Mormon before he's baptized and is in Alma ch. 23 now. So we told him that we would start there and read everyday so that we could finish it at the same time. He really liked that idea so we'll see how we do. We can't exactly fall through on a challenge like that haha.
That's so crazy that Brady's graduated now! How does is feel Brady? Sounds like you had a pretty crazy week! Oh good old Toad's was there to throw a wild graduation party for you I'm sure. I'm so glad I didn't have to work that! 2 of those shifts was enough for me haha. Don't worry about not getting a letter to me Mom I totally understand. Don't feel bad or obligated that I have to get one each week. I did write you guys though so I hope you get it sometime soon. If not let me know and I'll write another one. I'm glad that everyone seems to be doing well and that I haven't heard of any tornadoes out that way. Once again I'm doing great here in the hood of Minneapolis and the tornado didn't carry us away on our bikes like the Wizard of Oz. I miss you guys and can't wait to hear from you again.