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.