Sunday, September 28, 2014

Short September report

     Last week was a good one in the Chile Rancagua misiĆ³n, for us especially because our son and daughter-in-law are visiting us for the week.  We have been showing them around our part of Chile and they have been very good sports about everything, including Chilean traffic quirks and trying Chilean food.  We have had empanadas and still plan to try churrasco and parrillada!  We also enjoyed attending a stake activity where each ward presented a dance.
     On another subject, we feel we are finally making progress with changing and improving our missionary houses.  Some of them were in bad enough shape that we moved them into a new house, while others were much improved with a good mold remover product and newly painted walls.  We have also replaced many stoves, refrigerators, mattresses, chairs, pillows and other life essentials.  Now we are pressing forward with a challenge to keep their house clean and a place where the Spirit will feel comfortable.
     It is amazing how fast this month has gone by.  We did special training in September in three different groups with the zone leaders, district leaders and coordinadoras.  We learned in the seminar from June this year to work with our leaders and trust them to train the missionaries in their care.  Next month we will begin our cycle over again with zone conferences.
     This post has been a bit of a hodge podge, if anyone still recognizes that saying, but please know that we are doing well, we love our missionaries and we are all working together to advance the Lord’s work here in our part of Chile.

One of the dances we saw last night, plus a nice crowd in attendance

Sunday, September 21, 2014


            The days are passing rapidly here in Chile.  I saw a picture someone took of the fall leaves in Utah which can’t be right because all the trees are in their spring finery here!  We are headed for another summer Christmas; nice and hot.  Fans and camping supplies are starting to show up in the stores, and the children do not have to worry about cold or snow for Halloween.
            September in Chile also means time for Independence Day or “dieciocho”.  We have July 4 in the US and it is definitely celebrated but I want to share some of the Chilean traditions.  First, all the stores and malls and restaurants are closed for two days.  The gas station guy said they would be open but besides that everyone has time off.  This year the 18th was on Thursday which made for a nice long weekend, except for us missionaries of course.
            Nearly all the wards or branches have an activity during the three or four day period, so on Saturday we went north to Buin where a senior sister (that makes her sound old but she isn’t), was participating in one of the dance presentations.  We arrived at one even though the start time was 12, still plenty early.  After about an hour we were offered grilled kabobs and empanadas which are a specialty in Chile.  The debate is about whether they should be grilled or fried.  Naturally, President Warne and I like ours fried.  A few of the men went to a vacant lot to play a version of horseshoes which involves flinging a small barrel-shaped weight into a mud-filled box with a string stretched across the middle.  Whoever accurately throws the weight and pushes the string into the mud wins.          
         Later we watched the dancing, called the cueca.  It is very graceful and the dresses are pretty as I hope you can see from the pictures.  Our sister did a good job of representing senior missionaries.  Of course, the young missionaries are not allowed to dance but they still looked beautiful in their cueca dresses.  A man and his wife danced, then he danced with his little girl of about three or four—precious!
            As you can hopefully tell, the fiesta activity is very fluid.  People come and go, eat and visit, and participate in the various games.  We left after four hours and everyone was still going strong. 

            We allow and encourage our missionaries to attend their various ward and branch activities, since part of our purpose is to help strengthen the church wherever we are.  We also hope they will be able to bring investigators and less actives.  On the night of dieciocho, the missionaries go in an hour early, at 8:30, to avoid possible problems with inebriated patriots.  Hopefully the pictures below will help you visualize what I’ve tried to describe—enjoy.
Everyone is having a good time
Mud pit for the throwing game
The man throwing came closest
Our sister is the one in dark blue

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A snapshot of transfer day

                It is amazing that another week has passed and it is time to write this blog once again.  It is a beautiful sunny evening here in Rancagua, along with the neighbor’s dog who enjoys voicing his opinion of all who pass by.
                Last Tuesday we had cambios or transfers.  I have discussed them before but decided this time around to try to give you a picture of the day by sharing the events in a time snapshot (hopefully this works):
2:30 a.m. Assistants, secretaries, elders who are going to the airport get up; assistant calls the apartment where the sisters going home are staying to get them up also.
3:30 a.m.  Two vans with all of the above plus suitcases leave for the airport.
5:00 a.m.  Arrive at the airport, begin checking in missionaries.  President Warne gets up (or maybe earlierJ.
6:30 a.m.  Latin missionaries coming from the MTC in Santiago are ready for pick-up.  One van leaves the airport to go to the MTC.  Sister Warne gets up (finally)J.
7:00 a.m. Senior couple arrive at the church/office to open up and start preparing for the arrivals.  President loads the car with food, etc. for the breakfast served at the church.
7:30 a.m.  22 missionaries arrive at the airport from Mexico, ready to collect their luggage and get through the customs process.
7:45 a.m. Warnes arrive at the church, unload the car, start slicing bread and making sandwiches (ham and cheese), cutting apples, putting out milk boxes.
8:15 a.m.  Missionaries arrive from the MTC (6 sisters).  It looks like rain so all suitcases have to be taken inside the building.  President starts interviewing new missionaries.  They will also have their picture taken, close their Facebook account, start the visa process, and eat breakfast, and receive their orientation booklet.
8:30 a.m.  Sister missionary arrives at the airport from Provo MTC, Elder J. (senior missionary) plus two elders help her get to Rancagua around 11:oo a.m.
9:30 a.m.  22 missionaries arrive, are greeted by President and Sister Warne, begin the process.
8-10:30 a.m.  Trainers arrive (experienced missionaries assigned as companions to the newly arrived)
11:00 a.m.  Training begins: President welcomes everyone, the nurse talks about staying healthy, the finance elder explains how the money works, trainers and new companions are announced.  This introduction to missionary companionship is very important and President spends a lot of time making sure the assignments are inspired.
12:30 p.m. Time for lunch:  completos (hot dogs), chips, soda and an oatmeal fudge cookie.  We plan for two completos per missionary.  The new ones hesitate, but the regulars know to take everything that is offered because it is the only real meal of the day.
1:30 p.m.  President and I have a picture with each new missionary.  We send these to each family so they know their missionary arrived safely.  The finance elder hands out the debit cards.
2:00 p.m.  Group picture outside, first with news, then with trainers.  We begin the process of sending groups to the bus station—three trips in two cars.  We hired two vans and they each take a group.  Various companionships leave in taxis.  Luggage is everywhere but at least it is sunny.
Chaos!  but hopefully controlled chaos
New missionaries!  we love to have them come
3:30 p.m.  Finally only the secretaries, President and myself and the sister who cooks for us are left.   We load everything back into the car, and head back to the mission home, leaving the secretaries to heave a sigh of relief that we all survived the day.
gorgeous orchards in bloom coming home today from Santa Cruz

Sunday, September 7, 2014

President´s schedule

            Last week I wrote about the nurse, her husband and their many duties.  As I was thinking about what to write this week, I thought maybe you would find it interesting to read about the many responsibilities of President Warne.  I am very impressed as I see him do a great job day after day,
            We have about 240 missionaries, so every week he receives about 230 letters.  Some are long and some are short, but he reads them all.  He interviews all the missionaries every third month, but has other interviews every week.  For example since this week is our transfer, he is interviewing about 15 missionaries before they go home.  If an elder or sister has a problem, they are always welcome to call and discuss it over the phone or meet with President in person.  Also at cambio time he has the final say in whether or not missionaries will transfer and where they will go, and also reads the applications for the new group coming in and pairs each one with a trainer.
            Obviously, he is in charge of training for the mission.  The assistants help decide the subjects to be presented at the various meetings, such as zone conferences or the mission leadership meeting, but President follows the Spirit to know what will help the missionaries do better.  These meetings require planning and so we have meetings with the assistants, plus a weekly office coordination meeting.   He is responsible for the success of the mission, i.e., baptisms, retention and activation.  He receives many reports from the mission, districts, stakes, area presidency, and general church leadership to analyze and then utilize. 
            Our mission has three districts and President Warne and his two counselors are very involved in helping them grow and eventually, hopefully, become stakes.  He has many of the responsibilities a stake president would have, such as temple recommend interviews, setting apart new missionaries and dealing with various obedience issues.  He has an obligation to develop close relationships with the three district and four stake presidents and cooperate with them in managing missionary work in their respective areas, which usually means a meeting at least once a month. 
            In more temporal areas, he must approve every financial transaction that takes place such as rent payments or ordering new mission supplies.  He makes sure that our missionaries’ houses are safe, and in good shape.  He has final say over medical problems and makes the decision if a missionary needs to return home to recover.

            With all these balls to juggle, it is no wonder that his hair is a little bit grayer than when we came.  I try my best to help where I can, but often he must bear the burden and in my opinion, does it extremely well.  Thanks for reading!
Scenery pics this week--Santiago temple
Gorgeous sunsets here-taken last night from an upstairs window