Ok a long week we worked really hard!
Started out with some good district meetings as usual. I was asked to teach a little in one of them about asking questions which was fun. That day I went to La Harina and los huertos to be with Elder Sheidel from Vancouver and elder Pinto and Elder Batista worked w Elder Oxbox in lagunillas. One problem we encountered is that poor Elder Sheidel had been absolutely devoured by a pulga (flea) outbreak the night before and hadn't gotten any sleep so we spent a good chunk of time doing and emergency purging of their house that ended up working well and no new bites. I think they stopped liking me a while ago because I don''t get bit anymore. It was a good day and they are some killer missionaries who cracked me up all day. They had two baptisms this last week and one of them was a total miracle so that was really cool to see. It's really fun to get to know the whole zone.
The next few days were pretty normal with quite a few lessons and English class etc. A. is progressing but slowly. It's just hard after so much time with someone when we see how much potential they have and they dont see it. I'm sure thats how God feels with us. He really needs to get more motivated quick because he knows all we teach is true and that he needs to get baptized etc but is just kind of slow to act. We walked all the way across our sector to wake him up for church so he went this last Sunday. I think in part it's hard right now because he has to quit smoking. I think we need to help him grow his faith that the Lord really can forgive him for his past self. He will be such a good convert when he does get baptized.
N. (that reference) is doing really good but was pretty busy last week so we didn't get to teach him much but he came to church and loved it again. He is very chosen. The Elders quorom pres is doing a great job of fellowshipping him and it makes a huge difference. He and a few others are going to play on the Mission work team in the ward soccer tourney this Saturday. He loves Elders quorum. We had originally planned for the 5th of March but it looks like he might need one more week or two because we haven't gotten to teach him much.
We really rededicated ourselves this week to find new investigators but it proved kind of hard for us. We re-analyzed a lot our first lesson teaching and our door approaches and improved both a lot thinking that in that way we would find more people but no such luck. I think in part its from summer break etc. Im learning how charity really comes into play in finding because like Moroni says without charity we are nothing. I think we have been trying to be less shy about being open and direct about the blessings they can recieve and the change their lives can have and that has helped. In the worldwide training from a few weeks ago they mentioned that we need to "sanctify every door we knock" and I liked that a lot and want to do it better.
We went to the temple yesterday with a part member family we are working with to really get them to get the vision to make the changes necessary to get there when it's done in summer of 2018 or to Santiago before that. It was really cool and looks like twice as big as the Newport Beach temple. I forgot my camara (sorry) but they took a lot of pics andI'll have them send them to you. It's really advanced in its structure and looks like 5 stories high. Really cool location too. It's got a ton of cool anti earthquake tech that will make it the last thing standing in Conce if theres ever a catastrophy big enough. Definitely want to come back when its done. It's really close to the river Bio Bio.
This week is the last of the transfer - wow it went fast. We did really good a zone even though we had quite a few baptisms fall through last minute. The most likely thing will be that I get transfered and that Elder Oxburt stays and finishes here which, as much as I love this sector, will be a good change. It's really strange for me to be in the same sector so long too. This is officially the longest I've been in one place and the longest with one comp by far. I'm really excited to see what my next assignment will be and to have a good change of pace. hopefully I don't eat my words on that and stay here. We will see and ill let you know what's up next week.
I studied a lot this week about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the plan of salvation. I think a conclusion I came to is that one of Satan's biggest and most frecuently used tools is lying to us about who we are. How we see ourselves has a really large effect on how we act. One testimony God will always give us is about our divine potential, heritage, and even history. The cool thing I learned too about covenants is what it means to be "worthy". It is very different from being perfect, and that's the point. If we have the constant companionship of the holy ghost with us we can be sure that we are keeping our covenants, which in the words of PmG means not only that we have recieved the remission of our sins, but that we are retaining the remission of our sins as well. How cool is that? Therefore we know that if we have the spirit with us we are being found "worthy" and pure enough to have the spirit through the grace of Christ despite our fallen and sinful state. That''s the cool thing about covenants; we are found spotless as we keep them even though we are not. I think too often in the church we talk about the remission of sins as if it is something that happens to us someday far in the future eternities or only right after baptism when its really not that way at all, it's a weekly and even a daily occurrence as we keep our covenants. It's retaining the remission of our sins, from what I understand, which allows us to have the spirit and therefore progress in the transforming process that Christ can do to us if that makes sense. From what I understand its the remission of sins that allows our progress, but maybe I'm wrong hahaha check me on that. I love how Joshua tells the Israelites to "sanctify themselves" so that God could do miracles for them the following day. I think the miracles we recieve as we "sanctify ourselves" occur in us rather than making walls topple or seas part. I hope I'm not preaching false doctrine here let me know if I am.
Ok I''m doing great and learning and growing a lot. We want to push ourselves to the limit this week working hard and focusing in a ton to finish the transfer well. I love you all so much and miss you but im happy here! Keep writing me and letting me know what's up at home etc!
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.