Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Day in Chile

We've had another week of lots of activities in the Chile, Rancagua Mission so here is your report:  what we did on Christmas Day.
We wanted to contact as many missionaries as possible and also deliver a treat, if possible.  Since our new ovens were not delivered until Christmas Eve morning, we were not able to start baking until that night.  Of course I had to do some last minute shopping first!
We made several different kinds of cookies, although unfortunately some of them did not work out.   Apparently it is more humid in Chile than I thought (meringues were soggy) and also Chilean brown sugar does not make crumb toppings hold together (oatmeal carmelitas crumbled), just in case you ever do any baking in Chile.  We got up early Christmas morning, finished cooking and assembled the trays.
Since Wednesday is the normal day for district meeting, it worked out great for us to visit the missionaries during that time.  We were able to cover a lot more territory than trying to meet them individually.  We started 45 minutes north of Rancagua in Buin and greeted the two zones there.  45 minutes back and went to all four zones in Rancagua, which involved driving to three different buildings.
Next we drove 45 minutes south to San Fernando and ended up in San Vicente for the last group.  They waited at the church for us for about half an hour which was very kind. 
In total we were able to shake hands with or hug 180 of our 270 missionaries, or 8 out of 13 zones.  We would have loved to see everyone but the distances made it impossible.  We hope that we made a small difference in their day by greeting them.
  Of course we always love to see our missionaries so it worked out great for us.

We thank you for reading the blog and hope you enjoy this entry.  Please have a wonderful and safe New Year celebration. 

 I have also included a picture of the beautiful countryside we are driving through.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas devotionals

Christmas week is here!  As if you needed a reminder!  We are ready to breathe a sigh of relief that we survived December with all its activities and enjoy the day at least.  We are planning to spend the day seeing as many missionaries as possible, so you’ll see a report about that next week.
This week I wanted to tell you about the devotionals we have attended.  In our mission we have three districts and four stakes and each had a Christmas program.  We managed to go to seven of the eight; but the eighth overlapped so it was impossible.
Each one was very different of course but also very good.  Our missionaries were in charge of the one last night in Talca and they did a great job.  We have so many talented young people, of course including a certain famous one.  They all did very well and we also enjoyed hearing the choirs from the various wards and branches.
The songs were a combination of American carols with Spanish lyrics and a few traditional Spanish carols.  We especially enjoyed one called Los Pastores de BelĂ©n.  If you would like to hear it you can look it up on the internet, because it was performed in Santiago two weekends ago.
We would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.  Thanks for reading our blog and caring about us.  We bear testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that he was born in Bethlehem, and that he lives today.  This is our purpose for being in Chile far from our family: to bring people to Christ so they may share in the joy that we feel and in the eternal promises to which we look forward.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas concerts

Last week in the Chile Rancagua mission we had three Christmas zone conferences and four concerts in Santiago, so I hope we can be forgiven for this late post.  Christmas time is always busy ; we have discovered it is no different in the mission field.
The church has a Christmas concert on the Temple Square in Santiago each year.  This year they decided to have three nights instead of one plus an additional performance with an evangelical choir on the plaza in front of the presidential palace.
Those who performed included a youth choir, a small orchestra, dancers and soloists.  What a great missionary opportunity for the church.  The seats were filled to capacity and people were standing each of the three nights.
We were fortunate to be able to attend all three performances and thoroughly enjoyed each one.  We are including the link in case you would like to check it out.  Also we enjoyed looking at the nativity display some of which were very unusual although of course all were beautiful.
It was a great chance to be behind the scenes a little bit and meet some of the performers.  One of the soloists actually lives in Provo and came down to sing.  Another is only thirteen but gave a wonderfully polished performance.
On Tuesday we have one last zone conference so we will make that the subject of the post next Sunday. Stay tuned!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Decorating for Christmas

                We are deep into the Christmas season here in Chile as all of you reading this blog are also wherever you are.  However, it is different from the norm for us in every way except the most important one.
                The day after Thanksgiving four of the office elders came over and put the tree together and then decorated it.  They loved doing it and we were glad for the help.  It is patriotic for both the colors of Chile and the United State—how fortunate.  The ornaments are very different because they are only the unbreakable sort and the elders had to tie strings on each ornament so we could hang them.
                The local shopping complex has a huge lit tree outside but none of the houses are decorated outside.  I see people buying Christmas decorations at the store; in fact they are mostly gone even though they only appeared about three weeks ago.  Fortunately I have found decorations here in the mission home, thus augmenting the few we brought with us.  The stores are playing American Christmas music but it was still a little strange to hear Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in the local version of Home Depot.  I planted petunias in theporch pots on the same day I decorated the fireplace mantel. 
                The weather has been gorgeous here and we send sympathy to those who have been enduring the intense cold.  Next week it is supposed to reach into the nineties!  It does not rain in the summer here which is an interesting fact because of all the great produce here in Chile most of which is imported to the US.

                This week will be busy holding Christmas zone conferences for the missionaries and attending devotionals so hopefully you will look forward to that report next week.  Thanks for reading—Presidente and Hermana Warne

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

What a great week to be serving in the Chile Rancagua Mission.  We are grateful for the Gospel, our missionaries, the work of Salvation, the beautiful late spring weather, and again, our missionaries.  They work hard, get along with their companions for the most part, love to serve and do the Lord’s work.
This week we held consejo or the monthly leadership training meeting.  With the new coordinadoras and office elders, we served lunch to 64 people.  The sister who cooks for the mission did a great job with lasagna, salad, bread and marshmallow brownies.  As usual, there were very few leftovers.  Those missionaries sure can eat!
Also this week President and I went to Santiago for a dinner with senior missionaries serving there.  It was wonderful to have a chance to get acquainted with them since we have so much in common.  The dinner was held in a great old house which was purchased by the church in 1961.  It served for many years as a mission home, but currently is used as a satellite MTC (mission training center) for housing missionaries and other meetings.  The food was also delicious, since we didn’t think we would be able to have typical Thanksgiving food here in Chile but we had turkey, ham and all the sides.
On Thursday we had another dinner with all the senior couples in our mission.  Again, the food was delicious, grilled beef and chicken with salads and desserts.  After dinner we each took turns verbalizing what we were grateful for including our spouse and in Chile.  It was a special, spiritual experience and definitely proved we are in the best mission in all the world.  If you had been able to hear these missionaries list the blessings of serving missions, you would all be getting ready to put in your papers!

As I review this post I see I mentioned food in almost every paragraph.  But when people share food and the gospel, good things happen.  Thank you for reading and see you next week.  This photo was taken from the roof of the building where we had dinner.  Wonderful views of the city!