Ok it was a good week here, but felt really long for some reason I'll try and sum it up!
First we started out with another half pday when I wrote you last, so it ended up just feeling like 3 weeks without any pday which was really long but today was a really nice rest. Tuesday we had another leadership council in Conce which was fun to see some cool old friends like always. I feel like those meetings are kind of always the same thing at this point but it was still really spiritually edifying. We mostly just wanted to rush home to get to some of our lessons but it was a good day.
Later we had interviews with President May! Well before that on the same day we went and surprised some of the Elders and helped them clean their house because it was like rediculously disgusting and we had found out from going on exchanges there etc. It was seriously a nightmare in there and I literally through away like 20 bags of trash from a tiny apartment. It's crazy how that by the end I could already feel the spirit more in the house when it was only like halfway cleaner. The elders there were a mix of embarrassed, repentant, and grateful but honestly I didnt feel bad because we had told them to clean that house like 10 times and they did it so we just went over there and did it with them.
After that we had interviews which was cool. After we went to lunch with them and got some good sandwhiches and that was fun to get to know them better and stuff like that.
It's been getting super super hot right now which is a new challenge. Lots of sunscreen. The bummer is that the ozone is so dissappeared here and the days are so long right now that the sun can burn you up until like 9 at night which is wacky. There is usually a nice wind too at night and I sure am glad I'm not in Los Angeles or some other inland place right now. There's some really good icecream they make in Coronel that's famous and definitely the best I've had in Chile and it's cheap too so that's been fun.
I'm getting better at cooking! There was this guy on a bus selling a cool like hindu veggie cookbook for really cheap a while ago and I bought it for like $2 and its come in handy because I'm so sick of meat and potatoes right now. I made some cool stuff this week but the best and most price effective one was a delicious veggie lentil soup. I'm learning! Mom you were always right about soups being good.
We had quite a few lessons this week but quite a few fell through as well. We are teaching a lot of people like I've mentioned but its seems like all of them lack a little bit of faith in Christ to get really progressing well so we are working on that. I think this week we will be teaching about the atonement a lot to help with that.
M. and M. are good but need some more time. I think to get more committed to really start investigating and think about the idea of baptism. Ca. and D. are awesome and came to church woooo! only problem is kind of the same thing, that they need to grow their faith a little more. It was fast and testimony meeting too which is kind of a weird impression usually first but we will follow up with them and see how they felt. They are very studious but sometimes don't really apply what they learn to themselves, or do it in kind of a selective hearing way that is kind of common here in Chile. We have a super good fellowship for them though that is a family that lives really close and both the mom and the son are return missionaries and not shy at all to invite.
A. is finally progressing more too now! I've mentioned that he was just really confused and finally one day we were teaching him and we decided we had to just clear up the Jehova's Witness stuff he had been reading once and for all and we kind of hit him with a scripture bomb (which we like almost NEVER do) and he was kind of mindblown and really believed us! It was a nice change from just really stubborn people sometimes. He really has true desires to learn but we are working on changing those desires to action desires. He did come to church and was kind of mindblown by the whole thing because I think he was just expecting some hole in the wall non denominational thing and our church is kind of bigger than that hahahah. We will see how he is tommorrow too but I think we will be able to put a baptismal date soon.
M. is doing great and R. found a job which is cool! It's like semi-permanent but still a really awesome blessing. Only problem is that she works nights so is kind of hard to find now but it will work out. M. is just very Mormon now all of a sudden it's really funny. Shes awesome.
One kind of hard to explain but big thing happened this week too. So up unto this point in our mission we had been doing this kind of controlling daily verification with our missionaries by calling every companionship every night and asking for a set type of information about their work etc to encourage "accountability" but I had been studying it a lot and realized that it was kind of counterproductive because the missionaries ended up being more accountable to their leaders than to God and for a lot of other reasons too. It was noone's fault that we worked in that way as leadership up until now, I think it was just a weird idea some APs had like 2 years ago or something that got treated as a rule and doctrine when according to PMG it didn't really have any written basis. I have a pretty good relationship w the current APs and asked them why we gave accounts and verified in the way we did and they pretty much confirmed it to me by saying it was just tradition like I thought. I told them that we should try and do it how it says in PMG in our zone of San Pedro first to test the difference out, and they and Pres May gave us the go ahead and also asked us to give a presentation of all of what we found out about how a zone and mission should actually run as far as accountability and verification and leadership etc for the next leadership council, so that was unexpected! It was cool to see that just from a good study of PmG and some revelation me and Elder O. could make such a large but productive change in how the entire mission runs. The week was filled with a lot of talk and study about accountability and leadership and I think we reached a really good conclusion and long story short we will be working a LOT more like a team now in this zone, and in the mission too in like a month.
Other than that I studied a lot about the light of Christ this week. There are a lot of super cool scriptures about it if you look it up in the bible dictionary and index etc. A great topic to study. The cool thing I learned is that as one obeys the light of Christ in themselves (or their natural inclination to do good), that light (or inclination or concience or however you want to call it) grows and, according to doctrine and covenants, will eventually lead them to the restored gospel (or in other words us as missionaries or other members etc). When that happens they will be able to choose to accept the gospel and recieve even more blessings, a stronger guide in the gift of the Holy Ghost, and just a lot more holiness and godliness in general as they do it. It just is so amazing to me how perfect God's plan is for us, and that how as anyone strives to do good they will always be led back to Him. I love how Christ is called the "light of the world". I am learning a ton about what it means to follow "His light" or "the light" and how good one feels as they do it. There is no blessing greater than feeling how He can light one's heart.
Ok I love you all and I'm doing great here!!! Congrats Taylor and Brynna WOOOOO! I hope you are all doing great! Talk to you next week and thanks for the letters!
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.