Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chaparrastique Rings in the New Year!

We started out the week with a bang!  Last Monday morning I got up at 5 am to get this blog written in time for Joseph to see it, and I found a message in my Inbox from Sis. Glazier, Joshua's mission president's wife.

Dear Parents,
No need for alarm, but many of you will have heard about the eruption of the San Miguel volcano today.  All of our missionaries are accounted for and safe. We have evacuated San Miguel, Usulutan, and San Vicente to the capital for safety. All are well and safe. We felt the hand of the Lord in all that occurred today. The President felt that he should attend church in a city near the volcano. We saw it explode. We were able to reach San Miguel so quickly.  All of the missionaries (54 of them) we were able to contact. (that is a miracle alone, because only 3 have cell phones, but because it was during church, we reached them all.) Our missionaries in Berlin (who were very close to the volcano) just “happened” to have the counselor in the mission presidency visiting. He had them in his car and on the way to San Salvador in a matter of 10 minutes. It was all such a miracle.

We are so thankful for your continued prayers. Please pray for the saints who remain in those affected areas. Pray that the missionary work will be blessed because of this disaster—that hearts will be softened and opened.

We are so thankful for you faithful sons and daughters. They were courageous, uncomplaining, and very obedient today. We are so grateful for their wonderful examples.  They will all be writing you tomorrow of their adventures, but we wanted you all to know that they are safe and well and that God has truly blessed our mission this day, so that you, too, could offer Him a prayer of thanksgiving. How blessed we are! He is so magnificent. We are so grateful. God bless all of you.

President and Sister Glazier

The Chaparrastique volcano is 30 miles from the city of San Miguel, where Joshua is serving.

I immediately wrote this back to her:

Thank you for the message this morning!

It struck me (after the initial shock - ha ha) what a miracle it is that Elder ___ asked to extend his mission a few months ago, and that his request was granted.  This means that he is now in a position of leadership in the Zone most affected by this explosion, instead of going home in 3 days.  As you said, so many miracles!  Thank you again for your quick response in letting us know what is going on.  We love you and will continue our fervent prayers for you and the missionaries!

Within minutes, she wrote back the following:

Sister _______,
I just had to write you. It is NO ACCIDENT that E _____ was there. I told him that is one of the reasons he was called to serve there. He was fabulous. He whisked those missionaries into position, rented a bus to transport them, gathered them together (38 is no small feat, especially when only 3 have a cell phone), bought waters for the bus, and kept everyone calm and happy.  It actually was very miraculous. He is such a great young man--full of faith, and very diligent.  We LOVE having him in our mission. What a great example he is.  Thanks for raising such a wonderful son. May God continue to bless your family always. 

Hna Glazier
 And she sent these pictures.

Arriving in San Salvador after a 3 1/2 hour bus trip.  (Notice Josh on the right of the picture turning around to help the Hermanas.)
 (And then you can see him in this picture carrying one of their bags.)
 The temple missionaries cooked and served them all dinner (they hadn't eaten all day) at the Temple cafeteria.

Here's what Josh had to say about it.

So, volcano story.
We were halfway through the second class (on Sunday), and we saw everyone running for the entrance of the church. That's when we first saw a bunch of smoke, dust, and ash just flowing out of the top of the volcano. Super crazy! The stake president was there and he told everyone to calm down, and that we were in the most protected place in all of San Miguel at that moment.
It was true. A few members got scared and left, but many stayed and continued the meetings. True faith and obedience It was interesting to see that many of the less strong members were the ones that were really scared and not in the classes.
So, we waited and called the bishops of the different wards, telling them to let the missionaries know not to leave.
Miracle, President just happened to be in an area really close, so then they showed up. We got the message that they wanted everyone to leave san miguel, and usulutan, so we started calling them and we got everyone together, rented a bus, and left. It was a blessing that we were there in the stake, because the other zone leaders couldn't get a hold of some missionaries, but we were there with the stake president, so we could get the numbers quickly for them.
The good thing, it wasn't a huuuuge panic. Just a ton of dust. But it will definitely be a chance for people to think and consider their blessing and come unto the church.
I am so grateful that Joshua is there for another six weeks to lead his zone through this time of upheaval.  This all happened on Sunday, and I heard on the news that there was another ash plume on Monday.  So it will be interesting to see what kind of week Josh had!  I know that Heavenly Father has everything planned, in intricate detail, but it is still amazing to me that Josh's request to extend was granted several months ago (and Josh told me that Pres. Glazier rarely lets people extend), and that Josh is there to help instead of having to come home and wondering what was going on down there!  It is truly a miracle!

This week brought a new little person to my extended family!  Risa was born to Chris and Elena.  Yeah! 
I love that her name comes from "sonrisa", which means "smile" in Spanish.  We're so excited to have her in our family! Isn't she beautiful?

We went over to Gil and Avis' house for New Year's Eve.  They moved here in August, and they live in back of us, and across the street.  You can see their house from our back window in between the other houses.  The party was originally at another house, but the lady got sick, so she cancelled on Tuesday morning.  Of course my first thought was, "Well, we can have it here!"  But Bruce came back with, "Can't you let someone else host the party for once?"  Ha ha ha.  Well, OK.  So thankfully Avis stepped up.  Michael and Amy, who also just moved into the ward, also came with their 7 children.  Gil and Avis have 4.  So we were surrounded by children the whole night.  After we got home Bruce said, "I forgot what it was like to have so many children running around."  haha  Yes - we are getting older.  Here is a picture of Ryan and I.  Ryan made this cake by himself for the party, which was impressive in and of itself, but what was more, he added licorice rope to the cake!  This made me laugh so hard - I had to have a picture of it!  Very creative!

Mary got to go with Nicholas to see the first "Potato Drop" on New Year's Eve!

Jesse had to go back to school on Friday.  :(  We miss her already, but we loved the time she was home with us!

Bruce had to go back to work too!  As in, really back to work.  He began commuting into town again for work, which he hasn't done for years.  He is into work by 7:00 am, and then comes home around 3:30 pm.  This is a lot different than what he's been doing for the last 3-4 years, and comes because of a corporate decision that changed the definition of what a telecommuter is.  They now define it as someone who lives over an hour away from work.  We don't live that far, so he has to go in.  Ahhhh.  Hopefully some good will come of it - he can listen to scriptures and books on tape back and forth from work.

Saturday, Peter had his first snowboarding race with his school team.  He borrowed a friend's snowboard, and used his new jacket that he got for Christmas and had a blast snowboarding all day.  He said he didn't do too well on the race, but no big deal - it was his first one!

This Fast Sunday we are fasting as a stake for moisture in our area.  We are behind in the water stores for this year, so we are praying for more water.

Mary, Jesse, Bruce and I have been reading the whole Book of Mormon over the break.  Mary finished yesterday!  She read the whole thing in 12 days.  I am so very proud of her!  Bruce is ahead of me, and we are still reading...  I don't know if Jesse finished yet or not.  It's a great tradition!

I am excited for 2014!  I have firm goals set in place and I'm excited to go out and achieve them!  One fun thing already happened - I had 581 views on my blog last week (not this one - my essential oils blog), so that was a new milestone.  The most I've had before was in the low 100's.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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