Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Fond Farewell

We said farewell to Elder Boyce, Elder Nieves, and Elder Matthews on September 5, 2011. We will miss these fine Missionaries so much. They have served and blessed our Mission in so many ways. They have brought many Souls unto Christ. They have been faithful and loving and full of Charity. We love them very much, and we look forward to seeing them again and to hearing of their many successful life endeavors.

Mission Miracle

We want to share a miracle with you. During July and August, we had a mission-wide fast to help us find new investigators to teach. We wanted to find many more people to teach, and we knew we needed the Lord's help to do so, so we initiated a fast. Each companionship of missionaries took a day to fast, and so the fast lasted forty days. We want to share with you just one of the many, many miracles that took place during that fast.

Our Assistants started their day of the forty day fast for the mission on Thursday, August 7 after lunch. They were fasting with a special purpose: to find someone to teach and baptize, to be able to be more obedient to the Lord, and to completely dedicate themselves to Him. The next day, after having finished their fast, they sat down, prayed to the Lord to please hear their prayer, and then they ate their lunch. Here is their account of their miracle.

"As we finished our meal, we sat in silence for a few minutes. The phone rang as we sat, pondering what we had learned from our fast. It was a man who identified himself as a member of our ward. He explained that his daughter had been going to church for years, and that he had not felt that he wanted her to be baptized. But he said that now his heart had changed, and that he would like her to be baptized the very next day.

She had been taught the lessons, and had accepted the truth, but she had never received parental permission from him until that moment. After the call, we sat in awe as we thought about how very much the Lord loves all of His children and will bless us as we choose to follow Him and plead for His help. The very next day, Saturday the 9th, the daughter was baptized by Elder Amado of the First Quorum of the Seventy and confirmed a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."

We testify that this is the Lord's work. He loves his missionaries. He works beside us every minute of every day. The great gathering of Israel is taking place all over the earth, and we see miracles like these happening every day in our Mission, and we know that they take place in every Mission all over the world. We are so thankful to be a small part of this wonderful work. We are thankful for the opportunity to see people change their lives and come unto Christ. We know that the Gospel changes lives in miraculous ways. With the help of the Gospel, people are able to make their lives better. Families are able to love one another more, and young Missionaries are able to become men and women of God who will be forever faithful and courageous and strong.

Our hearts are filled to overflowing with all of the wonderful blessings that Heavenly Father gives us, His children. Listening to General Conference was a wonderful treat this weekend for all of us. We were especially touched by so many of the messages to and for the Lord's Missionaries. Of course, we know that we were so touched by these messages because of where we are right now, and because of the fact that we get to know and see so many of the Lord's faithful Missionaries as they work and serve every day. It is also because of our dear Missionary Son, Elder Landon Laycock who is working so hard to teach and preach the Gospel to his brothers and sisters in Uruguay. It is really a wonderful blessing for us to get to be Missionaries at the same time that Landon is serving. When he tells us what is happening in his Mission, we know exactly what he is experiencing. And all of the Mission language actually really makes sense...transfer week, Zone Conference, District Leader, Pension Inspections, Companion Exchanges, etc. When he tells us what is happening in his Mission, we just know, and we can picture it all in our mind. We love it! We are thankful for this year that we will serve while he is serving.

We are preparing for the celebration of the Anniversary of the 50th year of the Church in Chile. It will be a gigantic celebration that will be held in one of the big soccer stadiums in our mission. All of the country of Chile will be here for the celebration, and all Missionaries who have ever served here are invited. Our Missionaries get to participate. We will focus on bringing inactive members and investigating members to the celebration. One is on Saturday the 8th of October, and the other is on the 15th of October. The week between the 8th and the 15th will be filled with activities commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Church in Chile. It will be a fabulous week for missionaries to find new people to teach! A film crew from Salt Lake City came to our mission and asked to be able to accompany our missionaries so that they could film them as they go about their daily missionary work last week. They have been impressed by the spirit they have felt as they have been with our Missionaries, and our Missionaries are so excited!!!

We know that the work we are doing here is the Lord's work, and we are thankful to be a small part of it all. Thank you for your love and your prayers. Keep praying for Chile!

Feed my Sheep

Our son, Elder Landon Laycock (Landoncito) is serving his Uruguayan brothers and sisters. We were happy to receive this picture this week. We know that Elder Laycock is feeding the Lord's lambs in Uruguay, just as our missionaries are feeding the Lord's sheep in Santiago. This photo is taken at an investigator's home where he was teaching and learning. He reports that the people of Uruguay are happy and helpful and humble. He loves them all very much. We are so thankful for the missionary program. It blesses our lives in so many ways every single day!

Blessings in Santiago

Elder Maxfield and President Laycock

Elder Maxfield sent us this beautiful picture of Santiago that he took as his plane flew away from Santiago on the night that he completed his mission service. We thought that it looked much like a treasure trove of jewels, sparkling in the night. That is how we think of Santiago. Her people are jewels that sparkle and glisten in the light of the Lord.

We love going to the airport! We always enjoy those we meet there. We saw Presidente and Hermana Humphrey, from the Concepcion Mission. They always inspire us! We are grateful for their examples.

September 18, Chilean National Holiday Celebration

We understand the National Pride that Chileans feel for this beautiful country! As we watched these breath-takingly beautiful Chileans perform through music and dance on September 19, we were filled with emotion and love. The Chilean people are stately and majestic. We love them, and we honor their culture and heritage. We feel so blessed to be able to get to know them and to feel of their royal birthright. They are truly wonderful in every way.

During the week of the 11th through the 19th of September, we were able to see and participate in many beautiful celebrations of this amazing Country. We pray for the Lord's choicest blessings to be upon this Country and her dear people.

Celebration of the Chilean National Holiday

September 18 Chilean National Holiday