Troy’s Letter: March 1, 2010

1 03 2010

Troy's apartment...

Wow!  I have so much to write about and so little time to do it.  I got a million emails from friends and family.  Just to let you all know, I’m doing fine.  Alright—the earthquake was CRAZY.  It was awesome—haha.  I loved it—it was a pretty great adrenaline rush.  This is how it all went down.

It was a completely regular night.  We went to bed at 11p.m.  At 3:30 in the morning, all of a sudden, there was this huge noise, and everything was shaking.  I was so tired and confused.  I was half-asleep when it first started.  I actually thought that a huge airplane was flying over our apartment.   But then, it didn’t stop.  We started hearing glass breaking, and that’s when we realized it was serious.  There are four elders in our room and we have two bunk beds.  Elder Ellis jumped off his top bunk and got on his bottom bunk with Elder Mower.  I jumped off my top bunk and starting running around, having no idea what was going on.  I couldn’t stand up straight.  The building was shaking too much.  So finally I stumbled over and jumped on my companion on the bottom bunk (later they all made fun of me—a lot, haha).  We waited it out on our bottom bunks.  Our whole building was shaking and swaying back and forth.  We are on the fourth floor of our apartment, so we felt the entire building going from side to side.  Glass was breaking everywhere and people were running around crazy in the streets.  It lasted so long, too—like a whole minute.  It finally ended and we were just like—What happened?!  We talked for a little bit, and then eventually just fell back asleep—haha. 

The AP’s showed up at our apartment an hour later.  They were driving around, making sure all the missionaries were okay in our area.  Apparently, it looked like the end of the world outside.  People were running around.  There was no electricity.  Glass was everywhere, etc.  We said we were okay and went back to sleep.  The next day was weird.  We went outside to inspect the damage.  We were told that Saturday was just a service day.  We went all around asking people if they needed help, but everyone seemed to be okay.  There were some buildings that looked pretty bad, but everyone that we talked to was fine.  All the members and missionaries are fine.  Really, there’s not much service that we could do.  We didn’t get hit as bad as Concepción and Santiago—I’ve heard, so I’m sure the missionaries are doing a lot more service down there.  The crazy thing was all of the aftershocks.  We would be tracting and talking to people when all of a sudden, it would just hit again.  It was a little frightening, because we had no idea if another bad one would hit or not.

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people who let us in on Saturday.  We shared the plan of salvation with them.  There were a lot of people who felt better after we talked with them in their homes.  In fact, my favorite moment of the day was when we were teaching this family who was pretty freaked out.  Elder Blood and I sat on a beat up bench in their very tiny yard, while seven of them all sat around us listening to every word we said like it was pure gold.  I truly am learning how the gospel brings peace to the lives of those who need it.  I love sharing the good news with everyone here and seeing the changes in their lives.  Sadly, Marta and Juan couldn’t be baptized this week.  Our president decided that they should wait until they get married, instead of separating themselves.  They won’t be able to be baptized for probably two months.  This is really sad, because I probably won’t be able to see it.  That happens, I guess.  I’m just happy because I’ve done all that I could to help them.  They are so funny.  Juan jokingly told us that he would kill himself if I was transferred out of Valparaíso—haha.  He said that he was going to talk to the mission president to make sure I stayed—haha.  During every prayer, now, they are praying that we stay here long enough to see their baptisms.

It looks like their prayers are answered.  Because of the earthquake, there will be no changes this transfer.  No new missionaries can come in because the airport is closed.  So, it looks like Elder Blood and I will be in Valparaíso for another six weeks.  This is great, because I really love the atmosphere and people here.

Another crazy part of this week was yesterday.  There was a massive rumor of a tsunami.  No one knows how it started, but everyone here thought there was going to be a tsunami.  It was ridiculous.  People were throwing stuff in their cars, running up the hills, and grabbing anything they could.  Everyone in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar was freaking out.  We were walking down the hill to go to an investigator’s house and people were saying—Tsunami!  What are you doing?!  You’re going the wrong way!—It was crazy.  This week has been absolutely ridiculous.

Troy's apartment...

Anyways, I’m glad to hear that Taryn got accepted to BYU Hawaii.  That’s sick!  Congrats, buddy!  It’s amazing how we can grow from every challenge.  I love the verse found in 2 Nephi 2:11.  There truly is a purpose in all things, especially trials and challenges.  And Savannah on the tennis team is awesome too.  It sounds like this past week was a pretty awesome one for you guys.  Oh, I also got an email from Kelsey saying that she was engaged—haha.  That didn’t take long!  And…I laughed SO hard when I read that dad is planning on rollerblading to work.  Someone better send me some pictures of that!  Well I’m glad to hear that things are going well.  Everything’s okay down here.  I look forward to hearing from you all.

 Love,

Elder Teeples

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One response

5 03 2010
marilin

We all so glad that you

are safe

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