Monday, July 21, 2014

I don't think I like rain storms anymore....

Well well well.  So much to say.  My heart kinda hurts about writing this, but it sure was an adventure!  So here goes for a play by play of this week.
 Monday.  Normal.
Tuesday, we got word that a typhoon was on the way of the mission.  It was expected to be pretty big, but always in the past, we hear the news and not much ever happens to us.  So I was honestly surprised by what happened to us here.  Tuesday afternoon continued as normal and we visited our investigators, including the Diaz family (take note of them).  And before we went home for the night, we figured we would stop by the store to buy some candles, matches, water, and of course a tub of ice cream!  So the night continues, we decide to put our stuff up from the ground like suitcases and everything just because it was raining outside and our house tends to flood.  Then we headed to bed at 10:30 pm.  Around 11pm, the wind started picking up, and I kinda had a hard time sleeping considering the fact that I was nervous the house would flood and it was loud outside.  Then it just kept getting stronger and stronger.  The rain was so noisy and intense on the metal outside of our roof and we could hear the trees blowing.  Around 2-3am the power went out and our electric fan was kaput.  Then around 3:30am I put my foot on the ground by my bed to feel for water and sure enough I did!  The water had entered the house!  So I woke the sisters up, they claim it was in a frantic manner, but I think I was pretty calm. hehe  So we wake up and clean up, and then we had the bright idea- oh shoot!  The power is out!  Our ice cream is gonna melt!  So Sister Wilson and I threw that pint down our throats.  So that was nice and partially melted.  Back to sleep again at 4am.  THEN the rain had stopped and the wind.... Hmm.  Kinda suddenly too.  So I am kinda like whaaaa?  Tapos na??  (finished?)  But then surely enough that was just the eye of the storm, where everything is quiet.  And then the tail of the storm hit us!  It was a nice break for everyone to get on their sheet metal roofs and do some nailing down for part two!  Then it all returned and lasted till 9am.  I was exhausted and woke up when it was about finished and then we were all like, "Well, we think our zone training meeting is cancelled..."  Sweet!  Sister Wilson and I didn’t have to do the workshop!  We got to work, mopping out the water from inside the house, sweeping up the leaves outside, and then we kinda just wait to see what we should do.  Eventually the office elders drove over to check on us and they said we were allowed to go out and serve, so we threw on our jeans, grabbed my working gloves and headed out!  Man, it was so dang kuwawa (sad) to see all the snapped trees, broken power lines, missing roofs, trash flown around, and crumbled homes.  
We headed to down the street to the closest members, the Sael family.  They live right next to a small river.......  the flood in their home was up the their shoulders......  their house was completely emptied out and they moved all their things to higher ground.  We helped them retieve their things.  It was so sad to see their scriptures and sunday school books soaked, mission memorabilia covered in water, and everything was just pretty useless.  I cannot comprehend how this family just kept a happy face on!  They were simply grateful to be alive!  I am in awe with these wonderful people!  But I will talk more about their wonderful attributes mamaya.  Then we went to our bishops house, rounded up a few more members and we went on a search to check up on all the members.  It was hard for the other members to go check on everyone because they had to fix their own houses!  So we took the honors since our home is a nice and stable missionary home.  No one really wanted our help because they are all "shy" and everything was basically already fixed.  There was some heavy destruction.  Then we decided to head to the railroads where a lot of members and investigators live.  Basically whenever we saw a person, we stopped and asked them how we could help, everyone has some kind of problem.  Then we passed our investigators, the Diaz family.  I told you to remember that name earlier, so Tuesday, they had a house.  Wednesday, they didnt.  Everything was down.  A tree fell on the house and everything was in shambles.  I couldn’t help but get teary eyed as were watching the son try to put some roofing back on to create some kind of shelter.  They seemed as if they had come to terms with it.  I asked them how we could help, they said there was nothing we could do.  I asked them what they were going to do, and sister just said to me, "I don’t know, I don’t have any money."  There was just a huge pit in my stomach.  I walked away from their home and I just couldn’t stop crying.  Keep the Diaz Family in your prayers please!  I hope we can continue to teach them even though they have a lot going on now.  Oh and Dad, to answer your question, no, none of our investigators have insurance!  They barely have jobs!  Then we went a bit further down the rail road, and the Madrid family, a member family, there was literally NOTHING left of their home.  They had somehow built a new structure further back on the land and their things were all in there as well as with 80 year old grandma.  We came back on Thursday to serve them since it was getting dark out.  When we returned we basically had to force them to let us wash their wet clothes.  It was so sad to see these things but so happy for us to serve these people!  
 On Saturday we managed to plan a service activity with the whole zone for our stake president.  We cleaned up his subdivision and it was good to be with our new zone considering that Transfer day still continued on Thursday.  I will try and send some pics from it.  
 This was the most brutal storm that the province of Laguna has seen in years. Throughout it all, we didn’t have power for 4 days, cell phone service for 3 days, a moldy and odorous fridge, managed to finish reading the book of Mormon and also learned to not eat old eggs that have spots on them and that hard boiling them will still make you sick... (learned that the hard way).  But the greatest lesson I learned was how to be happy even when everything else around you isn't.  These people don’t have much, and now that most of their things are ruined they still thank the lord for what they do have and are happy to continue to serve him.  I love the Pilipino people and I count my blessings everyday to be here to serve them the best way I can, even if it is not rebuilding their homes, I can share with them the gospel.  I love it here!! Please keep the San Pablo mission in your prayers as we overcome all that has happened.  I am doing ok, and have definitely felt your prayers.  I love you all and cannot believe that I have less than 4 months left now!!  Stay strong, but keep your faith stronger!  

PS I just got a text from our mission president that we need to watch out for dengue fever, there has been an outbreak!  So many mosquitoes here!  aw shoooooot!
Sister Waldrom
Mark 8:35-36

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