Wow another crazy week i swear life is crazy here in Purencito. I’ll try and fit everything in.
Ok so started off the week with a gran intercambio where I worked in a trio with elder G (a different elder G whose from Argentina) and Elder M (brazil) in Collipulli which is a pretty big pueblo. It was fun to meet those guys better. It was also cool to have 3 totally different countries and languages represented in the same companionship and it made for some funny contacts. Elder M is not used to this cold fall weather here being from Brazil so I could relate to that pretty well hahaha. We had a good time.
The next day we had our normal district meetings but also interviews with Pres Wilhelm who is the temporary mission president for now until we get our permanent president in July (June?). I was the first interview and he has a rep for being super tough on missionaries so i was a little nervous going in, especially as a trainer, but he totally threw me for a loop. We just kind of talked small talk about the mission and dad serving in Lebu etc. and at the end he told me to not be so hard on myself and have more patience with myself hahaha what a relief. Whelp who knows why that happened that way but it did. He gave the whole zone a totally new angle to work from, which is to work more closely with community leaders and offer more service, whatever tole it takes on time otherwise used for proselyting. I thought it was awesome advice considering how overly knocked all of Chile is at this point. It was kind of hard to know how to do it at first and shift out of our comfort zone so much, but I think we’ve found some pretty good opportunities to really crank out some killer service, maybe even as an entire zone. Our best option right now is an old folks home that is just way overwhelmed with tasks, so we are probably going to try and bring the whole zone here to paint the building etc. The people in the home just about went head over heals when we visited and it touched us so much we plan on going more just to visit with them.
As the week progressed we were getting kind of worried about not having found new people to focus on after E getting baptized etc. but things turned out really miraculously towards the end of the week due to just straight up us being blessed hahaha. The coolest thing we have going on right now is teaching Diego. Wow he is so awesome. Since I got here we’ve been praying to be able to find families and future priesthood holders to teach and a week and a half ago Diego came up to us and contacted us! First time in my mission that that has happened and the person has been sober hahahaha! He is 23 years old and just finished his studies in Santiago and is starting his practices to be a social worker (i think? not sure about the translation) here in Puren where his mom lives. Well actually the problem is that they live way in the campo on them way to Contulmo, our other city. Only problem is that his phone was broken so we wouldn’t be able to call him! We told him the hours of church services and gave him our number but were kind of nervous about not finding him when Wednesday we were in the city building looking for service opportunities and he was there working and talked to us! We set up an appointment for Friday where we would stop at his house on the way back from Contulmo. We thought him and he is just totally golden! Accepted a baptismal date and pretty much accepted all doctrine etc. and is super excited to read the BoM and pray. It gets better. Sunday he shows up WITH HIS MOM who also isnt a member but also super nice and great in general. Us being the gospel ´principals teachers we could just jump right into plan of salvation and they had awesome questions! We were kind of nervous about him not having any youth here in the branch, but we think they liked church anyway. So excited to talk to them again!
Other cool thing: we were talking to people in Contulmo (totally beautiful btw) and we knocked on this door and there were like 10 kids of various ages who answered the door! The mom was there too and let us in so we pretty much taught a primary version of the first lesson to all of them, and the mom tells us that she is a less active member!!! What. Turns out they weren’t all her kids (duh) but a few were cousins etc. 5 of them were over 8 and they all wanted us to come back (teach a little English too mwahaha) so we will hopefully be able to fill the Puren primary room pretty quick hahaha.
Other really cool news: So we visited this sister who is the Sunday school teacher here, and she mentioned living in Lebu. I asked her if she got baptized there and when etc. etc. and SHE IS TOTALLY DADS CONVERT! Her name is G S and she probable was around 23 when dad and his comp baptized her and her siblings (but not her dad or mom i think). She totally thought I was "Elder Smith’s son" but was a little shy to ask and totally remembers all of it from back in the day in Lebu. Her son is a member too but is less active, so i want to try and work with him and maybe the dad too who lives in Puren as well who knows. Pretty crazy right? I found another person though too named R G, who was really young when dad was there but says his family were some of the first members there in Lebu. He and his family moved to Angol a year ago and he’s the second counselor in the stake presidency funnily enough! He said dad has a ton of converts and most of them are very active, and that everyone still remembers him there hahaha. Also side note Presidente Whilhelm absolutely loved the fact that dad opened Lebu so who knows maybe I finally got my in hahaha.
We had a great Sunday yesterday where a ton of formerly less active people showed up, including a total of 3 priesthood holders which is great. Things are seeming like they are going really well here, even when we had a kind of rough start to the week with a few things. Elder Gimenez is totally awesome and i still feel super weird "training" him. Seriously I haven’t been sure even what to teach him. It’s been a humbling experience. He’s a lot like an Argentinian version of Fletcher which is funny.
So along with my goals of not being so hard on myself, my main goal this week is to have no fear. Just no fear in general. I think Satan works really hard with fear against missionaries, and not just the stereotypical fear of talking to people etc. that fear isn’t too bad. I think a really huge fear i have been guilty of from time to time is the fear of failure, which if it gets out of control really just ends up being a lack of faith. ITs pretty silly to fear failure on a mission considering who’s team your on. I really have been liking the example of David this week, as well as the majority of prophets in the scriptures (except Jonah lol). I love the words that David says as he confronts Goliath and Ill past them below (They’re kind of smash talkingly graphic too which I think is funny).
Also our housing situation is totally unreal good. Hna Margarita pretty much is just out of grandkids to spoil since she moved from Santiago a few months ago so we are pretty much her only options now so things get rediculous. ill try and write stuff out or send pics to illustrate next time.
Also who reads my letters? just curious who my audience is ;)
I love the mission and i love your letters so much! I cant believe how soon we will be skyping too. I’ve been really blessed here in Puren! Like a ton! I 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.