Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 41 - Typhoon Glenda, transfers, STL

Week 41
I keep saying every week gets crazier and literally it cannot get weirder than last week. EVERYTHING went upside down. First of all Glenda paid a nice little visit to my town. That typhoon was pretty scary. Then we had transfers and President Mangum called me tuesday morning to let me know I would be serving as a Sister Training Leader and would be going to another province across our mission! It's far, there are tons of Elders and not lots of Sisters. 

Okay first- Glenda. Tuesday was rainy but normal. Then tuesday night around 10 pm I was doing laundry and it started pouring. Apparently a text was sent out earlier that afternoon to prepare for a typhoon but we never got it. So at 2 am the wind it SO strong and the rain is leaking from our roof. My companion (Sister Taufa) woke up screaming because she is so scared. We both had no idea what was happening! So we prayed, found a place without water and slept (not really) for a little while. We woke up at 6 am the storm was just as bad. Those couple of hours we heard the scariest things. Tin roofs ripping off the houses of our neighbors, people crying and trees falling everywhere crashing into stuff! We stayed inside and it cleared around 8 am the rain slowed a lot. We went outside to walk around and my town was destroyed. The elementary school was totally wrecked from all of the trees that fell over it. The electric lines were tangled in the trees, and there was just mess everywhere. So we changed clothes and went out to check on members who told us the most horrifying stories of what happened during the storm. One area we have lots of investigators there were a few deaths. 3 of our investigators lots their homes completely. The members were so grateful for our help. Even though I literally couldn't stop crying all day we were able to share with some members and give them news about the other ones we had seen. My heart just went out to these people I loved. And the hardest part was knowing I would be leaving the next day and couldn't really help them at all. The office Elders drove to our house around 7 pm to tell us transfers were still happening the next day so we packed by candlelight and woke up the nest morning to go to the mission home. The highways had pushed most of the debris to the side on roads by then. 

Anyway then I met my new companion and we drove out about 2 1/2 hours to Lucena! I got to talk with a few of the sisters and I am so excited to go on exchanges with all of them soon! I feel a little overwhelmed at times about all of our responsibilities but I am trying to keep a perspective. I have felt many times on my mission that there are certain missionaries Heavenly Father has sent me to. I love talking with them, and helping them with the trials they are going through. I am excited to be able to help and serve the sisters in my mission. And to have more opportunities to learn from President Mangum. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for our safety here and for the example of the members in Calauan. Even though my Bishop there lost tons of stuff, including the 2nd floor of his house, he was smiling went we went to visit them. They were all sitting around their wet stuff laughing. What a testimony to all of us that in any circumstance we can be grateful for the many things we have been blessed with. 

Have a good week! 
Love always

Sister Gaspar de Alba

Pre-Glenda sunset

 rambutan- a really yummy fruit. sister taufa hadn't tried it yet so we found a man sitting outside his house with a huge tree and asked for some! it was quite the adventure jumping to get it down. he gave us tons! i love filipinos. 

  i got to be companions with this great sister for a week!  

a tree fell on this elementary school

  this is a main highway covered in trees and water from the storm.   

  checking up on bishop and reporting to him about the members. this was the afternoon after the storm had cleared.   

  a member family in our ward offered us buko since their trees had shaken off a whole bunch. i said- yes we will be there asap. buko is my favorite! so we went hunting in their huge chunk of land and brother chopped up lots for us. we drank straight from good.   


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