Monday, June 27, 2016

week #26 - First week in Taltal


Well everything's been going great here in TalTal. I have been loving TalTal and it has been really chill. Definitely different than Antofagasta. Antofa was a little crazy.. I have already met most of the members here in TalTal and they are all really cool. There are some great families here in TalTal. Church was actually really great. President Dalton actually was here in TalTal for the weekend because he loves TalTal. This was President Dalton´s last weekend as mission president and he spent it here in TalTal. Our new mission president comes in this week on Wednesday. Should be interesting how everything will work out with a new president. 

Since TalTal is a branch and the Stake of TalTal is the mission, meaning that the stake president here is the mission president, the missionaries can have callings. The callings that the missionaries have here are counselors in Elders Quorum and one of the Elders is Secretary to the Branch President. But yeah here is a normal setup with branch president, counselors, elders quorum, relief society, young mens, young womens, and primary. The membership here is actually really good. It is just about the same as my other ward in Antofagasta but a little better. Here there are actual leadership and the leaders here are awesome. There is also a little bit of priesthood to back up the leadership as well. The attendance is usually anywhere from 40 to the highest of 70. This sunday it was like 56 so the membership here is actually really good and I am loving it so far. 

My new companion is good. Elder Fernandez is a little different from all my other companions. Well every companion is different haha. He is the district leader here but he is super good. He works hard but follows the rules pretty strictly not like all my other companions. But it is good that he is my companion because it is something that I need to learn to do as well. But we have been working well together and I think that we´ll have a lot of success here in TalTal together. But yeah all my companions have been latinos which has been good for me so that I can learn spanish and everything. 

Also something else that I mentioned last week is that there are 4 missionaries here in TalTal. And the other group of missionaries are also really cool. It is Elder Torrico and Elder Boyack. Elder Torrico is actually training Elder Boyack right now and Elder Boyack only has like a week now in Chile. It is crazy to think that I was like that just a few months ago. And now in a few months and can understand a lot and be able to speak. It´s pretty crazy to think about. Also something that I´d like to mention is that Elder Torrico is from Argentina, who lost to Chile yesterday in the copa america, so we´ve been giving him crap all day and as well as a lot of other people haha. We actually didn´t have the chance to watch the finals, being Sunday, but we definitely heard everything haha. It was so loud and after Chile won, people got in their cars and drove around town honking their horns haha. It was pretty crazy outside.  

Exchanges with the Zone Leaders from Chaneral is every transfer. So every 6 weeks. There is also zone training in Chaneral every month. And also in a few week we´ll have to travel to Copiapo to have interviews with the new president and to get to know him which is even further. To get to Chaneral is like 2-3 hours in bus and to get to Copiapo is like 4-5 hours. Should be a lot of traveling in Tur-Bus this transfer but should be fun!

Yeah in the picture with Hermana Malva the hat was a gift from Nico. It´s a really cool Puma hat! They were an awesome family and I will definitely miss them. But there are also some great families here in TalTal. 

Sounds like your guys´ summer isn´t slowing down at all but sounds like a lot of fun. Definitely good that you guys have things to do for the summer time!

Yeah we have a mamita here in TalTal. She is the mamita for food and clothes as well for us. The mamita and our papito, her husband, are super awesome! They are from Columbia and the mamita cooks super good food. Their family is a lot of fun. They are a young couple with 2 daughters. Definitely a better transfer of mamitas. Not going to lie but this is a ton better than a 80 year old mamita from Chile. I was definitely getting a little tired of her food... 

Also the house here is pretty good. It is an actually house this time and we´re not living above the mamita without a fridge or kitchen or anything. The house that we are in is alright. It isn´t the best but it´s alright. It has a kitchen and even has a laundry for us to do a little laundry when we need to which is super nice. I actually don´t have like any pictures I really haven´t had the opportunity. But I´ll have to take some for the next week so you guys can see the house and see a little bit of TalTal. And of course that I took my avenger sheets here to TalTal!

One thing that I do have from TalTal that you guys can watch is a video of some RAIN! It actually rained here this weekend, friday night! It will probably be a first and a last that I will see here in Northern Chile. It dumped pretty hard, it woke us up in the middle of the night. Then the next day we went out early in the morning to help people and their houses because the houses here in Northern Chile aren´t prepared for the rain so there was a little damage. But our house was fine, only a little water entered. But it was pretty crazy to acutally see some rain.

But yeah that´s all I got this week and next week I´ll try and get some more pictures and stuff for you guys! 

Also about p-days here... There really isn´t anything to do here in TalTal.... The p-days down here should but pretty boring unless we plan to do something. I think there is a hike or something and there is also a huge astrology center here like you mentioned last week. It is about 1 hour out of town and you need a group to go down there to check it out. We also need to get permission from the mission president so we´ll see if I´ll get the chance to go down there are check it out. I hope that I will!!!

Love you guys a lot and hope you guys have a great week and safe travels!!!

Elder Newkirk

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