First off I love all of your letters so much! I swear you all know how to help me even before I say anything -- so cool. All of you sound busy but like it's fun too.
Macy seminary is so hard I'm so sorry hahahah. You wake up way earlier than me we wake up at 7 here because Chileans love to sleep in and stay up late. hahaha. My call is definitely inspired. Also send me videos of your dances if you can -- short ones or something. Mrs Borges is awesome too! I think my best Spanish came from that class actually. Also what are some tips for sore feet? Like stretches or something?
Mom I think managing kids and keeping them focused is like the biggest mystery of the universe. I think if they really grow to like you that works the best. If that means breaks or treats or games at first that will help. Also get them to talk if that helps. If there is a naughty kid in a lesson we were taught to have them read or ask them a question or something too. I'll try to think of ideas tho. Also we just have a microwave and stove no oven hahaha. It is pretty getto too. I was thinking this week that I miss hanging out with you watching tv too!
Dad as far as LA goes it's cool but I can see that its kind of hard too. Rich people usually don't want to listen at all. Its pretty funny because we find our pass-along cards in the windows of stores and houses who aren't members which is pretty funny hahaha. A lot of people who we don't know call us Elders as well hahaha. Also since you know the people what's the best way to ask for references? I think the hard part is that our sector is small so no one knows a ton of friends there. Also I'm dreading summer hahaha I can tell it will be so dang hot here wow. I love the Grandma Maughann quotes too! Elder Smith II is a great title! Printing is way cheap so don't worry about length ok?
So this week was a ton of contacting again, even more actually hahaha. We are being really patient and faithful though, and are having fun while doing it too. We just have to trust that miracles come after the trial of your faith and keep working and obeying. It's frustrating sometimes to hear that disobedient or lazy missionaries have way more success, but I'm learning to not compare of course. Plus who knows maybe they put the best missionaries in the hardest sectors hahaha. I've learned that your success as a missionary really is how you and the Lord together view your commitment to the work and to obedience. I'm getting better at seeing my own success in this way. Plus we are serving our ward in a ton of ways, and others in ways we probably cant even see anyway. Yesterday we gave a blessing of healing to a sick sister for example, and it was a really cool experience.
Z. is doing good! We are just praying so hard that we will get to baptize her the 26th. If that happens the last few weeks will totally be worth it. This week is totally crucial for that though so we are working so hard on that.
I felt bad about being kind of negative last week because I don't really feel like that hahha. We did actually find some good investigators this week though! One is a super cute family whose kids are totally awesome! The moms name is K., and her son and daughter are 9 and 7. It was one of two new doors we got in this week, and we shared a video and the spirit was there strongly. The only bummer was that everyone was super excited to get together that Friday but when we went Karen was kind of upset about something and pretty much closed the door in our face which was way sad after a pretty gnarly week of walking and knocking. We still have a lot of hope for them though!
So we had a bif Zone conference this week with the Mission President and Hma Bluth and it was way good. The bad part was that the night before we found out they were going to come check out our house, so we had to clean like crazy into the night hahahaha. They were actually surprised by how nice it was. Not sure how we pulled that off
This week was even more contacting and walking etc etc. The Zone Leaders saw how hard we worked though and that we had very few results, so tomorrow we have an Attack of the Zone on our district hahahaa. A ton of missionaries from LA are going to come work for 2 hours here, and if that doesn't get us some new investigators I'm not sure what will hahaha.
The members here are still totally awesome though.
The thing I've been thinking about missionary work is that if the people here knew how hard we work, think, walk, study, pray, fret, talk, and devote ourselves to them, I think they would be flattered or softened or something hahahaha. The work would be easy! For example if K. knew how giant of a miracle it was to get in her house and teach her, I think she would let us come back every day! If people knew how bad it hurts us when they don't do their reading or don't come to church, or don't act when they know its true, they wouldn't do those things! Its tragic to us! It breaks our hearts but we keep going back! Over and over again! I then realized this week after some lessons from the President of the mission and other people that this is how the Savior must feel. He suffered infinitely, and has given many of us knowledge of the truth, but we still fall often, or neglect to read the scriptures or go to church. I know at least a infinitely small fraction of how that must feel now, and I think that's really the miracle of missionary work. We get to feel at least a little bit what He must feel like. In the words of Elder Holland, the work of salvation was never easy, and definitely wasn't easy for Him, so why should it be easy for us? As we work as missionaries and as members, sacrifice, and suffer a little bit, we gain a little bit of empathy with Him. This has totally given me a ton of strength this week. Check out the talk, I think its called the Atonement and missionary work. So good.
I hope my letters aren't too real for everyone. I guess I just think its ok to tell it like it is hahaha. Honestly though I really am enjoying my time here and I'm really happy, as tired as we are. We aren't discouraged at all, and are going to kill it this week! I still love my comm and my roommates. They are so fun.
SO this week is the 18th of September which is pretty much their 4th of July and its going to be CRAZY. People had flags up a week ago! We have Friday as our pday and just get to write today. It will be so fun though! We have a ward party on the 19 so that will be fun, and we have lunch with some really cool people the 18. We will stay safe though. Chilean culture and people are really interesting though. Its kind of crazy here hahahaha everything is way relaxed but dramatic at the same time I guess. For example on the main street of our sector there's a bar like literally right next to the elementary school hahahaha. I dunno its just a really different place but it's fun. We had some seriously good weather this week, and most days could see Antuco from the city.
I'm doing really great here and I love you all so much! Keep writing! Have a good 18th ahahaha.
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.