Sunday, February 23, 2014

Santiago Seminar

This week we had a marvelous opportunity which I am excited to share with you.  Twice a year we have a training seminar with all the mission presidents in the South American South area.  As you probably know, the world has been divided into areas, for administrative and missionary purposes.  Our area includes Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, which have 28 missions in all.

The meeting this time was held in Santiago at the Marriott.  Since that is our favorite hotel, we definitely looked forward to spending a couple of days there.  On Tuesday we gathered first at the Missionary Training Center for lunch.  We were well entertained with a small choir accompanied by several different dances.  It was short but very well done.  After lunch we split into groups for two different temple sessions.  We were glad to be included in the Spanish speaking session since we are trying to learn it in the language of our mission.  Tuesday night we had a very nice buffet dinner at the Marriott.  Since we usually do not eat dinner, we had to sacrifice and try everything.  Elder Rasband, of the Presidency of the Seventy sat at our table to get better acquainted.  It was a good opportunity for us to learn a little about the other presidents and wives at the table.

Wednesday was the day of training.  Elder Ballard of the Twelve Apostles presided, and Elder Rasband facilitated the training.  Also the Area Presidency, Elders Gonzalez, Zeballos, and Viñas sat at the dais and contributed.  Elder Rasband said they were giving it to us with a fire hose, which was apt, since we spent most of the day taking notes as fast as possible.  It was a great opportunity to have new information, but also to review how we are doing in our mission.  We definitely need to change in order to work harder and faster at hastening the Lord’s work.  
They helped us understand better that Jesus Christ is waiting to help us, but that He also has high expectations about what should be happening.  He has prepared people in Chile and everywhere to be ready for the gospel and we need to go out and find them.  I would challenge any who read this blog to do the same—go and find someone who is ready to hear the gospel, then bring in the missionaries to teach and baptize.  You will be blessed!

Their daughter is coming to our mission!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Daily schedule

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our missionaries, which I would like to do again today.  After all, they are our purpose for being in Chile.  Today I would like to explain about the missionary schedule.  The schedule for Chilean missions is a little different than other missions but here it is:

7:30—get up, pray, exercise (30 min.), get dressed, 8:00--breakfast
                9:30—Personal study, 10:30—Companion study,
    11:30—language study
                12:00—go out for proselyting
                1:30—lunch, 3:00—study time
                4:00—10:00--proselyting,  10:00-11:00—planning
                11:00—once (dinner), journal writing, prayer, prepare for bed

                Monday is called preparation day, with a slightly altered schedule which allows for grocery shopping, laundry, writing home, (hopefully) cleaning house and occasional activities.  On Wednesdays, missionaries attend district or zone meetings, and of course, church on Sunday. 
                This schedule is highly regimented but when the missionaries follow it, they are taking the first steps for success.  Obedience is crucial in a missionary`s life for protection, for the best use of their time, and for the blessings of our Savior.
                We are training missionaries not only for their time here in Chile but also for their future lives.  Hopefully they will realize the benefits of planning their day, including getting up early and keeping to a schedule, even it if it isn`t quite as strict.
      Our purpose here in the mission field is to bring people to Christ so they can feel the joy of learning to know the Savior and being a part of His true church.  Keeping this schedule helps missionaries serve the Savior in this crucial work.  
Four of our amazing sister missionaries
 Thank you for supporting this blog and supporting (hopefully) missionaries wherever you are.
These missionaries are going home!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sightseeing in Chile

Wow, time for another blog post already!  Here’s hoping everyone had a great week and you are ready for more news from Rancagua, Chile. 
This week our daughter is visiting from Utah.  It has been so great to have her here.  She has been a great help and is wonderful to visit with. The missionaries have enjoyed meeting her and she has been a  great sport about attempting to speak Spanish with them.   In honor of her visit, since we did a little sightseeing this week and will do a little more next week, I would like to share a little about this beautiful part of the world.
Chile has been called the finger of South America since it is so long and skinny.  The Andes form an impressive border with Argentina on one side and a coastal mountain range follows the coastline down the other.  We live in the central part or the agricultural hub of the country.  We aren’t a tourist destination but I think it is beautiful, with acres and acres of grape vines and corn fields marching right up to the mountains. 
San Fernando has a great museum with many artifacts both prehistoric and modern from Chile and the surrounding region.  The museum also has a fascinating display about the recent rescue of the trapped miners from a few years ago.  Nearby is a lovely restaurant that serves excellent Italian food.  Another place we visited this week is called Siete Tazas: named because of a series a seven waterfalls that each empty into a bowl shaped rock formation.  It is gorgeous along with another nearby waterfall called Bridal Veil (sound familiar Utah residents?) 
Chileans love to camp which is apparent because of the many campgrounds and places to rent cabanas which we have seen.  We visited a little town on the ocean called Pichilemu where the beach has very fine, brownish black sand and big enough waves for surfers.  Since this is the summer vacation from school the beach was crowded with families and brightly colored shade shelters.  Another city by the sea is Valparaiso which is adjacent to Viña del Mar, both of which are definitely  on the tourist circuit.  We are looking forward to seeing them and Santiago this week and learning more about this wonderful country in which we live.

Siete Tazas

Vino Bello restaurant

Sunday, February 2, 2014


This week we had a couple of interesting experiences which I would like to share with you.  We have been steadily doing interviews for two and a half weeks but since President Warne is also in charge of the districts in our mission, he had the opportunity to release a missionary from his two years of service and also set apart a missionary who was called to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Chepica is a little pueblo or town about one and one-half hours from Rancagua.  The branch includes about 25 active members.  It is great, because when we attended for the first time last July, about 12 would come each week.  Anyway, we drove down one evening and met the family and some of their friends at the little chapel.  Chepica is a picturesque little town with a beautiful plaza across the street from the church.  The members and sister missionaries had decorated the room (cultural hall, chapel, you name it) with balloons and decorations in green and yellow, the colors of Brazil.
President Warne interviewed the missionary to make sure all was well, and then we all gathered in the room, where he said a few words, the missionary mom thanked everyone and shed a few tears, then President did the setting apart prayer.  As the first missionary from that branch, the young man is setting a great example for others by being willing to leave a very small town and serve the Lord in the very large city of Sao Paulo.

Proud mom and new missionary
As I’ve said before, missionary life is one of change, and this was a real privilege for us to see a missionary begin the process; as we try to help our missionaries grow and develop into strong, lifelong representatives of Jesus Christ. 
Sister missionaries in Chepica