Laird Jenkins forwarded to us excerpts from a letter received from Elder Scott Jenkins, of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission. Elder Jenkins is serving in a town named Sabanagrande. November 2, 1998

I'm still alive, barely. It all began Friday the 30th. In the morning we went to work as usual but it was raining pretty bad and it had already begun to flood houses. I got so wet I started shaking so we went to the church so I could turn on the oven and warm myself. Right after we left the church we got a message from my zone leader Elder Hall that we were not to go out and work and that we were to call the mission home as soon as possible. Elder Hall informed us that the hurricane was already in Tegucigalpa and was on its way to us, Sabanagrande.

The rain in the little stream, that goes through town and by the sisters missionaries' house, had grown into a full river. During the hurricane we had to go check on the sisters every two hours.

When the hurricane hit it was terrible. The streets filled knee deep with water. The current and winds were so strong they were knocking down trees and houses. The little river filled up so fast we had to evacuate the sisters to the Town Hall. It was interesting getting them there in streets that had turned in to rivers.

The town hall was full of people whose houses had fallen or flooded. During the course of the hurricane 17 people were killed. At about 2:00 am we left the town hall to go home because we were freezing. The electricity had been off about three hours. In the dark we started for the house, it was pitch black and we couldn't see our hands in front of our faces and the current was so strong we had to hang onto the houses for fear of being swept away.

We finally got home and changed clothes, then we waited. We had packed our bags earlier in case we had to leave quickly. We were prepared for the worst. We couldn't sleep all night because the wind and the rain were so bad. I thought that at any minute the roof of our house would fly off.

On Saturday it continued raining, the streets were full of water but the rains had died down. During the night bridges fell, houses fell trees blew over, and roads were blocked by mud slides. Luckily my companion and I had nine days supply of food.

Elder Hall told us that Tegucigalpa was basically destroyed. Houses, bridges, huge buildings, even parts of the prison fell. It was a mess.

On Sunday the sun came out and people actually showed up for church. We had 15 people there, even an investigator. After church we went out to see what happened. The rain and wind had taken out many, many houses, bridges, and knocked downs tons of trees. It began to rain again so we had to go back inside.

We talked with President Beckstead and his assistant Elder Perez. They had no idea what was going to happen. We also found out that the mayor of Tegucigalpa was killed. He was in a helicopter and they hit some power lines and got fried. He was a cool guy. It's a shame he was taken out.

Now its Monday and still raining. We haven't been able to leave the house. Don't worry this should all be over by the time you get this letter.