Well! President Toro went to Taltal to pick us up!!! yyyyyyaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!! we were so happy. we got into chañaral, had time to change our clothes and went down to the center of town immediately to start excavating his store... incredible.... you can see where the water got to. it was 7 feet high at its highest point. taller than i am, and in the whole part of the city... i took some pics but right now its a bit hard because we only have one computer and so we arent really able to write to a ton of poeple or do stuff like that. but one day i will get them all sent so you can see them. its crazy. this work is ROUGH. just shoveling mud, all day. its like endless work. we worked form about 2 to 8 the first day and we got half of the front part of the store... probably about the width of our house long and about 4 feet wide cleared down enough to walk through with boots on and not get them filled with mud. 6 hours of work. and that was probably about an eighth of the mud. and that doesnt include all the time that we are gonna need to take to clean things off. take out his furniture and just try and save things in general. plus, that was six of us. and that was only one of the threee places that are owned by members that got hit. so, we have lots of work hahahaha. on the second day i was destroyed. the third... worse, but the fourth i felt better :) also, fun fact, when every single person on the street is throwing out as much mud as they can as fast as they can, the street gets really full of mud. and they literally cannot keep it clean. they cant pick it up as fast as we throw it down. they have a constant stream of loaders and tractors and skidsters oh my! fun times
So here we are in this wonderful city that has suffered some serious damages. we get nice and dirty but we have a good time while working. its pretty crazy how happy we can be even though we are all dead tired. and people seem to be really giving right now as well. there are lots of people just gifting medical masks for all the dust and mud, and gloves, even work clothes and boots. lots of volunteers form other cities, its cool. plus the other night when we got bakc to the house, we heard a semi horn blare a few times and people start to scream so we ran outside and they were just throwing 6 liter jusgs of water form a big truck! they gave us 5! so that was sweet! Plus we have had lots of help come from the church in form of food and water that people have brought to us. that whole fast offereing thing that President Eyering talked about is helping us out right now. that, and the humanitarian fund. but things are getting back to normal as far as shipments of foods to the stores and such.
we have electricity, but we still dont have water... so we are currently using two of those 20 liter things that we fill with water in these massive things that they have put out in the street for everyone, plus if you are at home there are a few water trucks that just pass by and fill up all the things you have waiting by the door... our problem is a lack of things to fill up hahaha. but we have become professionals in showering with a tiny bit of water that we warm up in front of the heater at night so its not so terrible, and we take hose baths almost every day in the church, that has water and electricity. so thats fun! i remember when i was a kid and we used to play in the mud and then had the obligatory hose down to be able to enter the house. its the same. Thankfully (more blessings) The water in the churhc is somehow lukewarm, so its surviveable.
Anyways. we are just having a party! we have worked a lot! and i think we probably have a good week more of it before things start to even out here.
Conference was awesome! we got to see the first two sessions on saturday but had to skip the priesthood session because there was a.... i dont have this word... toque de queda.... when you cant be out in the street past a certain hour because the military is petrolling... curfew? is that it? i dont remember. anyways. we werent able to watch the priesthood session. and on sunday morning we got to see the MoTab presentation and the first 30 seconds of the conference before the powerr went out ofr the next three hours. we waited there... but it never came back. thankfully, we got to see the second session!
it was a great conference! great talks, lots and lots about families and the importance of them. I liked it a lot! and about our need to hold strong to our own beliefs and our faith in God. we must only trust in Him.
The church is true! the work is good! im loving it! this has been an awesome part of my mission! im safe and happy and grateful for my companion. he is a sweet guy. I hope you all know that i love you and i know that the Gospel is exactly what we need. i will never be the same! i love it!!!!!
have a great week!