Quarantined in Manila, Philippines

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Leaving my mission area is difficult especially if you’re too attached to the people. I love helping the Japanese people and somehow making their burdens light. They’re hard workers and the only thing that they desire is happiness; every day they’re tired from work and talking to them makes their dull days brighter. Last preparation day. we were cleaning our apartment in preparation for an emergency evacuation anytime soon and as we were walking to the nearest store to buy an air freshener, the Assistants to the Mission President called us asking us to leave Toyooka as soon as possible and stay in Akashi City for the night. We ran towards our apartment and grab our bags. It was raining and we need to carry our luggage in the muddy rice field pathways. It was very difficult but we managed to get to the station with the help of church members. We arrived in Akashi late at night and we met with the Zone Leaders in the Kobe Zone.

The next morning, we travelled to the mission office and met with other missionaries serving in Kobe Japan Mission. The reunion was filled with sadness and at the same time, the missionaries were filled with faith that all of these things are happening for a reason. We stayed at Okamachi, Kyoto for the night with all 8 Filipino Elders in the apartment. Our flight was cancelled that night.

The next day, we went to church at 4 am and was supposed to fly early in the morning but again our flight was cancelled. We stayed at the chapel and waited for our next travel itinerary. After several hours, we received our travel plans and some of us will go to Osaka International Airport while the rest of us will go to Kansai International Airport. Moments later, we were informed that there’s a tsunami warning in Japan and Hawaii after a 7.8 magnitude occurred in the northern seas of Japan. Going to Kansai International Airport from Okamachi, Kyoto was also a difficult feat since we commuted and I was with the new missionaries in the mission. None of them have been to Osaka so I led the group to the busy transportation system of the city. I replied with my memory and prayer that we will all arrived at the airport safely. With the grace of God, we arrived at the airport safe and had a safe flight to Tokyo. We stayed in a hotel in Tokyo for a night and I had a separate room from the rest of the group which is not the best experience. After all of us had settled in and I was preparing my bath, the Filipino missionaries of Kobe Mission went to my room and sang Happy Birthday dressing like ghosts in the night. I had to admit, I was a bit spooked by it.

The next morning, we arrived in Manila and was picked up by vans to transport us for our 14-days quarantine. Currently, I couldn’t share any information about the quarantine but one thing is for sure, I’m in good hands and is being fed regularly. The doctors also check our temperatures regularly although there is only a little flexibility while being here.