Sunday, June 26, 2016

Time to say goodbye

            President Warne and I have been saying constantly that we can’t believe our mission is coming to an end.  We know the time is short and we have been having final meetings and saying good-bye for over a month.  But to think that we will actually be getting on the plane on Tuesday night after turning over the mission to the Harrises is still hard to comprehend.
            As this will be my final post, I would like to say how grateful I am to those of you who read the blog.  I am so grateful for the chance I have had to be a missionary along with your son or daughter.  Jesus Christ is at the head of our church and we feel His guidance in missionary work as the missionaries work hard to find, teach and baptize.
            It has been an amazing three years, filled with laughter, tears, frustration at times and much joy.  I have a strong testimony of the truth of the Gospel, that missionary work is crucial and that people everywhere are prepared by God to hear and accept the gospel.  I am grateful for the blessing I have had of learning a new language and living in a country as beautiful as Chile with wonderful, faithful saints.  It has also been a marvelous experience to serve a full time mission as a couple.  We have grown closer during our mission and look forward to the next one (after we reconnect with family, of course!).
            We turn the leadership of the mission over the Harrises with confidence and faith that they will make necessary changes, that they will love our missionaries and that the work of the Lord will continue here in the Chile Rancagua mission. 

Love to all and signing off,

Hermana Warne

Pictures this week include a zone of missionaries coming on the bus to zone conference, pictures from stake conference in Talca, President and current and former assistants and our visit with one of our returned missionaries with her beautiful baby

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's picture time again!

We have been having a great time with zone conferences and trying to take lots of pictures, so I'm letting them speak for themselves.  A couple are also from today, our last Sunday visiting a branch.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Faithful members

            Today we attended for the last time in a little branch in Peralillo.  There were four of us in Relief Society.  The branch president’s wife taught the lesson and also taught Gospel Doctrine.  The primary consisted of two grandchildren brought by one of the hermanas and then the teacher.  I’m listing all of these facts for two reasons:
            First is to say that even though we have spent the last three years in Chile serving and doing our best, much remains to be done.  I have joked with President that we have been like a finger in water.  Once it is pulled out, no effect is left.  However, the Lord has the long view and we labor in His vineyard under His direction.  The missionaries in Peralillo have a responsibility to support the branch as much as they do to find and teach investigators.
            The second reason is to show the faithfulness of these members.  It must be hard to come every Sunday and know there will be so few, but they do it.  The branch has activities and invites everyone.  We attended their Relief Society celebration at which there were more nonmembers than members.  We have a great admiration for these members and those in many other small units in our mission or anywhere.

            We will take home with us the memories of the wonderful people of Chile, the hard work they do and we pray that the Harris’ will make a lot more progress than we did.
             For pictures this week, I've included some from the zone conferences we had this week: a group picture, sisters who helped me in the kitchen, lunch of grilled chicken sandwiches, musical numbers, and also one of President with the office elders.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Missionaries beat the heat and brave the cold

            After a rainy and rather dreary week, today the sun is shining and everything looks fresh and clean.  One of the things we’ve had to get used to in Chile is that while the trees lose their leaves in the fall and the grapevines are bare, the hills are green and beautiful since it is the rainy season.  The dead corn has been plowed under and the farmers are preparing the fields for the next crop.
            We always worry about our missionaries when it is rainy and cold.  Did they remember to take their umbrellas?  Do they have rain boots and a warm coat?  Sometimes it is hard to be admitted to houses because people say, “Don’t you know it is raining?  You should go home.”  But they are valiant about continuing to work hard whether it is cold in the winter or hot in the summer.  The houses here, including the missionary apartments are neither heated nor cooled.  We provide a heated mattress pad and blankets for each bed and a small heater for each companionship.  In the summer, they have fans to provide some relief from the heat.  However, very few missionaries complain; instead they adjust and keep going.
            We admit to the missionaries that missionary life is hard, as they know for themselves.  But we also tell them about the rewards for serving a full-time mission, which include, among others, converting themselves and others, forming life-long friendships, building a foundation for faithful service in the church and confirming their discipleship of Jesus Christ.  When they can focus on these eternal blessings and their purpose to preach repentance and baptize converts, the temporary physical hardships become bearable and fade away.  We are eternally grateful for these young people who have changed our lives by their strength, example and testimony.

            This week’s pictures come from the final dinner for the go-homers, airport, new missionaries, trainers and leadership meeting.