Monday, March 7, 2016

Week #10 singing solo "Happy birthday" in English (funny story inside)

This week went really well. We have appointments almost every day. Sometimes we don´t, but most of the days we are able to teach. We actually found a lot of people who want to listen to the Gospel which is great. One thing that is really hard for people is going to Church on Sunday´s. Our church starts at 3pm which is different from pretty much the rest of the wards in this mission. Usually Church here starts at 10am, but our ward starts at 3pm. A lot of people work on Sunday´s, a lot. There are a lot of people who are ready to be baptized and progress in the Church but they can´t go to Church. To be baptized there are 3 requirements, have the desire and testimony, get taught all the lessons, and go to Church 3 times. A lot of people have the first two requirements but the last one is the hardest for people. 

Spiritual experiences happen every single day that I notice. Another thing that Elder Bednar promised us in this conference, to the missionaries, is that we have the ability as missionaries to see small miracles that not even members would be even able to see. And I have definitely been able to see these small miracles, they are everywhere. One thing that happened this week is that I might have the opportunity the end of this month to be able to baptize, but we´ll see. I´ll talk more about this if I feel like the baptism will happen haha. But honesly not much has happened that has been super significant or anything that I can remember being significant this week. Sorry I need to be more spiritual in my emails and share more things that I have learned. I´ll try to make it better next week.

I´ve emailed Trenton a little bit, not too much but I have been able to read his blogs. Sounds like he is having a completely different experience than I am haha. But sounds like he is doing really well and having a great time in his mission. And yeah, I have been able to see the posts that you post to the blog! Thanks!

So as far as meetings go, we have a district meeting every Tuesday. There are only 4 of us in our district. Me, Elder Villegas, Elder Abraham, and Elder Jennings(the district leader). And on the second Tuesday of the month we have a meeting with the zone. And every 3 months there is the big zone conference with President Dalton. The conference is this month. He travels to all the areas of the mission to give this conference. All the missionaries in the area go to this and it just depends who is all the the area. Elder Wild and Elder Jennings are both in my area and I have been able to see them once. We all met in the same chapel for the conference with Elder Bednar so I do get to have the opportunity to see them every once in a while.

Everythings going good with Elder Villegas, we get a long really well he is a great companion/trainer.

Fast and testimony meeting was great, I don´t think there was a time of silence. Sacrament meeting had about 51 people in it and was pretty good. This was the last weekend of the summer for most people. A majority of the kids went back to school today so hopefully next week we will have more people since everyone will be in school and at home. 

Haha yeah I kind of know a lot that has been happening in the NBA. There is a recent convert who got baptized like a month and a half ago who is way into basketball as well. He is a fan of Golden State and shows me standings and scores every once in a while. He also showed me some highlights of the Warriors beating the Thunder twice this last week...... Also showed me some of the dunks from the dunk contest this year. Holy Cow some of the dunks were insane. But he is 18 years old and has a ton of tattoos and what not but he is awesome. Oh his name is Sebastian, but we actually played a little basketball with him today and I think we are planning to get our haircut by him today for free. He wants to own his own haircut salon but he does ours for free so we´ll see how good he is...

So I live towards the north of Antofagasta. our sector is street Humachuco(don´t know how to spell it) until Heros of the Concepcion. But I don´t remember the other 2 streets that our sector goes to. A lot of dirt and every house has a gate. Feet are holding up, a lot of walking every day. We walk to everywhere in our sector, but if we want to leave our sector on our Pdays we take the bus or a taxi. The bus is a lot cheaper but a lot slower. So it just depends on how much time and money we have. Shoes are holding up as well, let´s just hope they last the next 2 years, but we´ll see. I honestly don´t think that they will. Probably around a year or so. But everythings going fine right now.

Well you guys have fun in Florida in April. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun and that you guys will have a lot to be able to do. 

But yeah the pig blood story is pretty funny. No we were just walking in the streets, and this street is aparently known for the drugs and is just a bad street. But we were walking and he stopped us to talk and he was completely out of it. He was not in this world. He actually came up to us later in the day and asked us the same questions. He completely forgot our old conversation and just remembers the guys in white shirts and ties. It´s funny how an outfit completely changes who you are. If we are walking with normal clothes on and saying hi to people they usually just look at us or keep going. But when we wear our "church" clothes they repond and say hi and everything. 

Another thing that happened to me last night which was pretty funny that I´d like to share is that we got invited after church to go to a birthday party. It was the birthday party of Aylean who is a member but her soon to be husband(Oliver), who we have been teaching and who we are waiting on to get married to be baptized, isn´t a member. They are both awesome. They are in their early 20´s and have a little baby girl who is so cute. We were also able to give the baby a baby blessing yesterday too, me, my companion, and the bishop which was cool. But yeah it was her birthday but they got me to sing happy birthday, solo, in English which was pretty funny. 

So we go to this Negocio, which is a store in a house, to use the internet. I wouldn´t call it an internet cafe but they have nice computers and decent internet and they´re close so we just use them. It is also pretty cheap to use the internet. It is 500 pesos for one hour. We usually use 2 hours so it is only 1000 pesos. 

And also about the mail it works the same in every area of the mission. The Zone Leaders every month travel to Antofagasta to get mail for everyone in their zone. So I will get mail the second Tuesday of every month. Also since I´m in Antofagasta if I want to I can travel to the office on Pday to pick up mail too. But I´ll probably just always wait for the Zone Leaders to give out mail because the office is kind of far and we have to take either a bus or a taxi to get there...

Got to end it here. Love you all!

Elder Newkirk

EDITORS note: Elder Newkirk also emailed Hailey, and I just wanted to share what he wrote to her, cause I thought it was really good. It may help someone else!

One of my recommendations for you as a missionary (not as a brother) if you haven´t read the Book of Mormon all the way through is to read it. One thing that you guys probably didn´t know is that before my mission I hadn´t read through the Book of Mormon all the way... How terrible am I, but I have read through it now and I now I know why people always say to read it. It really is an amazing book and has strenthened my testimony a lot. Or reading your stuff for seminary is great too. All scripture is really good and helps with everything in life. But I expect you go to seminary every morning and just love it! Right? 

For us who have grown up in the church we don´t really see the importance of these things in life because we have always had it. But now being out on my mission I know that the Gospel changes lives completely and is such a blessing in our lives. It can help with any problems that you have or any stuggles that this life brings. I know that this life is hard and there is a lot more than just the Gospel. Trust me I miss a lot of the things of the world, especially video games and music. But I know that it might be hard to go to seminary or it might be hard to go to a YM thing(or whatever you girls do) or to go to Church or whatever it may be. But I know that if you take just a small part of our lives every day to the Gospel you will be blessed. I promise this to you! I love you soo much and I want the best for you in everything, in normal life, in school, in cheer, and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Love you so much and miss you!

Elder Newkirk in front of the mission office

Nike Chile jacket

Nike Chile jacket

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