Monday, February 22, 2010

Floods & Mudslides!

Okay - So, Sarah is fine! I know that some of you might have been worried about her if you had heard about all the flooding in Portugal, but she's okay. STILL, keep her in your prayers please as she pulls through (ands helpls thousands there pull through) this last month of her mission. I know she is working hard and really loves those people - they're blessed to have her there in this time of crisis. I also encourage anyone who would like to join me in a fast for Sarah to do so this Sunday. I know it's not fast Sunday quite yet, but I'm going to fast for her and the people of Madeira. Thanks to all for showing her the love, and her most recent update!
- Ridiculouslygoodlooking

Editor Note from Sarah's Dad: Sarah is safe, as well as all the missionaries in Madeira. Thank you all who have reached out and shown concern. We got a call early yesterday morning from the Mission President. He said that the main video footage you have been seeing on the news is the street that Sarah is on. You can see her door, if you knew where to look. Check out the following

Sarah's street is at 1:12 into the video.

"February 22, 2010
Don´t worry, I am fine. All of the missionaries on the Island are fine. President said that he already talked to you today, but we should email anyway because as of now we are at a members house and have internet, which we probably won´t have tomorrow. So here is the deal, from what we understand there is a whole lot of things showing on the news, and it looks super bad. Madeira has been hit by a series of super heavy storms that it was not prepared for. As a result all of the drainoff Ribeiras have overflowed, and flooded a large part of the city, as well as taking out a whole lot of houses in the poorer regions. We also happen to be on an island that is just mountains, so there are a whole lot of landslides and mudslides which have covered and-or taken out of the roads on the whole island. It is pretty rough in a lot of places, but we have enough water to last us a while. We didn´t have electricity for two days, and we still don´t have running water, but it will be okay. We actually live in one of the worst parts because we are right in the middle of the two main drain-rivers so we are still wtihout water, but a lot of people already have water again. We were able to shower at a members house, and if needs be we can kick the Elders out for a couple of hours- the part of Funchal where they live doesn´t have problems. They actually canceled church today and we just went around helping people try and dig out their houses or get things out of their house before it colapsed. Kinda reminded me of tornado clean up....except with a whole lot of mud and huge boulders everywhere, really you would think we were back in a third world country. It is absolutely crazy, but really an eye opening experience. We are starting to understand better some of the passages from Revelations. Today we were able to bring water to some people who didn´t have any ( I know, like anyone wants any more water after being flooded for three days and the whole island falling into the ocean), and it was actually pretty funny. No one had water, and we heard that one store was open, so we went and managed to buy 18 5-liter bottles of water. The problem then became how to move that between the two of us. Well, as I have lots pretty much all fear and shame on the mission, I asked the security guy if we could use the cart to get home and then we would bring it back. Well, the benefit of being in a little place is that he said yes. So, there we were pushing our grocery cart full of water bottles down the streets that are completely flooded with mud, trees and boulders in the rain (yup, still was raining, luckily not so bad). It was pretty funny actually- that little cart was durable, it made it all the way down the mountain (it took both of our weight to keep it from running away, but we managed.) When we got it back later it was super funny to see it in the line with the rest looking like it had lived through a war. We also were able to help evacuate a family from their house, which is going to fall into the RIbeira any second.We only have one member of the church who was injured and it was the house we were helping to try and evacuate today. Their house is the only house ruined I think, but her husband was in the hospital since half the house collapsed and he was hurt. Unfortunatley, there isn´t a whole lot we can do to help the majority of the people. They won´t leave their houses even though they are in super dangerous situations, I think they don´t believe it could happen, even though the majority of houses are trashed all around them, if they still exist. President has told us that this whole week will just be service pretty much so we are trying to help people get their lives back in order. Pray that we don´t have too much rain in the near future. It is supposed to start up again in a couple of hours, so we will see what happens. Who knew that our little island would make it to world news! I guess we are famous now! I would sent you pictures, but I don´t have my camera cord, and unfortunately, the store that had my pin drive (with all of my mission pictures on it) was wiped out, so I guess we did have a casualty. However, I will take it, becase we made it out WAY better than a lot of people. Don´t worry Mom, we are very protected, Don´t freak out, I will show you the crazy pictures and tell the crazy stories in a couple weeks. LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I don´t know if we will be able to email for a while, so know that everything is good and we are being checked on by church headquarters every couple of hours.
We are still safe, we actually lucked out yesterday in that we couldn´t get back to our apartment, so we got permission to stay with the members whos house we were in, and now can email again! It was great because we then had running water! Yay for being able to flush the toilet. Simple pleasures. It keeps on raining here, so we are doing our best to help while staying safe at the same time. Send my love to everyone there and thank them for their prayers.
Irmã Ray
February 15, 2010
Okay first things first...
Three more thank yous to people birthday cards who have been liberated from the crazy Portuguese Mail service
Rachel Weintraub
Kevin Sutterfield
I am actually super excited to be serving with Irmã Ebeling. She is super nice and a great missionary, so it will be a great way to end the mission. This week was crazy with losing Irmã Call to the Continente and getting a new irmã. Because of the flight schedules I got to hang out with the couple missionary on the island since I didn´t really have a companion for a couple hours (Irmã Call left at 6:30 and Irmã Ebeling didn´t get here until 11). It was quite the interesting experience, and one more Irmã is lucky enough to be on the island. She is super happy to not be freezing anymore. Speaking of which....WOW, 3 inches of snow in Georgia! That is incredible. How long has it been since that happened. Good thing you are getting out of town to Florida. I can´t say that anything too interesting happened this week. Sorry that my emails seem to be getting progressively lamer. I will try and remember the funny stories next week. That being said, I LOVE YOU all and I hope that everything is going well!
Irmã Ray
Wait...I remembered the funny story
This week was Carnival. Right. Well, the spectacle and parade happened to be in our area and passing as we were trying to get home. It was quite the theatrical experience, the fireworks were great, the clothing was very little and the dancing talent even less. Irmã Ebeling and I joked that we should have just joined in as both of us took Ballroom classes at BYU our skill would have out shined them for sure. There have also been people dressed up in the streets all week, and the festivities will continue with huge parades that are open to anyone who wants to march in costume. We even did our own dressing up to help out at a party the red cross threw for little old ladies who live alone. We also thought it was hilarious that one of our investigators sent her son to the costume party dressed up as an Elder. I think that means we are making progress with her. Now if she would just come to church!
Irmã Ray

The Best way to write Sarah is: (Ok this is a change, pay attention)

A) Since Sarah is on the Island, the best way to send anything (i.e. letters, packages, etc) through regular US mail is below. This method requires US $.98 postage for letters. (Better check this out, it should be the same as before)

Sister Sarah Ray

Rua de Ponte Nova

nº 12 5P

9000 Funchal



B) The alternate way is of course Dearelder that may eventually get to her.

1) On the internet go to website.

2) There is a drop down box on the right hand side down just a couple inches. Enter her mission which is Portugal Porto and then click "write a letter" just below where you select the mission.

3) On the next screen enter your return address and Sister Sarah Ray in the address line, add your email in the email box below the envelope.

4) Write your letter in the text box and then hit the "send letter" box under the text box to send it on.

This site does require US $.98 Postage. You can set up an account and it will deduct the postage each time you write.

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