can i just start out by saying HOW sad i am that this is the last general conference i will have as a fulltime missionary? my lucky companion has another 2 conferences left. I absolutely loved it! We think Elder Zwick should be a talk-show host. And i loved the testimony of elder packer. And every talk....it was funny. in la serena there are a ton of gringo elders and we all went to the stake center to watch the conference. we were all excited to watch it in english with all the rest of the world, but they couldnt get it to work. when we heard elder holland would be the first to speak, our hearts almost broke in half, but we just watched it in spanish. after that, we all watched the other sessions in english! love the voices of general authorities...
so yep! there was an earthquake. crazy week i tell ya. in the mission, we have to have our "kit de emergencia" with all the stuff we need if there is an earthquake. well, guess who went on interchanges with the hermanas who live lower than we do without my emergency kit? this girl here. we were at an activity and afterwards, someone tells us that an earthquake hit iquique-north of chile. there was a big tsunami warning. we couldnt get ahold of any of our leaders in the mission because all the phone lines were going nuts, so the hermana whom i was with and i were driven to our apartment by members, but we were hearing all different kinds of things. one of the firewomen told us we cant enter our apartment, but then another dude said yes, and it was just a whole bunch of craziness. the members offered that we could stay with them until everything was clear, but finally we just called president kahnelin and he gave us further instruction. we went to our apartment and in the end, there was no tsunami. but, there was a ton of traffic, mini earthquakes, and LOTS of carabineros (chile police) going everywhere. my companion told me that they were in a house in serena sur and the house began shaking back and forth.
two days ago, i woke up to my bed shaking and it woke me up. "hermana....did you feel the temblor?" my companion asks me. "si hermana." i tell her. it was crazy and rather strong. ive woken up a few times, expecting another temblor. haha. suprisingly, there was a 5 grado temblor in salamanca. but i think all is well down there. a little bit of damage...and everyone is telling us that there is a greater earthquake yet to come because the earth hasnt released al the energy it needs to release.. not to worry yall, we will be fine. plus, in our zone conference with president, we went over the plan of emergency and everything super well. but these are the last days folks! signs of the times...our zone leaders had to evacuate and there were lots of members in the church the night of the tsunami warning...but nothing really came to pass.
well. apart from crazy tsunamis and earthquakes, also a great week! we experienced a miracle. i just could not believe it, but could believe it. our investigatr, Luis, who has been attending church for a time and reading the scriptrues, has these crazy ideas and likes to learn. thats all he has been telling us, so i havent written too much about him. this week, we emphasized that he needs to read and pray....and to our shock, we saw him in the street when we were on our way to an appointment. he told us," well just in time i might see you two!" he has a baptismal date for 11 de abril. yep this week! miracle (in interchanges) and he said,"look. i might be going to the north tomorrow (yep bad idea number 1....earthquakes), but i have been reading. i know that i have the truth." and he held up his book of mormon. can you just say we literally went into shock? wow. he now is super psyched for his baptism and has his interview tonight with our district leader! YEAH LUIS.
we learned that we have investigators who are gypsies. we havent found them lately, buttttt this week maybe?
i saw a saint bernard named nana. like in peter pan. presh.
OH! and we finally have a ward mission leader! and whats better? HES A POLICE MAN! yeah. hes pretty cool. i bet he carries a super cool gun.
conference with presidente kahnlein. SERIOUSLY THE BEST THING EVER!!!! it gave me so much excitement to get out and work. plus president is hilarious! in a very profesional way.
for example, we were telling our zone about how one of our investigators thinks the angel moroni is a hologram. president laughed and said," ha! star wars." probably have to know president. then hermana kahnlein is adorable. she speaks super argentinan, like hermana martinez, so it was fun. and she doenst know much english. shes so cute! i played the piano, and it was amazing this conference!!! i wish we could have conferences each week. dangit.
well yeah. that was the big stuff of this week. im starting doctrine and covenants study (in spanish...) and its going well! have much to read in these next 4 months. yikes. im so old.
love you all! life is good as a missionary. im still getting to know everyone...its a big area. training is good. my companion is good.
the gospel, ROCKS the church is TRUE and i freaking love it. its the most important thing in my life. i think so much about the importance of doing even the smallest things-small acts of service, eading th escriptues, and saying heartfelt prayers. they really do make all the difference. God is very very real. and He loves us. and that is where we can feel the joy and peace in our lives.
-hermana emily hanks