Monday, March 3, 2014

From Puerto Montt to Antofagasta and Everywhere In Between

The past 2 months have been a blur. Last week seems like a month ago and 3 weeks ago seems like another lifetime. We will try to describe the most eventful time of our mission the best we can. It all started with our trip to Osorno December 29 - December 31. Besides the training we did on the way home in La Union, Los Lagos, and Villarrica which we have mentioned before we also did some remote training via Skype and

 Volcán Osorno and lake Llanquihue
 This is the view from Frutillar. The volcano is absolutely beautiful

Remote training of missionaries in Villarrica
From Chillán to Villarrica

The following week was really crazy. We had remote training with Los Lagos Zone, from the Osorno Mission, Wednesday afternoon, and then drove to Concepción to meet with Elder Ferreira, Area Seventy, to present the program to him.  Thursday morning we were off to Santiago to meet with the mission presidents from the Santiago South Mission, Santiago West Mission, Santiago East Mission, and Santiago North Mission on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
President David Cook of the Santiago South Mission is from New York and previously served as a stake president and area seventy. We really connected with him and his mission is anxious to get going on finding all of the lost sheep.
President Fred Essig, presides over the Santiago North Mission. Easter Island and Robinson Caruso Island are part of the Santiago North Mission. Each island has about 85 members. We also met with President David Wright of the Santiago East Mission. He was Adam & Patty's stake president when they lived in Medford. Oregon. We had met previously with President Barreiros of the Santiago West Mission and we had a full day training session with his missionaries. We were back in Chillán by Saturday night. Sunday morning we were on our way down south to Los Angeles for the Concepción Sur Coordinating Council with President Martinez of the Concepción South Mission, Elder Ferreira the Area Seventy, and all the stake and district presidents in the Concepción South Mission.

Los Angeles is the last branch I served in on my mission 44 years ago. Here is a picture taken back in 1970.

The same street 44 years later looks quite different. The two story building on the left was still there.
There are now 2 stakes in Los Angeles. In 1970 there was just a branch.

This building is in the same location on the Calle Latorre where we rented a building to use as a chapel in 1970. My last transfer as a missionary was from Los Angeles, Chile to Los Angeles, California in December 1970.
The following week we had another remote training session with the La Union Zone of the Osorno Mission on Tuesday and then on Thursday we took off to Osorno again for training meetings on Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday, with the Coordinating Council on Sunday. While we were there this time, we went down to Puerto Montt which is just 60 miles south of Osorno.
Both times in Osorno we stayed at this nice hotel on the Rahue River. It is a very nice hotel and only 10 minutes from the mission home in Osorno. This is the old train station in Osorno that has been converted into a cultural center.

Scenes from Osorno

 The training sessions were held in the basement of the mission home. And of course, the missionaries had to be fed.

President and Sister Rappleye and Elder Ferreira before the Coordinating Council which was also held in the basement of the mission home. And of course, a dinner after the council. The stake president from Punta Arenas and the district president from Coyhaique have to fly to Osorno in order to attend the meeting.

Puerto Montt is a fairly large city with a very large stake.
On our way home from Osorno President Rappleye asked us to drop by Futrono to check on a missionary's dental problem. It was a beautiful drive through the lakes region.

We finally arrived to the little town of Futrono where we met the elders at the church building.
The missionary needs a root canal and a crown but will probably have to settle for an extraction. I could have removed it if I had some anesthetic and an elevator. However I am not licensed to practice dentistry in Chile.
The Scholes arrived on January 29. It was the first time we had seen each other in 45 years since we were companions in Villa Alemana.
Elder Kimball (going home tomorrow 3 March), Elder Kauer (new finance secretary), me and Elder Scholes
Elder Scholes with a family we taught and baptized in 1969. We all looked a lot younger 45 years ago.

The first week in February was our week to go to Viña del Mar and meet with President Kahnlein who is from Argentina, 43 years old and served his mission in the same Viña del Mar Missiion a little over 20 years earlier. We met with him on Wednesday. On Thursday we headed north up the coast from Viña for a day of sightseeing.  It was a great trip.

 We even managed to go horseback riding on the beach! The horses were old nags but it only cost $5 for 30 minutes.

Our next stop was Papudo where we ate lunch. The only thing decent that they served us was the bread,

I thought I would add a little lemon to my diet coke. It ended up being oil instead of lemon juice. Oh well I swigged it down. I didn't want to waste the diet coke.

Papudo is a resort beach town. There are some very beautiful homes along the cliffs by the ocean. Definitely for the Chilean upper class.
Our next destination was La Ligua and then a little town just north called Valle Hermoso. Nearly everyone in Valle Hermoso knows how to knit and there are several dozen stores that sell the knitted clothing.  Enjoy this video where the lady explains how this shawl can be used.

Versatile from Douglas W Pulsipher on Vimeo.
Now that you have had that entertainment, it is time to continue our trip. Our next stop will be Villa Alemana, my first area as a missionary. We actually found the first house where I lived.
Then and now

This family that lived in the house in 1969 is long gone. The mission had a policy back then that if the family that you lived with did not get baptized after a year or so you had to find another house. That happened while I was there. So we moved across town using a horse drawn cart to move our things. Too bad I don't have a picture of that.

We then lived with the Valenzuela family. They did get baptized but it was after I got transferred to Constitución. 
This beautiful chapel is in the same location of the house we used as a chapel 45 years ago.
The single branch in Villa Alemana has become 2 stakes. We finally made it back to our hotel in Viña del Mar late Thursday evening. Friday morning we took off for Chillán via Melipilla for our last trip down memory lane.
I don´t have any meaningful pictures of Melipilla from 1970 but the chapel today is on the same property where the house that we used as a chapel was in 1970. 
We finally got back to Chillán late Firday night. The next adventure would start on Monday morning when we would drive to the airport in Concepción so we could fly to Antofagasta up in the Atacama desert in northern Chile.

You have never seen so much copper. There was a slow freight train that went right through the middle of town more than once a day pulling flatbed after flatbed of railroad cars loaded with stacks and stacks of copper.

President Dalton had asked us to come to his mission to train his missionaries on the program for finding all the members in Chile so he paid for our flight and hotel for the week. It was an intense week of training sessions everyday. It was mostly done in the mission office with groups of ten coming in for training.

The Antofagasta Mission is 18 hours from the top to the bottom. Some of their missionaries traveled 12 hours on a bus to come to the mission leadership council. They left the night before at about 8 pm and arrived in Antofagasta about 8 am the next day. They were in training meetings all day and then went back by bus that night so they could get back to their areas by the next morning and go to work.
They were a happy and enthusiastic bunch of missionaries. The best part of our mission has definitely been our association with these fantastic missionaries.
And yes, there are a lot of sister missionaries, more Latinas than gringas (Americans). The assistants and office elders were really awesome.
AP, Elder de la Hoz (mission secretary), Pulsiphers, Elder Tholen (Finance), Elder Skinner (Housing)
Pulsiphers and President and Sister Dalton
Elder Tholen, Elder de la Hoz (Columbia), and Elder Skinner picked us up at the hotel and took us everywhere we needed to be.  They were like our CIA body guards. The hotel they got for us was beautiful and right on the ocean.

It seemed like there were as many pelicans as seagulls.

 The most well-known landmark in Antofagasta is "La Portada" located north of the city.

La Portada was a popular attraction in 1970 also. I have no idea how the girl in the swimming suit got into this picture.

We left Antofagasta Thursday night because we had to be in Santiago on Friday in order to go to the American Embassy. We had to get our escrow documents signed by an American notary for the sale of our Arizona home. We got that done on Friday morning and Fed-Exed the documents to Scottsdale so escrow could close the following Friday. In the afternoon we met with Ricardo Gonzalez, in charge of church records here in Chile. Friday night we flew to Concepción and then drove back to Chillán. It was an incredible 6 weeks, the most eventful time in our mission. During this whole time we were going back and forth with Alvaro Flores and Ben Ingram on the website design. I had hoped that the website would be ready by our trip to Antofagasta but it wasn't so we had to get all the Pdocs ready Monday night before our training started on Tuesday. I only got 3 hours of sleep that night and Sally got 5, but it was a great week.


  1. Doug and Sally thanks for the update. I really think that you made a huge impact on missionary work in chile. I know that you have been guided along your way by the Holy Ghost and have been put in places and with people that could accomplish this work. I think that your work will go forward after you have left and be a blessing to all in Chile. If I am not mistaken you probably come home sometime this month or next. It will be a bitter sweet parting. The despedidas will be emotional and quite frankly very draining as you leave the people and missionaries you have come to love. But I know that your homecoming will be just as emotional. If you would do one thing for Millie and I, give us the cell phone of Elder Greg McMurdie so I can call him. Also please let us know when you speak in your ward in CouerdAlene so we can come hear you if possible. Millie and I are hard at work with various projects. We drove 11,000 miles in September, October and November visiting kids and grandkids. Went to 6 BYU football games including Houston Texas and Madison Wisconsin. Have a great day in the mission field.

    Van and Millie Layman

  2. How can I get one of those shawls?

    1. You will just have to make Chile a vacation destination!