Sunday, November 6, 2016

Chapter 31 - Shake Rattle and Roll

 A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador on April 16, 2016.  Ashley was serving in Portoviejo at the time, which we severely impacted by the quake.  Thankfully, she and all of the missionaries came through without any serious harm.  Definitely angels watching over them.

Hi, I just want to let you all know that I am fine. I really don't know how to feel right now. I feel like it was all a dream (and still is) but I am okay and that's what really matters. I think all the missionaries are in shock because of what happened but everyone is fine. In my sector, the damage wasn't as bad as in others. In my sector, parts of people's houses fell and are broken but in other sectors it is just completely destroyed. One of the sectors of the Hermanas there house collapsed (they weren't inside) but now they have absolutely nothing. They can't go back to get anything and now are left with nothing, only the clothes they had on and their bags but everyone is working together to get them everything they need. Our house is fine. We live on the second floor of a two story house and the only damage that was done was that the sinks in both bathrooms are completely destroyed but other than that, nothing else was broken, just everything on the floor.

I have never experienced anything like this ever before. We were sitting in the house of a recent convert just talking to them and then I was about to start the lesson but we hadn't prayed yet and then my companion was like hey, the prayer, and I was like oh yeah, so we prayed and when she finished the prayer, I opened my scriptures to start and that's when everything started trembling. There have been moments here when there have been small tremblings but they were like a few seconds long and then went away so I thought it was just the same, but every second it got stronger and stronger. The member started to cry and ran into the kitchen with her husband and me and my companion were just sitting there on the couch holding on to each other tight and praying, that's all I could think to do, I felt so helpless. When it started, it was small but little by little it got stronger. I remember looking at the car that was parking in their garage and it was moving side to side and I thought the roof was going to fall on my head and the pictures on the wall were going to fall on me too, and like at the middle when it was the strongest, the light went out and I was just sitting there clinging on to my companion. I had conflicting emotions. I wanted to cry but then on the other hand I was like, no, I am fine. After that, we went to the church because that is our safe place and long story short, the bishop came and other members and we slept in the church on the benches and the church, oh man, is ruined, parts of the ceiling fell in and the water tank broke so it was soaked. We had emergency backpacks because it was a requirement to have them in the mission and I honestly never thought I would every have to use it but I am so grateful that we had them because the scripture that says if you are prepared you shall not fear is so true. There is so much to say wow. There was an after shock that night at 2am but it wasn't that big. We were told by our leaders to go back home at 6 am so we did and we stayed in our house until like 4 pm because there was another after shock. We were fine but we needed to go to the church so we went. The bad thing was was that we didn't have any battery and there was no signal in our house but we went to the church and stayed there until our leaders and called us and said that we needed to go back to the house to grab 5 pairs of clothing and head to the terminal because we were going to Guayaquil. And so we hurried and grabbed everything so fast and then went to the bus and traveled to Guayaquil. It was scary because the bus was going fast and I though, if the road is ruined or we go around the corner at this speed, we're gonna roll but I said a prayer and immediately after that the bus slowed down and I felt a lot better. God answers our prayers and angles were protecting us, I have no doubt. We are currently in Guayaquil right now, in the temple housing so we are okay. Everyone is fine. I don't know if you got my facebook message yesterday, but it was from a member in our ward. I don't know what's going to happen in these next few days and weeks but I know everything will be okay. We obviously can't go back to Portoviejo to work but I think we will go back to grab all our things and be transfered to new areas and or new missions.

Another thing. You will honestly not believe the week I had. So Hermana Gonzales had to renew her passport because she got it a few years ago and before the mission they wouldn't let her renew it so we had to renew it but there wasn't a place here in Guayaquil to renew it and we had to go to Quito. Yes, I went to Quito on Wednesday with Hermana Gonzales and we went in plane. We left on Tuesday, but Hermana Gonzales had all of her things. She was transfered but I still went to Quito with her. She is now back in Florida (the sector she had 10 months in...yeah) and I am now with Hermana Colachagua, again. Yes, I think I will have the same companions for my whole mission. haha but it's okay I love them both. Anyway we traveled to Quito on Wednesday morning in plane and then took care of everything we needed to there and then came back the same day. So long story short, I had pday then my companion was called and said she had transfers and then we went to Guayaquil and then went to Quito and then we returned to Portoviejo only to be welcomed by the biggest and only earthquake I have every experienced. It was quite a week but I am okay. I just wanted you all to know that I am fine and am thankful for your prayers!

No comments:

Post a Comment