Will you all quit jumping up and down up there in gringolandia? As I'm sure you've seen in the news it's made quite a big problem for us folks down here on the other side of the world. I've actually heard some Chileans say that they think the United States was testing bombs underground - so there are some conspiracy theories already for you! So here's the story of what happened for me:
At about 3 in the morning Saturday I was woken up because my bed was going crazy; at first I thought it was just one of the Elders pulling an early-morning joke on me, so I was just about to roll over and tell him quit, but then I sat up and noticed that the whole house was dancing! The only thoughts I remember were, ''What the...'' And then Elder Moreno jolted up into a sitting position and yelled, ''¿Qué pasa?!'' (I don't know why, but the thought of that makes me laugh now). So we all jumped out of bed as fast as we could and made our way to the door to go outside (Elder Moreno had to grab his glasses first). When we got outside we saw and heard that the power lines were whipping around like crazy, so we didn't go any nearer to them - we just stayed on the little patio until the earth stopped shaking. After that we went back into the house and got a bunch of candles so that we could all find our flashlights - nothing had fallen except my brand-new bottle of shampoo. The upside to that is that now the carpet upstairs smells really good :). At about 3:45 we all decided to go back to bed, and the earth was kind enough to send us a few mild aftershocks to rock us to sleep. The next day was hot, hot, hot. I think it got to about 34 C, which is about 95ish in F. Everyone was looking for water, but we were going around visiting all the families making sure that they were ok. At about 5pm we started to worry about our own situation and started to look for water. Elder Tonumaipe'a and I walked for about 3 hours looking for water, and we finally found some. And now here we are - today we have had power on and off, the water is back but will probably be shut off again at some point (the water mains broke I think), and we're going to go around and help people after we finish here. Nothing bad happened to us, but there are parts that got hit really bad and the death toll seems to just keep rising. Earlier today we walked around in the center taking pictures of the damage, which I'll attach to the e-mail. There's an apartment building pretty near our house that has about 13 floors that cracked all the way up the side - I'm sure another quake would make it fall. But that's been evacuated, so I don't think there will be any deaths from that. The hospital cracked in half, I didn't get a chance to take a picture, but I did see it as we went by in a bus this morning - I don't know how they're going to fix that, it's pretty bad. So yeah, luckily nothing bad happened to the Elders that live in our house (nor in the mission), but still keep us in your prayers along with all those that are passing through hard times down here.
Happy Birthday Mommy! So you're turning 25, huh? That's a pretty good age. There's a saying down here that women use when someone asks them how old they are, ''Veinte siempre.'' Which means, ''Always 20'' or ''20 Forever'' Whatever sounds better in english. But yeah, you could start using that if you'd like ;-)
Sorry to hear that everyone got a little sick over the last week, but glad to hear that they're all getting better. I had no idea that Jasmine and Lexi were visiting you this weekend...or rather, I probably did, but just wasn't thinking about it. But it was good to be able to talk to you all for a little bit yesterday to let you know everything is going alright down here. It didn't really occur to me how worried you all would be, because I knew I was ok and I knew that you all were ok...I just didn't think to think about how you all would feel haha. But now I know if there's a next time.
The work continues to progress, despite the earth quake. We're sharing with and helping a lot of families to come closer to Christ. It's really an amazing experience to be a missionary - not only do you get to experience a different lifestyle personally, but you get to see so many miracles in the lives of others. This natural disaster has really made me take a closer look at the families - the things they do to survive and what they will do to help the ones they love. Trials like this really show who are the ones who have values in the important things in life. I really feel blessed to be able to be here in this time to serve the people in any way I can. Always keeping in mind Mosiah 2:17 ''Y os digo estas cosas para que aprendáis sabiduría, que cuando os halláis en el servicio de vuestros semejantes, estáis en el servicio de vuestro Dios'' Something like that. I don't really know how that would be in the english scriptures, but you should all read it.
Well, it was really good to hear from you all again - thank you to all those who have written me to see if I'm alright. I'll send short replies to everyone, but this e-mail will be sufficient generally, I think. I love and miss you all and am looking forward very much to hearing from you all again. Take care, be safe!