Ok wow it was a busy week but a good one. Last week of the transfer is kind of weird usually. Cambio news is no news! We stay together here one more transfer! Finally I stay in the same place with the same person! We have an awesome groove on so that's really cool.
The week started out pretty normal with an intercambio with some Elders from Boca Sur. I went with Elder M. who's a recent convert from Uruguay. It was funny because we sat together on the plane from Santiago to Conce our first day in the mission so it was cool to catch up and see how far we have come. It was really good because he doesn't have a ton of friends in the mission but is a super awesome missionary and really committed to our purpose. One thing I liked is that he was super open about sharing advice with me and talking about how we can do things better in our sector and I learned a ton from him. I feel like a lot of the time people don't talk to us like that because we are the zone leaders or whatever but it was nice to get some really useful feedback. He is a really good missionary and it was cool to get to know him better and help him how I could.
Oh ya the day before we did a family home evening with a really nice less active family who the wife is a return missionary and the dad is a convert from like 5 years ago. We had a message prepared to share with them but then as we prayed to start the lesson we both felt really impressed we had to share a video about temples and we did and it was really amazing how much the spirit hit the nail on the head with that. It was totally what they needed to hear and we talked a lot about having the spirit of the temple in the home and in the family and it was really cool. We had a great time and they came to church Sunday! Sometimes people just need an invitation to come back and they do.
There was some serious opposition in our sector in the beginning of the week when it just seemed like none of our plans or lessons turned out how we wanted to. A lot of our really hopeful investigators kind of didn't commit baptism like we thought they would and didn't really even do their part to pray and know if what we have taught is true etc. Kind of dissappointing but we still feel like this cambio we will have a ton of success.
Towards the end of the week stuff started to turn out better. We did divisions with the smallest sector in our zone La Marina and the poor Elders there were really greatful we could come and shake things up a little and get them out of the normal grind. It reminded me a lot about how grateful I was for that way back when I was in Via OHiggins. We lost a lot of time in our sector being there but we felt really good about doing it after.
After that our lessons started to turn out a lot better but we still didn't quite reach the goals we wanted to in the church. A. progressed a lot and finnally understood better the doctrine of the gospel and understood that he doesn't have to be perfect after baptism (that's the point). He has changed a lot but is not quite committal yet. He could very well be baptized in February though.
The coolest miracle that happened is that we didn't have contact with M. or her daughter R. all this week but they BOTH showed up to church on Sunday!!! We were so stoked to see R. there. The week before we had fasted together with M. that they would be able to find jobs and they both did! They were so touched to see how God answers prayers and R's heart softened a lot and she committed to baptism the 18th of February so we are going to focus a lot in on that and help her get ready for that. She has changed a lot too.
I've been studying the restoration a lot this week and had an impression that when we talk about the restoration we need to talk about temples. We had a lesson where this lady said to us after we explained the restoration "yeah well all churches pretty much say they're the right one etc., but whats the difference between yours and the rest?" Instead of giving the normal primary answers about the priesthood and profets etc that I would normally give I felt very impressed again to talk about temples and the power to seal, and that that really only exists in our church. After studying more me and my comp realized that the temples really are a huge symbol of the restoration and evidence of it too. At the end of the day the scriptures about sealing say that with out it the earth would be entirely lost, so it really is the point to all we do in the church. Pretty cool stuff.
I have also been thinking a lot about recieving revelation. I feel like at this point in my mission I've been really dependent on and gotten good at recieving and recognizing revelation and the spirit through the scriptures and through church attendance, but as missionaries I think we forget the power of prayer a lot. Maybe it has to do with praying so much that it kind of loses its meaning to us. That kind of seeps into our teaching sometimes too and we sometimes mention revelation through prayer and asking God as like an ending side note when really it should be some of the investigators first spiritual experiences. I want to study it more this week and get better at my prayers. I think a lot of times we expect an inmediate answer and then dont realize when things are revealed to us during later dates that its a result of asking in prayer. Elder Bednar's videos about "patterns of light" explain it really well. It will be a good new challenge.
Well I'm doing good here and me and Elder O. are trying to set high goals and really push ourselves so that we stay really committed to our jobs here. We want to work really really hard this transfer now that we have more people to teach. Pray for us! Love you all so much! Hope everyone is doing well and I love your letters!
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.