We had planned to go to Cebu city to get bunk beds for the new missionaries. I was sitting at the table making a list of the things we needed to accomplish that day. The table started shaking.
Earthquake! Well, it will be over in a few seconds.
The shaking continued.
Well, I think it will be safer outside.
I went out the back door.
Elder Hall had taken some garbage out to burn in the back yard. He had leaned over to pick up some more garbage to put in the fire when he fell against the concrete privacy wall.
Wow! I must be getting vertigo.
He stood up. But his body continued shaking.
He looked around and saw me standing in the yard.
Did you feel that?
It’s an earthquake.
Feels like it’s stopped now.
We stood there. Nothing more happened. We went inside and sent a text to Elder Ernstrom in Cebu City. Telephone conversations are very difficult here. Reception is poor and calls are often dropped. Texting is our main means of communication.
Is there any reason we should not come to Cebu today?
Proceed with care.
We continued to get ready to go. The telephone rang- a call, not a text.
Hi, this is Sister Ernstrom. Don’t come to Cebu today. We’ve been evacuated from our building. It might not be safe on the roads, and we wouldn’t be able to get into the building to get the beds for you anyway.
A few minutes later we got a text from Sister Schmutz, wife of the mission president.
Everyone in the mission is safe. Some damage to the temple and missionary apartments in the city. We have asked the ZL’s in your area to report any damage. Might be a few missionaries who are unnerved and could use some reassurance. Thanks for helping us with their needs. Just another mission adventure. We love you.
We texted the Zone Leaders.
I think everyone here in Toledo is fine but the Assistants were getting messages that some missionaries had their houses damaged slightly. But everyone here is fine. I think that the Aloguinson elders still need your help though.
We texted the Aloguinson elders, offered any other help needed to the Zone Leaders, and answered texts from members. Sister Marz came and told us that some of the downtown area was blocked off to traffic, as some people had panicked during the quake and people had been injured when the crowd was running.
Somehow we didn’t feel any fear from the earthquake. I guess we have decided that there is no safer place in the world than on a mission.
Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that He hath all power…? (Mormon 5:23)