Sami singing the song she wrote

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update from Wed Mar 3 - 4 days after the earthquake

I was able to talk with Sami Wed morning at 3am Pacific Time. She is really truly fine & her apartment is OK except for a broken window and stuff all over the apartment that fell off of shelves etc. They (the 4 sister missionaries) have been sleeping at the chapel with a couple of families in the ward who cannot return to their homes but mainly because they are 4 girls alone without the priesthood in their apartment. They slept outside the first couple of nights (everyone in Chile is afraid to sleep inside with all the aftershocks still going on) but slept in the chapel last night. There was little serious damage to her town. Some houses & stores had roofs collapse & most of the Adobe homes (in the poorer parts of town) collapsed but no one was seriously injured. The stores were open sometime on Saturday & the stores are limiting what each person can buy  so that supplies do not run out. I was happy to learn that it is possible to drive from San Carlos to Santiago even though the Pan American highway cannot be used due to collapsed bridges and gaps in the road. Apparently there are back roads that are usable (quite possibly dirt roads) although she said the trip now takes 10 hours instead of the usual 5. (One of their investigators successfully drove up to Santiago to get his daughter). This is good news because it means that supplies can be delivered to their town before the main highway is repaired. The local food supplies won’t last forever and most local Mormons do not have a very long term supply of food due to their small homes & general lack of funds.  Sami’s zone is the only one in either the Concepcion or Concepcion South Mission that is doing ‘business as usual’ – more or less – the actually took a bus (now running) to Chillan for a zone conference on Tuesday (everyone else in their zone – all elders – are in Chillan). The missionaries are visiting members & investigators & generally offering comfort and any help they can supply.

Elsewhere in her mission – the phones are finally working in the Mission Office (Concepcion & Concepcion South offices are located in the same building. The mission home did not suffer serious dammage and the mission presidents can now have contact with the outlying missionaries who do have phone service (not all do). The missionaries have actually been relying on emails or calls from parents for information on the situation outside their area – though I think they are allowed to watch TV if power & it are available where they are. They did not find out until Tuesday that all of the missionaries in their mission are ok & Sami did not know about the missionaries in the other missions until I told her. The Mission Presidents did make sure that all missionaries were ok before reporting back to SL. If they could not reach the missionaries themselves (I understand text messaging was a common method used) they somehow managed to have ward members check on them and get back to them. I am truly impressed with the organization and structure of the church that they could verify the safety of these young folks so quickly. And their survival in good health was indeed a miracle. Sami says that most of the missionaries that serve in the coastal towns live near the beach – so they had to run to high ground to escape the Tsunami waves. Most of those apartments or houses were destroyed or are under water or flooded as is the chapel in Constitucion. Many missionaries (but luckily not Sami) may have lost all of their possessions. But from what I have heard only 1 church member is known dead & the church has already been distributing food from the storehouses they have in Chile.

My heart is  full of the blessings that these missionaries have received in spite of the situation they are in.
Her is part of a message sent by one of my missionary mother contacts:
Stay off the news channels...Channel the Lord...
Know that Chile has been taken to it's knees.....Do the same...
Don't listen to the tragedy .....Listen to the Spirit....
Don't research the seismic activity...rather the magnitude of the missionary activity.
Don't ask the Lord to calm the earth .... rather calm our souls
We say "Lord, my child is there, I can no longer take this"....He replies:
"I knew she could ...that is why she is there!

1 comment:

Merrill Family said...


I'm emotional just reading your posting/update of Chile after the quake(s). How grateful I am for the many miracles taking place there. I can't imagine the emotions you've been experiencing. Thanks for the information!

With love,
Tawna Merrill