This week felt super short and weird because we had conference and return and report, which pretty much ate 3 out of the 6 days we had to work, so as far as investigators and stories etc., I dont have a ton sorry!
So one more birthday thing that was cool was that that night after I wrote we tracted for a while and had some good success, but all of a sudden towards the end of the day I felt impressed that we should go to our little shop by our house to buy some groceries we needed right then, and that we should leave the street we were on. We did and got to the store, and the people who work there know us really well by now because we buy all of our stuff there. We needed to buy some stuff for the district meeting the next day, and we asked them what meat would be good on a pizza. We talked for a while about it and they gave us like $30 of good meat for free! What the heck! The people are so nice here! To be clear, that store is different from the one that gave me tortasso hahaha! I think the Lord really knows how to get to my heart , that is, through free food hahahaha.
Also really cool is that yesterday during conference this random guy I didnt know found me in the stake center and gave me a big package from Hna. Oporto [Scott baptized her] in Conce! It was full of tons of chocolate for my bday! What the heck! Turns out he was her daughter's boyfriend and lives in LA and was sent to give it to me hahahaha. The people are so nice. Tell her thanks so much Dad!
One scripture thought I was thinking how funny 3 nephi 20:40 that talks about how beautiful the feet on the mountain of those who serve the Lord is in context of missionaries who serve a walking mission hahaha. Check it out. Speaking of feet, Macy they hurt the worst in like the balls of my feet and that area, but pretty much all over. Getting better though! Think I'm getting stronger.
Macy, that project sounds crazy hahaha! That much effort is rare in high school, especially in health class hahahaha. Also ya upper campus is kind of yucky huh with cockroaches etc. Right now it's kind of spring so it's not too cold anymore, especially in the sun. I'm super afraid of summer here because it gets above 100 and our house is brick, and I've heard it turns into a total oven hahaha. We use OLA [orar/pray, leer/read, asistir/attend] a ton Macy -- every lesson! Also I've learned on my mission Macy that you can keep the Spirit inside you wherever you go if you want to, no matter what people are doing or saying. Of course it's better to stand in holy places, and it takes practice.
Packages! I got all of them but the new Halloween one with the socks. Thanks so much!
Dad, I need to look harder for the people you baptized sorry! It's hard because our sector is so small and a ton of them could live in LA south, which technically I can't even go to so that's hard. We don't have a mission song hahaha. I think Chile has changed a ton from what I have heard from you in the past. Also, guitars are scarce and we aren't even supposed to play them during the week so it would be hard to get that together. Also, my throat was kind of sore all through September because I was sickish with allergies or something. In the mission you really learn that faith plus trials brings big blessings.
As for disappointment with Z, it's totally ok. She came to Sunday morning session of conference and wrote a lot of questions, and it seemed like every talk was for her! We are going to talk with her tomorrow so we will see where she's at now! We still have a lot of hope! She bought me a huge chocolate bar for my birthday -- so nice! I have so much chocolate now it's crazy!
As for our mission plan, we had ward council last week which was good! I think the bishop and auxilaries are really starting to trust us which is super good. They mentioned their goals for a ward mission plan for 2016, but we're hoping they can jump start some of that for the remainder of 2015 hahaha. They're working on a ward mission leader still too, but we will see. We are in charge of a big ward missionary activity so we will see how that goes. I'm way excited.
Retention is a big problem here in Chile. The mission is super baptism-minded which is good, but a lot of missionaries interpret that the wrong way. It's hard sometimes because disobedient missionaries can actually baptize a lot here, maybe because they waste a ton of time with the members which theyre not supposed to do. The problem is that the people end up getting baptized for the missionaries and not for Christ, so a ton go inactive. Its really sad! For that reason inactivity is a huge problem here, and to be honest I don't feel like we're doing enough to fix it. My goal is to never work for the glory of man or for numbers or anything like that, because I've seen so many sad results of that. I think I've also noticed that the culture of religion is really different here. I love Chile, but I think a lot of people view church just as something you do, not something as crucial as what we preach, that it's important for eternal salvation hahahaha. It makes it hard sometimes, especially when we ask people to change so much while other churches don't at all. Of course there are still so many miracles of conversion here like I've talked about in the past.
Return and report was super cool! Got to see all of my friends from the mtc which was way fun and get some training from Pres y Hna Bluth in conce. Super cool.
Conference was so dang good wow! Every talk! The very first especially was a answer for me, because there are a ton of applications and principles and acronyms and things to do to be a good missionary, and my whole mission the sheer number of them all has stressed me out a ton. It was such a relief to hear Elder Uctdorf say that all we need to do to have the Gospel work for us is have faith, hope, and charity, and be a disciple of Christ. So simple! I also really loved Russel M Nelson's talk on women in the church. How cool was that?!? It made me so grateful for all the awesome women in my life I have. Both grandmas, Connie, Debbie, Cassie, and of course you mom. Wow I am so lucky! I've learned so much from you all about love, strength, faith, and prayer.
Nothing much else happened this week! We got our transfers today but only like 3 people in our entire zone left, which is weird but good because our zone rocks! I'll be here for another 6 weeks at least, probably more. Just going to keep chugging! We have some good plans and high hopes though and we think we will totally get some awesome blessings. Thanks for your prayers and your support like always!
Love you all so much!
Chocolate from Lorena Oporto Torres
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.