Monday, September 21, 2015

Multi-zone conference, earthquake and tsunami, September 18th‏

I feel like I have a lot to say but I will most likely forget it all, I´ll try to do my best!

Last Wednesday we had a conference with the whole mission which was awesome to be able to see all the missionaries that I´ve been able to get to know while I´ve been here. It was also an eye opener because a lot of the missionaries that I did know have already gone home and there are a lot of new missionaries that I´ve never even seen before. Everyone says that´s what happens when you have been in the mission for about a year.... Oh boy it`s going by fast. Anyways in our conference Presidente Viñas gave a surprise visit! He is the seventy in charge of the South America South area. Anyways he stopped by and our President gave him and his wife some time to talk to us. His message was very very powerful and I took about a million notes. It got me excited to work again cause I was kinda getting down but what he said helped a lot! It turns out that he will also be speaking in General Conference! I´m sure his talk will be wonderful. I´m so excited for General Conference.

The next thing that happened was that same day but in the night time around 7:30ish. We had an earthquake! But not just one of those little earthquakes that happen all the time, a real earthquake. The epicenter happened up in the North and had the magnitude of 8.4 on the Richter scale. For as strong as the earthquake was it didn`t do as much damage as what would be expected but it did cause a tsunami which, yes, did cause quite a bit of damage. There were quite a few people affected and it took out the city that was on the beach so please keep them in your prayers. It still isn`t quite warm enough to be sleeping outside and they need shelter! Here in Santiago we didn`t feel it as strongly as where it hit but wow it was still strong! I knew that earthquakes were strong because of the other ones that always happen but it was still crazy! The whole house moved up and down and left and right and it sounded like thunder! The other thing that was different from the other ones is that this one lasted for like two minutes (at least it felt like it haha) without stopping. It left us feeling dizzy and motion sick. Luckily we didn`t lose water or electricity in our part but there were other parts around us that lost them. The cellphone towers were down so we couldn`t communicate with very many people and when we could it was a really bad signal. So that night we didn`t end up leaving the house again! Haha and all night there were reprocussions, actually, since wednesday I think we have had at least one or more earthquakes every 24 hours including a pretty strong one last night. So that was quite the experience! I´m glad nothing happened here but please pray for those affected in the North!

The 18th of September was a BLAST!! ¡Lo pasamos rey bien! We were at the church activity from 11 in the morning until about 5:30-6 at night then went to a little party of some less active members and their family until 10. At the church we just played all sorts of games all day long. We ate empanadas, choripanes, BBQed meat and meat and meat, salads and desserts. Soooo much food! I tried not to eat a lot so I could play more games and not feel sick. It was such a good time. We all snacked on a few things in the morning and then around 2 we all sat down and ate a lunch together. While we were there the whole ward sang happy birthday to me in spanish AND in english! Hahah it was impressive! They said they had never sang happy birthday to an Elder before and so I better feel special haha. The members are so awesome here. The second counselor and his wife made me a birthday cake and brought it to me in the morning, such sweethearts.

 Even Miguel swung by to wish me a happy birthday and give me a little gift! He also brought a little video that my family sent to him to show me. Thank you Miguel and family for that:)

Then in the evening when we went to the other family they had made me an icecream cake and all sang to me! Someone recorded it so I´ll tell them to put in on facebook. Haha it was soo funny with them. I´m gonna miss this place if I leave. There are some people here that I´ll never forget. All in all it was an absolutely amazing birthday. I think I´m going to celebrate my birthday in Chile every year because it was so dang good. And no we didn`t do much misisonary work that day... Haha but the other days yes!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! Pray for those who were hit by the tsunami!

Over and out,
Elder Gunnell

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