Ok wow this week was awesome ill try and remember it all.
So Tuesday we had just the normal district meetings and interviews with president May which was all just pretty normal. It's been cool to see the newish district leaders progressing and getting better at recieving revelation for their districts. With president may it was pretty normal we mostly just talked about rthe zone and ward etc. We were the last interviews and after they took us to a nice Peruvian lunch which was super delicious and a fun birthday celebration even if a day early. It was fun to get to know them better and hear about their missions and eat good food. We felt kind of spoiled it had been a while since either of us had eaten such good food. After that and some work in our sector we had a really great coorelation meeting with representatives from the ward presidencies and got a ton of recent convert helping delegation done and were able to make some cool plans i think. We will see how it turns out when we will all give our next reports tomorrow. I really hope we can form good habbits as a ward now becaue the retention here in Boca Sur is kind of discouragelingly bad BUT it will get better if we really involve the ward and help them develoup that culture i guess.
So we have been able to really put our hombro to the wheel in our sector this week which felt great after a while of feeling kind of stressed about all that. We were able to find a great set of investigators in a variety of ways and i think im the most excited about the grandma of a recent convert and a lady and her pregnant daughter in law who should be having her baby like today or tomorrow. With that last lady i swear me and elder Gomez gave the best lesson on the restauration ive ever given on my mission so hopefully it works out and she will gain a testimony! We really feel like there will be progress there because they had a ton of good questions and real intent to be able to know. We will see what happens there. Ilove this sector i think it really is the best in the mission!
Ok so my birthday was really good! Pretty much a normal day but we had a ton of success and worked really hard and honestly that is kind of what i like to do now sadly enough hahaha truth is after so much free time during the 18th i kind of realized that resting isnt that fun if one doesnt work before hahaha. Obviously its about finding a balance and i think thats something ive been learning from chileans. They seem to have a healthier work and rest ration than us north americans. We had a FHE with that less active family i mentioned and that was fun. We watched a segment of meet the mormons with them and it was way fun. I opened my package and it was awesome! That night we ordered some rediculously large churrascos and ate like locos so that was a fun celebration. Lorena Oporto surprised me with another rediculously large package of chocolate and treats during the last session of general conference too so send her thanks dad! I had a great birthday but honestly i feel like i never even really turned 19 so this whole 20 thing is confusing.
We did intercambios with a companionship that is having some struggles on thursday and that was fun. I think we were able to help a lot. Sometimes all the missionaries need is a break for a day. That night we had coorelation in their ward too which was funny but their ward mission leader just got called and was super excited and really inspired both of us to focus more on member missionary work which was cool. It was obviously really confirmed by conference as well. The hard truth about things here in Chile (and i assume the world) is that if we really expect to see sustained and consistent growth in the church here there needs to be a cultural change in member involvement in missionary work. The thing is we kind of accustom the members here to not participate by doing too much and having a baptism every once and a while so they kind of get complacent and dont help. The bigger problem is that those randome here and there baptisms kind of fade away way more than reference baptisms and thats where the problem is. Especially after conference im really determined to focus better on that and help make that change!
Conference was super awesome. Like too much to handle. I felt like every different thing the Spirit and my time here have been teaching me over the last 6 months was in some way confirmed by the talks given. It was really cool. Lots of revelation. Im not sure if you noticed but in the saturday morning session the first 3 talks were pretty much the first 3 missionary lessons. It was rad. I loved all the talks about the difference between preaching a church and preaching Christ. Way cool. I think elder Hales` talk was my favorite. Hard to say. Elder Bednar answered a lot of questions for most missionaries too. I cant wait to read it all again.
We are still struggling as a zone and picking up a lot of pieces from like 3 bad cambios here. I think we have successfully helped the new missionaries learn about the basic skills they need but we have kind of decided as leaders that the problem is deeper than that. We are planning on focusing more on the spiritual needs, developement, and conversion of these new misisonaries. The thing is that the 6-9 month mark for missionaries GENERALLY speaking is kind of a rut and like 70% of our missionaries are in that age group. That means the goal is to help them get out of that rut as soon as possible. We have been thinknig about it a lot and a lot of our ideas were confirmed by conference. Personally i think i need to be like alma the younger a little and give up "the judgement seat" or kind of distance leadership and try and strengthen missionaries on a more personal level like he did when the church was suffering. We will see how it goes. The struggle is one ive mentioned before and trying to invite long term missionary development and not just short term success that goes away. We want to have a goal to live more christ centered missions.
Elder Gomez is totally killer. Ive had so many great comps.
Im doing better on energy i think so no worries. We got permission to go paintballing today and it was surprisingly cheap and all kinds of fun.
Shoot i feel like this letter is boring. Ill try and right more funny experiences i guess i know funny stuff happens but i feel like i always forget. The office elders did a surprise check of all the houses but it got leaked to us so we were able to do an amazingly quick clean of the house. Funniest thing was a mark on the wall we have been meaning to paint over but a quick switch of our painting of captain moroni to right over where the mark is did the trick. Best trick ever. dont tell please. They gave us cookies😇
Ok love you all thanks for the bday wishes from all!
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.