Monday, July 29, 2013

Bicycles and Chépica

While we try to do our posts each week on Sunday night our day yesterday was filled to the brim from early in the morning till way past missionary curfew.  For those not familiar with the missionary schedule we have a very defined and strictly adhered to timeline for their day that we ask them to follow.  We aren´t required to follow it but there is wisdom in what Church leaders have established.  Here is the general schedule for the missionaries:
7:00 AM arise and personal time (exercise, prayers, eat, personal hygiene)
8:30 AM personal study
9:30 AM companion study
10:30 AM  proselyte
1:30 PM  Lunch with members and study
3:30 PM  proselyte
9:30 PM back home
11:00 PM in bed

This is a bit different than most missions in the church as we have had to adjust it to match the schedule and lifestyle of the Chilean people. 

This week we attended the weekly district meetings in Curicó which is about an hour south of Rancagua.  As part of our routine we try to do a division with missionaries each week, attend one district/
zone meeting, attend a baptism which is usually Saturday night, and then attend church in one of the 19 branches for which President Warne has responsibility.  In this meeting the missionaries meet each week for coordination and training for about an hour and a half.  It was well presented and marvelous to see how spiritual, professional, competent, and mature 20 year old zone and district leaders can be as they lead the missionary work in their areas.  After the meeting we had lunch at a local place while the missionaries were having lunch at the member´s homes.  We ate at a restaurant that must be owned by Chiles since the decor and menu were very similar to that which you would find in the US.  After lunch we did divisions with the missionaries--Sister Warne with two wonderful sister missionaries and President Warne with the Elders.  You can see from this picture that President Warne´s division involved bicycles.  He rode quite a few miles with the Elders to teach and visit members and non-members.  Our mission has a few areas where bicycles are necessary to cover long distances.  Bicycles are an important mode of transportation for many Chileans.  Sister Warne and the sister missionaries knocked on doors inviting people to hear the message of the restoration.

Yesterday we started our day in the Chépica Branch which is about an hour and a quarter from our home in Rancagua to the south.  We speak wherever we go and Sister Warne now gives here testimony and thoughts in Spanish without notes of any kind.  Given the fact that there are few members of the church who play the piano Sister Warne accompanied the congregation for the hymns and even for the choir number.  It is a good thing she is so talented and can play almost any of the hymns without notice.  There were 30 in attendance.  It is a growing area and we are confident that this little congregation will grow as well.   Forty years ago we had branches like this in Spain during President Warne´s mission there and today there are large congregations and stakes so it is just a matter of time before Chépica does the same.  This picture is of the chapel in Chépica.  In these remote branches there is always a small chapel, classrooms, an office for the branch president, and a kitchen. Also, there is always basketball/soccer court in the back that also doubles as a parking lot. 

Every day we wonder if this is the day when our experiences are the same as some other day since we arrived in Chile a month ago.  So far we have not had two days the same and the new experiences just keep coming.  We love missionary work, helping people come unto Christ, seeing changes in people´s lives, feeling the Spirit and working with such wonderful missionaries.  We appreciate all our friends and family for their support and prayers.  Have a great week.

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