My dear family,
Holy cow, what a week! I guess y'all heard about the ice storm that hit Georgia this week. We were on lock-down all day Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we started out doing the normal studies and some weekly planning so we could be productive. We cleaned the apartment in more detail than P-Day normally allows us. And then the power went out around 1pm until about 6 or 7pm. We heard sirens next door, our neighbor who helps us with our maintenance. Turns out his wife went into pre-mature labor and the ambulance came down the icy streets to take her away. We went over to give them some cookies we'd made before the power went out. We borrowed our neighbor's game of Scrabble, and got ready for bed. It was storming pretty hard outside.
We kept seeing green flashes, our lights flickering, and tree branches falling. The sister sleeping by the window was super nervous. None of us could really sleep cuz we were super uneasy. We were kinda looking out the window to see what was going on, and all of a sudden we hear a huge pop, see another green flash, and our power is gone again, about 11pm, and a cable came down to rest right on our roof. Right when we decided to move a couple mattresses to the hallway and all sleep there, we hear a huge branch come down and hit our roof, right where the bed by the window is. Luckily it didn't expose us to the outside! That was a huge miracle. There was a branch sticking out that absolutely should have gone through our window. We know 100% that God was protecting us. It did pin that cable to the ground though.
Our neighbor called us and told us not to go outside, to stay safe. A family in the other ward told us to call the power company about the fallen cable, but the lines were all booked. Well, it was not a very restful night. We all got about a total of 3 hours of sleep. The branches falling continued into Thursday morning, and our front yard is covered with them. Luckily no other branches fell on our house, and our cars remain untouched as well. Sure gave us a scare though! We were inside most of the day Thursday, trying to stay warm, catch up on sleep, etc. There really wasn't much we could do. So we got permission to go the the Tiedes' house, a member in the other ward who did have power. We went and played Life with them and had a great time. We got home that night and our power was still out, so we got permission to spend the night at Brother and Sister Tiedes'. It was nice and toasty, and we slept pretty well on their living room floor.
Friday was a regular work day, and also Valentine's Day. A lot of places were still without power, and a lot of people had plans for the night, but we did get the opportunity to spend the evening with an awesome sister who has recently divorced. It was good being able to support her. Our power still hadn't returned, so we stayed the night at the Tiedes' again. It was about 10:25 when the six of us knelt down to pray together, when we feel the ground shaking beneath us. My mind went back to elementary school trying to remember what they taught us to do in an earthquake. It was a pretty good shake! But it passed after a few moments. I know y'all had heard about that, too. We finally got to sleep after Brother Tiede researched the quake for us, and after we made sure our sisters in South Carolina were safe, cuz they were close to where it hit.
Saturday, we spent the majority of the day doing service, helping people clear the trees out of their yards. It was an incredibly humbling experience realizing that we did not at all get the worst of the damage. There were power companies coming from other states to help restore the power to our county. almost 90% of us lost power. We finally got it back Saturday evening around 7. Just when we thought it was all over, we felt another quake yesterday around 4pm. Just a tiny one, but it hit somewhere in South Carolina as well. What a crazy week!
In other news, we had an investigator at church yesterday!! S***i, the lady I told y'all about the other week. She just soaked it all in. She learned a ton about the Plan of Salvation and realized that Latter-day Saints really aren't weird like people might think. She plans on coming back, and she wants us to talk to her husband. She's super cool and super nice, and we are so blessed to know her. Another big event occurred at church yesterday.
Our ward has been combined with the Spanish branch. A lot of releases and callings happened in sacrament meeting to help us support one another and become one ward together. I can't imagine what these dear saints are feeling, but I feel some pain for them. It must be so hard coming to a ward where your native language isn't spoken and having to adapt and get to know a whole new group of people. But we welcome them with open arms. It will be a wonderful experience working with them and seeing the opportunities that arise from this convergence.
Well, last bit of news for this week! As you know, transfer call was Saturday night, and Sister Evans is being transferred. I figured we wouldn't stay together longer than this transfer. It will be interesting to see where she gets sent and who I end up serving with here. I am excited for the experiences and opportunities that are ahead! I love y'all with all my heart. Thank you for your love and support! Thank you for the package, too! I got it Friday, and a made the cookies yesterday. They were delicious :) Thank you for all you do for me, especially for your prayers. I pray for you every day. Have a wonderful week, my beautifiul family!
Sister Kashmir Janae Ramsden