Saturday, May 30, 2015

our wonderful, beautiful, and kind of crazy weekend in Houston

Last Friday, Sadie and I had an opportunity to travel to Houston. Our summer schedule is already packed, but we both felt the need to return to her mission stomping grounds before too much time passed.  For eighteen months, we received Sadie's weekly emails full of excitement and love and sometimes heart break for the people of Houston.  I was beyond excited to have this chance to meet some of them face to face.  As we visited the homes of many of these people,  they shared with me again and again the love they have for "Sister Maughan". As I listened to these amazing individuals and families share of their experiences with Sadie in their homes, it made every second of her absence from our home worth it.

In pictures...

The Houston mission president, President Mortensen and his beautiful family. The Mortensen's have put their lives on hold, and moved their whole family from California to Houston for the three years that they will be serving.

This is a group of twenty somethings from a single adult congregation that Sadie served in.   On Monday night we  had the chance to go rock climbing with them, and even I got to the top of a wall (go me!).   A little bit about the "crazy" part of our weekend….  Most of you are probably aware of the powerful thunderstorms and devastating flooding that took place in Houston last weekend.  During one of these storms, while we were rock climbing, the entire venue lost power.  For forty five minutes we debated if we should leave or wait for the pounding rains to stop….

Enter Johnny and Quynh.  Like the true gentlemen that they are, they offered to escort us on the freeway (by having us follow them with their hazards) and help us get home.  The freeway was already flooding in certain spots and it was definitely what my dad used to call, "white knuckle driving".  
As we left the rock climbing place and got on the freeway, it was intense….walls of water every second and almost zero visibility between the wiper blades beating.  Without the steady blink of Quinn's orange hazards, I wouldn't have been able to continue driving. Thankfully, we arrived safely at Chili's, and when our dinner was done, to my relief, so was the rain. Thank you Quynh and Johnny!

Another highlight of our trip, getting to see this guy, my nephew Clark.  Clark will be coming home in one month. 

And this is Sister Nielsen, one of Sadie's very favorite companions.  She also will be coming home in one month.

Loved this one of the girls…..Sister Nielsen, Sister Jeppson, and Sister Peterson are all wearing shirts Sadie left behind.  I guess it's kind of tradition to dump your wardrobe when you come home.  After eighteen months of the same clothes, I get it.

Got to treat this fine group to lunch. 

And after three short days, our trip to Houston was done. I felt so very bugged that we didn't have a little more time to explore this amazing city. But, if you  ever get down that way, do try the gelato from Rao's Bakery. Sadie opted for Strawberry Shortcake and the Tiramisu I had was Italy at it's finest. 

  And if you happen to be in the area do try this place too...

Bananas Foster and Chocolate crepes.  So very worth it.  

I loved everything about Houston... the food, the happiest tree lined streets, and most of all the people. 
We felt so very sad to learn of the deaths and severe damage caused by the devastating floods. Many prayers for the people of Houston. 

I look forward to going back someday.  
There are so many background stories with each one of the people that Sadie had an opportunity to work with.  The stories are unique and beautiful as the people.  But tomorrow I want to share one story that was especially powerful to me.  It's the story of Krysta, and it's a story no parent should ever have to tell. 
Thank you to each and every one of you that welcomed us into your homes!
I heart Houston!

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