Bienvenidos a la Mision Chile Santiago Norte! We love the Savior, and are blessed to be part of this great work, to share His gospel, and invite others to come unto Him. We are grateful to have this incredible opportunity to associate with such fine young men and women and other couples who are serving in this wonderful part of the vineyard. We decided to share this mission through a blog, with any who would like to know more.... All of the lessons, talks, training, conferences, and meetings are obviously done totally in Spanish, but for the sake of this writer, the notes are here in English, for speed in typing, and therefore, mixed with a bit of both worlds. We hope all of our missionaries, families, and loved ones can enjoy this blog, in spite of the writing, grammar, language, errors, etc. This will be a miraculous journey, and we invite you to share and enjoy it with us.

Lovingly, con cariño,
Presidente Michael May
Hermana Carol May

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

President's Message

November 17, 2008

I had the opportunity last week to visit with mission home gardener Raul for few minutes. As all of you know, he does a fantastic job keeping the mission home grounds beautiful. He has created a masterpiece of beautiful trees, flowers and plants. I asked him what part of his work brings him the most joy.

He responded that it was caring for each individual plant so that it can flourish. I asked him how he goes about doing that. He says that it is important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each plant. I pointed to the rose and asked him to identify one of its strengths and one of its weaknesses. He said the roses can do well in the cold but do not do well in competition with weeds. He said the roots will not grow and develop if there are roots of weeds close to them. Their roots will not extend out and grow normally like they would if there were no weeds. Therefore they do not receive the water and nutrients that they need to flourish. Their flowers will not grow as large and as beautifully. (Alma 32:37,38)

As I thought of my responsibilities and the gardener here in the Chile Santiago North mission, I also find great joy in knowing each of you individually so that I can help you flourish and become the greatest missionaries the Lord created you to be. This also applies to each of you as caretakers of your own gardens. The wards in which you work are your gardens. As you work with your investigators, church leaders and members, it requires diligence, faith, and patience. (Alma 32:42-43) It is my prayer that we can be inspired missionaries and that we live our lives in a way that they we can draw upon the powers of heaven to cultivate and care for our gardens so that one day the Lord will say to us, ¨Well done my good and faithful servant!

I love you,

Presidente May
"Predicad Mi Evangelio para Bautizar, Retener, Reactivar!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Folletts on Easter Island

Elder Edson and Hermana Carolyn Follett have been serving on Easter Island as our 'matrimonio' couple, and have had incredible experiences. We enjoyed their knowledge of the area, their love of the members and faithful dedication to tend to the flock there on the island. Elder Follett has served as the Branch President in the tiny branch that exists there.

They greeted us at the airport with flower leis, and head crown of beautiful, sweet smelling jasmine. They met up with us again, after we checked into the simple hotel and we went to their apt to have dinner with them. We enjoyed their hospitality, and sweet sister Follett was so kind to cook up a delicious meal. We attended church in the small building that is simple and yet perfect for here. It was fast and testimony meeting. Hermana May played the organ, which they hadn't had anyone really play for the meetings for so long, they said that they never have such sweet sounds, as so many were not accostomed to sing on pitch/in tune without the piano! We also had 4 other visitors that day, which helped round out the numbers.
President stayed after the meeting to meet individually with many to renew temple recommends, visit and check on the members with their own concerns. We are so inspired by their faithfulness and determination to follow the Lord. The RS hermanas are designing their Christmas ward party, complete with simple stitched Christmas stockings for the children, with some types of basic candies to make them smile. It reminded me how very little it really takes to make others happy. These women were truly happy to help one another. The whole trip was inspiring!

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Elder Steven May, returns from Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission

President and Hermana May's 3rd missionary son has now returned from his 2 yr mission to Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission. He arrived in the Chile Santiago North Mission, Oct 23, 2008 and stayed for exactly 3 weeks. He spoke at both of our two zone conferences, in Portugease and all were edified. Many told us they totally understood all that he said, and whether it was by the gift of tongues or the similarity that this language has with Spanish, it didn't matter, because we all loved to hear his wonderful testimony, along with the wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures and doctrine that he shared with us.

I will just try to list some of it, but we recorded the whole talk and sent the copy of it to our 4th missionary son, Gregory, who is also serving presently, but in Chile Concepcion. He spoke about unity in Companionships. Alma 48:11,12,17, recognizing the wonderful Christlike attributes that Moroni had, and that we need to develop individually. Also D&C 38:27, that if we are not one, we are not His. Also, Alma 53:2, that Lehi was a companion to Moroni, and was similar in character, and shared the same love and dedication to the work as did Moroni. How wonderful to hear him speak with power and conviction! He was a fabulous missionary.
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Our "Good Samaritan" Missionaries

This is a story told to me by one of the missionaries in the Huelen Zone. Presidente went to do interviews yesterday, so meanwhile, I sit with the companion and let them 'talk' to me, sharing their highs, lows, health, joys, scriptural experience, etc. I love to learn from their faith. This missionary will remain anonymous here, but I won't forget his story. He told me about his experience finding a man in the street, drunk and bleeding from a large, deep gash on his forehead.

He and his companion decided to help him into his house, since he had apparently been very drunk, fallen and gashed open his forehead, but had yelled and tried to have his family inside the house hear him to come help. No one had heard him. These two elders gathered him up, tried to stop the bleeding, talked with the family, helped them get him inside, and meanwhile, had blood smeared all over his one Elder's shirt, soaking through to his garments also. After tending to him and the family, they stepped outside to hustle home and change shirts. The neighbor had previously been outside watering his small lawn, and earlier in the evening had refused to listen to the missionaries when they had approached him, but as they stepped out of this other wounded man's home, now the neighbor was impressed by the spirit and touched to tell them he wanted to listen to their message! They set a time to return, as this was already getting late, about 9:30pm. He agreed. I'm sure he was prompted to see their Christlike efforts, and willingness to help his neighbor, something he hadn't even bothered to do, so he wanted to know more. They quickly ran home, changed shirts/garments and since it was still early, decided-after wrestling with the easy thought to just call it a night, stay in, clean up, shower and end their day. However, they knew they still had another hour they could be out, so they decided to leave. Then he told me that in that hour, they found FOUR, 4 new investigators! Great people that seemed to just come up to them, because they were right where they needed to be, and the Lord provided the rest. I told this sweet missionary, that I could actually picture them covered in blood, like the story of the Good Samaritan, and that the Lord has told us that He will clean our robes, clothes, garments, from the blood and our sins, if we have faith in Him, come to Him in humility and repentance, and He will forgive us. The symbolism of the blood of that other man on these clean, pure missionaries was powerful to me, and I told them that the Lord is so happy that they are serving Him, and He loves them. I thought at that moment, these sweet elders had been there in His spot, to tend and care for this Child of God. Then He poured out more blessings upon them, by letting them find 4 more people who have been prepared, and now are being taught and progressing towards baptism. How merciful the Lord is to all of His children. As I came out of the room, and the President saw I had been teary, I told him, "This wonderful Elder V had made me cry!" I am humbled to work along side of such great missionaries, who are full of faith and charity for others.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

EASTER ISLAND/ Isla de Pascua

What a beautiful little island paradise, noted as the most isolated inhabited island in the world. Isla de Pascua is located 1/2 way between Chile and Tahiti and has a strong Polynesian influence. We were enthralled with the people, culture, history, etc. Of course we were mesmerized by the myths/stories of the Rapa Nui people; natives that still inhabit the island, carrying with them the strong traditions of their ancestors. The history of the "Giant Heads," was intriguing also. Here's what we learned....

They were carved by family members of each tribe or clan that lived on the island. The heads were representative of their father, king, or great leader, who they wanted to immortalize. Each family would place their statue next to the other. Most of them stood facing into the island, not away towards the ocean, as they were standing like guards. However, they also would insert shells and stones that looked like eyes, so they could also be vigilantly observing their people, making sure they made correct choices.

The mysterious part is that some weigh more than 60 tons! We will put on some of the fotos of the area along the volcanic mtn side that the natives used the stone to create these giants. They believe the 3 main volcanoes erupted 10, 5, and 4 million years ago. Hard to fathom. However, the most mysterious part is how did they move them? They have histories dating back so far that some actually talked of the statues themselves "Walking" their way down to the beaches! There were also the theories of rolling them, or placing rollers under them, like the Egyptians moved the stones to build pyramids, but these theories don't quite fit, as they would have shown broken faces, rubbed or wear marks where movement had to have happened. However most agree that they were, "walked" by rocking them back and forth, like moving a high, huge refrigerator still standing up, so that could use ropes around their necks and tilt back and forth with some tension on all areas. Still a major feat in those days that must have taken days, months to go the distance they did all around the island. Most assume that they are carved around the 1400's, which still baffles my mind thinking of them in the times of Christopher Columbus and the technology available at that time, but even more unbelievable on a small, distant island. Thor Heyerdahl had his own theory too, that influences came from certain people sailing here from Peru, in reed boats, that brought different facial features, some with 'long ears,' and others that had lighter, reddish colored hair. We enjoyed learning all about the traditions and myths too. It gave me thoughts and ideas about Mosiah 5:15, for a talk about us always being firm/steadfast and immovable!
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