Typhoon Glenda Aftermath!

Howdy Ho All!

Well, I just found out that Tyler has been transferred so I’m bummed that he isn’t next to me anymore!!!!  Ugh!  Haha, but things are going really well here in San Gabriel. I really, really, really want to send pictures this week but the computer says that there is a chance of a virus if I plug in my thumb drive.  But my area is really pretty – it has some countryside to it as well as some urban areas.  When I first walked through part of my area I kind of felt like “this is what i thought it would be like when i found out i was going to the Philippines”. It has these really cool big ravines with huge stair cases going up and down them with houses lining the side and big palm trees and bushes everywhere. it’s really green and has a river running through the bottom. The sun sets just over the facing mountain and it’s really pretty.

Yesterday we went adventuring and found a back trail shortcut.  It has a view that you can see Batangas, which is a mountain/mountain range that is like two hours away.  But it was crazy to see that far!  It’s so rare to see that far here in the Philippines because of all the houses, hills, smoke, and stuff like that.  But it was really pretty. It reminded me of home when I could see Mt. Rainier every day driving home from school.

As far as how the language is coming along – It depends on the day!  Sometimes I feel like I can hold my own, and then other days people tell me that I suck at it.  That’s the hard thing here – is that people will tell you straight up.  But I’ve had people say both things.  I have a zone leader right now who is super good at it (as well as two other languages) and it seems like all he does is memorize.. so i’m going to give that a try! 

My roommate and companion situation is going really well right now.  Me and my companion support each other and understand each other pretty well.  My roommates are pretty chill as well.  I have 12 missionaries in my district so it is a pretty big responsibility with reporting and stuff, but it is also fun when we get all together for district meetings and activities.

In regards to the typhoon, here are my answers to your questions, in order:

Q:  Were you scared?  A:  Obviously NOT!!! I love storms! haha there was one wind that freaked me out though… it was way fast and loud. but we were safe and sound inside!

Q:  When did you hear about it that it was coming and from who?  A:  We heard about it from a lot of people. The first time I heard about a big storm coming was like a week before when dad told me about one and then I asked the computer shop owner and she verified it.  But for the actual storm, we heard from some members, and also heard about it on the radio on the minibus.

Q:  Was it sort of routine for people around there?  A:  They didn’t seem like they were too scared for it or anything, ya know if something like that happened in Washington/USA it would be like the St. George power outage if you catch my drift…canned food and gatorade! (Editor’s note:  this is a reference to a trip we took with Grandma & Grandpa Burbidge where we lost power in Southern Utah and had to evacuate from our hotel room.  Grandma Burbidge immediately took the boys to the closest grocery store to stock up on essentials!)

Q:  What was the aftermath where you were at?  Was there flooding and/or people walking around in waist high water?  A:  The water rose a little in to the street about 5-6 inches at most, but that was maybe for 3 hours after the storm and then it went away. the hard part was being transferred right after it and getting to an area with no water and electricity or 72 hour kit.  All of the water stations were closed because they didn’t even have water, and the convenience stores were running out of food and stuff.  But we made it! Haha, I was starting to freak out a little, but we got through it!

Q:  Was it still warm air temperature during the storm?  A:  It actually got pretty cold… (for the Philippines) maybe 55-60 degrees F? The wind was pretty cool as well, so it felt good!

Q:  Did you see anything flying through the air?  A:  Just a roof…. haha just kidding.. a lot of leaves, and some branches… a roof got half way torn off, but it wasn’t flying through the air or anything.

Q:  Anything else weird or funny from the storm?  A:  It was funny to see the people and the dogs walk out in the storm.. also I think I already told you about the sling shot and fish?  We had a sling shot that one of my roommates had and we were trying to shoot the fish with the slingshot.  The fish came into the street from the river… we didn’t get anything but it was definitely something I’ll never forget! haha.

Well, that is about it for now!  Love you all,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

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Recovering from Typhoon Glenda

Hello everyone!

I have been transferred to my third city in the Philippines and am now serving in the San Gabriel Ward near the city of General Mariano Alvarez.  Apparently it is only one bus-ride away from Tyler’s area!!! I see the writing “Calamba” on the jeepneys here.. haha – so close but so far away!

The storm (Typhoon Glenda) was pretty fun!  We didn’t go out, but we watched from the windows of our house.  When it hit us we woke up at 3:30 a.m. and the wind was tearing through the streets outside and whipping the palm trees like small toys.  It didn’t flood bad, maybe 6-7 inches or so, but it was in the streets and it came from the river so there were fish swimming around in there and stuff so we starting shooting them with my friend’s (Elder Anderson from Mt. Pleasant, UT) slingshot…it was great.  Our power was out in Kawit, but we had running water still.  When I got to San Gabriel, there was no 72 hour kit so no food, drinking water, electricity…and even more importantly…NO INVESTIGATORS!!

The reason for no teaching pool is a mystery to me but we are going to start working hard and change that around!  I’m still a District Leader and my companion is Filippino and is named Elder Caliguiran.  I can tell we are going to work well together.  He hasn’t quite yet finished his training so still is pretty new to the mission.  I’m going to attach a couple of photos from my old area and new town.

I am safe and doing well so just want you all to know I love you and appreciate all of the support.

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Out in a filed near Kawit.

Out in a filed near Kawit.

My new roomates and companion.  Elder Caligurian is on the far right.

My new roomates and companion. Elder Caliguiran is on the far right.

 

 

Aftermath of Typhoon Glenda

Editor’s Note:  The following is a excerpt from Hunter’s mission president’s blog.  We are appreciative that the missionaries are safe and continue to pray for their well being.

Destruction from Typhoon Glenda

Destruction from Typhoon Glenda

Batangas Bridge

The Batangas Bridge near Hunter’s mission got destroyed!

Missionaries are still safe and doing great. Their attitude and optimism far exceed my own! You have raised amazing and wonderful adults!

We have some apartments with roof damage, and/or water. Power lines are slowly being repaired. Many missionaries are still without power and water. Everyone has purified water to drink – but some have no water to bathe. Yesterday we were able to follow through with transfers. Unshaven elders and sisters with braided or pulled up hair was a common sight. But everyone was happily hugging and sharing storm stories. The only complaint I heard was that they were bored staying inside their apartments during the storm. They are here to teach the gospel and that is what they would rather be doing. Some of the things they did while waiting out the storm was: Read and study the scriptures, write letters, clean their apartment, and write in their journals. While the electricity was still on, some watched the church videos they had in their apartment.
As of today, there are still 6 departing missionaries that have not made it home yet. Two Filipino elders leave today (Friday), and the 4 missionaries from America are scheduled to fly home on different flights, Sunday and Monday. These missionaries are now under the care of Missionary Travel and we have not seen them since Tuesday night. They are at a hotel by the airport, are being fed, and have phone cards to call home. I still wish I could go kidnap them and bring them here!
Our neighborhood is slowly being cleaned up. Some streets are still blocked with trees but guess what – our electricity was restored about 30 minutes ago. I can now do laundry!!! I have a mountain of sheets and towels that need to be washed and put away. The 29 (counting President and I) that slept here on Wednesday night will forever be another memory of our time here in the Philippines.
25 new missionaries were welcomed to Cavite Mission by spending their first night at the mission home. We had dinner, interviews, family prayer, watched 17 Miracles, and had a good breakfast. Plus a visit to the grocery store by Sister Tye to purchase more food and towels. Thank you to the Rigby’s, (one of the Sr. couples) and the Assistants who gathered and delivered mattresses to us.

Quick Hello!

Hey!

I’m late with my blog post this week due to some previous issues that came up and we also had a mission activity!  I’m safe from the recent round of rain-storms that have come through here. I have also heard that there may be some storms coming up this next week as well and this last week it was pretty rainy!  I’ve never experienced anything like it before with the large amount of rain that falls in such a short amount of time, but you know me – I’m a storm chaser so I love it!

I love you all. Susunod na lang…

Elder Hunter Burbidge