Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 1, 2014 Liberty, Missouri "Tornado!"

Hey family!

So first things first, I feel very blessed to be alive today and to have had the opportunity to have read another e-mail! Mom and dad, thanks so much for your e-mails. I really do love getting them every week. I always get a boost from them :) Oh and HAPPY CANADA DAY!! I was  really excited to hear that Germany is in the quarter finals for the FIFA match, and dad if you want to experience some humidity you should come to Missouri, I'm sure the plane ticket won't be as expensive as the one to Brazil ;) Speaking of Missouri, a tornado totally passed by us last night and it was the scariest experience of my life. I literally felt like I was in an end of the world Apocalyptic Movie, you seriously don't even know how terrifying this whole tornado experience was, so allow me to explain.

Yesterday was really really really humid. It was about 85F outside , but with the humidity it felt about 105 F. Needless to say, it felt like a sauna outside. At the end of the night once Sister Morris and I had gotten back to the apartment, we were just hanging out and then all of a sudden a thunder storm popped out of nowhere.  Thunderstorms here are amazing! The lightning never stops, so the sky just continuously flashes. Well, about 10minutes later it was like someone opened the floodgates in the sky, because there was no rain and then all of a sudden there was sheets of rain falling from the sky. The parking lot had a river of water flowing through it. I was looking out our glass door from our third story apartment, and Sister Morris wasn't feeling to comfortable about this storm, but after about 5 minutes she came out from hiding to watch the storm with me. Literally 2 minutes later we heard the tornado sirens going off, which is the scariest most awful noise in the world. We had no clue what to do. 
​Instantly, Sister Morris began to panic. She ran into the bathroom freaking out and I had no idea what we were supposed to do. There was no shelter at our apartment and we were on the third story, perfect tornado bait. We didn't know where we were supposed to go for shelter.  I tried calling the District Leaders, but they didn't answer. I called the Sister Leaders that live by the Liberty Jail (our old house) and they asked if we had the car.  Luckily we did, they told us to stay calm and to drive to the Historic Liberty Jail, because we had about 10minutes to get to the shelter at the jail. Luckily, the jail is only about a half a mile from our house.

Sister Morris was hysteric and I would have been too, except I knew I needed to get us out of there ASAP. I tried staying as calm as I could, and we grabbed our 72 hour kits, I didn't even have time to put on my shoes. We grabbed our stuff, and we locked the door behind us. We ran down the three flights of stairs. Once we reached the door to get out of the apartment, once again fear and panic set in. We had to get to the car, but the raging storm outside and the deafening wails of the tornado sirens haulted us. We took a deep breath, tried to get some courage and raced to the car. Instantly, my socks, shirt and pajama pants were soaked. We threw our stuff in the car, got in, started the car and started our way to the jail, I asked sister Morris to say a prayer as we drove. I have no idea what Sister Morris said in that prayer, but we were terrified and a half a mile had never felt so long in my entire life. We reached the jail, grabbed our 72hr kits and ran to the basement door. The sisters were waiting at the door to shuffle us in. We finally felt safe. We all went into the storm room, and finally the panic kind of sank in. I had been trying to act calm for the most part to get sister Morris and I to the jail, but now that I was there I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. I was kind of in shock about the whole thing, and wet and cold. Seriously from the time the tornado sirens went off to us getting safely inside the jail, was like a movie. It was terrifying!!

Once all of us were in the shelter, we texted our mission President to let him know we were all safely in the shelter, and we got a call from the Zone Leaders to make sure we were all safe in a shelter. We grabbed some hymn books and the sisters wanted to sing a hymn. I suggested we sing " Master the Tempest is Raging", hahaha! It seemed pretty fitting, so we did. It was very comforting having all the sisters together and within a few minutes we were  all at ease and laughing and joking about the scary predicament we were in. About 30 minutes later the storm passed and the sirens turned off. We were given permission to return to our homes. Of course, sister Morris and I felt a little uneasy about returning to our apartment, because if the storm came back we didn't want to go through all of that panic again, but we were told we had to return to our homes. We got to our house at about 10:20pm, but Sister Morris and I didn't fall asleep until about 12:30am. So, now I have experienced a tornado, I can cross it off my bucket list, and I hope I never experience that ever again.....unless I am directly by a storm shelter.

So, needless to say, Sister Morris and I are super exhausted and have scheduled in a nap for our P-Day today :) Something awesome though. Our new Mission President, President Vest is here in the mission now. It was sad seeing President Keyes go, but I am excited to see what President Vest is like. He is from Texas and we have interviews with him on July 9th. As a whole, this last week was pretty good. We were able to find two new investigators from member referrals. One of them we are actually teaching tonight. We are eating with the B's tonight. I love them. They are a recently re-activated couple, and they are so cute. They love sister missionaries like their own daughters. Their son and his girlfriend are visiting for a few weeks, and the girlfriend isn't a member, but wants to learn about the gospel so we are teaching the first discussion after dinner tonight :) We are really excited! 

Anyways, I hope everything keeps going well. Mom, don't get too sunburned out at the lake, and I hope you guys are staying cool. I'm bummed that you won't be at Kootenay Lake this year, but I do agree with mom, it will be much nicer for swimming. I love you all so much and I'll send you some pictures from our Tornado experience, I wish I could send you the video one of the sisters took of their escape out of their house running to the Jail shelter. It seriously looks like a scene from a movie with the panic, wind howling, wailing sirens, and screaming but that will have to wait until after the mission. Anyways, have a great week :)


Sister Luening

I took this pic this morning, do you see the "EXTREME ALERT" warning we got last night!? SCARY!!!!
All of the sisters in the storm shelter at the Historic Liberty Jail. In total there were 8 sisters at the jail waiting for the storm to pass.

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