WE HAD OUR FIRST TORNADO SIREN TODAY
(Just wanted to scare my mom.)
So, yes, we did have the tornado sirens go off…but it was just the monthly test of the system that they do every first Monday of each month.
So, yup, just wrapped up my first month. There’s a saying that all of the missionaries say: “The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.” SO TRUE. Some of these days seem to take forever. Especially when yo
u’re walking 10 miles in hilly Ottumwa and no one is opening their doors…but then you look at your planner at the end of the day and it hits you that another week just went by.
The work goes on here in Ottumwa! It has been unnaturally cool here in Ottumwa and the locals are pretty split on what that means about what winter will bring. Who knows? I mean what I’m facing here is either 0 F and wet snow or -30 F with wet snow. I don’t know about you, but they both sound about the same to me. (COLD!!!!)
So…new news…umm, just bought a blanket today! Until now I had just been using my winter coats as a blanket, but we finally were able to drive to the other end of town to the Target store and grab one. Totally ready for winter now. Bring it on, Ottumwa!
Hmm… Oh! Yeah, remember how I said that people were yelling things at us? Funny story: We (Elder Graham and I) were walking up a street when an old, beat-up suburban drove the other way and the driver yelled something at us. Then the young man in the passenger seat tried to throw a brick at us while they were driving by. Why they had a brick in there, I will never know. Anyways, the kid had a terrible arm and he ended up throwing it straight up and it came back down on top of their car. Karma bites, doesn’t it?
Yeah, Ottumwa is pretty dang awesome. The Des Moines River winds through it, there’s a water park here called “Ottumwa Beach” (it’s like I never left home!), the fact that we’re in the hills apparently shelters us from tornadoes (rest your fears, mom)… Yeah this place rocks! The one thing I could do without: Cargill. It’s the local meat packing plant that employs literally half the town. The other half are mostly employed by John Deere. Anyways, so when the breeze comes from a certain direction (cardinal directions are thrown out the window for me when I don’t have mountains), the whole town smells like rotten pork. Yup. Makes Fast Sunday a little easier to get through, not gonna lie.
We just set our first baptismal date! There’s a less-active family that we taught last week and they decided that they wanted their son to be baptized! His set date is Oct. 19th and I really hope things go well! We are also building up our teaching pool here, so things are turning up!
Oh! And I totally need to give a shout-out to Brynne Jackson and Terri Zoller for being the most awesome pen pals in the entire world. They have been writing me ever since school got out up at the Y in April and they are the best. If anyone else could write me, that would be awesome! Every morning, we walk down to grab our mail and trust me…when we actually get something…it’s better than Christmas morning.
It’s crazy to hear that Casey is already leaving and my sister just started junior year! Since when did those two grow up?? Haha… Love you two. I need to email Casey here in a minute…
Anyways, I love and miss you all. This past week has been one of the hardest I think I have ever had. We had literally nothing going for us. But the tender mercies of the Lord are always present. We’ll be walking along wondering what we are doing wrong and then out of the blue, someone will call us on the phone with a dinner appointment, or someone that we visited will come back to church…those sorts of things. Or, my personal favorite was when (may have already shared this) we were at a family’s home just visiting and their 5-yr-old son said the closing prayer and said in his little, tender voice: “Please bless the Elders…” That just makes my day. Every day.
I am praying for you all back home and hope things are going well! President Jensen told us when we stepped off the plane in Des Moines that some of us may be trainers within a transfer or two (that’s a scary thought)…so I need to grow up fast.
Faith and Honor,