Monday, April 27, 2015

Time for new shoes and backpack

Hey Mom,                                                                            April 26, 2015
So I have a question about my backpack. The zipper has separated from the bag. I took some pictures of it and will send those when I get a hold of a card converter, hopefully tonight. I also need some new shoes because the ones I have are falling apart and are currently half held together by super glue, haha.

Well I am doing good otherwise. We just had a baptism on Saturday the 25th. His name is Deno and he was the last one in his family to join the church. So now they all can work together to go to the temple and be sealed together for time and all eternity. I am super excited to help with that. Other than that it has been pretty normal. We watched a drunk guy get into a fight with this member named Ramon (the drunk guy lost). Then some other arguments from that. Very exciting stuff.

We have 7 new people to start teaching. Hopefully they will begin to progress towards baptism.

Love Jeff

We don't know what shoes he is talking about.  His Sunday shoes or the Keens we bought from REI.  If they are the REI shoes, I will be disappointed.   The backpack is also from REI.  They have a replacement policy that we hope to take advantage of.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Elder Payne's detailed typhoon report

Finally received a 'snail-mail' from Elder Payne today.  He gave more details than in his previous e-mail

Dear family, April 6, 2015

Well this last week has been quite eventful. It started with last Sunday March 29th when we were setting up for church. We were not expecting a big turn out because it was pouring rain and we had been hearing for the last three days that there will be a typhoon.  So we setup for church and we get a call from the Zone Leaders.  They tell us to have church but afterward  we are just to stay in the house and wait because the typhoon is going to hit.  So the first thing that goes through my mind was the'typhoon' that hit Guam and that I was in for a boring day.  But boy, this one was different!  The Hardy's had come down to do an Easter Sunday School and we had a whopping 2 people.  One girl that lives next door and one of the two kids that  will head out soon for a mission.  So no real church, but we watched a good video about Christ.  Then we tried to get the Hardy's out, haha.  They had got down to the church okay, but in twenty minutes 3 trees had fallen. They were of large size and would take more than two machetes  to clear.  So we walked the Hardys down to Neno where the Zone Leaders picked them up.

We walked back to the church.  At this time the wind had been getting stronger.  So we walk on and we reach the top of the hill with the big Catholic church.  Now, start that 'tornado movie' haha.  It was crazy.  The wind was blowing so freakin strong we watched trees bend to ridiculous angles and then break and fly away.  Also watched tin roofs fly away.  All this from the safety of this concrete church awning/porch.  It was way cool.

After a few minutes we jump back into the Hardy's truck and drive it back to the church. We almost make it back when this massive mango tree falls in front of us about 20 feet ahead. So we park the truck on sombody's land and made a run for the church.  We made it in time before the REALLY big wind and rain.

Around 4pm it began to die down and we ventured to step outside and look at the destruction. We didn't leave the church grounds but it was fun to look around.  For the rest of Sunday and the rest of the week our schedule was; wake up, study for 1/2 hour and work + work + work until you cannot work anymore. Take a nap, wake up, work some more.  It is extremely tiring to chop through a tree with just a machete.  The Chuukese people are really good at it and make us outsiders look stupid, haha.

Well that made up my week. Pretty exciting.  I wrote this letter by hand because I don't know when the Internet will be up.

Well, love you guys and hope you are all doing good too.

Love, Elder Jeff Payne

Here are a few pictures posted by President Zarbock

Chuuk Zone

Elder Payne getting a good meal at Zone Conference

Boats pushed up on shore after the typhoon

Monday, April 13, 2015

Letter from Elder Payne about the typhoon

Dear Family,                                                                                        April 13, 2015

I survived the typhoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This one was much more exciting than the one in Guam when I was there, haha. Well, I sent a big handwritten letter about the Sunday so I will just include info on the rest of the week. Monday: survey the destruction.  So the church is mostly fine just 2 breadfruit trees fell behind the church, one took out about 5 ft. of overhang and the gutters got trashed. The other tree fell and destroyed the church bathroom (which is a seperate building). Just the very top of the tree fell on our house so no damage to the house.  We then went out to Mwan to find out what the plan was because there was no cell service in Wichap. Pretty much everything got trashed, there were 3 huge mango trees across the road to the church.

Tuesday:  Start work.  We headed out with machettes in hand and started chopping up the trees that fell on the church.  Then started working on the Road because it became a top priority to get the Hardy's truck out. So we worked hard for a few hours that day and then went to check on the members. Only 2 houses got destroyed amongst the members and we quickly helped them put them back up.

Wednesday:  Kept working. About half way through the day I was exhausted and couldn't hold a knife anymore. So i took a nap that lasted about 4 hours then was quite hungry.

Skip to Sunday:  Food from the church arrived and we started handing out bags of rice and ramen to the members. That is what we have done up until today and there is still allot of work to be done but President Zarbock wants us to start proselyting again.  But we will still be able to devote a couple of days to working.

Well time is going to run out, love you all and hope the best for all.

Love Elder Jeff Payne

Man stands by an uprooted tree on Weno.

Photo of Maysak from the International Space Station

Friday, April 3, 2015

Typhoon Maysak Hits Chuuk

On March 29, 2015 Typhoon Maysak hit the islands of Chuuk.

We have not heard from Jeff yet. President Zarbock reported to the missionary parents the following day that all the missionaries were accounted for and safe.

We are hoping to hear from Jeff soon!

In the meantime...

Below are some descriptions and news posted by some of the missionaries on the islands:

Weather image showing Typhoon Maysak right over Chuuk.

The island of Weno is about 5 miles long. The airport is visible on the north shore of Weno.

Typhoon Maysak Notes from other Missionaries

Elder Bloxham provided the following information:
The outer islands were hit pretty hard. From what I saw in Weno, I can only imagine what the other islands look like. All elder's were still on their islands when the typhoon hit. Elder Hunter and few others who's houses were destroyed came in on Tuesday. The plan was to get everyone in Weno in the next few days.

The Udot and Pata homes were destroyed so those elders went to Romanum for a few days then were brought to Moen. Elder White and Maughan I think are in a tri with Elder Heim. They could be in Mechitiw now.

Romanum was not destroyed, sorry if my last post made it sound that way. Romanum is where the elders were sent who's homes were destroyed until the zone leaders could come get them on Tuesday. I know the elders in Udot and Pata lost a lot of stuff, if the house has open windows it is very possible lots of stuff got wet. That was the case with the Mechitiw house.

The Mechitiw home is still standing. The roof started to come up and lots of water and debris got inside but it's fine. the missionary house and the church in Mechitiw were some of the only structures still standing in that area. The members are living in the church now.

As of Tuesday the plan was to get all outer islands in Weno in the next day. I am not sure if that was suppose to be long term or not however. If their home is ok, they may have just been coming in to get food and water and then head back out to help on their islands.

We had heard from local's the day before that a typhoon was coming, but saturday night the baptist radio was saying the typhoon was not going to hit chuuk. we were not notified from the church (zone leaders) until the first part of the storm was already starting to hit. They texted everyone and told us to stay in our houses. Luckily, the worst of the storm didn't hit until after the eye went through, so everyone was expecting it at that point.

Sister Eliason posted this on FaceBook
I just wanted to post a note about the recent (March 29, 2015)typhoon in Chuuk. We didn’t know it was coming until Sunday morning when it was very rainy and windy. So we looked online and saw the satellite view of the storm coming directly onto Chuuk. Shortly after than we lost electrical power.

The storm raged for about two hours and then subsided. We watched our neighbor’s corrugated metal roof flap up and down even though it was tied on. We saw trees down. When it got calm again people were out picking mangoes from the trees on the ground. It was calm for about 1 ½ hours and we began to think the storm was over. However, it picked up again and quickly become much stronger than before. It was coming from the opposite direction. Pieces of corrugated metal were flying around. There was noise from all the wind. It was frightening.

We were in a cement apartment building. All over the islands people took refuge in cement buildings such as schools, churches. Many houses are made of wood and corrugated metal and many of these were blown away or flattened.

One of the long term effects of the typhoon was loss of electric power. Without electric power there is no running water because they need electricity to pump the water. There is no internet or way to communicate. Cell phones began to work within a day. Many businesses and apartment complexes here have generators. We had generator power most of this week for a few hours each day. Two nights ago we got full power again, but it occasionally goes off. We still don’t have internet, although some people do. Many places still don’t have electricity.

The missionaries are all safe. Two apartments were destroyed but those missionaries have been brought to Weno. They have been working hard to help clear the roads and check on the members. Yesterday we spent many hours in a crowded Laundromat with a group of missionaries washing clothes since it was the first day the laundry was open. People all over the island had all their belonging rain drenched.

I understand that 95% of the homes were destroyed. Even some of the concrete homes lost their roofs or a wall collapsed. The news indicated that 5 people died.

One of the greatest losses was the native food. Banana trees, coconut trees, mango trees (loaded with fruit), breadfruit trees are down. The mountainside looks quite devastated. Even the trees that did not fall down have lost many of their leaves and fruit. Many of the people here depend on this native food. It will take a long time for the vegetation to recover and supply the food they are accustomed to. Some boats were also damaged so this may affect the fishing.

I have been amazed at the resilience of the people. They seem to go on and rejoice in what they do have. We see many out cleaning up and fixing up. For many of them, things like electricity were not a part of their daily life even before the storm. There are many also who are devastated. But the Lord is in charge. Families and friends help each other. Flowers will bloom again. Bananas and breadfruit will grow again. We see children out playing again, and life goes on.