Right off the bat Im going to say that we are 100% fine!! :) Everyone is a little shaken (literally and emotionally) but other than that nothing happened :) The epicenter was far enough away that when it hit us, it was strong, but no damage occurred :)
So I'll give you the details on where we were. We had been passing by the homes of various members asking for references and telling them about the activity the obra misional is putting on in the ward this friday. It had been raining on and off, but we had been lucky that everytime it rained we were inside a house, and just as we left the houses it stopped raining. It was about 8 at night and we stopped at the house of a member whose mom has alzheimers to see how she was doing. We were sitting on the couch talking with them, accompanied by bebida (of course) and the sound of the rain pattering on her tin roof. All of a sudden, we felt the floor start to shake......not like shaking Ive ever felt in California, rolling like if your on a roller coaster. Teresa froze and said "theres an earthquake" and started having a bit of a panic attack. Usually temblores only last a few seconds, but this one kept strong for what felt like a minute...the whole time our bodies visibily moving in a counterclockwise swivel. As time went on, Teresa started panicking more and more and told us that this was how the earthquake in 2010 started out. The rolling passed, and it was actually a really cool experience considering that to us, the earthquake was really smooth and nothing eratic. We had no idea how big it actually was until we got calls from the members telling us the details. Our Zone Leaders called us later that night to make sure we were all okay, and to make sure our emergency backpacks were ready should something else happen. Nothing else happened, but it was heartbreaking to hear the next morning about the tsunami that hit afterwards and the damage that was caused in other parts that were not as fortunate as ours.
It's times like this when I feel so lucky to have the gospel in my life and the assurance that all will be alright, especially the protection that comes from being someone who not only has the gospel but also lives it. Hna Teresa had a little panic attack during the earthquake, and the only thing we told her that calmed her down was the fact that Hermana Flores and I were there, and because of that we promised nothing would happen to her or her mom.
In the scriptures it talks about disasters both natural and social, and how mens hearts will fail them. Things like earthquakes really put into perspective and help us remember the role that the gospel has in our lives. That by being true followers and having the name of Christ written upon the fleshy parts of our hearts (2 Corinthios 3:3) and keeping our covenants we have no need to fear that which is to come because we have the sure promises of the Lord. I know that there are many other things to come, not necessarily the shifting of tectonic plates, but also the shifting of social values and things of similar nature. I am so grateful for the eternal principles Ive learned here on the mission, that I'll be able to carry and defend for the rest of my life.