Monday, October 29, 2012

Dear Parents,

We tried to email everyone but many emails were returned to us. So this is the next best thing. If you think of it, please send an accurate email address to Sister Shepherd  at

Hurricane Sandy is heading toward the boundaries of the New York New York South Mission.  The mission has an emergency plan in place and we have been planning and preparing for this specific hurricane for many days.  I am writing to update you on those plan.

Our plan is called Safe and Serve - Be Safe first and then go and Serve.

SAFE:  As of Sunday night, we have moved all 27 Sister missionaries into the mission home with our family. We have food and water a plenty and beds for everyone.  We also have access to a generator if needed.  Our 2 daughters are loving this.  The sleepover of a lifetime.

The subway and mass transit system closed down on Sunday night.  Prior to its closing, we moved all Staten Island Elders into high elevation apartments in Brooklyn or Queens.  We moved all other Elders living in low elevation apartments inland into high elevation apartments.  Everyone is moved as of last night and we will all be in doors and safe to wait out the storm.  Each missionary was instructed to purchase water and prepared foods for the apartments in case we lose power.  In addition all apartments have first aid kits, emergency radios and cell phones.  All cell phones will be charged continuously to prepare for a possible power outage.

We have a cell phone tree using text messaging set up through our District and Zone Leaders.  All companionships report in via the "tree".  We will have near real time updates on each missionary.  My Assistants are bunking in the Mission Office where we have land lines and other supplies.  The Mission Home and the Mission Office are set up as Command Centers.  In addition, the local Priesthood leaders have set up an emergency hotline linked to google maps so we will know the location of anyone in need.

SERVE: We all have our work clothes and  we will move out into the community after the storm to help with the clean up.  This will give us a chance to work side by side with the local New Yorkers. Our missionaries know how to work and this service will be a great opportunity to represent the Savior and give back to our fellowman.  We are here to save souls either physically or spiritually.

Most importantly, we know the the Lord loves our missionaries.  We love them so much as well.  He will keep them in the hollow of His hand and provide ways for us to serve.  Sister Calderwood and I are honored to being serving along side some of the best missionaries to ever serve.  Thank you for sending your sons and daughters to serve here.

Kindest Regards,

President and Sister Calderwood

New York New York South Mission