This last Friday we were sitting in Lisa's home, in a town called Silverton, about 10 miles away from Ripley, and the rain was incredible. Sister Sorensen and I were sitting on the couch with Lisa and her husband Charley when all of us got weather warning's on our phones that a tornado was coming into the area of Ripley. Sister Sorensen immediately freaks out (she's really into emergency preparedness, and went all boy scout on me), and I ensure her we'll be okay, and that we'll just wait about 30 minutes before we go home. As we were talking, a cute old man from the branch called us to make sure we were home and safe. We told him we weren't home yet, and he told us to be careful when we drive, because there were trees covering the roads in our town of Ripley. The rain let's up in Silverton, and Sister Sorensen start on our way home. The old man was right. Trees were EVERYWHERE, uprooted, and blocking roads. The main roads were clear, thank goodness, but the power was out in the town, and it was still raining pretty hard. We get to our apartment, and find that we still have power, so we were blessed, but the next morning the whole town was working to clean up the place from a tornado. Yes. A tornado hit Ripley, and I MISSED IT. I was a little bummed out, but rather be safe than sorry, right? (we can just pretend I'm a survivor) We were told that one person saw a cow floating down the river outside of his house, and we saw a trailer in the middle of the river, just sitting there. Pretty scary. Luckily no one was hurt, and clean up was fairly simple. Our little town was blessed.
Every Sunday we go eat lunch at a members house, but the last several weeks she's been gone, because it's summertime, and she's been on vacation. Her husband is very country side, and when I first met him, he talked about how he hunts and eats squirrel all the time. Well, over and over again, I've been half teasing, half being serious, asking if he'll feed us some... we'll guess what? This past Sunday he did! It actually wasn't that bad. Taste a lot like pork. It's was kinda sad eating something so cute though.
Monday morning we were doing some yard work for this old lady that is in our branch, and afterwards she took us out to eat at this pizza place. As we were there, a giant group of people walk in, dressed very nicely. There's only two reason why large groups of people dress nicely in West Virginia. 1) Wedding 2) Funeral.... well this group was for the later. One women comes up to the old lady in our branch, and asks her if she's going to the funeral (I guess the old lady knew the man who had died). The branch member says she'll think about it, and the woman leaves... a couple minuets later, the branch member asks if we'll go to the funeral with her, and we could hardly say no, because Sister Sorensen and I have such blue personalities. Keep this in mind that Sis S and I are in our muddy jeans and t-shirts, and probably smell, because we just did a bunch of yard work for this lady. We show up to the funeral, and Sis. S and I try our hardest to just wait in the lobby of the funeral home, and just as we're about to leave, because the old lady has talked to who she wanted to see, the wife of the man that died catches us and invites (or rather demands) that we come see her husband because "he looks so beautiful". Sis S and I try our hardest to get out of it, but she grabs our arms, and drags us into the room with the casket, while explaining to everyone to not mind us and that we're just some dirty people who have just done some yard work, here to see her beautiful husband. Can anyone say awkward?! We felt so out of place, and could hardly contain our laughter.
This week is transfer week, and the verdict is in!! Who's excited to hear what's happening? I know I was! Sad to say, but Sister Sorensen is leaving. :( I'll miss her a lot, and I've already cried about it, but I know she'll bless many lives in her new area... good news is that she's staying in my zone, so I'll see her at zone meetings and conferences!!
.... oh yeah, I forgot to mention.... I'M TRAINING! ;) Can you believe it!? I'll be in charge of teaching a brand new missionary everything she needs to know about missionary work.. WHAT?! I feel like I just finished with my training! (oh wait... I did..) I'll be here in Ripley, serving with a brand new missionary straight from the MTC, and I can't wait to meet her.
I hope everyone has a good, and safe 4th of July. Apparently Ripley is known for the "Biggest Small Town 4th of July Celebration" in the nation, so this place will be poppin' on Saturday. The carnival is already set up, and it'll be impossible to drive anywhere, so we'll be walking around during the parade, passing out little American flags, and talking to as many people as we can. Perfect activity for a new missionary!
Thanks for all the prayers and support!
Love, Sister Kirkby