Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Farewell to our Hermanas

We spent the evening with three awesome sister missionaries who headed home on Tuesday morning.  It was a small group to leave but a powerful one because each of these women has a strong testimony.  

Hermana Young returned to Idaho; Hermana Travez returned to Equador and Hermana Coppins returned home to Massachusetts.

A new thing to the mission:  each missionary is given a copper plaque with the mission logo as a going away gift.  This is our last group to receive the old mission logo.  

We love all three of you sisters and pray for your happiness and success in the next chapter of your lives.

Our Newest Missionaries

We received five new missionaries yesterday:  three Latin Elders, one Latin Hermana and one Gringa.  All of them arrived with enthusiasm to serve and with smiles on their faces.  We took them directly to La Portada after gathering all of their luggage at the airport.  Here is the official group photo from the July 2011 Nuevito Cambio.

Introducing:  Hermana Reyes from Santiago; Hermana Romney from North Carolina; Elder Gonzalez from Santiago; Elder Parra from Santiago; and Elder Vera from Equador.

Enjoying the view at La Portada.

Hermana Romney

Hermana Reyes

Elder Parra

Elder Gonzalez

Elder Vera

Our two hermanas taking photos at La Portada.

After La Portada we took the missionaries to the Institute for training and lunch.   Elder Stringham and Elder Lopez spent a few moments with the Elders while they waited for the trainers to arrive.

Elder Jensen and Hermana Arriaga are two of our new trainers.

Elder Stringham doesn't take any guff from the missionaries.

Elder Lopez translated for me as I explained the contents of the nuevito orientation bag.

After a brief orientation, the missionaries shared lunch together: BBQ beef sandwiches, mac and cheese and green salad with ranch.  Our two hermana trainers:  Hermana Arriaga and Hermana Platero.

Hermana Reyes and Hermana Arriaga

Elder Fowkes helped serve lunch and finally Elder Silva gets to eat.

Hermana Romney and Hermana Platero

The missionaries have to get a headshot taken for the transfer board.  I snuck in on Elder Parra's photo.

Two of our assistants:  Elder Edwards and Elder Jimenez.

All nuevitos get their shoes shined by their trainers.  It's a perfect photo op.  Elder Parra with Elder Jensen.

And then they get their photo taken with Presidente and Hermana Bruce.

Hermana Reyes with her trainer, Hermana Arriaga.

Hermana Romney with her trainer, Hermana Platero.

Elder Vera with his trainer, Elder Silva.

Elder Gonzalez with his trainer, Elder Grawe.

We've gone down to three assistants this transfer.  Elder Duerden returned to the field and is serving in Iquique.  We still have Elders Jimenez, Ramirez and Edwards.

Elder Fowkes and I helping the nuevitos make their sack lunches for their long bus rides.

The Hermanas of the July Cambio.

Our new missionaries with their trainers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rain or Shine the Work Goes Forth

Our mission is making headlines. Hermana L.and Hermana R. were photographed for an article in the local newspaper, La Estrella. The story talks about them as missionaries for the church and as fine examples to youth. They mention 28 similiar missionaries working in Antofagasta. Since I don't read Spanish very well I'm not sure what else the article talks about. But this is evidence that we had rain and that our fantastic missionaries are busy doing the Lord's work come rain or shine.

Good job Hermanas!!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Calama Interviews

Today we spent the morning and afternoon with our fantastic missionaries in Calama. Presidente spent time with each Elder in interviews and I spent my time visiting with the missionaries and shopping for necessary heaters and electric blankets for these cold missionaries.

We had a mini photo session before they headed back to work. Some of the missionaries had already departed so they didn't get their pictures taken; but the majority were available to pose with Hermana Bruce.

Group photo with the missionaries who stuck it out the longest

The all important goofy shot with an added missionary.

The group getting ready to leave for lunch.

Elder E. and I were thankful for this propane heater that kept the chapel kinda warm.

Elder L. shared his talent in playing the ocarina. What a cook little instrument and what beautiful music.

Love spending my days with our missionaries. The Calama Zone has a special group of missionaries who are all awesome.