So first off is that the storm was obviously weaker then yolanda from last year, as I am e-mailing home only a day late, and I will explain later. All is well, and the Philippines is at its regular routine, it was a miracle. basically the storm was weakened enough by the time it hit us.
The story goes.. Friday we get a call to start preparing for the storm by making sure we have our 72 hr kits, food, water, and all other essentials for a huge storm to hit us, at that time it didn't look that bad but slowly it got worse. Saturday we received another phone call that we are going to be evacuated out of our area to a chapel in a different area that is far away from the ocean, and high up in the mountains. We packed our stuff, and headed to the chapel before 8pm and the journey began...
We spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights in the Malinao chapel in the Lopez Zone.. and what an adventure that was, 14 missionaries stuck in a chapel, limited food, water, and nothing to do...
Day 1: Saturday
Day one we got to the chapel, and of course as missionaries we were way excited to see all the other missionaries and the whole zone together. We were all kind of in shock that this whole thing is happened and not even knowing what exactly is going to happen. We all felt that we were just going to get smacked by another huge storm. It turns out the storm slowed down a ton, soo it took days for it to actually get here, and the only news we get is from the the Ap's talking to our Zone Leaders. It was just super cloudy and nasty looking outside the whole day, but no rain or storm yet. That night I slept on the floor, no blanket, no pillow, nothing... haha Lets just say I didn't sleep well that night.
Day 2: Sunday
We woke up on time like we would have if we were in a regular schedule, it was Sunday so we still continued with church because the storm still hasn't hit because it was moving slow and it still looked nasty outside. There was a few members that still came to church and we had a good sacrament meeting, it was kind of cool going to church as a zone. We just had sacrament. After church which was also a fast Sunday, we kind of just spent the next few hours in quite time, reading scriptures or small chat, or the amazing Sunday nap because nobody got sleep. After a couple of hours we starting to play some games, and other fun stuff to pass time, and at night we had a Zone Family Home Evening! Which was really fun, of course tons of little things here and there people did was funny, all of us just still in shock that we are actually having to use our 72 hr kits, and not taking showers. Up to this point the power just went out, and the storm started to pick up but hasn't hit yet. It rained constantly half the day. I managed to grab a couch, I slept a little bit better.
Apparently it rained all night long, and strong rain as well and it ended up backing up the water pipes in the chapel, and the bathroom was over flooding during the night!!! We had members waking us up at 5 in the morning telling us that there was a flood in the chapel, so we all ran around like the fire alarm was going off, and there was 2-4in of water through out the chapel! Coming from the bathrooms! ah man... did it stink... it was so bad! We were all going crazy trying to get the water out of the building because the whole place was flooded. It was just a flowing stream coming out of the pipes in the bathroom into the church. We were trying everything to stop it, and it took us forever to figure out what the problem was, but after a couple of hours we solved it, and ended up cleaning the chapel up by the end of the day which was nice. Today was the day the storm hit, and because we were in the mountains all there was, was heavy rain and winds. We still had signal service for our phones but not electricity, bathrooms didn't work, and also no one has taken a shower for a couple of days, we were all going kind of crazy, and sooo bored... We had to get creative with the bathroom situation too.. haha that story I will have to tell in person... We basically spent the whole day relaxing and playing games, just waiting for the word saying we can go back home. Ultimately the storm was not what we all expected, no trees were knocked over, houses weren't destroyed, just lots of rain and flooding, so it really wasn't that bad but President just wanted to make sure the nothing would happen so he made us stay at the chapel. slept on the floor again..
once again we woke on time, I actually got up a little bit earlier because I couldn't sleep, and because everyone was a sleep i decided to take a shower in the custodial closet mop room haha best shower ever! it was really nice after not taking a shower for 3 days and getting all sweaty and dirty. We stunk so bad.. all of us eating crackers and canned foods for every meal we were so ready to go back home. We finally got the word to leave and we all went to McDonalds and feasted! It was great end to the experience. I have never heard of anything like this in mission happening and its going to be a story for a long time! We learned a lot about how important preparations is for emergency and because we prepared we were just fine during that storm, and managed to have a good time during the whole thing.
The storm is just passing right now as i am writing this e-mail and all is well in the Philippines, nothing is destroyed like it was in Tacloban, just floods, and loss of electricity in some areas. but everyone is back to the daily routine, and I just want to sleep, and eat some more food haha. That was one crazy experience but its time to get back to work! I miss teaching lessons and its only been 4 days! Thank you for everyone's prayers on my behalf and also the Filipino people. We were truly blessed by the storm being slowed and weakened. If you could only see how this people live their daily lives, you would wish that these kind of things would never happen to them because they have it hard enough all ready. I am safe, and well, and getting back to work! I love you all, and I hope you are all Typhoon Survivors!
I will try to send pictures!
|this is the one picture i was talking about in my last e-mail|
|me and Elder Olsen on a Tricycle.|
|Where Elder Olsen and I slept on the first night...|
|The sisters just loving the experience!|
-on the Lord's errand-San Pablo Philippines Mission