Good gosh, where do I start? Ah, Monday.
With our new determination to Use P-days explicitly for what is outlined in the Missionary Handbook (laundry, shopping, writing, cleaning etc), its become one of the busiest days. No more naps, Its all I can do to find time to write out a short letter or two. But I'm going to try and squeeze out a few extra minutes to write to those that I really need too. Monday night we stayed the night in White Sulfur Springs again as we would be traveling to Charleston again in the Morning. From BV to Charleston its almost exactly 200 miles and 3 hours one way. It was my turn to drive as well. I did pretty well considering I slept on the floor and probably for only a few short hours. We had another Great Zone Leader Council and left uplifted.
One of the things that has kept me busy almost since the first week that I got here was a project that Elder Gurney and I have been working on. We are planning an event to be held at SVU entitled "Preserving the Family". Its a free family photo shoot where members of the Community will be able to come as a family and have a professional Photographer take their picture and later receive a high quality 8x10 photo. At the same time we will be having other booths sharing our beliefs on Family Values and strengthening the family in today's world. I've never really taken on a project of this size before and I've been doing the majority of the planning on it, though we have formed a committee to help us delegate some of the responsibilities. This week we got permission from both the school and the Church to go ahead with the event so we've been scrambling to get everything in place and get advertisements out.
Thursday was our Exchange with the Assistants to the President. Elder Gurney made the trip to Charleston for the day and Elder Brady and I were able to stay in BV and continue working. It was the first time I had to plan things out in this area on my own, which was stressful because I'm still learning lots but we were still able to have a Very Productive day. The Lord certainly blessed me on that one because I was fretting we wouldn't have very effective plans that day. We exchanged back Friday morning and we're able to plan for the rest of our week. That night we had another surprise though.
We got into our apartment and had just finished praying for our daily planning session when we heard a tumultuous noise outside. We opened the door and were hit with massive winds. We'd received a text from the Assistants earlier asking Elders to report damages from a storm, but we'd figured that it was somewhere else in the mission. Apparently it was a freak storm system called a mirco burst. But there was nothing Mirco about this storm. 80mph winds blew down tree's and wreaked havoc from Ohio through West Virginia and Virginia to New Jersey. From what we've heard over 6 million people are without power and water, including the greater part of Lexington and Rockbridge county. We are all safe. All the Missionaries are safe, however mission damages so far report 46 missionaries without utilities and 1 car totaled. The death Toll in Virginia alone was 14 people.
During the storm the 8 elders in this area gathered in our apartment parking lot and examined the storm. Probably not the smartest Idea. We we're all blinded by sand and rocks as one particular gust hit us and almost knocked me off my feet. The sky was the strangest blue I'd ever seen. Apparently the same colour it turns when a tornado is afoot. I think I heard reports that some touched down near by but I'm uncertain. After the storm quieted down in our area we retired to bed. A phone call came in at 11pm asking us to meet at the school to help with clean up in the morning. At 7 am we were there and finally saw the damages. Lots of trees down on the hills especially. Tree shrapnel littered everywhere. on our walk up to the school we came across a members house where their carport had been totaled by a large oak, but fortunately the cars were saved with a few scratches. Others were not so lucky. We spent from 7 that morning till nearly 5 that evening helping remove trees from the roads and sidewalks. Most of the town was alright, but I think the outlying areas had more damage and power outages. They say there are chances that more might come up but we don't think they'll be as strong. Fun times though! Great Services opportunities!
Well I think thats enough excitement this week so I'll Leave you till next.