From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Monsoons and Road Trips
Date: July 29, 2013 9:56:12 AM MDT
The Lord is so merciful, especially when we call out for help. I’ve been in Kansas for almost 7 months already, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Kansas has the craziest weather ever. I thought Idaho Falls weather was strange, but I really think Wichita takes the cake–at least according to the last few months.
Tuesday evening we were at an investigator’s home teaching a lesson. Curfew is 9:00 pm or 9:30 pm if you are teaching a lesson. We got out at about 9:05. When we looked up at the sky, a huge lightening storm was going on in the distance. The lightening storms here are insane. I remember one happening early in March where it woke us up in the middle of the night because it was so bright—almost noon day bright. We could see this same type of storm just north of our investigator’s home. The bad news was that we live north of our investigator. I knew we needed to go, and we needed to go now.
Right after we got in the car, it started raining. We had about 4 1/2 miles to drive before we were home and thankfully we made it at least 2 1/2 before it started raining really hard. But when it rains, it pours. We were literally driving into the lightening storm. I couldn’t pull over and stop because I was afraid it would start hailing, and that would have been even more dangerous. I felt like I needed to keep driving, but the rain just kept getting worse. The rain was coming down so hard it literally looked like we were driving through a high power car wash. I have never driven in such a bad storm. At times we were driving through a foot of water. I had to slow down to about 12 mph and honestly could not see anything except blurs from the headlights of cars driving opposite of us. I began to think about all the things that would happen if we were to get in an accident–thinking about my family and myself, but especially about my companions and their families. What would I do if anything ever happened to them? As the driver, I’m literally trusted with their lives and I had to get them home safely. But the rain kept getting worse. The wipers didn’t seem to make a difference and I couldn’t see where we were going at all. I firmly said, “Someone pray for us now.” Sister Christenot prayed aloud without any hesitation that we would get home safely. As soon as she said “amen,” the rain lifted just enough for me to see the road 30-40 feet in front of the car, then it pounded again. When we drove that much, the rain again lifted just enough for me to see that I was going in the right direction and the road was clear of obstacles. I kept doing this pattern of driving 40 ft and seeing just enough of the road for a split second to drive another 40 ft over and over again, until eventually we made it home. That was the longest 10 minutes I have ever had. When we arrived at our home, we sprinted inside. Though the path was only a few yards, by the time we made it to the door we were drenched. Immediately we huddled and said a prayer of gratitude and also asked Heavenly Father to bless anyone else still on the roads with safety. It was truly a miracle that we made it home without harm.
Thinking about this experience has taught me many things. 1. Sister Moon would always remind me of something that her trainer taught her: A prayer for strength is always answered immediately. This was obviously apparent in my experience in the car. We received help the instant we asked for it. Though we had been protected the whole time, there was a huge difference after we prayed. Even though it was still scary, I felt calm and knew the Lord would help us return home safely. 2. Don’t wait to pray! If there is any worry at all, just ask for help. Don’t wait until it gets so bad you cannot see the path in front of you. 3. The Lord will help us always, but he only gives us what we need at that time. He allowed me to see 40 ft in front of me at a time because he knew that was all I needed to get us home. He does this to protect us. If He gave us everything at once or didn’t allow us to exercise our agency, we wouldn’t learn from our experiences and we wouldn’t appreciate the experiences we’ve had. The angel Moroni hasn’t appeared to me to tell me the Book of Mormon is true because Heavenly Father knows I don’t need that to happen to know it’s true. In 3 Nephi, Nephi was promised that anything he prayed for would be done. This was not because God loved him more than anyone else–after all, his brother Lehi was “not a whit behind him in righteousness”–but because Nephi had his will aligned with God’s will. Therefore, anything he asked for would be what God wanted for him. We can achieve this through developing broken hearts and contrite spirits. It takes time, effort, and lots of help from the Holy Ghost, but eventually we can achieve this and the song “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” will be manifested in our own lives and hearts. 4. I like rain, but I never want to drive in a storm like that again. 😛
We went on two more exchanges this week. We drove out to Pratt on Wednesday night and returned to our area Thursday night. Then the next morning we went to district meeting, came home to finish our studies, had time for one appointment, and then immediately went on another exchange. Whew! Exhausted yet? I am 🙂 It is hard work, but I absolutely love being with the sisters in our mission. I’ve decided that Sister Christenot and I are basically KWM Relief Society Presidents. Haha. And we just do lots and lots of visiting teaching. We have zone conference this Friday, and then the week after we’re driving out on a week-long escapade to do exchanges with all the sisters in western Kansas. So, Dodge City one day, Ulysses the next, and Garden City the day after. Then we’ll stay for their zone conference the next day. This is such a crazy transfer. They’ll be calling new sister leaders next transfer, so this is probably the only time we’ll have to do so many exchanges and so much traveling.
I love my companions so much. They are both such strengths to me. Sister Tenney is such a breath of fresh air and we are both so glad to have her around. She has to put up with a lot of uprooting, because she goes with us on all of our exchanges and trips, but it’s so fun to have the three of us together. Sister Christenot is such a sweetheart. She is so loving and laughs at pretty much all of my jokes, so granted I’m going to like her. But even if she didn’t I’d still love being her companion. And me? I’m the loud one of the three. 🙂
Yesterday we went to Sister Harris’. The elders were there when we arrived. Then we found Sister Harris’ wigs…and I asked if I could try one on. She said yes 🙂 There were five wigs and five of us…I’ll send pictures soon haha.
I am so amazed how I am always blessed with a tender mercy when I need one. Family, thanks for the package. That was much needed and so appreciated!!
Keep up the amazing work! Mom and Dad, I hope you had an amazing anniversary! Doug and Lauren, congratulations on your new little one!!! I’m so stoked to be a triple-aunt. He’s so sweet. I’ll be praying for the little guy. Dave and Jen, congrats on your new place! Der and Sauce, keep on keeping Mom and Dad in line. Just kidding. Love you TONS. Please please please try to express all my gratitude to those that have been helping with my mission—you can try, you might not be able to express all of it 😉
Love you all,