Ice Storms, Christmas, and Baptisms, Oh My!

By | 10:56 AM
this has been among the crazier weeks of my mission yet!  

it all started on wednesday night when the family we are living with told us that their whole family was coming for christmas.  the next morning we talked about it a little more and decided that it would be easier if we stayed with the bishop for the next few weeks.  so... last minute we moved all our stuff over to bishop carol's home.  a bunch of my stuff is still at the stapley's and what I brought with me to the carols is strewn all over the floor.  such a mess!  

we were nervous about the move to because it had to happen quick.  friday night there was a warning for an ice storm!  sister Empey and I didn't understand just what that meant... so we mostly ignored it.  
well.... later friday night it starts to rain. 
at 6:30 we play volley ball at the church with the Elders and some investigators, at 8:00 we were finished playing and we walk out to the car.  It chilly and raining but not bad.  I try to get in the car and it won't open... sister Empey and I are super confused and we keep trying to unlock the car but nothing will happen.  finally, with great effort, we get the door open!  it was ice!  in such a short time the doors were already iced shut!  
we decided to call it a night because of the storm.  
the next morning though.... wow!  
Ice EVERYWHERE!  
I don't even know how to describe it!  I've never seen anything like it!  
thick layers of ice covered all the trees and every little blade of grass.  it coated the windows and the doors and sidewalks.  
to make matters worse.... we had a baptism at 11:00!  
we ran (aka, walked very carefully) out to the car... but we couldn't get the doors to open!  
literally an inch of ice coated the entire car!  Ice!  it was so surreal!  
we used our gloved fists to literally punch the ice off the car!  

 I would say it was luck, but I know it was God that cleared the roads from ice for us!  

we finally got to the church and I got to take and even better look at what an ice storm is.... actually even now as I'm mailing I am looking out a window and the ice is still thick on all the trees.  all the branches are super weighed down and heavy looking... and a lot of trees are breaking.  sounds like a gun shot... but it's the trees breaking!  so crazy.  

so that's my ice storm story....

now:  Laura's Baptism!  

on the 23rd of November we had a baptism for Jesse, her older brother, and he got the priesthood so he could baptize his sister Laura!  she was so excited and she is so cute!  

I remember Laura's hesitation with letting her brother baptize her.  she wanted him to, but she was nervous that he would mess up or something.  she is TERRIFIED of water.  so baptism has been a HUGE step of faith for her.  she said multiple times how afraid she was of needing to be dunked multiple times.....

well... I'm sure that laura has some something very great and strong about her that is scaring satan or something because all of her fears came to life on saturday.  

first, she went down and kicked.  I guess she forgot about plugging her nose and she felt like she was drowning and so she fought it.  
my heart was in my feet when I heard she would have to go again.  I could see her shaking!  
the second time she still tried to fight it, but it wasn't has bad.  it would have been okay... but then the word came again that Jesse had said something not quite perfect.  
I can't even describe the intensity of that situation.  I don't think I was breathing!  I don't think anyone was breathing!  

poor Laura was shaking so hard and her eyes were huge!  

the third time, Jesse said it perfect, she went down super smooth and came back up even better.  it was perfect!  

sister Empey and I ran back to the bathrooms to help her and make sure she was okay!  
she was in tears and she just kept saying how hard that was!  
I could have just died there!  I couldn't believe I had made her do that!  she was so terrified and we made her do it three times!  I could have died!  
and then... something that will go on the top 5 list of great mission experiences:

Laura straightened her shoulders, stood up tall and stopped her tears fast.  she said "I'm actually really happy!"  and we all started to laugh.  
it was the hardest thing that girl has done.... and she was so happy!  those tears weren't because she was afraid and she was upset!  she was actually really happy!  

wow.

on sunday she was confirmed and she looked soooooo amazing!  

wow.  wow. wow.  

 I forgot--after talking to laura in the bathroom... and hearing her small and sweet little testimony.  we went back into the main room and the bishop stood and gave a really neat talk.  he said that it was all perfect.  because it was the priesthood and because is was christ.  it was all perfect.  

wow.  powerfull!  

and we are going to the temple on saturday with them all!  

Merry Christmas!  
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