Lightning and Blessings

By | 3:41 PM
Ok, If you send things to the mission home it will take at least two or three weeks for me to ever see it.... that is why I sent you the apartment address....  Also - it's pronounced Mean - a..... like a very mean person, and the a on the end.... if that helps :)

Okay, so. this week was really busy, but also not.
we had Zone conference in Tulsa.... it takes 4 hours to get to Tulsa... we had to leave at 5:00 A.M. so we could get their by 9:00... and then it ended at 5:00 so we didn't get home till 9:00. crazy day!

the next day we did exchanges, so I ended up another 3 hours away in Bentonville (isn't that where Trent wanted to move?) I got to see Walmart Headquarters... super fun time!!!

every one has been nervous about the weather... but I can't read any papers or see the news so I didn't realize how bad it really was till Sunday when only a handful of people showed up. Sister Daines and I started making phone calls and realized that half the branch was stuck because of flash flooding and at least 5 bridges were taken out by the rushing water. a couple of homes had also been destroyed by a few tornado's that hit just outside Mena in a town called Hatfeild and another town called Cove was nearly flooded..... scary stuff! we had a teaching appointment with an investigator Sunday night that fell through because his best friend had been killed in the floods.
I guess about 5 people total were killed in this area. scary stuff, and super sad. people are shocked and nervous.

quick story:
Thursday night = my first Arkansa storm.
I wake up at midnight because the cell phone buzzed. who in the world would call the missionaries at midnight?
Sister Daines is dead asleep so I reach over for the phone... the text is bright red and say's "Flash Flood Warning" across the top.
just then, I notice the strobe lights outside.... yeah, strobe lights. no one told me that lighting in Arkansa was that insane! then the thunder... wow! constant and deep and lasting at least 5 min at a time. oh dear.
I'm starting to panic... so I whisper across the room "Sister Daines!"
she moans.
"Sister Daines!" I shout a bit louder.
she rolls over and sits up in bed, "what?" she asks super grogily.
"there is a flood warning! are we gonna die!" I'm freaking out.
"we need to get in a shack." she mumbles.
"what?!?" I say
"We need to find the Davis family and get in their shack" she says.
I can't even respond... a shack! what! it's a flood warning... the lighting is non-stop insanity and the rain is picking up... and she wants to get in a shack with the Davis family?
I ask her again, "are we gonna be okay?"
she says "maybe... good night." and rolls over, back under the covers and snores
I remember then that Sister Daines sleep talks... and that we are on the second floor apartment on the top of a hill... flash flood should be fine.
I say a prayer and find my stuffy and roll over.
The end.


another cool story:
I'm in Bentonville on exchanges. Sister Bolough takes me to visit a poor women who has been having a lot of money concerns. she lost her job, her husband left her, she is trying to take care of her father and her children and her cousins children. she was baptised two years ago, but has recently fallen into a less active status.
so we stop by her house and sister Bolough and her talk for a few minutes about the ward and her family... I'm trying to stay in the conversation, but I'm the odd one out and it was awkward.
finally sister Bolough says: "well, we should go, but can we leave you with a scripture?" the sister agrees that would be nice and sister Bolough starts to thumb through her scriptures, looking for something nice to share. suddenly, she stops and looks at me. "sister Longberg, do you want to share a scripture with her?"
I freak out. I haven't finished reading the Book of Mormon yet, I don't know any scriptures! I imagine my eyes got really big and my face got really pale because Sister Bolough instantly assures me that anything will work, just share my personal favorite.
I turn to Jeremiah 17:7.... which talks about putting your trust in god. I explained to this sister how hard it is to let go of things, but that Christ made it possible. I ended up asking her what the atonement meant to her and then helped her understand that Christ suffered for more than just our sins, but also for our grief, sadness and other emotional pain.
this sister started to bawl! I was shocked because I didn't quite recognize the spirit there, but when she started to cry I suddenly understood how heavy it really was in that room. she explained to me how stressed she was. she was going through a very difficult divorce and had just lost her job, and yet she had to put on a brave face for her children and she felt an obligation to help her dad and to help her cousin. she was under so much stress! she cried and cried and hugged me and prayed and thanked god over and over again for his hand in her life.
I had no idea what was going on. I didn't do or say anything, I didn't really feel anything until she started to cry. it was amazing, and also overwhelming.
she hugged me and sister Bolough. Sister Bolough texted me later and told me this sister had been at church on Sunday and how grateful she was that I had been there.
I just feel kinda.... I don't know. I didn't do anything.

and one more story:

Sister Thomas (the Mena Branch relief society president) invited Sister Daines and I to her house for Dinner earlier this week. we ended up on the floor of her living room making cute cards! so fun :)
it is Elder and Sister Shaws birthday this week, so we made them cards and cute tags... it was a great time, so awesome! we ended with a scripture about charity and called it an FHE activity!
I took pictures... I'll have to figure out how to send those to you.


Something Funny:
we visited an older lady named Sister Parhan (she may be my new favorite person)
she has a ton of cats, but her house is super amazing clean and perfect.... so I took my shoes off at her door, and we sat on the couch with her. part way through our little lesson, the cats start circling my shoes. a little later, they attack.

Tender Mercies:
the shoes are fine!

Something Funny again:
I have a very interesting tan line...on my feet... in the shape of my mary jane's... so that's awesome! reminds me of Kelly.

the storms were really very bad this week, but I managed to miss most of it because of zone conference and exchanges. that was cool. I got to drive around alot and see some of the damage. a lot of lakes where there are usually farms, and a lot of very wet hay. sad.

could you also look up some good memorizing ideas for scriptures... President Shumway asked us to memorize a bunch of scriptures and I really want to do it, but I'm really struggling.... there has to be some tip out there that will help me but I can't find it because I can't use the dogame interwebs!!! (yeah, that's right, dogame... I speak Arkansan now)

Tell Eric he is awesome, and tell grandpa I talk about him all the time :)
I'm glad my laptop is getting used... I think :/

and Mom, I can't tell you how many times I've born my Testimony lately but I can tell you that every time it starts out "my mom taught me..."
thank you so much!

Sister Longberg
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