Hello for my second week of writing this blog. Last week was easier than I expected so I am doing it again. Thank you to those who follow the blog. We are grateful for your interest in the Chile Rancagua Mission.
One thing we have observed in Chile is that there are a lot of dogs. They sleep almost everywhere. We saw this one on a car after a meeting in Buin last week.
This week we continued our series of training and interviews. I would like to explain a bit about how a mission is organized. President Warne is the top guy, with two counselors who are called locally to help out with our three districts. We have two assistants who work very hard in many different assignments. They know the missionaries, and help train the zone leaders who will in turn train the missionaries assigned to them. They collect and assess data each week about how the work is going. They also help President with any other duties as assigned. Each mission is divided into zones; we have 12, with two zone leaders for each. Each zone is divided into districts with one or two district leaders. The missionaries are assigned two by two to sectors (a geographic area), which is where they work day by day.
One thing President Warne gets to do is set apart and release missionaries in the three districts that he is responsible for. Last week we met this missionary and his family at the Santiago Airport to release him from his mission in Concepcion Chile. He was a great missionary and his family was so proud and happy to have him home. Many had t-shirts like the father on the right. Note that signs and t-shirts are just as common in Chile as they are at the Salt Lake City airport!
Each third month, President Warne interviews each missionary individually. With 256 missionaries, that is a big undertaking! We generally do one zone each day. While he is interviewing, the assistants and I—mostly the assistants--do training. This time my presentation has been about keeping their apartments clean. We decided to do a video of the President cleaning a toilet here at the mission house. We have generally good reviews of our first starring role! The assistants are training on our new plan of baptizing, reactivating, and retaining. We say new, but I found a talk by Elder Mark E. Petersen from 1961 preaching exactly the same principles. We have many members in Chile and throughout the world who need a reminder of how they felt when they were baptized and an invitation to return to us.
We are on a three month cycle: interviews with training, zone conferences (training), and special training. I am sure you can see a trend—missionaries need lots of training! It also gives us a chance to have personal contact with our great missionaries.