Friday, January 1, 2010

December Cambios . . .

Our new group of 19 missionaries arrived in Osorno on Tuesday, December 29th. As you can see, they are all North Americans.

Seated from l-r: Elder Bigelow from Gilbert, AZ one of our assistants, Hermana Kelley from Montgomery, Alabama, Elder Miner from Bountiful, UT our other assistant; standing from l-r: Elder Ballard from Riverton, Utah, Elder Patton from Gooding, Idaho, Elder Lux from Highland, Utah, Elder Pierson from Highland, Utah, Elder Osborn from Longmont, Colorado, Elder Bluth from Gilbert, Arizona, Elder Lund from American Fork, Utah, Elder Grotenhuis from Fremont, New Hampshire, Elder Helgesen from Kaysville, Utah, Elder LeBaron from Mesa, Arizona, Elder Ashton from Salt Lake City, Utah, Elder Elmer from Joseph City, Arizona, Elder Sebrands from Salt Lake City, Utah, Elder Booth from Centerville, Utah, Elder Wideman from San Antonio, Texas, Elder Palmer from Shortsville, New York, Elder Richardson from Logan, Utah and Elder Haug from Vancouver, Washington.

With this cambio we lost 14 of our finest missionaries, including 10 that had been zone leaders and 3 that served as district leaders. They leave a gap that will be very, very difficult to fill, but we are confident that the young missionaries that follow them will be up to the task. Seated from l-r are: Elder Wallace from Utah, Elder Calderón from, Hermana Aguilar from El Salvador, Elder Cuadra from Chile; standing from l-r are: Elder Bigelow one of our assistants, Elder Sumrall from Florida, Elder Ellis from Utah, Elder Noel from Utah, Elder Catmull from Utah, Elder Hernandez from Chile, Elder Hansen from Arizona, Elder Billin from New Hampshire, Elder Cordero from Chile, Elder Portillo from New Mexico, Elder Strawn from California and Elder Miner our other assistant.

I cannot tell you how important these young missionaries have been and will be in our lives. We have had such wonderful experiences with each one of them. Susie and I arrived in Osorno on Saturday, June 28, 2008. Hermana Aguilar arrived the following Tuesday and so she will forever be the First ("La Primera"). We will miss her as well as all these fine Elders that have been so faithful. It just gets harder and harder every cambio.

We have a member who helps us bus the missionaries to and from the airport for their flights or bus station. We often send the missionaries by bus to Santiago for their flights home, but we didn´t want them on the road for New Years, so they flew from Osorno to Santiago and beyond. The picture above is in front of the mission home before boarding the bus. As usual, it was raining, but after this much time in the mission, these missionaries don´t even notice it.