Ok it was a good week but it felt kind of long for some reason but it's ok!
So Tuesday we did a gran intercambio with the zone and I was with Elder Pinto in San Pedro and it was pretty fun. Hes a really good missionary with a lot of experience and a really good teacher, so it was fun to learn from him and get to know each other better. I got to catch up with an old friend Elder Acevedo who I got to know way back a year ago while I was in Cunco so that was fun. I am also very glad I'm in my sector and not in any other hahaha. Lagonillas is awesome.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned but our zone is kind of "mah o menoh" right now so me and Elder Oxborrow had been thinking and praying a lot about it and we felt strongly that it was an issue of obedience and the intercambio we did made that pretty clear that it was. We had like a zone inventory kind of Wednesday and talked a lot about what challenges we have etc and what we do well and what we can do better and I think it was pretty helpful. At the end we pretty much told everyone that even though there were a lot of problems in the zone that are different, we were sure that just obeying to a higher degree would help with whatever problem the missionaries had (that's kind of the beauty of the gospel; its a cure-all). What I think made it a success was that the missionaries could really feel that we were talking about that because we genuinely care about them so I think their hearts were really opened. We talked a lot about how the natural man is an enemy to God, but also read Alma 5:7-12 and Mosiah 3:19 together and talked about how Christ can change the hearts and desires of all of us and that obedience can be easy if we really do have that change. We did a zone fast that day to be able to obey better and we have seen some serious changes in a few of the missionaries here and it also has shown in the fruits of their labor too, which is really cool to see from our perspective.
After that the week was pretty normal but all of a sudden we have a ton of people to teach and that's really nice. We have a lot of help from the youth of the ward here, and a few who have or are preparing for mission calls and school got out so they have a lot of time. We taught a lot of lessons this week.
M. is super awesome and is just very, very happy still. She had an interview with the bishop which was good so I think she's being integrated pretty well. We are working on R. and she is trying really hard to grow her faith in Christ to be able to take more steps towards Him but moves slower than M. obviously. M. speaks her mind a lot so we had to kind of tell her to be patient with R. hahaha. I think she will get baptised too but we are praying really hard for her.
M. M. are really good and we had a good conversation with them after an English class and they are really looking for the gospel but don't quite know it yet so we are working on that! They definitely need the peace it brings. We are going to have an FHE with their friends from church tonight so hopefully that helps!!!
We are still teaching C. and her mom D. as well and they are awesome! They are very studious and learning a ton but they're lacking a little bit of the spiritual progression and revelation part. I guess it's the application. We need to keep challenging them to be baptized and i think if they come to church this week they'll understand better as well. They are very very smart.
K. is kind of on standby right now because she's like impossible to find.
It's crazy how much progress we have seen in our sector this transfer. It was kind of rough to get people to church with Christmas and new years back to back on Sunday but I'm sure that next transfer here will be full of baptisms. I hope I stay! We will see in two weeks.
New years was fun! We ate dinner with a very nice family Amestica here who have a daughter on a mission so that was fun and very delicious. We were kind of tired in church but we had half our p-day yesterday and took a good 2 hour nap and recharged. We have eaten so much meat these last two weeks that we are re-evaluating our word of wisdom compliance and trying to go more veggie. Hopefully we can do it.
As far as what I've been pondering this week it's been a couple things. I'm still thinking a lot about obedience etc but also about what judgement will be like and how relieved we will be to see that keeping our covenants the best we could will allow us to be perfectly clean when that day comes. I think it's obvious that Christ has a perfect faith about that considering the fact that He is the one who suffered for it all in the end, but I think our faith is what will allow us to really believe that that will happen, and to trust that we really will be clean that day. Covenants are amazing and so key to the Gospel, and something that is really only understood in our church (the restored one). I also was thinking a lot about accountability and agency and the parable of the talents, and I want my missionaries to know that we (and God obviously) trust them with the talents (the sectors and companions or districts), and I've learned that as we allow people to act freely in the dominion they've been given while feeling an opposing force, they really do grow. There's an awesome summary of that subject in 2 Nephi 2 that I feel like im finally growing to understand and it's a really important leadership and life concept, and central to our purpose here on earth. I have a new year's resolution to read all of Isaiah before I finish the mission so wish me luck on that hahaha.
Ok I'm doing great but missing you all a little! Loving it here a lot and learning a ton every day. Hope you're all doing great!
Elder Trevor Smith
ps are my letters getting shorter or not?
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.