Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Visit to Porvenir Branch . . .

Last Sunday was a very special day when I had the opportunity to visit the Porvenir Branch on Tierra del Fuego. This is the island at the very tip of South America and is half Chile and half Argentina. Porvenir is a 2-3 hour ferry ride across the Magellan Strait from Punta Arenas. We had about 35 members at church on Sunday and I will forever be grateful to them for changing their meeting times so I could visit. They hadn´t had a visit from a mission president in over 10 years. And now having been there, I only wish I could go back. This is obviously a very isolated region and the members, though few, are very faithful.

Above is a photo of President Carcamo, the branch president and his beautiful family. He and his wife are both paramedics and Pte Carcamo is also the assistant fiscal, which is a local government elected official. They are truly a blessing to the church in this region.

This is the Elder´s little home that was built for them by Pte Carcamo in his back yard. It is probably the nicest house in the mission where missionaries live. Safe, clean and natural gas heating. It is further evidence of the Carcamo family´s love for the work.

A view of Porvenir from the ferry arriving from Punta Arenas. Unfortunately, Susie wasn´t able to make the trip because of the risk for sea sickness. The trip can be a little bumpy at times, but I was pretty lucky and enjoyed smooth sailing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Zone Leader Council . . .

We had zone leader council this week at the mission home. This is always a hightlight of our month as we get to spend some time with these wonderful leaders in the mission. Kneeling in the front (l-r) are: Elder McGowan from Mississippi, Elder Retamal from Chile, Elder Miner from Utah and Elder Jefferson from Utah. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Nikolaus from Arizona, Elder Pereira from Chile, Elder Cornejo from Chile, Elder Christensen from Arizona, Elder Cook from Idaho, Elder Andia from Argentina, Elder Evans from Utah, Elder Cortéz from Nicaragua, Elder Helgesen from Utah, Elder Gonzalez from Chile, Elder Walker from Idaho, Elder Razón from Chile, Elder Coles (AP) from Utah, Elder Navarro from Peru, Elder LeBaron from Arizona, Elder Hansen (AP) from Connecticut, Elder Hunsaker from Wyoming and Elder Amezcua from Minnesota. Not pictured are our zone leaders in Coyhaique and Punta Arenas, Elder Muñoz from Chile, Elder Hamblin from Utah, Elder Welling from Oregon and Elder Olmedo from Paraguay.

We´ve been blessed with the best missionaries and it is such a pleasure to serve with them. But these leaders are just truly exceptional. As a group they are faithful, obedient and committed to this work. And we love them very much.

They not only work hard, they are truly fun to be with. Thanks to all their parents and family for sharing them with the Lord and us during this time.