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, September 18, 2010

Bicentenario, 200 year Independance Day Celebration in Chile, el dieciocho/18th de Setiembre!

This year in Chile, as the Bicentenario marks their 200 years of independence, the Chileans are even more ready to celebrate. The government legally made the holiday official for this year to include Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, to make the 17, 18, 19, and 20th all holidays for everyone. This was to allow total rest and complete partying to the nth degree! Our missionaries participated in their wards.
Some of our observations we noticed throughout our mission as we visited different celebrations:

• All stores, businesses and local restaurants are closed.
• Celebration parties include typically, empanadas, to start. This should always be accompanied by a choripan/hard French roll, sliced vertically with a sausage inside. Homes have their personal hibachi set up, to the large size parilla/grilling bar-b-q that allows great quanties of meat, chicken, sausages, and completes to be cooked. Even on street corners a metal trash can, will soon serve with a grill on top to cook anticuchos-a favorite of Chileans, of shish-ka-bobs with hotdogs, and some type of meat, unknown and unimportant to most.
• People are bustling around in groups, families, with children in tow, in the dusk, early mornings, late hours, etc, that looks like trick-or-treaters on their way to some fun activity.
• Ferias and bonfires are roaring on street corners, down the blocks, in the roads and lighting the neighborhoods.
• Typically quiet neighborhoods have speakers blasting cueca music, and most people seem to know and recognize the music and we hear them singing along, with the words. It feels like piped in Christmas music, but more lively and elevates their spirit after a long winter.
• KITES: September, which is just on the brink of spring in South America, is a pleasantly breezy month in Chile. Ideal for flying a kite! And, as in some other countries (The Kite Runner, for example, describes the same passion for kites in Afghanistan), in Chile kite flying is supreme. In the past, most kites were homemade, but now more and more are commercially produced and more elaborate than those that come out of the family workroom. Nevertheless, homemade kites still, and always will, have a charm that will keep them flying. As everywhere else, the idea of kite flying is to see who can stay up there the longest and the highest. At the same time, however, the person controlling the string can experience a good run on the beach, through a soccer field, or in any open space in the neighborhood. All through September in all parts of Chile the kites fly, and sometimes besides the person flying the kite, you can still see groups of youngsters who run with long poles, gladiator-fashion, after the kites that take a nosedive and get caught in telephone wires and on tree limbs. On Dieciocho, there are kite-flying contests all over the country, with the bright colors of the airborne paper dotting the sky. One of the most popular designs for the kites is the Chilean flag.
• FLAGS: Chile’s national emblem
Chile’s flag is very similar to the flag of the state of Texas: a lone star on a blue background in the top left corner, complemented by wide stripes of red and white. On Dieciocho, flags fly all over Chile. Flags are flown on tops of houses, off the roofs of businesses, on balconies in the ‘bloques’ or housing ‘projects’, on windows in shorefronts, flapping in the wind behind vehicles or from their hoods and wearing them on pins and lapels. Before Dieciocho, there are announcements on the radio and TV about how to fly the flag properly, and, on September 18, a homeowner could be fined for not having a flag displayed in the yard or hanging on the house. This may seem quite a rigid requirement on the part of the Chilean government, but in the meantime the thousands of flags make a spectacularly colorful scene in every town and city of the country.
• CUECA Dance and Costumes: The cueca is traditionally danced by a male and a female. There are specific steps (sliding and stamping) and movements in circles and semicircles. These movements change according to the three parts of the sung cueca, so the dancers’ steps have to coincide with each section of the song. The dancing is very mathematic and geometric but also very engaging and personal. Each dancer has to end each part of the dance in the spot where he/she began. The man and woman can join arms and talk in the preliminary promenade before the singing begins, as well as when the singers have finished. However, during the dance, they can’t speak, touch each other, or take their eyes off each other, except when they make turns.
Both dancers carry handkerchiefs, which act as silent but expressively integral members of the dance. The handkerchief conveys festivity and, since the cueca is basically a dance of courtship, it acts as the “language” of the people who are dancing. The woman keeps her handkerchief near her face or at shoulder level. The man can wave his handkerchief over his head, at waist level, or around the woman’s feet. Occasionally the dancers hold their handkerchiefs with both hands. If the cueca is done correctly, what looks to the uneducated eye like a dance floor full of people just whirling around happily waving handkerchiefs is a very precise performance with a flirtatious and joyous spirit.
During Independence Day celebrations, those who really know how to dance the cueca will come to the fondas or appear in presentations dressed in traditional dance clothes. Men wear riding pants, chaps, spurs on their boots, a short jacket, a short poncho called a manta, and a flat-brimmed felt or straw hat. Women wear a long black skirt, white blouse, and short jacket, with the same type of a hat as the man’s; or a flowered dress with an apron, and no hat. The other people visiting the fonda join the experts on the dance floor, even if they aren’t sure of the cueca steps. The bottom line is that the cueca is an expression of joy, and national independence is something to celebrate happily. When you dance cueca, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, rich or poor, from northern, central or southern Chile. All that matters is that you’re Chilean, you love your country and you cueca proudly to show it.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Specialized Trainings, "Working with Members," in the Viña del Senor

During the change, Pdte. May has been inspired to help teach our missionaries great doctrine, scriptures and ideas to help our missionaries work in conjunction with our members in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ here in Santiago. Here are some of the ideas:

Pdte. May outlined a lesson following the pattern that the Brethren sent us from the Missionary Dept of the church. We taught scriptures and the doctrine, about why we need to work with members, citing Jacob 5:61, 71-75, and bringing more servants into the vineyard. These members will also feel the spirit, have joy, their testimonies will be strengthened, and they will be more active themselves, while they are teaching others. They will feel the Holy Ghost in their lives and they will also begin to remember the importance of reading the scriptures, particulary the Libro de Mormon, and also the reason to pray and attend their meetings. We reminded the missionaries of teaching teh doctrine of Love, that the Savior teaches us, DyC 12, DyC 4: 5, and then he and Hrma. May demonstrate some roll play that the missionaries also break into groups and new companionships to practice themselves. After praciticing these skills, we discuss the PMG activity, pg. 172 #5 about sharing the gospel in an activity we call, "The Vina del Senor." These missionaries are supre bright, have many insights and techniques that they were able to teach and show to one another about how to make this effective. Pdte. May passed out a form where the missionaries go into the members home and begin helping THEM identify names of people and associates, that THEY would like to think about/with prayer,how to begin steps to introduce the gospel. We domonstrated more roll plays, with options they could suggest of giving them a Liahona/Ensign, taking them to a church activity, sharing a pass along card, Book of Mormon, visit to the temple, acts of Kindness and reminded them of the PMG ideas of, "Andando haciendo bienes" going about doing good or simple acts of kindess. They were helped to see how to show service in simple ways and were able to identify new ideas themselves. very interactive and lots of zone participation. We love being with our missionaries more often. Then Pdte May reminded them of having help in the Vina, Missionary work will Multiply our blessings, DyC 104...multiplicar una multiplicidad de bendiciones!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sept 11th and some history of Chile

On ‘once de setiembre’ in Santiago, people typically head to their homes earlier in the evening, and hunker down with a bit of anxiety and apprehension, as they don’t know what might begin in way of destruction or vandalism. The teenagers or 20-25yr olds seem to feel that they have the right to commemorate the change in gov’t that happened back in 1973 with their own types of violence. -----------------On September 11th in 1973, the military which was then led by Augusto Pinochet stormed the presidential palace and seized power from president Allende, who was found dead soon after. A ‘junta’ headed by Pinochet was established, which immediately suspended the constitution, dissolved the Congress, imposed strict censorship, and banned all political parties. In addition, he embarked on a campaign of terror against leftists in the country, which as a result, approximately 3,000 Chileans were executed or disappeared and more than 27,000 were imprisoned or tortured and others exiled and fled the country. Now our Church Area Presidency has wisely warned us to have our missionaries return to their apartments early, by 8pm, to not be in the streets just in case some danger might arise. Our missionaries are totally obedient, and all were safely inside with no problems.This is just a simple prelude to the otherwise fabulous and patriotic, flag-waving celebrations that most Chileans feel so inclined to participate in for their Sept 18th Independance Day, that this year will commemorate 200 years; their Bicentenario. We are all looking forward to wonderful activities, events, dance presentations and songa by stakes, wards, branches, and communities. This is a wonderful and blessed country, and we are grateful to be here to share the greatest joy the Chilean people could have in their lives....the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read more!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Have we not Great Reason to Rejoice?

This month our missionaries are memorizing in either Spanish or English,Alma 26: 12-13. All are invited to join in this effort to strengthen our testimonies and remind us of the source of our abilities and miracles that we are seeing in our lives.These scriptures are beautiful and our mighty missionaries memorize scriptures so that they can teach more powerfully. Hermana May is always impressed to hear many of our missionaries memorizing the scripture in BOTH Spanish and English. She tells them they are SUPER STARS! Do you remember these scriptures?
Alma 26:12-13 (Ingles)12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?

Alma 26: 12-13 (Espanol)
12 Sí, yo sé que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy débil; por tanto, no me jactaré de mí mismo, sino que me gloriaré en mi Dios, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas; sí, he aquí que hemos obrado muchos grandes milagros en esta tierra, por los cuales alabaremos su nombre para siempre jamás.
13 He aquí, a cuántos miles de nuestros hermanos ha librado él de los tormentos del infierno, y se sienten movidos a cantar del amor redentor; y esto por el poder de su palabra que está en nosotros; por consiguiente, ¿no tenemos mucha razón para regocijarnos?
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