It is hard to believe I have been back in Chile for over a week, although we certainly had enough activities to fill the week. We held the final dinner and testimony meeting on Monday for 14 missionaries going home, welcomed 7 more on Tuesday, attended a district meeting on Wednesday, met with 42 missionaries for mission leadership council on Thursday and started interviews for February by interviewing the missionaries of a Rancagua zone. I’ll share more on that subject next week, but today I would like to talk about the experience we had Friday night.
Chimbarongo is a small town about one hour and 10 minutes south of Rancagua. Even though about 800 members live there, branch attendance each Sunday is usually between 35-40 people. We have two sets of missionaries who work hard to reactivate inactive members and find new investigators, but they also are a wonderful support for the branch. Just outside of town on either side of the highway is a row of shops selling all kinds of wicker from baskets to lawn furniture.
That information is all background to let you know that Chimbarongo is a great place. Friday night we attended a wedding there, our first since we have been here in Chile. When we arrived we saw that chairs had been set up in front of the church with many of the branch members seated, along with family members. The civil official was also ready and waiting. Shortly after, the bride arrived in a beautiful dress and the ceremony began. It was a gorgeous summer night with just a little breeze and a perfect temperature. The ceremony was nice and after finishing, the official asked for testimonials from the audience; a few people expressed appreciation for the couple and the event.
After pictures we all went into the church where they had set up the food tables and after a short welcome by a friend we all enjoyed little sandwiches, assorted tarts and cakes, a pudding topped with fruit, crackers and soda. I really enjoyed visiting with the two elders and two sisters and we were glad we had gone. I know they are looking forward to the time they can be sealed in the temple, but are happy they have taken the first step.
Lots of pictures this week, from the wedding, from new missionaries coming and from mission leadership training: