Ok hey all,
This week went by really really fast. We were really busy so I think that's why and taught a ton of lessons!
Tuesday I went to los Alamos with Elder Loose on an intercambio. I had heard a lot of negative things about that sector for a while but I thought it was pretty cool. The bummer part is that its really like 5 really tiny sectors rolled into one because it pretty much consists of 5 little pueblitos. We had some days of really beautiful weather here and Los Alamos kind of looks like some weird tiny town in northern Utah or something. We found a lot of new people to teach which was exciting too. I think it helped E Loose have a little bit of a more positive experience about his sector and I think it helped them throughout the week because they reported a killer week at the end. I really like training and helping other missionaries and then seeing them grow from it. They all end up having something to teach me too of course so that's always really cool. It was a good day but Elder Loose gave me his cold boo. I'm already better though. Also Los Alamos has a lot of pulgas (fleas) boohoo. It was good though.
In Lebu we started to find a ton of people all of a sudden, And almost all of them are actually interested in the message! It's been kindof miraculous. I think it has to do with a set of changes we made ,but it was really exciting to see. A lot of it has to do with our union as a companionship and attitude changes. Having a good attitude helps us be more receptive to the guidance of the Spirit. Example. We had like an hour to contact and find someone and I told Elder Diaz that we should go up Cerro de la Cruz (Cross hill? hill of the cross I guess). The thing is that its the biggest hill in Lebu and takes like a half hour to get up. We were walking up just kind of meandering and we finally got to this like secret neighborhood on top of the hill and went waaaay to the back amongst a ton of barking dogs and were about to turn back and knocked the last door and found a super nice little family!!! It was really cool! We have taught them like twice now so we will see where that goes. When we got back to the house Elder Diaz told me that the whole hour of looking he was just kind of brooding in his head and complaining about potentially wasting time and climbing the hill etc. and that he was super surprised and humbled when we found that family at the end. We decided that in that moment I was receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost and that maybe he was missing out on that because he was just feeling too grumpy. tI know that shoe's been on the other foot before, so we tried to apply that principle to the both of us this week and we saw a pretty big increase in our results, so that was really cool!
We are also working with a less active member and her two children and that's going well. The younger sister of the two loves to read so we got a Book of Mormon in her hands the first lesson and we are excited to see where she goes with that. Her brother is like 24 and we are teaching him and his girlfriend too so that is promising too. They are all really smart and have a ton of questions so that makes them pretty high priority. They will be in church this week if we die trying. It was funny becasue one day me and Elder Diaz were walking and he passed in his car and gave us a ride which was really nice.
We are also teaching M. still! He has a baptismal date for the 10th so he his making a ton of progress. He is only kind of half committed to it hahaha but we know that as he makes changes in his life and repents that he will feel ready by then and want to do it. It's crazy because at the beginning he wasn't following our message too closely but now he is getting stuff really fast. A lot of it has to do w Hno Florin accompanying us who has been a huge help. They knew each other from the mines a long time ago too. It was super cool this week in the church because we went to go pick him up w Hermano Florin and when we got to the house we were pretty scared because no one answered the door. We called him and he answered and he told us he was already in the church! We were obviously cutting it too close for his taste, so he got a ride down the hill with some acquaintance all alone! it was pretty cool. This time he stayed for the class too so that was good. He is awesome.
We are trying hard to have a better relationship w the members here as I said the last time. We are trying to use the worst hours of the day for tracting to take the time to visit people on the fly and do it in at least kind of an inspired way. Sunday all four of us did a lap and "caroled" to as many members as we had time for so that was a good move too. Tamara Alarcon has proved to be kind of a secret weapon blessing as well because she is a return missionary and has a car so in an hour and a half one night we got a ton done together. We are meeting with a few different single moms so bringing members has been super important. We didn't have a ton of success bringing the new people to church but a lot of times people need two weeks to make that committment so this week will be key for us.
Our zone isn't progressing too well this month but I think they will be getting better this week. We are going to be trying to do lot more intercambios aand maybe not just with the district leaders to try and give the example to the zone better. It's hard sometimes when we are all so spread out. I think a problem we had in the past and that the zone is now facing is that a lot of times when we find new people to teach we judge them on the first visit and don't go back or give them a real good chance. We made the change to not do that at the beginning of this transfer and it has been helping us a ton. We are going to try and help the zone to have the faith to do that too.
I finally met Lorena and Ximena Munoz´s mom Dad! She's getting on in years but is still really spunky and funny and really bright mentally. That was really fun.
We are getting to the end of winter here and slowly rolling into spring and it's starting to get really pretty here in Lebu. August means a lot of rain that stops and starts every hour or so but when it's not raining its really really pretty here. Some of the blossoming trees are starting and the river is rising and the grass is getting really green. Next week is supposed to be a really weird heat wave too so that will be a weird but nice change from the rain.
We went to a really cool forest today and I took a bunch of pics but this computer is really fighting me about uploading pics so they will have to wait to next week and I'll send a bunch of everything. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a child of God these weeks. I think for me that knowledge is the really only true source of confidence for me. I was reading in the Pearl of Grand Price about Moses´s vision about when he saw all the earth and all of God's different creations. He asks God the purpose of all His creations, and God tells him that all of His purposes are to bring about the inmortality and eternal life of man. In other words, all of creation, this world and the cosmos and all the intricate processes and systems and details that exist all were created by God for the purpose of our eternal progression and eventual exaltation. The cool thing was that after reading that today I got to walk through a really pretty part of that creation and think about how important I must be to God, if He had set up all of that beautiful nature for me to walk through, then I thought about how important all of His children must be to Him, and about how in a very miniaturized way, right now God and my purposes are united. Pretty cool stuff.
Ok so this is long but it's been a really good week and I'm loving my mission. I have a lot of things I want to do before I get home and I want to grow in a lot of ways before then too. Loving it here!
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.