Sunday, August 10, 2014

Funeral service

                This week went by so fast that, looking back, the days seem no more than a blur.  However, we had an experience this week about which I would like to write.  It is difficult to write on this subject without including names and places, so please forgive me if it sounds stilted.
                On Wednesday a sister in a branch in a little town 1 ½ hours south of Rancagua was killed in a car accident.  Such a death is always tragic and this was no different.  She left behind a husband of only a few months,  a 10 year old son, and a son on a mission who has been serving for six months. 
                We drove to Santiago late Thursday night  to meet him and bring him to the mission home where another senior couple waited, along with his temporary companion, to take him home, .
                The law in Chile says that burial must occur within 48 hours, so the funeral was held Friday afternoon.  The church building in that town is very small, so chairs had been set up behind, but as many were standing as found chairs.    About 400 people attended the funeral, many of whom were not members of the church--a reflection of the influence this sister had on  many people.  People from the community commented on the spirit they felt during the funeral and the positive feelings  they had about the church and its members.  She was a great missionary in life and continued that influence with her passing.
                However, I was also impressed by the strength shown by the family.  The missionary and husband both spoke at the funeral.  Sunday we attended that branch and the husband,  a counselor in the branch presidency, conducted Sacrament meeting, even though he had been injured in the accident.  The elder gave a short report about his mission and a sweet message about his mother.
                All of us are mortal, but I tend to forget, until experiences like this remind me that we never know when we will be called home.  The teacher in Relief Society today reminded us that we should have our lives in order.  To me this doesn’t mean having a will or similar things, although those are important.  We should always be sure our family knows how much we love them.  We need to be right with God and with ourselves.  Others have said these same things much more eloquently than I, but if you are reading this, please give everyone in your family a hug and tell them you love them!
beautiful plaza, church for funeral in background

zone conference lunch, sisters ate upstairs
office elders eat lunch in the kitchen during the final lunch for missionaries leaving

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