We went to bed on Thursday night with hard rain, and we woke up on Friday morning with it raining just as hard. We talked to the maintenance man here at the apartment complex, and there are other basements here that have flooded now. Because our basement became a continual problem they finally put in a sump pump -- our basement is dry. It definitely is not cold with the rain. It gets quite humid, but our apartment is comfortable if we have the dehumidifier and air conditioners on. Our air conditioners are definitely not what you would call "designer dreams". Cool is worth the ugliness. We are up above the streams, but many roads are and have been closed. Downtown Utica was flooded and lots of inconvenience with road closures. We are grateful for safety.This weather is supposed to continue for the rest of the week.
Herkimer was in the news again. Our branch is located there, and the city was flooded horribly on Thursday night/Friday morning. Our missionaries had water up to the dashboard and into their brand new car. The car still worked, so they went to Utica to the mission home where they have a wet/dry vacuum. They have stayed a couple of days because the hot water heater not working as it was down in the basement and it was flooded. The National Guard was called in to help.
We had branch members who lost everything except their house-- their animals, garden, complete back yard. The water completely covered their backyard. A large work party went to their home yesterday to try to re-route the normally shallow little stream that at most is 6' wide. There are streams all over the county, and the flood alert is not over. The mission president went to this home, and when it is time that the water has receded enough, the missionaries in this zone will go out there to try to help with the cleanup. Other people had basements flooded, no electricity, etc. etc. etc.
I must say that it is beautiful here with all of the green. We went out to the branch president's home yesterday -- without the GPS we would never find anything. Their home was 20 miles away in the most beautiful countryside.
The freeway picture is the Revolutionary Trail now a freeway. Such a lot of history here, and the villages are often more than 200 years old. We don't always get our Preparation Days, so we are only able to explore once in a while. Next Saturday we have a baptism -- which is a great thing!!!
We were sustained and set apart today as Primary workers. We teach the 7 year old CTR class, a great group of kids. I hurry from class to Sharing Time where I play the piano -- I don't do that so well, but getting better. I used to know the Primary songs on the piano, but if you don't use it you lose it.
Again, we feel very blessed to be able to serve a mission here in New York. I don't know what I was expecting, but I am happy and pleased that we made the decision to serve. Our lives are blessed from associating with the missionaries, the humble people in the branch, our mission president and the others with whom we serve. I will never be the same. My love for the Savior has increased, and I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and our modern-day prophet. We love each of you and are so grateful for notes and emails that we receive. It means a lot.
Grammy and Papa, Elder and Sister Cutler, Friends