Thursday, June 25, 2009

Elder and Sister Oaks and Elder Amado visit . . .

We were blessed to have Elder Dallin H Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife visit Osorno this past week. He was accompanied by Elder Carlos H Amado of the First Quorum of Seventy and President of the Chile Area. They spoke at a two hour fireside with all of our missionaries, with the exception of Coyhaique and Punta Arenas, and they spoke later that evening at a singles fireside in the Osorno Stake Center. It was a wonderful opportunity for our missionaries and members. What a great experience!

I love this picture with all of the missionaries (except Coyhaique and Punta Arenas Zones). Have you ever seen such a great group of young men and women? Seated from l-r are Pte and Hna Otay (my first counselor), Susie and I, Elder and Sister Oaks, Elder Amado, and Pte and Hna Carcamo (my second counselor).
Susie and I were blessed to be able to host them in the mission home for lunch and some relaxation between meetings. We enjoyed being able to spend time with them.
In August, Elder Scott came to Chile. In October, Elder Nelson came to Osorno. And now Elder Oaks has come to Osorno. I know the Lord loves this country.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

San José de la Mariquina . . .

Branch building in San José de la Mariquina
President & Sister Salas and their two daughters Paula and Pamela
Susie and I with some of the branch members. Wonderful people.

Susie and I spent Saturday in Villarrica conducting interviews with members and leaders. For Sunday, we attended church in the small branch of San José de la Mariquina which is in the Los Lagos District. We had a wonderful day with these great members. The branch is blessed with an exceptional branch president (Pte Salas), two great missionaries and some excellent families. Several of the recent converts have added significant strength and several are preparing to go to the temple. We were fortunate to be there when a young husband was confirmed a member of the church, having been baptized yesterday and on the same day seeing his new baby boy blessed. In a year this family will be going to the temple to be sealed. It was very nice.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Cambios . . .

This was cambio week again and we received 10 new missionaries. Above is a picture taken at the Osorno airport upon arrival. The sisters in front with Susie include (l-r) Hna Stout from Plainfield, IN, Hna Burningham from Layton, UT, Hna McMaster from SLC, UT and Hna Whisenhunt from Las Vegas, NV. The new Elders from l-r are Elder Jaita from Bolivia, Elder Benitez from Uruguay, Elder Riches from Grantsville, UT, Elder Paris from Santiago, Chile, Elder Cortez from Nicaragua and Elder Olmedo from Paraguay. They are a great bunch of missionaries and we are grateful to have them here.

After interviews, dinner and training, here are the new missionaries in the mission home. Sisters l-r are Hna Stout, Hna McMasters, Hna Burningham and Hna Whisenhunt. Elder l-r are Elder Shallenberger (AP), Elder Paris, Elder Riches, Elder Benitez, Elder Olmedo, Elder Jaita, Elder Cortez and Elder Matorell (AP). On Wednesday the met their new companions and left for their areas. This will be an excellent group!

The hardest part of cambios is seeing the missionaries we love so much leave the mission to return home. This is one of those great groups and we will miss them so much. The sisters l-r are Hna Apaza from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Hna Crook from Centerville, UT, Hna Koontz from San Diego, CA and Hna Wood from SLC, UT. The elders l-r are Elders Matorell and Shallenberger, out Assistants, Elder Escobar from Costa Rica, Elder Aranda from Bolivia, Elder Alves da Costa from Uruguay, Elder Pizaro from Chile, Elder Lainez from Honduras and Elder Gomez from Argentina. Also leaving this week are Elder and Hna Allen, our senior couple. These are all exceptional missionaries and we will miss them. We will especially miss the Allen´s who have been such a wonderful blessing. They´ve served for two years and have been such a big help. They were especially helpful for Susie and I when we arrived last year. They will be returning to their daughter´s home in Oklahoma, so it will be nice to know they are in Oklahoma. I think their kids live in Mustang, OK.

I can´t emphasize enough what a blessing these senior couples are. If any of you are considering this, please serve. You will love it.
In this picture before dinner, Susie, Hna Allen and Hna Westover join with the departing sisters for one last picture.