Hey everyone so excited to talk to you again!
Really quick: I don't think I gave conference enough credit last week because it was SO GOOD. Every talk. I'm so jealous you guys got to see it live in Salt Lake, That's so cool! Sounded like a crazy but super fun weekend! It sounded really fun to eat at the Smiths too I'm so jealous! Everyone seems really busy but good to hear from everyone!
Also, ya Dad I found another person that thinks they know you! Also stake conference is coming up so I'm going to ask around then too. This lady was named Hma RB, and her son is VR. She is in the Galvarino ward right next to us but I ate at her house on an exchange with Elder S. She said you also might know RF and LC, but I don't know them. Everyone always gets so excited though when I tell them you were here! I'm a hit here with the viejitas (old ladys) because of that connection. Where did Bev and Ron serve?
As for members, there are so many awesome examples of strong and awesome women here in Chile. All of the hermanitas have such huge hearts and carry the church in their hearts. Our ward is especially full of old ladies, so maybe my perspective is skewed, but I keep seeing so many examples of women that the general authorities were talking about in conference, and also how much the church needs them. SO cool..
M. and P. are doing well! They're awesome to talk to. Z will keep coming to church and stuff too, we just really cant do much to help her progress right now. Anyway, M. and P. are super awesome. We had a really really good lesson this week that really cleared up a ton of confusion they had. We taught the Book of Mormon and talked a ton about how it is the key to knowing if the church is true and in their case, why they need to be baptized again. We explained the importance of the power and authority of the priesthood with baptism, but it just wasn't getting through, so we went with the BOM and revelation angle which I think helped a lot. We are just really counting on them to get a strong and convincing answer that this church is true, especially before we start talking about commandments and changes that we have to make. Pray for that if you can! That they will get an answer! It's hard because they're busy so we cant meet super often with them. Our goals this week are to get them to church and get them friends from the ward, both of which we think will help them so so much. They are seriously so awesome though, they would fit right in.
We are still working really hard and knocking a lot of doors but we had a lot more success this week! We found around 3 new people to teach! 2 of them were kind of shaky with our return citas so we will see about that but one, J., is super awesome! We didn't get the chance to teach her a ton, but we have a ton of excitement from her because she really is looking for the truth in her life, and is super willing to just listen, something that is pretty rare here. People really like to talk about what they believe, but not to listen really. That's probably something that's true everywhere. Shes great though! We found her through a totally miracle street contact, and some other miracles of timing our return lesson and stuff like that.
One of our other new people was super well deserved! We were walking around and saw this lady in her 60s struggling to tear all the huge weeds and grass out of her lot in front of her house with a hoe, so we offered to help her. We worked for an hour in our missionary clothes which is funny, but didn't finish in time. We organized to come back the next day and finish, which we did. The funny thing is that she lives on a busy street right next to an elementary school, and when we started to work, just about every mom dad and grandma was standing there waiting to pick up their kids from school hahahaha. They all including the lady we were doing the service for were totally bewildered to see the two neighborhood annoying gringos rolling up their sleeves and going crazy on this lawn with hoes and shovels hahahaha. I hope that that will soften some people's hearts hahahaha. After we went in to her house and taught a good lesson. Once we get into the houses here it usually goes really well, because I don't think anyone here teaches as clear and simple and spiritual message as us. People are usually surprised by that, I think because they are used to their pastors that just kind of read the scriptures in front of them and no one understands. Pretty cool. Only problem is that that lady, N., works a ton and doesn't have a lot of time, so was kind of sketchy about a return lesson. Still a cool and funny experience.
The third new person we had was totally a long shot when we just knocked on his door a second time that week right after lunch. He invited us in and we shared something short with him, and right as we opened our eyes from the closing prayer there were two huge plates of food in front of us!!! That day we had two giant lunches back to back, with like less than 30 minutes in between! We ate it all -- wow it was hard. We would pretty much do anything to get new people as this week shows hahaha. He is cool and has a wife we plan on teaching this week,but I think he is more hospitable than actually interested in our message. We'll see though who knows!
What I'm starting to notice more and more here is that the Lord really does put people in the path of the missionaries for their own good. Usually it doesn't get translated into missionary "success" right away, as in numbers or results, but we really do help people, even if in small ways. You would be amazed how many less actives we run into in the street, a few of whom we even saw at church again this week. At the very least I try to be a smile for someone having a bad day. I really do love the work, as exhausting as it is in every way. I love my time here.
So general conference made me super interested in the idea of true discipleship in Christ, namely good works, faith, hope, and charity. I realize now that I'll probably never get another opportunity to be as dedicated of a disciple of Him as I will on the 2 years of my mission, so that's my super simple long term goal. It really is simple like Pres Uctdorf said. Just follow Him in every way you can, and live His Gospel. For that reason I started to study the New Testament in Spanish to know how to do it better, and I'm really enjoying it! It's super cool, and I've never read it from start to finish. Of course I'll continue studying BOM, but the both go hand in hand so well of course, as divinely inspired dual testaments. I would love to hear your guys´ thoughts about it!
In summary it was a really good but normal week. Our new district leader is awesome, and me and elder p are still doing super awesome. I know this puny sector like the back of my hand though! hahahaha. I know all the regulars at this point.
OH one funny story! We were eating lunch and this really cute little 6 year old girl is super sassy and precocious, and when I finished my prayer in Spanish, she turned to me and said "I didn't understand one word of your prayer!" hahhahaha! I'm pretty proud of my Spanish so that was pretty humbling hahahaha! She also continued to then draw a picture of me pulling her hair, trying to get me to actually pull her hair to make it true, and then getting the rest of the kids to chant that I pulled her hair. Then she drew a super nice ´picture of her and elder p. and the other kids on a hill with the sun out all nice and pretty. Pretty mean bullying but really funny hahahaha.
Anyway, that's kind of it for this week I hope its good! Love you all and all of your letters! Talk to you soon!
Also I got the other package today thanks! Ill check it out tonight!
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.