Friday, December 12, 2014

Typhoon Hagupit

On December 6th, 2014 a large typhoon was predicted to hit the Philippines. Initially it was labeled as a "Super Typhoon." Due to the horrible typhoon that hit the Philippines last year, the people were understandably very scared, and of course, those of us who were here in the States were nervous for Elder and Sister Galbraith. Through the miracle of modern technology, we were able to be in contact with them as they prepared for the typhoon, and even during the actual storm. Sister Galbraith posted a few updates on Facebook:

"We have been told that the typhoon will hit us early Sunday morning. Some missionaries are being instructed to go to the stake centers or to other missionaries' apartments that are deemed safer and to bring 5 days worth of food and water. Last night I bought 400 antibiotic pills. It's a good thing the pharmacy does not require prescriptions. I'm really scared for the others. Elder Galbraith and I should be okay. I'm so grateful that we live in the mission office. Don't have to worry about flooding. We should be prepared pretty well....candles, water, food., plastic and paper ware. We have a gas stove so cooking won't be a problem. I bought wet wipes and small garbage bags just in case we're unable to use our toilet. I wish I brought that portable toilet like the ones I gave you guys for Christmas last year. Sister Mangum said the last time (in July) she did not shower for 3 days. The wet wipes will come in handy here. There was no internet service for a week. So who knows when I'll get to update again. On the other hand we really don't know how things will go until the typhoon comes. We are all praying it will weaken by the time it gets here. Please remember us in your prayers."

"All night non stop intermittent moderate to heavy rain and wind. It's now 10:30 am. Still raining, just moderate with some wind. Went to check the evacuees at the chapel...about 40 people. Each family took a room, slept on the tile floor. Some had really thin mattress pad, if you could call that a pad. Some just a sheet. My heart just breaks for these people. I felt so guilty getting to sleep on a comfortable bed with nice mattress and sheets. But nobody's complaining. In fact, they all had smiles, having fun, as if they were just on a camp out. The bishop had provided breakfast so I thought I'd cook some sinigang..with MEAT! Not just bones. It will be a real treat for them. I also wanted to cook adobo with pork and chicken but no chicken at the palenke. In fact there wasn't much pork. And the veggies are suddenly pricey!. Oh well, I better start cooking."

"2:45 PM. Looks really gloomy but rain and wind stopped. Hope that's the last of it. Hurray!!!! Cooked the sinigang for the evacuees. I think they liked it. Loved it even. So sad to watch. Actually, just Gordon and I were sad. The people were all smiles and when the food blessing was said, the young man thanked Heavenly Father for all their blessings! And for the church and for being together as a family. I wish everybody in America could have heard that. Because I know some of them will be cursing God for being put in this situation."

Not only did Sister Galbraith cook sinigang with actual MEAT, but Sister Mangum (the mission president's wife) provided ground beef, and Sister Galbraith cooked spaghetti for the evacuees at the church. Ground beef is something that is completely unaffordable for most people there, and so it was an amazing treat for them. The little children at the church took HEAPING plates full and for the rest of their lives, will probably remember the time they ate spaghetti with ground beef during Typhoon Hagupit. 

It makes you think twice about the things we take for granted- doesn't it?

We were able to Face Time with them a couple of times throughout the storm and they confirmed that their area did not get hit very hard. However, other areas did. Their bishop announced that a member family on another island had been killed in the storm, so not everyone got off easily. 

We were so thankful that things were not worse for our missionaries! 

Though the typhoon has now passed, Elder and Sister Galbraith still appreciate your prayers in their behalf! They love serving the missionaries and the Happy People of the Philippines.