Thursday, January 29, 2009

January Cambios . . .

Another six week cycle has started with cambios. We received 9 new missionaries this week, 4 from Honduras, 2 from Utah, 1 from Panama and 1 Sister from El Salvador. The 8 Elders arrived on Tuesday from Santiago, but Hermana Guevara arrived on Wednesday evening. She did her MTC in Guatemala rather than Santiago. They are a great group of missionaries and we are excited for their growth and progress in the mission.

In the picture, the new missionaries are standing in the back from L-R, Elders Vargas, Poujol, Rivas, Moncada, Castillo, Aitken, Montoya and States. Next to Susie is Elder Ruesta one of our AP´s who left this week to return home to Peru. The other missionary to her right is Elder Vergara the other AP. On my left is Elder Shallenberger, our new AP, who will be taking Elder Ruesta´s place.

As I said, Hermana Guevara arrived Wednesday evening and Susie and I picked her up at the Osorno Airport while the departing missionaries were getting ready for our dinner. She is an excellent young woman of great faith and enthusiasm. We are so grateful to have her in the mission.

Unfortunately, we lost 14 missionaries this cambio. And the worst part is they are all exceptional missionaries. Included in the group are 2 former AP´s, 2 former Branch Presidents, 7 former ZL´s and 10 former District Leaders and 2 sisters that are nothing short of perfect. They have all had an important impact in the mission and in my life personally. We love all the missionaries and each cambio becomes more difficult. I suppose this was difficult because Elder Wanner and Elder Ruesta were the Assistants when we got here and helped so much to guide us in those early days. We will miss them all.

In the picture they are, from l-r Elders Vergara (current AP), Wanner (former AP), Galati, Briggs, Ruesta (former AP), Shipley, Port, Guzman, Zamorano, Salvatierra, and Elder Allen of our Senior Couple. Seated from l-r are Elders Serradell, Rivera, Torres, Susie, Hermana Retamal and Hermana Iribarra, me, Hermana Allen of our Senior Couple and Elder Shallenberger the new AP. The returning missionaries are from Chile (7) US (5) Peru (1) and Bolivia (1).

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