Sorry about not being able to write the day after an earthquake! We were on a road-trip for the week! All last week and this coming week we are traveling through the mission with President Swenson while he does interviews with all the missionaries. So while he does the interviews we train the elders along with their zone leaders. Busy, busy, busy! When the earthquake happened we were in Lebu - a coastal town! There wasn't a tsunami, so no worries there. When it happened I was loading things into the truck, and Elder Moreno had just been there, so when the truck started shaking from side-to-side I thought it was just him goofing around. But then I realized that he had already gone back inside, haha. So I ran in and all the newer elders that hadn't been here for another quake were pretty scared. It wasn't nearly as strong as the one last year, so I didn't get scared at all, but you could definitely feel that the earth was shaking. The epicenter was pretty close to Concepción, so it's been shaking pretty consistently around here with all the aftershocks. We even had one during sacrament meeting today! Haha, it was right when the person who was speaking was giving his testimony, so we all joked that he has a really strong testimony if he can make the earth shake. Then I threw in a side comment that maybe it was just God's way of telling him that his time was up, haha. Could be either one, right? People told us that there were also several during the night, but only one woke me up - stupid aftershocks robbing my sleep after a sleepless week! (I fell asleep in elders quorum, haha).
It was really cool to be able to travel around and visit all the missionaries this week. It's kind of weird - all the missionaries know me now, but I don't know the majority of them (a lot of new people have gotten here in the last year). I'll get to know them in the coming months, though. The ones that I have left! On Saturday I was able to go visit Curanilahue! That was SOOOO cool! It was good to be able to see the converts and hear about how their testimonies have grown and the challenges that they've had. Gerardo and his sister Jocelyn were so excited about it that they called me after they went to church today to tell me what they had learned, haha. Just thinking about how it will be when I go back to visit them in a couple of years...it'll be amazing.
A little side note before I forget: I have gotten several letters in the last week and a half, but I won't have time to respond to them for at least another week and a half. I don't have them with me, but I believe I've recieved letters from: Addie Lott (I don't remember her new last name, haha), Serena Lever, Katrina Broughman, Lauren Berry, Aunt Marianne, anddd....I think that's it. When I get a moment I will respond to those letters, but for the mean time: THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE WRITTEN! I APPRECIATE IT!
This week we'll be starting off with interviews in Los Angeles (I hope to be seeing some converts there as well), then we'll be going to Angol and Victoria, and then we'll finish up the week Thursday and Friday with the 2 Temuco zones (Cautín and Ñielol) and Nueva Toltén. 11 zones, 2 weeks of conferences, lots of driving, and less sleep than I've gotten in a long time, haha. But that's ok, I'm loving the experience.
That sack-person thing is pretty rad! I'm in the process of getting badges made - I'll be sure to get one home to you asap. But what kind do you want? I can make the pocket ones, magnet ones, and the ones with pins. So let me know on that one and I'll get it made.
Let's see...what else could I say from this last week...
I had the chance to work with Elder Tonumaipe'a again! He's a zone leader now with Elder Neira (my old companion) in the zone of Coronel. They work in Lota, which is a coastal town/city (it's pretty big), so I got a chance to see the ocean and get a wiff of the wonderful fish factories in that area. I don't know how I would do living in a sector like that...the fish smell is pretty strong, haha. President Swenson once said that if you start to get used to the fish smell, it's about time that you move to another sector.
Yesterday Maikel (convert from Maquehue) baptized his mom and brother! His dad is going to be getting baptized on the 25th of this month - how cool is that? I wish I could have been there, but I was too far away to make it. I'll be sure to drop by when I go down there this week, though. Maikel is going to be an amazing missionary - he's excited to share the gospel and use the priesthood. Awesome convert!
Well, I kind of feel like I'm just spitting out random thoughts, haha. And plus, I should probably get working on all the stuff we have to get ready for this week - just wanted to send a quick e-mail to all y'all! (yes, I do remember the plural of y'all, hehe). I love you all very much and I'M NEVER COMING HOME! Mwahahaha. Just kidding, I am. But not for another....5 months :(. Mission-ending-time? Mission-ending time poohead. That's what I say. Anyway, haha, love you all, take care, be good, and take advantage of these last months TO WRITE ME!!!!!
PS. Send more ghardettos :)