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BOISE -- KTVB recently did a story about a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lived through the typhoon in the Philippines.

KTVB interviewed Nate and Dawn Benjamin, the parents of Chay Benjamin. They forwarded their son s latest email describing the situation and the devastating aftermath of typhoon Haiyan.

Below is a portion of his email dated November 20, 2013:

Friends and Family,

Wow I have absolutely no clue how to even start. I have so many things that I have went through and so many amazing memories that I have made but it is truly so hard to express all of the feelings and emotions in words. First off still no power and it is still really difficult to get water. Our power source that runs the island of Bohol is completely destroyed and they estimate 6 months to a year before it will be restored. Man I don t think you ever really start counting your blessings until you lose the things that you use most. It has been a bit hard I have to admit because it is sooo darn hot in Bohol and for me sleeping without a fan is next to impossible. When the power first went out I was waking up like five or six times a night just dripping in sweat and it would make it extremely hard to get any sleep at all. It has gotten much better as my body has adjusted but still makes it very difficult to ever be comfortable. Water is well not too bad for Pilar we can get it now because a member in our branch has a generator so we are pretty lucky it is just hard because we have to go get it and carry it a long way to the house. We are also getting a little tired of drinking hot soda and water all of the time...haha in fact I am always getting super dehydrated because I hate drinking hot water soooo bad!!

Okay Okay enough of me crying about having a little discomfort in my life because clearly sooo many people are suffering so much at this time. It is hard to put into words the devastation that has taken place in the Philippines. I am sure that all of you have seen pictures and heard all about it on the news but I hope you know that it is all that and worse. We have parts of our mission that got hit really badly but nothing compared to the Tacloban Mission. I am sure you all have heard their mission is shut down and they have been distributed though out the Philippines including our mission, we received 16. The stories are endless from the Elders and Sisters including 2 sisters who got washed out of the 3rd floor of their apartment and got a hold of a basketball hoop when they were getting washed away and hung on for hours before being rescued. We also have Elders, survive in an area that 90% of the people died.

Sorry for such short answers and such little explanation it is so hard for me to explain everything in so little time. I have come to know that life is very fragile and can be taken in a matter of seconds. I have also seen how absolutely devastated people are when they lose a friend or family member. It is so very difficult to see and quite honestly has caused me to have several sleepless nights down on my knees pondering on what it is that I can do to help lift them up? Or what I can do to bring just a little bit of comfort to their life.

Elder Chay Benjamin

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