Monday, April 25, 2016

week #17 - Back to good health and opportunities to give blessings!

¡Hola! ¿Como les ha ido?

Everthing here has been great. We´re back to being at 100% in health which is good. The sickness is still going around though and we have had a lot of opportunities to give blessings of health. There isn´t a lot of priesthood down here so we get to have a lot of opportunities to give blessings and serve the members!

This week was good, I think it was just a normal week haha. I don´t really know what is considered to be a normal week because the weeks are always changing. Yeah when we were sick we didn´t leave the house. We didn´t work on Sunday and also on Monday. We practically just slept and studied. Two days definitely makes an impact on the work but we still had a great week and found some new people to start teaching. 

Another thing that I have really started to realize recently that has hit me hard, this week, is how good that we have it. A lot of the people that we are teaching and meet everyday have a lot of problems. People here work so much with crazy schedules. There are some people that work from morning until night every single day and don´t have time for practically anything. But there are so many different problems with the houses and the streets and everything. The humility has really set in, it has been a humbling experience since the beginning, but it is something that I have been thinking a lot more about this week and as well in my studies. We are seriously so lucky to have what we have with where we live and everything. And we´re even more lucky because we have the gospel in our lives! I don´t know it´s just something that I have been thinking about this week.

With the people down here, there are a ton of different religions and a ton of different beliefs. I have learned so much about other religions and how others worship. There are a lot of weird, different things that religions do. But I can´t talk bad about other religions and stuff that people do so I´ll just leave it at that. 

Sounds like you guys will have a lot of fun in Florida this week. Hope Hailey and her teams does well this week in Summit! Can´t wait to hear next week how everything went!

Mi Español es mas o menos no mas, pero es mejorando. In the companionship we practically speak spanish all the time, very little do we speak English. My companion actually understand a lot of English but we don´t use English at all. It´s basically all Spanish all the time. I have definitely noticed though that English is getting harder and Spanish is getting easier. I can still write in English perfectly fine but when I talk in English it just feels weird, and even at times I have to translate in my mind Spanish to English and it just comes out weird. But I don´t have any problem with writing my letters every week. It´s only when I try to speak in English it is weird.

This P-day was actually pretty awesome, we didn´t do a lot but we ate some really good food today. Today we went to Centro again so that I could change some money and buy a speaker. We we did that and after that we went and tried a place that Hermana Malva recommended to us. It was pretty expensive but it was definitely worth it. It was a placed called Gran Chimu and they make Peruano food. I´ll be sending a picture of what me and my companion got. It was really good. 

Love you guys a lot and hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Newkirk

Monday, April 18, 2016

week #16 -- Getting over being sick the past few days

Hola! ¿que tal?

I actually haven´t felt any earthquakes in my time here in Chile. People have said, "Oh, did you feel the earthquake yesterday?" but I haven´t felt anything yet.. 

Vanesa is doing great and attended church this sunday with us. I don´t know how long she plans on staying here in Antofagasta but if she is here for like another month she will be baptized 100%. But so far everythings going great!

I´m not sure how Hermana Malva is doing but I do know that there is a sickness going around because my companion and I have it too. It started yesterday for me during church. I threw up like 3 times at church. Yesterday wasn´t all that fun. And my companion started the sickness last night. I´m actually doing a lot better and I think I´m practically at the end of the sickness. Just need to get some energy back and get some food in me. But my companion is still pretty sick. I think it was probably just something that we ate, but who knows here in Chile right?

Thanks for sending the package to me, hopefully I´ll be getting it soon! We´ll have to time how long it takes for me to get the package haha.

With you comment on the Restoration, "Joseph Smith claimed he seen Heavenly Father and Jesus. Not many can claim that so boldly as he did. Probably why many people dont think he did what he did." It´s true, but God knew that people wouldn´t believe in some kid that had this vision so that is why he showed to him the Book of Mormon. All the evidence is in the Book of Mormon, everything about the Church is all weighted on the Book of Mormon. All someone needs to do is read it and pray about it and they know that everything about the Church and the Restoration of the gospel is true. Like you said the gospel is perfect but people aren´t. We have to have a testimony in the gospel not in the people, if we only had a testimony in the members we would fall away from the church in a heartbeat. 

Sounds like the competition in Stockton was pretty lame. But hey they got first in everything right? Haha, yeah it sounds like this competition was pretty lame and that not a lot of teams went to it. But good luck in Florida at the end of this month! 

Wow, crazy what happened in the with the whole stake change, that´s a pretty big change! You´ll have to keep me updated on what happens to the bishopric and everything. But that´s awesome that President Farr in the stake president of the new stake and that Bishop Steimle is second counselor!

Otherwise everything is going great, other than getting sick. This week we contacted a lot of future investigators and we are also working with a lot of less actives. With the ward, the focus right now is in reactivation because there are a lot of less actives in the area. Usually the attendance every Sunday is around 50 but in the records there is about 300-350 members in the sector. So that leaves a lot of work to be done. With the list of less actives we have been able to contact a few of them and also their families, which a lot of them aren´t members. There is a lot of work to be done in this ward!

Also yesterday I had to give my first talk in Spanish. They chose me, my companion, and the mission leader to give talks. My talk was on baptisms for the dead and it actually went really well even though I was pretty sick. People actually said that they could understand what I was saying too, I don´t know if they were just saying that to be nice but yeah haha.  

This P-day has been really lame because we have been sick, just laying around all day. Our Mamita is awesome though, she made us stuff to help with us being sick and everything. The only thing that we will be doing today is emailing. After this just go back to the house and rest so that hopefully we´ll be good to go for tomorrow! Definitely hasn´t been fun but hey everythings all good! 

Hope all you guys have a great week! Love and miss you guys a lot!!

Elder Newkirk

Monday, April 11, 2016

week #15 -- Golden investigators


Everything once again is going great. A lot of walking this week but always we get to talk with a lot of different people. A lot of people don´t really like to listen to the gospel. But we always meet great people every single week. This week we came in contact with an old investigator who we thought moved to Tocopilla. But she is still living here in Antofagasta for another 2 months and wants to be baptized here! A lot of her family is LDS but she has troubles at home with her husband so she is moving to Tocopilla to live with her family who is LDS. But she is super awesome and already had a testimony before we taught anything. Definitely a golden investigator.

Hopefully everything goes well with the job hunt. (Editors note -- Some may read this and wonder what is going on but it's nothing right now  -j) But wherever the Lord wants you, that´s where you´ll be. I have learned that a lot in the mission. As missionaries you are constantly changing locations and constantly running into new people. The Lord knows everything and knows where we need to be to the exact second. It´s funny how the Lord will put someone in front of you that you´ve been wanting to contact or run into someone who needs your help. It is happened so much in the mission it is crazy. I know without a doubt that the Lord has us in locations that we need to be.

Hmmmm in my studies. Well I started to read the Bible a lot this week. A lot of people here have a lot of knowledge about the Bible and I have never read through the Bible in its entirety. So yeah that is what I have been doing. This morning I was reading the story about Lot´s wife and how she turned into salt. This story is actually really short but you can learn a lot from it. So Lot was visited by holy messengers who told him that Sodom and Gomorrah was going to be destroyed and to leave to the mountain with his family and told them not to look back. Well Lot´s wife turned around and looked back and when she did this she turned into salt. Sometimes in life things look good just to try a little but it is actually just a huge trap that will lead us to be like Lot´s wife... Dead (spiritually). There are also a lot more that we can learn from this story. I have also been studying lesson 1 about the restoration everyday like I have said. Always learn something more everyday from studying lesson 1. I thought that I was going to be really bored of studying lesson 1 every single day but it has actually been really good. 

Can´t wait to see the photo book!

Love you guys a lot! Thanks for everything! Hope you guys have an amazing week!

Elder Newkirk

A new shirt that our zone made for all the missionaries in the zone. This doesn´t happen like at all in the mission but yeah it´s sweet! 

An old picture of me and Elder Villegas with Hermana Malva´s sons. (Well Matias isn´t her son, he is her nephew but he lives with them)

 Matias(left), Elder Villegas, Nico, Me

Monday, April 4, 2016

week #14 conference week


Este semana fue bacan. He aprendido mucho este semana por que fue conferencia y también fue mi primera semana con mi nuevo compañero. I could probably write my whole letter in Spanish.. But yeah this week has been awesome!

Yeah don´t worry about the story, I have pictures and also have it down in my journal. I´ve been writing in my journal consistently, I can´t say that I have been writing every day but I have been writing consistently. There is a Elder, my zone leader, who has motivated me to write in my journal every day, so I need to get into a habit of doing so. He has written in his journal every single day of his mission which is awesome. He is close to finishing his mission, one more transfer after this one I think.

We actually had the opportunity to watch all the conferences live which was awesome. The morning sessions started at 1 pm and the afternoon sessions started at 5 pm. So it was more of a afternoon session and night session haha. We were also able to watch the Priesthood session live which started at 9 pm, it was a late night... 

Studying the Restoration of the Gospel everyday has been great. I have been learning a lot more and also improving a lot more of my teaching skills. It is definitely a story all the world needs to hear, but that´s what missionaries are for. It´s amazing to see the power of the story of Joseph Smith when you tell it to people who have never heard it before. But everyone takes the story differently. Satan has done a lot of work on people that´s for sure. But this story changes lives and I know without a doubt that it is true. There would be no way for me to teach doctrines if I didn´t know for myself that it is true. 

Everythings going great with Elder Alcantara. We get a long well. It´s a little hard to make plans and guide the sector but other than that everything´s good. Elder Villegas knew this sector like the back of his hand and knew a ton of people. But me on the other hand it is a different story. This experience has definitely been a good one and I have learned and grown a lot from it. I´m glad that I have this experience early on in the mission! He actually knows a good amount of English, not a ton but a good amount. He said that he learned English from school but also from watching 

I´m also fine with socks and everything and I learned this week that I can order garments through the bishop online. So I´ll just use my personal card and buy it online. And apparently it gets here a lot faster through the bishop. So this method is probably a lot easier and faster. So I´ll just do this. But if I need socks or anything I can just buy some, don´t worry about me! Honestly if you feel like you have to send stuff to me just send me food and if I do need anything I can just ask. And yes the Mamita does all the laundry twice a week which is awesome because in pretty much all the other sectors it is not like this.

Conference was great. There were so many great talks and I learned a lot. There were 3 talks that I really enjoyed from this conference. The first was from Brother Waddell from the Sunday Morning session. I really liked what he said about the vision of the tree of life. How we need to not just taste the fruit but we need to consistently partake of it. Satan is really good at tempting when we only are having a taste of the fruit. But if we are consistently partaking of the fruit and consistently doing righteous things Satan will have little to no power over us. I also liked that he said "No matter how far off the path we are we can come back." The second talk that I really liked was the talk from Elder Uchtdorf about faith and how he said "As we increase in faith we also need to increase in faithfulness." The last talk that I really enjoyed was from Elder Oaks about agency and opposition. In this life we will always have opposition to everything. He said that "Opposition makes it so we can grow how our Heavenly Father wants us to become." This life is a difficult one, there are so many different challenges, but it is promised to us that God will "consecrate our afflictions for our gain." Well I´m running out of time and need to finish up!

Love and miss you guys a lot!!!

Elder Newkirk

My new companion and I

 Some of the cool things from Chile that I bought today. The pencil holder thing and also the 10 mil pesos is a wallet. 

The Chile Monopoly is my companions, it is pretty sweet. I´m thinking about buying one, but you guys probably won´t be able to play it when I get home because it is all in Spanish.