Ok this week was a lot better and honestly I have no idea why it was such a dramatic change. We found tons of people for no reason at all and taught a ton of lessons too. It was awesome. I think part of it was that we started to try new ways of finding people like I mentioned last week and the weird part was that we didn't even find our new investigators in those ways but just kind of stumbled into them.
We started with our member plan and it's been working well although we still haven't harvested a bunch of fruits but they will come with time. It's been cool to see how we have been guided to a bunch of members in need right in time. The members here are so numerous and so good too it's awesome. We have seen a lot of service opportunities for them open up to out of nowhere. We have some good references cooking up for sure too. I think the ward is starting to trust us a lot more too as we visit them and it's awesome to do during the less effective hours of the day just for a half hour at a time.
We also started an English class up becasue there is a lot of students living here in this area so we are hoping to see a good turn out with that. We made and put up a good amount of posters too so that has been cool and fun. We will see how it goes!
We did an intercambio with the APs this week which was fun. I worked with Elder Rasmussen in their sector and we had some really cool lessons and a good time. Him and his comp are from my zone too so I try and make the effort to minister to and serve them because I do not covet their job at all and its hard. I think he really appreciated it and I let him know I wasn't just trying to kiss up either hahaha. I hope I could help him there. The next day we did an intercambio with our housemates to meet their investigators and help out with some that werent progressing and that was really fun too. They are teaching some awesome people and I think having a new face in the lessons too helped them start progressing a little more and the two main ones I talked to came to church this week too! It was awesome. It got me really stoked to know that there are such cool people in my sector that we haven't found yet. I really love Elder Cheney and Meiling! Elder Cheney is a very talented singer too as you heard.
It has been getting very very hot here. The good thing is that unlike last summer in LA there is a really good coastal breeze here that is pretty constant. That keeps it very bareable.
We helped a lady make pan amasado (homemade bread) and it was really fun! We had walked by here little stand on the road a bunch of times and said hi but this time we stopped and talked to her and she invited us the next day to do a service project there and help here make the bread! It was really fun! The bummer is that she did like every step of the process kind of by touch and feel after like 40 years of experience so I don't feel like I could replicate the process at all. It was very delicious though. We took pictures but I'm tired of losing all of my pictures by plugging my card in and getting viruses so I'm working on a way around that problem so you will just have to wait sorry.
One cool investigator we have right now is Marta. We had a short lesson with her early on in the week and she said she wanted to come to church without us even really giving her a hard invite. We were like hahaha ya right and then she totally surprised us and showed up Sunday morning! It was so cool! She kind of opened up in the principles of the gospel class and told everyone she really wants to change so I think she is pretty interested! She is a really funny kind of loud old lady but really really smart. I'm excited to teach her.
The other notable person we have been teaching is Kiara. While Elder Oxb. was on intercambio with Elder Meiling they found her and her friend (her dad was there too don't worry) and shared a short message but the funny part was that Kiara and her friend are like freshman in highschool and kind of punk types so I was pretty doubtfull that night when they told me about it and I made fun of them telling them they probably weren't interested in the message and only in their blondness but I totally ate my words the next lesson we had with her her friend and a priest age highschooler from our ward. K. said she was coming to church and she walked like an hour walk to come and showed up for the third hour. She wears kind of dark clothes and has some serious piercings so we were kind of worried that the young women weren't going to recieve her well but we told them she was coming and when she got there they just buzzed right over and sheparded her over to their class hahahaah. She looked pretty overwhelmed and nervouse like "what where are they taking me who are these bubbly people" but by the end she looked like totally a part of the group! It was so cool. I learned that every soul is great in the eyes of God!
I've been thinking a lot this week about what pure intent and a pure heart is. This whole cambia I've been studying how to teach "people not lessons" as it says in Preach My Gospel and it really has changed the way I teach and see the mission. A lot of it is about doing things with sincerity and a true intention to help the people, not just getting them to do what we want them to through indoctrination or argument or whatever. It's been cool because to be able to explain to a stranger how any one of the principles we teach is important to them, we need to first understand why it is important to us and how it has blessed us first. To be able to do that we need to apply that principle to our own lives to have a true testimony of it. Christ explains it by saying that if we try his words the fruits in our lives will be a testimony of their truthfulness. As I've been really really focusing on the people I've been teaching and not what I'm saying I've seen a lot of awesome changes in our lessons. First and formost as the people see why this can bless them the lessons become much more spiritually powerful. The lessons have become more of conversations now too and less of a school class like borefest. I've noticed that people pay more attention to what we say as we listen to them, and tend to understand the message more as we try our best to understand them and their situations. I feel like im a much more effective teacher now as I focus on them and not as much on me. I want to keep studying it and keep practising.
If we do not have pure intentions as missionaries our position has no power. I try my best with every person I talk to to be able to think and talk about how our message can bless them specifically. I think a lot of misisonaries think our job is to prove that we are right or something but the right angle is to really try and change peoples lives for the better. As I focus on that I like my job more and feel more honest. I guess in one word what I'm trying to explain is charity. I need to study charity more.
Ok I'm doing great and loving it here as crazy hot as it is! I dont want this cambio to end in two weeks! Hopefully all stays the same. We had a zone activity today to celebrate Thanksgiving (although I'm not sure you've all already celebrated it or if it comes this week) and had a turkey bowl and ate turkey sandwhiches hahaaha it was fun. I love you all a ton and we will be talking soon for Chrimbus.
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.