It was a crazy week with cambios obviously. Some really nice members in LA did a little FHE goodbye for me and Hna Salles who was also leaving the ward. It was fun and it's always hard to say goodbye here. They were really nice and I had mentioned a long time ago that I wanted to learn French or something so they gave me a scripture set in French. Really nice. After that it was pure packing but I have a lot of practice now so I got it done in like an hour and this time didn't forget anything!
Tuesday was the transfers. The ride between LA and Temuco has always been really pretty and you can see pretty much all the volcanoes in our mission in one trip which is cool. Hna Salles was also going south so we took the bus together. It stopped in Victoria and I got to say hi to Elder Aravena again and that was fun. Getting to Temuco has brought back a lot of really faint memories of coming here from Cunco etc. I actually worked here in my current sector one day when me and Elder Cederstrom were headed north to pick up our trainees in the office. The only difference now is that it is just so so so cold. I wear like 10 layers every day hahaha. Here the cold is different because it's really wet. Apparently this week was colder than usual and it will get a little warmer (but rainier) this week. Honestly I prefer the cold over the rain. The good news is that we live in a really nice apartment with the zone leaders that is waaay warmer than my last house in LA so that's awesome. Elder Camp and Huerta are long time beginning of the mission friends too so it's been cool to live and work with them.
Elder Ritter is really awesome. He's from Virginia like I said and is a great missionary. We have a lot in common which is fun. He knows the sector really well and the ward too so thats really great. We've gotten along great and have had a ton of fun together working. Caupulican is a totally different sector from anything I've ever had before which is a fun change. It's really only the downtown of Temuco which is really big and busy so it's pretty exciting usually. Not a lot of doors to knock and I'm honestly fine with that. Lots of universities which is funny. Tons of restaurants and apartment buildings and tons and tons of people and traffic. It's been a really cool change from the normal tranquilo of the rest of my mission. Lots of people to talk to. I love it here!
The ward is pretty small (like 60) but everyone who is there is really active and works really hard in their callings etc so that is awesome. Bishop Jara is great.
Tuesday we got to the house and did a little unpacking and got to know each other and after lunch we were on the street which was fun. That night we had a total miracle because one of the counselors in the stake presidency had invited this really cool family of immigrants from Venezuela and we had a really good FHE. They had never heard much about the church and had become kind of disillusioned with the catholic church and were really receptive to the lesson we gave them about eternal families and restored truths. They are really nice and seem pretty interested. That was totally awesome. It was a good week to show up to the sector.
Wednesday was good too. Finished unpacking which was nice. More getting to know the sector and getting around. We had a really good lesson with a 26 year old student in the chapel who had contacted the missionaries a few weeks ago and gone to church. Her name is M. and shes studying social work and after seeing some kind of ugly stuff in her practice she says she is looking to see if God is there and if she can reach out to them. We talked about prayer and the spirit and invited her to ask God if He really is there. Also seems really receptive so that's awesome. It's always fun to teach students because they are more used to learning and pick everything up really fast and are always looking for fulfillment in life etc. Reminds me a lot of N. from Lagunillas. That night I had a baptismal interview for P. an investigator of the sister trainers here. He was awesome and passed no problem. That pretty much was our whole day.
Thursday was our first district meeting! We started out with a leadership meeting and it was really weird and fun to not be in charge hahahaha! My district is really big. Im in charge of 5 other companionships, including the APs of the south side of the mission which is Elder Willey a long time friend. I gave a lesson on personal conversion and how to find true motivation in the mission and I think they liked it. I was pretty happy with how and turned out and it was fun to try and pass on what Ive learned to younger missionaries. My district has some really good missionaries in it so its going to be really fun. I had a good time serving and talking to them this week.
That day I went to Vilcun, a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere on the way to the cordillera. Its really small and pretty much just farmers haha. I worked with elder Araya from Santiago. Hes really cool and a recent convert from like 4 years ago. A really caring and dedicated guy. We had a good time working there and actually taught a lot of lessons. They have a lot of investigators which is cool. Vilcun isnt even a branch yet, its only an extention of another ward here in temuco. They have like 10 people who congregate in a little house there. Its a big challenge to be there but the missionaries there have a really good attitude about it. I remember feeling so alone in cunco but they seem pretty happy. The next morning it was so cold a tiny little bit of snow was falling. I got sick that day though. Im still getting over a cold I caught. Everyone tells me here that its from leaving a warm house and going into the cold right away but Im not sure about the medical validity of that idea. Whatever. Im finally getting better now though.
Friday was kind of busy as well because first we had a scheduled baptismal interview for the other hnas in my district but when we got there it fell through until saturday morning so that took up a little time but it happens sometimes. This week happened to be our ward conference which was awesome. We had a ward talent show that night which was really fun. A lot of less active members came which was cool. They asked us to do something so we played a song on guitar and sang but we were first and it looks like they kind of used us for the sound balancing hahaha so it was hard to here us. Plus from my cold I was already kind of losing my voice and after that it was totally gone. After that it was too late so we had to go home early.
Saturday we did the actual interview and Sebastian who is 9 passed. His family was reactivated by the sister missionaries. Him and Pablo got baptized that day but we couldnt go because the stake had also organized a big Open Doors activity in our chapel which is right down town so me and elder Ritter were in charge of making that happen in coordination with the bishop and like halft the zone. It pretty much took up the whole day and was fun but i think because of the cold there werent that many people in the street and not that many people came in but enough did. We mostly got references for other sectors here in temuco but it was still a success. We were pretty exhausted that night after that.
Sunday was ward conference so everyone in the ward was really on point. The venezuelan couple came and it seems liked they really liked it but when we tried to set another appointment they said they were going to be kind of busy this week (nooo) but i think we will get in contact with them later this week.
Wow. I think this transfer was really inspired. Any feelings of tiredness or boredom I had in LA are pretty much gone now. A lot of that has to do with elder Ritter. Im so greatful to be here and I think Ill be able to finish better than ever. This week flew by and it was scary. Its mostly good to be busy. I was so happy this week. Sometimes being a missionary is just bliss.
This life is a privelege. Mortality is a joy. I think on my mission The Lord has really taught me that whosoever loses his life really does find it. Ive been really stuck on Heleman 3:35 this week. I love the imagery of the last phrase that in spanish is "entregar nuestro corazon a Dios", or "turn over our heart to God". I think there is a lot of symbolism in that image and that it can mean a lot of different things. THe heart can represent our will or our desires. I think it has to do with what dad read in that one little book about sacrificing our "stories" or our plans for our own lives for what God wants. Thats pretty much a mission in few words. Im just really greatful for what God has done with me.
Ok doing great here and I love you all! I hope youre all well!
Elder Trevor Smith
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.