Ok so i have little time and a lot to say forgive the quality of this letter!
Ok so this week started out normally enough. We are falling into a pretty good groove and are figuring out how to work harder and in a more effective way. Finding people is kind of hard and stressful still especially with the pressure they put on trainers to set the example but I'm just trying to ignore it and do my best. We actually have stumbled into some cool families and are just trying to connect so that we can have a legit lesson with some of them. It's been crazy with school starting over here. The members here are awesome as always and are always willing to accompany us to lessons when we have them which is awesome.
The coolest thing that's going on right now is definitely T. He kind of timidly committed to a baptismal date and came to church again yesterday which was awesome. If all goes according to plan and we can build up his confidence he should get baptized the last weekend of the transfer on the 26! Pray for him! We really need to connect with his parents but they are very missionary shy but also at the same time very supportive with him coming to church and all that weirdly enough. We are going to talk to all of them tonight with our mamita about seminary this Friday which would be awesome for him. He's just a really good sweet kid and is so willing to learn and complete with what we invite him to do. I really hope we will be able to see him get baptized! His little sister F. is 7 but is awesome too.
Ok so one crazy thing is kind of dominating my memory of this week which was absolutely rediculous. I was on an intercambio in Temuco with Elder who's an awesome friend right now but as we finished lunch he started to feel way sick. He was like way pale and was in the bathroom a ton and just hurt all over and we couldn't figure out what was wrong. We thought it was lunch or something so we stayed in all day becasue he was too weak. He went to bed with a sore stomach and tried to sleep until around 12. Funny thing was that I went to bed at 11 but couldn't sleep for some reason which was weird because missionaries pretty much NEVER have any problem sleeping if they're doing their job right hahahaha. He got up at 12 and said "shoot give me a blessing I'm in so much pain" he was like almost yelling and stuff he was in such excrutiating pain! We thought it was just gas or something and I gave him the blessing and was about to try to go to sleep with him when I felt like something was super wrong (helped that he was almost like yelling hahah). It was weird because the pain was constant and not coming in waves. Also it was coming from just one side oh no. I touched his right side and he like totally yelled. Woke up another missionary in the house for a second opinion and then called the office for help and a few other questions and tests later and we thought it was appendicitis. We had to do some logistics and almost had to go to Concepcion but instead we were able to call a missionary couple in Temuco to take us to a hospital there. We got going and got to the hospital and it was PACKED! We talked to reception and tried to get everything good to go but while communicating through to the office we realized that the email with our insurance proof wasn't getting there which was weird. Then we felt all wrong and we realized we were in THE WRONG HOSPITAL. We were in the public hospital and it wouldn't accept our insurance and they had already taken the Elder in and were going to start checking him out! The office nurse started saying some pretty tough words which was scary but funny looking back hahahaha and we yanked him out of the back in time. Through a miscommunication we had gone to the public hospital and not the nice rich people insurance one hahahah.
We got to the right clinic which was absolutely EMPTY and got everything figured out much easilier and without so many bad vibes. It was a relief when we finally started doing tests etc. I had to stay with him the whole time through everything, including a blood test where he totally fainted hahaha and then a ultrasound and the works. About two hours later with a ton of paperwork etc they hospitalized him for apendicitis and were going to operate on him at 7 in the morning. He actually face timed his parents and then got to his room at 4am. Thing was it wasn't a private room so I had to stay in the waiting area outside. The M. couple left me there to go get a couple hours sleep in their apartment and were set to come back to meet me at 7. I slept on the couches in the waiting area totally alone from 430 to 630. It was a pretty funny sight with me in a full suit and proselyting gear, laying down on a leather couch hahaha trying to sleep. Also btw I was translating EVERYTHING for EVERYONE. It was crazy.
The coolest part of the story, other than the operation going well and everything checking out etc was that when I woke up, I had a blanked on me. It was weird because I didn't go to sleep with one. It was really nice too because it was cold in there! I realized someone must have passed by in the night, seen my kind of pitiful plight and put a blanket on me sneakily. As I came to, I was just kind of overwhelmed by the sweetness of the random act of kindness, in one of the literally only moments I had been totally alone and out of place in my mission. It was just so sweet! I still dont know who did it but I will never forget it! I look back and realize that person had known that I was a missionary and a foreigner to boot, and I'm sure 98% of the missionaries she'd met had bothered her before but she put that blanket on me anyway! I wept I was so tired but so touched at the same time. It was so small and I dont think I'll ever be able to describe how big and meaningful it was for me in that moment. I'm an optimist about people. I believe that they are good at their core. That's a hard ideal to maintain as a missionary, considering we talk primarily with people who are less than happy to see us, but it was such a blessing to see a manifistation of the light of Christ so strong in the people of Chile. I am so grateful for that moment.
Ok that dominated my time but things are great! I have a cold which sucks but it's ok. Elder M. is a huge blessing and is progressing swimmingly. He's awesome. I'll upload pics next week I promise! I love you all tons! Thanks for writing I know you're busy! 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.