Monday, July 25, 2016

week #30 -- 6.2 earthquake while writing today! New investigators as well.


This week went by super fast and it feels like I was just writing the other day, oh wait I practically did. But everything's going well this week! 

I got to see a lot of the photos from Craig´s wedding this last weekend. Looks like you guys had a great time down there!

This last week has been super crazy with all this travelling and everything. And then tomorrow guess what we have to do again... Travel. Tomorrow we have to travel down to Chañeral again to have an intercambio with the zone leaders. But I actually don´t mind all this traveling that we´ve been doing, a nice break for a few hours haha. It has also been a lot of fun to see other areas of the mission and to get to know other places. Also it has been awesome meeting the new mission president as well.

About the Disney movies.. We still haven´t gotten the list of movies yet. I´m feeling that it will just be like older classic Disney movies, because if it was just Disney then we could watch Marvel and Star Wars and all that haha. But I´m feeling that the list will come in a few weeks. Probably after transfers this next week. And speaking of transfers this is the last week of this transfer and on Saturday we´ll be getting a call if my comp leaves or not. Not going to lie I hope we get transfers....

The rules for playing soccer have now changed. We can now just play soccer with members and investigators and there doesn´t need to be sisters there. We actually played this morning with some youth and some members which was pretty fun. We have to play a little carefully though so we don´t end up breaking anything but playing soccer has been a lot of fun!

Elder Gali is from St.George. But it was great seeing him again!

I think that tomorrow I´ll have the opportunity to charge my camera. If I remember correctly I think one of the zone leaders have the same camera charger so I´ll try and use that tomorrow so that I can finally have my camera again. But I still haven´t been able to find my charger. I thought that I brought it with me to Taltal haha.

Sweet, when I get the money in my account just let me know and I can try and take some out. There is a little that I want to buy down here. I want to get a backpack for when we are traveling and I also want to buy some nice sunglasses. 

Also here in Taltal we are in the process of moving houses. The house that we are living in, the owner wants to do some changes and stuff to the house. So that means that we have to move and the President wants all the 4 missionaries to move into a new house together. This week we actually found a house in the middle of the two sectors that is actually really good. So we´ll probably be moving houses and everything pretty soon. Maybe with the move I´ll actually be able to find my charger...

Here in Taltal we have a part member family that we are working with. A few of them are active members and one of them got baptized pretty recently, Carlitos is like 15 years old. The mom and the grandma are also active members. There are also two kids in this family that attend like every Sunday and go to all the activities that still aren´t baptized and this Sunday one of them said that they wanted to get baptized. So I´m pretty sure that we´ll have a baptism soon.

Also this week we met a new person. We have visited this house before because the mom of this girl is a member less active. But we passed by one day this week with a member so that we could enter and we taught her. We taught here about The Restoration of the church and afterwards she said that she knew it was true, which was pretty sweet. We put a baptism date for her on August 13th. She only needs to attend church! She has promised a few times but never has gone yet, but I feel like she´ll be there this next Sunday!

The members down here are great, when they´re here. There are a lot of members here that work out of town and do a lot of traveling. A lot of people here travel like all the time. Especially when they´re on vacations, like they are now. There isn´t like anything to do here so everyone just leaves to other places. Like this Sunday there were only 38 people there and I had to give another talk during sacrament. I´ll probably have some good practice giving talks here. But the members here are great and willing to work with the missionaries and leave to visit people as well. I really like this branch more than my ward in Antofagasta. But the ward that I was in, in Antofa was the smallest out of them all. 

If you really want me to share in spanish I definitely could. But it´s all good, I don´t want to make you guys have to use google translate and not understand anything because google translate is super lame and usually doesn´t work haha. But if I really wanted to I could write all my emails in spanish. As for now my spanish is pretty good, there is still a lot that I need to work on. But for now I can understand a majority of what people are saying and I can say what I want to say and don´t usually have to think about it. Also my thoughts and everything are in spanish. But it really isn´t hard at all to convert to english when I write to you guys every week. 

WOW, there is an earthquake going on right now while I´m writing this. It´s pretty stong haha. This is the second time that I´ve felt an earthquake here in Taltal. It went on for a good amount of time but everythings good, it finished. Maybe it was just God calling everyone to repentance here or something.

(editors note by Jason -- I looked it up and it was a 6.2 earthquake not far from Tal Tal, about 43 miles deep -- Doesnt sound like it was too bad, no tsunami! Whew!)

Well after that experience hope you guys have a great week and that I don´t get taken by a Tsunami. Thank you guys for everything! Love you!!

Elder Newkirk

Sorry for no photos this week... Still don´t have my camera.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

week #29 busy week - Meeting the new mission President

Haha no your Google translate was good. I understood, don´t worry! But yeah I had a pretty crazy but fun week this last week! Pretty crazy because I´m writing today on a Wednesday! 

So this week we had a ton of different travels and a lot of our plans changed a few times. At first we thought that we were going to Copiapo Sunday and be there Monday for interviews with the new president. But that changed to Saturday. So we traveled to Copiapo on Friday to be there on Saturday. Then on Saturday we had a little conference with the new president to get to know him and his family. We were there with the zones of Copiapo, Vallenar, and our zone. So a total of 4 zones(because there are 2 zones in Copiapo). I got to see an Elder from my group(Elder Gali) in the MTC that´s in Vallenar that I haven´t seen since we got split up and he sent me the photo so I have one to send haha. Still haven´t found my charger, but I think there are other missionaries with the same charger so I´ll be asking around to see if I can try and charge my camera with someone elses charger.

Well continuing with what happened this week is that the president had his interviews with the zones from vallenar and copiapo there in copiapo and changed our interviews for this Monday in Chañeral. So after the small get to know the president and stuff we left and went back to Taltal. Then after church on Sunday we practically left in the afternoon again to travel to Chañeral to be there Monday for interviews. And then after that we asked the President if we could change our bus tickets to the next day so on Tuesday as a zone we could play soccer together and he approved it. So we stayed there another night and on Tuesday in the morning played soccer as a zone and had a BBQ. Then at like 5pm we left. But we had a problem in Chañeral to write so we got permission to write today. So that is why I´m writing today. We just got home to Taltal last night. So this week was pretty crazy and just practically traveling.

Also somethings really awesome is that we got permission here in Taltal to play soccer with the members. Since we are so far away as a zone he gave us permission to do so. All the other zones in the mission also can play with members but they need to have future investigators or investigators to play. But it is super awesome. Also he will be giving us permission to watch Disney movies! His wife said that she´ll be sending a list of movies that we are allowed to watch! They are making some awesome changes haha! The new president and his wife are really awesome! I really like them a lot. And he is only like 47 years old. 

Yeah last week when we went fishing we had to walk out there. It was like a 30 min walk. My shoes are all good for now. I honestly have no clue if they have my size here or not. But usually the thing here is that everyone is smaller. So they usually don´t have a ton of things in my size haha. But I think I should be able to find some if I need some, but for now everything is good with my shoes. 

Also the new mission president has a blog for the mission that has some more pictures around the mission and as well as some pictures of me with a ton of other missionaries and stuff. But here is the link.

Well I don´t really have any time to write anymore this week with everything that happened haha. But everything is going good here in Taltal! I´ll answer your question about the members here in taltal on Monday when I write again!

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

Elder Newkirk

Elder Newkirk y Elder Gali

Monday, July 11, 2016

week #28 -- Going fishing in Taltal

Hola! ¿Como estamos?

Well everything's going as usual, good! Just a normal week this week. Not a ton happened. But today in the morning we went fishing with our papito and the other missionaries. We left at 5 am this morning to walk outside of taltal to get to this fishing spot. It was actually a lot of fun. We ended up getting 3 fishes in total. I didn´t catch anything but I was close to getting a few but they kept getting away from me. We went fishing with just bait, fishing line, and a hook. I´ll send in some pictures that another Elder sent to me. My camera´s battery died and I can´t find my charger. I´m going to try to search more this week to be able to find it.

The zone training was good! The zone training was just as normal but we did get a new rule for the mission! The rule is that we can play soccer now. But... only as a zone between the missionaries and in our companionships. And while we play we need the sisters to play and only the sister´s can make the goals. But the plan is that eventually we can just play soccer normally with anyone. But for now the new president is just changing things poco a poco so that we can play. But Chañeral is like 2 hours away in the bus and when we go down there we go down the day before and spend the night there with out zone leaders. Our zone leaders are Elder Phillips(who I think is the Elder who we were reading his blog before I left to Chile) and Elder Aballos.  

Also from the zone training I recieved my birthday package already haha. I haven´t opened it yet don´t worry. I´m waiting until it is actually my birthday. But at least I have it ready for my birthday! It got here really fast! I really just think that it depends.

No I haven´t heard anything really about the NBA at all. There isn´t like anyone here that watches or that can keep me updated.. But that´s some crazy news that Kevin Durant is now with the Warriors. Their team is now just loaded with good players. Also sounds like there have been a lot of changes around the NBA. Should make things a lot more interesting! Wish I could watch the next season... 

Definitely super busy here with the branch but it is really good. I have learned a lot just in the short amount of time that I´ve been here. Like this Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament because the person planned to talk didn´t show up and I gave the gospel principles class. We have to have a talk prepared every week just in case. So it is a lot of work but it is really good. Also this week we are going to start doing English classes for the people here which should be fun as well!

Definitely have been and will be praying for Grandma Newkirk. But that´s good that you were able to give her a blessing!

Sounds like you guys have also been really busy with everything. A lot of traveling after traveling. It doesn´t seem to stop or be slowing down any time soon! But sounds like fun! 

Also that sucks that Dylan got in a crash but for the least he only broke his arm. 

Yeah Taltal´s been a little chilly. Sometimes during the day it gets a little hot but in the nights and in the mornings it is chilly. We are in the middle of winter down here. Should start to change in like a few more months and start to just be super hot all the time again. 

Sounds like fun to go downtown and watch Karate Kid. Not going to lie I would do anything just to see a movie that isn´t from the church haha. That is one thing that I definitely miss is the technology. Video games, music and movies! But I know that I´m not here in Chile to do things of the world even though I do miss them haha. 

Sorry not a lot happened this week but remember next week I´ll be traveling to Copiapo and my Pday will be next Tuesday so that is when I´ll write to you guys again! 

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

Elder Newkirk

Monday, July 4, 2016

week #27 - Blessings and illnesses in Taltal - - Enjoying Taltal

Hey, como les ha ido? ojala que todo bien! Parece que están teniendo un buen tiempo ahí en Denver por el 4 de Julio!  

Bueno! Here in TalTal everythings been pretty great! I´m really enjoying the sector here with all the investigators and members. It´s funny how it works in the mission. With every companion you work a little differently. With Elder Fernandez we don´t do too many different contacts. We work more with the members and with the investigators than we do with contacting people. In my other sector it was a lot harder than this sector. And from what I´ve heard from Elder Alcantara, who is still in Gabirela Mistral, said that they are planning to close the ward and join with the other ward. So a lot of the time we were doing a lot more contacts in Antofa then we do here, but I actually like it a ton more the work that we are doing here!

With the new mission president, President Ferreira, we haven´t been able to meet him yet. Here in TalTal we have to travel to Copiapa, like 4-5 hours away, on July 18th to have interviews with the new president and to meet him and everything. So that week my P-day will probably be July 19th, Tuesday. So when I don´t write to you guys on July 18th is because I´m traveling and stuff. From what I know and heard he sounds like he will be a great mission president!

Yeah I heard from mom about everything that you guys have been doing with pictures and videos and everything. But sounds like you guys are having a great time! I wish I was there with you guys today for the 4th of July! We probably won´t be doing anything too exciting here in taltal. A normal pday here consists of buying things for the week, writing home, lunch, playing ping pong, and that´s about it. There isn´t a ton here to do in Taltal. But I´m hoping that soon we´ll try to do some other things like a hike or something. Also today we are traveling to Chañeral for our zone conference tomorrow which should be fun.

Yeah so far with Elder Fernandez we have been working really well together. And in the branch it is pretty much just an automatic assignment, it´s not really a calling it is just an assignment. We aren´t set apart or anything. Since it is a branch people can get assignments and stuff and it´s not a "calling". But I´m just practically the second councelor in Elders quorum. We are also the seminary teachers here for all the youth. Also we teach the gospel principles class every Sunday for all the investigators, new converts, and people starting to return to be active again. Also we are missionaries, so there is a lot of responsibility here but it is a lot of fun and I have been learning a lot with it!

Also something really cool about the branch is that they give pretty high calling to the recent converts who are ready to take the calling. For example our mission leader got baptized like 3-4 months ago and he is already the mission leader. But he is super awesome and works with us all the time when he isn´t working his normal job. Also the Young Men´s president is super awesome and also a recent convert who got baptised with all of his family a few months ago as well. But I´m loving the branch here and all the members.

About preparing food, we don´t have to prepare food for lunch. But if we want breakfast or dinner or something we have to prepare food. Usually what I do is just cereal in the morning then like a sandwich or something with ecco in the nights because the big meal here in lunch. The only day that we have to worry about lunch is saturdays. Usually on weekends the members feed us lunch but here in the branch we only eat with members sundays. So on saturdays we usually have fast food or cook with the other 2 missionaries just depending on what we want and how much money we have haha.

Yeah the church building here in pretty small and there is only one here in Taltal. And yes all the churches are gated like that for safety purposes. But like everything here in Chile everything is practically gated. I wouldn´t think that anyone would violate or steal or anything but you never know here. Yeah Taltal is super cool. We live really close to the plaza and the plaza is super awesome with a lot of trees and plants and stuff. 

This week has been pretty cold here in Taltal. I actually have been using my jacket a couple times this week, Thanks Grandma!!! But yeah it has been cloudy practically all week with sprinkles here and there. There were people saying that it was suppose to rain again. But today is sunny and nice out so I think that we are past the weird weather here. 

This weekend we actually had the ability to give some more blessings of health. There has been another sickness going around town that my comp has as well. I haven´t gotten sick yet so that´s good. I´m thinking that it might be the same sickness that I got in Antofa like a month or so ago. But one of the blessings was with a nonmember old man who has cancer. He is the father-in-law of a member. The spouse of the member as well isn´t a member and the father(who we gave a blessing to) is super catholic and his wife is super evangelic. So it was pretty crazy and cool that they actually accepted and asked for a blessing. The sister, who is the daughter-in-law, is a member and her husband is investigating the church so that´s how we got invited in to give a blessing. I feel like I completely butchered how we got in and the connections with everyone but yeah... But almost everyone in the family was in the same small little room where we gave the blessing. It was a little nerve wracking with everyone there but we did it. I think it was one of the most spiritual moments that I´ve felt and one of the best blessings of health that I have heard that my comp gave. Before the blessing I explained a little bit about the preisthood and how the blessing worked. But when the blessing was over, there were a lot of people crying and the spirit was super strong. I don´t know I can´t really explain it. But it was definitely an amazing experience. I honestly felt like I butchered the story a little with my terrible english... but hey you guys can fix it up for me and I hope you understand haha.

But yeah everythings going great!

Hope you guys have a great 4th of July and a great week!!! Love you guys!!!

Elder Newkirk

This is like one of the most upper coners of my sector. The sector is pretty big and there is a lot of walking up and down. Our sector is the ocean until the mountain.

Me by a sign that says "Welcome to Taltal".

My comp, Elder Fernandez.