March 17th (Japan Time) the Japan Kobe Mission will receive 42 missionaries from the Tokyo Mission as part of the evacuation of the Tokyo and Sendai Missions. These missionaries will serve in Kobe for an undetermined period of time. Since we are uncertain as to how long the current situation will continue, these missionaries will be assigned to labor in new and existing areas in the Kobe Mission. It is anticipated that many of them will complete their mission here while others may, at a later, date return to Tokyo. The Sendai missionaries are all being reassigned to the Sapporo Mission and the balance of the Tokyo missionaries will be reassigned to the Nagoya and Fukuoka Missions.
Missionaries currently in the MTC scheduled to arrive in Japan in April, will be delayed until further notice. Depending on the situation, they could temporarily or permanently be assigned to other missions in Japan or other locations. This is still not decided. As part of this emergency transfer, missionaries scheduled to return home from the Japan Kobe Mission in April (as well as in all other Japan Missions), will be released later this week. Although the new release date is a few weeks earlier than anticipated and a surprise to all, they have fulfilled their full mission terms and we are grateful for their selfless service and sacrifice. There are 12 missionaries from Kobe being released this week due to the current situation.
The areas of the Sendai Mission are in a serious disaster condition. The disaster and pending worries about radiation leaks from the Fukushima power plant are also causing problems in Tokyo. There are food and water shortages. Gasoline is hard to come by even in Tokyo and nearly non-existent in Sendai.
Please visit the church web site for further information and updates. I will try to keep posting what information I can here as things change. Please continue to pray for all those affected by these events.