I'm on email earlier than usual today because I am in Baton Rouge! There's a hurricane that's been forming (Hurricane Isaac) and the governor issued voluntary evacs, and it was looking like he was going to issue a mandatory evac of New Orleans, so President Wall called us yesterday after church and told us he was gonna pull us out last night so that we didn't have to deal with traffic, and just to be totally safe and outta there. I'm glad because on our way out we passed tons of buses and trucks that were going in to help all the people who don't have cars. President told us last night that they're watching it closely to see what it does because there's a possibility that even here in Baton Rouge we'll get winds above a 100 mph. Anyway, a lot of missionaries are in nearby apartments with other missionaries, but we were lucky enough to be assigned to the mission home.
It's a beautiful day today bur I'll probably be here until at least Thursday. The sad thing is that it's slated to hit New Orleans for real on Wednesday, which is the seven year anniversary of Katrina, to the DAY. Needless to say there is a lot of tension and fear among the people. Overall the are is a lot better prepared, and this hurricane won't be as bad, maybe it won't be bad at all. We'll see. Sister Wall said that when she went to the store to get some extra groceries, that the shelves were almost empty! She took some pictures, its crazy! And people wonder why we have food storage. ha. Anyway, prayers for the people here will be appreciated. We have so many people, ok well everyone we know, is right outside New Orleans, and a lot of them were here 7 years ago, so we're just really praying for their safety, physically and spiritually.
On the other side of it, we had such a good week planned with tons of appointments SET with possible Spanish investigators. They were so hard to get so that was really disappointing! But I'm sure starting next week, we'll have lots of opportunities for service, so hopefully that will help to soften up people's hearts, and just show some love. People are kind of bunkering down, they don't really people knocking on their doors right now.
In other news, I'm doing well :) It looks like by the end of this week I might be working solely on the Spanish side of things because of some temple square sisters that are coming in. This means that I don't get to finish teaching Mahala, which is sad. I have so much love for her! They'll take care of her though :) And I'll still at least get to attend her baptism. She is doing amazing! We taught her the Law of Chastity and out of no where, the day before we taught her that, a girl friend asked her about moving in together. I wasn't surprised! She has faith to move mountains! We also talked about modesty, the thing is is that she has the desire, but no money. She told us all she has for clothes is the duffel bag she brought with her when she came to New Orleans. However, she will be starting a job this week. Oh I just wish that I had clothes that would work for her! But it will all be fine.
Earlier in the week, President Wall talked to us on the phone and asked me how I feel about training this next transfer (Sept 11) instead of the following transfer. This would mean that Sister Walker would stay with her and that Sister Palmer and I would each take one of the new Spanish Sisters coming. So I wouldn't get the 7-12 week part of training, but I would get to train the 1-6 week part so I guess I'd learn that pretty well :) It was funny because the day before he asked us had been pretty overwhelming as far as the work we have right now, but here's another opportunity to learn and grow. He's not sure what he's going to do yet, and he asked me to think about it. At first all I could think of was the initial thoughts. Imagining me sitting in a meeting with Bishop, or the RS president, or an investigator or less active member, and not being able to understand them, and having my companion looking to me to communicate (let alone phone calls :) Scary. But this kind of goes along with everything I've been working on since I arrived at the MTC. Letting my doubt go, and building my faith in myself. Since "in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things." And then I was thinking what an opportunity to serve! What a way to exercise faith! And maybe I need to be with this sister for some reason, who knows.
Then this morning in my studies I read about the stripling warriors. We all know the story. But I learned something new this morning. They were fleeing from the Lamanites, and they knew that Antipus' army was behind them. They were fleeing for their lives when Helaman asked them if they would turn and fight. They didn't know what was going on with the Lamanites and the army of Antipus, but they showed more courage and faith than Helaman had ever seen among the Nephites when they said yes. When they got to the battle, the Army of Antipus was about to fall, all of their brethren would have died, and basically they saved them. They showed their faith without knowing the miracles that would come from it. Or, when they were asked to do something insanely hard, their instinctive response was that of Nephi, "I will go and DO!" It says they had no fear. Anyway, it's been interesting to think about and ponder that. I've heard the story and hundred times, I've read that a witness comes after the trial of my faith, I've believed that. I've said I've known it was true, but I haven't done the action part. I mean I have in some ways, I am on a mission. But this is a very specific scary thing, and I think that miracles could happen that I can't even think of now. And it's kind of a big deal for me to say that when I think back to my Spanish :) But I am a missionary. I strive to be exactly obedient, and I come pretty close. I was set apart, this calling is one of power and authority, and whether I train my second transfer or my third, I know the Lord will provide a way for me to do that which He asks.
Jeff Jones was baptized on Friday. It was SO awesome! He is just going to be an amazing priesthood holder and member of the church. I accompanied a special number that his girlfriend (who is about to leave on a mission) sang. Jeff even brought a friend (visiting from Texas) to his baptism, then again to the ward BBQ/Talent Show on Saturday, and then to church on Sunday. He even asked us for a copy of the Book of Mormon to give to John (which I saw him reading during church :). What a missionary already! His confirmation was also wonderful. I can see the change in him. It was Ward Conference yesterday and they asked him to come give the closing prayer and he did a wonderful job! I'm so excited for what lies before him. An even better feeling is that he has some awesome friends and support in the ward, so even though he's worried about us never seeing him again, I know that he'll have support.
Love to you all! I hope you have a wonderful week! Please keep us in your prayers, as I'm sure you do :) Also, Will had 29 lessons last week?!? What a boss! haha, anyway, love you all, have an awesome last week of summer :)