Ok it was a really good but busy week! We traveled so much I am way sick of busses at this point. Like every day except Sunday we took a bus ugh. At least the views are pretty.
The week started out pretty normal Tuesday but Wednesday we had the worldwide church broadcast for missionaries! It was super spiritual and really good and helpful. It was all about teaching by the spirit and focusing on the simple truths of the gospel, and how investigators won't really see a change or feel the spirit themselves until they repent, i.e., change themselves. That process starts as they begin doing their homework etc etc. Really cool. The even more fun part maybe was that we met in Temuco as 4 zones so I got to hang out a little bit with a few really good friends like Elders M and C from the mtc and Elder P. It was super fun to hear from those guys! It really set a spiritual tone for the rest of the week though!
Friday we did an intercambio again with the missionaries from Nueva Imperial but this time I stayed in Cunco with Elder O from Brazil, who's a really good friend from the very begining of my mission. He's huge and has a really deep voice and is kind of intimidating when you first see him, but he's really silly when you actually start talking to him hahaha. Hes awesome and teaches really well. We had a great time talking about memories, the mission, Brazil etc etc. The only bummer is that we left both of our cellphones with our companions so we were totally in the dark communication-wise that day which was kind of a fun challenge hahaha. We found a cool old investigator who's a friend of a young woman member here and she pretty much knows all the info and just lacks a testimony, so we will see what happens with that.
We had some cool stuff happen Saturday too! Remember M and J from like a month ago? Jorge came back from work! They are really special because they all pretty much have testimonies already from a variety of crazy miracles and spiritual experiences they've had, including the classic Chilean dream of two angels dressed in white and ties helping them etc etc. The frustrating part is that they were so hyped for everything Saturday but then 8 HOURS LATER didn't show up to church! So frustrating! They are so close and already have their answer, and dont have Sundays to waste with J's schedule! It's OK. I still love them. They'll get there eventually.
Not sure if I've mentioned J before but he contacted us on a bus! It was crazy! He's kind of a grandpa who already goes to a kind of pentecostal church but weve been teaching him very slowly for a few weeks and he finally came to church! He keeps repeating and repeating that "he will never leave centro biblico" but I don't believe it because he is very diligent with his BoM reading and church attendance relative to other people. He was the only person we had in church, which was kind of discouraging again, but hey, progress. (also we taught all 3 hours of church without notice hahaha small branch life)
Something funny is that our sector geographically is the biggest in the mission, there are just very few people that live here. For that reason we have some cool plans to go explore a bunch of smaller pueblos that are kind of scattered around Cunco. That'll be a fun adventure.
I really am falling in love with this place and these people, as hard as they are sometimes to help.
This week I've been thinking a lot about The Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3 haha) and the promises God makes us when we follow the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, and persevere till the end. As missionaries we would love to promise people who live the Gospel perfect lives, but we just can't do it. We are all promised, however, peace and happiness. I've been really pondering what that means and how I've seen those blessings in my life. We were walking home from lunch Sunday after a kind of discouraging day and it was a pretty long walk, but it was really pretty with mountain views on either side, stormclouds in the distance and a nice breeze. I was just kind of meditating as we walked and I realized that despite how hard the mission is sometimes, how dissapointed we are when we work so hard, and how far away we are from home, I feel at peace. I guess you could call it joy. It was just a nice little, very quiet spiritual moment, but i thinked it really changed me and helped me understand in what ways we are blessed by the gospel. I think part of why it was so special is that out here in Cunco everyone moves very slow and is very relaxed. At first it bothered me but now I embrace it and it's part of me now. With that I think that at home our lives are so busy and so full of worries, work, and constant stimulation with media and friends etc that we do not take the time to really meditate on our relationship with Christ and how we feel because of that relationship. Im really glad I've had the opportunity to unplug, slow down, and kind of meditate on that stuff. It was really cool.
I don't have a ton to report on is the truth. It was just a pretty average week hahaha. Things with Elder G were better, but I've also just kind of learned to love him how he is and keep being happy myself. It's crazy that now weve had 6 weeks together it's going so fast it's scaring me! Two weeks and we'll know whats going on with transfers. Just know that I'm doing great and loving it here, even though I miss all of you guys. Keep writing. I love your letters. I'll try and take more pictures sorry!
Love you all so much!
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.