Thursday, October 21, 2010

October Cambios . . .

We received 16 new missionaries this week. 11 Elders and 5 Sisters. All from the US except for one from South Africa. First row (l-r) are: Hna Nakayama from Kaunakakai, HI, Hna Gebara from Irvine, CA, Hna Moss from Woodland, WA, Hna Skinner from Lindon, UT, and Hna Grimes from Modesto, CA. Second row (l-r) are: Elder Mason from Huntington Beach, CA, Elder Pugh from Mapleton, UT, Elder Crane from Logan, UT, Elder Reeder from North Logan UT, Elder Himes from Brigham City, UT, and Elder Williamson from Roodepoort, South Africa. Third row (l-r) are: Elder Poujol and Elder Riches our two assistants, Elder Purser from Tuscaloosa, AL, Elder Fonda from South Jordan, UT, Elder Turner from Oakwood, GA, Elder Nelson from Lindon, UT and Elder Mangelson from Dublin, OH.

We will only lose six missionaries, so the addition of 10 missionaries to our total number will allow us to open 5 additional sectors. They will be: Volcán II, Panguipulli II, Purranque II, Frutillar II and Porvenir. We are excited to have this new group and they appear to be an exceptional group of missionaries. We are confident they will make a powerful contribution to the work in our mission.

This was a very unusual cambio in that all of the missionaries leaving are sister missionaries. Seated (l-r) are: Hna McMaster from West Valley City, UT, Hna Burningham from Centerville, UT, Hna Perez from Panama City, Panama, Hna Gonzalez from Bariloche, Argentina, Hna Whisenhunt from Las Vegas, NV and Hna Stout from Plainfield, Indiana. It would not be enough to say that this is an exceptional group of talented sister missionaries. In truth, they define in many ways what a faithful sister missionary should be. They worked hard, they were obedient and they touched so many lives. It has been such a blessing to serve with them and see their incredible growth and progress. We will miss them very much. We already do.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sadie Beth Gardner Sydenham . . .

Susie´s Mother, Sadie Beth Gardner Sydenham passed away yesterday, October 18, 2010. She had unfortunately been very ill for some time and Susie had the opportunity to visit with her by phone recently and sing songs and express love and appreciation to her. We are sorry to not be able to be with the family in these moments, but our love and prayers are with them and they support our efforts in serving the mission. Above is a picture of Susie´s parents with our family in the weeks prior to our leaving for Chile.

Sadie Beth is survived by her husband, Cameron Sydenham and her children pictured above: kneeling l-r: Alisa Sydenham and Connie Holman; standing l-r: Janean Peterson, Curt Sydenham, Karen Leatham, Steve Sydenham, Susie Lovell, their spouses and lots of wonderful grandchildren.
Sadie Beth was the most wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and mother-in-law. She had the most playful personality and radiated love and kindness to all. She will be greatly missed and we give thanks for the knowledge we have of the Lord´s plan for our salvation and the great and marvelous blessings of the temple. We know where Sadie is and we know where we all can be. Families really can be eternal!

Visit to Santiago . . .

We had a special training conference in Santiago this past Saturday with all the Stake, District and Mission Presidents in Chile. I took Susie with me and while I was in the meeting she was able to attend the temple and visit with some of our former missionaries in the area. After the meeting we were all able to get together and enjoy a wonderful visit. Some of the missionaries brought their girlfriends and wives. The group included Hna Butler and Hna Bond from the U.S. that were here visiting members. And our dear friend Camilla who is in law school in Santiago also came over. We love these young men and women so much and it was great to be with them. These are unforgettable moments.

And it doesn´t take much to get them in a playful mood.

Above is Elder, now Rodolfo, Vergara with Susie in the MTC in Santiago. Elder Vergara and Elder Rivera both teach in the MTC and are a great influence for those latin missionaries coming to our mission.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baptism of Vanessa Gallardo . . .

In April 2010, three young girls came to the Mission Home to interview Susie in English as part of a school assignment. Two of the girls, Vanessa and Camila fell in love with Susie right off the bat and continued to come by to visit, sew and cook. They began to attend church with us and soon started taking the discussions from the missionaries. When they graduated from high school, both left home to study with full ride scholarships at their respective universities. Camila is studying law at the University of Chile in Santiago. Vanessa is studying Special Education at the Catholic University in Temuco. Camila was baptized several months ago and last night Vanessa was baptized and confirmed. We have been so grateful for the opportunity to know these two young ladies and to witness their marvelous conversion.

We were especially happy that Vanessa´s parents and brother came to the baptism. They are a wonderful family and we obviously hope they will follow in thier daughter´s footsteps.

A playful picture of Susie with Vanessa and Camila on one of their visits before leaving for college. In many ways, they´ve become like daughters to us and we are grateful for their continued visits when they have a break from their studies.