Monday, December 8, 2014

Typhoon Ruby (Haguput)

Hey I'm on!!   I'm doing fine!  we are in sogod right now :).  we spent the last few nights here at the chapel in sogod with all our zone.  We haven't heard for sure  how hinunangan is doing yet though :(  i'm working on a big email, so that will answer alot of your questions:). the storm was not too bad here in sogod.  it hit two other zones in samar really hard though, and the missionaries are taken out of them.  power is on here, but not yet in hinunangan, and no cell there either yet.  so we won't be able to go back till that comes back up, possibly on friday. we might go pack up our stuff tomorrow, and check out the area.  we've heard from our district president that hinunangan is totally fine, but his wife said it was hit HARD and there's lots of damage.  so we have no idea.  Thats been hardest part of all of this, being away from hinunangan during it all. We still have no idea how bad it is.  We will probably get to go back tomorrow and visit people and check out the area with our zl.  also mom, my zone leader said thanks for the letter you sent back to him, he really appreciated it :)

Hello Family,

Alright, this is going to be a very scattered email, since there's a lot to tell, but I'll do my best! Haha you'll just have to read my journal when i get home :).  We survived everything just fine :).  Ever since the very beginning, I have felt so much peace and comfort from the Lord.  We started hearing about the storm from the people we were teaching on wednesday, and thursday morning we got a call from our zone leader that we needed to prepare a weeks survival kit so we could be ready to evacuate to sogod chapel as soon as we got the call, if it came to that.  They are SO much more prepared for typhoons now, and would pull out all the missionaries if there was a chance that they could get stuck like with yolanda.  We headed right away to sogod to get the food and everything we needed, since the soonest he said we could evacuate was the next day.  But on the bus ride, we got the call to come straight to sogod to stay. So....we had nothing with us.  No clothes, no garments, no journals or scriptures or anything!  Haha and since we had just started packing a lot of stuff was on the floor.  oops.  The first thing we did when we heard about the storm, was say a prayer there on the bus.  And I can't even describe how much comfort I felt!  It was amazing.  I just felt so calm, and I knew everything would be fine.  That was the first of many many prayers.  We prayed all the time for the families of the missionaries, that they would be comforted and know that we would be protected, and I hope you guys felt that :).  We were mostly worried about the people in our area.  They wouldn't really know what was coming, and a lot of their homes could get pretty damaged if the storm was strong.  We wouldn't be there to invite them to the church to be safe and to help them be comforted :(. We finally got to sogod and the sisters had bought a weeks worth of food for us :).  They are the sweetest.  Haha sister brereton is hilarious, I've loved spending this time with her.  we picked up a couple last things we needed and then hurried and did a bunch of sister breretons laba so we could have some clothes to wear for the next few days.  she's been letting us wear her clothes since friday haha.  she is the BEST.  that evening we found out the storm had slowed down so we got to go on splits with the sisters and warn people and invite them to stay at the chapel :). The next day we were able to go out again and do that too. There were SO MANY people staying at the church, it was so great.  Lots of non members too.  WE got to talk to alot of them about the gospel a little, and you could really see how this storm softened their hearts.  I really hope that has happened with people everywhere that has been affected.  We also got to play with all the kids!! It was so fun, that was my favorite :).  they help so much with the language haha, since they love to talk to you and will just laugh when you don't understand.  We taught them down by the banks and they LOVED that.  And we played a bunch of other little games and just talked to them.  It was soooo fun :).  I loved it! The storm hit saturday night around midnight.  We were in the chapel, which is a super sturdy building, so were weren't worried about us at all.  It was hard to sleep though knowing how many more people there were out there in the storm.  Sunday we got up and everything was calm.  Everyone left that morning, and then we had sacrament meeting :).  A lot of people still came to church, even though the storm was just that morning.  It was wonderful :).  we were out of power and water until last night, so have just been hanging out at the chapel the last few days since we can't go out and work.  It has been so WEIRD to not be busy but so fun too to be with all these missionaries:). I am so ready to get back to work though!  transfers will be whenever the can get the zones in samar organized again, and all the areas evaluated.  the poor new missionaries that just got here are still just hanging out in tacloban i think.  What a crazy first week for them :(. It will possibly be this friday or next week sometime.  I am transferring to st. bernard!  elders are moving to hinunangan, and sisters to st bernard.  It's close to hinunangan, about an hour and a half, and same district.  I get to stay with sister kalua santiago for a little longer though :). Right now the plan is to go to hinunangan tomorrow and check out everything and pack up all our stuff.  and clean the house if it got flooded :).  then come back here i think? haha we are kinda just going day to day right now.  Its all going to be fine though, don't even worry :).  There have been so many miracles through out all of this, that there is no doubt in my mind that this storm is part of heavenly fathers plan for these people.  I pray for us missionaries that we can go out now and help these people recover.  I pray that this storm will soften their hearts to the gospel, instead of hardening them! The lord has a plan for each and every one of us. prayer is so POWERFUL.  The Lord is so willing to bless us, if we just ask!  

Ah I love you all.  Like I've alwyas said, i pray for you all the time, even more this week :).  Ali, i loved your letter, thank you :).  I/m gonna write you back soon !  Talk to you all next week!

Sister Mortensen

Playing With the Kids at the Church in Sogod

"Our awesome nanay dresses!"

Eating corn for dinner.

Bri with Sister Kalua-Santiago and Sister Brereton

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