Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 9, 2014 - Ayungon, Negros Oriental

Posing on the causeway

Rock garden

Elder Pascua's told me about how in Manila, if there's just a little rain, the drains clog up and they get floods, and if there's a typhoon, that chaos is just the common occurrence. But absolutely none of that befell us here in Bindoy. This whole story of Bagyong Ruby (Typhoon Hagupin?) Starts two weeks ago...

Like I told you last week, we actually had a tropical storm (Baguio Queenie) come directly through Negros last week, which is what caused floods, broken banana plants, and the washed-out bridge (which I still haven't gotten a picture of yet.), and after it came through, people started looking ahead at this new storm brewing out there. We started hearing about this storm that was coming in, it's bigger and faster that Yolanda was, and it's headed straight for Samar/Leyte again. And so for about a week, there was all this news about preparations, all over the place just preparing. We got it here, people driving around in vans pahibalo-ing (causing to know) about the bagyo, where to go to evacuation centers. 

But last p-day (wednesday), we were advised to get our 72 hour kits into order, which we did, because at that time especially, the storm looked like it was going to sit right over the Central Visayas. Then on Friday, we were told we needed to get back home by 5pm, so that we could be safe. All day, we were teaching everyone about the words of our modern-day prophet, about emergency preparedness. We ran into a few people that would say "Oh, we're not going to evacuate, we're just praying and trusting in the Lord." "Sister, your house is literally on bamboo stilts on top of the sea, you need to get out of here if they tell you to." "Well, yeah, we'll go to the school if there's an evacuation call." But for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we did this, on Friday, we got home at 5, Saturday at 12 noon, and then on Sunday, we were not allowed to leave the house. We didn't go to church, we juts had a little special sacrament the four of us in the house. We had an Investigator, Sister Sheila, come to church to find we weren't there. But we were advised not to leave our houses, because the storm was moving so slow, and we weren't sure where it was headed. But we never got more than a few sprinkles of rain and a few gusts of wind here. We truly were blessed in this that we were protected from the storm. And we got to watch an old school 1970's Joseph Smith First Vision video. It was a good time. 

 I talked to some people, and they said there was none of this for Yolanda last year, no prep was done at all. It reminded me a lot of Katrina, how there was no preparation and response, and people were outraged, and then the next year, there was another storm building up in the Gulf of Mexico, about to hit New Orleans again, and there was a ton of Natl Guard, and everyone preparing, and then the storm just died away. That's what it feels like happened here. 

So all in all, I am fine. Negros is Fine. Today is a very hot and a rather dry day, I had the feeling this morning riding a pedicab here that I haven't had for almost a year: the need for chapstick. In the beginning of this new transfer here in Ayungon and in our companionship, I've seen a little more clearly the hand of the Lord. His Help and his love. I know that this work is a flood of righteousness which will bring the Earth to rest. (Moses 7:62) It is a work of peace, from the Prince of Peace.

I love you all. Thank you for the concern, and for the prayers. We've needed it.

Elder Dunford

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