Monday, December 25, 2017

Homecoming information

Elder Newkirk will be returning home on Dec 20th at 11:45am at the Reno airport and giving his homecoming talk on December 24th at the Washoe Valley building (11am)

Monday, December 11, 2017

week #102 -- last email from Chile!

oh wow, last email! Como estamos?

Pretty crazy how fast the time has just flown by. I honestly cant believe that this is going to be the last one! Thanks for never missing a week lol!

Well this week that we had was actually really good. We didn´t have all the much success getting people to church this Sunday like we did last week. We only had 1 in church this weekend. We had a lot of other people promise to come to church but just didn´t answer their phone or anything. There were a couple of others that things came up so they couldn´t go to church. Jessica Castillo came to church this week. A youth that is just a little crazy, but shes nice. The thing is, is that this week shes going off to Santiago to live so she wont be here.. Matias also showed up but he showed up really late actually. He came to the classes with a friend of his. Matias is really cool but he is really slow. He has a real hard time learning and doesn´t really pay all that much attention. We did his baptism interview this week but he forgot pretty much everything for the problems that he has. We´re going to see whats up this week and see if were going to baptize him or not, we also have to get permission from President about him. But we´ll see what happens! This week we also found a ton of new investigators that were really really cool. We had 26 news this week and a lot of them are really cool and I feel are going to progress a lot. There is a ton of potential here in the sector now! A lot of good people that we are teaching and that we have found! Definitely sad to leave it! But yeah that was pretty much this week! Just still working hard and helping all those that I can before that I leave the mission field! This week should just go by flying. Tuesday and Wednesday should just be some normal days. Thursday we have a Christmas devotional with all the missionaries from the south of the mission. Friday will probably just be a day of saying bye to a lot of people. Saturday will be like the official last day in my sector and working, hope it will be a baptism day. Then Sunday morning I go traveling to Antofagasta to have the interview. Monday last Pday with President and all the missionaries finishing the mission. Then Tuesday I travel back home! So that should be my week this week! We´ll be seeing ya real soon where we can talk a lot more!

Not gonna lie I dont have a clue what happened with these 2 years. A lot of mixed feeling about everything. Definitely excited to come home and start the game of life, but also a little freaked out because there will be a lot of things to do and worry about as well. I feel like the real mission is just about to begin! But I also dont feel like its going to be such a huge change because I´m going to take the things that I have learned in the mission and the good habits that I´ve developed and just put them into the real life! Just because the mission is finishing doesnt mean that I have to stop being a missionary and helping people out and changing lives! But definitely going to be a change! I honestly dont know what else to say to you guys about the mission. But I am so grateful that I have had these 2 years to be able to serve the Lord here in northern Chile. An experience that has changed my life and the life of others as well. I came here to help all those that I could to come unto Christ, have faith in Him, repent of their sins, and be baptized to be able to reach eternal life. And along the way of helping others I have helped myself. I now understand the importance of the Gospel and how important it is to live it and the importance to share it with others. I think that the thing that I have most seen and learned is how much love that the Lord has for his children and the importance that we have in his plan to bring salvation for everyone. Gods only purpose is bringing his sons and daughters back to his presence and nothing else. He only wants that everyone can make it back. I love the mission so much and for everything that has happened to me in these 2 years. There honestly not enough words to explain everything that is the mission. But I love the mission and Im so grateful that I took the decision to come and serve the Lord. Thank you everyone who was there to support me and was with me every step! Thanks for all the emails, all the love that you guys have shared!

Se que este es la Iglesia de Jesucristo y no hay ningún otro. Se que por medio de un profeta, Jose Smith, la Iglesia pudo ser restaurado. Se que el Libro de Mormón es verdad y es la evidencia de que todo esto es verdad. Se si leemos, meditamos, y oramos que el Señor va a contestar a todos sus hijos. Se que este es su obra y no de ningún otra persona. Estoy agradecido por este oportunidad que he tenido para servirle por estos 2 años. He podido aprender mucho y ahora entendió muchas cosas. Se que este es el único camino que vuelve a la presencia con nuestro Padre Celestial y que también podemos estar con nuestras familias para siempre. Se que si somos obedientes que vamos a recibir muchas bendiciones de Dios y hay que siempre confiar en El en cada momento. Se que el tiene todo poder y El es todo en nuestra vida. El siempre quiere el mejor para sus hijos. Se que si tenemos fe podemos hacer todas las cosas! Se todas estas cosas porque he sentido fuertemente y he tenido muchas experiencias! Se que todo esto es verdad y lo dejo en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Love you guys a ton! See ya real soon!

Elder Newkirk

Pic. Last pic! Had the last zone activity and we played soccer like normal lol!

Monday, December 4, 2017

week #101 - second to last week of missionary service


Well second to last email that I`m going to make to you guys! Real crazy! But this week was actually really good. A real chill week of just solid working! We found quite a few people who were really cool. This week we actually focused a lot more on bring investigators to church which worked out for us. We had 8 investigators in church with a few others who were suppose to come to church but couldnt show up for reasons. We focused a lot on commiting people to come to church. We have like these cards that we used which is like a written promise that we do with the people that they sign to remember to come to church and make a promise to come to church and it worked out really well for us this week! The investigators that we have been teaching has been quite a few. We have a real good stock going on with people that we are teaching and progressing! I`ll just go through all the people that we`ve been teaching and everything. Zenobia is a lady from Bolivia that we contacted a couple weeks ago and have been teaching as well. She came to church this weekend and also has a son who is 8 years old. She is married and is super awesome! She`s really nice. She is from the Adventist church and everything but we have faith that she`ll be getting baptized and also with her son! Also Jannette came to church again. This was her second time coming to church and also really likes church, she also has a couple friends from work in the branch as well which helps out a lot. The only thing about her is that her husband is really lame. He like restrains her from progressing and everything. She wants to do it but to avoid problems with her husband she hasn`t been able to progress a lot. We are actually going to go for it this weekend and baptize her because she is super ready the only problem is her husband Franko... We have also been teaching Matias who is Jocelyns(recent convert) older brother. He also came to church yesterday for the first time. He will get baptized like almost 100% which should be cool! Also this week we found 2 chicks that are super ready as well. Bernarda and Camila are cousins that live pretty much together alone with their kids. We found them this week and started teaching them. From the first lesson they were really really cool and accepted everything really fast and already really like what we teaching and everything about the church. They actually weren`t able to come to church yesterday because their kids got sick but they are really cool and should be getting baptized next Saturday as well. I`m going to just ask President for permission to baptize them with 1 attendance for my last Saturday as a missionary. But they are way cool and have be progressing a ton! Also we have Veronica and her brother who came to church yesterday. Veronica is like 18 but also really cool. She has family who are active members of the church in the south of Chile. So she`ll be progressing as well and get baptized here soon. The only thing is that she is going on vacation with school ending and bring back her family to her house. So when she gets back with her family that are members she`ll definitely go back to church and get baptized as well! We also had another investigator that came to church who was Alejandra but she actually didnt like church like at all because no one like said hi to her and she just felt weird in church so she told us that she didn`t want to come back.. The members are so crucial in missionary work. You have to have the members and also the missionaries working to make things work. You cant just have one or the other working. The both have to work.. But that kinda sucked because she was really cool and excited to come to church but left the church empty and didn`t like it because of the members.. But other than that the work here is going really well and we are having a lot of success right now! There are definitely a lot of blessing and miracles happening here in my last couple weeks! Hopefully a lot of these people that I mentioned should be getting baptized this next Saturday the 16th which is my last day here in Tierra Amarilla and my last day pretty much as a missionary! My last day because Sunday 17th I go traveling in the morning before sacrament meeting to Antofagasta and in the afternoon I have my last interview with President Ferreira. Then Monday is last Pday with all the missionaries finishing the mission and with President where we play soccer and do a couple things during the day and have a dinner with President at night. Then Tuesday we go to the airport to go traveling. Pretty crazy how fast things go flying! This next Sunday is pretty much my last Sunday as a normal missionary.

Well that was pretty much everything this week in one big paragraph haha. But things are going really well just working hard until the end! Hope that you guys have a great week! See ya next week in my last email!! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

Pic with the famous donkey statue in Tierra Amarilla(its really weird)

Tierra Amarilla symbol

Chilean Flag

Monday, November 27, 2017

week #100 -- Dressed in white for the prom!


Hey imma make this email real quick this week. It was a great week! We had 2 baptisms this weekend! Jocelyn and Thabianny got baptized this weekend! Thabianny we thought that she was a member of the church less active who is Jocelyn`s cousin because all of the teaching records and everything from the missionaries said that she was less active. But we found out this week that she isn`t a member! Miracles that the Lord just puts in our path! I was just sitting talking with her when Jocelyn was in her baptism interview and we got to the point where we talked about the church and about baptism and all that good stuff. Well I found out that she got baptized when she was 8 years old, but... she got baptized in the Catholic church with her little brother. I couldn`t believe it lol. The next day we called the mission office to look up her information and everything just to double check and make sure because we were almost 100% that she was a member. But the office couldn`t find anything. So that same day we went and talked with her and explained to her everything and invited here to get baptized with her cousin but at first she didn`t really want to because she said that she`s already gotten baptized and all that but we talked a little bit more and explained the doctrine of Christ and hyped her up to get baptized. She had her baptism interview that same day and got baptized!! Actually Elder Wild came back down during the week to be able to do interviews for the zone again and did my interviews again! But its funny how the Lord works and everything but we definitely recieved blessings this week! So we had 2 baptisms! Also the other Elders from Tierra Amarilla(Elder Gordon and Elder Davis) had 2 baptisms! It was just pure young women. The title of the pic that I`m going to send is "they all choose white for the Prom" hahahaha! Because we all got in white to baptized! But that that`s the success that we had this week! Also had crazy exchanged this week where in the whole zone gets mixed up to work with a new comp. I got to work with one of the zone leaders in their sector which was fun! With Elder Thomas. Other than that just another normal week of working! We actually didn`t have any investigators in church yesterday which sucked. We had quite a few people promise to come to church but the attendance was pretty low as well. The other Elders as well didn`t have anyone in church. It was just a weird Sunday. I had to do a ton yesterday lol. Lets see I baptized, confirmed, gave a long talk about the Book of Mormon because there was only 2 speakers including me, also did a special number with my comp, fransico, matias, and mamitas daughter kimberly, then i had the gospel principles class like usual. So just a jam packed Sunday meeting for me haha. But its all good I like to participate. I`m also like always ready to give a talk about something having to study the gospel every single day. But yeah that was pretty much my week this week!

Also the cut in my head is already better. Friday I got the stitches taken out. It weird part is when the doctor took off the scab that had a couple hairs in it lol. Hurt a little bit and felt weird but we`re all good now. Got a scar when I got the cut but its on top of my head so the hair just covers it which is the good part! Oh I also didn`t have to pay for anything. Here in Chile they have a decent system. Depends on a couple things but they did it for free. Seeing me as a missionary and everything I think they just did it for free. I didn`t have to give like anything just my Chilean ID and that was about it.

Looks like you guys had a good Thanksgiving! Nice and quiet!

Yeah just another normal Pday. We played soccer as a zone, watched Moana and then went to go eat lunch. Now were here writing in a cyber place, then we`ll head off and buy food for the week and then head home to finish the day. Thats just about all that we can do. There isn`t like anything here in Copiapo to do...

Hope that you guys have a great week! Love you guys a ton!! See ya soon!

Elder Newkirk

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

On the crazy exchange day we bought Sushi at night with the boys. The flash was just a little too bright right in front of my face. But its all good I look japanese while eating Sushi.

The best decoration from Chile... Baby in a tree

"They all decided to wear white to Prom" 

Pic with Francisco, Elder Davis, and Elder Riquez

Monday, November 20, 2017

week #99 -- baptism of Priscila

Hey hows it going??

Well my week has been pretty crazy. Good but also lame because I might have cut my head and had to get stitches... We´ll get to that part in just a sec. But the week was good. On Wednesday Elder Wild, who is now the traveling assistant, came to our zone to do interviews for some of the investigators that we are teaching. He interviewed Priscila for us and she got baptized on Saturday! We almost didn´t get permission from her mom but finally we got her permission! Then on Thursday we had a conference with President where he talked with the zone about a couple of things because our zone isn´t doing so great before this weekend we only had 1 baptism in the month as a zone which is really low. But he came and talked with us and talked about a couple things and the spirit of urgency and how we need to look at things half full and not half empty. Then we had interviews with President afterwards. My interview was real quick, he didn´t really tell me all that much only that I have to start thinking about plans after the mission Sunday nights haha. So I´m going to start doing that to make a couple plans for when I get back. And now that I have the flight plan and everything, time is just passing faster and faster everyday... Then afterwards we set up an interview with President with David. President talked with David for a little bit but David won. President told us that he was ready and that he should be getting baptized soon. So we are going to keep working with David but I have faith that he is going to get baptized soon! But then on Friday it was just another good day and while we were working I hit my head on a electric box... We were just talking and walking and I hit my head on a post... I have hit my head a couple times here in Chile because they make everything shorter here and I´m a little too big here. But I hit my head pretty hard and touched my head and there was just a lot of blood.... So we hurried and went to Francisco´s house because we were close, cleaned my head and but some pressure on the cut. Then we called another member who came and picked us up and took us to the hospital where I got a couple stitches in my head... Theres always a first time for everything... But everything has been fine. After that first day everything has pretty much been normal. Just that first day my head was a little sore and hurt lol. But after that things have been fine. A little pain here and there but all good. A little weird to shower and also to do my hair in the morning. Then on Saturday we had a baptism! Priscila got baptized! She chose me to baptize her right after the accident haha but everything when well and she got baptized!! This week we should also have a baptism. Yocelin should get baptized this weekend as well. She has the baptism date for this weekend and she has came to church like 2 times and she has been progressing as well so she should be getting baptized this weekend. I also did a couple interviews for the other Elders here in Tierra Amarilla and she should be baptizing as well so here we should be having a couple of baptisms!

But yeah thats crazy that the flight plan is already here! Now you know exactly when I´m getting home. Its crazy how fast the time has been flying by. I never thought I would get to this point lol. But now I feel like the time is just passing by really slow but when we get to the date I know it will feel like it flew by really fast. But I´m definitely excited as well!

No but we didnt do anything too special for pday today. Just another normal day of just hanging out and going to Copiapo. Right now we´re in Francisco´s house just chilling, I´m using his computer to write. But yeah just another normal day of just hanging out not doing anything too special.. Pdays are kinda boring because there isn´t a ton to do here in Tierra Amarilla or Copiapo. Just go around downtown to see what they have or just hang out with members or whatever. But I only have like 3 more Pdays after this one haha.

Well I hope that you guys have a great week! Have a great Thanksgiving!! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

The only photos that I have from the baptism of this weekend... I didn´t take any photos because I thought that someone was taking pics with the camera of my comp and the person that was suppose to take pics didnt take any pics...... So this is the only one that I got. But Priscilas baptism!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

week #98 -- Press on in the work -- tierra amarilla


This last week actually went by real well. Now that we are baptizing with 2 asistence just to be the test for the mission we have actually been doing well. Here as as zone we have actually been doing a little bad but in our sector we´ve been doing good! As a zone we only have 1 baptism this month. This weekend we have one baptism coming up of Pricila which is going to be good. She has been going to all the activities and has gone to church twice now. She is really cool and has progressed really well! We have also been working with a lot of other people as well to try and get them to come to church. Yesterday we had 5 investigators in church which was cool. A lot of them were new and was the first time that they came to church so hopefully they´ll come next week and want to get baptized as well. We are also still working with David. We are thinking to bring President this week to come and talk to him and hype him up! We´re going to have interviews with President on Thursday so he´ll be around and wants to visit some investigators that have been stuck progressing. So we´re going to try and set something up with him on Thursday to talk with President! We also had like 22 people compromited to come to church on Sunday but actually a lot of them fell and didn´t come through. We even had a couple that we went ourt early and woke up and said that they were going to come but didn´t show up... But we just going to keep working with them and help them come to church and see the importance to come to church. There are always some type of excuse for not coming to church on Sunday... Elia is now working legit 24/7 watching over a old lady... She doesn´t even have time to go to her our house.. Lame... So hopefully some type of miracle can happen this week!

The zone that I´m in is pretty cool. The missionaries here are really cool. I´m with a lot of missionaries from old zones when I was their zone leader. Now being just senior comp its weird not being their zone leader anymore lol. But they are all really cool. There are a lot of missionaries that say that its cool to see me die in the mission and stuff like that. Definitely miss being zone leader as well because there is always stuff to do as a zone leader but now I dont have all that much responsibility. At night now I dont have anything to do. My comp has been teaching me guitar so I know a couple songs now and have been learning lol. But the zone leaders where I´m at are pretty good. Elder Critchfield and Elder Thomas. They are good leaders! I was also in their zone before as well when I was in Antofagasta like a year ago we were in the same zone the 3 of us. Good missionaries!

Looks like there wasnt all that much snow up there lol. That sucks. It´s still really early in the season. But when I get back home there should be some good snow up there! I´m stoked! Should be some fun!

Thats good that you guys had a good church yesterday! We sometimes have to give talks and stuff like that. Every week I have the lesson of Gospel Principles which is fun. I actually like giving that class. But there are still a lot of callings open here. There are actually a lot of members here that dont have callings which should have callings. Its kinda weird. But there isn´t like any priesthood at all. Our branch president is from another sector because there isn´t anyone else that can be branch president. Our attendance is normally like 60-70 depending on the week. That one week when we had 90 asistence was a miracle haha. We didn´t even fit in the church for all that many people. There wasn´t any more chairs so we were in back just standing the whole sacrament meeting lol. All the people that like rotate every other Sunday just showed up that Sunday which was cool. So the church building is a lot smaller than other normal buildings because its only a branch as well. Definitely going to be weird singing hymns again in English. One gets accustomed to singing Spanish hymns all the time. There are quite a few songs where I dont even need to hymn book anymore as well.

Well other than that just working hard to find as many people that I can that the Lord is preparing!! Love you guys a ton and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Newkirk

Pic from this week. I dont have any other pics from this week but we played some soccer today as a zone and had a bbq. It was fun. Got a little burned and now I´m pretty tired but it was a good zone activity! The whole zone isn´t in the pic but those who were there at the end. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

week #97 - Staying in Tierra Amarilla for last transfer

Hola como esta? Como fue su semana? Espero que todo bien!

Mi semana fue buena! Íbamos a tener un bautismo esta semana pero se cayo justo ultimo minuto. La hermana que se iba a bautizar se llama Elia. Todo estaba bien toda la semana. Paso su entrevista, compartimos todos las lecciones y todo. Pero justo el día Viernes ella nos llamo en la noche diciendo que en su trabajo se cambio su turno y que tenìa que trabajar todo el fin de semana. Mas chanta! El trabajo aquí en Chile es mucho. Las personas trabajan caleta! Asì que ella no se bautizo este semana pero esperamos que esta semana se bautiza si es que no trabaja. También estamos trabajando con el David todavía. También tenemos esperanza que el se bautiza pronto. El esta mucho mas abierto ahora y somos buen amigos. El quiere venir a los Estados Unidos y visitarme así que si un Chileno viene a visitarnos no se preocupe le invitè. También ayer en la iglesia tuvimos 4 investigadores nuevos en la capilla que fue bacan. Una mujer joven que se llama Pricila que encontramos esta semana fue a la iglesia con nosotros, ella es bacan y esta progresando rápido. Ella tiene fecha para la próxima semana. Ahora en la zona nosotros tenemos que tener 2 asistencias para poder bautizar así que ahora las personas tiene que asistir 2 veces a la iglesia para que se pueden bautizar. Presidente esta tratando de probar como le va y nuestro zona es la prueba para ver como le va con 2 asistencias. Pero todo esta bien en la obra aquí en Tierra Amarilla. Vamos a seguir trabajando no mas!

Well hopefully you were able to understand a little bit of that. But everything is going well here in the work! We`re still here this transfer with Elder Riquez. So it should be a good final transfer working here with him. Sounds like we`re going to have a good time up there on the mountain! I`m stoked! Probably be going up like everyday lol! 

Well honestly other than that things are going really well. Honestly doesn't even feel like I`m heading into the last transfer. It will probably start hitting me like the last week or something like that but honestly it just feels like normal. Feels like I have little time in the mission, so things feel and are going good. Just going to keep working hard to find all the people that the Lord is preparing for us!

Love you guys a ton! Hope you guys have a great week!!

Elder Newkirk

Halloween! We found Donald Trump here in Chile haha!

There was a Halloween party at mamtias house, they made gravestones for all the Elders lol.

Pic with the zone!