This notice came from the mission office the morning of September 17, a few hours after the earthquake September 16, 2015. first it showed up in Spanish, then it came in English and made a little more sense to us.
I had already visited with Sara's friends Valeska and Eva from her ward in Vina. So we knew she was safe. They are such dear ladies to contact me and let me know Sara was ok.
Querido familia de Hermana Coray ,
Anoche, pasó un terremoto aquí en la misión Chile Viña del Mar. Les informamos que TODOS los misioneros(as) están bien. TODOS tienen acceso a agua y comida. Sus casas son lugares seguros y todo está bien.
Si tiene preguntas, sientese libre de preguntar por correo a email@example.com
Le agradecemos y sentimos sus oraciónes para con nosotros.
Misión Chile Viña del Mar
Dear family of Sister Coray ,
There has been a large earthquake here in the limits of our mission. We are happy to informe that ALL missionaries are safe and accounted for. We appreciate your pacience in recieiving this news. All missionaries have access to plenty of water and food. Their homes and things are all safe and sound.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We apreciate and feel your prayers on our behalf.
Chile Vina del Mar Mission
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
These are pretty pictures we took today:) Look at all the ships! eeeeeee!
Ok, I know what you all want to know about, the earth quake. So we were in the church, and I was helping a relief society sister hang something up, so obviously i had to be standing on a table. Then she says "oh, my husband is getting here, i'm going to go let him in." So then the door next to me starts shaking, and I thought "oh very funny Pedro, trying to scare me," but THEN HE WALKS IN! And I just kind of looked down at Rosmy, and looked at my companion, and she goes "get down!" hahahahahhaha. So then THE ENTIRE CHAPEL STARTS SHAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ok so now i've been in a couple of earthquakes here, so I didn't get really worried, but then it started SHAKING EVEN HARDER! aND DIDN'T STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So by that point I was very grateful that LDS chapels have anti seismic construction, because it was like the earth was dancing underneath us. It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooo big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! Then all the phone lines were down, so we couldn't let our leaders know we were ok. but then all the smartphones started going off at the same time with this huge blaring noise (member's phones, obviously), with a TSUNAMI WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! i thought ok..... we live 3 BLOCKS FROM THE OCEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cannot sleep like that! so we were just waiting in the church, and then the first counselor came in and our ward mission leader got there, and after about fifteen minutes wer were able to call our district leader, and he said to call president to see if we needed to sleep somewhere else. So we tried... and tried... and tried.... meanwhile it's time to go home, and our house is reeeeeeeeeeeallly high up, even though it's close to the ocean, so i felt fine about going home. There is no way a tsunami could ever be big enough to get to us. Plus our ward mission leader lives next door. but as we started going home, the entire street was FIlLED with people evacuating, and so i tried to be a little more persistent in getting our phone to work. And all the birds were gone, and all the dogs were barking, and then FINALLY I could talk to president.
He is so chill, "Hermana... how nice to talk to you. Are you calm?" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahaha. "Well, president, i don't really know what to tell you, everyone is evacuating." "Ok, look Hermana, all the people who live in the houses down by the beach are leaving, but your house is up high, you will be fine. You can sleep calmly." daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's so nice to trust in him so much. as soon as I heard him say we would be fine, I knew we would be fine, and we stayed safe tucked in to our house, and I slept well. There really isn't any kind of damage in our area. At all. The whole earth plate just moved around together, so nothing got broken up. we were very blessed.
we had interviews in our apartment this week:) that was fun to have the president and the assistants come visit. they are so great. This is a picture from the weekly announcements. Gotta keep the area book looking nice! hahahaha
We have been contacting like crazy people, and Hna Guevara is trying to get used to the hills and the stairs. It's a lot to get used to.
I love you all so much!
Steve! I'll be praying fo ryou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love you all so much!
Have a fantastic week:)
Manuel finished reading the Book of Mormon! He reached his goal of reading it in two months:)
Dancing @ Independence day Party
Sara with her new Companion, Hermana Guevara
viewing the ocean
sunset in vina
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Transfers.... so originally we were both left in Agua Santa when the call came , and we were happy, but I was worried about her knee. Then , President Diaz called to say that Hna Hamilton was going to Quillota with Hna. Cubas, and Hna. Cubas' companion was coming with me. So was a crazy emergency transfer, but it was fun to drive with the assistants and go change everything around and get everyone to a good place for each one. It was so fun to see Hermana Cubas! My new companion is Chilean, Hna. Guevara. She's from San Fernando, 6 hours south of here. She is crazy! But great. Like me:) People are nicer now that I'm with a Chilean hahaha. So now I have had companions from Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Tonga, and United States. I'm on my ninth companion! ahhhhh poor things....
Hermana Guevara is constantly just writing down everything and everyone, because I will 99% sure be transfered after this transfer, so she has to learn this big sector quick. She can:) this is her 4th transfer, so she knows what she's doing and just has to learn to trust in herself. I love her! Crazy... like I said.
Box hasn't gotten to me yet. I think it will in about three weeks.
We have interviews this week:) That will be great. I love President Diaz.
The FHE with snickerdoodles was so fun!
This week is Chilean Independence Day! 18 de Septiembre!!!!!!!!! That means, a lot of parties. Haha this week is always a little rough for missionary work. people are just doing... other things. but that's ok! the ward is doing a great ward activity, and we're going to help, and it will be fun:)
We found two new families this week! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh with cute ilttle kids! It makes me so happy! Pray for the Gonzalez family and Olga and Cristian.
Happy birthday Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok so Elder Isabel, the missionary from Xalapa, Mexico that is (was) in my district, is going home this week. Like tomorrow. Soooooooooooooo, he will be down around there looking out for Steven to come through. I feel better already.
The cost of postage went up so much in chile that I just sent the package I made for Steven with Sister Burwasser. She's from New Jersey, and will just send it to the house when she gets there. She's so great. It should get there just in time:) Mom and dad, she has your names and numbers so you can communicate if necessary:) Steve, get ready.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh so there is the sweetest boy in this ward, Felipe, that doesn't have any family support, but he is trying to get it together to be able to go on a mission in less than a year. He is so darling, and tries so hard to do all the right things. We are really trying to help him feel the missionary spirit, so he's coming to the big FHE we're having at Valeska's house with Omar, Manuel, Valeska's cousins, and now, Felipe. He just reminds me of a Chilean Steven, but without all the love and help that we have in our family. He set some good goals for himself, and the whole ward is working together to try to help him. Yesterday he told us, "sisters, thanks for coming over. I feel special when you come, and it helps me see a clearer picture for my life." I almost died, and almost cried at the same time.
This month my focus is obedience. See Preach My Gospel chapter 6 haha. I like focusing on that. Obedience has never been a hard thing for me to understand or apply. I like being obedient. It makes me happy. So this month is basically focusing on all the details and really trying my hardest, because there is always SOMETHING to improve. A lot actually....
We had the conference with Elder Viñas, and Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it was amazing. I loooooooooooooooooooooved how much he spoke about the Atonement. He just gave me so much hope for the world in general. And for myself. He also talked about the importance of being "a man of your word." When you say you're going to do somehting, DO IT! That's the only reason we had faith in the pre earth life to come here. We believed Him when He said He would bring us back. And then He did it. So we have to help others build confidence in us too. He said, "that means if you start studying something, finish it!" so basically there was my answer I was waiting for.
If there are any gift requests... let me know. I have a couple of ideas. Traditional things. Things you wouldn't see other places. :D
I love you all so much! After Adri's awful feelings about going to ISU, and thenthis conference with Elder Viñas, I have decided to go to BYU. He. he. he.
Transfers are this week. I am so nervous! I don't want Hna. Hamilton to leave! But we'll see what happens with her knee.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Licia got baptized! Her whoooooooooooooooooole family is members and they have been waiting this their whole lives, and seeing strong Santiago members was a good boost for our Viña ward to see how fully they live and support each other in the gospel. It was a fantastic day. It took three of them to baptize her tiny little crippled body without breaking her. Sooooooo cute! She was reborn at 80 years old. Ah!!!!!!!!!! Happy baptism. happy rebirth.
We are really trying to teach Valeska's step-dad, Omar. Please pray a lot for him. We hope this is his time. It would be such a blessing fo rthat family. The Montalva family (Valeska's big extended family) lives all in one huge building of houses next to the church, and Meri, the mom (she's like the ring leader of them all), came over with us yesterday to talk to Omar, even though we didn't know that was her plan. She made it the plan hahaha.
My watch died!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were sitting there studying, and Hermana Hamilton was like "Hermana, when are you going to stop studying?" and I looked at my watch and said, "we still have like 45 minutes." blink blink... I looked back at my watch and said, "oh my gosh! It's dead! It's like when you go to feed your turtle and it just won't move!" So today I'm buying another one. $5 walmart watch lasted me longer than any other watch I've ever had haha.
Sister Hamilton is here with me, at least until transfers, and we hope that she can stay here with just a couple of things to help her knee. She loves this area too. Transfers still aren't until.
Everyone should read page 387 of "teachings of President Ezra Taft Benson"
Also, I love this quote from Carlos A. Godoy, "Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better."
Keep your options open, and have faith that great things will happen in your life.
Love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love Hermana Coray
Elder Viñas, 2nd counselor in the area presidency is coming to see us next week. happy day, so excited
We had a zone meeting, and it was great. like always. I recieved many wedding announcements, and now I know what it feels like to have every single person you know be married.
Manuel was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood yesterday! So excited!
Being a missionary is so full of so many ups and downs. I never understood before why people said missions were so hard. Because they all talk about their amazing cool experiences, but it's hard to explain, and never really very beneficial to talk about all the hardships. I am so grateful for the refiner's fire, and it truly is purifying. To see people I am literally giving part of my life for, but it's all the same to them, and even after wonderfully spiritual confirming experiences, somehow it just seems like too much change or... I don't really know what... and it all dissolves in a second. It is such a blessing to see and be a part of, because it helps me see where I need to put and build my spiritual fortifications to make sure I don't have those same doubts or weaknesses.
Diana and her mom came to church yesterday, but they don't want her to keep recieving lessons for right now. I'm sure the time will come:) She is so darling.
Hermana Hamilton is doing so great. I love her so much. Ah..... but one sad thing. I was so so certain we would get to stay together two transfers, but her knee is really not doing well with all the stairs and hills in this area, and so it looks like she might not stay here. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hhhhhhh. I'm not happy, Bob. But everything is for a reason. She is doing good about being brave and teaching and contacting more each day. It is so amazing to see how the Lord teaches His missionaries.
Licia is the cutest thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!! The other day when we were there teaching she asked me, "Hermana, can I get baptized this Saturday?" I smiled and told her that her baptism wasn't until this coming Saturday, and she just kind of sank down into her seat, "big sigh.... then I guess I'll just have to wait, won't I...." It broke my heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just love that she is so tiny and old, but she is so amazing about understanding the golpel. Like yesterday in Relief Society we were talking about Keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and the teacher was sharing an experience about the old lady she takes care of during the week, and that she was sharing about how she also calles her on Sundays to make sure she's ok. And Licia said, "well why don't you just bring her to church with you?" Hermana Alfaro, who was teaching, said that it was very difficult for this little old lady to leave the house, and Licia thought for about three seconds, and then said, "I'll let her borrow my wheelchair!" We all were dyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying of loving her so much.
Marcelo, the recent convert who just reached a year of being a member, got married and sealed this weekend! We went to help decorate the church a little bit, and I am so proud of them! So cute:)
I have been labeled as the "Gringa Valeska" because she's always running around doing a million things like I am hahahahaha. She is my favorite person.
We did a service with Giselle, young returned missionary who is also an angel. We made cupcakes and took them around to all the less actives we could. It was so fun!
I also spoke in church again yesterday, complete with a Hobbit example of "I'm going on an adventure" and not being afraid to leave your comfort zone to share the gospel. I love speaking.
I thought a lot this week about why there are so many terrible things in this world... obviously, because it's part of the plan. But it's kind of like that part on Batman where Alfred says, "some people just want to watch the world burn." And it's true... you can't force anyone to want the gospel. It's sad, but God is a respecter of agency so we have to respect it too.
We have been without light in our bathroom for a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask me why!!! Because we have the weirdest kind of lightbulb outlet in the whole world in there, but today we finally found the right kind of lightbulb today. There is light!
3 Nephi 12
Let your light shine, and share the gospel all you can. Everyone deserves to have more than one chance to accept it, so never give up on anyone. The Lord never gives up on us.
I love you all so much!
Happy b-day Em
Congratulations to Adri for reading Preach My Gospel
Yay Jare for football
Glad Steve and Dad are having fun being salmon
Thank you, mom, for the amazingly beautiful pictures, love them:)
Jennah and Kurt, good job being married and getting all used to a new house and everything. Lots of firsts!
Greg, good job on harvest
Adee and Taylee, I love you more than I can say. Kisses!