Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Field is White

It takes time, patience, and perseverance to find, teach and baptize.
Our Missionaries know how to keep going until they reach their goals.
They prayerfully set goals, and they prayerfully reach them every day of their missions.
We are so thankful for dedicated missionaries
who know what it takes to be
true servants of the Lord.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good bye and Hello...13 Missionaries Arrive and 1 Leaves

Orientation of our New Missionaries is always a blessing.
We are so excited to add more wonderful Missionaries to the Lord's amazing team.

First day at the Santiago Temple.
These Missionaries are ready to go.
They can hardly wait to get to work!

Early mornings at the airport saying good bye to Missionaries is always bittersweet.
We are so happy to send them on to do wonderful things in their lives.
But we are sad to let them go. We love them so much!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping in Santiago

I think you will all be interested to see the meat section
of the grocery store near the Mission Office.
I have not learned the art of cooking these delicacies...yet.
But I have three years to learn.

I wish I could transmit the aroma with the pictures.
Sorry, you'll just have to use your imaginations!

Converts that Convert! What a Blessing!

This is a picture of President Laycock and Conrado Munoz.
President Laycock baptized him when he was just 14 years old
and living in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

Converts that Convert! What a Blessing!

Conrado Munoz unexpectedly visited us at the Mission Office one wonderful day. He traveled all the way from Bahia Blanca, Argentina to visit us. He had seen our picture in the "Liahona" (Ensign) and knew that we were serving in Santiago. So he came to surprise us! President Laycock had the privilege of teaching and baptizing him and his entire family 29 years ago when Brother Munoz was just 14 years old. He described himself as a very difficult investigator. He said that President Laycock had to work very diligently to get him baptized. He spoke of the great "ramifications" of Mission Work. He talked about his own mission, the missions being served now by those he baptized, and even the missions being served by his own family members. What a tender mercy. Can you see the tears in all of our eyes? Those are true tears of love and joy.

Invitations to Come Unto Christ

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God,
see that ye serve him with all your heart, might mind and strength,
that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.
D&C 4:2-3

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
John 3:5

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:
first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
second, Repentance;
third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins;
fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

"For behold the field is white already to harvest;
and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might,
the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not,
but bringeth salvation to his soul."
D&C 4:4
We love this work!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Zone Conference #3 (South Zones) We love Zone Conferences.

Zone Conferences are the BEST!
Every six weeks, we get the opportunity to teach and learn from one another.

During this six weeks, we are studying Chapter 13 of Preach My Gospel.
Working effectively with Leaders and Members is one of our greatest tools.

We have the best Missionaries in all the world!
We are striving so hard to be representatives of Jesus Christ in all we do and say.

We love our Missionaries!

Our Missionaries love one another. They are becoming more unified every day.
They are learning to
"think outside the box."
Their only limits are "Preach my Gospel" and the Mission Manual.
They are becoming creative and finding ways to really enjoy teaching the Gospel. We are learning that the way we present the Gospel
makes all the difference in whether or not people want to listen.

Zone Conference #3 (South Zones) How we present the Gospel makes all the difference.

This cake represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is beautiful, inviting, and delicious!
Elder Hastings eagerly volunteered to receive the cake.
President Laycock began with a nice cold glass of milk to go with the cake.

President Laycock
carefully cut a nice serving of cake.
He lovingly placed it on a clean, white china plate.
He explained that the cake represents the delicious teachings
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He ceremoniously placed the yummy plate of cake on the table for Elder Hastings.
Elder Hastings eyes lit up. He was so excited to enjoy the cake!

Suddenly, President Laycock stuck his hand into the cake, grabbed a fistful, squished it through his fingers, and then splattered it all over Elder Hastings' face. A collective gasp of shock and disgust filled the room.

President Laycock explained that the Gospel is always the same...
...virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy...and of course, delicious.
How we serve it makes all the difference.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zone Conference #3 (North Zones)

At the conclusion of Zone Conference,
we always sing to the Hermanas who serve us.

Missionaries love to share their individual Mission stories.
They always enjoy visiting with and teaching one another at Zone Conference!

Zone Conference #3 (North Zones)

"Working with Members" was the theme of this Zone Conference. We started with several excellent discursos (talks) by Missionaries. Each Zone Conference, every Missionary prepares a talk, and then President uses his inspiration to call upon several to deliver their talks. We love to hear from our Missionaries. They are always so uplifting. We learn so much from them. We also enjoy hearing how their Spanish has improved since the last Conference.
After they spoke, President "served" a wonderful object lesson. Poor Elder Trumbo volunteered to help and ended up having his cake and eating it, too. A beautiful cream-filled cake represented the Gospel. It rested upon a lovely setting, complete with China and a linen table cloth. Elder Trumbo sat down to take a bite of the cake, when President smashed it all over his face! Everyone was shocked! What we learned is that:
the Gospel is always the same...beautiful and inviting...
but how we serve it makes or breaks our ability to really share it.

(This was an object lesson used by President Packer in one of his zone conferences. The Assistants brought it to us to help us teach the value of planning and teaching well.)
Next, we watched a short section of the Preach My Gospel DVD about the importance of working effectively with Members. Then Elder Walker taught us about the importance of always being representatives of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Elder Perez taught us about the necessity of keeping our pensiones (apartments) clean and orderly so that the Spirit can dwell there and help us to recognize the inspiration that comes from the Lord.
Finally, Elder Martineau and Elder Rodriguez taught us to teach with love and to remember who we represent. They inspired us to have the "vision to baptize." This was a fun and informative Conference. We know that the Lord has put us together on this "team" to accomplish the work He has for us to do. We are excited, and we are humbled at this great responsibility. We will pray with all our might that the Lord will allow us to accomplish His vision. We know He will hear our prayers. Please pray with us for the Miracle of the Harvest to occur!

Zone Conference #3 (North Zones)

Zone Conferences also feed us physically. We enjoy the time we spend eating together during Zone Conferences. We have the opportunity to visit while we eat yummy food and unite as members of the Chile, Santiago East Mission Team. We feel such great love and appreciation for every Missionary. They are strong and brave and happy.
The first course was a Chilean salad and a delicious home-made roll. Then we had tacos and Mexican rice. We finished with our own lemon meringue pie. Moms...rest assured, we are eating really well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

18 New "Colors" to add to our Collection of Missionaries

This picture is taken in front of the chapel after our New Missionary training. Some of these Missionaries are new and some of them are our existing Missionaries. As we prayed about this new group of Elders and 1 Sister, we learned that they would be a "colorful" group of Missionaries. The Lord has guided us to use their individual talents and abilities to bless our Mission in unusual ways. We know without a doubt that these Missionaries will add the "color" that we need to have in order to bring to pass the Lord's vision. Estamos animados! We know that the Lord has a plan for His work here. Line upon line it is revealed to us as we work together to love and serve His children.
Isn't this a beautiful sight? A new army of fresh, excited, "colorful" Missionaries join our team. We can hardly wait to see what they do with the many talents and "colors" that they bring to the Chile Santiago East Mission!! We waited at the aiport
for them to come out of customs for many hours. We were starting to worry, but they finally made it through. It seems that little Hermana McDaniels was carrying a bag of Beef Jerky in her back pack. She was detained and fined a large amount of money. We all learned a valuable lesson: Don't try to bring food into Chile! She made it through a difficult situation with flying "colors" and several gallant Elders helped her pay her fine and kept her safe as she was questioned and searched...all in Spanish. She is strong, and the Lord has prepared all of these Missionaries to do all that He is asking of them.
We drove everyone straight to the Mission Home for some food and a brief orientation. Then their companions met them and hurried them away for their first day of true Mission work. They were so excited, even though they were tired, they could hardly wait to get out and try their Spanish skills. Can you feel the excitement! These Missionaries are ready to serve their Chilean Brothers and Sisters with great love. They have the vision to baptize! We are so thankful for them. We love them already, and we know that they will add incredible life and "color" to our Mission!

The "Color" of Tears

I used to think that tears are clear and have no color. Since I have served in the Mission I have learned that tears are not without color. When we say goodbye to our faithful missionaries, the tears always come. But our tears are "colored" with every good act of each Missionary. Looking through our tears to say goodbye is a spectacular sight. We see a rainbow of love and growth and beauty that we have not seen before. We are thankful for the tears that add meaning and "color" to our life in the Mission.

"Los Que Se Van...Those Who are Leaving"

This is the "colorful" view of Santiago that we see from Cerro San Cristobal, a huge hill that we visit with every departing Missionary.

From this hill, we can see our entire Mission. It is a spectacular view on a clear day.

Our Missionaries take time to reflect upon their service and to think about their futures and what they will do with the rest of their lives.

We really enjoy this day every change, even though we are so sad to say goodbye to these good and faithful servants. This change, we bid farewell to three Missionaries: Sister Arroyo, Sister Hodgkin, and Elder Hall. Elder Jimenez also participated because he is the only Missionary who goes home after the next change. We love these Missionaries with all our hearts. They are the best of the best!

Hermana Hodgkin and Hermana Arroyo look out over the city for the last time. We all shed tears of sadness as well as tears of pure joy. We are so thankful for good servants of the Lord. These Hermanas have blessed the lives of so many people. They will continue to serve faithfully into eternity. The "color" of their service will paint our lives forever.

They are ready to go home to their own wards and stakes and continue to be the shining examples that they have been here. They have lifted and loved every person they have served.

What a beautiful sight...the faces of faithful Missionaries preparing to leave the Mission and begin their service at home. We are confident that these four Missionaries will be strong and capable and dependable leaders wherever they decide to "color" the Lord's Kingdom. We wish we could keep them here forever, but we know the Lord has more plans for them.They will be in our hearts forever!

This picture is taken in front of Los Dominicos. A picture of this sight is found on one of the Chilean Bills. We enjoy taking the Missionaries to several cultural sights on their last day in Santiago. We want them to remember the love they have for Santiago and for the people of Santiago.

Santiago is a colorful place, and we wish they could see it all before they leave.

We love these Missionaries!!!!!

Our Mission is better and stronger and much more "colorful"
because of them!

"Colorful" Activities

We had the privilege of attending the confirmation of Gonzalo Machuca last Sunday.

President Laycock was thrilled (and surprised) when they announced from the pulpit in Sacrament Meeting that Gonzalo would be confirmed by President Laycock. What a blessing to see this wonderful man receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

These types of experiences
"color" our mission service every day. It is a privilege to serve the Lord as Missionaries. We love these people with all our hearts. Brother Machuca will be our brother forever.

We feel so privileged to be invited to participate in many "colorful" activities in the Mission.

This particular activity was held in the Nunoa Stake. It was a Primary activity to encourage the children to become Missionaries. What a beautiful sight for us to watch as these young people were taught, at this young age, to kindle a desire to serve the Lord as His Missionaries.

These are beautiful children of God, and we love every one of them.

President Laycock and I got to speak to them and to have fun with them. Then I got to kiss every single one of them. What a treat for me! They are so loving and so sweet.

Missionary service comes in many different "colors."
We are absolutely loving every
"color" of our opportunity to serve.

Landon's "Colorful" 17th Birthday

Landon celebrated his 17th Birthday last month!
We put as much "color" into the celebration as we possibly could for him.
We love him so much.
He is a sweet young man with so much desire to serve the Lord.

Landon "colors" our lives here in the Mission;
he always thinks of fun things for us to do. He is happy and thoughtful.
The Missionaries never forget to include him.
They invite him to teach with them, and they always send their love to him.

We absolutely love the many "colors" of Landoncito.
We enjoy every minute of having him here with us.
The people here like to touch his face, and they tell us that he is "beautiful."
They say he looks like a movie star.
That is a bit embarrassing for him...as you might imagine.
But he just smiles and says, "Gracias."

"The Many Colors of Santiago"

This fountain is beautiful in down town Santiago,
especially at night with all the "colors.

This is an example of the many "colors" of dogs in Santiago.
I am thankful that it is not my job to walk all of these dogs!

In the busy streets of Santiago near the Mission Home,
this is not an uncommon site!
Santiago is "colored" with many wonderful cultural diversities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zone Conference #2 "What is My Purpose As a Missionary?" Spiritual Food and Physical Food

We really enjoy Zone Conferences. Every six weeks we are able to join together and work on what the Lord wants us to learn, practice, and prepare to better serve Him. We are always fed spiritually as well as physically. We like to take pictures of the physical food so that we can share with you how well we are taken care of. We almost forgot to post these pictures, but this food was so good, we just had to share.

These pictures are of our Zone Conference during the week of the 18th of September...the Chilean celebration week. For our appetizer, we had 2 ginormous empanadas filled with meat and olives and onions and other yummy vegetables and a huge roll. Then the main course was roast beef, potato salad, and the typical onion and tomato chilean salad. Dessert was a favorite Chilean dessert...mote con huesillo which is a peach that has been soaked and boiled and boiled with a grain of some sort. It was delicious.

Landon, our son, was skeptical when he saw it because he thought it looked exactly like a monkey brain. He was really excited to taste it because he likes to be able to say that he has experienced the Chilean culture in every way possible. He liked it and ate the whole thing...except for the pit of course.

Please don't worry about your sons and daughters. They eat every day at the home of a member in their ward. The members love to feed the Missionaries. Sometimes, we are told that they even fight over who gets to feed them. The members love these Missionaries so much. They love to have them in their homes to feel their love for the Savior. We are so very grateful for good, faithful members who honor their covenants and are willing to give all they have to help build up the Kingdom of God on the earth.