Wow this was the busiest week of my mission by far and I know I said that last week! It was super special and I'm loving my time here in Puren! It's not the easiest sector (I've been gifted with 3 of the hardest now hahaha) but it's growing on me, especial with the change of house and freedom from pulgas (fleas)!
Ok wow where do I start...
So we moved Monday like I said! It took ALL day. It was super exhausting. We got help from some of the office missionaries which was nice. Well they just kind of drove the van back and forwarth because they couldn't really lift things but it was still really nice hahahah. The new house is easily the best set up in the whole mission. I think I'm already fatter. I'm not sure I remember how it feels to be hungry anymore. Well actually Hna M. is very polite and understanding about the amount we eat which I think is fair considering how we pay. Still it's just the accessibility and deliciousness of the food that motivates me to eat more I think hahaha. The house is beautiful with a great view out into the countryside and good company for every meal. So worth the work we did.
Moving to the new house was definitely not as hard as cleaning up the old house hahaha. It was kind of unreal. We had to clean a ton of mold and dirt and all kind of nastiness and the last part was that we repolished (tinted? not sure what we did in English) the wood floors that were horrifyingly stained. That took a TON of time and work. On top of that my poor comp was sick from the very mold and has had a cold all week, but was a great sport and worked really hard too, harder than me. There's like super fastly contageous type cold being passed around here in puren but I think I already had it so I'm good. Pretty funny how quick people are dropping. not funny but you know what I mean. Anyway the house was pretty good and by the end of Wednesday we gave the keys back. Whew. Huge weight off my shoulders with that miserable house.
Another crazy part of the week was that Hna E. got baptized WOOOOOOOOO! Baptisms are super awesome and like the best most fulfilling thing ever, but they also come with a ton of anxiety, especially in this case because Hna E was feeling kind of wishy washy at the beginning of the week but more on that later. Point is we had to focus really hard on her and on planning the service etc etc and it took a lot out of us combined with our other duties as essencially counselors to the branch pres. It turned out really great.
So I'll try and sumarize all the stuff that went down with that. Hna E is kind of hard to describe so I'll do my best hahaha. Shes an older lady that has been talking to the missionaries for a little while, like 2 and a half transfers now. At first they were getting really close to dropping her because se wasn't completing with her homework etc and was having a really hard time understanding the doctrine (which by the way is not important but we will get to that). When my comp ( a total machine by the way he's awesome) they were pretty much going to show up to give kind of the last hurrah goodbye lesson, and she mentioned how she had never understood the Book of Mormon. He told her that it helps to pray before you read, asking to understand, and that made all the difference! She started showing up to church, reading and loving the BoM, and progressing really quickly spiritually. The key I think was also that she came to conference and could see how big the church really is too. Finally this week arrived and her baptismal date was Saturday, but in the beginning of the week she was super shaky and we were really scared. Thursday we had intended to have a lesson with her and talk about the baptismal interview, and she told us she was going to wait a little while before getting baptised. Super scary! It sounds like not that bad of a thing but usually when people "wait a little while" they never end up making the decision to get baptized. Both of us in that lesson felt like that was going to be a problem for her too.
We started doing the whole talk blah blah blah with no luck. We had her Fellowship sister there too (Hna P is totally awesome) and no luck. We were getting ready to throw in the towel and surrender. Devastating. She said she felt scared and alone. Finally, I tried one more time to really listen to what the spirit was telling me and this is where the last few weeks of my mission really start to make sense, including the transfer from Cunco etc. I was trying really hard to know what to do when a very familiar song I sang probably 100 times in Choir in high school came to my mind, Esto les Digo. The words to the song are a verse from Mathew 18:20 in Spanish, and were totally ingrained in my head from singing it so many times, so it was natural that it came to mind. The crazy part was that when I found out I was leaving Cunco I was pretty bummed so I was reading the scriptures for comfort when I found Doctrine and Covenants 6:32-37 (see below), which starts with the same words as the scripture from Matthew. It was really really comforting when I first read it and brought back a ton of great memories of course so I marked it up. When I heard the song in my head, I thought of how I had recently read those verses so I went for a Hail Mary and looked it up and she read it one verse at a time and we talked about each verse individually (again see below to understand better). The Spirit totally filled the room and we were silent for a little at the end. Me and my companion testified about how we are never alone, that Christ is always with us. Right after that I just asked her if she would get baptized the 9th of April and she said yes. The rest of history! She passed the interview fine and everything turned out. Something really special that I did not expect at all is that she asked me to baptise her.
I really hope that you can see how deeply personal this experience is for me. The fact that Heavenly Father knew that I had sung that song a thousand times before and that it also happened to be the exact words that Hna E. needed to hear in that moment and that I happened to get transfered here just in time shows to me how truly beautiful and perfect God's knowledge and understanding of each and every one of us is. I really hope you can see that from what I've written. It leaves me breathless. Those words in Doctrine and Covenants will always be sacred for me now.
I'm really glad for the how my mission has turned out to be up until this point. I'm grateful I didn't get to participate in a baptism until now, as hard as that was. To me it's the difference between having a miracle seal my testimony and faith versus having my faith and testimony bring the miracle, if that makes sense. As awesome as it was to be able to participate in her Baptism, I didn't need it is the truth. It came to me right at the perfect time where my faith had grown to the point that I knew it was going to happen anyway, so I wasnt really surprised. I guess a better way to describe it is that I imagine that for the Brother of Jared when the 4th 5th and 6th rocks lit up he was less and less surprised, if that makes sense. That doesnt mean that those rocks lighting up was any less miraculous, just that he was pretty confident it was going to happen anyway.
I'm really happy and really grateful to serve a mission. I love you all and I love your letters. I hope mine makes sense! I didn't have a ton of time today sorry! My comp is totally awesome. I love him so much! I'm super humbled to be his trainer!
Thats it but I love you!
32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto mydisciples, where two or three are gathered together in myname, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in themidst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.
33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow,that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shallalso reap good for your reward.
34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth andhell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock,they cannot prevail.
35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and alsothe prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdomof heaven. Amen. (it's better in Spanish)
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.