Monday, July 28, 2008

Elder Carreon's Hurricane Report; Plus, A Wonderful Miracle

Dear Family & Friends:
This week was the craziest week of all time! Rumors had been floating around that we were probably going to be evacuated due to an impending hurricane/tropical storm. At the same time, on Monday, we had a miracle occur.
We had been teaching this mother and daughter, and recently, the daughter was baptized. The mother, however, kept saying she wanted to be baptized but wouldn't set a date. Nine days ago on Saturday, we had had a lesson with her and she said that she had a situation with her other daughter and that was why she wanted to wait. She didn't go into much detail, but she assured us that God knew the situation. We were pretty bummed out because we thought that she was justifying waiting and that if she kept doing that she might never get baptized. We had been praying really hard for her, and on Monday we decided that we were going to try and help her overcome whatever was holding her back. We had hardly sat down when she told us, "I want to get baptized this Sunday." We practically fell off our chairs. She told us that she was afraid that her other daughter wouldn't approve of her being baptized and it would tear her family apart. On Saturday after our lesson, she went home and prayed and said that if her daughter showed interest and approval, she would be baptized. That night when her daughter came home from work she asked her mom if she could read one of the church magazines with them. So yesterday the mother was baptized!
Tuesday was also craziness as the hurricane set in. We received a call that we would probably evacuate later that day, and at 12 p.m. they told us to get to McAllen asap. We packed 72 hours worth of food and water and left as fast as we could.
We worked in McAllen the rest of the day and saw that some people were boarding up houses and others weren't. That night 16 of us stayed in this one house that the mission owns.
Wednesday it started to rain and blow really hard and they wouldn't let us leave the house. That night we lost power so we had to light a bunch of candles and stuff. They also said that the state wasn't allowing travel to Brownsville, either. Apparently all of Brownsville lost power, 40,000 homes and businesses lost power in Harlingen, and about 10,000 homes and businesses in McAllen.
Thursday we got the power back in the morning, and around 2 p.m. they let us go back. It had stopped raining and such, but a lot of the roads were closed and there was a lot of flooding. It took 4 1/2 hours to get back to Brownsville.
On Sunday I had to give a talk in church about preparedness. Everything else ran short and one of the speakers didn't show up, so I had to take about 30 minutes. Somehow I managed! It actually wasn't that bad, it was definitely one of the better talks that I have given. After church, we had the baptism! It was amazing, and she was sooooo happy!
This morning we went to Los Fresnos and helped clear fallen trees and stuff from the hurricane. Not too much damage happened, mostly trees falling onto people's houses and signs and other stuff had blown down. Reports said that the valley area got really lucky because the storm didn't do as much damage to our area as it did to some others. We might not be so lucky next time.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers and concern.