Friday, February 27, 2009

Missionary work on the side

I love splits with the sister missionaries! I've been visiting this family with them lately if I'm not doing a temple grounds tour. Jonace and Maya are from Haiti and they're absolutly wonderful! They have the cutest baby (I couldn't even tell you his name!), and he's normally happy. I think in this picture he was getting fed up with the lesson and sitting still and he was probably hungry. They've been to church like three times, but they still have some doubts. Jonace has been in the Employment Resource Center and we're working on getting a job for Maya as a seamstress. I hope it works out for them!

I've also had the privilege of meeting some wonderful older missionaries. This is the Santiago MTC mission president here with his wife, the Ferrels. They are a neat couple! This isn't their first mission. About 30 years ago, he was mission president of the Ecuador Quito Mission, back when the whole country was one mission. The Ferrels told me they went back to Ecuador in 2006 (when I was there) for a reunion with their missionaries. The cool thing is that during my mission when I was in an indigenious community called Otavalo, I remember hearing about a mission reunion taking place in Quito and Guayaquil. One of our sweet helpers, María Díaz was going to the reunion because her mission president was coming - I'm pretty sure the Ferrels were her mission president! Neat little connection!

This is a neat sister missionary who I found out was leaving for home so she could heal a broken leg. So I went to visit her before she left and we had a wonderful conversation (after finishing the movie "Superman") about her family, especially stories about her young grandson who still wets the bed! But it was nice to spend some time with her before she left.

These are the wonderful sister missionaries who have helped us in the office, but now, they're in the office in Republica. But we get to see them every Monday evening at the Family Home Evening the senior missionaries have (we're special guests!).

Sis. Mehew and Sis. Graham

Speaking of Family Home Evenings with the senior missionaries - what a treat! They have all sorts of crazy, wacky adventures, including dressing up like a crazy bag lady! Actually, what she was doing was passing on the responsibilities of planning the FHEs to another senior couple because she and her husband are leaving in 6 weeks or so. Bless your little heart, Sis. Snow!

Every week is so wonderful - Jody and I never leave an FHE without getting emotional. The senior missionaries have such a wonderful spirit and they teach us so much! Jody and I have said again and again how much we admire them for the sacrifices they make to leave home and family to go on a mission to a place like Chile and learn a new language! We want to be just like them!

This past week, they talked about tender mercies of the Lord in regards to missionary work. They shared stories of time and again how the Lord blessed them or the younger full-time missionaries in their work. It reminded me to take stock of the tender mercies of the Lord in my daily life and to write them down.

Isn't she so cute?

Monday, February 16, 2009

What the world needs now, is love, sweet love

Things have continued to be interesting here in Chile - Jody and I went to Belloto for part of the YSA conference. It was another dance, which is always an interesting sight. But we met up with some friends from the ward and we had fun!

Here we are with two friends Pancha (Fransisca) and Nataly. This other picture is with the ward plus some extra friends. Yes, there was another gringa in the group. You had to feel bad for the whole group - they were so tired from a week of playing on the beach and having fun together! Jody and I spent the night there with them (on a hard, ceramic tile floor, I might add - at least we had a sleeping bag...) and then left the next day for the beach. Victor, our ride/guide took us to Valparaiso, a port city not too far from Belloto and Viña del Mar.

There we saw some interesting sites such as this:

Everyone was getting pictures by this guard guy. So of course I had to go along with it.

This is Pablo Neruda's house, a famous Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize for literature. He was also a very good politician and ambassador. However, he was an awful husband who cheated on his wife. Our good friend Victor took us all over the place. It was a tranquilo Valentine's day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Taller de Autosuficiencia Laboral!

So this is our most recent group of workshop attendees. They were so amazing!

From left to right: Me, Fabian, José, Leonardo, Fabricio, Nickens (from Haiti), Jody, Daniela, Maria, and Janeth.

Success stories: José got hired to work for a company even before we finished with the workshop! We were so excited for him because he had been out of work for 2 months. He rang the bell in the office, giving hope to other desperate individuals without a job. Our other success was with Leo who was making a phone call our last day (something we challenge them all to do) and so he made the phone call and landed an interview for Tuesday! He looked so happy! He is an amazing young man who's only been a member of the church for 8 months or so. He has plans to go on a mission, but plans have been put on hold because of some complications. But he is so pumped and so excited. He'll make a great missionary!

This was our group from the week before last. They were amazing as well and we enjoyed some missionary success as stated in a previous post of mine.

From left to right: Me, David, Iris, Renato (the non member), Yerko, Andres, Walter, Herman and Jody.

Here am I answering some question Herman has about power statements.

Answering another question, offering feedback. That's what I do.

The beautiful Santiago Temple!!

Me thinking of a certain temple trip in the future.

San Cristobal

We took another trip to San Cristobal, but this time, we hiked up the hill instead of taking the teleferico like we did the first time. Oh by the way, all these pictures are by Jody. I can't take any credit for any of these amazing pictures.

Jody and her infamous self portrait. These are the plates of wood.

Here's the group: Lautaro and JuanJo joined us.

The Boy Scouts de Chile.

Beautiful Santiago!

Me being pensive and missing my handsome man.

Doesn't he look like a latin Ben Stiller?

In the glow of the sun.

Someone is getting in my bubble and I don't like it!

Mote con huesillo: a certain kind of grain with peaches and peach juice. It was really good!

Super Bowl! Steelers win the Cardinals!

Okay so we watched the Super Bowl. Not something I normally do, but we had lots of fun and made some friends from our ward. Okay, from the Elders Quorum.

It was really funny how into it they got. South Americans aren't into football. But they are into fútbol, o sea, soccer. So we divided up and some were for the Cardinals (me) and some for the Steelers. It was some friendly competition. It was great.

Viña del Mar!

It was beautiful!

Jody is so talented! She took that picture and got all three of us! Nell, 0ur friend from the ward (who's also a gringa) joined us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy are we!

Meanwhile we all wait for me to post pictures, I'll bring you up to date on the goings-on down here in Chile.

So we are into our third set of workshops and Jody and I have never been better. Once again, our class is very diversified, which keeps us on our toes. Another man from Haiti has joined our group and he has done really well participating. Today of course we did our mock interviews and mock calls. They are all so smart and are just seeing the benefits to each activity. They are also lots of fun and we find ourselves laughing frequently.

I think the best part is how Jody and I have found our rhythm in teaching. We're having fun and therefore our students are having fun. We've implemented a little cheer from Brazil (Mira, mira, mira hola with two claps) and they've enjoyed that. We've enjoyed a little missionary success. Eight out of the nine are members of the church and Daniela, the non member young woman, showed some interest yesterday during lunch. The other women in our group (who had introduced themselves as inactive members of the church) were each sharing reasons for why they joined the church and explained certain differences between ours and the Catholic church. Jody was there for most of it and added her testimony to the other women. She also invited Daniela to learn more through the missionaries. She said yes! It was exciting for all of us, especially since Jody and I are pretty sure she lives within our ward boundaries.

Today we challenged them all (well, more like told them all) to make a phone call tomorrow. So now they are forewarned of that expectation and I hope it goes well for them. It will be exciting because they each have unique circumstances and needs! One man is in the process of getting ready to be sealed with his family in the temple. He's been without work for two months and recognized this as a test for him and his family. He said this is the time when the devil is going to work the hardest on him and his family. It was interesting because he had such faith - working extremely hard to find a job to support his family while maintaining an optimistic vision of the future of an eternal family. Trust me, I was touched by his words.