Over a year ago, I posted about the countries represented in our mission. Today I did a recount because I thought it would be interesting to see how or if things have changed. One big change is the numbers of missionaries we have. In October, 2013 we had 290 missionaries, but since then we have gradually decreased in size until today where we have 191. It seems like everything should be a lot easier with 100 fewer missionaries but we haven’t noticed a decrease in any of our activities.
Here is the breakdown: Argentina-14, Bolivia-3, Brazil-15, Canada-2, Chile-8, Colombia-7, Ecuador-10, Guatemala-2, Korea-1, Mexico-8, Nicaragua-1, Panama-1, Paraguay-1, Peru-16, United States-99, Uruguay-3. Obviously, 15 different countries represent 15 different cultures and even changes in language usage. Even within countries cultural differences exist. I feel this is one of the many blessings of a mission; the missionaries can learn that we are all children of Heavenly Father, trying to live the gospel and invite the people in Chile to come to Christ. I’ve included below the paragraph from the earlier post so you may compare if you like: (we still have eleven from Arizona:))
Right now we have 242 missionaries, or we will again after Tuesday when 27 arrive. 181 are elders and we have 62 sisters, which is way down from our peak when we had 104 sisters. Missionaries come from Argentina-8, Bolivia-1, Brazil-10, Chile-11, Colombia-7, Ecuador-4, El Salvador-1, Guatemala-3, Korea-1, Mexico-9, Nicaragua-1, Panama-2, Paraguay-2, Peru-30, Spain-3 and Uruguay-4. Utah, of course is well represented as is Idaho. We have 11 from Arizona-the same as from Chile plus three more who will arrive on Tuesday.
As we look ahead to the missionaries coming in the next two transfers, the numbers of Latinos will increase because few Americans are coming. The pendulum has moved back and forth several times during our mission but we gladly accept whoever comes because missionaries are called of God no matter what their country or language. We are grateful for the chance we’ve had to learn about the people and cultures of other countries.
The pictures this week are from interviews in San Fernando, Santa Cruz, Buin and a Tupahue zone at our house. The other one is of the elders teaching English class at district meeting.