Monday was the departure day with 8 missionaries coming to our home. I interviewed each one where we discussed their mission, their accomplishments and growth and their plans for the future. It also offers me a chance to give them some advice. After the interviews we had a very nice lunch and then a testimony meeting. These missionaries are wonderful and faithful. Each bore pure and simple testimony of the Savior, of the joy of sharing the gospel and of the profound impact their mission had on their lives. After the meeting they went their various ways either to the airport or the bus terminal for their trip home. As is tradition we took a picture in our front yard with them.
Early Tuesday morning two groups of missionaries arrived--some from the Missionary Training Center in Santiago and others from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. The former by bus and the latter by plane. We received a total of 31 in all.
Again I did interviews and we did a lot of paperwork necessary for visas etc. with Sister Warne running around keeping much of it going smoothly. We fed them a small breakfast and then did some training and then we had a nice lunch of hamburgers. The missionaries love hambergurs. Did I say in a previous blog that they can eat tremendous amounts of food? After lunch we invited them all into the chapel and then we announced their assignments and their new companions. It is really amazing to see them all stand up, see who their new companion is, look at the map that we have projected on the screen that shows the town or pueblo they are going to and then get together. Everyone is so excited. This picture is of the new missionaries that arrived.
Last night we went to a town called Chépica which is about an hour and a half from our home in Rancagua. The youth in that part of the mission had just had a trek where they reenacted the pioneers in the 1800´s going to the Salt Lake Valley from the east. They had a very busy and tiring day so that when we got there they were pretty worn out. I spoke and Sister Warne gave love and support. The irony of the event is that in this part of Chile these young people are really pioneers themselves. They have the same faith and devotion to the kingdom that the pioneers did who traveled to Salt Lake. The trials are different and the hardships are of a modern nature the faith and devotion are the same.
We are loving Chile and all of our new experiences. The days are long and filled with many activities. The chance to serve is an incredible blessing. Thanks for all our family and friends for your prayers and support.