I feel "moved" once again to tell you that I am absolutely OK!!! We have had some decently strong seismic activity here over the last week or so, and were out working for some of it as we don't have toque de queda now (curfew), as of last Monday it was lifted. But all is good here, the big replica during el cambio de mando hopefully wasn't an omen, de hecho, as long as Presidente Piñera allows the Church to keep missionaries here in Chile and we can keep working I'm indifferent to the change. It was definitely interesting to see the replays of the former president speaking and it quaking at the same time.
Just to keep y'all informed, we are expecting strong-ish seismic activity here in Chile for about the next 1-2 months (but it shouldn't be anything near like what it was). So please don't be shocked or scared for me unless it is bigger than about an 8.0 (Richter) close to Santiago.
Qulicura has finally normalized with power, water, cell phone service, todo todo... But yesterday the IV Region to the X Region of Chile had a black-out of 2 hours in the which the government had no idea what had happened. ¡Bien divertido! We were looking to see if it was a local thing at first but then noticed it was all of Quilicura. Upon listening to the radio of the neighbors we realized it was more than 1/2 of the country that was in the dark. It's almost like someone got bored and wanted to see what Chile would do without electricity! LOL.
This week was a really good week here in our sector. It is true that the people here have now opened, or are opening, their hearts to the message of the Gospel because of what has happened. We have a few people preparing and progressing towards baptism and were able to stay busy teaching for the large part of this week. It feels good to be busy again. I think a lot of our motivation was to avoid feeling like we did last week when we had to be sitting in the house for a large part of our effective teaching hours (8:00-10:00 pm). It feels good to teach and to help; it definitely makes the time pass by faster (almost 7 months now).
SHOUT OUT!!! Just a quick shout out to everyone who has asked how I am. For all to know, I am at least still living!!!
I officially became Chilean this past week!!! LOL. Friday morning (early) we had to go to the center to register our visas to stay in Chile. At first we are on a tourist visa for 6 months (Elder Davenport's was going to expire on Saturday or Sunday) and afterwards we have temporary visas for 1 year. So Friday we had to run to a bunch of government offices, la extranjería, InterPol, and el registro civil, to get our visa and Chilean identification card called a carné. So when I receive the card after the 24th of this month I'll officially have my Chilean ID, since I'm already legal... LOL
I'm really missing Spring right now, especially since after the earthquake the weather got really hot again. We are occassionally getting a little cool blast, mostly at night, so we are hoping it will finish changing pretty soon. Also the time didn't change here like it should have the first weekend in March and won't do it until the first weekend in April (by order of the government). It is interesting that they would do that, or that they even have the ability to do so... luckily I think this is the first time that it has happened in the history of Chile, and it took the 5th strongest earthquake in modern history to do it (I think that is pretty good motive).
Just to let you know, Correos Chile (the postal service here) had their offices closed when the office normally picks up the packages last week, so I should know on Wednesday if it has arrived. If it has I will have it at this time, if not it would have been better off on the slow boat because the mail system here is really slow anyways! That is my only real problem with Chile so far, but I knew ahead of time that I'd have it.
I still need pictures from y'all... Ryah said she was going to send some of the family in their natural habitat (aka Texas). So please, please, please get them to me as soon as you can. Just e-mail them and when I have my flash drive I'll put them on there to print them here.
So good to hear that everyone in Good Ol' East Texas is doing good. Just a warning for everyone who lives close to the site of a future temple, beware of natural disasters... they seem to be the way the Lord has chosen to cleanse the earth in preparation for his Holy House. (I think Elder Davenport is sending a notice to his family [in Payson] and his brother [Guatemala] warning of the same thing, as both are preparing to construct temples close-by.)
I love you all and miss you bunches! Please write me a handwritten letter in reply to the one y'all got recently. I look forward to getting some mail!
¡Todo mi amor y cariño! ¡Mis oraciones siempre son para ustedes!
-- Élder Todd
P.S. - Mom, Gabe, and Ryah: How is the Spanish coming? ¿Pueden entender por lo menos ahora? Por qué yo creo que las llamadas por el Día de la Madre van a ser difícil para hablar inglés.