Elder Dallin Dean Gomez

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dallin Collecting Cool Stamps

January 31, 2011  
Hello everybody,

I´m so glad to hear that everyone is doing good! Everyone who I have heard
from lately seems to be doing great. I am doing great too! We got the news
for cambios (transfers) on Saturday...and...I´m staying in Labranza for
another transfer! Elder Reeves is leaving! Already! We´ve only been together
for one cambio?? But all is well, he´s going to be a zone leader. I will be
getting Elder Beltran. There are two Elder Beltrans in the mission, but the
one almost everyone thinks I´m getting is from Columbia...so it should be
awesome. I´m exciting to be getting another Latino (native Spanish speaker)
As for my Spanish...I think I´m fluent. There are a lot of random words that
I still don´t know...but hey, there are a lot of random words in English
that I don´t know also.

Shout out to: Amy Berry! Claar Runyan! Candice Winters! Angie Cox! And
everyone else who´s pregnant! Babies are great.
Also to Brandon Winters, who I hear is getting his mission call this week!!
How awesome!

Here´s some random information that people have wondered before-
-we eat almuerzo (lunch) with members just about every day...but sometimes
they forget. So when they forget we just end up eating at our own house.
Basically...we eat meat, rice, potatoes, vegetables, pasta....that´s about
it! Sometimes there´s some different food...but normally it´s those five
things, which isn´t bad. I really like the food here. I´ve had Lasagna a few
times also.
-The biggest city close to Labranza is Temuco, which is about 15 or 20
minutes away. In Temuco there´s everything, it´s like a normal US city

Alright, this week was really good! We had a conference with Elder Carlos H.
Amado, of the seventy. He came down and spoke to about 75 of us
missionaries. The leaders of this church are truly called of God. Pay real
special attention to the next general conference in April...they are
inspired men who receive revelation to guide the world.

The highlight of this week was that the received two new members of the
church this week from Labranza, Chile! :) Luis and Beto. Luis was baptized
on Saturday! And him and Beto were confirmed yesterday in church. It has
been such a neat experience to teach them. I´m so lucky to be on my misison
in the service of the Lord!

Another highlight of this week was the blessing we were able to give to a
little baby. He is the son of a member and an investigator, and we got to
their house one day this week and his mom (member) asked us right away if we
could give him a blessing, because he had a bad fever and a cold. So we gave
him a priesthood blessing, and immediately afterward, and for the rest of
the time we were there, he was completely fine. Just a normal baby once
again, playing with us and not crying. He was healed. God really is here
with us, and there is a power in this world that we can´t see but is real!
The last two verses of D&C 131 say it really good. I think I´ve shared that
before. I really like it. Remember that if you ever need, you can ask a
priesthood holder for a blessing.
I´ve seen miracles and miracles happen here (and throughout my whole life)
but a lot here, physically and spiritually. I know they are real!

Another interesting thing that happened yesterday- we were knocking on doors
and a man opened it and straight up said "I don´t like you!" That was the
first thing he said. Ha ha. It ended better though. We explained some of the
things he had heard about but didn´t understand completely. Once people get
to know who we really are, there´s no way they can not like us, because we
are representatives of Christ, truly. But you can´t blame people for not
knowing that.
Well...to finish off, because my time is short, it really is a marvelous
work. Thanks for all of your support and love and prayers!

Tender Mercy- The spirit will always help you if you are doing what
you´re supposed to. I always try to rely on the Spirit, and I still don´t do
it nearly as much as I should- ALWAYS! And that goes for all of you too. If
you receive a good though of something to do, do it! It´s from the spirit.

Oh, also, there is an official...game? starting right now. A stamp contest.
I´ve taken up a new hobbie since I´ve been on the mission, collecting
stamps. So I´m calling out to everyone...send me cool stamps on your
letters! I will keep track of who sends the coolest stamps and they will
win! (and I´ll have a bunch of cool stamps:D )

Love, Elder Gomez

*Elder Dallin Dean Gomez*
Chile Concepcion South Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dallin's Sketch

I had to add this picture to Dallin's blog.  He drew it at the bottom of a page of his last snail mail letter. He was telling us the story of finding Carolina - - a lady they have been teaching.  He called it "one of those classic missionary stories", and this is his illustration of the experience :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Elder Gomez email - Beto Baptism

 January 24, 2011
Hola familia y amigos,

This week has been a great one. I always learn so much here. This transfer
has gone by so fast. Well, there is still one more week left, but it really
did fly by. This week we had capacitaciones, or...training, from the mission
president and his assistants. We talked a lot about teaching to people`s
needs and following the spirit. Also about using Preach My Gospel.
Something I`ve learned this week is how much the things we do right now in
our life (as young people) will affect us in the future. Every little thing
you do builds your character.

Yesterday, Beto got baptized. Beto is the father and husband of an active
family. Missionaries have been teaching him for a lot of years now, and
finally he made it to baptism. The only way that could have happened is if
the gospel was true! He had some doubts about Joseph Smith, tithing, the
golden plates...etc. So we talked a lot about Joseph Smith, and the ways he
could come to know whether or not he is a true prophet. Because if he
isn`t...what did he lose? But if he is...what can he gain? Everything!  And
so it is. We have to find out for ourselves. Did the restoration of the
church of Jesus Christ actually take place or no? I can tell you in surety
that Joseph Smith was actually called of God to restore the gospel to the
earth! The Book of Mormon is concrete physical evidence to that fact. I love
some scriptures from the Book of Mormon...2 Nephi 33:10, Alma 5:45-46, Alma
26:30-31, and a lot more, but those are some of the scriptures I´ve read

 Anyway, back to Beto, he finally gained a testimony of Joseph Smith through
the Book of Mormon and the spirit, and now he has a firm testimony of the
gospel. I feel so...lucky to be a part of such a special moment for their

The most important type of evidence we can gain is the spirit. Why did Laman
and Lemuel doubt after seeing an angel? You´d think that after that grand
occasion they would be faithful forever...but that´s not how it works.
Because their hearts were hardened, it didn´t matter what they saw! This
story shows that spiritual evidence is more powerful than physical evidence.
If we seek it with a SINCERE heart, with REAL intent, having FAITH, the Holy
Ghost will testify to us of the truthfulness of these things. Alma 5:45-46
says it really good.

Doctrine and Covenants 131:6-8 is one of my favorites that I´ve read lately.
The scriptures are wonderful and they hold so much truth in them! There have
been two experiences this week where some random topic got brought up in a
discussion of some sort, and I just happened to be studying that very topic
in my personal study in the morning. The most random one was last week in
church, we were talking about judgement day and the resurrection, and the
teacher of the class said she had a question. She´s always heard about there
being ONE book opened in the day of judgement with everything from our lives
written in it, but she heard about ANOTHER book also being opened but she
didn´t know what it was. I had randomly...RANDOMLY been reading that exact
thing in the morning. Ha ha. So I whipped open the Bible to Revelations
20:12 like a professional and it was cool. But it did strengthen my
testimony that we will always receive answers to our questions from the
scriptures. It happens all the time to me.

This is the last week of this transfer, so I`ll let you all know next week
what happens.

Tender Mercy- When Heavenly Father makes a promise, he always keeps it!
Remember that. It says it perfectly in John 14:15 and 18.

Love you all,

Elder Gomez

ps- photos are of:
-Beto´s baptism,
-me with Hermana Obreque (she`s kind of like my mom here. they LOVE having
the missionaries over and always will do anything for us. I`ve learned a lot
of good recipes from her)
-Beto`s family on Christmas day

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day from Dallin

January 17, 2011
Hola familia y amigos,
Everything has been really good this week. I´m learning a lot like always.
We had the confirmations for Camila and Barbara this week. It was a really
neat experience. Normally the bishop confirms them during sacrament
This time I confirmed one of them though. The only scary part was that I was
informed that I would confirm her 5 minutes before Camila was to be
confirmed so I was like...yeah...ok, I can do this...and then I realized
that I don´t know how to confirm someone in Spanish, and THEN I realized
that I probably did know because I have heard it before and that I could
probably figure it out.  It was fine. I said some random words
that I´ve heard before but I don´t know what they mean, so I was a little
nervous that I said something bad or something. Ha ha. But apparently
everything sounded right, so that´s good! It was really cool talking to
Camila and Barbara afterward. They described how they felt during the
confirmations and they felt the spirit so strong. I´m so happy to be here
being a part of the work of the Lord.

Elder Reeves is pretty cool. We´re having a good time working
together...but I have a feeling one of us is leaving in a couple weeks for
the next transfer. And I have a feeling it´s me. But...who knows. His
parents are about to be mission presidents. They know it´s going to be a
Spanish speaking mission but they are going to find out in the next few
weeks where. They will start in July...right when my mission president
leaves....oooohh. Ha ha. They could possibly come here, who knows? If you
randomly want to see Elder Reeves´ parents,
there you go. They are the fourth down.

This morning our stake played soccer against the other stake down here. It
was intense. My goal for myself while I´m down here is to come back
playing soccer like a professional. There are so many good players! Little
five year olds can dominate me. I always ask them to teach me their

This week we have two more baptisms. Beto! y Luis!!! I´m so excited. Beto´s
family has always been active members and I think a lot of missionaries
tried to work with him, but they never made much progress. But me and
Chavez worked with him a lot, and he finally knows that the Book of Mormon
is true, and that Joseph Smith is a true profet. Once people gain a
SPIRITUAL witness that Joseph Smith did in fact see Heavenly Father and
Jesus Christ and is a true propet...goodness, how do you spell prophet in
English? Once they know that, they automatically know that all of the
parts such as the word of wisdom and tithing are true.
Even Luis, who had the HARDEST time with tithing, because he is on a very
strict budget, and doesn´t want to give away his money, knows that it´s a
true law from God. He knows it because he knows that the gospel really was

By the way, Jose Daniel has been reading and studying Jesus the Christ,
and his testimony is doing good....but then we went to his house yesterday
he was out in the park...WITH A LIP RING! Flip. Anyway, he still is
reading  and has a testimony....I´m just contemplating how we can help him
understand that lip rings aren´t good!

And that is what has been on my mind a lot lately...if this gospel was in
fact restored, then we have a lot of work to do!! Vamos my brothers and
sisters! Lets be the saints that Our Heavenly Father needs. The reason
been on my mind is because of all the members that there are here in Chile,
15% are active. It´s sad. We find a lot of inactive members
while tracting. And so I´ve been thinking a lot about how all of us as
followers of Christ, his true church, we know the truth of life! Why are
so many inactive? Honestly, this work is going to keep going forward until
everyone in the world has heard the news about Christ, but wouldn´t it be
better if we helped it move a lot faster. I promise, it´s super cool to be
a part of it. :) Let´s always strive to be the good examples Heavenly
Father needs!

Everyone is awesome here. The members are so nice, and always willing to
help and FEED the missionaries. :D The people in general are really
The biggest responses we get from people, or the most common, is that it
doesn´t matter what religion you believe in as long as you believe in
Christ. But in reality, there is a right way, there is one way! The gospel
of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4:5 is true!

I love you all, and hope everything is good. I just found out it was Martin
Luther King Jr. Day. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day :)

Elder Gomez

*Elder Dallin Dean Gomez*
Chile Concepcion South Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503

Friday, January 14, 2011

Address Request :)

*Elder Dallin Dean Gomez*
Chile Concepcion South Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 503

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

dear Mom funnies

I decided to share some of the stuff from my Dallin email because it was funny! 
How are you Mom? 
I made a goal here, I´m going to come home way good at fĂștbol and piano.
 And I made another goal...I´m not going to break the word of wisdom
 anymore...ha ha. :D I was at a members house and they gave us this really good
 completely natural orange nectar....yeah...right....it was actually tea. I had like 3
 cups full. It was really good! Me and Elder Reeves looked at the package
 because it was so good and we wanted to get some...and Elder Reeves read
 the back and it was tea. Great! And this was at Beto´s house, who we were
 ABOUT to teach the Word of Wisdom to. We did end up teaching it actually, and it
 was good....but I´m a sinner.
 Let´s see...everything is good!

 Que dijo un jaguar al otro?  Jaguar you? 
 Have Dad read it in his accent.

 I love you, Elder Gomez

Monday, January 10, 2011


January 10, 2011

Hola familia y amigos,

This week was very eventful. First of all, we had two baptisms this week! :)
Barbara (12) was baptized. And Camila (15)  was baptized! I´ll attach
pictures. They are both awesome and were so ready to be baptized.

One of the highlights this week was that LUIS (36) accepted finally an
invitation to be baptized! It´s a long story, but basically...he believes
the church is true. Every part of it. He has a testimony of Joseph Smith,
the Book of Mormon, and all of the commandments. He stopped drinking coffee
with no problem. He used to drink 6 cups throughout each morning, and he
immediately went to drinking juice and has ever since. The only thing that
was keeping him from being baptized was that he didn´t think he´s received
an answer. The problem is, he´s waiting for God to answer him with some
physical sign, but the thing is...he´s already felt the Holy Ghost...that´s
how he knows that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that everything in our
church is true. But he wants to know everything before he gets baptized.
We´ve read all sorts of scriptures with him, Ether 12:6, and others. And I
think he finally understands how God works now! He won´t give everything to
you, you have to show your faith first and ACT! So he said that even if he
doesn´t receive "his answer", he is going to be baptized on the 23rd of this
month! That´s also the same day as Beto is going to be baptized, so we are

Another cool thing that happened with Luis is that his mom was at his house
one of the days we came. She was so happy to meet us and said that Luis had
told her a lot about us. She thanked us for all of the things we´ve done for
her son. She said that we´ve changed a lot of things! One specific thing
that she mentioned is that he dumped all of his bad friends, or party
friends basically, who just wanted him to drink with them. And he doesn´t
feel as lonely anymore. He´s 36 and unmarried and has wanted to get married
for a long time now. Anyway, it was pretty neat to have a mom of a 36
year-old thank us for changing her son. Thank our Savior Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we taught Beto the Word of Wisdom and we watched the video, "Touch
of the master" I think it´s that in English. It´s a really awesome video
about an old man who is a very skilled violin maker. He made a really really
beautiful violin, and played a song on it right after it was finished. Then
he sold it to someone, and it started to get beat up and scratched and
broken through different owners. Finally, after a while, the violin doesn´t
look very attractive, and it´s put up for sale in an auction. At first it
was only going to sell for 3 or 4 dollars...but finally, a man walked up to
the front, cleaned it up, fixed the strings, and then played a beautiful
song on it, and then gave it back to the auctioneer. someone bought it for
$3,600. All it needed was a touch of the maker.
It´s all related to us, and how we are all creations of Heavenly Father, our
maker. And there are people who don´t treat their bodies right. Slowly, they
lose their self worth. But in the end all that we need is a touch of the
master-- Jesus Christ, to heal us.
He committed to live the word of wisdom and he is excited still for his
baptism! Whooh.

Another highlight of this week is that we had 10 investigators at church! 12
including Barbara and Camila, but they got baptized after church so they´re
members now. :)

Another really neat family that we are teaching are Magali (mom) and
Carolina (18). Through finding and teaching them, I have gained a testimony
of following the spirit. We first knocked on Magali´s door probably a month
ago, and she wasn´t too interested. She said she was kind of busy so we
asked if we could come back another day. We came back, and we did something
that we normally don´t do. Magali wasn´t interested and was trying to get us
to leave basically. We (me and Elder Chavez) just kept talking to her
though! We usually don´t like to stay too long if we can see the people
clearly aren´t interested. And that´s basically what Magali was saying, but
we just kept talking and not leaving! Ha ha. And she kept giving us reasons
why she wasn´t interested. Finally, we said that maybe someone in your house
is interested even if you´re not, so she said gave us a phone number and
said that we can come back the next day and see. So we came back, and her
daughter Carolina was home, but Magali wasn´t. Carolina (18) has all sorts
of good questions! We taught her, and we taught them 1 or 2 more lessons,
answering really good questions that they have, and invited them to church,
which we do to a lot of people. But they actually came! It was pretty cool.
They stayed for the baptisms after church too. And they LOVED it! Everyone
who comes to church can feel that there is something right about it. So
later in the afternoon we stopped by and only Magali was there, but we had a
really good lesson with her. She and Carolina understand the gospel so well!
A lot of people feel the spirit and believe it, but still they won´t learn a
lot of it until they´ve been members for a while. But they already know a
lot now! They are going to be members soon, I´ve got a feeling.

Let´s see, what else? I´ve been having allergies like crazy. They nearly
kill me sometimes. But somehow I´m alive at the end of the day. I think
I´m allergic to air or something, which is really bad because it´s necessary
to live. (ha ha, joke)

My companion, Elder Reeves, is really cool. He´s from Arizona, has 8
brothers and sisters. Darn, he beat me!

I´ll end it here! This is a long one. Ask me any questions you have.

Tender Mercy- I´ve received energy that I technically shouldn´t have! It´s
been in the 90´s almost the whole week, and walking around all day, playing
soccer, teaching people, non-stop is exhausting, but I´ve specifically
prayed for strength to make it through without losing my....my...awakeness?
God TRULY answers prayers.
   Oh yeah, one more thing too, we fasted this last week, (fasting is brutal
here) and we fasted specifically that Luis would accept an invitation for
baptism. Sure enough, only a few hours after we started our fast, Luis
accepted our invitation! We´ve challenged him 3 or 4 times already...but the
power of fasting is real!

Love you all, see you in 20 months.

Elder Gomez

Monday, January 3, 2011

Earthquake !!

Hola everyone,

Did the subject of the email get your attention? I hope so. There actually
was an earthquake here yesterday. It´s a long story though...basically, it
was really strong, about a 7.1 people say...but the only problem, I DIDN´T
FEEL IT! I´m so angry. This is the second earthquake I haven´t felt. We were
walking while it happened, we arrived in this little neighborhood area and
EVERYONE was outside their houses...and they all said there was an
earthquake that was really strong and it shook their houses really good...I
don´t even know...I have a disability to miss cool experiences.


Yesterday, we confirmed Jose Daniel a member of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. I love watching people find the truth for themselves.
There´s some more good news too, We have two more baptisms this coming

Barbara is one of them, she is 12, and has been waiting for quite a while
now to be baptized. She´s been waiting for her older brother Alvaro, who is
15, to get baptized too. He might get baptized this week, but it´s not
likely. He is ready...but he´s just nervous or scared or something. Barbara
finally said that she doesn´t want to wait for him anymore, she just wants
to be baptized. I think her baptism is going to help him though.

Also, Camila! She is 15. Me and Elder Chavez found her while knocking doors
a little over a month ago. We started out teaching her mom, and then
eventually found that she was the most interested out of her family. From
the very start, she kept her commitments to read in the Book of Mormon. She
ready 3 Nephi 11 first and really liked it. After that we helped her family
move to a different part of Labranza. (aka, her dad throwing mattresses out
of the upstairs window hoping that me and Elder Chavez would just...catch?
them) It was fun :) Ha ha. After that, in their new house, we started
teaching them about the church of Jesus Christ, and the restoration, and
Camila really liked it and understood it. She loves the Book of Mormon. She
has marked a lot of verses that she likes and has written questions that she
has about it. We went to teach her once with a member, Tamara, who has been
a member for just a year, and they became friends right then, and Camila
came to church with her the first time and loved it. The next week she came
to church on her own, early! It really is a miracle when an investigator
from our sector, Labranza, comes to church on time or early, because it´s
more than 20 minutes away by bus and people have all sorts of excuses. But
she came, and loved it again. We finally invited her to be baptized and she
was excited and accepted right away (another rare thing!) She asked if I
would baptize her. Of course I will. It´s incredible what the gospel can do
to people´s lives. Before we started teaching her, she was pretty worldly,
and wasn´t very religious, but the gospel has become precious to her. That
is my favorite thing ever! When the gospel changes people and becomes
precious to them.

Now I have to tell you about Beto! Beto is awesome. He´s about 40, and his
wife and two kids are members. Me and Elder Chavez taught him and worked
with him a lot, and he knew that getting baptized was the right thing, but
he didn´t want to put a date on it. He had a little bit of fear or
nervousness or something. He´s really honest, and doesn´t commit to anything
that he´s not going to do. For a long time he wouldn´t commit to pray
because he wasn´t going to do it. Eventually we commited them to start
praying as a family every night. They actually did it, and have been praying
every night since! Well, we visited him again last night, and taught him
more, the spirit was there, and he finally commited to be baptized on the
22nd! Some of the scriptures we read with him were Alma 7:11-16, 3 Nephi
27:19-20, 1 Nephi 3:7. Since the spirit was there last night, he was able to
really understand it. When the spirit is with you, you can learn so much
more than you think you´re learning without it. I´m so excited for him. The
best part was afterward, his wife, Daniela, started crying and thanked us
for all of the work that we´ve done with him, and then bore her
testimony. It was awesome! I love experiences like that.

Speaking of experiences, I had a really really cool experience this week. I
was on divisions with Elder Gomez, from Paraguay. He usually works in an
area about 45 minutes away from us. So we finished teaching one lesson with
some awesome investigators who I would tell you about if I had more time,
and we started walking back towards our house to meet up with Elder Reeves
and Elder Phillips eventually, but we still had some time, and we were
thinking about who we should go visit, and in the middle of a street, with
tons of houses, I stopped randomly and turned and went up to a random door
and I said to him we should just knock on the last 7 or 8 doors of this
street. So we knocked on the door and Carolina opened it and let us in right
away! She is 22 and has ALL sorts of problems. She is searching seriously
for a change in her life. She kept asking us, "what can I do?" We read with
her some scriptures of comfort and invited her to read the Book of Mormon
and promised her that it will help solve her problems and give her guidance
in life. I also asked her why she let us in her door, and she said she
doesn´t really know because she doesn´t let other missionaries in ever. She
just had a feeling to let us in. :) We still haven´t found her home again
yet, but I think she´s going to be home now that the New Year´s parties are
over. She is a person who is prepared to hear the gospel, just like it says
in the scriptures. There are people who are kept from the true because they
know not where to find it.

Tender Mercy- The Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon was a person, it
would definitely be a missionary. We have us two missionaries who try to do
our best teaching people about the gospel, but we can never do it by
ourselves. When our investigators read the Book of Mormon, that is when they
start knowing the church is true. No crazy bad man would write such an
amazingly good book about Jesus Christ. OH YEAH, I almost forgot a major
awesome thing that happened this week, Jose Daniel read the Book of Mormon
in 3 days!!!!!!!!! Whooh.

That´s all for now, hope to hear from you soon.
 I love you all.

Elder Gomez

ps- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. 
-Pictures: Me and Jose Daniel just after his baptism and just after his confirmation
-The picture with a family is Iris (recent convert), Alvaro, who will be
baptized soon we hope, Barbara, who will be baptized this weekend, Leo,
their 5 year old son, and me and Elder Sanchez, from Nicaragua.
-Me and the necklace that Camila gave me. She wants me to wear it to her
-Me, right before I killed my companion, Elder Reeves, with a pig roaster.
-Me and Elder Reeves eating with the Obreques, a really nice family who has
fed us like 5 or six times over the last couple weeks. They are awesome and
love the missionaries!
-Me and Elder Reeves pointing at a possible baptismal spot to show to


All Missionaries Safe and Accounted For

No deaths reported after quake rocks Chile

Published: Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 9:52 p.m. MST

SANTIAGO, Chile — A magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook southern Chile on Sunday, prompting tens of thousands to flee the coast for higher ground amid fears it could generate a tsunami like the one that ravaged the area last year.
There were no reports of deaths or damage, and Vicente Nunez, head of the National Emergency Office, said no tsunami alert was issued.
The LDS Church reported Sunday that all of their missionaries in the area were safe and accounted for.
"There has been no harm to people, no harm to property," Nunez said. "We will continue monitoring."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii also said a destructive Pacific Ocean-wide tsunami was not expected.
President Sebastian Pinera urged calm in an address to the nation.
"There was an exercise of self-evacuation, which is exactly what we have asked people to do," Pinera said. "Fortunately we do not have to lament accidents or losses of life."
Some cell-phone communications and electrical power were knocked out in the Araucania region where the quake was centered, 370 miles (595 kilometers) south-southwest of the capital, Santiago.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was about 45 miles away from the provincial capital of Temuco, which has a population of about 250,000.
The quake struck at a depth of about 11 miles, according to the USGS, and there was at least one aftershock of 5.0 magnitude.
When the first temblor struck, people in several coastal cities quickly moved away from the ocean, abandoning some shopping centers entirely.
In the communities of La Araucania, Puerto Saavedra, Tolten and Teodoro Smith, an estimated 50,000 people voluntarily evacuated to higher ground, according to Nunez.
Hundreds of tourists spending the New Year's holiday at the resorts of Villarica and Pucon cut their trips short and headed north, clogging roads and toll stations.
Residents of the region have fresh memories of the magnitude-8.8 quake and resulting tsunami on Feb. 27, 2010, that killed at least 521 people and left 200,000 homeless.
Sergio Barrientos, director of the seismology office at the University of Chile, said Sunday's temblor was itself an aftershock of last year's mega-quake.