Area 2 week 33 -Ethan survived the flooding in Pensacola, Ft. Lauderdale temple dedication, family history fair

famhistfair (2)posterfort-lauderdale-mormon-temple

Dear Family,

well its been an interesting week, a lot has happened with a lot of excitement! as yall know there was a huge lightning storm that hit Florida and surrounding states Tuesday afternoon and continued until Wednesday morning. it was definitely the biggest storm that i have ever been in, we dont get anything like that in Utah thats for sure. and coupled with the storm were numerous tornadoes, throughout the mission, one of them in our area. we heard that there was somewhere around 42,000 lightning strikes or flashes over the course of the storm, and 26 inches of rain in some areas of Pensacola. and with all that rain there was some pretty severe flooding in areas of the city and some damage along with it. large sections of Scenic highway collapsed and other roads throughout the city. houses were flooded as well, we heard somewhere around 20 deaths from mississippi to pensacola. luckily through all this we along with all the missionaries in the mission stayed safe. as well as the members of the ward, all reported to be well and safe.
we didnt get much excitement other than we watched the storm. tuesday morning at district meeting there was a conference call with President Smith where he informed us all of the forecast and stuff and told us all to cancel everything and head strait back to our apartments. we were planning of doing a tradeoff that day with Perdido so that didnt happen, but since they were a good drive from their apartment they came to spend the night in ours. but it ended up being 2 nights since president didnt want us going out at all on Wednesday either. we got to the apartment an just did really what ever the whole time. our apartment is on the 2nd floor so we were safe from flooding, the parking lot did flood about knee deep though. so we spent 48 hours confined to the apartment. we got all the cleaning done in just a couple so there was nothing else to do besides some studies and watch the missionary DVD’s. luckily we had plenty of food to last and no power outages because we are in the nicer part of the city. other missionaries from the pensacola zone were evacuated due to their apartments flooding but we were completely dry here. it was just a crazy storm is all.
Thursday we finially got the okay to leave our apartment and go back to work. we didnt get any calls from anyone that needed service and everyone we called was fine. so we just went about our day we had planned keeping an eye out for opporitunities. we didnt find any, just a lot of road damage to repair. Friday we spent most of the day preparing for the Cultural Family History event on Saturday. this event has been in the planning since ive been here and its finally here. we each made a family history poster to display so that took some time, as well as organizing everyone to be there as well as getting computers donated for the day so we could get people signed up. 
Saturday was the Event and it was a success. we spent the morning finishing our preparations and then setting up the gym with all the displays and tables and food. it looked great and really official looking. the event went from 3-6 and we had a good turn out. im not sure how many non-members came but there were plenty of members from throughout the stake. we didnt see any of the investigators or other people we invited or arent members. but other missionaries did have people come and they enjoyed it. after it was over we cleaned it all up and helped clean the church and set up chairs for the Temple dedication Sunday. Yesterday was the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple dedication and it was being broadcast to our church. so that was really cool to see, President Uchtdorf, Elder Christofferson, Elder Rasband, and Bishop Stevenson all were there.
thats about it for the week, obviously we had like no time at all to teach so didnt get much done. but now that some big things are out of the way we can really get down and work. we are still doing a lot of less-active work and looking to find some new investigators who are ready to move. we are working hard and im loving the work.
im looking forward to talking with yall on sunday, and will mostlikely be calling from skype. we are only 1 hour a head of yall here but ill try to call around 6 or 7 our time. we havent got it set up yet with a member so if anything ill just call. sounds like everything is going great back home, but busy. thanks for all the concern, and i am safe and sound. i do have a makeshift 72 hour kit that i through together, that has a bunch of caned beans, spam and water. i also ordered one of the bags from the mission but doesnt have all the food. so i should be good there. yall have a great week! i love Yall!
Elder Balling

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