Love your letters so much seriously! Write as much as you want, printing is way way cheap! Also the package came a week ago. It took all the willpower I had to not open it until this morning. I snuck out my sleeping bag and Birkenstocks early, and they are seriously life changing. Wow! Sleeping bag is such a luxury here! Also all the candy is so great wow! I feel super wealthy or something now. Such a good birthday -- more on that later.
First thinks first some bad news that Z. didn’t get baptized boooooo. Her family totally all ganged up on her and she told us she doesn’t want to cause more problems in the family right now. She had a cake for us when we showed up, which is kind of what Chileans do to soften the blow hahahaha. At first we were super bummed, but I think the Spirit testified to us both that we had done our part sufficiently, so we didn’t feel like we messed up or guilty or anything. We pressed forward really well and it took a few days but I’m still really happy for her and everything. I think as missionaries we want everything here and now, but that rarely lines up with the people’s time tables and the Lord’s at the same time. Her testimony is still super strong and I have no doubt shell get baptized eventually. Just hope I’ll get to be there!
This week was really good but a little long. hahaah We worked really hard! We were so exhausted on Saturday and Sunday, but feeling a little better now hahaha. We are just working really hard. It’s awesome. I’m so excited to read your letters. I’m super happy here and loving every moment.
So we taught more lessons this week it was good! We have a few new people that like to meet with us regularly. One family is super good but has a long way to go. They are super super receptive and love us to come over and learn really quickly. M. and P. with a little 9 month old adorable daughter. They are so awesome and super nice! They live super far away kind of in the campo and they are nice enough to drive us home after lessons to help us avoid taking a collectivo which is kind of like a taxi with a route that we use all the time to get around. They are super cool. The problem is that they aren’t married, and that’s a huge problem in Chile. Like I said they have a really long way to go, but we are confident the Lord will work miracles with them. One other problem is that M. plays soccer on a pretty serious team every Sunday which is a bummer and can’t come to church. They are still super awesome -- pray for them maybe! They are super interested in getting closer to God, and are even willing to change a little bit for that hopefully so we are excited for them!
Hey -- where did Ron and Beverly serve here? I’d be really interested to know! Also, Dad some people are asking for a pic of you when you were here, so send me one! I loved the story about Gayla's family -- so cool! Also S’s wedding -- wow that’s so exciting! Also it sounds like Alex and Christian are doing super good so happy for them! I’m sure Chile has just changed so dang much though.
So we were in these people’s house and their two little kids who were like 2 and 3 were just playing with a lighter lighting a bunch of stuff on fire in the house! It was pretty funny, scary, and distracting all at the same time ahhaaha. Chile is crazy. Elder Y. also lit elder P’s towel on fire with the stove we use for heat - it was crazy! It was an accident but it was like totally going up in crazy flames in our room. I’ll send a pic of it. Pretty funny.
So the members in our ward are just so amazing. Probably the best ward in Chile honestly. Everyone is so awesome. Hma D. is especially my hero here she’s so cool! She got baptized here in LA in 1975 Dad, so you might know her! We had a delicious lunch with her, and she shared us her super sweet conversion story, which she said she had never done before with missionaries but did it because she felt we were special. She is so strong and so faithful, and totally understands the concept of doing hard things for the Lord with strength. It was so spiritual in there. It’s funny because this week we ate one lunch with her, one with her daughters family, and one with her grandsons family, all who are super awesome, kind, strong, and serving in super awesome callings in the ward. It was so cool to see that one person’s faith and devotion to the church has had such an impact on all of Chile! All of her kids and grandkids are spread all over Chile serving as stake presidents etc etc. She is totally my hero and gave us exactly what we needed that day. Love that lady.
So my studies have been centered on faith and hope this week, and it has been super awesome! My favorite scripture I’ve read on it is Ether 12:4 (thanks Cassie) which pretty much says that if you believe in God you must also have a firm hope in a better world. I love that so much. It’s a beautiful scripture. I think too often as members we look at the world and view it as condemned or sinning or doomed but in truth we can have hope in a better world because Christ lives today. It’s especially important as a missionary because we are essentially the foot soldiers of bringing to pass that better world. We are the only dispensation that has been promised that our work and missionary work will end with success. How cool is that! Let’s try to have better attitudes about the future. It’s especially important because often as missionaries we say to ourselves "these people will never listen" or that their hearts are hard, but we can’t do that! I think that faith is the biggest thing that separates Nephi from his brothers, and is the root of all miracles in all of the scriptures. We are just trying really hard to maintain our faith until the miracle presents itself to us.
Earlier in the week we went and did some tracting for the Zone leaders in their sector to help them out, kind of a mini attack. Their sector is probably the only one in our zone harder than ours and it was pretty rough hahaha! It made me really grateful for my sector. I really do love it though - I won’t mind staying here for a while longer. I can’t believe my first transfer is already almost over! It went so fast wow!
My birthday was awesome. We got together with the Zone leaders who are our really good friends and cooked a ton of grilled cheeses! Like 30! We ate them together with a bunch of ice cream and it was super fun. The best part of my birthday will totally be reading your letters though!
Love you all so much! Sorry it was kind of a boring week! I’ll have more to report next week. Thank you so much for your prayers and letters and everything! I miss you all a ton!
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.