Monday, September 26, 2016

week #39 special transfer this last week

Special Transfer!! 

Well this week we got a special transfer(which hardly happens). Elder Fernandez left to Copiapo and I stayed here in Tal-Tal as the District Leader! I got a new comp as well. His name is Elder Pineda. Him and Elder Fernandez changed places. Elder Pineda had some problems with his comp so they changed him here. Elder Pineda is from Chile, Santiago. He´s actually a really nice guy and we have been working alright together. He teaches really well and is a good missionary. He has only been a member of the church now for like 2 years, for the time that he has in the church he is great. The only thing is that he´s just a little different, so it will be an interesting transfer!  He has a little bit more time than I do in the mission, he has one transfer more than I do. So we got put together as co-comps.

Now I have a lot of responsibility here haha. District Leader, Seminary teacher, 1st counselor in Elders Quorum(don´t remember how to spell), gospel principles teacher, full time missionary. Well I definitely have been learning quite a lot.. haha 

Well that was pretty much it this week. Elder Fernandez and I got a call on Wednesday at like 2 pm that we had a special transfer. So then pretty much all day we were just saying goodbyes for him. Then the rest of the week I was just working with my new comp. On Monday Elder Pineda rolled his ankle playing soccer so he hasn´t really been able to walk fast or walk a lot so this week has just been really chill for the most part. Just visiting a few people.

We actually have an investigator that has been progressing a lot. Her name is Ivette and has been coming to church with one of her friends. She is 15 and is awesome. She has been coming to church, seminary, and the activities. She has been liking the church and this week accepted a date to get baptized on the 15th of October. We still have to work out some process and ask permission from the mission president because she is under 18. Also we have met her parents. They are really nice and are supporting their daughter in the church. So I think that we´ll be able to get permission and everything!

Yeah last weekend was a lot of fun with the Holiday here. Glad that you liked the photos of Elder Jaramillo and I racing haha. The salsa was pretty hot, but normally here people don´t eat things that are hot like at all. Dad I´m in Chile not in Mexico, they eat a lot differently here than chips and salsa. When you think of the food here just think of rice and of chicken....... (dad's note: haha I know it's not Mexico.... I just had to ask if they ate chips and salsa's like they do here in the states)

Hmm with the gringos we usually just speak English for the most part. We speak Spanish if we are in a coversation with a latino. Idk, it´s kinda just like a mix of Spanish and a mix of English.....

So with our planning we do a weekly planning and a daily planning. The weekly planning we think of the investigators and what they need and we put goals for the week coming up. Then we have daily planning every night to plan for the next day to help us accomplish the goals that we put for the week. So that´s how planning goes here in the mission.

Hope you guys have a great week. You´re always in my prayers! Love you!!

Elder Newkirk

Activity from last week

Activity from last week

Activity from last week

Activity from last week

Goodbye photo with Elder Fernandez and the Becerra Family

Funny pic of Elder Abalos and Elder Jaramillo on the bikes of the papito´s kids.

Goodbye photo with Elder Fernandez and the Becerra Family

Monday, September 19, 2016

week #38 - Marriage of Williams and Jimena, 2 baptisms, and Chile's independance day celebration!

Man this week was pretty crazy. Conference in Copiapo, Wedding, Baptism, Parties for the 18th. Everything went really well this week!

Wednesday night we traveled to Copiapo. Got there at like midnight and Elder Fernandez and I stayed with 2 other missionaries down there. We stayed with Elders Acoasta and Pezo. They are both from Peru. So it was 3 peruanos and a gringo haha. But it was fun! Then on Thursday we had the conference with Elder Bragg from the 70. The conference went alright, mainly they were just talking about a few things that we need to do better as missionaries and how we should follow the rules and stuff like that. Also in the conference I got to see all my comps that I had in the mission(which are only 3.....). Also I got to see Elder Gali again and also Elder Wild from my group! It was good to see and talk with all of them again.

Then on Friday, Williams and Jimena got married!! I had my first marriage in the mission! We were pretty much making sure that everything was good for the wedding all day and also had seminary. But the marriage went really well, it was actually really cool. They did a really good job with the decorating and stuff. Also there was a lot of food, so it was good! 

I think Saturday was the most crazy day of them all. We had the baptism at 10 am. So we had to be in the church at like 7 am to start filling the baptism font and do the baptism program. The baptism went really well. Elder Fernandez baptized Williams and I baptized Ismael(the little kid). A lot of people were laughing because I was a lot bigger then Ismael. But at least it wasn´t a big fat guy that I had to baptize. 

After the baptism we had the activity for the 18th. Usually what they do for the 18th is a lot of bbqs, dances, and games. They have a national dance which is the cueca, which is actually a pretty cool dance that they do. So that´s pretty much what we did for the activity. Food, la cueca, games like tug of war, sack races, and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun!

(here's a video of the cueca dance from youtube for those interested - Cueca dance from Chile )

Then on the actual day 18th(Sunday) we just had normal church. I confirmed Williams(which is the first person I´ve ever confirmed). Went really well, sometimes I feel a little nervous to give blessings but they are actually really easy. Then for the rest of the day pretty much all the streets were dead. Everyone went traveling or were just in their houses doing their own parties and stuff. I thought it would be a lot more crazy yesterday but it was absolutely dead. I would imagine in other big cities that it is a lot more crazy. Tal-Tal is just super chill. Also I got sick yesterday which kinda sucks. I think it´s just my body calling out for a little break from everything that happened this week haha. But I´m feeling better today.

Elder Jaramillo is really cool. We have been getting along really well. He´s a really nice dude. He´s is from here, Chile. He is from Santiago but is now living in Concepcion. 

Yeah, everything is going well with Elder Fernandez. Like you said it usually just takes a little bit of adjustments with every new comp that you get. But we´ve been together for quite a while now so we´re good.

Here in Chile there are actually a lot of people that play ping-pong. Like there is a convert who is now the young men´s president, Edwin, who is super good at ping pong. He trashes everyone he plays. I don´t know how he does it but he is really good. Also his kids are pretty good as well. But other than him and a few others I can usually win. But yeah the churches around the world are all pretty different depending on the culture. Like here in Chile a majority of the churches have ping pong tables and also cement soccer fields. And I´m guessing that in different parts of the world it is different as well.

Yerack is still doing good. I mean he´s only been a member for about 2 weeks now. But yesterday he brought he girlfriend to church and also to the activity. He´s doing really well so far! It´s good because he has family in the church which makes it a lot better.

We have a few investigators still. But we have been baptizing a majority of them so we are starting to dwindle down a little. We have a another couple that we are working with as well to get married and then baptized. He is already a member and his mom is still an active member in Santiago and his girlfriend(wife) has a lot of experience in the church. Just need to get married and need support to do so. Also we have the little brother and sister of Yerack who still need to be baptized. And there is a young women here, Christina, who is bring one of her friends to church who we have started to teach. She is really cool and really likes the church. Other than that there isn´t a whole ton. We have to get out there and find some new people to teach.

I´m pretty sure that do Primary Programs here but it isn´t as big as it is in the states. But I´m pretty sure that they do, do them. 

Well that was my week pretty much. I´ll be sending a lot of photos this week! Love you guys a lot!!!!

Elder Newkirk

This is one of the games that they had at the activity! You had to put a egg on a spoon and walk with it in your mouth until a certain point. Then had to eat a really spicy salsa and then had to find a coin in a bowl of flour without using your hands and put the coin in your mouth and run to the finish. I raced against Elder Jaramillo. It was really funny he was ahead of me and as you can see in the second to last picture he is running to the finish and started to slow down but I caught up and beat him last second because he slowed down. It was pretty funny but a lot of fun!

Eating Salsa

Trying to find the coin in the bowl of flour. haha

Elder Newkirk y Elder Jaramillo

Elder Villegas y Elder Newkirk

Elder Newkirk y Elder Alcantara

Elders Newkirk, Gali, and Wild

Marriage of Williams and Jimena


Monday, September 12, 2016

week #37 - still in Tal-Tal

Hey! Well I guess that we all thought wrong this week for transfers... I´m still here in Tal-Tal, but with Elder Fernandez for another transfer... Normally the max that you can be with a comp is only 2 transfers but now we are going into our third together. I guess there is something that we still need to do here in Tal-Tal. But it should be all good, me and Elder Fernandez are pretty chill now. Also Elder Phillips officially died this week and is going home. (If you don´t know when you start the mission you are a baby and are just being born and when you finish you "die"). We dropped him off at TurBus this morning at 4 am to head off to Antofagasta. To replace him is coming Elder Jaramillo. He is a really cool Elder that I met at the beginning of my mission because he was assistant to President Dalton when I got to the mission field. But yeah that is all that happened to us this transfer. The 3 of us are staying.

Yes bakan means awesome. Look at that you figured it out. Hope that you were able to read a little of it from help by Google Translate haha.

Here in Tal-Tal they sometimes have things going on in the plaza. I think they try to have some every once in a while. But honestly they don´t happen a lot but when they do it is usually on a Saturday or Sunday. And when it is on Sunday not a lot of people come to church. Here in Chile it really isn´t in their culture to get up and go to church every Sunday. Their culture is really different here and makes it a little hard. 

Yeah President Lemos is the one that we go out fishing with! He is also our papito for the missionaries here in Tal-Tal. We go to his house Monday-Friday to eat lunch, his wife cooks really well. They are a really awesome family. I´ll send a pic that we took with them this last week(I have a lot of pics to send this week and some of them I´ll be saving for other weeks). It was awesome that he was able to baptize Yerack as well. I´m not exactly sure if Yerack really has serving a mission in his mind right now but it was funny. Like everyone was giving Yerack a hard time yesterday in church to go and serve a mision. All of the classes that we had yesterday had a lot to do with missionary work. So we´ll see if he´ll make the decision to serve a mission. It would be really cool to see him go out and serve a mission! 

Speaking of baptisms this week we have 2 more! This Friday Williams and Jimena will be getting married. Then on Saturday we have the baptism of Williams and his son Ismael! Ismael picked me to baptize him this Saturday and Williams chose my comp to baptize him. Williams also chose me to confirm him on Sunday which will be my first confirmation that I have ever done, which should be cool to do!

Also this week we will be traveling to Copiapo on Wednesday. We have a conference in Copiapo on Thursday with Elder Bragg from the seventy. Should be awesome to be able to go down there. I´ll be getting to see my papito(trainer) again, Elder Villegas! He is there in Copiapo as a zone leader.

Also this weekend should be pretty crazy. Here in Chile the 18th of September is their big holiday. It is their day of independence. We have an activity in the branch going on Saturday for the holiday. There are a ton of different traditions that they do here for the 18th. They have some dances and some traditional games that they play. With a big bbq. Should be interesting but should be a lot of fun as well! But the streets should be pretty crazy, everyone will be doing bbq´s and will probably be drinking a ton..

To answer your question to where we go to send our emails and use computers I took a selfie to show you where.

In the church they bought a new ping pong table that we have been using to play a little bit here and there. I also have a pic that I´ll be sending of that. I also bought my own ping pong paddle and everything. We are also still playing a little bit of soccer on Saturdays. There are a ton of soccer fields all around town. We usually just play in the one closest to the church so that afterwards we go to the church to share a soda with everyone and share something with them. We can only play if is has a missionary purpose and will help the work. So that´s what we usually do.

Yeah I pretty much tower over everyone. Also like everything here is made for shorter people so I hit my head a lot on things haha.

Church was great yesterday. I had Gospel Principles class yesterday about missionary work, also Elder Phillips gave his farewell talk in the branch yesterday and this morning we dropped him off in TurBus at 4 am to travel to Antofagasta. But yeah I get a ton of practice with being a seminary teacher, giving talks, gospel principle teacher, and just a full time missionary. It really is great experience that I have learned a ton from.

To finish, there is something that I want you guys to listen to as a family. I sent this to mom as well. But there is a devotional called "Life is a Football Game" by Troy Dunn. It is a devotional that he gave at an EFY. I listened to it this week from Elder Abalos and I really liked it. It was a really great devotional. It is like an hour long so just listen or watch it when you guys have the time to do so, I definitely recommend it!

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

Elder Newkirk

Ping pong in the church

Pic in papitos house

Elder Abalos got a number 2 piñata for his birthday because he is turning 22 this month. But he decided to use it for Elder Phillips going away for 2 years. 

The last selfie with Elder Phillips when we dropped him off this morning at 4 am.

Where we use internet

Monday, September 5, 2016

week #36 -- baptism of Yerack was good!

Hola, como esta? Voy a escribir esta párrafo solamente en español. Entonces espero que ustedes pueden entender. Bueno este semana fue super genial! Recibí un paquete por mi cumpleaños! Tuvimos la actividad Viernes! Yerack se bautizo Sábado! Presidente Ferreira estuvo aquí en Tal-Tal para los reuniones ayer. Y también hoy día tenemos la entrevista de Williams y Ismael para su bautismo el aproximo semana!  Este semana fue super bakan! También ahora estamos en el ultimo semana de cambios! Aproximo semana vamos a tener algunos cambios aquí en Tal-Tal. Pero hay mucho milagros aquí en la obra del Señor!

Well hopefully Google Translate will be able to help you guys out a little bit with that paragraph. 

This week was actually really good! On Thursday I got my birthday package from Grandma and Grandpa Oldroyd! They sent me a Boise State T-shirt and a game called bowling dice game (I took a selfie of the stuff). They also sent me some treats but they´re already gone... haha. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Then on Friday we had our minute to win it activity in the church. It actually went really well and we had a lot of fun even though like no one showed up. We had about 10 people there including us. There was a lot of other activities going on around Tal-Tal Friday that we didn´t know about so not a lot of people showed up. But it was actually a lot of fun with the small amount of people that we had! 

Saturday, Yerack got baptized! He picked our papito, Presidente Lemos the second counselor in the branch, to baptize him. All of his family showed up and everything went really well! I was also able to give a talk in his baptism about the gift of the holy ghost and the importance that it has in our life. It is really important to stay worthy to be able to always have the spirit to be with us. It is key in our life if we want to progress more along this path so that we can make it back to live with our Father in Heaven. Then on Sunday he was actually able to receive the priesthood and is now a priest! I´m hoping that once he had a little more experience in the church that he´ll make the decision to be a missionary, because he is 18. But yeah I´ll send some pics of the baptism.

Also yesterday our mision president was here for the church meetings and was here to see Yerack get confirmed and receive the priesthood. Also Yerack´s father showed up to see Yerack get the priesthood which was really awesome! . There are 6 in the family and 3 of the 6 are now baptized. The 2 little kids and the father. The kids want to get baptized but their father wants them to grow up more to make the decision to be baptized. President and his wife were talking to the family a lot and sharing their testimonies with them. So hopefully that might help out the family progress more! 

Today we also have the baptism interviews for Williams and Ismael for their baptism next week which should be awesome and should go well! I´m excited for their baptism as well!

So overall a pretty good week for me!

Sounds like you guys had a pretty good week as well. Wish I could go to the rib cook off in Reno and have some ribs haha.  But that´s lame that you can´t get the motorcycle registered yet, hope that you can get that all good to go soon. Sounds like it´s a pretty lengthy process!

Here the weather has been really weird. During the days, when there is sun, it get a little warm out. But at nights and in the mornings it has been pretty cold. It has just been changing a ton and a lot of people have been getting sick. I haven´t gotten sick yet but the rest of the missionaries here have been sick throughout these past weeks. Everyone´s good now though and I think most of the sickness has past, didn´t get sick! Probably just jinxed myself. But I really just want it to either be hot or be cold. Not change all the time. 

We are also in the last week of transfers. On Saturday they will be calling us to tell us our transfers. This transfer has gone by really fast! This is Elder Phillips last week in the mision as well! So we should be getting changes in both of the companionships this week which should be interesting! 

We haven´t been doing too much on our P-days because there really isn´t a lot to do here in Tal-Tal and there really isn´t a lot of time to do a lot. We usually come to write then we go and buy food for the week then eat lunch. After that we have a few hours to just sit around, watch movies, play ping pong, or just do whatever we want. 

Well love and miss you guys a lot! Hope that you have a good week!

Elder Newkirk

President Lemos, Yerack and his family

Elder Newkirk, President Lemos, Yerack, Elder Fernandez

Here is the pic of the things that Grandma and Grandpa sent me for my birthday! Sorry for the pic as well, I took it this morning when I just woke up so I was still a little tired...