Ok hello hello 123 all!
It was a long week but a good one! Mostly looking back I wish we had made more progress in the sector but we are getting there hopefully! It's been kind of rough finding people to teach but it will get better because I know the sister missionaries found like 10 new investigators last week in the same sector.
The week was pretty normal honestly. Started out with a good zone training meeting under our direction. We did our part at the end and it kind of got cut because of the time but the whole thing turned out well I think. We have some good district leaders here and I know each one of them really well and love them a lot so its been so cool to be able to help all of them in their duties. With the changes in our mission that our going on it seems like that is our principal duty now as ZLs is to just help them. The hermana trainers did a great job too. Honestly I think what made the whole thing great was the reverence that all the missionaries had before and during the conference and that was way cool. The spirit was there really strongly and i could tell everyone genuinly wanted to learn a lot and were desperate for help so there was a good spirit there maybe even if we lacked a little in the messages and practices etc. Elder G. gave a great lesson on faith. When everyone finds out I was his trainer they kind of look at me wide eyed and I tell them I had nothing to do with it hahaha I think I mentioned that way back in Puren.
That day we wanted to do exchanges but couldn't because the dls had already planned them with their missionaries. I think the charecteristic that stands out the most to me about this sector like i said last week is the membership. The members just love us so much and its been a huge change from the usual. The lunches are giant and so delicious and the members just spoil us and think we are the coolest thing ever. Honestly its been kind of socially exhausting. Its been hard with our planning to get out of our lunch appointments on time. A lot of great support as far as coming with us to lessons too. We are working on the reference thing though. Step by step. The leadership is awesome too.
There has been a lot of work to do as far as less actives and recent converts go and that's been a good thing and a bad thing. Our ward has a upcomming temple trip planned and that together with a new focus on family history work that Elder Packer gave us a few weeks ago we worked a lot on that and i think we made some serious progress with some of those LA and CRs. We put some serious goals with some to go and even got to help them with Family search etc. There is so much of that work to do here in south america. I like to show off my family tree that literally has no end thanks to grandparents and relatives etc and their efforts and Ifeel obligated to tell them that I never lifted a finger to do it but I think its still cool to show them how big this work can be. Its cool to use Hyrum Smith and Joseph F Smith as examples to show how cool our ancesters can be too. I think I felt the spirit of Elias with us and the spirit of the temple and that was cool. I hope i can make that a constant thing in my mission now.
Bad thing is that I feel like we can use our time better. Like i said the main struggle has been finding. We are kind of puzzled on how to do it because when we do dedicate time to hit doors and talk to people it hasn't gone very well. I think we probably need to use our area book better and the ward lists as well but both things are GIANT and way messy. Its been kind of hard to motivate my comp (and myself) to really committ ourselves to finding when we have so few investigators and so much cool work to do with retention and reactivation but i want to make progress to baptism. I need to be patient too though. Hard balance there. Poor Elder A. didn't see any baptisms the last to transfers he was here and his previous comp finished the mission here so its been kind of a struggle as far as motivation goes but i want to work on it better this week.
I heard that N. from Lagunillas got baptized! Yaaaaay! no pic yet hopefully elder oxborrow will remember to send me some.
I went to Santa Barbara w elder G. from Guatemala and that was fun. Its a really beautiful town in the cordillera and really small and touristy. The work is hard there for that reason but we worked hard and it was a beautiful day. Elder G is really nice and really new in the mission but very level headed and committed to his testimony and purpose. It was cool to meet him and in part made me miss the countryside and in part not miss it at all hhahahaha. I actually got to see some friends from Via O'Higgins who had moved there and that was cool. It had rained earlier in the week so the mountains and volcano were all covered in snow but it was just way pleasent down where we were.
Saturday and Sunday were full of a lot of work. A lot of recommittment on me and e A. part too and I think we will do better this week. The good thing is that we get along great. Our church meetings were about as on spot as they get here and really spiritually uplifting. Lunch with the bishop and his wife was awesome too i felt like i was at home.
The zone is getting better slowly. We are really pushing them to push themselves as far as getting our teaching and obedience better and it has shown in our results. I had a really cool experience Thursday when a district leader felt impressed to tell us to call a sister companionship at night to try and uplift them a little because they were kind of discouraged. The senior comp had just came out of a kind of hard companionship the transfer before and her new comp is a tiny Hermana from the philipines (yes the phillipines) who is really new and hasn't had much success and there in a really hard sector. I called them and shared a scripture and talked a little about how I didn't have much measurable success in the beginning of my mission etc but they told me that just that day they had a crazy miracle breakthrough with a part member family who had accpeted a baptismal date. When he gets baptized he will be the Hermana from the filipenes first baptism in 8 months. It was so special to hear how their faith had been responded with a miracle when sometimes that doesn't happen. It was so refreshing as a leader to feel empathy for someone we're guiding but in a positive way. Honestly I think I'm most greatful for that this week.
This week I thought a lot about faith. Its always been kind of a puzzle for me. I think a lot of it is about positive thinking but also a lot about action. I get confused about it sometimes, especially when you throw hope in there as another principle. I remembered a talk by Elder Bednar about the "faith to not be healed" and i think that applies to our work a lot. Patience as well. I'm just trying really hard to stay focused and worthy enough to be able to be gifted success I guess and trying to work hard enough to deserve it as well. I know we can make it work in this sector too.
Ok I love you all and miss you. I had like 3 dreams i was home which was unfortunate this week hahaha but I', focused don't worry. I hope your all doing great and I'm praying for you!
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.