Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Susie and I will be leaving the mission on June 29th and will be meeting that evening in Santiago with our missionaries that have already completed their service. We are very excited to see them again and have one more opportunity to express our love and gratitude for them. We fly home on June 30th and arrive in SLC on July 1st. For any that would be interested, we are scheduled to report in our home ward in Heber City, the Lake Creek First Ward on July 10th at 1:00 pm. The ward building is located at: 6250 E 1200 S, Heber City, UT.
We love this mission. We love the Chilean people. And we love these greatest of all great missionaries. What a privilege it has been to serve at their side. We will forever be grateful to the Lord for the blessings of this mission. And we are looking forward to seeing our family, friends and former missionaries. We are especially looking forward to holding our 7 grandchildren.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Susie and I welcomed our final group of new missionaries this week. They were originally scheduled to arrive next week, but we moved everything up a week so as to not conflict with the arrival of the new mission president and his wife. Pictured above (l-r) are: Elder Johnson from California, Elder Anderson from Utah, Elder Baker from Utah and Elder Mortensen from California. And while this is a small group, they are obviously exceptional young men and will be excellent missionaries. We are excited to see their potential and will regret not being able to witness their continued growth and service in the mission. They replace a group of 10 and I think they are up to the task.
And we have said good-bye to our final group of missionaries finishing their service. Seated with us above (l-r) are Hna Smith from California and Hna Thompson from Virginia. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Andia from Argentina who is one of our assistants, Elder Hunsaker from Wyoming, Elder Nikolaus from Arizona, Elder Evans from Utah, Elder Valentine from Utah, Elder Cook from Idaho, Elder Sanford from Idaho, Elder Gonzalez from Uruguay, Elder Aros from Chile and Elder Hansen from Connecticut our other assistant. These have been very effective missionaries and have had a powerful impact on the mission and on us. We are grateful for the privilege of serving with them and seeing their growth as missionaries.
We always take a silly shot of the missionaries and this group is as goofy as any of them. We love their playfulness and especially their dedication to the work. You may not be able to notice, but they have completed repainting the mission home so the walls have a different color. New carpeting is being installed downstairs this week. Nice changes and updates for the new president and his wife. We have loved this home and have been very comfortable here.
Above is a final look at our transfer board after the new missionaries arrived and all the missionaries are located in their new sectors for this cambio. We will finish the mission with 166 missionaries, including 23 Sisters and 143 Elders. With respect to their nationality, we have: From the US: 110, Chile: 24, Argentina: 6, Peru: 5, Honduras: 4, Colombia: 3, Bolivia: 2, Canada: 2, Ecuador: 2, El Salvador: 2, Mexico: 2, Curacao (Netherlands): 1, Panama: 1, Uruguay: 1 and South Africa: 1. During our 3 years of service, we have served with 435 missionaries. What a wonderful privilege. And we love them all!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Some of you will have heard that the Puyehue Volcano, which is near Osorno began erupting yesterday. There has not been an eruption at this volcano since 1960 in conjunction with the large earthquake centered near Valdivia. We felt several tremors yesterday, but I don´t know if they were caused by the volcano or the volcano caused the tremors. As you can see from the photos, the volcano continues to send ash and smoke some 6 miles up into the atmosphere. Fortunately, we don´t have missionaries too close as the volcano is about an hour East of Osorno near the border with Argentina. Winds generally blow west to east, so most of the ash is falling in Argentina. Sorry, Bariloche.
After a stake conference here in Osorno, Susie and I drove east towards the volcano to take some pictures. The best photos are from distance because as you get closer the air is full of ash and you can´t see clearly. Air quality will be something we will be watching very closely for our missionaries.
You get a sense from the close-up of the power of this plume. We are blessed that it is isolated and for now doesn´t look threatening to our missionaries and members. Our missionaries are all equiped with an emergency pack and we will stay alert.
Monday, May 30, 2011
This past Saturday we had our final zone conference in Coyhaique. For us this was a special occasion because it was our final trip to Coyhaique. We love this place and these people so much. Seated above (l-r) are: Hna Grimes from California and Hna McShane from Washington. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Tyus from Colorado, Elder Bevan from Wyoming, Elder Coria from Argentina, Elder Nelson from Utah, Elder Beletanga from Ecuador, Elder Seegrist from Utah, Elder Davis from Idaho, Elder Fonda from Utah, Elder Retamal from Chile, Elder Himes from Utah, Elder Richan from Utah and Elder Turner from Georgia. The two zone leaders are Elders Retamal and Bevan.
With this conference we completed our vaccinations for the mission. A local inactive sister, who is a paramedic, volunteered to come over and give the shots. Above are Elders Beletanga, Seegrist, Bevan and Himes showing proof of their courage.
Above are Elders Tyus, Nelson and Fonda proudly displaying their colorful bandages.
And never to be outdone are our mighty sisters, Hnas McShane and Grimes.
On Thursday of last week we had our zone conference in Puerto Montt. Three different zones attend this conference. Above is the Puerto Varas Zone. Seated (l-r) are the two zone leaders Elder Nikolaus from Arizona and Elder Sheahan from Montana. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Silva from Chile, Elder Contreras from Chile, Elder Hopkins from Utah, Elder Galarza from Argentina, Elder Urrutia from Chile, Elder Christensen from Arizona, Elder Hauver from Utah, Elder Lux from Utah, Elder Hezeltine from Utah, Elder Frost from Utah, Elder Davis from Colorado, Elder Mussi from Argentina, Elder Gonzalez from Uruguay and Elder Vidal from Chile.
Above is the Puerto Montt Zone. Seated (l-r) are: Hna Byam from Canada and Hna Larkin from Utah. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Williamson from South Africa, Elder Meza from Peru, Elder Bluth from Arizona, Elder Riquelme from Chile, Elder Drake from Utah, Elder Gatica from Chile, Elder Reeder from Utah, Elder Colque from Bolivia, Elder Purser from Alabama, Elder Walker from Idaho, Elder Aston from Utah, Elder Hamblin from Utah, Elder Gomez from Colombia, Elder Figgins from Utah, Elder Urias from Honduras, Elder Walker from Texas, Elder Fairbourne from Idaho and Elder Murphy from Utah. The two zone leaders are Elders Walker and Hamblin.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
This month we are also providing flu vaccinations for the missionaries. Above is Hna Tauteoli administering the injection to Elder Vaquerano. He was so funny and really didn´t want the shot. But he was brave and set a great example for the rest. Elder Vilorio is giving him much needed comfort.
We woke up Sunday to a beautiful wintry day. It snowed all morning, but we were fortunate to make it out on our afternoon flight. It gets cold, windy and snowy in Punta Arenas during the winter (actually is cold and windy year round), but at least they have natural gas heating. It makes all the difference in the world.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
We received 8 wonderful new missionaries this week and we were excited to welcome them to the greatest mission in the world. (I know all mission presidents say that, but at least one of us can be correct.) Seated with us on the couch is Hna Kitto from Orem, Utah. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Andia from Argentina our new assistant, Elder Hansen from New Hampshire our other assistant, Elder Magaña from National City, California, Elder Amato from Mendoza, Argentina, Elder Villantoy from Lima, Peru, Elder Burge from Stansbury Park, Utah, Elder Colque from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Elder Hauver from Lehi, Utah, Elder Wood from Rigby, Idaho and Elder Coles from Utah our outgoing assistant.
In all the confusion, we forgot to take a picture of the departing missionaries in the mission home. I am so disappointed that we missed that. At least we have a picture of them at the bus terminal. Pictured above (l-r) are: Elder Benitez from Uruguay, Elder Paris from Chile, Elder Cortéz from Nicaragua, Hna Kelley from Montgomery, Alabama, Elder Olmedo from Paraguay and Elder Jaita from Bolivia. It just breaks our hearts to say goodbye to these wonderful missionaries. We will forever be grateful for their faithful service.
Also leaving this week are Elder and Hna Hamilton from Colorado. They have served two years as our senior couple and have been a great blessing to the mission. Elder Hamilton has served as one of my counselors and has been a great help in the districts and independent branches. And Hna Hamilton has directed a program of piano instruction and musical presentations that has left and indelible mark on the mission and many of its members. We have been so grateful for the help these past two years and will miss them very much. Actually we will get to see them in July, so that´s real nice.
With this cambio we say goodbye to Elder Coles who has been released as our assistant and is transfered to Villarrica where he will finish his mission in August. Our new assistant is Elder Andia pictured above with Elder Hansen. Elder Andia is from Argentina and is a wonderful young missionary. These young men have a powerful impact on the success of our mission. What a privilege it is to serve with them.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Today was our monthly zone leader council and we enjoy so much being with these great missionaries. They are doing a great job and we are seeing a great change in our missionaries due to their influence. They are the best.
In front, (l-r) are: Elder Gonzalez from Chile, Elder Carrizo from Chile, Elder Walker from Idaho, Elder Evans from Utah, Elder Coles from Utah, Elder Hunsaker from Wyoming, Elder Miner from Utah and Elder Retamal from Chile. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Jefferson from Utah, Elder LeBaron from Arizona, Elder Cook from Idaho, Elder Andia from Argentina, Elder Sheahan from Montana, Elder Lund from Utah, Elder Helgesen from Utah, Elder Christensen from Arizona, Elder Amezcua from Minnesotta, Elder McGowan from Mississippi, Elder Nikolaus from Arizona, Elder Hansen from Connecticut, Elder Cortez from Nicaragua and Elder Ashton from Utah.
Those that know us can easily guess who it was that inspired the "let´s pick up the president" picture. And obviously, she has the camera.
We have three independent branches in the mission; that is, they do not belong to any district or stake. These are in Fresia, Los Muermos and Calbuco. This past Sunday we visited the Los Muermos Branch for the last time. These are such wonderful members and we were blessed with such a beautiful day to be with them. The branch president, President Osorio and his family are some of the very, very best. The two missionaries serving currently in the branch are Elder Riquelme from Chile and Elder Purser from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We were very happy to learn that Elder Purser´s family is safe after the storms that effected Tuscaloosa.