Wow this letter marks the beginning of my trainerless time on the mission (see title)! To break the news right away I'm staying here in Via OHiggins LA Norte but Elder P is going way to the south, below Temuco! Like the end of the world! He's going to be a district leader and kill it! I'm going to have Elder A as my comp!!!! He's Argententinian and I've heard a lot of really good things and I'm really excited to be with him! My Spanish will improve by leaps and bounds I'm sure! I'm so excited for that! I've heard he's just the friendliest guy ever and really funny to boot! This means that I'm staying here for this transfer for sure, but for whatever reason, this cambio is only 4 weeks long and the one after is 8 weeks long. That means that I could be here 4 weeks with him or 12! 12 would mean a whole 6 months in my tiny little sector hahaha! I'm way excited!
I'm sad to see Elder P go though! I feel like we have become such good friends and he's taught me so much! I think the biggest thing I learned from him was just how to work and never stop ever hahahaah! This last week we said goodbye to a few of our favorite people here in the awesome ward so it ended up being like "the best of Via OHiggins" hahaha including Hna F, Jon S y familia, and a bunch of other awesome people we love! I'm sad to see him go but I think maybe some fresh South American blood here might kick start things and maybe I'll get to see someone get baptized here! (big maybe) New teaching and strategies could maybe give M or P or Z the push they need to start progressing more (or just get in the dang water in Z´s case wow). I'm just really ready for some change mostly because these last 3 weeks have been preeettty dry and comfortable, so some change will be good. We didnt really find anyone this week either but more on that in a sec. I still have high hopes and expectations for my time here and won't waste a day!
So as far as things that happened this week that were significant I can think of like 2. The first was that one day we were contacting and hit a door and someone yelled "come in" in english and we were way surprised! We went in and this lady asked us to practise english with her daughter and the both of them talked in almost perfect english! So the mom is older (60 or something) and the daugther is 20 something. The mom is an english professor so the whole family speaks really well! We practised with the both of them and talked for a while. So weird to do that! The daughter is going to be a teacher as well, so the two of them were like the smartest people ive met here! Way smart! It was so fun to talk to them! We eventually found out they were both members, but stopped going to church after a few months because the mom worked at a Catholic school the daughter went too, and there wasn't a lot of support in that context. We talked to them about the Book of Mormon and answered questions and it was really weird to teach in a mix of English and Spanish! It was really cool and I think with a little time we could get them back to church. They're really cool though! So smart! They're the only people we found though hahaha and they're already members!
The other thing that happened this week was the Galvarino ward missionary activity! Galvarino is our roommates' ward whom with we were originally planning to do a joined activity. We couldn't invite people from our ward but we invited our investigators and the Elders in our house kind of as a last hurrah of our house being together. We spent a few hours on Saturday setting up a movie theatre in the cultural hall of the church and popping GIANT bags of kettlecorn by hand. Way fun! We got about half the room full too so like 30 people, members and nonmembers alike! We watched "Meet the Mormons" which is really good and spiritual, and Z came to see it! I think it could of helped her maybe! It is really good, and after we all bore short testimony of the church and why we do missionary work. It was really cool! Big success, and it felt good to help our friends elder Y and S before Elder S and P leave!
Today was kind of our last pday together as the 4 companionships in LA norte in the city! We are all really good friends and have spent almost every pday together as "el ocho de LAN" and we are sad to see each other go! We are going to give each other all pictures of these last 2 cambios so I'll have a ton to send of us next week! I have a few today though. I love all those guys and they've been great examples to me! I'm also really excited to meet a ton of new people in the zone though!
That was kind of it for this week besides transfers and everything! I was sitting in church and praying during the sacrament and thinking about my mission so far, kind of sad about my lack of success, and my heart was totally filled with feelings of love that I know had to have come from the Holy Ghost. Living the Gospel does not mean all our dreams will come true or that we will always be happy all the time, but I can testify of the feelings of peace that it brings. I know the Lord is pleased with my work. I'm trying to change my attitude from working because I want a baptism, or people to teach because it would make me happy and get me out of the street, but instead because I want to help people and love them, and see the changes in their lives and hearts. It's a long and hard process, but it's a long term goal. I want to change my goal from getting "success" to loving people, and helping them out of the charity I have. I feel like during my training I nailed the work and sacrifice part of the mission, but that I'm still doing it like a robot. I think I lack the heart part sometimes, or at least more than I'd like. I just know how happy I am when I serve people.
That's kind of it! Hopefully it isn't too short! I'm loving my time here, and am always really happy! Keep writing and asking me questions so I have more to write! I love Chile and Los Angeles!
Ok this one is from Laja, not my sector (i wish hahaha). Talked about it a little last week.
Transfer photo courtesy of John Sanhuesa.
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.