March 4, 2015 3:15am
Something woke me up, I could hear voices outside "Vamos, Vamos!" Sometimes our neighbors are kind of loud so I figured they were just goofing off. Then I started to hear more voices outside, more yelling. And then a car with a siren of some kind drove past super fast. I never get up in the middle of the night, but for some reason this time I decided to see what was going on outside. First, I looked out our bedroom window. I could see our neighbors packing their car with food and other random things. Next, I went and looked out the kitchen window. The street was full of people walking with backpacks, bags of food, bottles of water, walking their pets, and pushing babies in strollers. I thought "what is going on?" "Volcano" was the first thing that popped into my head, but I quickly ruled that out. Just then the phone rang, It was the Elders:
"Hola Hermana. Como esta?"
" um...bien? Que esta pasando?"
"Mire el Volcan."
I ran out the front door and could not believe what I was seeing.
Fun facts about the Volcan Villarica:
1. Volcan Villarica is the 3 most active Volcano in the world.
2. Volcan Villarica is the most active volcano in South America
3. I live 15K (around 9 miles) from the Volcan Villarica
I felt like I was in a movie. Lava was shooting out of the Volcano into the air. There was a plume of smoke like I have never seen before. It was seriously one of the scariest things I have ever seen.
Phone conversation with the elders continued...
"Oh. my. gosh." "What do we need to do?"
"Does a member live close by?"
"uuuhh Yeah the Salamancas! We are going to the Salamancas'!"
"Okay pack your backpack with the main necessities and run over there as
soon as you can."
I don´t remember much of what happened between packing up and getting to the house of the Salamancans', but I can tell you it was a serious adrenaline rush.
We made it the Salamancas'. We stayed there and watched the news as the Volcano continued to erupt. Watching the videos and pictures of the Volcano I still couldn´t believe it. As we waited there for further instruction we received calls from the elders in Centro, the zone leaders, the branch president, the Secretary, and even Presidente Obeso called us a few times to make sure everything was okay. We were fine, just a little shaky.
We received a call saying we could return home and prepare to go to Villarica to have our interviews with the Mission President that we were supposed to have that day. We ran home, got ready like we usually do, and headed for the bus terminal.
As we were waiting at the bus terminal, we received another call from Presidente Obeso saying that we needed to return home and pack our bags. We were being evacuated from Pucón. We ran home and packed our bags for the next 10 days. The branch president came to pick us up and took us to the bus terminal again to head to Villarica. When we got there all the terminals were closed and we were told that the President of Chile herself was coming to Pucón to decide what needed to be done, and until then, no buses were leaving. Great. We called Presidente Obeso and told him the situation. He said, "I´m on my way."
Presidente Obeso to the rescue! We loaded our bags into his car and the 4 Missionaries of Pucón were off to Villarica. We had our interviews and went to work as usual in the sector of the Hermanas there. That night I received a phone call from the branch president saying that the president evacuated Pucón and that all the members of our Rama were coming to Villarica to stay in the Chapel there. I was told to call as many members as I could and to call all of our progressing investigators. That night I spent about an hour trying to get a hold of people to tell them to get to Villarica as fast as possible. Many of our members were either on their way to Villarica already, or had escaped to another city far away from the Volcano. After that night I didn´t hear any more news about the Volcano other than it was supposed to erupt one more time in the near future.
We were in Villarica from Tuesday morning, until Saturday night when we got news that the evacuation had been lifted and that we could return to Pucón.
Now everything is fine. Many people have come back to Pucón, and many people haven´t. There is still a super kind of eerie feeling here, but I´m sure it will be better in the coming weeks. We are still expecting another eruption, but we don´t quite now when. Either way were are prepared this time! What a Crazy experience.
I know the Lord watches over his missionaries. I was scared in the beginning for sure, but I never doubted that somehow we would be okay. I am thankful for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf, I know they helped!
|As long as it is breathing.. it is ok... they say..|
|Catch me if you can...|
|Warning Light - RED|