23 December 2016
Dear Brother and Sister Baker,
We are currently in the middle of the annual typhoon season in the Philippines. Every year, more than 20 typhoons come to this island nation. These typhoons originate in the Pacific, east of the Philippines and then move in our direction. Our mission is often in the path of these storms, especially our outer island Catanduanes. Prior experience has prepared this region to weather the various storms well. We have missionary housing that is selected for resistance to high winds and located out of the flood plains. Each missionary area has an emergency plan for preparing for and responding to all natural disasters. Areas that are remote from the mission office have local priesthood leaders that provide direct oversight of the safety of our missionaries.
Currently Typhoon Nina is head in the direction of the Legazpi Mission and is expected to pass over our mission the evening of December 25th. It is expected to bring heavy rains and some floods in the low lying and/or coastal areas. Each companionship has been notified of the incoming storm and have been asked to follow our emergency plan. The safety of our missionaries is our #1 priority. Each missionary has a 72 hour kit of food, water and other supplies. They should also have an emergency supply of cash and a fully charged cell phone. As soon as the storm passes each missionary will contact their leaders to report their condition and that information will pass through our communication tree to me shortly thereafter.
If the storm compromises our electrical or Internet infrastructure, this may impact the ability of your missionary to complete their Christmas phone calls and/or normal preparation day emails. Be assured, I will be constantly monitoring this situation, and they will have opportunity to reschedule their calls at the first opportunity. We love your missionary and will always care for them as if they were our own son or daughter. May the Lord bless you for sending your precious child to serve the Lord. You would be so proud of who they are becoming and the great work they are doing.
If there are any further developments that would impact our missionaries, I will let you know. Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Serving the Lord is a joy!
President Dale Kotter
Philippines Legazpi Mission