How are you all? First off I will apologize right of the bat that I haven't been able to reply to everyone personally, including mom and dad, I'll try my best next week:)
So...this week has been just about the craziest, but most amazing weeks of my entire life. As in it has pushed us, suprised us, stretched us, but every night I go to bed praying and crying to our Heavenly Father in gratitude for the tender mercies He has showered on Baler this week. From this week I know that Heavenly Father lives. I know that He cares. I know He protects all His children, both spiritually and temporally when otherwise all could be lost. I know that unity is real- we've experienced it has a branch and also has a zone. I know that anything is possible. And I know, now without a doubt, that we can do hard things if we just strive to be obedient and do the will of the Lord. All things truly work out for the good of those who love Him.
Maybe I'll just do a quick run-down of how everything has gone this last week and a half, starting with Wednesday, October 16:
Oct. 14- received a text from the mission, telling us about a potential storm coming in and to get our 72 hour kits ready.
Oct. 16- got a call early in the morning from President Clark. To quote he said, "Sisters, today is evacuation day in Baler. I need you to be on the bus by 1:00." So we shipped out!
Oct. 17-19 The storm hit on the 18 and the entire mission was in lock-down. As in we didn't go outside all day for Sunday and Monday. Lots of wind and rain. I always kind of thought that would be fun...but it wasn't haha! There's only so many things you can do in a house with no electricity and a scarcity of entertainment. We read a lot of Liahona magazines, let me tell you;)
Oct. 20 We were allowed to return to Baler. I was scared to see what had happened, but it was actually better than I thought it would be. People were working like nothing had happened. We found out that lots of houses had been damaged and lots of areas had flooded badly, but luckily everyone was safe.
Oct. 21-22- returned to work, spent most of the time visiting everyone and making sure they were ok.
Oct. 23-24- Packed lots and lots and LOTS of relief goods for some of the outlying areas in the province that had been hit the worst by the storm. All the members from Baler district came and they were awesome. It was actually a lot of fun. The elders also had a baptism, but because there's no electricy, there's also no running water, so they got baptized in the ocean!!
Oct. 25- we had so many people at church!! It was amazing and the spirit was strong! The chapel was still full of relief goods and we still don't have electricity, but the spirit was so strong as we sang and testified and strengthened one another. We had a lot of less actives come who haven't been to church the entire time I've been in Baler! Everyone was so happy:)
Sorry I wish I could fully describe how everything went! I am also wishing I took more pictures...sorry mom! But just know that this week was awesome, It was amazing truly, and thanks again for all your love and prayers for us here:)
Love you all!!!