Wednesday, July 19, 2017

week #81 - working hard in Calama

Hey! My week was pretty good! I´ve actually been having a lot of fun here with Elder Torrico and the house that we are living in! I feel different here like I´m enjoying everything a lot more. We are still working really hard and finding a lot of people to teach and to baptize as well. Haven´t had a baptism in a while actually but we are working hard to be able to find someone who is ready. This week if everything works out well we should be having one baptism this week. We had a new investigator come to church this Sunday who is super motivated to keep learning and stuff like that. Her name is Ingrid, she is really cool and has been reading a lot and has been really interested. So if everything goes well then she should get baptized this week! We were actually going to have 2 more this week but they weren´t able to go to church. They are the people in the photo that I´m sending this week. I was with Elder Shelton who is the assistant to President who came to Calama for a day to be able to work with the missionaries as us as well. We went there so that he could do the baptism interview for them. They passed the interview and everything was good to go. Its the mom with her 10 year old kid. Her name is Marisol and his name is David. We passed by Saturday night as well and everything was good to go to bring them to church this Sunday but Sunday morning someone went and robbed her dad´s house so they were over there in the morning. Stupid Satan, wish I could use a stronger word... They were super ready and everything but we´ll have to wait until the next week. We´re just going to keep visiting them this week and helping them so that they can go to church this Sunday.

The only difficulties that we are having right now not just here but in all the mission is bring people to church. You guys got any tips or tricks to get people to church?  How´d you guys get me to go to church as a kid? haha

Sounds like Hailey had a great time at girls camp! You too dad with your cute fingernails painted!

Hopefully that you´ll be able to find a job soon! Definitely in my prayers everyday! Just have to keep looking and keep going with faith! I´ve actually been reading a book that we got permission to read that´s called drawing on the powers of heaven by grant von harrison and I have learned a ton about faith and how to call on the powers of heaven in our lives. As a missionary and not as a missionary as well. I would definitely recommend it! 

Hopefully you guys have a good time in Utah this week! Say hi to everyone there! 

Well other than that my week was just pretty chill of just working and getting to know my sector. My comp this Tuesday went off to Tocopilla which is part of our zone but 3 hours away. So he went there all day long to be able to help out the missionaries there with interviews and stuff like that. So I was in the sector all day with a recent convert who is super awesome who always leaves out with us. So I had to be in my sector not knowing it at all. I had just had a map and a list of some names of people to visit. It was a day of talking to a lot of people in the street and getting to know the sector. It went really well actually and found a lot new people to start to teach. Other than that it was pretty chill getting to know more members and some part families. 

I´ve also been learning how to play the ukelele. My comp has one. It´s a lot of fun. Thinking about buying one now as well lol! I´ve been learning a ton here in this sector and also the ukelele.

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

Elder Newkirk

Monday, July 10, 2017

week #80 -- new zone - Working hard to find new investigators


This week has been pretty good! It´s been a little different working with Elder Torrico because he is a lot more relaxed and likes to have more fun. Him and Elder Lozano are a complete change but it has actually been really good. There is a reason why I got put with Elder Torrico here in Calama because I feel like we´ll be able to learn a lot from each other! Elder Torrico is pretty close to finishing the mission. He goes home in September. There´s a chance that I might kill him, when I mean kill him it means to be his last comp when he finishes the mission.

This week we didn´t have any baptisms because Andres didn´t pass his baptism interview. He´s a youth, he´s 15. He is a little different and has a lot of personal problems but we´re going to keep working with him a little bit to help him to change the things that he needs to and to help him out. We were going to have 2 baptisms this week of a couple people that we found just talking with people, knocking doors, and looking at the old investigators but the both of them didn´t go to church this Sunday so we´ll have to try to get them to church this Sunday so that they can get baptized next week! One of them is a girl whos name is Diyanaira(good luck pronouncing that), shes 17 from Santa Cruz Bolivia. We knocked on her door because missionaries have passed by her house to talk with the parents but we found her and started to teach her! She is really cool and believes a lot in God and knows a lot of stuff. She has had a lot of questions for us and I definitely see her as a future missionary but she didn´t go to church because she had to baby sit and few kids Sunday morning....😭 We also found another person that is really ready for baptism also. She was an old investigator but we passed by and told us that she has been waiting for us to come back because she wants to go to church and get baptized! She remembers almost everything that the missionaries taught in the past so we sent her to the baptism interview(which she passed) and everything was ready to go to be able to go to church on Sunday. But my comp went and passed by with a member to go pick her up and she just recently woke up so my comp went to go pick up a couple more people and when he went back for her she was leaving her house with her kids in some truck....... So that was kinda lame... But we´ll see whats up this week so that hopefully she can go to church and be able to get baptized the next week as well!

We have also been working with a lot of people who are part family members. We work a lot with the members here in this ward. Elder Torrico likes to work a lot with the members and visit them and stuff but it´s actually good because I need to learn how to work more with members as well and gain their confidence. So it´s been good working with Elder Torrico, only sometimes he gives a little bit of juice. But I´ve been getting to know a couple of the members here in the new ward! We have like an attendence of like 110-120 people. Our ward is the Stake building. The church here is huge!! It´s a really cool church, its real different from the other churches! I´ll have to try and take a pic of it this week! But yeah the members here are really nice and pretty cool! There are also a lot of members that are pretty rich as well. Calama is just a pure mining town pretty much so a lot of the people here have money. There are parts that are ghetto like every city but our ward is pretty rich. We also eat lunch with the members everyday which is nice as well! So we dont have a mamita, only a mamita that washes our clothes like normal.

Yeah Calama is the coldest part of all of the mission during winter. It gets really really cold at night and in the mornings. But the weird thing is that it gets pretty hot during the day... It is also really really dry here. My hands have been pretty dry and I´ve gotten a couple nose bleeds. It is a literal desert. But thanks Grandma Newkirk for the jacket that you bought me before the mission! I thought I would never have to use it but I have been using it here every night! I´ve also been getting some sun... I always forget to put on sunscreen because I´m normally running out of the house when we leave so I normally forget sunscreen, that´s why I´ve been getting burned.. Also the sun is really strong here as well also in Alto Hospicio the sun was pretty strong.

Here in the zone as well everythings has been going great! The missionaries here work hard and are doing really well. The numbers this week have been good almost everyone reached the standards of the mission this week which is 14 lessiones with member, 10 new investigatores, 6 baptism dates, and 6 investigatores in church. The only thing that we´re missing is more people in church and also more baptisms. We have the goal this month to be able to have 34 baptisms in the zone but we only have 3 as of now.. This weekend we should be having at least 8 baptisms and after this week we still have 2 weeks to go this month of July! So we´re just going to keep working hard with the zone and also keep baptizing!!

Looks like you guys have been able to keep busy as well this week! Looks like you had a great 4th of July! We made a cake in our house for the 4th of July! Living with 2 other gringos has actually been a lot of fun! I´m living with Elder Clark and Elder Kirk, but I´m the Newkirk lol. They´re really great and a lot of fun to have in the house!  I actually knew the both of them when I was in Antofagasta.

Well hope that you guys have a great week! Have fun at girls camp Hailey! Good luck with the job as well! You guys are always in my prayers!! Love ya a ton!!

Elder Newkirk

Pics:Heres the cake we made for 4th of July

An activity that we did in the Stake this weekend. It was "Mini MTC", Elder Torrico and I were teachers for being the Zone Leaders and then after the classes the youth came out with the missionaries in the street to contact with the youth. It was a fun activity and was a good turn out!

We played soccer, had a bbq, and watched a movie as a zone today for Pday! So heres a pic of the zone!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

week #79 -- new area - Calama as Zone leader

Hola! Happy 4th of July!!!

Well here I am here in Calama! I got transferred here as zone leader with Elder Torrico from Argentina! All my mission I´ve been with just pure latinos! But yeah everything is going good so far here. Calama is just a pure desert and with a really high elevation. During the day it is pretty warm outside but when it gets to like 6 o clock it starts to get really cold here. But hey there aren´t fleas to bite me here!! I still haven´t been able to work too much in my sector yet but we´re just going to keep working hard to be able to baptize here in Calama as well! This week we might have a baptism here in Calama. His name is Andres, he´s a little special and has problems with depression but he´s been going to church here and his mom is a ex missionary but we will be working with him this week so that he can get baptized because he feels like he isn´t ready and doesn´t feel like it´s his time but we´re going to teach him this week and help him feel ready for this Saturday!

It was a good time in Alto Hospicio though! I will definitely miss it a ton there! It was seriously a promised land and I had a real good time working there! Wish I could still be there in Hospicio! But the Lord wants me to be here in Calama during But just going to keep working hard. This last weekend we didn´t have any baptisms in Alto Hospicio but I left a lot of good investigators for the next missionary that´s going to take my place! But it was a good goodbye with the people there in Hospicio.

There has been a ton of trips this last week. Last week we went to Antofagasta to go to leadership council where we found out the transfers! But the council was good we talked a lot about leadership and also about the importance to be able to reach our goals and to have high key indicators like new investigators, lesson with member, baptism dates, and people in church. If we have high numbers in these 4 then we will be able to baptize si o si! Then we stayed in Antofagasta to be with the Asistents and to leave out with them and work in their sector. We left out with Elder Shelton who is one of the Asistents to President right now! He´s a great missionary and works hard! Then we came back home at like 11:30 and got to Iquique a like 5 am... So that was a little tiring. Then I had the trip to Calama which was 6 hours but everything's good and we are back at it in my new sector!

Hope that you guys have a great 4th of July! Hope that everything works out with your job as well! Well I dont have a ton of time because I´m going to send quite a few photos that I took this week! Love you guys a ton!!

Elder Newkirk


Monday, June 26, 2017

week #78 Baptism of Ana and Jhan


Was a good week! We had baptisms! TA! Ana and Jhan got baptized this week! Juan Ibacache´s wife and son! We have been working with them for a little bit now, like 3 months but finally almost all the family are members of the church! Now it´s just the other daughter that lives with them that isn´t a member. Her name is Tamara and we´ve shared a little bit with her but she doesn´t really care all that much but we´re going to keep working with her so that she can get baptized as well! More about baptisms we might have one more coming up this week! We have a girl that went to church this Sunday. My comp found her during the week and invited her to church and also to baptism. She´s nice and has a chance of getting baptized this week. Her name is Nelva. She is 15 and has a baby that just was born like 2 weeks ago. Pretty crazy but she´s nice and is receptive. She lives with her family in the tomas. Part of our sector is just like a city of tomas, there are still parts of the tomas that I have never heard of or know about. But there a lot of people that live there with some sad stories but they are usually nice people. Well you get all types of people in the tomas lol... But yeah she has the possability of getting baptized this week! This also might be my last week here in Alto Hospicio.. We are in week 6 of this transfer and there is a good chance that I´m gone this transfer to another zone or something! But we´ll see what happenes next week if there are any changes or not. We actually have to go to Antofagasta this week to go to leadership council this Thursday and I´ll pretty sure they´ll tell us our cambio there in the council. So that should be my week coming up!

Other than that this week was good. Just a normal week of just working and sharing the gospel with everyone that we come across! Also our converts have been progressing a ton! There are a lot of them that have been receiving callings in the branch and have been progressing a ton! Thanks to the members as well! The members here have been working pretty hard to help out the converts to stay and progress! Actually one of our converts Sebastian Flores has been real excited to leave out with us to visit people. He has been calling us like everyday this week asking us if he could go out with us and visit people. He´s 19 and in his last year of high school, he has actually told us that he would like to be a missionary as well! So we´ll see what happens but it would be pretty cool if he left out on a mission! He´s only been a member for like 2 months now.

Also this week I had an comp exchange with a new Elder, Elder Jibaja from Peru. He is in his first transfer in the mission field! He is super awesome and with all the fire to talk with everyone about baptism! I went over to his sector to work with him and to do some interviews for a couple of their investigators that got baptized this weekend! Also had to go to another sector that same day to try and help out with another baptism in another sector but didn´t work out as well lol. It was actually an investigator that I have known for quite a while now. I actually knew her in Antofagasta when I District Leader. It was a girl that lived here in Alto Hospicio but she was visiting family in Antofagasta for summer vacation like 6 months ago. In Antofagasta the sister missionaries were teaching her and she was on the edge of getting baptized in Antofagasta. I did her baptism interview in Antofa but her mom didn´t give her permission because she wanted her to get baptized in Alto Hospicio. Well she still hasn´t gotten baptized but I went and visited her this week and talked a little bit with her. I invited her to get baptized Sunday after church because the missionaries were preparing a baptism service after church and she actually accepted and I did another interview with her and everything. The missionaries passed by her baptism clothes the next day and everything was good. But then she didn´t go to church..... She´s real lazy seems like lol. In Antofa she was like always going to church and mutual and everything but since she´s been here in Alto Hospicio she still hasn´t gone to church. It´s weird how the people change and how lazy they are as well lol. But definitely interesting situation knowing someone from another sector in the mission like 6 months ago and returning to see them again and stuff.. Oh her name is MariaJose just in case... But yeah that´s what happened there. Here in Chile it´s hard to get people to go to church. Idk why it´s so hard for people to go to church but that´s the hardest part that we have is bring people to church. We even leave out with a member super early every Sunday morning in a car to go and wake people up and bring them to church.... No Church No Baptism!

No there are always dogs in the street. There are good dogs and there are bad dogs. But every where in Chile they have just dogs everywhere. There are more dogs than there are people. And there is more poop then there are dogs lol😂 But everythings good. My pants are in a wearable shape now lol. I have no clue what kind of dog it was because there are all types of dogs here and so many types of mixes. But yeah we were just passing by a street to go and visit an investigator and the dog just started barking at us with a group of other dogs and when we passed by and were knocking on the house the dog came up and bit my leg.... Always got to look out lol.

No I didn´t by the East Carolina jersey.. lol. Why would I buy that thing. Just thought it was funny to find that jersey in Chile ya know.

Hopefully everything works out in the place that you want to work! Would be pretty cool to work at Blizzard!! Hope that everything works out for ya there! But the Lord will put you where you need to be, also where I need to return home to as well lol!

Well that was about it for this week! The mission is the best! Lot´s of ups and downs and the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life, but it is definitely the best!! Just going to get out there and give it all this week like normal!! Love you guys a ton!! Hope you have a great week as well!

Elder Newkirk

Pics: Baptism of Ana and Jhan!!!

We played soccer today for P-day! Also played a little 1 on 1 with Elder Ambao from the Philippines. He´s like the only other one in the zone that actually plays basketball! but it was definitely fun to play a little ball as well today!! Been a long time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

week #77 -- More work in the vineyard of the Lord -- bitten by a dog!

Hey Happy Father´s Day!! Hope that you had a great father´s day yesterday! Looks like you guys had a good time!

This week was actually a pretty good week! Busy of just companion exchanges again! We have been working a lot more closer with the missionaries in our zone to be able to help them out a little bit more and help them work as well! Our zone is actually really awesome and mostly all the missionaries work really well! So there isn´t a ton of problems but we still have been working a lot with them to be able to raise their expectives and faith. In the Zone right now we have a total of 13 baptisms and this weekend coming up we should be having 7 baptisms in the zone! So we should get to 20 baptisms this month! In the mission right now we have 94 baptisms with 64 baptisms for this weekend! So if everything goes well this weekend then we should reach 157 which should break the records here in Chile for the most baptisms in one month!!! So pray that everything goes well this weekend! We´ll be putting all our trust and faith in the Lord this week in his vineyard! We should also be having 2 baptisms this weekend as well! Ana and Gian are finally getting baptized! It´s Juan Ibacache´s wife and kid that finally went to church this Sunday and are going to get baptized!

But yeah this week I had companion exchanges with Elder Barney on Tuesday. Elder Barney is a really good missionary. Definitely think that he will be a zone leader pretty soon because there are 6 zone leaders going home this transfer so I think that he will have a good chance of being a zone leader be we´ll see where the Lord calls him. But definitely a good day with him on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday I had another exchange with Elder Wheelwright again. He is also a really good missionary! Had a good day with him as well but actually a crazy day as well. So first thing that happened that day is that a dog bit my leg....😬 Ripped my pant open and everything... Didn´t really do any damage or anything to my leg but did rip my pant open... I was able to fix my pants a little bit but I think that the sister that washes our clothes will be able to fix it for me lol.. But don´t worry everything good. Also that same day in the night we had to go down to a part of our sector that is pretty dangerous at night. Usually it´s pretty chill but it´s dangerous because it´s dark and there wasn´t like anyone else around. So we were going down and being that we are on top of a mountain and it´s winter time we normally get some pretty wicked fog and sometimes can see a lot. And just when we got to this part of the sector the fog hit really hard and we passed by a dude that asked us what time it was then started to follow us in the dark and fog. So right when we got to the corner of the street we turned the corner and just started to run.... Well nothing happened but it was a little sketch... But yeah that was my day with Elder Wheelwright. We were actually talking a little bit about snowboarding and stuff like that because he skied a ton and was just about to get sponsored before the mission but then he left out on the mish. Definitely excited to get home right in time for the snowboarding season! Then on Thursday I had a exchange with Elder Dominguez in his sector. This is his first transfer in the mission and the first time in his sector alone having to direct it. Was an interesting day but it was good as well! Welp other than that this week just working as normal and finding new people to teach and baptize!

Sounds like the job hunt is still going strong! Hopefully everything will work out!

Looks like I´m going to have 2 pairs of shoes.... Whoops. Today we were walking around outside of Sofri which sells like a ton of stuff from outside like stuff from the States as well and I found a really nice pair of running shoes in my size for like 40 bucks! They were super cheap because like no one buys that size of shoe here in Chile so they dropped the price of the shoes a ton and they only had a couple pairs of shoes but they were super cheap and I couldn´t hold myself from buying them... So yeah I bought them lol. But I can´t believe that I´m already going to be 20 in a couple months! Time just flies by!

Other than that this should be another busy week! A lot of stuff like normal that we have to do this week! Love ya guys a ton! Have a great week!

Elder Newkirk

Pic: So when we went out buying today we found a jersey from "East Carolina" hahaha😂

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

week #76 -- Conference week with Elder Christensen and Elder Bragg


Well this week went by real fast! Tuesday we were in conference all day long. Pretty tiring! But it was a really good conference! Elder Christensen and Elder Bragg from the seventy were here and talked to us about a couple things. Honestly they talked about a whole lot of things and what we were doing as a mission and that we just need to keep it up. We talked about how we need to work as a team and that every sector has to baptize every month! That is the goal of the mission right now is that every sector can baptize and if we do that then we should be having a lot of baptisms in the mission as a whole. Let´s go break some records! But yeah other than that they talked about a ton of stuff also they talked a little bit about after the mission and things that we should always do and stuff like that. It was a pretty good conference! But it was definitely a long day! Then on Wednesday I had comp exchange and I went to Pozo Almonte with Elder Schmid to do a couple interviews for a few people. Then on Thursday I went on another exchange to La Pampa with Elder Wheelwright(long distant family member lol). But yeah it was pretty cool the comp exchanges! As zone leaders we always try to do exchanges to help missionaries out and to also do interviews for their investigators so pretty much the first day that I was able to actually work in my sector this week was Friday.

Also our baptism fell through this week. I really don´t know what´s up with Ana and Gian but they show a lot of interest but they never like do anything. Juan Ibacache couldn´t go to church this Sunday so when he doesn´t go then the whole family doesn´t go to church which is kinda lame. We are pretty much just waiting until Gian goes to church then they will get baptized because they both want do but Gian hasn´t gone to church yet... So hopefully that could be a baptism for next week! But this week coming up we might have a baptism. It isn´t 100% but it´s a possability. We need to talk a little bit more with the family. It´s actually a family of less active members, well the mom and dad. Then their daughters aren´t members but the mom and the daughters came to church this Sunday so they might get baptized this weekend if everything goes well! But we have actually found a lot of really good people this week that want to get baptized but still haven´t gone to church yet but they´re really good!

Still haven´t been able to get running shoes. I didn´t go down to Iquique today because we had a zone activity today. We played some soccer and we actually got permission to watch Moana!! We got permission because we had 22 baptisms in the zone last month so President let us watch Moana!! It was actually a really good movie, I liked it a lot! Then from there, there wasn´t a ton of time, went and got lunch and bought some things for the week and that´s about it! So I wasn´t able to go down to Iquique to look for shoes. I actually think it might be better if you guys just send me some for my b-day!

That´s cool that you were able to get grandpa´s stuff to do in the temple for him. If you want to wait for me you can!

Sounds like you have a couple leads for a job! Hope that everything works out for you! The Lord will put ya where he wants ya! Hope you´ll land a job ASAP! Will be praying for ya don´t worry!

Really sad about the news with Blair... Also will be praying for the family.. But God has a plan and he is definitely in a better place!

Other than that just a pretty chill week of just conferences and in comp exchanges! Not of ton of time to work in my sector this week but this week just gonna go out there and slay my sector! Get out there and baptized all Alto Hospicio! A tsunami is going to pass by! Hope you guys have a great week as well! Love you a ton!

Elder Newkirk

Pic with Elder Bragg and a pic of the whole conference with all the missionaries that were able to go. Only the zone leaders and the missionareis in Antofagasta were able to be present in person, the rest of the mission watched it from Skype. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

week #75 - more bautismo!


I have literally no time to write! Sorry!!! I was in Iquique like all day looking for some good running shoes in my size but I couldn´t find any... Kinda lame! Wasn´t a huge selection! Like the only place that people told us that should have some was closed.... So I think I´ll try next week to go and buy some... So that´s pretty much why I don´t have like any time to write....

Well my week was great!! The Peñaranda Arqueros family got baptized!!!! It was pretty much a miracle that they got baptized! They almost didn´t get baptized this week.... Right before they were about to leave their house to go to the church they got in a fight and Jonathan got mad and went upstairs and told the family to get baptized without him.... But we were sitting in the church waiting for them to show up because they should have gotten there 20 mins before the baptism but they still didn´t show up and weren´t answering the phone. So me and my comp felt like we should have gone to their house. So we went there and animated them and everything and brought them to the church and they got baptized! It was really awesome!! We should also have baptism for this Sunday afternoon after church as well!!! Going on week 5 of baptizing! We are pretty much just out of stock right now... Got to find a lot more people this week!

Tomorrow we will be in Antofagasta for conferences. Elder Christensen and Elder Bragg will be there tomorrow! Only the zone leaders and the missionaries in Antofagasta get to go to the conference so I am definitely blessed! All the other missionaries have to watch it for skype! After the conference with Elder Christensen we have our leadership council so I will be all day in conferences! Should be pretty crazy and I´ll get home Wednesday like at 5 am........

That´s too bad about the job... Will definitely be praying for you guys!!! Hope that everything turns out! Just leave it all up to the Lord!!

Sorry I´m literally out of time! I´ve got to go get out there and work in the Lord´s vineyard!! Love you a ton!! I´ll write a lot more next week!! Sorry!!

Elder Newkirk

Pics: Baptism of the Peñaranda Arqueros family!!!