I'm sorry for no update till now, but it's been a massive 30 hours or so. As predicted Ruby landed. Tacloban was spared the worst of her, but we still had plenty of devastating winds and rain. I didn't get any sleep as she raged all night till about 5am. I snatched a couple of hours then. Eventful night for us as at about 10pm we heard a mighty crash of splintering glass. The downstairs glass sliding doors were blown in and the elements entered. We cleared the room of furniture and left the room to fend for itself for the night. We are safe and unharmed. That's all that matters.
Enough about us. I'm sure you want to know about our precious cargo. At 8am this morning all Zones, except Tolosa, Carigara, and Biliran, had reported they were safe and unharmed. The other three zones had no cell phone connection as towers must have been down. President and I drove out to Burauen at about 11am where Tolosa was found safe and happy (see photos). After assessing the safety of the roads we dispatched two of our office staff (Elders Oakes and Mata) at about 2pm to head to Carigara and then Biliran to check on the other two zones. They are still on the road and are expected back in about an hour. We think they may have problems getting to Biliran as there is a notorious part of the road there that is known for flooding. They were under strict instructions not to attempt access if there was any flooding. I will report to you once they get back. I spent the rest of the day helping president clean up and prepare food for our 23 new missionaries. It's been an exhausting day, but one full of joy and blessings. I cried when I saw our Tolosa missionaries, not because I feared for them but simply because I love them and it was like seeing my own children after being away from them for a long time. I love my job!
I'll keep you posted on further updates as we get them. Missionaries will stay tonight in the chapels again and return to their apartments tomorrow (unless assessed otherwise). Power is out in most parts of Region 8, so you probably won't get an email from your missionary tomorrow. It's been an exciting day. We look forward with anticipation of moving the work forward.
UPDATE: Elders Oakes and Mata have just messaged us and all missionaries in Carigara and Biliran are safe and accounted for. The elders will stay over night in Biliran and return tomorrow.