Sunday, July 14, 2013

Church with the Hospital Branch

It has been a busy week here in the mission field.  We have continued doing our zone conferences so that we could meet all the rest of the missionaries.  There are 235 in total and we finished on Thursday.  Each zone conference consists of us meeting for a few minutes with each companionship, taking a picture of each missionary with us that we send to their parents, and then a meeting where the two assistants share their testimonies and then Sister Warne shows a PowerPoint about us including kids and grandkids and then I talk about the vision of the misison and our purpose.  This picture is typical of what we sent to each missionary´s parents.  The parents really like the pictures and we have gotten some very nice notes from them. 

In the messages presented at the zone conferences it is important for the missionaries to understand that they are a fulfillment of the profecy of Daniel about the stone cut out of the mountain without hands that would fill the whole earth (Daniel 2) and also of the servants called for the last time in the last days to work in the Lord´s vineyard as reflected in Jacob 5.  We then have lunch and the missionaries are on their way.  Lunch varies depending on the location but the one thing that all lunches have in common is that the missionaries can eat a lot of food!  There are NEVER any leftovers.    In San Fernando we had these sandwhiches with hambergur like buns with sliced beef, sliced tomatoes, avocado and bacon.  Very good.  Don´t even think about the nutrional information on them.  The missionaries love seeing each other so there is a lot of sociality when they are together.

We did our first training for new missionaries on Friday.  It was held at a chapel not far from here.  The center section or pews of the chapel were full of new sister missionaries and their trainers (20 of each) and the side pews on one side of the chapel had the six new Elders and their companions.  The mission continues to grow with many more sister missionaries answering the call the serve than ever before.

One of the activities that happens every six weeks is that missionaries leave that have fnished their missions and new missionaries arrive to start theirs.  That all will happen this Monday and Tuesday.  Yesterday (Saturday) we had one sister leave that needed to go home a day or two earlier than the rest so we drove to Santiago to take her to the airport.  She was a wonderful and faithful sister missionary and did an amazing job here in Rancagua.  It was our first experience sending a missionary home and we were surprised at how much we have grown to love each of the missionaries already.  We both shed tears saying goodbye to her and we have only known and worked with her for two weeks.  It is clear that it will get harder and harder to send them home in the future.  This is a picture of Sister Warne and our wonderful sister missionary.  Just a note, for privacy purposes we will not be putting names on any of the pictures that we send for the protection of those involved.

We attended church in the Hospital Branch which is located in the town of Paine.  It is about 30 minutes north of us.  It is a small but strong congregation of about 60 people.  We had a bit of trouble finding it as many of the navigation tools that are available don´t always know their way around some of the small streets in the pueblos here in Chile.  As we looked down a street for the location of the church we saw two young men with their white shirts and ties looking like deacons and sure enough they were.  We knew we were at the church.  I took this picture after church.  Sister Warne bore her testimony without notes of any kind and President Warne, as the presiding officer in each of these meetings, always gets to speak.

Life is good here in Chile.  We miss our family and friends but know we are doing what the Lord has called us to do at this time in our lives.  The work is rewarding and the missionaries are inspiring.  We are grateful for the chance to serve and our testimonies of this great work and the restoration of the gospel grow each day.  Have a great week.



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