Ok this week went crazy fast I'll l try and describe it well.
Tuesday was meetings as usual. My class didn't turn out quite how I wanted but good enough. I gave it on revelation and problem solving in the mission and we talked a lot about classic "search ponder and pray" stuff. I really like in DC 8(?) it talks about how revelation was the power by which Moses crossed the red sea which is cool. We talked about how all problems we face as missionaries (or people in general) should have solutions in the scriptures and through prayer. I tried to help them view the process more as work than as just God showing us the way. Then we had some good practice of teaching revelation through prayer to our investigators and hopefully that helped something. I like to teach so that's fun. Everyone seemed kind of tired but whatever I understand hahaha.
After that the day was pretty normal. We had a hard time making contact with our investigators this week because of some really big university charity collections they were working in but whatever. Because of that we spent a lot of the week looking for people and trying to come up with new ways to do that.
The weather was actually really good this week. Not that cold and not that rainy, mostly just a little sprinkle all the time which is annoying but way better than the normal pouring rain.
Wednesday we went all the way to a little pueblo called Lautauro to do an intercambio with the elders from there. Me and elder Chico from Mexico traveled back to Temuco and worked in Caupulican as usual. I was proud of myself for being able to navegate already in the middle of downtown after only 3 weeks. The trip back and forth from lautauro was really beautiful with lots of hills and valleys covered in fall leaf colors. It's still pretty fall here which is good. Elder Chico is really good and chill. Doesn't talk too much but is really level headed and happy to be here in the mission so that's awesome. We had a good time and I learned from him. The bummer was that pretty much all our appointments fell so we walked a lot that day but he was a really good sport. We did finally connect with a former investigator who lives with a less active family like 20 meters from the church so that was good but we were pretty tired by that time so I hope the lesson was well recieved.
For scheduling challenges the next day we did another intercambio with the zone leaders and I worked with Elder Camp in Quirihue. It was a fun day. It is a really really hilly sector and for the first time I realized how grateful I should be for having 100% really flat sectors my entire mission! (except for the one massive hill in Lebu but that makes literally one hill in my entire mission). We found a cool new family who we taught for the first time which is always kind of stressfull but we felt good about it in the end. Elder Camp is awesome and a great friend.
Friday started out with weekly planning. Ok look I don't complain much in my letters or in general but planning to me has become almost unbearable I don't know why. I don't know why every planning session whether it be daily or weekly just seems like an eternity to me hahahaha. Whatever. We powered through it and actually got some good ideas and stuff jotted down. One we actualy applied that day and it worked out great. Like I've mentioned our chapel is right in the middle of one of the most downtown parts of Temuco and tons of students are always there walking back and forth in the afternoon. We grabbed one of the banners we use for chapel open doors activities that's about the book of mormon and set up a little stand in the gate door right on the sidewalk of the church and put up a sign that said "gratis" hahahaha. To our surprise actually a ton of people came up to us and talked to us about the BoM and quite a few took one. We discovered that it was actually a way more effective way to find interested people than other stuff we had been doing and for like half the effort because we just had to sit there and people came and talked to us hahahaha it was awesome. It was also refreshing to only talk with people genuinly interested in the message and not just everyone in the street or behind a door or angry less active members. Fun thing to do. I was really relieved because now I feel like we have a good way to kill the rest of our dead time between lessons (that we usually do in the church anyway) in a productive way.
Saturday we did an open chapel as a zone in quirihue that turned out kind of mah o menoh. I got assigned the easy job of making the people fill out a "comments" sheet before they left that is more of a sneaky way to get their information to visit them than anything hahaha. Only like 10ish people came in the entire 3 1/2 hours so it was pretty easy. After that we put up a bunch of english posters. Speaking of english people now llike 7-8 non members are coming each class!
Saturday we ate lunch with some members (who I will not name) and they served us this plate of spaghetti with salsa blanca that was really delicious. Only bummer is that I almost didnt make it to the bathroom that night but my poor comp got hit harder. He woke up at like 3am sunday morning with all the symptoms of food poisoning the poor guy. He rallied enough to go to church and we actually stayed all three hours which was really good because two students wandered into sacrament meeting out of nowhere and were really interested in the church so we were able to be with them for all the classes and we have a lesson with them tomorrow. My comp was really bad though and luckily the hna we had lunch with brought it to the chapel for us to take home so he got home and crashed for the rest of the day and last night but woke up today feeling 100% so that's good. I took like a 2 hour nap which was fun but then had the rest of the day to slowly go insane doing nothing but watching the district hahaha any missionary who has been home with a sick comp knows what Im talking about.
That's kind of it. This week went by fast! Its so strange that I feel so normal about this week and this lifestyle when so soon I will have a crazy fast adjustment to make. I just feel like it was any other week of my misison. Even this far in one still lives in the bizare paradox of being totally exhausted, bored, and constantly working while simultaneaously feeling mosly contentment and a kind of passive happiness with life. I guess that is probably what the Lord refers to about finding our lives after losing them.
As far as spiritual thoughts go, I mostly felt impressed this week about centering our lives on Christ. That is one blessing of the mission; its much easier to do out here. It's amazing that as soon as we fulfill part of our baptismal covenants during the week (through remembering Him or maybe serving someone else) the peace He repeatedly promised His Apostles that He would leave can be felt. I love John 17:3 (?) that says that eternal life is knowing Christ and His Father. Together with Moses 1:39 we can learn that the Godhead's entire work and glory is our eternal life, or substituting what it says in John, their entire purpose is to help us know Them better. Its easy to run with that principle to answer a lot of questions we have about this life and its purpose, trials, and complexities; all we go through in this life is in part so that we can comprehend our Father in Heaven. Obviously a mission is kind of a period of our lives where that purpose and the means that help us achieve it are kind of magnified or intensified by the demanding nature of our lifestyle, our closeness to the spirit, and the pureness of our work that is so often responded to by rejection by others etc. Im sure parenting and the rest of lifes experiences (especially when coupled with service in the church) have a similar effect. Well I'm kind of rambling now but my point is that its no wonder one grows and changes so much serving a mission.
Ok wow it's getting closer every day. Like I've said before I think I've gone through every emotion by now about ending and mostly I'm just grateful. I love you all and love hearning from you and can't wait to see you!
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.