I'm a little late writing because we got hit by a bagyo at about 1:00am Wednesday morning (bagyo is a hurricane). The hurricane took the power out in all of Manila and the surrounding areas; so we had no power which means we couldn't email. This is the first hurricane I've ever been in and it was pretty crazy. All of us Elders woke up because the wind was so loud and we just laid in bed for a few hours listening to it. I talked to some members and they said the wind was about 160 kph (we guessed that is about 90 miles an hour). Everyone keeps telling me that was a weak one. They also said there will be a lot more and they are just going to get stronger. I was kind of worried about some investigators who live in bamboo houses that are over the ocean (it’s crazy what Filipinos can do with bamboo). Luckily, they all went to someone’s house that is a little more stable, and waited there until the hurricane was over.
I thought about that and how I was perfectly safe in my house (other than a leaking roof). And then how a ton of people were in big trouble with no place to go but their tiny bamboo house which would have a lot more problems than a leaking roof. The thought came to me of how important it is for us to be prepared before the storm hits. Lots of people lost roofs, walls, and other things. This made me think about the parable of the Ten Virgins, that if we don't prepare now, it will be too late. There won’t be time to prepare and we can't run for shelter in our neighbors' house like the people here did yesterday. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the knowledge we have of what we must do to be prepared for things more important than preparing for a hurricane.
Lastly, we had transfers but I'm still in the same area with the same companion if any of you were wondering. Thank you for your letters; I love you all and you are in my prayers.
Love, Elder Smith