Thursday, September 19, 2013


IMG_1048.JPGIMG_1135.JPG         So I'm assuming people know that there has been major flooding in Boulder and surronding area (where I am). It really has been a CRAZY week!
Thursday we had zone conference in Loveland (about an hour north). There was talking of canceling because it has been raining here since last Tuesday and roads were starting to get bad. However, we still held conference. That was a great experience! Seeing other missionaries, being able to talk with President and Sister Brown, ask questions, get training and learn what we can be doing better.
IMG_1088.JPGSo far, can I just brag about my mission president and his wife? They are wonderful! I've been able to work with them a lot the last 2 weeks and they are amazing! Really care for each missionary and strives to (even though he is new too) to get to know each of us individually and be seen. Even members in the ward have noticed, they know President Brown when he comes. During the little over 2 months since he has been in the field, he has come to our ward twice on Sunday and has for many other wards in the mission. They are great and I really do love them!
Sorry for the side topic...but going back to zone conference, so had a great time and ended a little early to get us back home safely. Left around 3:30 and the normal hour drive took 2 hours. Driving on I-25, we passed an RV dealership in Longmount. Water was half way up the RV (passed the tires, pass where the doors were to get in). It was bad. As we continue to drive, there's signs saying this road is closed and that road....took a while to find a road that was open to get us to Boulder. Finally get back to our stake center (we carpooled) and got in our car and start heading the 2.5 mile drive home. Didn't last long. The road home is closed. We plan out our night to sleep at the stake center (all roads are closed at this point). We (Sister Woessner, me, and the spanish boulder sisters....Hermanna Seaborn and Cropper) order Dominos Pizza. As the night draws on, we start calling people on higher ground that would have extra floor space for us to sleep...better then the gym floor at the church building. Lesson learned from this experience: ALWAYS have the essentials in your car (toothpaste, clean underwear, comb, and deorderant). Always! We stayed at a member's home that was dry and in one piece. It actually was a beautiful home. Reminded me of the Sound of Music!
On Friday around noon I think it was, we got a text from the Rice's (the family we live with) and said it was better so we were able to get home. Their basement flooded a little and I thought that was the worst I would see. I was wrong! They had water in the basement (that is currently in the process of stripped down to the beams luckily) but it was more puddles of water. We change out of our nice clothes and drove to Boulder and start "service tracting". So much better than proselyting tracting. People are so much niceer when they know we are there to help. If only they realized that all the time!  But helped out at one home ripping out carpet. That basement was bad, the carpet was completely saturated with water. But that still wasn't bad.
Our zone helped shovel a driveway of mud. I hate shoveling snow. But mud is so much worse!!! This driveway had 6-7 inches of mud. Thick, HEAVY, stinky mud!
On Saturday and yesterday and probably every day this week, our whole zone (22 missionaries) have been helping another home in Boulder. When we arrived Saturday morning, the water level in the basement was a little above our ankles. We worked all day getting the carpet out and as much stuff as we could. The basement has pretty much been untouch beforehand. Let me just say...good quality carpet is a lot harder to rip and take out than cheap carpet. I think I'm always going to buy cheap carpet for my home. This took several hours....the basement is HUGE! Then we started to attempt to get the water out. It was fun to see everyone's different methods. There was a drain in the utility room. We had brooms, shovels, dixie cups (not effective), shop-vacs, water pump, fooseball paddles, plastic bin lids, making water snow angels to get the water flowing, etc. I took off my shoes and just played "sweeping" the water towards the drain. When we left, the water level was to our mid sole on our shoes. Huge difference. We returned Sunday most congergations cancelled, ours didn't because we meet at 9, but after we got out, they locked the building and canceled everything else. With our return, brought heartbreak. The water level was now to our knees in the basement. Now we worked on getting the things out of the basement: pictures, books, papers, memories, drawings, it was so sad!!! Everything was ruined!!!
There is so much work to do! And the rain just won't stop coming!!! It was supposed to stop raining around 2 am last night, but woke up at 6:30 and it's still coming! Roads a damaged (chunks of road missing), a few bridges have collapsed, it's devestating!
There is a lot of work to do! We are cancelling almost all of our normal activities to be go help people and their homes. I heard of missionaries in NY when Hurricane Sandy hit...spent 3 months straight cleaning up. I don't think this is as bad, but it will be the next few weeks missionaries helping with clean up.
I'm greatful to be able to help out the most I can. I didn't realize how many muscles our body has that can be so sore. My hands move my fingers kill! So many little bruises and cuts.
Well, until next time, love you all and thankful for the support I have recieved!
Sister Nielsen

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