Hey guys. Just so you know, we are all safe and sound. It was a pretty exciting night, but no big damage was done within our mission, just a few houses fell in Santo Domingo, but no missionaries or members were hurt. The missionaries in the Ecuador Quito North mission are all safe, as well. We were teaching a lesson on the 3rd floor of a house when it started, it was super intense/kind of exciting!! We stayed in the house for about 30 seconds, and then went down to the street for the next 1.5 minutes of the earthquake. The houses were shaking and the cables as well. A few of the families closest to me are from the provinces Manabi and Esmeraldas, but I have gotten in touch with one of the families, and am waiting to hear from the other. Hopefully everyone is doing okay. We have received tons of calls and emails here in the offices, but we are doing our best to comfort all the parents/family members and tell them that all is well in Zion! We have been praying hard for all those affected. Keep my people in your prayers! Love you all!
And the longer email on April 23rd ~
It was quite a crazy week here in Ecuador. As most of you have heard, there was a pretty severe earthquake Saturday night. More than 600 people were killed and 12500 injured, and many are still missing. Most of the damage took place on the coast, so here in Quito everything has been much more tranquilo, although we felt the main earthquake very strongly and have felt a few aftershocks throughout the past few days. Thanks for the prayers, and keep praying for this amazing country. I have reflected a little over these past few days...thoughts: a) How grateful I am to know that there is life after death and that if I do what God has asked I can be with my family for ever. B) This gospel truly provides peace and happiness. So many members or investigators have felt a strong peace during all of this madness. It has been especially cool to hear stories of members in the coast who acted in faith and were protected during the main quake. C) While it is very tragic what has been going on here, in many places of the world this amount of people die with MUCH more frequency... Moral of the story, we got a lot of work to do, folks.
Post-quake guinea pig
On Thursday we went to Santo Domingo, which is the main zone that was affected. While some houses fell and a few missionaries houses were damaged, everyone is doing okay. President gave everyone a big pep talk and helped all the missionaries down there calm down and get re focused on the work! We are beginning to see many people open their hearts due to the current situations in this country.
Today we played some soccer, basketball, and ping pong, versus the assistants and secretaries of the Quito North Mission. They beat us in Soccer, but we beat them in Basketball. So...to be continued... It was super fun. We went HARD for about 2.5 hours, it felt great to get a sweat on and ball out. Almost had a SICK put back dunk...moral of the story...my glory days are done.
Love you all and appreciate the concern/support/love/prayers! #ContigoEcuador
Gym in our new house