Monday, February 29, 2016

week #9 baptism

Yup, everything´s still going good! That´s awesome that Hailey took 1st place and won a bid to go to Summit! Great job! But it sounds like it was a lot of fun! And speaking of jackets I bought one today at the Nike store in the mall with some of the money that Grandpa/Grandma Oldroyd gave me. It is a Chile Fútbol jacket and it´s pretty sweet.

This week has been productive, it´s just hard to work when people aren´t there for times you set up with them or just lie and not do things that they say. We invite so many investigators to church and a lot of them say yes. Out of all the people we invited only one showed up which makes things hard. And it also makes it hard when a lot of the members don´t help a lot. We had a meeting this week with every leader of the ward but only the ward mission leader showed up. I love the members in our ward and they are all really strong but it seems sometimes like they just don´t care. But don´t get me wrong I absolutely love the ward and the members! One big thing that I have learned on my mission is the members play a huge role in missionary work. Sometimes members don´t see it but member are the key to missionary work. Apostoles have also said, that members should be the ones finding and the missionaries are the ones who teach.

The only interesting thing that happened to me this week was my first intercambio, or when you change companions and sectors for the day. We do intercambios with the district leader and his companion. I went up to the district leaders sector and worked with him for 24 hours and his companion changed places with me and worked in my sector with Elder Villegas. But during this intercambio, with Elder Jensen (who is from Canada and is a great Elder), we were walking in the worst street of the sector. There was a guy who stopped us who was completely gone. He had a bucket full of pig blood as well, he was trying to get us to go with him to see him kill another pig. It was pretty crazy. He was also trying to speak English with us which was pretty funny. I get a ton of people trying to speak English with me, but the only thing that they know how to say is "Hello, how are you?" I have also taught some people things if they ask me haha. We also have another intercambio but this time it is with the zone leaders. It is our turn to do intercambios with the zone leaders. Intercambios happen every last week of the month with the district and the zone leaders do a rotation with everyone every month. But pdays are usually just going out and buying things or going and playing sports or going and checking things out around Antofagasta or sleeping. Like today we recieved our money for the month of March so we went to centro to get out money then went to the mall and then the store. Then after that we went home and had like an hour before we left to email which is what I´m doing right now. So honestly pday is whatever you and your companion want to do, like we could leave early and go on a hike with other missionaries or do whatever. 

There are dogs here everywhere. On every single street there are some dogs. I feel bad for some of the dogs, Calvin definitely has it lucky. And it definitely makes me miss having Calvin. But people just buy puppies and when they grow up they put their dog out on the street and repeat. There are some dogs that have a ton of fleas and stuff and there are also some mean dogs. Not a lot of mean dogs but there are a couple.
I haven´t really seen any fleas, expect for on the dogs, but I know that there are some and my companion told me that the fleas are terrible in the winter time. But as far as spiders goes and other bugs they aren´t that bad. The only promient bug around are flies. There are soooooo many flies everywhere. The spiders here also aren´t that big or anything, but last night we actually had a pretty big one on the wall. But nothing really bigger than what there is in the States.

Spanish wise I feel like I´m getting a little more every single day. Still don´t understand a lot, I´ve been told that it takes about a month and a half to start understanding the concepts of what people are saying. It also depends a lot on who is talking. There some people who I can understand more than others. There are also some people who just sound like they are mumbling. My goal is to be good in Spanish in about 6 months, be able to understand what everyone says and be able to express myself how I want. I have heard a lot that it takes about 6 months to actually start feeling comfortable with Spanish and everything. It also depends on who is learning it too. So I guess I´ll find out when I acutally feel comfortable with Spanish. But for now still don´t understand a lot and don´t talk a whole lot.

Study is always great. I have been learning a lot from reading the Book of Mormon with one question. Through reading a lot of my answers have been about having faith. Always having the faith that everything will work out if we give all that we can give. As long as our lives are in harmony with the gospel and we are keeping the commandments God will help us. I also just started reading Jesus the Christ and it is such an amazing book. I´m only like 20 pages into it but it is soo great. If you want to learn more about Jesus Christ and a lot more I would read this book. Also another cool thing this week that happened last Wednesday is that we had the opportunity to listen to Elder Bednar. He talked with all the missionaries in the south of the South America. So Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. He talked to a total of 6000 missionaries, which is 8% of all the missionaries in the world. He talked a lot about faith and having the faith that everything will come with time. One thing that he said that I really liked was that the Lord hastens his work we don´t, so if we are doing all that we can and nothing is working out not to put our heads down. I have learned so much from being a missionary and my testimony has grown so much.

Yeah we had the Baptism this Saturday. It was a baptism of an 11 year old who my companion taught before I showed up. She was baptised by her Grandpa and now we get to reteach the lessons to her after the baptism which should be good! I´ll send some pictures of the baptism and everything. One crazy thing, a miracle, that happened is that the other ward had a baptism before us at 3 and our baptism was at 6. They told us that they would keep the water in the baptisimal font for us so we wouldn´t have to worry about it. So we showed up at 5:30 to set up things and what not and there wasn´t any water in the font. Normally it takes about 2-2 1/2 hours to fill the font. It was filled and ready to go in an hour. Was pretty crazy for us but everything worked out!

Still haven´t gotten your package yet, I expect to get it next Tuesday. So how mail works here is that we recieve mail every second Tuesday of the month. The zone leaders on Thursday of the first week go and get mail for us and when we have meetings with the zone, which is every second Tuesday, they give us the mail. This is how it works in Antofagasta, I don´t know how it works with other areas of the mission but I know that it works like this here in Antofagasta. I´ll figure out if it the same in other areas as well and let you know next week. But that´s how it works here!

Love you guys a lot!

Elder Newkirk

Elder Newkirk and his companion Elder Villegas 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week #8 -- 2 months into the mission!

Well it´s buenos tardes for me right now, we usually email from 5-7ish and remember I´m 5 hours ahead of you guys haha. But this weeks been good, mission life definitely isn´t easy but its been good. The baptism actually didn´t happen this Saturday because the family couldn´t do it. But this next Saturday it is 100% happening and should be good.

I´m definitely learning and understanding more and more everyday. But I still am having a hard time understanding the Chileans. Especially the ones who don´t pronouce anything and it sounds like they are just mumbling. But I do understand more and more everyday. It´s funny, sometimes I will get compliments on my Spanish and sometimes people won´t even understand what I am saying. My companion speaks a little bit of English but not too much. But he definitely knows some English. Even though he knows a little English it is all Spanish all the time right now. What he usually did with his last companions is for one or two hours a day speak English so that he can learn more English. The Latino missionaries are encouraged to learn some English on their mission so we´ll probably start doing that soon. 

The people down here are really accepting of everything but they never keep their commitments. That is the one thing that every missionary here has is their investigators keeping their commitments. But God has given everyone their agency to do what they want. As long as I do my job by teaching and inviting the rest is up to them to follow through and actually look for an answer from God. I can´t transfer what I know to be true to others, they have to learn and recieve an answer from God themselves.

It is definitely interesting not having a ton of people at church like I´m used to. But we don´t have to prepare lessons or anything which is nice. There are teachers and whatnot still. I wish I could play the piano or something, it would definitely help keep us in tune and on the right speed. Another thing about Latinos is that they sing really fast and have a hard time staying on the right speed.

Yeah our mamita is a member of our ward and everything. The mamitas have to be a member of the church. The food sometimes changes but it is a lot of chicken, rice, etc.. It isn´t terrible but it definitely isn´t the best things that I have eatten, just a little bland. Sorry I probably won´t be coming home with a lot of recipies of any delicious things.

That´s awful what happened to Grandma. That picture doesn´t look to great. Hopefully she will be good to still go to Portland with you guys. I will definitely be praying for her and hoping that she gets better. 

One thing that you can tell Brother Cluff and the Young Men´s that I forgot to mention while in the CCM. But I wore the sunflower tie one day and I can´t tell you how many compliments that I got on my tie that day. I have never gotten so many people complimenting a tie. It was pretty funny because it was meant to be a funny/ugly tie but turns out it´s not.

Honestly there isn´t a lot of time to do a lot on pdays. They go by really fast and there really isn´t a ton of time to do stuff, but there are stuff to do. There are some hikes that we can go on that we plan on doing one pday. There is centro where there are a ton of shops and a mall and whatnot that I still want to go check out which we will probably do when we recieve more money in 2 weeks. But there is definitely stuff to do. I don´t know if I have mentioned this or not but there is a rule that we aren´t allowed to play soccer at all. Reason being is because there have been a few missionaries that have broken their legs playing and had to be sent home so the mission president put a rule. Everyone is hoping though once we recieve the new mission president that we´ll be able to play again. But we are allowed to play volleyball and non-competitive basketball, but there really isn´t a lot of time to do a lot. We´re also not allowed to go down to the beach during summer because you know temptations, but any other time of the year when there aren´t people there we are allowed. 

So how laundry works down here as well is that the mamitas do the laundry haha. So we really don´t have to do too much! There is usually one mamita for cooking and one mamita for laundry but our mamita does both. But yeah the mamitas do all the cleaning and the ironing and everything. We just give her our dirty clothes every Saturdays and Tuesdays to our mamita, which is really nice that there are muliple days of laundry.

The weather down here is pretty hot. But we do get to wear our short sleeves everyday, kinda wishing that I got some more short sleeves. We only have to wear our suits to important meeting with the mission president and on Sundays during church which is nice. But it is always hot down here but my companion was saying that during winter that it can get pretty cold so I guess I´ll find out when winter rolls around.

Scripture wise I am in 2 Nephi reading the Book of Mormon with just one question. The question that I´m reading with is how can I become a better missionary and lose myself in the work. I have been learning a lot with just one question in mind while reading. The one thing that pops up all the time in the scriptures so far is keeping the commandments of the Lord. Blessings always come after you have kept the commandments and after a trial of your faith. Not a lot of cool stories right now because I hardly understand any Chilean right now. But one thing that happened to me and my companion this week is while we were walking a guy stopped us. He was telling us how Joseph Smith wasn´t a prophet of God and showed us a scripture from the Bible and stuff. We just stood there and when he was done talking we just shook his hand and left. My companion actually knows a lot about other religion and has scriptures to tear apart every other religion from the Bible. He doesn´t bring his Bible anywhere so he won´t bible bash with anyone. It´s really funny, in his Bible he has notes of a ton of different scriptures for a ton of different religions. I honestly don´t know what my favorite scripture is, there are a lot of good ones that I love but I don´t know which one is my favorite. I really like D&C 84:88 and I guess you could you use that one for the plaque but I honestly don´t know. 

I love you guys a lot and think about you often!

Elder Newkirk

Just some dog on the streets of Antofagasta

Gets to watch these sunsets over the ocean every day!! How cool!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week #7

Well everything´s going good. Starting to get used to everything after being here for a few more days. The Spanish here is pretty crazy but I understand more and learn more every single day. But one of the members of the ward said that I spoke Spanish really well and understood a lot more than another missionary she knew that had 3 months, so I´ve got that going for me. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I´ll be better and actually understand what they are saying. 

My companion is great, he is an amazing missionary. The trainers are always the best of the best of the missionaries. He has been helping a lot and been giving me a lot of opportunites to improve in Spanish. I´ve have been able to get 2 people with a baptism date on the 12 of March. But the thing about the people in Chile is that they never keep their commitments and usually are never ready by the date you set. Like for this Saturday we have 5 people with a date for Saturday. But only one will be ready for that date. So we´ll see what happens.

The flight was pretty good. Didn´t sleep a whole lot and there was a little jet lag but everything´s good now. Yeah I made a purchase at Cinnabon in the Santiago airport, but I actually didn´t have any luggage fees which was nice. I was able to bring two suitcases of 50 pounds. But yeah an over night flight is not all that fun.

Living conditions are alright, different but it´s good. So how feeding works in this sector is actually really nice. We have a mamita who cooks us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We live above here and just go down grab food and go back up to our house. The breakfasts and dinners are pretty small. Just bread and something called Echo, which is pretty much coffee. It smells and everything like coffee but instead of coffee beans it is made from wheat so we can drink it. But I have to drink it with a lot of sugar in it haha. And for lunch we have sooooo much food. My first time having lunch we had the first plate then my companion said you ready for the next plate? It was pretty funny but for lunch they always have two plates of food. And if you don´t eat every single thing off your plate they think that you didn´t like it. So it´s definitely a little different. But on the weekends we get meals from the members, so far from this last weekend the members cook a lot better and feed us really good, but there hasn´t been anything that I havn´t liked. All the food here has been pretty good just a little bland.

With transfers here no one knows. There have been missionaries that have only stayed in an area for one transfer period or in an area for like 7 months. It is all just called from the mission president and wherever the Lord wants us at that time. So it all just depends but aparently it is usually longer.

I actually really enjoy the 7:30-11:30 shift. We are out at 10 usually till 12 in the morning. Then head home and do companion study, eat lunch, and then language study. Then after that we are out of the house again around 4 and out till around 10. We go and meeting with whoever. Members, less active, investigators, or whatever. We usually don´t just go knocking on random peoples houses, either references or people who we know live there. But how it works here is that you knock on their gate and yell out "¡Halo!". Most of the time people don´t come out and there have been times where we have seen people and they just don´t come. I have even had someone yell out "Ninguna persona aquí", which is "No one´s here." It´s pretty crazy but it is a lot of fun.

Still haven´t gotten the package yet. Probably will take longer than you expected but I will let you know when I get it.

I was able to meet a lot of the members yesterday. There were 62 people who attended sacrament meeting. We had 5 of our investigators there as well which was cool. There really aren´t a lot of people. We had like 5 people in Elder´s quorm including me and my companion. And then there is the Bishop and one councelor. We don´t even have someone who can play the piano... It´s quite different but all the members are great! And the baptism is this next Saturday!

I love you guys all so much!

Elder Newkirk
Elder Newkirk, Elder Wild, Elder Jennings at the CCM

Leaving the CCM for Chile

Elder Newkirk and his district/trainers

Elder Newkirk and his district/trainers

Elder Newkirk and his companion Elder Villegas

Where the studying happens

Bathroom area --- not sure why the pop bottles? Need to find that out! haha

Apt area

Elder Newkirk and his new Avenger sheets!  :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Week #6 update from Jordan and his arrival

Hola! Well I made it safe to Antofagasta and am in my first area with my first companion. His name is Elder Villegas and he is from Ecuador so hopefully I´ll learn Spanish fast. My first area is here is in Antofagasta in the north part. So far everythings going good, took a crazy bus ride to our area. Just got out to the field like and hour ago but the Spanish here so far is pretty hard. It´s really hard to understand. But they have a baptism next Saturday which will be really cool, but apparently they don´t get a lot of baptisms here in this area. Hopefully I´ll be able to learn the Spanish fast and be able to do something. The plane ride here was really nice, they had tv´s in front of every chair with a ton of new movies, music, and games. Was kinda hard not to watch anything haha. But someone was watching The Martian right in front of me. I arrived here yesterday at like 11 and then went to the mission home. We stayed in the mission home for the night and today is when we got our trainers and went out to the field. The mission home is really nice and good there. But so far everything is pretty different and will get some getting used to but everythings is going good and I´m safe. Hope everything is going well for you guys back at home. I´ll probably be in this area for a good while. You don´t really move around areas a lot, because of how big the mission is, so I should be here for a good 3-6 months. The homesickness is starting to set in a little because of how different everything is, but I just need to get used to it and learn the Spanish. Just have to power through with faith. My P-days are on Monday just like every other missionary so I´ll be able to email you guys again on Monday, I´ll send some pictures on Monday as well. Also it is true that my schedule is from 7:30-11:30 which is pretty cool. I love you guys so much and miss you guys!

Elder Newkirk

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Arrival to the Chile Antofagasta Mission!!

¡¡Saludos de Chile!!
 We are pleased to inform you of the safe arrival of Elder Jordan Jason Newkirk in the Chile Antofagasta Mission. We are thrilled to have Elder Newkirk serving here with us.  It was a pleasure to greet him at the airport today and spend some time getting to know him. He’s great! We truly look forward to serving with him, he is a wonderful missionary.
 Thank you for the sacrifices you are making and the support you are giving him while he serves. We know he will appreciate the support he receives from home and you will be blessed for having a missionary in the field.
We have also attached photos of Elder Newkirk taken in front of our signature Antofagasta landmark, La Portada, with the city of Antofagasta in the background.
The Lord is hastening the Work of Salvation and this is an amazing time to be a missionary.  Elder Newkirk is needed here and we are so grateful he has chosen to serve a mission.  We will care for him as if he were our own.
 With much love,
President & Sister Dalton
Chile Antofagasta Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Week #5 Leaving in 4 days to Chile!

Yeah Esteban is the best and I'll definitely miss him.

Yeah I got the care package last week. It was orange crush and the Pringles. I also got a huge package from Grandma/pa Newkirk. I'm set for the rest of the time here in the CCM, which is only 4 more days. Some people receive some things, but I definitely get more than others. Thank you everyone who sent me a package I really appreciate it.

The Book of Mormon is easily my favorite book. I finished reading it last Sunday and I always learn so much from reading it. I can't wait to start reading it again with a question in my mind the whole time while reading it. I have learned so much while here at the CCM. One devotional that we listened to in our class that was like 30 minutes long was called Why 1820 by Hyrum Smith. He gave a devotional to why the Church was restored in 1820 and how perfectly the timing was for everything to happen. I thought I knew why 1820 but after watching this devotional I learned so much more and I would recommend watching it when you have 30 minutes. Another devotional we heard this week was from the President of the CCM President Tenorio. He talked about specific prayers and how we can make prayer super specific and ask for things to the tee. He shared a lot of different experiences he had about using specific prayers and some of the stories were really cool. 

Now for some funny things that I learned this week in the scriptures. In Helaman 10:16-17, Nephi receives the ability to pretty much teleport. In Alma 31:36, Alma just starts high fiving people and giving them the Spirit. And one last thing is in 2 Kings 2:23-25. This is just some crazy story in the Bible that we were all laughing at. There is so many crazy things that just happen everywhere in the scriptures.

So I received my flight information and I do leave on the 8th. Our flight leaves at 7:30pm to Santiago. We get into Santiago at about 6:30am with the time change. Then from Santiago we have a flight at 9:30 to go to Antofagasta. Then we arrive in Antofagasta at 11:30. So there is going to be some crazy jet lag after. I honestly have no clue how they do it when I get to Antofagasta but I guess I'll find out when I get there. All I know is that we fly in with everyone. We fly to Santiago with all the missionaries going to Chile. So there is a good 20-25 of us on the flight to Santiago. Then from Santiago we all split up into what mission we are going to. There are 9 of us going to Antofagasta and leaving on Monday and I get to be the travel leader for the missionaries going to Antofagasta. So pretty much just make sure everyone gets to Antofagasta. But it should be a lot of fun and I can't wait to leave. Another thing about leaving is that right after I leave Elder Oaks is coming to the CCM that Sunday which is such a bummer. It would have been really cool to learn from an Apostle of God and I wish he was coming this Sunday instead.

Well next time you'll hear from me is in Chile. I'm not sure if I'll be able to call you or not I haven't heard anything about being able to. Love you guys a lot! 

Elder Newkirk

 Also here is a picture of all of me and my companions JuMex bottles. JuMex is a really good drink here and I'm in love with them.
This is the gym here at the CCM