Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zone Leader Council . . .

As you know, each month we hold zone leader council at the mission home. Pictured above (l-r) are: Elder Malca from Peru, Elder Hunsaker from Wyoming, Elder Andia from Argentina, Elder Coles from Utah, Elder Christensen from Arizona, Elder Walker from Idaho, Elder Cortéz from Nicaragua, Elder Navarro from Peru, Elder Diaz from Chile, Elder Hansen from Connecticut, Elder Helgesen from Utah, Elder Jefferson from Utah, Elder Araneda from Chile, Elder Gimenez from Argentina, Elder Barra from Chile, Elder Evans from Utah, Elder Razón from Chile, Elder LeBaron from Arizona, Elder Retamal from Chile, Elder Muñoz from Chile, Elder Gonzalez from Chile, Elder Riches from Utah, Elder Miner from Utah and Elder Pereira from Chile.

During January we planned to bring in the zone leaders from Coyhaique and Punta Arenas. Unfortunately, there were strikes in Punta Arenas and so they were the only ones that weren´t able to attend. Not pictured then are Elder Welling from Oregon and Elder Olmedo from Paraguay. In fact, cambios from Punta Arenas took several days to accomplish because there were blockades preventing people from getting to and from the airport. Eventually, the missionaries had to walk between the barricades and haul their bags to the airport on foot. Gratefully, there were many members that watched over them in the process. The strikes are over now, but not in time for those two zone leaders to make the conference.

"Completos" (Chile´s version of a hot dog) is the meal of choice at our zone leaders council. The chilean version is a lot more mayonaise and avocado with a little bit of hot dog in there somewhere. And nobody eats like missionaries eat. Need I say more.

Mini-Cambio . . .

We received a wonderful Sister Missionary last month out of cycle with the other cambios. Hna Fernandez is from Lima, Peru and she arrived all by herself. Unfortunately, Susie and I were in Coyhaique when she arrived so we were´nt able to be at the airport to recieve her. It was the following week before we were able to meet her and take pictures. She is the tiniest but most wonderful young missionary and we are very excited to have her. And as tiny as she is, she is maybe an inch taller than her trainer, Hna Contreras from Chile. What a great companionship!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January Cambios . . .

This months cambio was obviously very small. Only two missionaries arrived this week from the Provo MTC. Fortunately, it was a bright sunny day in Osorno for their arrival at the airport.

Pictured above at the mission home are the new missionaries. Pictured from l-r are: Elder Coles one of our assistants, Elder Riches our other assistant, Elder Wirthlin from Spanish Fork, UT and Elder Drake from LaVerkin, UT. We are excited to welcome them to the mission. They will both be excellent missionaries.
Two of our missionaries finishing this cambio actually went home on December 31st so that they could be home in time to start school. Pictured above are Elder Service from Salt Lake City, UT and Elder Olsen from Logan, UT. These are two of the finest young men and we will miss them very much. They´ve been leaders in our mission and have been extremely faithful.
Last night the remaining five that completed their mission were in the mission home. Seated on the couch with us is Elder Poujol from Honduras. He served for a time as one of our assistants and then was sent to help in a sector with particular needs. Standing l-r are: Elder Riches our assistant, Elder Vargas from Honduras, Elder Castillo from Honduras, Elder Rivas from Panama, Elder Moncada from Honduras and Elder Coles our other assistant. I cannot say enough about this group. They´ve all been zone leaders and exceptional missionaries. The four from Honduras are some of the best missionaries we have ever had in the mission. As a group they have had a dramatic influence on the success of our mission and their influence will continue for a long time. It has been such a privilege to serve with all seven from this group.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Eathquake Jan 2, 2011 . . .

Happy New Year!

As some of you will have heard, there was a 7.1 earthquake here in our region this afternoon. It was centered north and west of Temuco and was felt as far south as Puerto Montt. Susie and I are in Pucón and we felt the earthquake very strong. It lasted about 30-40 seconds and was strong and sustained but not violent. According to the local news, there is no major damage anywhere, but these are initial reports. However, we are confident that our missionaries are all fine and parents need not worry.

We´ve advised the area presidency and missionary department that all appears well here in our mission. We are in the process of trying to reach each and every companionship to confirm their status. This is the part of our emergency plan.