Friday, August 30, 2013

With Every Call Comes a Release

It doesn't seem possible that tomorrow Millie and I return to our home in Seattle!  But return we will.  How do you sum up 17 months of your life?  I think I can with a few.  So many blessings have come from serving with the love of my life Millie Layman.  We could have never envisioned how much we have enjoyed being together working in the Santiago Chile Temple.  Our lives have been enriched by the missionary couples we have served with.  The Chilean brothers and sisters we have served with.  The Argentine brothers and sisters that come from Mendoza and the Saade's that come from Southern Argentina.  We have started to understand the love Our Heavenly Father has for all His Children. 

The week has been filled with Despedidas (good byes).  The missionary couples were so warm and loving.  The have helped us so much each Monday night at Family Home Evening. 
Richard and Norma Graham and Millie and Van Layman both going home

Pepe and Pelusa Pardo, Eduardo and Soledad Rojas, Millie and Van Layman.
I wonder who danced the Cueca of that group?  Not the Layman's.  Thanks to Pardos and Rojas' it made the night very special. Plus the Chilean brothers and sisters sang "Dos Tierras Tengo".  It was very hard to keep the tears back.  Well it can be said that we didn't.
Then this last week in the temple saying good-bye each and every day to a different group of temple workers.  It has been heart wrenching really.  We never thought it would be this hard.  We cried every day at the temple and on the way home.  We were released by President Otay on Wednesday night August 28th.  It was very emotional as we have grown so close to he and his wife. 
The Wednesday morning shift traditionally has a dinner after their shift ends on the Wednesday before the temple closes for 2 weeks for maintenance.  They additionally took advantage of having a despedida for us.  It was fun and so hard to say good-bye to them.

Sister Elsa Espinoza

Sister Ava Avaria

Elena and Gerardo Cabezas

Pelusa and Pepe Pardo


Millie and Van Layman with Gifts from the group and the Pardos

Millie Layman, Ricardo and Sylvia Ruiz, and Van Layman

Millie Layman and Carol Valdez

Millie Layman and Sister Veliz

Margarita Soto and Millie Layman

The group eating!
 Then on Thursday we repeated the exercise.  More food and an even bigger program.  3 different Cuecas, several individual songs, individual poem recitations and readings.  It was a little long but we enjoyed every minute.
Millie Layman and Violeta Labra

Back Row L-R Maritza Araneda, Pepe Pardo, Monica Solis, Luisa Morales,Violeta Labra, Clara Berrios, Elsa Espinoza, Virginia Cuevas, Melania Urrea, Tomas Cantiallna, Fernando Bravo, Lutgardo Veliz, Front Row L-R Pelusa Pardo, Millie Layman, Van Layman, Rosa Castillo, Rosa Valdes, Jose Vergara

Monica Solis, Violeta Labra, Virginia Cuevas, Luisa Morales

Melania Urrea

Maritza Araneda

Virgina Cuevas

Tomas Cantiallna, Fernando Bravo, Lutgardo Veliz, Juan Valle

Jose Vergara

Monica Solis

Melania Urrea and Virginia Cuevas

So as we come to a close of our mission. I thank Elder David Swalberg and Elder Leroy Berry profoundly for being patient with the Layman family in 1963.  For the many people along the way that influenced my youth to stay active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and come to know and love service in the Kingdom of God.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth thru the prophet Joseph Smith. The priesthood of Jesus was restored by Peter, James and John and John the Baptist.  And therefore the keys of the kingdom are on the earth today.  There is a prophet on the earth today.  His name is Thomas S Monson.  I believe the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.  I know the Book of Mormon was translated from gold plates and is the word of God for us today in the latter days.  I am grateful we have 141 operating temples on the earth scattered throughout the world.  Where we can seal families as eternal families and make eternal covenants with Our Heavenly Father. I love my 6 children and their spouses and spouses to be.  Millie and I are proud grandparents to 8 grandchildren and they bless our lives so much.  We pray we are returning with honor just as Rachel, Daryl, Philip and Heather did.
So with these words I close this missionary blog.  Thank you Heavenly Father for the blessings you shower on Millie and I each and every day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pretty lazy, Another Despedida and sister missionaries

As can be noted Millie and I have really slowed down in posting on this blog.  No excuses really just been busy and to be honest we come home each day really tired!!  We have had some sweet days in the temple.  From MTC missionaries to missionaries going home and of course Chileans melting our hearts with how loving they are.  Trying as well but then as we have thought about it probably not too different from the patrons in the Seattle temple.  They just come from along way from Santiago many times.  Today was no different.  Youth for baptisms from Copiapo, Chile which is about 10 hours north by bus.  Then from Osorno, Chile down south about 14 hours by bus or 2 plus hours by plane.  A family from Concepcion, Chile 7 hours south.  They come and stay at the hospedaje on the 2nd floor with donations as the charge.  A sealing of a family today.  The 2 sons looked like 12 and 14 or 15.  A big smile on their faces coming out of the sealing room.

We had a despedida for the Fuenteablas, Gardellas and sister Onate.  It was fun.  But very sad to say goodbye to Rina Onate.  Millie especially has become very close to her.  She will return home to Concepcion, Chile to her son and family.  Millie and I made a picture book for her at Kodak here.  She was very pleased. 

Rina talking to the group

Millie with Sister Raquel Hernandez of the Pocuro Ward
We had the sister missionaries over for dinner.  They are such neat young ladies and great missionaries.  The Pocuro ward is a very affluent ward and baptisms are hard to come by but they have had  3 or 4 which shows what such hard workers they are.  And they eat a lot of food!  I of course ordered cheesecake for Sister Torrez. I always hope that my son and daughter would have been treated this way had they been in the same situation.
Sister Shafer, Torrez, Araujo, Altamirano and Millie
We feel we are so blessed to be with the sister missionaries.  They are very powerful teachers and always leave a good spirit in our apartment.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Change of assignment(not us) and going home!

Sometimes you never know what and when your next assignment will be.  That happened to Lance and Margie Willis. They arrived here at the Santiago Chile Temple in January for 18 months.  Or so they thought. They received a phone call from Salt Lake changing their call.  They were to return to Mesa, Arizona their home on July 1st, 2013 and then report to the Missionary Training Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 1st, 2014 for 2 years.  They have already served as mission president in Guayaquil, Ecuador South mission for 3 years in the early part of the 2000-2003 timeframe.  They were surprised and excited at the same time.  So we had a despedida for them.  A going away of sorts.
Lance and Margie Willis at their Despedida

Van, Millie, Margie and Lance Willis

Lance and Margie leaving the 4th floor at the Hospedaje on the way to the airport!
On the same day, our very close friend Gary Davis, returned home after some 3 years living on and off again in Chile.  It was very difficult to see him go.  But it was time and his good wife awaits him so they can move on in their lives.  It was a combined despedida with the Willis's.  Not sure why I didn't have more pictures but sometimes you get overcome by events.
Gary and Van leaving the 4th floor

Gary at the airport getting his last minute computer update done

At the despedida giving the group last minute instructions
Last Saturday at the temple was probably the hardest day this year.  There were 10 buses here from around the country and all the ordinances were full to overflowing.  Not having quite enough temple workers made the work a little harder than needed.  Millie and I came home exhausted.  But that isn't anything new.  We seem to be tired all the time!!  Monday we went to a Mexican restaurant called Lime.  It is a chain from the East Coast and just opened up here in Santiago.  It was pretty good. It was serve your own drinks with real crushed ice all you wanted.  Wow!  In Chile restaurants don't serve ice unless requested and then give you cubes and very few. So food was pretty good and we had a good time with the Turleys and Willis's.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A great week in the temple with the Calama stake

Last year in June the Calama Stake came to the temple and I was able to get to know them.  This year they came again and was great to see them.  Last September Joe and Dixie Bowler and Millie and I went to church in the Calama Norte ward where Aniceto Perez who I and Doug Pulsipher baptized attend church.  Well this year Aniceto came with the group.  It was very spiritual to participate with him in temple ordinances.  President Acuna the stake president brought 140 men, women and children to the temple.  They stayed in the Hospedaje on the second floor just below us.  We are on the 4th floor.  What makes their trip so unique is that they have to make a 3 hour plane trip to Santiago from their city.  In reality it is like a temple trip from Seattle to Phoenix, Arizona.  What further makes it unique is that young people 12-18 participating in the baptisms for the dead are pulled out of school.  President Acuna reasons that if they are going to come he wants the youth to have as much opportunity for baptisms as possible.  He had 46 youth 12-18 participate.  They did 4 hour baptisms in the morning and in the afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Then on Friday morning did 1 session and flew home.  This way all the kids did 10 names in each session.  What an inspiration to us all. 
Van, Millie and Aniceto Perez

Hermano Veliz(temple worker and friend of Aniceto), Van and Aniceto

Hermano Veliz, Millie and Aniceto
People from Calama

More people from Calama

Monday, June 10, 2013

Counting down for Gary Davis, Perry Roberts 80th birthday and hard work at the temple

Our very close friend Gary Davis who lives about 2 blocks from the temple, is going home on July 1st probably not to return to Chile.  He has 2 church service mission calls at this time.  One in the Church Historian's office and the other with Agra Reserves a for profit arm of the church that has an olive tree farm here in Chile.  He and his wife were going to be returning to Chile this last January and serve until March of 2014.  But some health issues have kept Debbie in Lehi and Gary is now winding up their affairs here in Chile and finishing his mission work early. 

Gary, Millie and I went to the house of Susanna Orellana her daughter Eros, sister Nellye and brother in law Ariel this last Sunday for dinner.  Susanna always has food for an army and this time was no different. 
Millie adds:
We always have fun with the Orellana family.  Eros talks so fast that I finally gave up trying to understand the whole story she was telling.  We love that family a lot.  We spoke at Susanna's mothers funeral.  So it is bittersweet for Gary to say goodbye for the last time.  It will be diffucult at best for us as well in August.
Gary, Susanna, Eros, Ariel, Nellye, Millie and Van

Millie and Susanna looking at pictures on Millie's IPAD

Nellye, Gary, Eros, Ariel.  Gary organizing Eros laptop with all the picutures he has taken of their family

Millie and Susanna--she loved the IPAD
Gary, Susanna, and Millie at the Villa Sur Ward of the Ochagavia stake
We went to the restaurant "The Happening" in Las Condes for the 80th birthday lunch for Perry Roberts.  It was a great restaurant and food was great.  I hope I am as active as he is at 80!
Lance Willis, Frances and Perry Roberts, Van and Millie Layman and Margie Willis
We had a beautiful Seattle summer day for our adventure today!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trip to San Jose de Maipo

We went to a little town outside of Santiago about an hour or a little more.  It was beautiful.  We had a great time with our friends Greg and Bonnie McMurdie and Doug and Sally Pulsiper.  Both are serving as missionaries in Chile East mission and Chile Concepcion mission.
An Old Wheat Silo

Doug and Sally Pulsipher

Van and Millie

The Cat store

Millie, Bonnie and Sally at church

Sally and Doug, Van and Millie, Bonnie and Greg

Doug, Van and Greg!  Both my former companions

Recycling Parade

More Parade

Our Room at the Le Petit France Hotel

Sophia practicing her English.  Never met her before

All having dinner

More Parade

Our bar maids at dinner

At Greg and Boniie's house

Tree in the Plaza

Millie in our little bus

Van in the back of the bus

Video of the parade!