Monday, December 31, 2012


The "Meter Man".
Today I was all alone for most of my P-Day.  Doug took the 4 zone leaders to Chillán, which is about 2 hours south.
They have a monthly mission council meeting where all the zone leaders are taught the theme for the month and they go back and teach the other missionaries.  It is about a five hour meeting.  Hermana Humphrey wasn't going to be there so I didn't have to be the "hair in the biscuit" and go either.   This is my first day alone in 3 months!

We pay to use the laundry facilities in our building  and each load takes two coins, 500 pesos each.  We always run out and today was no different.  I only had 6 and needed 12.  Being brave, eloquent, and confident in Spanish, I ventured out to the street to ask this "meter man" if he had change and I only wanted quinientos.  I made the transaction perfectly, at least I got what I asked for and went back to do laundry.  I was so proud of myself that I got my camera, went back on the street and asked if we could get a picture together!  I won't quote myself for your amusement.  I love the way he took off his hat.  One of his bags is full of coins and the other keeps track of how long people are parked.  When you leave they wave you out and then you tip them.  They all wear the red shirt, blue pants, and funny blue hat.  
My day has been a success!  I don't ask for much!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Kilo baby (11 lbs) now big 2 yr old

Kevin Lisana (2 yrs 8 months) is going to be a big boy.  When we left his home after our first visit he gave us the cutest Chilean abrazo (hug with the pats on the back).  Here he is with his dad, Benito, mom, Claudia, and brother, Claudio, right after their baptism.
Elder Layseca is from Antofagasta, Chile and Elder Orihuela is from Peru.
Here Elder Layseca entertains his fellow missionaries on a P-day paseo.  He sings a popular song from Uruguay "I love myself."  It is quite hilarious.

Me Amo from Douglas W Pulsipher on Vimeo.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yes, that is a Bougainvillea Bush!

Talca has one of the most beautiful plazas we have seen

Roses galore

Magnolia tree flower


A small Bougainvillea

More Hollyocks

Lots of Hydrangeas

Linares, a city of miracles!

On our way to Linares II, we see this gorgeous scene.  Those are the Andes behind that old Catholic church.

This is Andrea Lepe, my English speaking companion when Doug is with the Branch President, Juan Gonzales.
Meet Rodrigo and Estanka.  We are already to the Chilean "kissing stage".  We would love to see them in the temple before we finish our mission.

This is the story of what happened in Linares last week, plus another great day in Curico, (a city that is famous for its vineyards).

On Wed. night we had a plan to go with Linares 2, (the Branch where my English speaking hermana lives), and visit new converts and less actives.  The branch president assigned his counselors and the district president to attend and 6 missionaries were to show up and get paired up so we could visit a lot of people.  The only ones who showed up to visit were the branch president, the elders, us and my friend.  That is probably why Chile has a 10% activity rate!  Hermana Lepe and I visited a young couple that was baptized 4 weeks ago.  They are a golden little family.  They acted like I was Laura Bush.  They wanted to tell me their life story and invited me back for a Chilean meal sometime.  Their house was actually cute.  It was decorated beautifully for Christmas.  Estanka and Rodrigo are their names.  She had some crackers and dip for me to try, and the usual Coke or Sprite.  I thought the dip was pretty good and asked how to make it.  She said it was mayo and ketchup!!  I guess I've been here too long already if I'm liking mayo dip!  Rodrigo came to church on Sunday after we visited.  Of course, I was speaking my most eloquent Spanish during my huge, 1 paragraph talk!  Rod claimed Estanka was sick but I found out that the Elders were going there for dinner, so I think she was home cooking for them.

By the time we left Estanka and Rod, it was 10:30 and too late to go to anywhere else.  We met Doug and President Gonzales back at the church and our phone rang.  It was the elders saying that 2 hermanas were stranded in Linares because they had missed the last bus to their town.  It was cambios (transfers) and they got a late start from Concepcion.  It was a brand new hermana and her trainer, Hermana Almeida.  We went to the bus terminal and there were 4 elders there.  A new elder with all his baggage and companion, needed a ride home.  We took them home while the other elders stayed with the hermanas at the terminal.  The elders watch over the sisters and are very considerate.  It was about 11:30 p.m. when we left Linares with the hermanas and the trunk jammed with luggage.  We were asked to just drop them off at the closest place where some other hermanas lived but we decided to just take them all the way home.  It was an hour and 45 minutes one way and 1 hour back to our place. We crawled into bed about 2;30 a.m.  We were glad that we had set up the visits in Linares that night and were available to help the missionaries get settled for their first night in the mission.

Two days later we were an answer to a prayer again.  One new elder didn't have any money on the debit card he was issued.  The office called us and asked if we could go and give him some cash until they could get him a new card.  I had just made some cinnamon rolls, (an experiment I won't be repeating), so I took some to those lucky elders.  Another set of elders called and asked if we could get them a white board.  We just happened to have an extra and we were going to leave it with their zone leaders.  Compassion struck us and we asked the zone leader to call the elders to see if they were home and we would find their place and deliver the white board.  They were there, so off we went.  When we got to their door, the Elder told us that they had just finished praying for help when the phone rang and it was their zone leader saying we were coming by.  The elders had just been about to leave with their huge laundry bags on their bikes and one bike broke.  They have to deliver their laundry to a member who washes their clothes every week.  They didn't know how they would do this with the broken bike, so they prayed, and we were there!!  It is such a testimony to me that all those prayers for the missionaries are answered every day!  We threw their bikes into our trunk, with the laundry and took the elders to drop off the dirty clothes and take the bikes to a maestro.  They call everyone who fixes things, maestro.  We were so happy we could serve the missionaries that day.  All our testimonies were strengthened.

Every morning when I wake up, I always think, "what miracle will happen today?"
This is one of the 2 chapels in Linares.  All of the buildings in Chile are very nice.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Unique Christmas

Christmas Day Rescue from Douglas W Pulsipher on Vimeo.
"Being in the right place at the right time" would probably best describe our experience thus far in Chile. There was nobody else around that could have helped these people. We just "happened" to be there with President Humphrey's AWD vehicle, the only other person around "happened" to have a tow strap, all at 8 pm on Christmas day! We did give them a Book of Mormon.

Sally spent over 8 hours in the mission home's kitchen.  Over 100 orange rolls, homemade French bread, cinnamon rolls, salads, etc.  It was delicious and some elders filled their plates 4 times.  Twenty-two missionaries ate a lot of food and called or skyped their families.
Office Missionaries with Pres Humphrey.
President Humphrey took the Kimball's and us to the mouth of the Bio Bio River in Concepción.
In addition to these pelicans we saw whales, apparently a rare site at this location.  

On the right is where the truck got stuck.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Caroling & Gifts to the Kids in the Hospital

This little patient enjoyed the Popsicle in a hot hospital room.
The Elders sang Christmas Carols much to the delight of patients and visitors alike.
Elder Relyea caught this baby's attention
Not an easy place to be for Christmas
Sister Pulsipher doing what she does best, giving and ministering to others!

Even Santa showed up.  In Chile he's called "Viejito Pasquero".  This little patient was in traction.
José is actually 15 years old.  He is lucky.  He goes home before Christmas day.
9 year old Esteban is not so lucky.  He is going to be here for awhile.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Less-Active - a Missionary's Gold Mine

Miguel (Dad), Ariel (18), Elder Carter, Elder Hernandez (Peru), Marlene (Mom - 20 yrs less-active), Paola (13), Nicole (17), Nicolar (boyfriend of Nicole - active member)
Nicolar introduced the gospel to his girlfriend Nicole.  She was baptized a few weeks ago.  The rest of the family didn't want anything to do with the church.  The family finally consented to meeting with the missionaries after Nicole was baptized.  The first time they met with the family was just to get acquainted.  That's when Marlene admitted that she had been baptized as a teenager, more than 20 years earlier!  The second visit they talked about repentance.  Sally and I went with the missionaries on the 3rd visit for a "noche de hogar" - family home evening.  Ariel (18) looked very uncomfortable when we started - like when can we get this thing over with.  We showed the Bible Video on the baptism of Jesus.  The Spirit was powerful and felt by everyone there.  Elder Hernandez invited Miguel (dad) to be baptized on December 15!  We thought, wow, Elder Hernandez, they haven't even had the lessons yet.  Miguel's response was, "I have to do it for my family."  WOW!  Then he invited Ariel (18), a more tepid "yes".  Then Paola (13) and another "yes".  Marlene (mom) looked shocked!  Her countenance started to change.  We then played games with the family and everyone was relaxed and enjoyed themselves and the Chilean refreshments (store bought cookies, potato chips, cheetos, & of course fanta - I came to really dislike orange soda pop when I was a missionary here).  When we left we complimented Elder Hernandez on having no fear in inviting the family to be baptized.  They were baptized about 3 weeks later on December 15.  Miguel's repentance has been sincere and deep.  He has wept openly in priesthood class as he prepared for baptism.  They have kept all of their commitments.  At the baptismal service the Young Women's President spoke of her commitment to continue to fellowship and help Nicole & Paola.  The Elders Quorum President spoke about his commitment to stay close to Miguel and Ariel.  The Bishop spoke about the commitment needed to stay faithful in the gospel.  Nicole gave the talk on baptism and another new convert gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  It was a beautiful baptismal service.

The real message of this family's story is in how this changed Marlene.  She is so happy!  Her countenance has totally changed from that family home evening we went to.  Her 20+ years of inactivity are behind her.  The "golden families" are right in front of us among the less-active and part-member families.  In addition to bringing children and single moms into the gospel we can bring whole families that we can prepare for the temple.

One more side note.  Elder Hernandez and Elder Carter are both very obedient missionaries.  Good things happen to obedient missionaries.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Searching for "The One"

A couple of weeks ago in a Priesthood Leadership meeting in Linares, each priesthood leader was given a colored stone and asked to keep it in his pocket as a reminder to search for "the one."  Nearly 90% of the members here in Chile are less-active.  We are trying to bring them back one at a time.
Roberto Caceres was 15 years old when we taught him and his family in 1969.  We baptized his mother in October 1969 along with Hermanas Salgado and Miños.  He was baptized a few weeks later after I left by my companion, Elder Robert Burton.
Elder Robert Burton baptizing in the Rio Maule.
The Caceres family was introduced to the Church by Hermana Salgado who found out about the church through this "Mini-Expo" we made and set up in the plaza in Constitución.  An 8 year old boy named Carlos Alegría also filled out a referral card from this Mini-Expo.
Roberto Caceres (C) was the first full-time missionary (Chile Viña Del Mar Mission) sent from the Constitución Branch in 1977.   Carlos Alegría (L) was the second sent just 2 months later (Chile Osorno Mission).  
Unfortunately, Roberto Caceres became less-active after his mission in 1979.  When I asked him if he believed that the Book of Mormon was true he said yes.  He still has a testimony.  He even named his firstborn son Angel Moroni Caceres in 1986.  That son lives in Linares and we're going to try to find him.  Angel Moroni was baptized with his stepmother in 2000.  Roberto has remained inactive during all of that time.  He knows but he just doesn't act on it.
We invited Roberto to come back.  It has been a long time but it is not too late.  Carlos Alegría has been faithful his whole life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rap to Baptism - Our Missionaries Do It All

Rap to Baptism from Douglas W Pulsipher on Vimeo.

Elder Carvajal (Antofagasta, Chile) and Elder Bracken (Utah) are companions and zone leaders in Chillán Ñuble - about 1.5 Horus south of Talca.  About 8 pm one night recently there was a group of kids rapping on the street.  The elders decided to try to connect with the kids.  They both had rapped before their missions so they showed their talents to the kids.  It drew quite a crowd. 
The next day they were out working and heard some rap music and decided to check it out.  When they got to the house the young man there (Martín) enthusiastically invited them in.  They were quite surprised until he told the that he was the young man rapping on the street the night before.  When they talked with him they found out he was going down the wrong path.  They explained to him that they could help him change his life.  As they worked with him, his parents, who had rejected the missionaries in the past, were so impressed with the elders helping their son that they decided to listen to their message.  Three weeks later the whole family was baptized.  Now that's a rap!

Gallegos Family.  Martín has the red sweatshirt on.

Gallegos Family on their day of baptism.  Elder Bracken and Elder Carvajal.