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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Great Missionaries in the Temple

We had a beautiful morning today, in the Santiago Temple. We have 24 wonderful missionaries who are preparing to leave to return to their homes. We have a tradition to take the outgoing group to the temple, usually the Friday morning before their Monday/Tues departures. However since the temple will be closed for the next two weeks, we had them meet us there this morning, for a lovely session together. This is what we observed....
We noticed a great outpouring of love for each one of these sweet missionaries. We are so aware of their individual personalities, talents, gifts, abilities and many of their desires are obvious by the way they worked as missionaries. We have grown to love them incredibly, and we know that the power of that love comes directly from the Savior, and His specific love for each one. We thought of how easy it is to think of these young men in a ‘group’ of 24, for the sheer numbers can be daunting as we think of the interview time required for their farewell, the meals and food quantity to prepare for them before they leave, for time for individual testimony bearing, for travel arrangements, logistics in transporting them all, luggage and baggage limits, etc. But again, we are sweetly reminded of them as individuals. The Lord knows and loves EACH one of them, not in a group of 24, but their divinity as a son of God. He atoned and made the sacrifices He did for each of us, one at a time. We too have grown to love and cherish our own relationships with them that we know will also be eternal. They will forever be ‘our missionaries.’ We also know and love them, one by one. I will list their names at the conclusion of this post for evidence of their great individuality.
We sat together in the 9am early session with them and felt of their spirits there. I was the only Hermana among us, as this whole group consists only of Elders, who are going home this change. I was amazed at the power in their deep, strong voices as they responded appropriately during the session with confidence in their answers, having served the Savior, and knowing of their commitments they have made. We were able to go into the celestial room there, to greet each one as they entered. This is a choice experience that I pray I will be allowed to remember always. As they came into the room, each one came directly over to meet Presidente May with a hug. I know that this was poignant for him, as he hugged and held each Elder in his warm abrazo/hug while he whispered into their ear how much he loves them. He told them how pleased the Savior is with their specific offering of service here in the mission. He told them that we really love them, and always will. I felt that they have made this mission great, with their contribution and that the Lord would hug them too, if He were standing in the room with them. I imagined in my mind’s eye of their parents smiling faces, many crying like I was, to see their fine son stepping off the plane, to be welcomed home after two fruitful years of service. Then as I glanced around the room, trying to memorize the scene through my tears, I noticed almost all standing again, at the ready position, with their heads bowed, some in obvious prayer and communication with our Heavenly Father, but faithful and obedient to the call they have and whatever they will receive in the future. These are outstanding men that will go on to serve the Savior faithfully in future callings, and who have strengthened their own testimonies and relationship with the Savior, that will influence their entire lives. Together these missionaries, plus our others who are staying in the mission, along with those who have gone on home before them, have helped to save thousands of souls here in the Chile Santiago North Mission. This is a direct promise in the Book of Mormon, and our missionaries have fulfilled this promise here. We recognize that through these incredible, but imperfect missionaries, the Lord was able to use them as instruments in His marvelous work here. (Alma 26:12-13) Presidente May and I feel to express like Ammon stated, after recognizing how full his joy was, in the miracles that the Lord has provided in life, “therefore, have we not great reason to rejoice?”
Although it is with a touch of sadness that we will send them home with our love and hugs goodbye we are happy they kept their promises, and for who they are. We are grateful for the privilege to work side by side with each one of them, in a variety of capacities, we will not forget, in this beautiful part of the Savior’s vineyard. We will never be the same for having had this time together.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Love for the Lord, Jesus Christ

Here is an important question for us to ponder as missionaries, “Why is love for the Lord and those we teach so important?”

The Book of Mormon provides wonderful accounts of the Savior´s great love toward the children of men:

1 Nephi 19:9 The Lord endured rejection and persecution because of His great love for all men. Do we still love those who call us names and reject us?

Alma 7:11-13 Because of the Savior´s great love for us, He completed all that His father asked Him to do. Are we doing all that He has sent us here to do?

Ether 12:33-34 The Lord is willing to lay down His life for the world. Are we willing to do all that we can do accomplish our goals?

2 Nephi 26:30 The Lord has commanded us to develop charity. Is charity our motive for all that we are doing as missionaries?
It is my prayer that we continue to develop love for the Lord and for all those whom we teach. Preach My Gospel states that we show our love for the Lord and gratitude for His Atonement by bringing souls unto Him.

We love you and pray for your success,
President May
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Responsible for our Time

It is truly a blessing to be serving with each of you as representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ here in Chile. Our purpose is to invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.

We only have a limited amount of time to accomplish this purpose and complete all that the Lord has sent us to do. Time is our greatest resource and the Lord expects us to take advantage of every moment to bring His children to the waters of baptism. One of the greatest ways we can express our love and gratitude to the Lord for His infinite and atoning sacrifice on our behalf is giving our best efforts to plan, find, teach, baptize, confirm and help people endure to the end every day of our missions.

Our best efforts also include being accountable to the Lord on how we are using our time and the degree of urgency we carrying out his work. We are reminded in Preach My Gospel:

Use Time Wisely

1. Feel personal responsibility for the sacred trust the Lord has given you.

2. Choose to be proactive in accounting for your work to the Lord and to your mission

leaders. Don’t wait to be asked. Don’t require others to follow up with you frequently.

3. Have a desire to account for your labor.

4. Accept full responsibility for your efforts. Never blame others for difficult circumstances or lack of progress.

5. Seek to learn from your leaders, and invite them to suggest ways you can improve.

6. Be motivated to do your best work.

One of the most powerful ways we can show the Lord how much we truly love Him is at the end of each day, give an accounting of our work. As we kneel in prayer we can review our efforts in accomplishing our purpose and recommit ourselves to the Lord as a demonstration of our love and service to Him.

I have a testimony of this great work and I know that the Lord expects our very best. I want to invite each of us to ask ourselves the following question, “What more can I do for my Savior to invite other to come unto Him? I know He lives and I know that our time is short for us to show how much we love Him through our humility, faith, obedience and diligence in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

May the Lord bless you always, we love you very much.

President May
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baptism on Easter Island

Isla de Pascua—Easter Island, 25-19 Junio 2010Mision Chile Santiago Norte JOURNAL ENTRY
“I’ll go where you want me to go…....” Not only the magnificent MOAI statues on Easter Island contribute to the rich, diverse culture, but the stories and myths of warriors, traditions, music, and lifestyles are amazing and fascinating. However, I want to share an experience that is true, and really happened to us as we were blessed to return to Easter Island. Yes, sweet miracles do happen as the Lord is involved in His great missionary work in the Chile Santiago North Mission. (English and Spanish follows....)
In anticipation of the needs of the members and trying to help in the missionary work of baptisms, re-activation, searching for less active members and motivating the small band of members who are still faithfully serving on the Isla, Presidente May pre-organized and announced to the Branch President, Elder Donald Runquist and his wife, Karen, who are serving on the island, that we would like to meet with the members regarding the following topics. Saturday night, we had a Charla Fogenera/Fireside with the theme, Permaneced, and then Sunday, after our regular meetings we would return in the evening for another Fireside to discuss and distribute Preach My Gospel manuals to the members. Lastly, on Monday night, we would hold a traditional branch, Family Home Evening. This was the plan.
At our Saturday night meeting, we were happily surprised to see an investigator enter the back of the room in a shirt and tie! We quickly were acquainted with this wonderful, young man named Carlos Federico Pacomio Figeroa. Carlos is a large, husky, 21-yr old who was delightful; full of smiles, happy, and looked like an islander. He apparently had lived on the “Continent” in Santiago/Maipu with a Bishop and his family for a few months. There he had become acquainted with the Church. When he moved back to the Island, he had been attending sacrament and meeting with the Runquists. As we learned more about him, we found that the Runquists had been teaching him in a very unique way. Neither one of them are Spanish speakers. They have learned quite a few simple phrases since they have arrived from Canada, and now can express the mere basics to survive. However, there is a completely different language ability needed to teach someone the gospel, and they found it. They began to simply teach like we learn in 2 Ne 32:3, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” They opened Preach My Gospel in Spanish, and helped him read it together, walking him through the lessons they could not explain enough in his own language, but with the guidance and divinity of this great book, they helped him gain a testimony. This is truly a miracle of the power of Preach My Gospel in the hands of great missionaries. My heart was thrilled to hear of that procedure, as it was again an inspired tool for those who with the accompaniment of the Holy Ghost in their discussions, were able to take the message of the restored gospel to Carlos’ heart, where he was prepared and ready to open his heart and accept the truth. (2 Ne 33:1)
The beautiful story does not end there, however. We were disappointed to find that Carlos was not there in attendance for the Sacrament meeting and other meeting block. However, when we called for a taxi to take us to the chapel for our Preach My Gospel Fireside, who should be driving….but Carlos! I felt very strongly that I need him to know we love him, and I quickly said to him, “Carlos, we missed you at church today. We were hoping to see you again!” and then he explained that he wanted to be there, but because of soccer and people taking time off to see Chile play, they wouldn’t let him have his normal Sunday off. He was disappointed too. Then the spirit nudged me to simply ask him, “Carlos, why don’t you get baptized tomorrow? We could be there with you, before we leave on Tuesday.” He told us that he felt a thrill go through him and he was so excited with the actual thought that he could be baptized. He turned to President May in the front seat and sincerely asked, “Can I be baptized?” President May said that he could interview him and see what he needs to still learn, and how prepared he is, but he would be happy to do that right away. He asked, “Can you come in for the meeting and join us?” “Of course! I want to be here.” So we all excitedly entered the small chapel and after our meeting about Preach My Gospel, inspiring the members to share the gospel, Presidente May and Carlos went to the office, for his baptismal interview. All of the members stayed to see if this really might be happening. When they both came out of the room, with smiles on both of their faces, Carlos told us humbly, “I’m going to be baptized tomorrow!” That was the best news we could all hear, and the joy was incredible knowing he was going to be following Jesus Christ, and join the fold.
The rest of the story is simple. He chose to be baptized in the ocean, on a favorite beach he would go to as a child with his family, Ovahe, near the famous Anakena beach. The whole branch wanted to attend and support this fine young man, so the time was arranged to accommodate all of their work schedules and to still accomplish the baptism before the sun goes down. As we stood on the beach together, with our hearts knit together as one, rejoicing in this blessing of another soul being brought to the truth and committing to follow Jesus Christ, we could feel the Holy Ghost reconfirm to us that this is His work. We sang together, “Soy un Hijo de Dios” and had a prayer and simple message about baptism. Carlos’ mother and sister, who are also not members, were there to support him. The mother had tears rolling down her cheeks, as she watched her son take this important step in his life, and she was happy for him. Before they entered the water, which seemed to all of us, more pleasant and warm than we expected, we looked up in the sky above us and saw a beautiful rainbow right among the clouds shining over the water. We will tell you more of the details of the baptism another day, but as he came out of the water and the four of them embraced, my thoughts were simply, “Carlos could possibly be the first, ever RapaNui, native born Easter Island missionary for the church! I’m going to tell him that and encourage him to go! He is special and the Lord will make him even better.” --Hermana May

“A Donde me mandes ire…” no sólo los magníficos MOAIS de Isla de Pascua contribuir a la cultura rica y diversa, pero las historias y los mitos de los guerreros, las tradiciones, la música y estilos de vida son increíbles y fascinantes. Sin embargo, quiero compartir una experiencia, que es LA VERDAD y que realmente pasó con nosotros al ser bendecidos de regresar a la Isla de Pascua. Sí, los dulces milagros suceden como el Señor está involucrado en su gran obra misionera en la Misión Chile Santiago Norte.

En anticipación de las necesidades de los miembros y tratando de ayudar en la labor misional de los bautismos, la reactivación, la búsqueda de los miembros menos activos y motivar al pequeño grupo de miembros que siguen sirviendo fielmente en la Isla, Presidente May organizo’ y anunció al presidente de la rama, Elder Donald Runquist y su esposa, Karen, que están sirviendo en la isla, que le gustaría reunirse con los miembros para hablar de algunas temas. El Sábado por la noche, tuvimos una charla fogonera con el tema, Permaneced, y luego el domingo, después de nuestras reuniones regulares volveríamos por la tarde para otra charla para hablar y distribuir manuales de Predicad Mi Evangelio a los miembros. Por último, el lunes por la noche, planeamos una, Noche de Hogar tradicional. Este era el plan.

En nuestra reunión sábado por la noche, estabamos felizmente sorprendidos de ver un investigador entrar en el fondo de la sala con una camisa y la corbata! Rápidamente conocimos a este hombre maravilloso, el joven cuyo nombre era Carlos Federico Pacomio Figueroa. Carlos es grande y fuerte, de 21 años de edad que era precioso, lleno de sonrisas, feliz, y se parecía como uno de Polynesia. Al parecer, había vivido en el "Continente" en Santiago / Maipú, con un obispo y su familia por unos meses y se había familiarizado con la Iglesia. Cuando regresó a la Isla, había estado asistiendo al reunión sacramental con los Runquists. Como hemos aprendido más de él, encontramos que la Runquists había estado enseñando en una forma muy particular. Ninguno de ellos habla español. Ellos han aprendido algunas frases muy sencillas, ya que han llegado de Canadá, y ahora pueden expresar los fundamentos simples para sobrevivir. Sin embargo, no es una habilidad totalmente diferente de idioma que es necesario para enseñar a alguien el evangelio, y lo encontraron. Empezaron a enseñar simplemente como aprendemos en 2 Ne 32:3, "Los ángeles hablan por el poder del Espíritu Santo; por lo que declaran las palabras de Cristo. Por tanto, os dije: Deleitaos en las palabras de Cristo; porque he aquí, las palabras de Cristo os dirán todas las cosas que debéis hacer"

Abrieron Predicad Mi Evangelio en español, y lo leyeron juntos con Carlos, caminando a través de las lecciones que no podían explicar lo suficiente en su propia lengua, pero con la orientación y la divinidad de este gran libro, que le ayudó a obtener un testimonio. Este es realmente un milagro del poder de Predicad Mi Evangelio en las manos de los grandes misioneros. Mi corazón se emocionó al escuchar de este procedimiento, como lo fue una vez más una herramienta de inspiración para aquellos que con el acompañamiento del Espíritu Santo en sus lecciones, fueron capaces de llevar el mensaje del Evangelio restaurado al corazón de Carlos, donde fue preparado y listo para abrir su corazón y aceptar la verdad. (2 Nefi 33:1)

La bella historia no termina allí, sin embargo. Nos decepcionamos al ver que Carlos no estaba allí en la reunion Sacramental. Sin embargo, cuando llamamos a un taxi paraque nos llevara a la capilla para nuestra charla de Predicad Mi Evangelio, y se preguntaran, “Quien estaba manejando?”.....CARLOS! Yo tenía muy claro que lo necesitamos expresar nuestra amor por el, y yo rápidamente le dijo: "Carlos, le extrañamos en la iglesia hoy en día. Nosotros esperábamos volver a verle!" El explico que tuvo que trabajar. Él estaba muy desilusionado. Entonces el espíritu, me dio un codazo para preguntarle: "Carlos, ¿por qué no te bautizas mañana? Podríamos estar allí con ustedes, antes de irnos el martes." Nos dijo después, que sentía una emoción pasar por él, y él estaba tan entusiasmado con la idea de ser bautizado. Se volvió hacia el Presidente May en el asiento delantero y sinceramente le preguntó: "¿Puedo ser bautizado?" Presidente May dijo que podía entrevistarlo y ver lo que tiene que aprender todavía, y el grado de preparación que tiene, pero que estaría feliz de hacer que de inmediato. Él preguntó: "¿Puedes venir a la reunión y estar con nosotros ahora?" "¡Por supuesto! Quiero estar aquí.” Así que todos con entusiasmo entramos en la pequeña capilla y después de nuestra reunión sobre Predicad Mi Evangelio, animandos a los miembros a compartir el evangelio, Presidente May y Carlos furon a la oficina, para su entrevista bautismal. Todos los miembros se quedaron a ver si esto realmente podría estar sucediendo. Cuando ambos salieron de la sala, con sonrisas en sus dos caras, Carlos nos dijo humildemente: "Yo voy a ser bautizado mañana!" Esa fue la mejor noticia que todos pudimos oír, y fue una alegría increíble saber que iba a seguir a Jesús Cristo, y unirse al redil.

El resto de la historia es simple. Él escogió para ser bautizado en el mar, en su playa favorita donde iría a como un niño con su familia que se llama, Ovahe, cerca de la famosa playa de Anakena. La rama entera quería asistir y apoyar este hermoso joven, así que el tiempo se organizó para dar cabida a todos sus horarios de trabajo y llevar a cabo aún el bautismo antes de que el sol se pusiera. La madre tenía lágrimas rodando por sus mejillas, mientras miraba a su hijo dar este importante paso en su vida, y ella estaba feliz por él. Antes de entrar en el agua, que parecía a todos nosotros, más agradable y cálido de lo que esperábamos, miramos para arriba en el cielo sobre nosotros y vimos un hermoso arco iris entre las nubes brillantes sobre el agua. Le diremos más de los detalles del bautismo otro día, pero al salir del agua y los cuatro se abrazaron, mis pensamientos eran simplemente "Carlos podría ser el primer misionero, siempre Rapa Nui, nativo de Isla de Pascua para la iglesia! Voy a decirle eso para animarlo a ir! Él es especial y el Señor lo hará aún mejor.” --Hermana May
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