Sunday, August 30, 2015

Missionaries and faith

            Today I would like write a little about faith, naturally, that means as it applies to missionaries.  I’m assuming that most who read this blog are parents of current missionaries, so you know that it required faith for you to send your son or daughter or perhaps, parents, to Chile to serve the Lord full time.  It also is an act of faith for missionaries to sacrifice this period of their lives and choose to serve the people of Chile, the Lord and their fellow missionaries. 
            However, the exercise of faith does not end with arriving in Chile.  Missionaries need faith and courage every day as they leave their apartments and head out to find and teach.  In their early days, they might not know the language very well, even Latins from other countries, since Chilean is kind of a language all its own.  However, as we tell our missionaries, while the work is hard, with faith and perseverance, the rewards are great.  Sometimes faith is needed when trying to live with a difficult companion, or get used to a new town, apartment, ward or branch after a transfer. 
            Missionaries go out every day, calling greetings through the gates, since that is what knocking doors means here.  They have faith that whoever is home will come out and be receptive to our message, or that the person who accepted an appointment will be home and ready to progress toward baptism.  They work with the members in the wards and branches with faith, that through our service we can make a difference here in Chile whether it is in the short or long-term. 

            Jesus Christ, our Savior, has called us to have faith and do missionary work.  For those of you who are reading this in your home ward or branch, I’d like to challenge you to follow the example of the hardworking, faithful, and wonderful missionaries in the Chile, Rancagua Mission and find someone where you live to teach and baptize.  You, too, will learn about faith and the miracle of sharing the gospel.

These two were kind enough to work on the dishes for me after
consejo, which I really, really appreciated.  And it was service
with  beautiful smiles!

First we meet, then we eat--all serious business of course.  You
can see the bulletin board which we try to keep full with pictures
of missionaries.  They love finding themselves and looking for

All the sisters got to eat upstairs since it was too cold to go outside.
I think they enjoyed their private party!

The usual group picture after consejo, I know, but I just can´t resist
posting this great group.  Maybe sometime we should put the elders
in front.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Serving as Seniors

            Today I’m going to write about senior missionaries.  You might recognize this subject as one I’ve covered before, but since it is of intense interest to us I would like to present it once more. 
            We are so grateful for our senior couples and for the difference they make in our mission and in every other mission throughout the world.  We never take them for granted and I want to express appreciation for their hard work.
            Our number of couples has dropped steadily as they finish their time here, go home and are not replaced.  We currently have three couples serving in the following areas: 1) apartments and upkeep, 2) nurse and English program, and 3) finances and historian.  We are hearing that few couples are willing to come to Latin America even though one or both speak Spanish.  We were discussing this the other night at a group dinner and all agreed how much we like being in Chile.  Here we can drink the water, the climate is relatively mild, the government is stable and we have access to excellent health care.  There is even a brain surgeon here in Rancagua!
            Other advantages that come from serving a mission as a senior couple include the blessing of spending time together as a couple.  President always tells the missionaries his favorite part of the mission is being with me and his second favorite is being with them.  All of us serve as examples of marriage and family to all the missionaries, especially those who may come from broken homes, which, unfortunately is more than 50 percent.  Serving with the missionaries is a wonderful opportunity to know and love them and help them succeed.  Also, many blessings come to families at home from missionary service by senior couples.  We have loved meeting the people here, learning to love them and also their country, Chile.

            I don’t want to sound repetitive, since I know I have said this before, but if you are thinking of serving or know someone who might be interested, don’t lose out on this amazing opportunity.  And if you know someone who would like to come to Chile, we would love to accommodate them! 

zone leaders paying close attention during consejo
We love to see happy missionaries!

Our newest couple introducing themselves.  They take care of
our apartments for changes and repairs.

Our nurse presenting information about stress and getting
enough rest.

Our finance elder helping new missionaries understand
how their money works.

The couple on the right has returned home but the rest of
us are still going strong!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mission home tour

            I had such a good idea for the post today.  Unfortunately, I also thought it was a good idea when I used it several months ago.  I hope you’ll find my next idea interesting—it was suggested by President Warne—we make a good team!  You have often seen pictures of the mission home from various posts and many meetings, so today I’m going to describe in a little more detail what our home is like and what we use it for.
            The dining room is probably used more often for missionary meetings than any other room in the house.  When the church purchased the house 12 years ago, they added a large area and more windows to that room.  We have mission leadership council there every month, as well as any other meeting where we will all fit.  We always serve the final dinner to those going home there and have enjoyed many other meals such as the office elders, the senior couples, and other times when we are having missionaries here for a meal.
            The living room is well used as well since it is a gathering place where they can wait for a meeting to start, or wait for a companion who is having an interview with President.  Depending on the size of the group going home, we have our final testimony meeting either in there or the dining room.  
            Of course the kitchen is well-used since we serve food at every meeting, and A_____ also cooks for meals we serve in other places and we transport everything in the back of our car.  We have two bathrooms downstairs—the hermanas use one and the elders the other one.  President and I both have an office, his contains the board where we keep the pictures of all the missionaries divided into zones.  We meet with the assistants there and he has done countless interviews. 
            There is one bedroom downstairs which we call the visitor’s bedroom.  Obviously anyone who visits us sleeps there.  We have three bedrooms upstairs, including ours, a small one with a bunk bed and our luggage (every missionary apartment or house has luggage stored somewhere), and a larger one with two twin beds that also doubles as my sewing room.  When missionaries come here to sleep they use these bedrooms; there is a bathroom off the small sitting area upstairs.
            While we have many church pictures on the walls, we also have many pictures of our family and we have tried to make the house a home where missionaries can come not only to meet but also to feel the spirit of a family home, to feel loved or if nothing else to get warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Though we live here, we do not think of it solely as our home but a place of refuge and welcome for all the missionaries.  Hopefully we have achieved that goal to a certain degree.  Here are a few pictures of what I've been describing:

Add caption

It is obviously night time so sorry about that, but this is our happy mission home!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Here's what we did this week

            Today I thought I would share with you a glimpse of our schedule for the past week.  Not all of them are like this, but when they told us we would be working hard, they meant it!
            Every Monday except the Monday of transfer week, we meet with our mission nurse at 10:00 to discuss the medical events of the past week.  At 10:30 we meet with the four office elders, the couple over finances and history and the couple over apartments.  It is a good chance to keep everyone in the know on the weekly schedule and discuss what needs to be done.
            Last Monday we then went to the central market to buy plastic goods.  I wish you could visit with us sometime—it is an interesting experience! We buy plates and cups, etc. 500 at a time but I think they are getting used to us.   We also went to the store where we buy candy since I keep a bowlful on the living room table and I knew I needed to restock my supply.  President had a couple of interviews—interviews happen every week no matter what else is going on.  We also worked on the flags we are giving out during interviews, since we had to have enough for Tuesday.
            Tuesday President interviewed the Tupahue 1 missionaries.  We tried to get as many interviews done as possible before changes, but only managed about 15 percent.  Tuesday night we had the missionaries who are going home come to the mission home for the self sufficiency training.  We serve a substantial snack since they usually stay in the office elders’ house or the sisters’ house without access to their own food.  Six hermanas stayed here which was fun.
             Wednesday, we left at seven a.m., for the temple in Santiago.  We never know how the traffic will be so President likes to allow plenty of time.  It was a wonderful session as always, and after, we feed the group lunch before they head off to buy gifts (recuerdos) for themselves or family members.  We went from the temple to a doctor’s appointment for one of our sisters and got home around 7:30.  Since this is the last week before transfers, President is also working every day on the changes, plus he finds time to read the weekly letters.
             Thursday we had mission leadership council at the mission home.  We always offer breakfast because some have to leave so early to get to us on time.  They really appreciate it.  It was a great meeting and we always have lots of participation.  It was raining so everyone had to eat inside; it was a little interesting to try and fit over 40 missionaries plus senior couples into the available space.  After the council, President left for a meeting at the stake center and I studied for my weekly Spanish tutoring session which was from 8-9:00.
            Friday we had the news training.  We repeat what we said the first time since they are so nervous about their first day in the mission field.  We  evaluate how the North Americans are doing with Spanish and give them time to ask any questions.  After the meeting, which, of course included lunch, President started the interviews for the missionaries who are going home.  Since there are 20 this time, he had to start earlier than the Monday morning of the final dinner.
            Saturday started with the office elders coming for breakfast which we always do when one of them is being released to go back to regular service.  More missionaries came for final interviews, and then President left to have lunch with a branch president, attend a baptism, do more interviews and go to an area satellite broadcast.  I worked on flags, and I admit it, enjoyed a few hours of pday activity (for me, quiltingJ).

What a wonderful looking group of missionaries!
This was a long post, and I apologize for that, but hope you enjoyed the ride.  Have a great week.
We only had 9 news, but with trainers, us and
assistants it adds up to a big group.

Same room, different group--lunch after mission
leadership council
Same meeting, but the hermanas are
eating in the living room.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Biggest surprise

            Often missionaries or visitors to the mission ask what we like most about Chile.  Sometimes they ask what was our biggest surprise.  It is true that Chile is a beautiful country and we love being here.  We also love the people we have met and come to know, but my answer is always the same: the biggest surprise for me and my favorite part of serving a mission is the missionaries.
            I admire them for the sacrifice they are making by serving and their testimonies which grow stronger during their mission and give them the strength to survive, enjoy and even love the rigorous mission life.  I also admire them for the service and teaching they offer to investigators, members and other missionaries.  Every Wednesday each zone gathers for the weekly training meeting.  Usually no other “adults” are present, yet there is no messing around or delays.  No one calls them to say it is time to do this or that.   I say “adults” because although young, they are also adults, entrusted by our Savior Jesus Christ with the sacred responsibility to bring the Gospel to the people in whatever place they are called.  Many are asked to learn a new language and all must adjust to being far from home and friends and adjust to life with a companion 24/7.

            I could list many more characteristics, but hopefully you get the idea.  Our job is to help them succeed not only during their mission here in Chile, but also after they return home.  As we work with and for them, we love them from the moment they arrive and after they go home.  If you are a parent of a missionary, thank you for sending them out to do the work of the Lord, and for allowing us the privilege to know and love them as they serve.  We look forward to hearing about marriages, school, jobs, and children long after we return home ourselves.
We sent one assistant home but the other two will
do a great job.
Ok, this is a little bit old, but still we love to see
happy faces, right?

Enjoying a few moments with these great missionaries.
I promise to do better about taking pictures this week.