Ok so it was a really busy week here! Went by really fast!
First we started out Tuesday with doing divisions in our sector with the APs and we got a ton done! We visited like all our investigators in one day and had some killer lessons with them so that was really fun. We are seeing some more progress than last week too, and M. and M. came to church this week! M. is reading the Book of Mormon. I love being able to plan and carry out lessons for people we care about according to what indicates the spirit. Our job is really fun.
Wednesday was awesome. We started out the day with a small zone service project in an elderly home washing windows and talking to the old people and it was a great opportunity to get to know the zone better and stay united in a good purpose. Service really does invite the spirit. Only problem was how crazy hot it was (no fires yet). Right after that the whole zone got together in the stake center for the world-wide training which was just totally awesome. It's crazy how the spirit prepares us for the messages that are given by guiding us to study and ponder the same topics months before they are mentioned by the First Presidency and quorum of the twelve. It was awesome. I especially loved how it kind of followed suit with what Elder Holland's last talk in general conference was about, or not letting regulations and rules and the letter of the law getting in the way of doing what Christ would do and helping people anyway we can. They talked a lot about how no effort or good deed is wasted even if the people don't end up getting baptized. A lot of it was about faith too, and how we often skip that step as missionaries which keeps a lot of our investigators from really being able to progress. Of course the schedule changes and more p-day etc. was awesome too.
Thursday we had a kind of badly timed intercambio with La Marina. I worked there in San Pedro with Elder Batista from the Dominican Republic who is like a character from a movie or something becuase he is so happy and excited etc. It was really fun. I seriously don't think he stopped smiling the entire 24 hours I was with him, even when all of Chile started to burn hahahaah.
Honestly, our mission was barely affected by the fires, even though it was too smokey to work that much in our zone on Friday. The main hassle was members and investigators telling rumors to missionaries like how the Chilean army was going to come and wipe out all the Mapuche (native tribes) in the middle of Conce and absolutely crazy apocolypse stuff like that. They would call us and ask if it was true and we had no idea hahahah but with a little investigation pretty much all those rumors were debunked. When we got back to the house in san pedro one missionary had literally filled every container that could hold water because he had heard that they were going to cut the water for like a week or something to put out the fires so he had like literally every cup, big and small, filled to the brim sitting on the floor of the house hahahaha.
It is pretty tragic though. I felt pretty used to it all with the usual California fires we would have and honestly there hasn't been as much smoke as those fires in elementry school. It's a great lesson in ecology too because most of the forests that are burning are ones that had already been destroyed by foresting companies and "replanted" in cooky cutter lines of pine trees that are literally later used as fire wood for houses so all of this was pretty likely to happen at some point according to my environmental science knowledge. Still pretty sad though. I feel like as missionaries we were pretty overprepared for earthquakes but had no idea that fires were a risk too.
Saturday was a normal day again with a little smoke and Sunday was good too how I mentioned with some people in church. We did a zone attack in San Pedro on Sunday and it was really inspiring to see how awesome the missionaries in our zone are at work. Seriously all of them will become such better missionaries than I will ever be hahaha the next generation here in our mission is really good. I know part of it is from the new stuff we have been trying as far as leadership and accountability as a zone too. A month ago we had like 3 baptismal dates as a zone of 26 people and now we have more than four times that amount so it's been really gratifying to see the improvement we have been working towards here for more than 4 months now. I think it has been a sustainable growth too. It's crazy how much the success missionaries have depends on how they live the gospel and how happy they are.
One really cool thing I've been thinking a lot about has to do with a talk from Elder Holland that Macy sent me actually. He talks a lot about how Christ's mission in part was to emulate the Father perfectly to show us how He is and to be able to know Him by knowing Christ. That is why they are referred to as "one" while they really are two different beings. The cool thing I discovered as well is that we know Christ by knowing His Spirit, and by knowing Christ we know the Father. It has a ton to do with our job as missionaries and makes sense to why we are called "representatives of Jesus Christ", becuase our principal job is to mostly be worthy vessels of HIs Spirit. Therefore the idea is that as people come to know us, they come to know the Spirit, and therefore Christ and the Father in that order. It's evident that as people (missionaries members and investigators) comprehend and take seriously this principle and feel the truth of it, way more progress in the work of salvation is made. We have a really cool job that you can really only have as a missionary or as an apostle..
Ok I'm doing great and love you all and hope you are all doing great!
Love 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.