My son, Calvin, has been called to serve in the Chile Santiago South Mission. I am so excited and proud for him.
The place where he’ll be going has a climate like Northern Arizona. Santiago is a city of almost 6 million people, and Calvin’s mission will be in the Southern sector of the city plus a few outlying communities. It’s a very small geographic area.
A lot of his work will be in reactivation, it looks like. The Church had massive growth in the 80s and 90s, but anywhere from 10-20% of members there are actually active. Some members there created a system to correlate government records with Church records that had old or mistaken information to contact less-active members. The missionaries go out, find out if the people there would like to return, and go from there. Some want to come back, and they bring their families with them. Others do not, and can request removal from our records if they so desire.
There’s and estimated 250,000-400,000 members in Chile that are less-active, not dead, and potentially willing to be more involved in our faith. That’s a big number to go and find and to preach to. As Jesus taught, some seeds have fallen on rocky soil and did not grow. Some seeds fell on weak soil and sprouted, but withered in the heat. Some seeds fell on good soil, but weeds choked them out. While the seeds that landed on good soil and stayed strong have borne good fruit, it’ll be Calvin’s job to do what he can about helping those other seeds.
I’m a proud father because my son is going to commit his life to serving others for the next two years.