Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 12th, A Day to Remember

Thursday, April 12th was a day to remember!  On Wednesday night there was a departing
dinner at the mission home for six missionaries going home on Thursday. Five were flying
out and one elder's parents came to pick him up. A relief society president from a ward in
the mission is a caterer and she provided dinner, which was lovely. She is from Cameroon
and I would love to hear her story. The departing missionaries were counseled by President
and Sister Johnson and then asked to bear their testimonies. We sang, we prayed...the Spirit!
No words. 

So we wake up to a little rain on Thursday morning and head into the office. About 1:30
there was an urgent tornado warning on Sister Thompson's phone for the county we are
in, Montgomery County, plus other areas in  Maryland and Virginia. It was news to us
in the office as we are in the basement and don't see or hear much of outside during the
day. The storm blew through in under an hour, but it packed a punch. There were no
tornadoes by us, but two little ones in DC and lots of heavy rain, hail, and wind. Greg
was driving in it and cars were pulled off the road until it dissipated. He said that was
the worst rain he has ever driven in. Unbeknownst to us, because we don't hear much
news, a huge storm had been on its way from the south since Wednesday causing a lot
of damage in the south.

So around 2:00, Elder Sekeme, a departing french speaking elder from New Caledonia,
called to say his flight had been cancelled.  He was by himself, in a different terminal
from the other missionaries. The missionaries don't have phones in the airport. They
give them up when they leave as they are the church's. The airlines called the office
twice, once to tell him to pick up his luggage, and then to tell him he had a new itinerary,
but we could not call him.  So we worried about him all day, hoping he was okay.

The other missionaries flights were cancelled also.  One sister got out, headed to California,
and the other three did not. They were headed to Colorado, Utah, and The Netherlands.  
President Johnson had told them to get in line and not leave until they had a new itinerary
or they would never get out. After waiting all day in line they all got new itineraries,
found Elder Sekeme and President and Sister Johnson went and picked them up and took
them back to the mission home around 9:30 p.m. It was a long day for them and now they
are leaving on Saturday and Sunday and the weather is lovely today.