This week has been full of service and recovery for what happened last Saturday to Monday. Many days were spent in the hills performing service for members and citizens effected by the fire. There is A LOT to do up where the fire destroyed 3 thousand houses and I feel that the process of reconstructing what was lost will take months if not years. Most of the families of the ward who are now without houses are still cleaning their property so that they can begin the reconstruction. People from all parts of Chile found transportation in order to help in the grand service project. School was cancelled the entire week because most of the houseless people are staying in the school buildings. Valparaiso is moving forward, slowly but surely.
Yesterday for Easter, our Bishop explained the similarity between Christ´s last week before his death, and the past week that we had here in Valparaiso. In His last week, Jesus suffered from persecution, betrayal, loneliness, denial, and everything that we have suffered, suffer right now, and will suffer. The brief period between His utter pain in the Garden and His sacrifice on the cross was the hardest moment when He felt the true price of sin. The Atonement was then completed through his Resurrection on Sunday morning, when suffering ended and light was illuminated through the darkness. The week here in Chile started with total darkness due to the smoke and ashes. Pain was felt by all across Chile as news spread. Sweat was shed as those who sacrificed days of study and work came together to repair what was lost. All work ceased on Sunday in order to celebrate the Resurrection of our great Savior. There is always a glimpse of hope among the clouds of darkness.
I´m going to try to send some photos really quickly!
1. The smoke.
2. More smoke in front of a church.
3. The burning houses at around 10:30 PM.
Well the computer is extremely slow so I´ll send one more of how I looked after working in the hills all day. Just kidding. The time has ended. That´ll have to wait for the next week.