Saturday, April 7, 2012

Journal Entry 17: The Floods Came Up

This is another lengthy one, so I'll hold off on the intro commentary...
"Dear Journal,
Today is Dec 17, 2006. There is soooo  much to tell. Things have been so crazy. Let's see- I'll start with the flood. Earlier in November there was a huge flood from rain & snow melt that covered the whole valley. School was canceled because all of the bridges over the Snoqaulmie river were flooded. All kinds of roads were flooded. There was soo much water it was crazy. There were signs like "Water over roadway" signs and stop signs where you could barely see the top of. The main part of bridges looked like they were floating. We even saw some cows stranded on a little piece of land sourounded by water. It was amazing. Luckily we live at the top of a hill so our house didn't get flooded. We later (after roads opened) went to help clean up a lady in our ward's yard (sis teezen ? I think). Wood and other junk had floated everywhere. Also, in Novemeber earlier it snowed. We had 2 (I think) snow days off of school. We sledded down the hill in our back yard and River loved it so much she rolled around in it. One of the days, Brianna came over and we tied River to a a sled. She pulled down the road to our house (which is a steep hill). It was really fun, other then the dangerous and icy roads. Now is an even crazier part though. 
To clarify- "River" is my dog.
Right now I am writing by candle & latern lgiht. U wanna know why? cuz Thursday night (today is Sunday) there was a huge windstorm. It knocked down TONS of HUGE trees that smashed some houses and power lines. Luckily we didn't have any trees hit our house, but we haven't had power since then, and may not have for up to a week more. So we missed MORE school. We are lucky and have tons of food, water, a fireplace, a grill and even a generator for the kitchen, but most people aren't as well of as us. We were prepared (being Mormon and all) but many are needing to go to shelters or need food or warmth. Our church and neighborhood has all been helpful to those who need it though. It is definately a lot more dark at night though. I've never seen the world so dark before. I'm so used to house and street lights, even when we don't live in a big city. I didn't realize how dark it could get. The stars are brilliant though. You can see tons more than you normally can. You can see whole constalations and the sky looks very glittery, it's really cool.
This is an actual picture from that flood (There should be a road there...)
Since the power is out, we couldn't have all of church today. Instead, we had an abreviated sacrament meeting. We came in pants and coats and brought flashlights. It was short, cold and dark, but really neat. Our new bishop Hanks (it used to be Bishop Coomer) spoke. Most of it was about pioneers and preparing and helping others. It was definately a sacrament meeting to remember.
Well the missionaries are coming in about 45 mins for dinner so I better get going pretty soon, but I have a couple more things to write. Oh yeah- before the wind storm, after school & drivers ed, I was supposed to have a drive but the guy canceled because of the storm. So I was stuck outside waiting (and the school power went out) and it started to POUR. It was raining really hard. Jordan even called to say his mom could pick me up if my mom couldn't get there (lucky Jordan, he's on his way to a cruise to Mexico right now). But my mom came and picked me up so it was all good. So yeah. 
...I better go get ready for the sister missionaries. I think we're having crab tonight- YUM! So I guess I'll go and try to keep you updated as much as I can, even though I haven't very good about that lately.
<3 ya!/ Michelle
P.S. 3 more Blessings:
1. Haven't been hurt or anything in flood/snow/wind storm
2. church to prepare us for things like this and a prophet to tell us.
3. Sacrament (that we can get even if there is no power, warmth/light)" 
(I had been writing 3 blessings after each journal entry for a while- that's why I said "3 more blessings")
This was the first time I really came to appreciate the guidance the prophets had always given us to store and prepare. I live a pretty comfortable life comparability, so I never expected to actually need to use our food storage and other emergency preparation materials, but we did. I was also grateful for the opportunities that our community had to serve each other during such an intense and trying season. Even when the storms and the raging winds come, God is there to guide us.

Love Always,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Journal Entry 16: My BFF's EFY

A lot of this has been my own testimony, but there have been several times where I have drawn major strength from the testimony of others. The end of one of my entries is about a conversation that I had with my best friend from middle school/ high school- Jordan Barrett.
This is a sketch that I did of Jordan playing my guitar the same year
"Hey Journal,
Today is July 27, 2006.... Also, Just 2 nights ago he told me about his EFY expirences. He told me about his testimony meeting. He said this girl named Amy asked if he was going up and she said she would go up if he did. He tried to get up like 4 times and couldn't. Then suddenly he was up there. He had planned what to say, but it came out completely different. He told me about how it made him cry and how he could feel that strong feeling of the spirit then, and as he was telling me. He said he wasn't sure why he was telling me all of that, because he had only told the guys in his EFY group. He figured it was because I was his closest friend. He seriously is my closest friend in Washington. Ever since EFY he seems changed (for the good). He makes me want to be better and I love him as a friend so much. He is the best. Well I could go on and on and on, but my mom is having a Primary meeting here in an hour 1/2 so I need to get ready. 
Much Love, Michelle Curtin"
This picture is from when Jordan and I were in a play together, probably about a year after I wrote that entry.
Elder Barrett is now serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Santa Rosa, California. One of the first letters I wrote to him on his mission, I reminded him of this experience and told him how much it meant to me to hear my friend's testimony and know that I wasn't alone. I am grateful for his example and friendship. 

Elder Barrett and I. I got to take him to the MTC, but since he was set apart as a missionary, I couldn't give him a hug :) so instead, he got his first awkward missionary picture. 
Love Always,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Journal Entry 15: Cancer, Kelsey and A Nail in the Foot

This next entry is still kind of from my EFY journal entries, but is more about 3 separate events that followed shortly after...
"Hey I'm back again,
It's now July 13, 2006. Let's see... where was I at? Okay, the ride home. On the plane I sat by a group a kids from 'Circle of Friends' who were going to Seattle to meet football players, meet other people like them, have fun, do some activities and go to the hospital. They all had diseases. The 15 year old boy in front of me had a tumor in his optical nerve so he couldn't see very well. Many of the other kids had Aol luceamia (spelling?). It was neat to be able to listen to them. their outlook on life was very unique. One of the boys asked about the of the girls luceamia- 'Yeah it's one of the better ones, I have an 85% chance of survival' They where all so happy. It was a fun chance to be able to sit by them.
Also,  when I got home Kelsey came over to return my Book of Mormon (she read the whole thing). And I have got one that she could keep (the one she barrowed had my name on it) In the one she returned, she left a thank you note (I might put it in here later) but one part of it said 'I realized that I am diffrent from when I started' I think that's really cool. Maybe sometime soon, I'll ask her if she wants to hear the missionary discusions. Also, one more thing she wrote on the back was her favorite scripture Alma 32:16-22. It's pretty cool.
(Kelsey is on the left, I am on the right)
Alright now this is a really off subject, but I may as well tell you. Tuesday night while I was at Lake Joy for our Young Men/ Young Women's combined activity, I stepped on a rusty nail. I barely felt it, but I brought my foot up and I had to pull it out. Brother Ward helped me walk up on the deck (it was bleeding a fair amount). I washed it out and then put a bandaid on it. Then yesterday I went to the Urgent care (my normal doctor couldn't get us in) and they gave me a Tetna shot (spelling?) now my arm feels funny. But through all of that I didn't cry. It takes a lot to make me cry (yet testimony meeting at EFY did) Anyway, I don't remember what else I was going to write about, so I might have to write more later.
Love ya! <3/ Michelle"
A photo of the actual letter Kelsey wrote me. I won't include the inside, unless I get her permission later.
 This is Alma 32: 16-22...
 16 Therefore, blessed are they who ahumble themselves without being bcompelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without cstubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.
  17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a asign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.
   18 Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to abelieve, for he knoweth it.
   19 And now, how much amore bcursed is he that cknoweth the dwill of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into etransgression?
 20 Now of this thing ye must judge. Behold, I say unto you, that it is on the one hand even as it is on the other; and it shall be unto every man according to his work.
  21 And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.
   22 And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is amerciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.

That was kind of a long entry, so I won't lengthen it much by adding a lot of commentary, but I'm grateful that even after EFY, I have constant reminders that always point to the truth of God.

Love Always,