As many of you know, my little brother Nate is serving a mission in Concepción, Chile and was near the center of one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded last night. We haven't heard from Nate himself yet, but my family has just received word from the Church's Missionary Department saying that all missionaries are safe and accounted for. So far, the official church statement says:
Eight of the Church’s nine Chilean mission presidents have checked in and are reporting all missionaries are safe and accounted for. We are still trying to reach the mission president in the Concepción South Mission, which is closest to the epicenter and two missionaries on the Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Not useful since Nate is part of the Concepción South Mission, but I'll trust whatever call my parents got and declare him just fine. Thank you to all of you who expressed prayers and concern on his behalf.
Immediately after getting word that Nathan was safe, Trevor said something like "Well lucky him. Or maybe it wasn't luck; perhaps it was destiny or really good reflexes." We continued in that vein and my perception of what Nate went through now has a lot to do with impossible dodges of falling rubble with two unconscious fellow missionaries on his shoulders. Epic.
Fun Fact: My father also went on a mission to Chile (Santiago) and almost exactly 25 years ago (March 3rd, 1985), he also experienced a huge earthquake there (8.0 magnitude, 177 dead, 2,575 hurt, 142,489 destroyed houses and about a million people homeless) (Yesterday's was 8.8 magnitude, 214 confirmed dead so far and who knows how much damage, so Nate...wins?). Crazy coincidence, yes?
And now for the sentimental part (complete with call to action!):
When I heard about the earthquake (thanks for the text, Nishi), my first thought was "Man, I should've written Nate more often. If something's happened to him, I'll feel terrible." He's one of my favorite people on earth, but I've been "too busy" to write. Life's short and unpredictable; regardless of how advanced our technology and medicine and all that is in this modern age, things happen all the time that straight up kill people.
Think of someone you care about but haven't spoken to in a while and get in touch with him/her. You'll be glad you did (probably). I'm picking my Little Sniddlyookins (I have no idea how that nickname came to be, but I'm Nate's Mother Sniddlyookins and he's my Little Sniddlyookins...yeah).