Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ash from Volcán Calbuco in Southern Chile

This has been a VERY unusual day in the mission. Volcano Calbuco has erupted in Southern Chile, and we are in the wind pattern to receive ash from this volcano!   At first we thought that only Bariloche and Villa la Angostura would be affected by this, but tonight we are in Zapala and it looks like a mild snow storm here.  There is just a thin coat of ash everywhere and it appears to be overcast, but it is the ash from the volcano in the air.  These photos are from our location in Zapala.

Today we were made aware that San Martin, Neuquen, El Bolson and Roca have also received ash.  The Sisters in Villa la Angostura texted me late this afternoon and said there was about an inch of ash everywhere there.
Last night, President Lovell called the emergency department of the church to let them know about the volcano and to get their advice.  They were already monitoring the situation.  President Lovell told them that all of our missionaries will be staying in their pensions or using a mask of some kind if they need to go out for a short time.  They said this was appropriate, and they would continue to watch and let us know if there is anything else we should do.  We also called the Area Presidency so they are aware of what is happening.
The missionaries have been asked to have extra water and food in their pensions. The main thing we wanted you to know is that all the missionaries are fine and seem to be in good spirits.   We will keep you posted about the missionaries in the affected areas.  In the meantime, you can monitor the volcano on the internet.

Here is a video of the eruption. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Pathway Program is available here in Neuquen!

The Pathway Program has been made available In Neuquén!  This wonderful program is not for the missionaries but for the members here.  Below is information about the Pathway Program.  This will be a great blessing for the members of the church here in Neuquén and the surrounding areas!

"In 2009, BYU-Idaho introduced Pathway, a one-year program designed to help Church members begin working toward their educational and other personal goals. This unique program utilizes the flexibility of online learning while also incorporating a weekly gathering with other students — a combination between traditional campus-based and online educational platforms. What started as a humble pilot program of three locations in the United States serving 50 students has emerged into a system of more than 325 worldwide sites, operating in 33 countries and 41 U.S. states. To date, 8,503 students have completed Pathway. As President Eyring suggested, the university has truly found “direct ways to move the blessing of education … from this campus out into the lives of men and women everywhere.”                    
Since its creation, Pathway has blessed lives more than just academically. Priesthood leaders have utilized Pathway as a tool to help bring Church members back into the open arms of the gospel. Many students express that their testimonies have been nurtured and strengthened through coursework and interaction with others. Hundreds of couples and individuals have also served the Church as Pathway missionaries.
As each semester passes, we continue to see the blessings of Pathway touch the lives of Church members across the world. In 2011, Pathway was introduced on an international level, providing the program to students in Puebla, Mexico, and Christiansborg, Ghana. Since then, international sites have opened in over 33 countries (as of 2015). These international sites vary in culture, climate, and language but they share the bonds of the gospel and a desire for higher education. Pathway has also extended to over 147 domestic sites within the United States and Canada.
Pathway will continue to open doors of education and hope throughout the world. As the program grows, we will always seek the most efficient ways to serve all who are involved. We have truly seen the hand of the Lord throughout the development and progress of Pathway. He is in charge and He directs this work. We are excited to see what the future holds for Pathway, and we are confident that, with the Lord’s help, thousands of lives will continue to be blessed."

Cristian and Maritza Zuniga have been called as service missionaries to help with the Pathway Program.  They are excited to be a part of this wonderful program that is available for those here in Neuquen who wish to further their education.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Los Refuerzos-Those Reinforcements-Our Newest Missionaries

Please meet our ten new "Refuerzos" from Boliva, USA, Peru and Argentina!

We enjoyed two wonderful days of training, studying, eating, interviews with President Lovell, paperwork, adjusting to a new time zone and getting to know one another!

Training with the office

Health Presentation

Language Study Practice

Learning all about the mission

Practices with the assistants

Getting ready to practice contacting

The trainers start to arrive!!!

All ten of our wonderful trainers


The trainers discussed all the important parts of training

The new missionaries practice being missionaries

Together at last for companionship assignments


Each of the new missionaries took pictures with President Lovell and I...

...and their new companions.



One of the trainers and one of the new missionaries are from the same stake in Peru!