Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 7, 2014

A week of craziness, but so wonderful.

On tuesday night another earthquake hit. I believe it was an 8.2. We were in a family home evening with a recent convert Patricia and her kids. We group hugged in the doorway and watched the powerlines and houses sway. It lasted for two and a half minutes. We prayed together, then ran for the church building as the Tsunami siren started to go off.  

At the church we set up chairs and invited people to come in and wait out the Tsunami warning. Hundreds of people waited in and outside, and we had tons of opportunities to serve. It was wonderful! I mostly walked around with cups of water asking if people were thirsty and giving them water. I helped people find places to sleep, find the bathroom (all the lights were out) and answered other questions and assisted other needs. 

I did my best to smile and talk calmly to others. I wanted them to know that we would be alright. I felt so much love for strangers that night. Around 2 or 3 in the morning, we curled up under some of the benches and slept for a few hours.

The next day we had another earthquake at night and repeated everything that happened the night before, helping and sleeping again at the church. This night I hummed and sang hymns as I helped to calm those around me. It also helped to calm my nerves.

On thursday they sent us to Calama to wait out the earthquakes, so as of right now we are staying with two Hermanas in Calama (a few hours inland). 

But I completely forgot about all of this this weekend as I was enveloped in Heavenly Father's words. As I listened to General Conference, I was inspired, motivated, and joyful. I remembered my purpose on earth and in my mission. I felt the spirit so strongly I couldn't help but smile as I listened. 

Despite these challenges, I know who I am, I know my purpose, and I know that whatever happens is God's plan for me, and I trust in him with all of my heart. I want to talk about all the things I learned, but my email is already a mile long. So, I will talk about all my favorite talks next week. I know God loves us, and he is mindful of us. He is always thinking about us, and waiting to help. We just need to call upon him. 

 I feel so grateful for the blessings in my life. I have so so much. I loved conference. I love this church. I love Jesus Christ, and I love my Heavenly Father. 

Hermana Richardson

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