Tuesday, April 29, 2014


From Pres. Hanks:

All missionaries are safe and accounted for as of Tuesday at 7:45am

The entire mission feels blessed with the safety and protection of the Lord.  After returning from a Mission President’s conference late Saturday, President and Sister Hanks drove to Tupelo, MS where they and the missionaries of the two Tupelo Zones met together with the saints for Stake Conference.  It was wonderful.  Immediately afterward, about a third of the missionaries began meeting one-on-one with President Hanks in interviews, until about 7:30.  Many of the missionaries stayed over in Tupelo for the remainder of interviews with President Hanks on Monday, and for a two-zone joint activity of athletics and food and fun.

On Monday about 2:00 the sirens and alarms and phone alerts started pouring in.  

President Hanks asked all the missionaries (48) to gather in the chapel, where for the next 4-5 hours the missionaries sang hymns while Tornados surrounded us.  For much of the time, the electricity was out.  The missionaries were brave and courageous.  President Hanks was in constant contact with the brethren and with a member of the church who is well connected with the weather agencies.  As areas to the west of Tupelo became clear, Missionaries were released to go home.  About 7:30 the worst had passed, and President Hanks asked everyone remaining (42 missionaries) to go straight home and remain on alert.  Some missionaries were instructed to remain with other missionaries until we were sure that it was safe to travel to their apartments (power lines and trees etc.)

All Tupelo North and south zone missionaries were safe by 9:00.

All other missionaries throughout the mission were instructed to stay in their apartments and listen to their emergency radios throughout the late afternoon and evening. 

Multiple tornados touched down in Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Bessemer, and Birmingham areas.  There was some substantial damage, but the extent is not completely known yet.

REPEAT:  ALL missionaries are safe and accounted for.

Further weather alerts are in effect for today, Tuesday, and all missionaries have been instructed to listen to emergency radios and take precautions.  Pres Hanks will be having a mission-wide conference call later this morning.

President Hanks sent an email to all contacts that the mission has listed, and will continue to keep parents and contacts informed as there is new information to report.  

Join with us in thanking Heavenly Father for the safety He has afforded the missionaries this past day.


  1. Thank you for serving so faithfully throughout his difficult situation, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Let us know if we can do anything to help.

  2. Please keep the entire Mission in your prayers. We have another round of severe weather expected tonight. However, we do have some of the best meteorologists, weather detection equipment, and Mission Presidency in the world! So I think everything should be okay :)

  3. Thank you for keeping us informed and our Missionaries safe through these storms. My thoughts and prayers will continue for everyone that is in the path of these storms. Sorry this is not Elder Madden, but his mom. I'm using his computer, so it looks as if if it from him.

  4. Thank you for the information and for keeping everyone safe!

  5. Thanks very much for the information & for doing all you do for the missionaries & those at home. We appreciate the time & effort you put forth. We are praying for all those affected by the storms.

  6. You will all be in our prayers!

  7. Thank you for this blog and for this letter. We were worried until we read this. We are praying for you all.

  8. Thanks for keeping us updated. Such a great blessing to have our daughter serving with such great missionaries an members our prayers are with you and the people of Alabama

  9. I am so thankful for missions serving the Lord and I know He will keep them safe. I'm so grateful that my son is there serving with the best Mission President. Thank you for this blog, you are so kind in keeping it up.