Thursday, April 23, 2009

April Cambios . . .

A new group of missionaries arrived on Tuesday of this week. Here they are arriving at the airport in Osorno. In the front row are Hna Perez from Panama, Susie, Hna Gonzalez from Argentina and Hna Earl from Utah. In the back is Elder Vergara one of our Assistants, Elder Moyano from Ecuador, Elder Schubert from Canada, Elder Ospino from Columbia, Elder Navarro from Peru, Elder Shallenberger our other Assistant, Elder Razón and Elder Cisternas from Chile.
At the mission home after interviews, orientation and a nice meal, they are exhausted, but still ready to get to work. Seated are Susie, Hna Perez, Hna Earl and Hna Gonzalez. Standing are Elder Vergara, Elder Shallenberger, Elder Razon, Elder Ospino, Elder Cisternas, Elder Navarro, Elder Schubert, Elder Moyano and Elder and Sister Allen.
Unfortunately, with cambios, we must say good-bye to some excellent and much loved missionaries who have finished their term of service in the mission. This was an exceptional group and we will miss them all. Seated are Susie, Hna Claros from Columbia and Hna Fuertes from Bolivia. Standing are Elder Shallenberger an Assistant, Elder Smith from Florida, Elder Lowry from Canada, Elder Leal, Elder Vergara and Elder Pinto all from Chile and Elder Matorell from Alaska, our new Assistant.
It is a testament to the divinity of this work that it moves on seamlessly through the great efforts of these young missionaries. Whether they are new or experienced, they bring a great attitude and devotion to preaching the gospel. We love them so much and will forever be grateful for their sacred service.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Zone Leader Council . . .

Current Zone Leaders: Back L-R Elders Spitzer, Pinto, Cubillos, Ortiz, Callaú, Pizaro, Aravena, Gobetti, Wallace, Bazan, Lucas, Millan, Leal, Miner, Matorell, Wohlfart, Pedraza, Rodriguez, Gomez, Merrill, Escobar and Benitez. Front L-R Elders Vergara and Shallenberger our Assistants, Susie and I, and Elder and Sister Allen, our senior couple. Unfortunately, the Allens finish their 2-year mission in June. They have been such a blessing. It will be hard to see them leave.
Our three Zone Leaders from Santiago, Elders Aravena, Leal and Pinto. Elders Lean and Pinto finish their mission next week.
The past 4 secretaries of the Mission. L-R Elder Benitez from Paraguay, Elder Shallenberger from Orem, UT, Elder Cuadra from Concepción, Chile and incoming Secretary, Elder Dudley from Boise, ID. He doesn´t know it yet, but Elder Cuadra leaves the office next week to become the companion of Elder Benitez as Zone Leaders in the Calle Calle Zone.
Here is Elder Cuadra with his favorite companion, Elder Elmo. I kidnapped this Elmo of his and Susie made the missionary outfit for him. Elder Cuadra loves Elmo. I think he has at least six.
Here is Susie and her Spanish tutor and friend, Claudia, making cookies. Susie shows here American cooking in exchange for Spanish lessons.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

March Zone Conference . . .

Thought you might be interested in some pictures from this last month´s round of zone conferences and interviews. Below is a picture of Susie and I from the overlook above the city of Coyhaique. This is a beautiful and picturesque city about an hour and a half flight south and east of Osorno. We have two branches in the city as well as two other branches in neighboring Puerto Aisen and Puerto Cisnes.

This is a picture down by the river in Coyhaique with our two assistants, Elder Vergara from Santiago, Chile and Elder Shallenberger from Provo, Utah. These are the finest young men and are such a great help for us in the mission. Unfortunately, Elder Vergara leaves to go home this next cambio. We will miss him a great deal.

While I am conducting personal interviews, Susie is always instructing the group and having them answer certain questions or write some thoughts. Here she has the Villarrica Zone writing down a recent spiritual experience. The picture includes Elders Carreño, Rodriguez, Montano, Close, Leal and Nash and Hermanas Crook and Torrico.
She also always has a treat for the missionaries and this month it include s´mores. The latinos weren´t too sure about this, but the North Americans were excited. Here in the Valdivia Zone are Elders Merrill, Cudahy and Billin from the U.S., Elder Callaú from Bolivia and Elder Gimenez from Argentina.
Elder Saade from Argentina had been our mission financial secretary for 7 months before finally being transferred to Coyhaique. Here he is being welcomed to the zone by Elder DeGroot.
The flight from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas leaves at 10:15 p.m. after a full day of zone conference and interviews in Puerto Montt. Here are Elders Vergara and Shallenberger preparing for our next day´s conference in Punta Arenas.
Susie´s presentation at Zone Conference often includes scripture chase segments or other trivia questions. Here is the Puerto Montt, Chiloé and Puerto Varas Zones getting ready to answer the questions. In the front row are Hermanas Demers, Porter, Vallejos and Biggs.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Out of Cycle Cambio . . .

I wanted to share this picture of our four sisters in Punta Arenas, Hna Wade, Hna Aguilar, Hna Fuentes and Hna Alvarez which was created by Elder Meneses.

We received a new missionary this past week out of our normal cambio cycle. Elder Barra from Arica, Chile arrived in our mission from the Santiago MTC on March 31st. There were 54 in this group at the MTC and only one of them came to our mission and even he arrived outside of the normal cambios. It really turned into a great blessing because one of our expected missionaries from the U.S. in the last cambio cycle was not able to come and so Elder Barra is an answer to our prayers. He will be an excellent missionary.