This last week was a really intense one full of its ups and downs. As you all know by now we had a 7.0 earthquake on Friday. The epicenter was close to Concepcion, which is the city I am in right now and it was pretty intense. I was in the house of a member talking to him because his wife just had a surgery and we were passing by to check in on them. We were just chatting when the earthquake started. It first started shaking from side to side kind of slow and then it started getting intense. All the glasses started falling out of their cabinets and his kids were outside so the guy (hno Escabar) got up and went to get his son. His wife was trying to get down the stairs but was recently out of surgery (stomach surgery) so I went up and got her and we waited it out in the street (I am pretty much a hero). It lasted like 30 or 40 seconds I think and it was rocking up down and all around. We went and checked on all of the members and they were all fine but the earthquake really ruined our day and nobody wanted to listen to us after that.
I am not trying to sound insensitive but I really enjoyed it and nobody was hurt from it so...its all good. I learned that earthquakes can be really powerful, I can't imagine what the 8.8 was like last year in Concepcion. If I were being honest with you guys I would say that the earthquake wasn't really that terrifying or super intense to me but I think it made it easier that I didn't have my family here or anything to really worry about; just me, my companion and the members. The one thing about the earthquake that was crazier than I expected is the aftershocks. Saturday night was full of aftershocks and they woke me up wondering if there was going to be another big one but the best aftershock of all was on Sunday. We were in sacrament meeting and I had to give a talk and as you could have probably guessed there was a huge earthquake while I was at the pulpit in the middle of my talk. I just said "Tranquilo va a pasar" (be calm it will pass) and kept talking and it stopped, it was kind of cool to be giving a talk while the church was shaking!
As for Alejandra, Thomas and Sylvia...she is still in her house and the Bishop doesn't look like he is going to do much to help so, I think we are going to look for a house today and see what we can do to get her out in the next few days. The problem is, is that her ex keeps coming back and like terrorizing her. He will just pass by and like look at her or something and then run away before the cops come. He can't be within 200 meters of her so he is violating the rules but the problem is, is that the cops take like an hour to get to the house like an hour late, she could be dead by the time they get there soooo we have got to get her out of there. We have everything under control we just have to get her out of there quick and I don't think there will be any problems. Don't worry though we are fine and safe and so are they for now, just keep praying for us!!!
We are working really well and we are planning on having our next baptism on my birthday, March 5th! I am excited and we also have an appointment with a family tonight that has a ton of potential to be getting baptized soon. I feel like we are in really good shape and we found 9 new investigators this week so we have a lot of work to do. I hope we have another week like this one with a little less stress and movement of the earth. Keep praying for us and I am sure we will be safe and have a lot of success, thanks for everything you guys I really do love all of you sooo much, hope you all know that.
Elder Cody Dastrup