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.

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