Dear Parents of Missionaries serving in the Japan Nagoya Mission:
We are grateful for your example of love and service. Your example is evident in the lives of your sons and daughters who serve here. THEY ARE REMARKABLE! They are without doubt the finest young people in the world and the best missionaries in the church. Their lives of faith are a reflection of your own. Thank you.
All of the missionaries are safe. Sister Baird and I are sensitive to the trust you place in us by sending your children into our care and keeping. We love them. We rejoice with them in their successes. When they have difficulties and trials we weep with them.
As you know the church has a world class risk analysis system and they carefully tune to events and conditions around the world. The Brethren are particularly concerned for the well-being and safety of missionaries wherever they serve. From the time Christ’s Church was restored in the modern era, missionary work has been a part of the fabric of who we are and what we do. The Church is very experienced with all manner of natural and political disruption. The pattern of decision making, no matter what conditions our missionaries face, has been to focus on the safety of the missionaries.
We welcome many missionaries previously assigned to the Japan Tokyo mission. The pattern of caution and prudence for which the church is known, led to a decision made by the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency to reassign missionaries serving in Tokyo to the Nagoya Mission as well as other missions in Japan. The press statement made by Church is informative and represents the policy of the church regarding the safety of missionaries. Though you have probably heard or read it, I include it again at the end of this message.
In addition to the direction we receive from Church Headquarters, each mission has emergency response procedures. These procedures are developed locally based on principles guided by the Church’s long years of experience and research in such matters. As you know, Japan is an earthquake prone nation. Aftershocks are common following large earthquakes. Aftershocks of varied intensity are understandable. We take aftershocks seriously. Missionaries are asked to report in subsequent to each occurrence. There are multiple means of communication with each set of missionaries including local members who love and watch out for the missionaries. We stay abreast of and follow warnings from local agencies and governments. Being prudent qualifies us for the protective powers of heaven.
A final note includes our respect for the people of the nation we serve. In many places in the world, natural disasters are viewed as a license for looting, theft, vandalism and other criminal acts. The human effects can compound the severity of the event. I am not aware of a single incident of this type in Japan. There may have been some, but the Japanese people are patient, frequently waiting in long lines for scare basic necessities including water. If supplies run out there is no fight or contention simply patient waiting. They are tolerant and kind. Though there may be panic in their hearts, there is calm in their demeanor. We admire them. We love them. We would rather be in Japan, in such circumstances, than any place else in the world. Your prayers on behalf of the missionaries in Japan are powerful and comforting. Thank you. President and Sister Baird.
Concerning parents of missionaries who were in Japan Tokyo Mission;
Following a 5 hour bus ride we safely arrived at the Nagoya Mission Home where we were greeted graciously by President and Sister Baird; and many of the Nagoya missionaries. We felt their love and testimonies and we are excited for the work.
Former Assistant of the Japan Tokyo Mission