16 March 2011

Email from Matlock - 15 March 2011

Dear Family,

Yeah so things are a little crazy! I`m emailing today because I think the postal service just took second priority here in Japan. We didn`t suffer any lasting damage from the earthquake besides from having to spend a day without electricity. Needless to say that was the biggest earthquake I`ve ever been in. We were on the street talking to people and I was just about to stop someone when it hit. I decided not to talk to him. You could see the buildings clearly shaking and the light posts were swinging so violently I thought for sure they were going to break off and go flying. Oyama had some minor damage but not too severe. We went to the church building afterward because we were at a loss of what to do and no communication could get through from the mission home. The church was a little messy so we decided to clean up a little bit. There was a lot of cracks in the walls and plaster was everywhere. We still had aftershocks while we were cleaning. Some of them were big enough we would run outside until it was finished, then continued cleaning. Right as we finished cleaning the church the bishop came and we went with him to visit members to make sure they were alright. Right as he was telling a member that there was absolutely no communication via cell phone we got a call from the mission president. We both tried making calls afterward, but it didn`t work. No communication blackout can stop a mission president! I also got calls from two other missionaries making sure things were ok. Other than missionaries I don`t think there were any calls getting through.
       We just had another earthquake/ aftershock while I was typing this. They haven`t stopped since Friday. Its so frequent at times that I get kind of motion sick. You know phantom ring where you think you feel your cell phone vibrate but its really not? I`m starting to get phantom earthquake, where I think there might be an earthquake, but no, its just me.
      On Sunday we were at a members house and I saw the footage up near Sendai and Aomori. Its terrible! I had no idea it was that bad! It really affected me, complete towns got wiped out! They showed clips of townspeople up on a hill watching the town fill up with water and cars and homes being washed away. I want to do something to help but there's not a lot I can do right now. All of the missionaries up in that mission however are accounted for. Through similar miracles all the missionaries were in the right place at the right time and got a call from the mission home confirming that they were ok.
       Then that evening we got a call saying not to leave the apartment on Monday since their would be acid rain due to the nuclear power plant explosion, but the next day we got notice that we were too far away to be effected. So we went out and proselyted. Entirely ineffective. No one was out, and there was still possibility of blackouts so no one was really willing to talk. That and the train station was shut down! The thought of no trains coming or going from Oyama was not exactly comforting. Shutting down a station is like the equivalent of shutting down a highway. It just doesn`t happen. I don`t know if its up and running right now but if not... we`re slightly limited in our travel options.
       Were going to try and buy some food today, if there is anything left. All the shelves cleared up pretty fast last weekend. We bought some rations to last us awhile but I`d like to get a little more.
       I really don`t know whats going to happen in the future. For sure the Sendai mission is going to change completely, probably become a service mission or something like that. I don`t know what Tokyo is going to do though. I`m still expecting more instruction. Right now were continuing on as normal for the most part but I don`t know what we might be doing in the near future.
I`m still safe and plan on continuing to be safe. Thanks for all you prayers and concerns.
Love you all!
Elder Wyman
p.s. My companion`s family is all alright. They live way down in Okinawa so they were as far from it as they could possibly be. :)

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