Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome to Chile!

Found this video on YouTube and just had to share. Enjoy!

April Miscellaneous . . .

Susie and I were in Santiago this week for a meeting with the Area Presidency and the presidents and wives of the other missions in Chile. Above are President and Sister May of the Santiago North Mission, and President and Sister Swenson of the Concepcion South Mission. We arrived with them in 2008 and will be completing our missions together on July 1, 2011. We have loved serving with them and all the other mission presidents and wives in Chile. Our annual meetings with them have been unforgettable.

We try and take advantage of being in Santiago to get together with our former missionaries. Above are former Elder Cordero, Hna Iribarra, Elder Salvatierra, Camila from Osorno who studies in Santiago, Elder Vergara and Elder Rivera. Vergara, Salvatierra and Rivera are instructors at the Santiago MTC.

Saturday is P-Day in Osorno and the Assistants and the Zone Leaders came by to wash their own truck and Susie some how put them to work washing ours. I suppose the pizza we´ve ordered will be suitable compensation. (l-r) are Elder Coles from Utah, Elder Hansen from Connecticut, Elder McGowan from Mississippi and Elder Evans from Utah.

One of the difficult but wonderful experiences as we finish our mission is our visits to the branches on Sundays. This past Sunday we attended church at the Panguipulli Branch. Above are some of the faithful members of this great branch. The two missionaries serving in Panguipulli are Elder Romero from Ecuador and Elder Broadhead from Idaho. We will miss them very much. This Sunday we will be in Los Muermos.

Each month we host family home evenings in the mission home with members from wards in and around Osorno. In order to attend, members must bring an inactive or non-member friend. Last week was the Ecuador Ward and above are some of the members and friends that attended. The lesson was given by Hna Larkin from Utah and Hna Nakayama from Hawaii. Susie always bakes cookies and banana bread which are great hits. If we are in town during the day, she invites some of the sisters to come over and help her cook which she enjoys very much, and they are excited to learn to bake American style cookies. Next will be the Ovejeria Ward.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April Zone Leader Council . . .

We had our monthly zone leader council today at the Mission Home. We meet in the basement conference room for training and discussion. We´ve been blessed with the best missionaries in the world and even greater young missionary leaders, so we always enjoy this time with the zone leaders. Today our assistants also presented a great training on the Restoration. Pictured above kneeling (l-r): Elder McGowan from Mississippi, Elder Carrizo from Chile, Elder Retamal from Chile, Elder Miner from Utah, Elder Jefferson from Utah, and Elder Hansen our assistant from Connecticut. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Ashton from Utah, Elder LeBaron from Arizona, Elder Coles our assistant from Utah, Elder Sheahan from Montana, Elder Cook from Idaho, Elder Cortéz from Nicaragua, Elder Helgesen from Utah, Elder Hunsaker from Wyoming, Elder Nikolaus from Arizona, Elder Evans from Utah, Elder Christensen from Arizona, Elder Andia from Argentina, Elder Walker from Idaho, Elder Gonzalez from Chile, Elder Amezcua from Minnesota, Elder Lund from Utah and Elder and Hna Hamilton our senior couple that leaves in May. (Sorry we didn´t position ourselves better for the sun) It is custom to take a silly shot after the initial photo and its always interesting to see what these guys can come up with. We love them very, very much.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Cambios . . .

Thirteen new missionaries arrived in the mission on Tuesday. These are always exciting days because the new missionaries arrive with such enthusiasm. And in spite of their long day of travel, they are energized and anxious to go to work. We were especially happy that it was a sunny day to welcome them. We always feed the new missionaries a nice lunch and then go through individual interviews and group training. Pictured above are the new missionaries. Seated with us is Hna Chamorro from Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile. Also seated are our two assistants Elder Coles and Elder Hansen. Standing (l-r): Elder Arce from York, South Carolina, Elder Viramontes from Spanish Fork, Utah, Elder Davis from Conifer, Colorado, Elder Archiprette from Argentina, Elder Trammell from Syracuse, Utah, Elder Canepa from Chile, Elder Bowers from Las Vegas, Nevada, Elder Juarez from Chile, Elder Hopkins from Spanish Fork, Utah, Elder Cayoja from Bolivia, Elder Fairbourne from Shelley, Idaho and Elder Cruz from Curacao. The happy day is always followed by a sad day when we have to say goodbye to those missionaries finishing their term in the mission. Included in this great group of missionaries are some exceptional leaders including a former assistant, zone leaders and district leaders. Standing (l-r) are: Elder Coles one of our assistants, Elder Riches from Grantsville, Utah, Elder Pereira from Chile, Elder Muñoz from Chile, Elder Navarro from Peru, Elder Cisternas from Chile, Elder Moyano from Ecuador and Elder Hansen our other assistant. I can´t say enough about the great impact these missionaries have had on the mission and in our lives. Also finishing their mission this past cambio was Elder Razón who would have left with this group but was allowed to leave a few weeks early to begin his studies. Elder Razón from Chile was a former mission secretary and a wonderful young man. In spite of his unique talents at imitating me and other missionaries, I will personally miss this missionary very much. What a talented and faithful young man.

With this cambio come some changes in the office staff. Pictured above (l-r): Elder Rodriguez from Uruguay the mission financial secretary, Elder Bastian from El Dorado Hills, California who will train to become the new mission secretary, Elder Davis from Soda Springs, Idaho who has been the mission secretary for the past five cambios and Elder Dunford from Sugar Land, Texas our mission historian.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Biddulph´s Arrive . . .

We welcomed the arrival today of Elder and Hna Biddulph who will be joining the mission as a new senior couple. They are from Centennial, Colorado and served an earlier mission in the Santiago Temple. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny fall day. We enjoyed a nice lunch and interview with the Biddulph´s before sending them off to get oriented by Elder and Sister Hamilton. The Hamilton´s are scheduled to complete their mission on May 20th. We have enjoyed serving with the Hamilton´s and are now looking forward to getting to know the Biddulph´s. We have been blessed with wonderful senior missionaries in the mission and will always be grateful for their service and strength.

Final Visit to Puerto Cisnes . . .

This past weekend we visited our missionaries in the Coyhaique Zone and took the opportunity to visit the Puerto Cisnes Branch one last time. This is one of my favorite places in the mission and we love the members so much. This is truly a special place in all of God´s creations. They average between 35 and 40 members attending and they are just the sweetest most faithful saints.
We have two Elders serving in Puerto Cisnes and we took our assistants along with us on the trip. Pictured above (l-r) Elder Coles our assistant from SLC, Utah, Elder Nelson from Lindon, Utah who is serving in Cisnes, Elder Hansen from Connecticut our other assistant, and Elder Beletanga from Ecuador who serves in Cisnes.
As you can imagine, Susie loves to engage with all the primary children and youth in these branches. She is pictured above with a small group that stayed after to visit with her. Hna Olga Soto is the Mamita for the missionaries in Puerto Cisnes and does such a wonderful job providing them with lunch and support. She and her husband partner with her sister and brother in law to run an hospedaje and tour business in Cisnes. We stay at their place when we visit and we feel like family with them. They hold a special place in our hearts and we are grateful for their love and service. If you want to see this beautiful place in the world, check out their website at: We were blessed with the most beautiful weather on this trip for the 4-hour drive between Coyhaique and Puerto Cisnes. They´ve made much improvement on the road since my first visit several years ago. The picture above illustrates to some extent the incredible beauty of the drive. It is incredible and unforgettable. We will be back!