May 11, 2003
Much has happened since I last wrote. We have been very busy
implementing changes resulting from the Churchs focus on teaching by
the Spirit. Charlas are longer to be memorized. Added emphasis has
been placed in teaching the apostasy and restoration. Just about
everything we do in the mission has been affected by this change. We
are placing much more emphasis on the need for treasuring up and the
need to learn by the Spirit. Missionaries have been asked to develop
outlines (we call them guias to be guided by the Spirit) for the
charlas. The principles of the charla cortas that we rolled out over
a year and a half ago have prepared our mission very well for what we
are doing now. We have completely re-written the Misionero Celestial
to support and reflect the new teaching methodology. The only
memorization that a missionary does now is with scriptures. We have
added doctrinal exams at each of the five levels along with a personal
spiritual evaluation test to encourage spiritual growth. We are using
our district meetings and zone conferences to train missionaries in
the new way to teach. The Church has sent a DVD player and projector
to each mission to aid in training.
You are probably aware that our replacements have been called and
announced; they are President and Sister Herreyra from Santiago,
Chile. They will be bringing a 20-year-old daughter with them along
with their 13-year-old son. There was a time when there were over 50
Chilean missionaries in our mission. Within one month of President
Herreyras arrival there will only be three missionaries from Chile in
our mission. The 34 Latins we have in the mission now represents less
than 20% of our total missionaries. At one point nearly one half of
our missionaries were Latin.
Recently we had zone conferences with a theme that centered on the
titles and responsibilities of Jesus Christ. We were blessed to be
able to have President Jay E. Jensen attend part of each conference
and bare his testimony as a special witness of the Savior. Last week
we had a mission tour with Elder Carlos E. Aguero, second counselor in
our area presidency. In addition to meeting in conferences with all
missionaries he held a fireside for the members in Tacuarembó.
The Tacuarembó member district continues to show impressive growth.
Weekly sacrament meeting attendance now averages nearly 700. The
number of active, worthy Melquisedec priesthood holders has more than
doubled in the past 16 months. A stake should be created in Tacuarembó
very shortly. I recently approved an addition to the Rama 5 / 6
chapel. This is the district center chapel where missionaries hold
their weekly district meetings. The addition is massive and includes a
major re-modeling of the existing structure converting it into a stake
center. The current salon sacramental will be converted into stake
offices and classrooms. The cultural hall will also be changed into
classrooms and will also include the baptismal font. A new chapel will
be added on with a seating capacity of about 600 people. Work is
scheduled to begin around October.
Yesterday we held a special leadership meeting in Montevideo for
all district and zone leaders in the mission. We have been blessed
with a wonderful group of leaders in our mission. We continue to be
impressed with their desire and willingness to do whatever is asked of
This will likely be my last Mission Update for the mission
website since our time here in Uruguay is quickly coming to a close.
Thanks once again for all those that have gone before us. We are
seeing the fruits of your labors. Amidst a struggling economy and
significant emigration of the local populace, the Church in Uruguay
continues to grow. We have developed a deep love for these dear people
and will miss them a great deal. These have been days never to be
Sincerely, President Chidester
Greetings from the beautiful land of Uruguay. We
hope each of you had an enjoyable Christmas and are having a good
start to the new year. It is hard to believe that 2003 is already upon
us. As we reflect back on this past year we give thanks for the many
blessings we received and for the many wonderful miracles that
happened in the lives of our missionaries as well as the mission.
The year 2002 was indeed a wonderful year for the mission. The
focus on working with the members in a balanced effort in the areas of
conversion, retention, and reactivation has paid huge dividends. The
Church in Uruguay is being greatly strengthened as a result. The
emphasis we have placed on baptizing men is making a big difference.
In December the mission once again achieved more than 200 baptisms
with 214. We finished the year 2002 as the top baptizing mission in
the South America South Area when measured as baptisms per missionary.
Retention improved steadily throughout the year 2002 where we finished
near the top in the area as well.
Since the last update the remodeling for the mission home has been
completed. We started on the project last July and had a steady stream
of construction workers for the last six months of 2002. The finished
product is beautiful. We are thoroughly enjoying the additional space
and newness of nearly everything. The new presidents office in the
mission home is spacious and perfect for doing the administrative work
of the mission, holding interviews and meetings.
The demographics of the mission have greatly changed over the past
year. The current make up of the mission is as follows:
The above numbers include our wonderful senior couple, the
Gouldings, who are from Sandy, Utah. Elder Goulding was recently
released as branch president in Rosario where he and Hermana Goulding
did an amazing job of helping the branch grow and become stronger. The
new branch president is Hermano Barreto. He joined the Church last
July. Elder Goulding is now serving as first counselor in the El Real
The Uruguayan economy continues to struggle. When we arrived in
Uruguay over two and a half years ago we received 11 and 7/8 pesos for
every U.S. dollar exchanged. That figure is now up to 27 and 1/2 per
dollar. There are no longer any McDonald's restaurants in the interior
of our mission. The one in Rivera closed down quite some time ago. The
restaurants in Salto, Paysandú, and La Teja closed within the past few
We enjoyed visits from several of our former missionaries. Kenley
Chapman and Gavin Poulton were here in November. Jeff Knight, Dave
Jensen, and Rhett Frandsen stopped by the last week of December. We
had a very enjoyable time with each of them. Mauro Palominos and
Alexis Garcia are scheduled to be here in February.
As always we appreciate hearing from our former missionaries. We
are aware of at least seven of our returned missionaries who got
married on December 27. We wished we could have shared the joy of
their special day with them. We are happy for them and look forward to
meeting their spouses.
We are in the middle of zone conferences right now. Our theme for
this conference is the Abrahamic covenant and the gathering of Israel.
May the Lord bless you in all of your righteous endeavors. We feel
very fortunate to be involved in this great work with the terrific
people of Uruguay.
Sincerely, President Chidester
Many of our former missionaries have written me recently asking
whether or not we have reached our mission baptism goal yet. At the
first of this year we established a mission wide goal of 202 en
2002. I am pleased to announce that we met the goal in the month of
September with 242 baptisms. That is an all-time mission record and
one that came about as the result of a lot of hard work and faith by
an impressive group of missionaries.
Several months ago we began to put an increased focus on working
closely as a team with the members. We have been emphasizing not just
convert baptisms but retention and reactivation as well. We are seeing
impressive results in all three areas. 82% of the baptisms this past
month came from member references. Retention has improved in each of
the last several months as a result of the increased member
involvement in the work.
We also recently changed our measure for less actives. We no
longer count hours worked in that area but rather we track the number
of less actives attending church each week. We are seeing a very
significant increase in overall church attendance throughout the
mission. The Salto and Mercedes stakes now have very specific plans
and goals to divide their stakes. While that wont happen for a while
good progress is being made on their plans.
We recently completed phase one of the mission home remodeling
project. The front room, family room, and entry way have been greatly
upgraded. Items included are an impressive custom designed china
buffet, a custom made computer / entertainment unit for the family
room, new couches, lamps and tables for the front room, wood paneling
and crown molding, mirrors, custom frosted glass pocket doors between
the informal and formal dining areas along with new paint, and
wallpaper. We also have new curtains and draperies in the front room,
entry way, and formal and informal dining areas. While the whole
process was quite disruptive the finished product looks very nice.
Phase two of the remodeling project should be completed by the end of
the year. This phase includes a significant addition to the mission
home for a presidents office and doubling the size of the front room.
The current presidents office will become a laundry room and the
current laundry room will become a pantry.
There is a wonderful spirit of dedication and focus in the mission.
We have been greatly impressed with the level of spirituality
exhibited by our missionaries. The missionaries have taken to heart
the need to constantly strive to reach Un Nivel Más Alto." There is a
sincere desire to make on going improvements to everything we do in
the mission. The results have been impressive.
We hope each of you is enjoying lifes richest blessings. May the
Lord bless you with the righteous desires of your hearts. Your prayers
on behalf of this great mission are always appreciated.
Sincerely, President Chidester
My how time flies! I just realized the last Mission Update I
wrote was in March; that seems like it was just last week. Much has
happened these past few months.
Most of you have probably heard about the financial problems we
are having in Uruguay right now. All banks were closed last week.
The money situation is making life down here pretty exciting right
now. Our office elders (with the help of the Administrative Offices
in Carrasco) bought each companionship enough food for a week and
went around the mission delivering it to each zone. We have also
changed banks and are giving each missionary new bank cards. Banco
Montevideo collapsed; it exists no more. Things should start to
return to normal later this week.
April was a remarkable time to be in the mission. The month
started with General Conference which always is a nice spiritual
boost. A few weeks later Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of
the Twelve came to Uruguay to hold a regional conference for the
stakes in Montevideo. There were over 5400 people in attendance at
the Cilindro (located in Flores) for the Sunday general session. We
were honored to have Elder and Sister Nelson join us in the mission
home for dinner on Sunday. While in Montevideo Elder Nelson held a
mission conference for all of the missionaries in both Uruguayan
missions. The conference was held in Rodó (Barrio 4) and turned out
to be a wonderful experience for all present. It was an impressive
site to see nearly 400 missionaries gathered in one chapel.
In May we introduced a 60 day Book of Mormon reading program. We
asked the missionaries to highlight specific references to Jesus
Christ (when He talks, when He is referred to, the atonement, and
His attributes). At the end of May we had a mission tour with Elder
Claudio D. Zivic who until recently served as the second counselor
in our Area Presidency. We held one conference in Villa Muñoz for
the three zones in Montevideo as well as the Colonia zone. Another
conference was held in Paysandú for the six interior zones. As part
of his mission tour Elder Zivic also spoke at a very well attended
fireside in Tacuarembó.
During the June zone conferences we presented a new charla to be
used by all missionaries. Charla 7 was written to help missionaries
better prepare their investigators for baptism. The charla reviews
key doctrine along with commitments an individual makes when getting
baptized. We also presented a new program that had previously been
presented to our stake president. The focus of the new program is to
help local leaders work with and reach out to "menos activos".
All missionaries in a zone meet on a designated day in a specific
ward or branch in their stake and do "divisiones"; with
members to visit "menos activos". We are seeing a lot of
success with this new program. The local leaders are very excited.
A couple of weeks ago we attended the Mercedes stake conference
presided over by Elder Carlos Aguero. Elder Aguero was recently
called to be a member of our Area Presidency. We have seen a lot of
growth and progress in the Mercedes stake in our time here. Between
the two general sessions held there were over 700 in attendance.
There were 165 new members that came to the new member meeting. The
general session for Fray Bentos was held in a rented hall since the
main chapel is closed while major remodeling is taking place. The
Mercedes zone continues to do very well.
We recently finished with this years round of branch conferences.
They have been very rewarding despite the fact that holding 14
different branch conferences is very tiring. One of the real bright
spots of the mission has been the growth and strengthening of the
Church in Rosario and Carmelo. There is a great spirit in these
branches now and a much needed sense of hope. This past weekend two
adult men were baptized in Rosario. Carmelo now has an average
weekly attendance of between 55 and 60. There is an energy level in
Carmelo now that we have not seen before.
The mission set an all time mission record for number of baptisms
in the most recent quarter; April, May and June. We were blessed
with 483 baptisms; which works out to an average of 161 baptisms per
month. We are encouraged by the retention focus and efforts we are
seeing which is resulting in 'real growth' of the Church.
For this round of zone conferences we are putting emphasis on
working with local leaders and members in the areas of conversion,
retention, and reactivation. We decided to hold ten different
conferences (one for each zone) at night to allow local leaders to
attend. The three conferences we held last week in Salto, Paysandú,
and Mercedes were absolutely wonderful. Missionaries and members
alike left the conferences very uplifted and motivated. Everyone
seemed pleased with the custom made leather bookmark we gave them as
We are fortunate to have a very dedicated group of missionaries.
We are continually impressed with the high level of discipline our
missionaries exhibit. It is a tremendous blessing for us to be able
serve with such focused, hard working, and obedient servants of the
Sincerely, President Chidester
We have been extremely busy these past few months. Our three
married children and seven grandchildren were all able to visit us
here during the Christmas holidays. We had a delightful time with
them. They really enjoyed getting to see many of the places we have
been telling them about. The Sunday before Christmas was a special
time for our family as we were able to travel to Colonia and put on
a special Christmas sacrament meeting in Nueva Helvecia and also one
for the three branches in Colonia Sarmiento. Many of you know about
our son Ryan. He will be ending his mission in the Chile Santiago
North mission in about four weeks and coming to Uruguay for several
days before heading home.
Many blessings continue to be showered upon our mission. The Lord
has been very kind to us. We are very pleased with the progress of
the mission. Below is an outline of news of interest from our
Last month we held a district conference in Tacuarembó where the
district presidency was reorganized. President Jorge Da Silva was
honorably released after having served faithfully well for nearly
seven years. Gustavo Hernandez was sustained as the new district
president with Ramon Ferreira as first counselor and Angel Sosa as
second counselor. There were five hundred people in attendance at
the conference. We know the new presidency will do a fine job. The
district is making progress towards becoming a stake.
We have been blessed with several senior couples. The Browns
(Mesa, Arizona) continue to serve in Libertad, the Christiansens
(Centerville, Utah) have provided invaluable service in our offices
and will now be moving out to Carmelo, the Gouldings (Sandy, Utah)
will be moving to Rosario where Elder Goulding will be serving as
the branch president. The Ogden's (Sandy, Utah) had been serving in
Colonia and traveling throughout the district preparing and taking
people to the temple. Elder Ogden has since been called as mission
president for the Argentina, Cordoba mission and left our mission at
the end of December.
Several of the branches in Colonia are experiencing some good
growth. The branch in El General that was created last year is doing
very well and having baptisms nearly every week. There is a new
housing development in that part of Colonia and many people are
moving into the area.
At yesterday's zone leader council I presented a new organization
for the mission. Effective with the upcoming change there will only
be one zone leader in each zone. The idea is to have only one person
responsible and accountable for a zone. Zone leaders will serve for
two to four changes and then someone else will be given the
opportunity to serve. This will provide the added benefit of being
able to put experienced zone leaders in as district leaders; this
will greatly strengthen our districts. We refer to the district
leaders as the "bishops of our mission." The success
of our mission is found in the success of our districts. The new
organization has been received quite favorably by the missionaries.
Also during our council yesterday we presented a newly created
mission manual that contains, among several other things, a new
certification program. The new program replaces the former "Misionero
Celestial" and "Gringo Celestial" programs. The new
program has five levels and will require on going certification
throughout the entire time a missionary serves in our mission. Each
missionary will be focusing personal efforts to improve their
Christian attributes, study of the gospel, missionary techniques,
ongoing memorization of the charlas, and language study. Latin
missionaries have been given English materials and will be learning
English at each of the five levels. I am looking forward to having
all of our Latin missionaries stand at a zone conference and recite
D & C 4 in English.
We have cut in half the number of "numbers" we are now
collecting. As an example, we are longer counting "heart
charlas"; but rather putting an emphasis on the number of
second charlas. As we increase the number of second charlas we will
increase the number of baptismal challenges given. We piloted this
approach in a couple of zones and the results were impressive enough
to extend this to the whole mission.
Last night I attended a meeting with the stake presidents of the
Montevideo area stakes. The meeting was held to prepare for the
regional conference that will be held in Montevideo on April 27-28,
2002. Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve will be the presiding
authority. We will be fortunate enough to have a special conference
with him. All missionaries from both missions in Uruguay will be
attending the missionary conference.
We are appreciative of the emails and letters that many of you
have sent us. We take joy in your personal accomplishments and
blessings. We are honored to be involved in this great work. May the
Lord bless each of you with the righteous desires of your heart.
With love and appreciation ,
We can hardly believe how fast time is passing by. This next week
is another Change Week. Going home on Thursday will be Elders
Miller, Miller, Tolman, Palominos, Ruiz, Compton, Escobar, Chee,
Jensen, and Tesch.
We enjoy spending time with the "fieles" prior to their
departure for home. We love being able to attend a session in the
temple with them on the Wednesday night before they leave. Those are
special moments for them and for us. We are very appreciative of
their sacrifice and dedicated service. We also take the opportunity
to spend time with the "oros" on the temple grounds when
they first arrive in Uruguay. We talk about the vision of our
mission which is :
Ver la gente en ropa blanca tres veces! Bautismo, Templo, y
Un nivel más alto en todo lo que hacemos.
I have begun sending a letter to each new convert congratulating
them on their baptism, asking for references, and inviting them to
the temple. We are putting a lot of emphasis in the mission on
getting new converts to the temple to do baptisms of family names as
soon as possible after their own baptism (within the first month for
those living in Montevideo and within three months for those living
in the interior). Missionaries are trained how to help the new
members fill out the necessary forms which they will bring with them
to the temple. A number of our missionaries have been proxy for
family names of their converts. It does not get any better than
We have been putting a lot of emphasis on increasing the
importance and effectiveness of our district leaders. Districts are
now smaller which results in a larger number of districts (27 right
now). The district leaders have been given a lot more responsibility
which includes weekly training in missionary skills, meeting weekly
baptism goals, improving retention, and overall accountability for
the missionaries in their district. The district leaders are very
excited about the change.
We have changed the zone conference format whereby we have
workshops with topics being identified by the zone leaders at our
zone leader council. We divide the missionaries into three groups
with one of the groups being newer North American missionaries
(their workshops are conducted in English). We now are holding
smaller zone conferences (five each cycle) with two zones at each
conference and an average of 36 missionaries per conference.
This past week we moved out of the mission offices on Goes and
into a brand new office building on Avenida Italia close to the
British Hospital. The new mission office address is Italia 2364 piso
4, Montevideo, Uruguay 11.600. The office telephone number is the
same as before (598 2 400 8890). We have leased the entire fourth
floor of this lovely new building. In addition to the offices we
have three separate apartments. One is being used by the office
elders and the other two will be used by senior couples.
We held our zone leader council last Friday. Our current zone
leaders are Elders Blake, Trinidad, Araya (former assistant),
Illesca, McCann, Vignolio, Salamanca, Mills, Stark, Ferre,
Hornibrook, Franco, Kevan, Kleven (former assistant), Romero,
McClleland, Frandsen, Texeira, Tapia, Torres. The four assistants
are Elders Duncan and Christensen (Montevideo Sector), Elder Spencer
(Norte Sector) and Elder Street (Noroeste).
The mission continues to be richly blessed. Our missionaries are
being rewarded for their great faith and hard work. We appreciate
It's time to heat up the oven and bake cinnamon rolls! Those of
you that served with us know what that means. We had 116 baptisms in
July. Please treat yourself to a Cinnabon; you deserve it. The
mission is on fire!!! Recently we put a major emphasis on baptizing
weekly. Each zone has a weekly goal. The most important part of the
weekly district meeting is to identify by name and by specific week
the investigators who can be baptized. This focus has made a huge
difference in the mission. It appears we will achieve our goal of
100 baptisms in the first three weeks of August.
This is going to be an extremely busy month for Sister Chidester
and me. We are introducing a new way for our missionaries to be fed.
It is called the "Mamita" program. Each companionship will
have an "hermana" called from their ward or branch who
will be assigned to prepare their daily "almuerzo". The
food will be prepared in the missionaries apartments. The objectives
of the program are to: 1) ensure each missionary has sufficient time
for his afternoon studies (no more walking clear across town to eat)
2) improve the nutritional quality of the meals. I have presented
the plan to the stake presidents and have their full support. In
preparation for this new program President and Sister Sana and
Sister Chidester and I inspected every apartment in the mission. We
identified specific requirements for each apartment. The result has
been that approximately 30% of the missionaries will be moving and
upgrading their apartments. The "cueva" in Tacuarembó for
example has been condemned by the mission. I hope that doesn't make
anybody too sad. Each companionship will have their own
refrigerator, microwave, "garrafa", plates and eating
utensils, etc. We are in the process of buying these items right
now. We have been working closely with our area medical doctor (Dr.
Hardy) to develop approved menus. Dr. Hardy will be joining us for a
mission tour where the bishops and "mamitas" will be
trained in this new program. We have also developed approved menus
for easy to fix breakfasts. We expect to see a big improvement in
the health of our missionaries as a result of this program.
As mentioned earlier the number of baptisms are up significantly.
We have been able to maintain our missions wonderful tradition of
good retention. We instituted a program several months ago where we
involve members with people who are in teaching. Beginning with the
second charla we expect our investigators to have daily positive
contact with a member. We have also seen a nice increase in the
percentage of men being baptized. We are now focusing our efforts on
reducing the conversion cycle time through increasing our faith and
the faith of our investigators. We are only teaching from the Church
I have got to sign off now. I have a meeting with the press in
Dolores later today. Dolores is celebrating 200 years as a city. The
Church has a special activity planned this evening to honor the city
Greetings to all from la tierra del sol. The sun has
returned after a prolonged absence. There was some serious flooding
that occurred several weeks ago in Artigas and Rivera. A large
number of people were left homeless. Many of the homes of Church
member families were severely damaged. Most of the damage was done
in the area of the Artigas First ward. The chapels were used as
temporary shelters for a period of time. We even had one
companionship of elders that knocked doors (classrooms) inside one
of the chapels and were able to give some charlas. The Church
assisted in providing relief efforts. The situation has greatly
Those of you that served in Tacuarembó will be happy to know
that the new chapel for Rama Uno was dedicated on June 17, 2001. The
building is located on Ruta 31 on the very west part of the city in
an area referred as the Matutina. It is a great site and the
neighbors are very excited about having such a lovely facility in
their neighborhood. We held an open house and gave printed
invitations to everyone in the area as well as all dignitaries in
Tacuarembó. The missionaries also set up expositions in two
different plazas to invite people to the open house. I had
interviews with a local radio station as well as a Tacuarembó
television station (Canal 10). Very few people came to the open
house Friday night due to a very bad rain storm. Fortunately the
rain had stopped by Saturday and as a result several hundred people
came to see the new chapel. The members did a nice job of setting up
booths explaining the various organizations of the Church. The open
house was a huge success. Elder Salamanca and Elder Magelsen
baptized a couple in the brand new font on Saturday evening. Many
non-members were able to witness the baptismal service. On Sunday I
dedicated the chapel with 274 people in attendance. Not bad for a
branch with a membership of 104. A large number of non-members came
to the dedicatory services.
We have been working with President Chineppe (Rivera stake) to
help support the small and remote branch in Vichadero. About three
months ago we began sending two missionaries out to Vichadero for
two days a week. President Sana made a special visit to the branch
sacrament meeting and got people motivated. A number of menos
activos have started to come back. The members have been giving
the missionaries a lot of references. We now have two missionaries
serving full-time and living in the town. Attendance has more than
doubled in the branch and the elders are projecting many baptisms
over the next two months. I had the opportunity to visit Vichadero a
week ago Saturday and was very warmly received. I ended up having an
impromptu fireside with the members and took Elder Lara and Elder
Bennett out to lunch at the only restaurant in town.
Two additional senior couples have been called to our mission and
will be joining us within the next couple of months. The
Christiansens from Centerville, Utah are currently in the Senior MTC
and will arrive in Uruguay on July 10. They will spend the first
half of their mission working in the offices. Elder Christiansen is
a retired Major General in the Army Reserves. Imagine how it is
going to be now for missionaries calling the offices about their reembolsos.
The Christiansens are terrific people and are going to make a
wonderful contribution to our mission. The Ogdens from Sandy, Utah
will be entering the Senior MTC next week. They will be serving in
Colonia with Elder Ogden serving as a district conciliente.
They will have access to a mission vehicle and will travel all over
Colonia to help strengthen the members. Elder Ogden served a mission
in Argentina years ago and has pretty much kept up with his
Castellano. We are looking forward to having them join us. The
members in Colonia will be greatly blessed by their service.
There are so many more things I could share with you but I am out
of time. We are honored to be involved in this great work. Thanks to
those of you who have served here and done your part to strengthen
the kingdom in this part of the Lords vineyard.
We are enjoying an absolutely gorgeous Uruguayan fall. After an
unbearably hot summer the relief in temperatures has been greatly
The temple dedication was a spectacular event. We felt the Spirit
very strongly and thought of those who have gone before us in this
wonderful missionary cause and made all of this possible. The
members and missionaries were thrilled to see President Hinckley. He
spoke at each of the four dedicatory sessions and paid a nice
tribute to the missionary efforts that are occurring here and that
have taken place over the years. We like seeing the street in front
of the temple lined with cars every afternoon and evening. President
Brooks (temple president) says he is quite pleased with temple
attendance thus far. I have seen a number of families entering the
temple to be sealed. There have been many tears of gratitude and joy
shed here the past several weeks.
The mission is doing well and making a lot of progress. Earlier
today I held the monthly zone leader council and announced several
changes we are implementing in the mission. As a way to address the
great distances that separate us in our mission we have divided the
mission into three sectors; Norte (Artigas, Rivera, and Tacuarembó),
Noroeste (Salto, Paysandú, and Mercedes), and Montevideo (Flores,
Oeste, Cerro, and Colonia). We now have four assistants in the
mission. Elder Knight (Utah) and Elder Araya (Chile) will provide
support to the Montevideo sector. Elder Weber (Colorado) will
continue to serve in Salto and be the assistant for the Noroeste
sector. Elder Garcia (Ecuador) will continue to serve in Tacuarembó
and be the assistant for the Norte sector. We will be holding five
zone conferences (Oeste/Colonia, Flores/Cerro, Mercedes/Paysandú,
Salto/Artigas, Rivera/Tacuarembó) every six weeks. The assistants
will only attend zone conferences for zones in their sectors with
the exception of the Salto/Artigas conference which will be attended
by the assistants from the Norte and Noroeste sectors.
We also introduced the "Plan de los Rediles". This is a
highly effective missionary technique that has been used by a number
of missions over many years. Each companionship will have a poster
in their apartment with groupings for Encontrar, Enseñar, Bautizar,
Hermanar, Reactivados, and Gigantes Durmientes. "Post-its"
are used to write names of individuals which are then placed in the
appropriate box. This is a good way to visualize the progress of the
work in a given area and to ensure a balanced effort is being
performed. We have also changed several of our measures which will
help provide the focus we want.
Regards, President Chidester