This week was super good! It was so good to hear from you all and read your letters. I love it! Keep them up! They always answer my prayers too!
Loved hearing about Labor Day! Sounds so fun to just hang out all together! Poor Mal with his foot now. How is he doing? Shish sounds way good its cool that he is all the way off in Santa Cruz now! All the mission calls are super cool too! Give me all of their emails please. Also I can't believe Scott Harrod is going to Ghana -- what a crazy call! What language? Also do my friends read my letters? Also can you send me some of their email addresses from the list so I can email them a little? Crazy that Fletcher is in the field now too so cool! Is Chris Jones in the mtc? Can I have his letters too?
Macy here’s some answers to your q's. There is a ton of dogs and cats here, wild and not. I really don’t like the non-wild dogs though because they’re super mean and gross and bark like crazy at us. The cats are pretty chill though. Church is crazy small! We only have like 80 members who come every week, which is actually really good for Chile! I love them all though they are so great! Ton of crazy kids too and old ladies. Asado is my favorite food here, which is just kind of Chilean bbq. I think they stole it from Argentina though. We eat a lot of soup and a lot of bread hahaha. Also it's good you write a lot in English because the best way to be a good writer is to practice practice practice. It's fun when you get to a point where you can even be expressive in your essays. I’m so glad you love school! Stay that way!
It was awesome to hear about Ron's tip to the car wash guy. hahaha. Its crazy how some super small sacrifices by us can make such a huge difference to people. We should all look more for opportunities to do stuff like that.
This week really turned around from our last ones too! Thanks so much for your prayers in the last weeks I know they helped. It wasn’t like the most amazing week ever, but we got really blessed and found around 5 or 6 good new investigators so we should have a few people to teach in the next few weeks. Most of them are total miracles too. I'll talk about that later too. I totally know our prayers, work, and patience were payed off this week. Plus honestly I’m glad most of my mission has been contacting so far because now I’m really good at it for the time I have here. Plus it's kind of the hardest thing and now it just feels normal hahaha so every lesson we have is a total blessing and miracle. The ward comments pretty often on how hard they can tell we are working, which is cool. Plus after the 18th we are starting to have a super good relationship with them now. They are all awesome, but more on that later.
Thank you so much for my package too! I know it was probably a little pricy but it will be such a blessing to have a sleeping bag hahaha. The candy etc. too. No idea when I'll get it --honestly it's totally random here. I also haven’t gotten bitten by a pulga for 2 weeks now thanks to that spray.
So dad we do have a mission plan but no mission leader in our ward, which is hard. Our ward is super awesome and pretty big for Chile but the problem is there aren't a ton of men, so the most active men are already in leadership positions with the bishop and have their hands totally full. We think we might be getting a new ward mission leader soon but we don’t want to nag our poor bishop who really is super good. We have been inviting members to act on the stake goal right now, which is to invite friends to come to church. We are working on asking for references and people to teach in better ways, and especially by helping the members to be the missionaries, not us. Also dad we aren’t even allowed to take once hahaha or drink mate. It makes it kind of complicated and hard to meet with members sometimes but lunch is always a good opportunity. Our ward is pretty old too. Not a lot of young people at all. Mostly abuelitas who are awesome in their own ways. We also do "rescate" which is like a less active list we work on finding people with.
We really have received a ton of miracles last week, which is super cool. For one Z. will almost for sure get baptized this Saturday! There is still some stuff up in the air but it’s almost for sure. She went to the "campo" this weekend to talk to her parents but right now we aren’t sure how it went so we will know tonight. Please pray for her this week! Pray that she will get baptized the 26th specifically! In the temple too if you go.
The 18th was totally the biggest event this week. Before that we did our "zone attack" and found a few good new people to teach, plus a couple other awesome people the next two days. Not really sure what they’re like yet because we only have taught them once, but we will see this week. Hopefully all good though. This week we will get to teach M. again, and we are super excited for that! I'll let you know a little more about investigators next week.
The 18th is crazy here! Our sector seemed totally empty for like 3 days! Everyone was in the "campo", which pretty much just means out of town or with family etc. The streets were totally empty! The 18th itself was the holiday and our pday, and we spent the morning playing soccer as a zone in the morning with LA South as well, which was fun, but playing against Latinos is pretty humiliating. It was fun to see everyone though. Then me and Elder P. spent pretty much all of our afternoon with the S's here, who are like our favorite family ever. They are a youngish couple with 3 little kids, and are just super nice, cool, fun, and active in the church. We ate asado which was super delicious and just hung out talking about Chile and the US and a ton of other stuff, just laughing our heads off. They are super cool and definitely my favorite people I’ve met in Chile so far. We are kind of secretly praying that Hmo S. will be called as our ward mission leader, but it’s kind of a long shot. He just got released as the stake young mens pres. It was just super fun and relaxing to feel like normal people for once. Felt like home a lot. After them we went to the Galvarino ward party, which is the ward right next to us. There were some nonmembers there and it was our pday so they invited us.
The next day was our ward party, and it was so fun! It was super good to get to know the whole ward better and show them that we are more or less real people hahaha. I think after that they will be more excited to work with us and help us. It was so fun though! I love everyone in our ward! They are all so good natured, kind, and so dang funny! It seems like every Chilean tradition on the 18th is just another way to laugh at each other or to humiliate yourself and the people around you hahaah. We did games like 3 legged races and tug of war, and everyone participates, even moms and old ladies. The bishop totally cheated and pushed me and elder p down during the 3-legged race when we were winning. Pretty much every game ends with people falling on the ground. Another more or less tradition of humiliation is the cueca, which is their national folk dance. Pretty much everyone has to participate, and it ends up being really funny. We didn’t though of course hahaahah. The coolest part was that the ward put together a full on Chilean folk band with two guitars, accordion, singers etc. etc. and played a ton of really cool Chilean folk music and cueca. I really like the music here and want to listen to more of it when I’m home. They fed us so much food it was ridiculous. A ton of pastries and stuff like that too. It was just super fun to know everyone better and joke around. They especially love to tease the missionaries so we were the but of a lot of jokes and games, which was super fun. We figured the more we show that we want to participate, the more comfortable they will be with us etc. We did a super good job at that.
Other than that our week was pretty much summed up by more successful searching, prepping Z., parties and the 18th, and a quiet Sunday where we planned for all of our new people. Pretty chill week. I have a ton of pictures so I may not write a ton more to be able to send them.
The earthquake sounds really bad in the north, but here there was pretty much zero fallout. No one I know felt anything so that’s good.
Today we went to Salta de Laja, which is a super cool waterfall here! Ill send a ton of pics. I also got a haircut so don’t nag me about that after you see my pics hahahaha.
I love you all so much and cant wait to share the experiences I will have at the baptism and teaching a bunch of lessons this week hopefully! Keep writing! Love you all!
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.