(Just couldn't resist leaving Trevor's spelling and grammar intact this week.)
Ok so it was a pretty normal week but its getting rainier! Tuesday we had a sone conference but it was pretty normal and i gave a 8 minute lesson on goal setting, not the most interesting topic ever but it was fun to be able to teach and participate in that. The rest of the meeting was super good too and its alwasy super fun to get together with all the misionaries and learn together when we live so far away from everyone else here in puren. Working a little w elder parkin has been fun too. My district is kind of a joke like i said because its just us, some super awesome sisters and the zone leaders so i feel kind of like its a pretend job hahaha but its fun to be able to serve them too.
This week we have been really working hard but i got a pretty stupid cold and my throght and face have been hurting pretty bad but i think im getting better. We have been doing a bunch of looking with the guitar but its more complicated to look for new investigators right now because its dark at like 6 now and people way out in the campo go to bed at like 7 hahaha so from 7 to 93'0 its pretty tough to have meaningful activities. The good part is that we can use those last hours to really focus on working with that family who are great! SO whats going on with them is that they are totally awesome but need to get married to get baptized. The parents have plans to do it in january and then get baptized which really to me is ok but kind of a bummer. The dad p. is working really close with the branch pres so they are making plans and goals together for that. Their conversion has been really really huge and the changes ive seen in the whole family have been huge! They love the church and the doctrine, but especially the difference there is in the house right now and the feelings they have. They are so interested right now and so converted that they pretty much teach themselves the doctrine out of gospel principles book and pretty much just come to us with questions and comments hahaha. They will be such an awesome addition to the branch and will for sure be attending until their baptism.
The good news is that they want S. to get baptized asap hahaha they wree like "well our situation has got nothing to do with that of our daughters" and S. wants to get baptized so that will be happening the 11th! She is only 13 years old but super cool and smart and wont have a problem with staying in the church considering that her family will be going too. I think it will be good for them to see the change in her and in the house too. She is pretty much for sure going to get baptized at this point so im not really worried about that. Tons of blessings from that family! IT worked out though because we have been super focusing on them. ITs possible we are spending a little too much time there so we are going to try and cut it down a little bit without offending them hopefully. Pray for S.!
Other than that weve been working hard and trying to involve members more with a lot of success. We have pretty much brought the entire branch one at time to the familys house so they know everyone now. Puren is starting to feel a little small now though hahahaha i know a ton of people here. its crazy how fast this week went and that we are in the half way point in the transfer. Elder M. is great and totaly killing it. We are really learning to teach in an engaging way and trying to keep the lessons really spiritual and simple and i think its working out. Its really hard to get return lessons here but we are improving in that i think.
funny thing we did. So i really wanted a whiteboard to carry around to lessons to be able to draw with pictures so ive been looking for a really small light one. i finally found liike a whiteboard sheet thing that was like a piece of paper but whiteboard (im officially thinking in spanish now so its hard to write in english). I needed something hard and flat to glue it to so we decided to use the back of the guitar hahahhaha! Its just a normal guitar but now has a whiteboard surface on the back which is funny but realy effective in lessons hahahhaa. Just still trying to do new things. I call it the sword of laban.
Finally at the end of the week we found a family that the mom is a less active from a way long time ago in santiago and she has like 4 kids and a husband that can get baptized so we will see what happens there. Hopefully we can find them again!
Its relly pretty here with thte rain and everthing is super green now which is cool. Im not sure what else happened.... The kittens are doing good!
I got the bible videos and that easter package that was smallish but delicious. The videos are totaly awesome but in english but i think i cand download the ones i want in spanish. Seriously the new ones are so good! They really killed it! They have really been inspiring me to study the saviours teachings during his ministry and im totally loving meditating on his words. I think so much of what he said to his desciples is so applicable to us today and especially to missionaries. I love the way he teaches. ITs so meaningfull to me that everything he tought had so much to do with rightoues living and desires and mostly just choosing the right. Its also impressive to me that he always warned that the path of discipleship would be hard but more blessing than anything else. Ive really been pondering his words this week and want even more to be like him, little by little.
Ok im doing great and am loving all of the work we are doing here and having a great time! I hope all of you are great! Heres some scriptures and some pics below. i only had one pic of elder molina and me together sorry ints kind of stupid hahaha.
Hey so it was a good week herein puren!
Ok so we worked really hard and found a ton of people but really only a couple that look like they are going to progress. The coolest one is the equivelent of a high school senior girl and her mom who love to read and already want to come to church this sunday! thats like two big hurtles jumped which is awesome. They were super smart and understood restauration and bom in like 10 minutes of lesson which was rad. With baptism the mom was like "im good but my daughter isnt baptised and i want her to choose her own church" which is super cool because boy do we have the church for her! We are going to sneakily work on the mom too mwhahahah.
Oh ya so i got called as a District leader in the middle of the transfer which was a big weird surprise! There was an emergency cambio or somthing idk so they called me do be a dl. Its pretty relaxed though because the only companionships in my district are the zone leaders and some super killer hermanas so its pretty easy. Im excited to serve in that way and be able to teach more too. It will be super fun to work with elder Parking more too before he goes home what! Ill let you all know how it goes.
So ok Hna Margarita saw a mouse in the kitchen so the next day she brought a kitten to the house hahahaha. We cant have pets in our house so it stays in her part of the house. Its pretty nice though because its like all the fun kitten play we want when we want it and without the bad parts of kittens (like pee pee and how they eventually become cats). Naturally we named it Smith. It just made sense. The only bad part is that the cat is like super spoiled (like us) and totally meows and meows when its alone until someone pets it little jerk. It got to a point where it was so rediculous that hna margarita wanted another kitten to keep it company. We were walking in the street and found another kitten! We grabbed it (it was actually really clean so we think its previous owner kicked it out or something) and called the hna and she told us to bring it hahahah! We got some really funny looks as we walked literally across the whole town carrying a screaming terrified kitten. Turns out this new kitten is super grumpy and antisocial and just kind of bats Smith in the face when he meows but it works out better for everyone i think because he is a lot quieter now. Also a bird got stuck in our oven but we got it out before it got roasted and it sang us a song of gratitude in the windowsill after :).
Elder Molina is super awesome and really funny and we are having a great time! We are working super hard with this family but they might not get baptized this transfer but i sure hope so! They said they want to be part of our church for sure now and have really strong testimonies! Its been super cool to teach them! Only problem is they really love us to be at their house which turns into a waste of time sometimes but we are trying to accustum them to shorter visits. They are super great. Pedro, Lidia, and their daughter Sinthia.
We went to salto raiyen which was super pretty! Its a waterfall in the Cordillera Nahuelbuta, or the mountain range that puren is right next to. It was like oregon or something but also had a bunch of trees with changing leaves that were super beautiful. It was so pretty and really fun. I will send pics next week because i need to buy a converter for my memory card.
I have been thinking a lot this week that Christ doesnt just save us from our sins and sicknessess, but he also saves us from our fallen world if that makes sense. Things are hard a lot of the times but he gives us peace. I think my attitude towards blessings is being changed from it being "all youre whishes will come true" to that Christ will heal our hearts in spite of us not having what we want or having hard things happen to us. The gospel gives us peace and makes us happy with time. Im really loving helping people. I dont think there is a bigger blessing of the mission than being able to be 100 percent dedicated to helping people. It just makes us happy to do it. When people know that that is our motivation as missionaries, they end up being way more receptive. I think when Preach my gospel talks about "power and authority" of missionaries a lot of that has to do with the fact that our intentions are 100% pure and selfless (or at least they should be). Being a missionary really shapes your desires into pure ones. At least for me it has made me a lot softer of heart and loving, and im so greatful for that.
Ok thats it sorry for short letter again. I love you all so much! miss you!
Hey ok so it was a crazy week and a good one too!
So Elder M. from Brazil is super great! He has a nickname in the mission that is "gringo falso" or fake American in English hahaha. He is super white and blue eyed for a Brazilian. He kind of looks like a soldier from the hunt for Red October or something like that. We are great friends and doing great.
Ok so D. disappeared completely again this week so that was a pretty huge bummer. We think he's gone for good this time. Pretty sad.
Good news is that other than that it was a really good week, mostly because the family of S. is super interested and progressing right now and should be getting baptized in June if all goes well which will be like the biggest event in Puren for like 10 years I bet. if the dad P. gets baptised it will totally rock Rama Puren's world and he'll prob be branch president in not very much time. They really started to progress when we stopped focusing on the doctrine almost entirely (other than repentance and baptism) and just really focused on inviting the spirit to the lessons through testifying about the Book of Mormon. L. and S. came to church and P. whould have but they have to take turns Sundays taking care of their son who has some pretty tough special needs. That family is dominating like 80% of my focus right now because it will be a huge blessing if they get baptized. S. and the mom L. pretty much already have their spiritual confirmations (also a dream again lol) so the main challenge with them now is help them stay convicted and to recognize the answer they have recieved. I suspect P. also has his answer but we just need to bring it out of him a little hahaha. I think the Book of Mormon will be really important to him as he reads it. We have had some seriously crazy dynamic dramatic lessons over there including a family prayer to ask if they should get baptized in June with a pretty positive response. It's kind of crazy how blessed we are to be teaching them. I just really really hope they'll get baptized this transfer. Pray for them by name please! We will be dedicating a lot of time and thought to them this week and for the next several. They are super awesome and S. already wants to be a missionary.
Other than that we have been super blessed while looking here in Puren. The guitar is so effective I feel like im cheating. It just invites the spirit so well it's hard to say no. I think we have had more fire this week than in all my mission and we just need to keep it up and keep working crazy hard. We are teaching a lot still with the Book of Mormon.
Hna M. and the food is getting to be too much. I think I might go on a hunger strike until she accepts my terms of like 1/2 portions or even 1/3 of what she usually gives me. She's our ear on small town missionary gossip and from what she tells us the people here are starting to take note of our new attitude of service and music and we have a way better reputation now. It shows too. People are all of a sudden way nice to us. Elder M. has a ton of faith too, so that is helping. He is totally awesome and his trainer did a great job so he can do pretty much everything he needs to do. We are great friends now to boot.
I'm learning so much about following the guidance of the spirit here in Puren. It really is everything in missionary work. Doctrinal knowledge and arguments are like the biggest teachign pitfall missionaries have by far. No one gets baptized for doctrine. If you can find me one convert who got baptized because the doctrine made sense, I'll eat my gross missionary shoes. Everyone you ask will tell you they got baptized because of the feelings they had as they learned and prayed and went to church. Actually P. and his famliy were investigating more than once with other missionaries before but never even touched baptism or going to church and now they are totally all excited to keep progressing, and I know it's because of the focus me and Elder M. have on teaching by testimony and challenges. I want so bad that they get baptized I'm going crazy. I can really tell that God wants them in His church really bad.
Shoot I dont have a ton of time to write again today I'm sorry I'll do better next week! I love you all and I'm doing great here and I'll be a better letter writer I swear! Keep writing and thanks for the emails!
Ok it was super fun yesterday to talk but weird because it felt totally normal like I had been home the whole time hahaha. Way fun. Also thank you for writing even though we talked hahaha.
Ok shoot so because of transfers I have very little time to write and talk today because my comp is leaving and we went to go play soccer in Angol and didn't get home very quickly so now we are running late to say goodbye to all. Elder G is going to be in Angol hahahaIh same zone so well be seeing each other a ton which is good I'll miss him a ton. I'll be staying in Puren duh and Elder M from Brazil is coming to Puren! I actually know him really well because he is from the same group as Elder M and G and started down in Temuco so I got to know him really well in that zone. His trainer is a friend too so I know he will be awesome. The Spanish for him was a little tough if I remember but that was a transfer ago so I,m sure he'll be fine now but the whole Portugese thing will hopefully be an adventure. He is very big so I hope he will be able to eat a lot hahahaha. I really love Brazilians and always wanted to be comps with one and learn Portugese! I'm way excited he is a super sweet guy.
Ok so real quick. This week.
I mentioned that D. resurfaced and we are dedicating a lot of thought and attention to him so that's been fun. He has a date for the 21 of May so that will be awesome. He loves the BoM and I think that was what made him resurface. He read like 15 chapters in one weekend and we asked him how he felt while he was reading and he told us "shoot you're never going to believe me when I tell you". We were all excited to hear about the feelings of the spirit etc. and he told us that that night he pretty much had Lehi's dream hahahahah! Where he sees Christ descending from the heavens with 12 personages behind him (1 Nephi 1)! Not what we expected but it works! It was uncaractaristic for him because he is a kind of shy reserved guy hahahaha. He is killing it though and has really strong desires to follow the commandments, which to me is an indicator of conversion. He is still kind of tough to find and real bummed that my comp is leaving but he'll get in the water!
Also we are still doing a ton of service! We chopped so much wood our backs are sore! It's been really fun! Also still playing music for our door approaches. like I said "when in Rome". It works great. I don't think Elder M. sings, so we will see what happens.
Ok also we found this family a few weeks ago who had been listening to the missionaries before but kind of only are interested in "giving juice" (Chilean phrase for wasting time) and chilling with the missionaries. We were kind of meh but we went back one time and they just wanted us to teach their 13 year old daughter C. for whatever reason. We said ya ok and taught the restoration and she was like super smart and interested and golden! Way crazy surprise! She accepted baptism and all that jazz but slept through church :(. Obvioiusly the ideal would be to teach the whole family, so yesterday we tried to push it really hard with them and I think we almost got them! They were kind of like "maybe if you can convince us better than all the others" but I think we got em. If not we will keep going with C. and they will be able to see the change in her and follow her example hopefully. Seriously though, she if she was the same person and was like 30 she would be a seriously perfect investigator. We will see what happens.
This week I've been trying to stay even closer to the guidance of the Spirit. I'm trying to really listen better in the lessons to the investigators and to the Spirit to be able to discern what they need to hear more than what I think they need to hear if that makes sense. The work is really fun and I've really enjoyed this week focusing even more on the people and really studying hard to figure out what they need to hear and how we should teach it. When you focus on the people as a missionary, everything we do from little things to big things has a lot more sense and purpose. It's also obviously way more fulfilling. I have a really big goal to be able to help out and focus on Elder M. the most I possible can this week. I want to really become a missionary who is good for his companions.
I'm loving it here but out of time! I hope youre all great and sorry for a short letter next week will be better! I love you all! Pics coming soon!
Elder Trevor Smith
Elder Trevor Smith is a Mormon missionary in the Chile Concepcion Sur mission, the same mission where his dad served. Although this is Trevor's own mission, he grew up hearing about the beautiful land of Chile and the loving people that inhabit it. These are the letters from his experience there.