Alright, well I`m gonna try and write as much as I can. We`ll see how it goes.
At about 3:30 in the morning I was laying half awake in bed when I felt a little vibration and opened my eyes. Then everything started vibrating more intensely. My bed started shaking, the window started rattling. After a few seconds the entire house was shaking pretty crazily. My companion then jumps out of bed and shouts ¨¡ÈLDER MOONEY ÈLDER MOONEY LEVANTATE! Hay un terremoto!¨ I was tired, comfortable, and kind of shocked and had absolutely no desire to get out of bed, but I did because the top bunk in a bunk bed probably isn`t the safest place to be during an earthquake. Elder Tello then started running across the apartment to wake up the other elders. The shaking nearly knocked him over. Elder Wilkey was already awake putting on his pants, but Elder Laney was still completely asleep (how, I don`t know?). We waited for about another minute and the earthquake died down. The power was out, it was pitch black in the house and we started searching for lights. Elder Wilkey and I found flashlights and Elder Tello lit a few candles. We looked around the house and everything seemed ok. Things had fallen off the shelves and water spilt out of the toilet bowl, but besides that, everything seemed ok. We quickly got dressed and put on tennis shoes in case another one came. We then got our backpacks ready with food and supplies in case we had to leave quickly. We checked the phones and they were dead. We looked outside and tons of people were outside looking around and a few people were packing up their cars and leaving. We weren`t 100% sure what to do...
Now let`s go back in time a little bit: A couple weeks ago our mission president gave us a few sheets of papers that had to do with WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN EARTHQUAKE. It explained the procedures we would take. It explained that we should all have money, dried food, and water prepared in a backpack. It had everything. We read it and figured we`d get it ready pretty soon. Then, the day just before the Earthquake President Laycock, his wife, and the assistant missionaries came to our zone to do house inspections / interviews. They talked to us about how important it will be to have our emergency supplies ready and before leaving we did a blessing over the apartment. They did that for our entire zone. We asked the President if these precautions were something that all the missions were doing or just ours. He said, just ours. We need to be prepared. Pretty powerful huh?
Back to the earthquake. We couldn`t call or do anything but wait. Elder Laney pulled out his MP3 player and somehow got it to play the radio. We listened to what they were saying for a while but it didn`t help much. This whole time Elder Laney, Elder Wilkey, and I were all pretty chill, but my companion was a different story. He was shouting commands, bagging all the food he had, and going nuts. He denies it now though.
We had the order to wait an hour in the apartment if something ever happened and if we didn`t recieve a call, then go to the chapel. After about a half hour we got a call from the office telling us to stay in our pensions with everything prepared in case of another. I got everything ready and went back to bed. The others couldn`t sleep and decided to make yellow rice and fried eggs. Every once in a while we felt some pretty strong temors and one big one in the morning. We stayed in the pension until about 12:30 when we recieved a call from the office to go to our scheduled lunches in our sectors, but to go in our street clothes. We would be offering service to all members, investigators, less actives, and anyone we knew. We went to lunch and the hermana had been going nuts because she hadn`t been able to get a hold of us and figured we were terrified or dead or something. We went to a bunch of the areas with houses that could have been in danger, but we found everyone to be in good conditions. No major damage in our area at all.
The major fear of everyone now is the replica or after shock that`s supposed to come. Everyone was expecting it the same day and it never came. They say it has to come though. Everyone`s flooding the stores now, buying all the food they can carry and more. Some malls and large stores are being robbed. Everyone was afraid that the water would be bad after the quake. Now we`re hearing that they might cut the water in Santiago. So we have every bottle, bowl, and cup full of water. The tub and the washing machine are full too. The office also gave us some fancy pants water bottles with filters about a month ago that we can use. There`s a little bit of a panic going on though.
On Sunday we held Sacrament meeting as normal and the Bishop chose to speak the whole time after sacrament. They then canceled the last 2 hours so that people could contact and visit family.
Truth is though. The earthquake felt really cool though. The ground, the walls, everything moving was insane and kind of exciting. Nothing really happened to us here. Unfortunately it hit other parts so much worse. I can`t even imagine being in the middle of all that. I pray that they`re all ok and that the aftershock is a lot less powerful (if there is one?).
I`m ok though. I miss you all more then I`ve ever missed you. The knowledge that I`m sealed to my family is actually a huge comfort to me now even though I`m not in much danger at this point in time. It`s been crazy here, but strangely normal as well. I hope that Chile can help the people who really are suffering and I also hope that this helps people remember what`s really important in this life.
I love you all so much! Thank you for the worry and concern, but it`s all ok now. Tranquilo. You`re the best and I`m so lucky to have such amazing friends and family.
Elder Matthew D. Mooney