Well, it was a busy week here in the US, but also around the country and the world! I’ll do my best to summarize.
First, we have a new US President
Barack Obama won reelection by a not-so-wide margin on November 6th. Here is the church’s statement on the event:
The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement Tuesday:
We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States.
After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people.
We also commend Governor Romney for engaging at the highest level of our democratic process, which, by its nature, demands so much of those who offer themselves for public service. We wish him and his family every success in their future endeavors.
1. Election Results
Electoral votes (270 to win)
In other news,
THERE WAS A 7.4 EARTHQUAKE IN GUATEMALA!!!!!!
Drew, I think your preparations on Halloween were inspired! I hope all is well with you and the people in your area. I don’t doubt that you felt it and hope that your email this week will be a happy one. We are very anxious to hear from you!
Here is some of the coverage we have heard from our end:
SAN CRISTOBAL CUCHO, Guatemala — The 10 members of the Vasquez family were found together under the rubble of the rock quarry that had been their livelihood, some in a desperate final embrace, others clinging to the faintest of dying pulses.
As Guatemala tried to recover Thursday from a 7.4-magnitude quake, the country mourned a disaster that killed at least 52 people; left thousands of others without homes, electricity or water; and emotionally devastated one small town by wiping out almost an entire family seeing the first signs of success in a tireless effort to claw itself out of poverty.
Justo Vasquez, a man known for his ferocious work ethic and dedication to his seven children, was with nearly all his closest relations Wednesday at a local quarry hacking out a white rock that is pulverized to make cinder blocks for construction.
When the quake struck, thousands of pounds of earth calved off from the wall above the pit, burying the 44-year-old and almost everyone he loved: his wife, Ofelia Gomez, 43; their daughters Daisy, 14, Gisely, 8, and Merly, 6; and their sons Aldiner, 12, Delbis, 5, and Dibel, 3. Their nephews Ulises and Aldo Vasquez, both 12, also died.
Only the oldest son, Ivan, 19, survived. He had stayed in the house when the rest of his family went to the quarry, taking care of some last-minute details to receive his accounting degree – the first in his family to have a professional career. His father had been saving for a party to celebrate his Nov. 23 graduation.
"He died working," said Antonia Lopez, a sister-in-law of the father, Justo Vasquez. "He was fighting for his kids."
Dozens of villagers in the humble town of San Cristobal Cucho ran to dig the family after Guatemala's biggest quake in 36 years. When they uncovered some of the children, one body still warm, two with pulses, they were in the arms of their father, who had tried to shield them.
"We have never seen a tragedy like this. The whole town is sad," said brother Romulo Vasquez, whose 12-year old son, Ulises, also died at the quarry.
The death toll was expected to rise as 22 people remained missing, President Otto Perez Molina said at a news conference. Forty people were killed in San Marcos state, where San Cristobal Cucho is, 11 died in the neighboring state of Quetzaltenango and one was killed in Solola state, also in the western part of the country.
Perez said powerful 7.4-magnitude quake, felt as far as Mexico City 600 miles away, affected as many as 1.2 million Guatemalans. A little more than 700 people were in shelters, with most opting to stay with family or friends, he added.
There were 70 aftershocks in the first 24 hours after the quake, some as strong as magnitude 5.1, Perez said. Damaged homes are among the biggest problems the country will face in the coming days.
Life was returning to normal in the quake-stricken area Thursday afternoon – electricity and mobile phone service had returned to many neighborhoods, cafes and banks reopened and several main thoroughfares filled with their weekly street markets.
But life remained stopped in the Vasquezes' home in San Cristobal Cucho, a town of some 15,000 people so high in the mountains that clouds swirl through the streets.
The streets were packed around the Vasquezes' small yellow-and-red, cinderblock-and-adobe house. Inside, neighbors gathered around the 10 wooden caskets with open lids, pressing against each other to see the faces of the dead and pay their last respects. Wood smoke bathed the memorial as more than a dozen women in the back of the house cooked rice, beans, corn and eggs to feed the crowd.
The Vasquezes were the only ones to die in San Cristobal Cucho. Like the rest of several thousand people in town, the Vasquez family was humble, the parents without much education. Most of the people in the town are subsistence farmers or sell things on the streets and in the markets.
The oldest son, Ivan, was too distraught to speak or even stay at the house among the mourners.
"He was a very good father, he was a very good neighbor," said Antonia Lopez, who was among the many paying respects.
Guatemalans fearing aftershocks huddled in the streets of the nearby city San Marcos, the most affected area. Others crowded inside its hospital, the only building in town left with electricity.
Volunteers carrying boxes of medical supplies began arriving in the area in western Guatemala late Wednesday.
The quake, which was 20 miles deep, was centered 15 miles off the coastal town of Champerico and 100 miles southwest of Guatemala City. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Guatemala since a 1976 temblor that killed 23,000.
Perez said more than 2,000 soldiers were deployed to help with the disaster. A plane had made at least two trips to carry relief teams to the area. The U.S. State Department said it was sending some $50,000 in immediate disaster relief, including clean water, fuel and blankets. It also said it had offered U.S. helicopters if needed.
Not much of that magnitude happened around here. Just the Powder Puff game! Lainey made an interception which resulted in a touchdown a few plays later. Go Lainey! It was a fun game and the juniors lost by only two points in the end.
Lainey is the one folding her arms in the middle. She looks like she means business!
This Breanna Ray and Kayla Marsh celebrating the Seniors win.
Lainey and Aaron have been asked to help in the orchestra for the Beaverton Stakes production of Seussical the Musical. They started rehearsals this week and the production is next week. Not much time to prepare, but it should be a great time for them!
Now, one more thing that I want you to know this week. I’m writing about it last, not because it is less important, but because it is to come this next week:
Annie’s one year anniversary is Wednesday! I cannot tell you how proud I am of her and the long way she has come in this one short year! You have to know: She is AMAZING! So responsible. Such a leader. Smiling every day again! Looking forward to her future and really contemplating her plans without worrying so much about her past getting in her way! So much has changed and she has done so much to put her life right where it needs to be! I am just proud that I was able to be here to watch her go! The future is bright!!
Oh, so Drew. You were asking about the hurricane that hit the east coast a week or so ago. Here is the Wikipedia entry about it. They had a nor-Easter come through this week and dropped a bunch of snow and hampering efforts to get power back on and people back to normal. It’s quite the big deal over there!
Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, as well as the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history, only surpassed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The eighteenth named storm and tenth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States in late October 2012. Sandy is estimated in early calculations to have caused damage of at least $20 billion (2012 USD). Preliminary estimates of losses that include business interruption surpass $50 billion (2012 USD), behind only Hurricane Katrina. At least 191 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries.
Sandy developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, quickly strengthened and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually intensified. On October 24, Sandy became a hurricane, made landfall near Kingston, Jamaica, a few hours later, re-emerged into the Caribbean Sea and strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane. On October 25, Sandy hit Cuba, then weakened to a to Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 26, Sandy moved through the Bahamas. On October 27, Sandy briefly weakened to a tropical storm and then restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 29, Sandy curved north-northwest and then moved ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a "post-tropical cyclone"[In Jamaica, winds left 70% of residents without electricity, blew roofs off buildings, killed one, and caused about $55.23 million (2012 USD) in damage. In Haiti, Sandy's outer bands brought flooding that killed at least 52, caused food shortages, and left about 200,000 homeless. In the Dominican Republic, two died. In Puerto Rico, one man was swept away by a swollen river. In Cuba, there was extensive coastal flooding and wind damage inland, destroying some 15,000 homes, killing 11, and causing $2 billion (2012 USD) in damage. In The Bahamas, two died amid an estimated $300 million (2012 USD) in damage.
In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected at least 24 states, from Florida to Maine and west to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.
Sounds like Guatemala is getting some aftershocks today (Sunday). Just got home to see reports of several quakes over the 4-5 mark on the richter scale. I sure will be happy to get to email with Drew this week! Hope it happens!
Also, at church today, this is what we saw when the elders arrived!
Apparently, they were wrestling in the their room (at Carstens house) and Elder Peterson got knocked out by a desk! Two separate cuts = 15 stitches! Go figure! The earthquake is in central america, but the domestic elders get the injuries!
Also, couldn’t resist sending this one:
I love you all! Have a good week and stay safe!!!