Hey everyone! I read your letters from last week and am writing addressing those. hahaha! That’s probably going to have to be how it is from now on due to time limitations. I don’t have time to read and write everything in one hour so I have to print out your emails and read them in the week and then respond the next p day. They are usually Mondays btw but I guess here they are kind of flexible about changing them randomly based on needs so if I’m late one week don’t panic.
So I love all your letters so much! Don’t cut them down based on time needs either. It’s awesome to hear everything about everyone and I love stories about Chile Dad.
Also I’m not in Mulchen hahahaha. That’s how Chilean rumors start. From what I’ve heard from other missionaries, Mulchen is awesome and a total gold mine, so I would love to serve there eventually. I can’t wait to hear what Dad has to say about LA though. Back then it was two missionaries and now it’s two whole zones!!!!
So about my sector a little. It's really, really small, and kind of a wealthy-ish suburb. The ward is awesome, and we are trying really hard to get some references from them. The bummer is that our ward mission leader ironically is like super inactive. My comp was here last transfer and tried to contact him because he had never met him! This whole week was pretty much just crazy contacting. Every day for hours and hours. Usually we only have 1-2 lessons, sometimes three. We knock a lot of doors. The sad thing is that we made 197 contacts this week and pretty much found 0 new investigators. We aren’t really sure why, so this week we are going to try some other methods of finding people to teach. We really only have 2 good investigators right now, but they are way good. More about them later. Most of the people here are either old or rich or just kind of rude haha. Trying to love them all though. I’ve been able to do that I think despite the constant rejection. Pretty much everyone here knows us. I feel like I’ve already knocked every door here in a week and a half and I’ll probably be here for 16 more weeks! We are trying to just have faith and patience and continue on. I do like our sector a lot though.
My Spanish is good! I surprise pretty much everyone, which is funny. Most people say their trainings were way hard and long because they can’t speak Spanish but mine feels like it’s flying by, partly because my comp is awesome! I lucked out bigtime with him. I honestly feel super blessed to know this language this well. El Espiritu Santo y Don de Lenguas, no mas as they say in Chile hahaha.
It’s cold here but we actually had some super random warm days here strangely enough. Yesterday was my first day of rain, which is a miracle, and my clothes and equipment are super awesome! I’ve had no problems with rain or cold. I love all my gear! The only bummer is that I got eaten alive by pulgas or fleas here the last few days but apparently some sisters picked up my packages in Conce and are going to bring them tomorrow so that permetherin will totally save me. I have a new definition and understanding of the fiery darts of the devil hahahaha.
I can’t believe Macy is starting high school wow! So fun. She is way lucky she’s all on upper campus too she doesn’t have to climb the hill. Also I loved mythology hahahaha sorry you didn’t like it.
Ok so Z. is our kind of eternal investigator I mentioned last week but we made huge progress this week, or rather she did hahaha. She totally committed to talking to her parents the dieciocho, the 18th of September, a big holiday here. She is so converted and understands everything so well. We shared the story of Esther thanks to Dad’s email reminding me, and we compared her issue to how Esther was afraid to talk to the king, but could do it with the help of the fasts of her friends. We all fasted this week that she would have the strength to do it. She is definitely going to be baptized soon and will be my first baptism! I feel like I didn’t do much of the work but am so excited anyway!
M. is the only other person we are teaching right now, and the only really good investigator we have found since I’ve been here. She’s awesome! She is kind of a slow learner but has such a strong testimony of Christ already. She is totally already converted to him, and is in the process of converting to the Gospel as well. We have totally seen so many miracles in her come to pass. She surprises us with her faith and desire to change every lesson. She even said she was excited to read the book of Mormon and to go to church! That never happens!!! We have really high hopes for her. She is so sweet, but a little shy. The sisters of the ward were so good to her her first Sunday! They all greeted her and hugged her like a long lost friend! Broke my heart! This week we are going to try to build her faith and conversion really strong before we talk to her about all the commandments.
I met someone that knows dad really well! Hma O. F.! She said she did all the laundry of all the missionaries around LA while dad was here! She totally remembers him and I’m sure dad remembers her too! Her two children are J. and J., and she thought dad would remember them too. She was totally sweet, way funny, and a little gossipy to boot hahaha. She cooked a dang good lunch too. She said a ton of good stuff about dad. She said when I spoke in front of the ward last Sunday she felt like she knew me already, and said my Spanish was perfect which is just straight up flattery. Still pretty nice though and way cool experience. I ate in the same dang room with the same family as dad did! How cool is that! She says she was 36 back then if that helps.
The prayers of the people here break my hear in the best possible way. From the new investigators to the oldest members, all of their prayers are so sweet, humble, tender, and personal. The leave me with wet eyes almost every time. Hma O. prayed that angels would accompany us every step, and when M. prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, the spirit just flooded into the room. I love the people here so much. They are already so close to my heart.
Probably the coolest experience that happened this week was just such a tender mercy. It may sound dumb but it meant so much to me. This family we had been teaching and working really hard for dropped us for pretty much no reason. We were actually less sad than you would think, because we had done our job of inviting and couldn’t do any more for them. Still it was sad, and we said a prayer outside of their house as a companionship that maybe one day they would come back. We were walking kind of discouragedly and Elder P. and I went into a little store because Elder P. wanted to by this little hostess treat thing called a tortasso. I wasn’t going to buy anything and said so when the cashier lady asked, but she gave us 2 on the house with a smile. I’m not sure if she could tell if we were sad or what, but I swear it was such a miracle to me at that moment and still is. I just felt so loved by the Lord, as if through her He was telling us we did our job, and worked a miracle through that lady to show his love a little bit. We thanked her really graciously and walked out the store, and I just felt overwhelmed by the love of the Lord. I could have sat down right there and cried it was so special to me. It is little miracles and mercies like that that happen so frequently on the mission.
The work is hard but so fulfilling and so fun. I love you all so much, and thank you so much for your letters and your love. I love it here, and both can’t wait to see you all again and am dreading the end of my mission at the same time. Can’t wait to read your letters! Thank you for your examples and your love.
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.