Monday, December 15, 2014

Week #9

December 14, 2014


Well I am alive! It was great having a typhoon three days after I arrived in Tacloban! But I'm fine! I will include some pictures. So I got my first companion! He's a pretty cool guy and helps a lot in the day to day stuff that I struggle with! The people in my area are awesome!!! I got assigned to the Talosa Zone for my first area and it's so cool. I have also now accepted that I am going to live in a sauna for the next two years of my life so I have gotten over that portion of my stay. I was trying to be able to get to the internet cafe earlier today so I could email while you were still awake but I got hung up doing laundry... Hand washing is hard! haha I'll have to show you how to do it when I get back! The kids are so funny in my area! Any kid over the age of 5 loves me! But any kid under the age of five is deathly afraid of me. The typhoon was cool! It wasn't as bad as we all thought it would be considering how big it was and it was category 4! Some trees still got ripped out of the ground and houses got destroyed though. It's awesome finally being out in the field! I finally get to teach real people and know what its really like. Elder Woolston (my companion from the mtc) is in my district. Basta, I don't know if I am going to lose weight on my mission! All the Philippinos seem to think that because I am american I need to be fed at all times! Joke lang! Even though they feed me a ton I am already slimming down! So that makes me happy! Also mom what about those packages you sent? I haven't gotten them yet. Well If you are still awake email me back! I love you all!

Elder Child

Brett with his new companion, Elder Estrada.  He says that this is what 75% of his area looks like.
Here they are on a motorcycle.  He said there were actually 5 of them on this motorcycle being taken to an appointment.
This is the barbed wire around the apartment where he stayed during the typhoon.  I didn't ask why.

Typhoon Ruby Updates

December 5, 2014

To the families of our missionaries!

This is a message of hope and notification about what we are doing to ensure the safety 
of your missionaries serving in the Philippines Tacloban Mission. As you may be aware 
there is a tropical typhoon (Ruby) heading towards the Philippines. We are closely 
watching the developments as the storm approaches from the east. The latest projection is 
that it will cross the coast at Borongan City Saturday night, and then go further West.

We have removed ALL missionaries from Borongan Zone, and have gathered each Zone's 
missionaries in their respective Zones in a location that is safe. If it gets worse, then 
we will move them to the Chapel, but at this stage we have no missionaries in Chapels. 
The weather is currently calm, with light cloud cover.

Your missionary has been alerted to prepare for a storm.  Their preparations will 
include but are not limited to preparing for possible flooding, checking their 72 hour 
kits, having emergency cash in small bills, food and water for 7 days and a reminder to 
ensure their cell phones are kept charged.

When the storm has passed and all missionaries are accounted for, we will let you know.  
Thank you for your prayers.


President Maurer

Philippines Tacloban Mission

Friday Night Update 2 for Ruby: Dec 5th, 2014

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries, I think my initial email did not get 
sent, so you may receive two in a row!!! The wind has a gentle breeze blowing in Tacloban 
as I write to update you. It is calm and peaceful, and actually a little cooler...quite 
comfortable! I imagine that thru the night we will find stronger winds, and may even wake 
up to a little rain. As you may have guessed there is nothing much happening here, but we 
are preparing for the worst. The latest projection has Typhoon Ruby moving across the 
coast in Borongan about 24 hours from now. It's path appears to go west north west across 
Catbalogan. It has been down-graded and no longer a Super Typhoon.

The streets of Tacloban are bare. There is little transport available as early as last 
night. Most people are either moving to safer locations, or at home preparing for a 
typhoon that is approaching ( about 415 kms east or south east of Borongan). Our 
missionaries have each been gathered by their Zone Leaders to be together. We have had 
them do this to keep them together for morale, safety and ease of contact. They are all 
in fine spirits, safe and actually sharing the gospel in various locations. The people 
are actually very interested to talk about a gospel of peace and joy, whilst calamity 
For those of you who know where your missionary is serving we already have them in these 
locations, before the transport shut down:

Catarman Zone - Elders in the Chapel; Sisters in the Catarman sisters apartment.

Catbalogan Zone - Elders in the Zone Leaders apartment in Calbayog; Sisters in the 
Calbayog apartment.

Boronogan Zone - All missionaries evacuated and living in Tacloban.

Tacloban Zone - Elders are in the Office apartment; Sisters in the Tacloban Sisters 

Tolosa Zone - Elders in the Burauen Chapel (inland); Sisters in the apartment in Burauen.

Sogod Zone - Elders in the Zone Leader apartment in Sogod, and Sisters in their 

Maasin Zone - Elders in the Maasin ZL apartment. Sisters in Ormoc Zone - Elders in the ZL 
Apartment in Ormoc, and Sisters in the STL apartment in Ormoc.

Biliran Zone - All missionaries in the Biliran Chapel Carigara Zone - All missionaries in 
the Carigara Stake Chapel.

The plan is to watch the development over night and move all missionaries into chapels in 
the morning. We have learnt much from Typhoon Yolanda and feel more prepared to keep them 
safe and facilitate a rescue should that be necessary. Please be assured that they are 
safe and our hope and prayer of faith is that there will not be a catastrophe. Thank you 
for your support, faith and prayers.

Wayne E Maurer

Mission President

Philippines Tacloban Mission
Sunday afternoon Update 3 for Typhoon Ruby:

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries,

Last night was a night of strong howling winds, battering rain and NO power. Needless to 
say it was a LOONG night. However as day dawned it was obvious  that the worst was over, 
and people  started to emerge to assess and fix up their homes. As we looked around the 
Mission Home there were trees down, flooding on the street in front of us (6-9 inches), 
debris which had been blown, and the lighter winds and rain still happening.

The Mission Home sustained some more damage, water leaking in thru windows as it was 
driven, and the shattered sliding door downstairs giving rain and glass all over the 
floor and furniture. We still do not know the extent of damage for missionary apartments, 
since they are all in Chapels in each Zone (except for Borongan).

We have kept in touch with each Zone of Missionaries ( since they are all together in 
safe locations) up until 4.00am. At that point 3 Zones appear to have lost communication 
network. At that point they were ALL fine. We have since travelled to Tolosa Zone to 
establish they are great, and in fine spirits. Actually loving the experience. We are in 
the process of confirming Biliran and Carigara Zone.

Please be assured that this typhoon was NOT nearly as bad as the previous one (Yolanda) 
last year. It is unlikely that there is any major disruption to the work, however we will 
hold the missionaries in these locations at least until Monday. Thank you for your 
prayers of faith and hope. We felt them and thank our Heavenly Father for his bounteous 

Warm Regards,

President & Sister Wayne Maurer
Tuesday Morning Update 4 for Ruby:

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries,

The storm has passed and blue skies and radiant sunshine abound here in Tacloban. All 
missionaries have returned back to their areas, except Borongan Zone and the new arriving 
missionaries. We are still to effect the transfer to incorporate these new missionaries, 
but hope to do it this week. Relief efforts are being distributed to Borongan and we will 
also assess the conditions in that Zone before sending missionaries to return.

There is no power in most of the mission, and so it is unlikely that missionaries will 
find internet available to email home. We anticipate that power will be restored in a 
couple of days. Thanks for your willingness to send your sons and daughters as 
ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

Wayne E Maurer

Mission President

Philippines Tacloban Mission

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

He made it to Tacloban

December 3, 2014

Hey so I am in Tacloban! I got here yesterday at about 6 my time! It's super hot but really awesome! I have to wait till tomorrow to get my first companion! But today I go out with I don't even know who and go proselyting in Tacloban City for 2 and a half hours. Anyways this can only be a quick email! I will email again on pday (Monday)! Oh and by the way there is a typhoon coming in! It's supposed to hit either today or tomorrow! But I'll be fine! I love you all!

Elder Child

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week #7 - at the Manila MTC

December 2, 2014


Well these past few days in the MTC have been quite an adventure!! (it's really in Quezon City) We did our first proselyting activity so that was quite an experience! The MTC has the lamest rules on cameras and taking pictures so I couldn't take my camera! Also yesterday (Monday) we got to go to a World War 2 memorial so I will include pictures of that! Sunday I went to a ward thing in the MTC which was fun! They do all the meetings in English here so that was nice! But now that I am around all these native speakers the language is getting easier and easier! It's fun being around all these Philippinos! They all want pictures with the tall white kid! haha It's the funniest thing! I went to the embassy yesterday too so I will include pictures of houses and a jeepney that I got from the van we are in! That dinner looks amazing! Oh and another happy moment! I am now only companions with Elder Moffat!! Happiest moment of our lives! Anyways, it does not feel like it is December here. It's so hot!!!! On average its about 80 degrees not including the humidity. The food is amazing here too! Their rice is so good!!!! It's all real as opposed to the Provo MTC. haha Well I gotta go pack my bags! I leave for Tacloban tomorrow (Wednesday)!!!! I love you all!

Elder Child

From the World War 2 Memorial:

Brett looking at downtown Quezon City

"With one of the many Filipinos"