Monday, December 25, 2017

Homecoming information

Elder Newkirk will be returning home on Dec 20th at 11:45am at the Reno airport and giving his homecoming talk on December 24th at the Washoe Valley building (11am)

Monday, December 11, 2017

week #102 -- last email from Chile!

oh wow, last email! Como estamos?

Pretty crazy how fast the time has just flown by. I honestly cant believe that this is going to be the last one! Thanks for never missing a week lol!

Well this week that we had was actually really good. We didn´t have all the much success getting people to church this Sunday like we did last week. We only had 1 in church this weekend. We had a lot of other people promise to come to church but just didn´t answer their phone or anything. There were a couple of others that things came up so they couldn´t go to church. Jessica Castillo came to church this week. A youth that is just a little crazy, but shes nice. The thing is, is that this week shes going off to Santiago to live so she wont be here.. Matias also showed up but he showed up really late actually. He came to the classes with a friend of his. Matias is really cool but he is really slow. He has a real hard time learning and doesn´t really pay all that much attention. We did his baptism interview this week but he forgot pretty much everything for the problems that he has. We´re going to see whats up this week and see if were going to baptize him or not, we also have to get permission from President about him. But we´ll see what happens! This week we also found a ton of new investigators that were really really cool. We had 26 news this week and a lot of them are really cool and I feel are going to progress a lot. There is a ton of potential here in the sector now! A lot of good people that we are teaching and that we have found! Definitely sad to leave it! But yeah that was pretty much this week! Just still working hard and helping all those that I can before that I leave the mission field! This week should just go by flying. Tuesday and Wednesday should just be some normal days. Thursday we have a Christmas devotional with all the missionaries from the south of the mission. Friday will probably just be a day of saying bye to a lot of people. Saturday will be like the official last day in my sector and working, hope it will be a baptism day. Then Sunday morning I go traveling to Antofagasta to have the interview. Monday last Pday with President and all the missionaries finishing the mission. Then Tuesday I travel back home! So that should be my week this week! We´ll be seeing ya real soon where we can talk a lot more!

Not gonna lie I dont have a clue what happened with these 2 years. A lot of mixed feeling about everything. Definitely excited to come home and start the game of life, but also a little freaked out because there will be a lot of things to do and worry about as well. I feel like the real mission is just about to begin! But I also dont feel like its going to be such a huge change because I´m going to take the things that I have learned in the mission and the good habits that I´ve developed and just put them into the real life! Just because the mission is finishing doesnt mean that I have to stop being a missionary and helping people out and changing lives! But definitely going to be a change! I honestly dont know what else to say to you guys about the mission. But I am so grateful that I have had these 2 years to be able to serve the Lord here in northern Chile. An experience that has changed my life and the life of others as well. I came here to help all those that I could to come unto Christ, have faith in Him, repent of their sins, and be baptized to be able to reach eternal life. And along the way of helping others I have helped myself. I now understand the importance of the Gospel and how important it is to live it and the importance to share it with others. I think that the thing that I have most seen and learned is how much love that the Lord has for his children and the importance that we have in his plan to bring salvation for everyone. Gods only purpose is bringing his sons and daughters back to his presence and nothing else. He only wants that everyone can make it back. I love the mission so much and for everything that has happened to me in these 2 years. There honestly not enough words to explain everything that is the mission. But I love the mission and Im so grateful that I took the decision to come and serve the Lord. Thank you everyone who was there to support me and was with me every step! Thanks for all the emails, all the love that you guys have shared!

Se que este es la Iglesia de Jesucristo y no hay ningún otro. Se que por medio de un profeta, Jose Smith, la Iglesia pudo ser restaurado. Se que el Libro de Mormón es verdad y es la evidencia de que todo esto es verdad. Se si leemos, meditamos, y oramos que el Señor va a contestar a todos sus hijos. Se que este es su obra y no de ningún otra persona. Estoy agradecido por este oportunidad que he tenido para servirle por estos 2 años. He podido aprender mucho y ahora entendió muchas cosas. Se que este es el único camino que vuelve a la presencia con nuestro Padre Celestial y que también podemos estar con nuestras familias para siempre. Se que si somos obedientes que vamos a recibir muchas bendiciones de Dios y hay que siempre confiar en El en cada momento. Se que el tiene todo poder y El es todo en nuestra vida. El siempre quiere el mejor para sus hijos. Se que si tenemos fe podemos hacer todas las cosas! Se todas estas cosas porque he sentido fuertemente y he tenido muchas experiencias! Se que todo esto es verdad y lo dejo en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Love you guys a ton! See ya real soon!

Elder Newkirk

Pic. Last pic! Had the last zone activity and we played soccer like normal lol!

Monday, December 4, 2017

week #101 - second to last week of missionary service


Well second to last email that I`m going to make to you guys! Real crazy! But this week was actually really good. A real chill week of just solid working! We found quite a few people who were really cool. This week we actually focused a lot more on bring investigators to church which worked out for us. We had 8 investigators in church with a few others who were suppose to come to church but couldnt show up for reasons. We focused a lot on commiting people to come to church. We have like these cards that we used which is like a written promise that we do with the people that they sign to remember to come to church and make a promise to come to church and it worked out really well for us this week! The investigators that we have been teaching has been quite a few. We have a real good stock going on with people that we are teaching and progressing! I`ll just go through all the people that we`ve been teaching and everything. Zenobia is a lady from Bolivia that we contacted a couple weeks ago and have been teaching as well. She came to church this weekend and also has a son who is 8 years old. She is married and is super awesome! She`s really nice. She is from the Adventist church and everything but we have faith that she`ll be getting baptized and also with her son! Also Jannette came to church again. This was her second time coming to church and also really likes church, she also has a couple friends from work in the branch as well which helps out a lot. The only thing about her is that her husband is really lame. He like restrains her from progressing and everything. She wants to do it but to avoid problems with her husband she hasn`t been able to progress a lot. We are actually going to go for it this weekend and baptize her because she is super ready the only problem is her husband Franko... We have also been teaching Matias who is Jocelyns(recent convert) older brother. He also came to church yesterday for the first time. He will get baptized like almost 100% which should be cool! Also this week we found 2 chicks that are super ready as well. Bernarda and Camila are cousins that live pretty much together alone with their kids. We found them this week and started teaching them. From the first lesson they were really really cool and accepted everything really fast and already really like what we teaching and everything about the church. They actually weren`t able to come to church yesterday because their kids got sick but they are really cool and should be getting baptized next Saturday as well. I`m going to just ask President for permission to baptize them with 1 attendance for my last Saturday as a missionary. But they are way cool and have be progressing a ton! Also we have Veronica and her brother who came to church yesterday. Veronica is like 18 but also really cool. She has family who are active members of the church in the south of Chile. So she`ll be progressing as well and get baptized here soon. The only thing is that she is going on vacation with school ending and bring back her family to her house. So when she gets back with her family that are members she`ll definitely go back to church and get baptized as well! We also had another investigator that came to church who was Alejandra but she actually didnt like church like at all because no one like said hi to her and she just felt weird in church so she told us that she didn`t want to come back.. The members are so crucial in missionary work. You have to have the members and also the missionaries working to make things work. You cant just have one or the other working. The both have to work.. But that kinda sucked because she was really cool and excited to come to church but left the church empty and didn`t like it because of the members.. But other than that the work here is going really well and we are having a lot of success right now! There are definitely a lot of blessing and miracles happening here in my last couple weeks! Hopefully a lot of these people that I mentioned should be getting baptized this next Saturday the 16th which is my last day here in Tierra Amarilla and my last day pretty much as a missionary! My last day because Sunday 17th I go traveling in the morning before sacrament meeting to Antofagasta and in the afternoon I have my last interview with President Ferreira. Then Monday is last Pday with all the missionaries finishing the mission and with President where we play soccer and do a couple things during the day and have a dinner with President at night. Then Tuesday we go to the airport to go traveling. Pretty crazy how fast things go flying! This next Sunday is pretty much my last Sunday as a normal missionary.

Well that was pretty much everything this week in one big paragraph haha. But things are going really well just working hard until the end! Hope that you guys have a great week! See ya next week in my last email!! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

Pic with the famous donkey statue in Tierra Amarilla(its really weird)

Tierra Amarilla symbol

Chilean Flag

Monday, November 27, 2017

week #100 -- Dressed in white for the prom!


Hey imma make this email real quick this week. It was a great week! We had 2 baptisms this weekend! Jocelyn and Thabianny got baptized this weekend! Thabianny we thought that she was a member of the church less active who is Jocelyn`s cousin because all of the teaching records and everything from the missionaries said that she was less active. But we found out this week that she isn`t a member! Miracles that the Lord just puts in our path! I was just sitting talking with her when Jocelyn was in her baptism interview and we got to the point where we talked about the church and about baptism and all that good stuff. Well I found out that she got baptized when she was 8 years old, but... she got baptized in the Catholic church with her little brother. I couldn`t believe it lol. The next day we called the mission office to look up her information and everything just to double check and make sure because we were almost 100% that she was a member. But the office couldn`t find anything. So that same day we went and talked with her and explained to her everything and invited here to get baptized with her cousin but at first she didn`t really want to because she said that she`s already gotten baptized and all that but we talked a little bit more and explained the doctrine of Christ and hyped her up to get baptized. She had her baptism interview that same day and got baptized!! Actually Elder Wild came back down during the week to be able to do interviews for the zone again and did my interviews again! But its funny how the Lord works and everything but we definitely recieved blessings this week! So we had 2 baptisms! Also the other Elders from Tierra Amarilla(Elder Gordon and Elder Davis) had 2 baptisms! It was just pure young women. The title of the pic that I`m going to send is "they all choose white for the Prom" hahahaha! Because we all got in white to baptized! But that that`s the success that we had this week! Also had crazy exchanged this week where in the whole zone gets mixed up to work with a new comp. I got to work with one of the zone leaders in their sector which was fun! With Elder Thomas. Other than that just another normal week of working! We actually didn`t have any investigators in church yesterday which sucked. We had quite a few people promise to come to church but the attendance was pretty low as well. The other Elders as well didn`t have anyone in church. It was just a weird Sunday. I had to do a ton yesterday lol. Lets see I baptized, confirmed, gave a long talk about the Book of Mormon because there was only 2 speakers including me, also did a special number with my comp, fransico, matias, and mamitas daughter kimberly, then i had the gospel principles class like usual. So just a jam packed Sunday meeting for me haha. But its all good I like to participate. I`m also like always ready to give a talk about something having to study the gospel every single day. But yeah that was pretty much my week this week!

Also the cut in my head is already better. Friday I got the stitches taken out. It weird part is when the doctor took off the scab that had a couple hairs in it lol. Hurt a little bit and felt weird but we`re all good now. Got a scar when I got the cut but its on top of my head so the hair just covers it which is the good part! Oh I also didn`t have to pay for anything. Here in Chile they have a decent system. Depends on a couple things but they did it for free. Seeing me as a missionary and everything I think they just did it for free. I didn`t have to give like anything just my Chilean ID and that was about it.

Looks like you guys had a good Thanksgiving! Nice and quiet!

Yeah just another normal Pday. We played soccer as a zone, watched Moana and then went to go eat lunch. Now were here writing in a cyber place, then we`ll head off and buy food for the week and then head home to finish the day. Thats just about all that we can do. There isn`t like anything here in Copiapo to do...

Hope that you guys have a great week! Love you guys a ton!! See ya soon!

Elder Newkirk

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was Elder Davis`s birthday on Thanksgiving! We celebrated in Franciscos house. The other Elders had to go and do the interview for Thabianny so thats why they werent there but the members wanted to do something for Elder Davis so I stayed with him there. Selfie with everyone, pic with Paulina(Francisco`s cousin that got baptized this weekend), and pic with Francisco! 

On the crazy exchange day we bought Sushi at night with the boys. The flash was just a little too bright right in front of my face. But its all good I look japanese while eating Sushi.

The best decoration from Chile... Baby in a tree

"They all decided to wear white to Prom" 

Pic with Francisco, Elder Davis, and Elder Riquez

Monday, November 20, 2017

week #99 -- baptism of Priscila

Hey hows it going??

Well my week has been pretty crazy. Good but also lame because I might have cut my head and had to get stitches... We´ll get to that part in just a sec. But the week was good. On Wednesday Elder Wild, who is now the traveling assistant, came to our zone to do interviews for some of the investigators that we are teaching. He interviewed Priscila for us and she got baptized on Saturday! We almost didn´t get permission from her mom but finally we got her permission! Then on Thursday we had a conference with President where he talked with the zone about a couple of things because our zone isn´t doing so great before this weekend we only had 1 baptism in the month as a zone which is really low. But he came and talked with us and talked about a couple things and the spirit of urgency and how we need to look at things half full and not half empty. Then we had interviews with President afterwards. My interview was real quick, he didn´t really tell me all that much only that I have to start thinking about plans after the mission Sunday nights haha. So I´m going to start doing that to make a couple plans for when I get back. And now that I have the flight plan and everything, time is just passing faster and faster everyday... Then afterwards we set up an interview with President with David. President talked with David for a little bit but David won. President told us that he was ready and that he should be getting baptized soon. So we are going to keep working with David but I have faith that he is going to get baptized soon! But then on Friday it was just another good day and while we were working I hit my head on a electric box... We were just talking and walking and I hit my head on a post... I have hit my head a couple times here in Chile because they make everything shorter here and I´m a little too big here. But I hit my head pretty hard and touched my head and there was just a lot of blood.... So we hurried and went to Francisco´s house because we were close, cleaned my head and but some pressure on the cut. Then we called another member who came and picked us up and took us to the hospital where I got a couple stitches in my head... Theres always a first time for everything... But everything has been fine. After that first day everything has pretty much been normal. Just that first day my head was a little sore and hurt lol. But after that things have been fine. A little pain here and there but all good. A little weird to shower and also to do my hair in the morning. Then on Saturday we had a baptism! Priscila got baptized! She chose me to baptize her right after the accident haha but everything when well and she got baptized!! This week we should also have a baptism. Yocelin should get baptized this weekend as well. She has the baptism date for this weekend and she has came to church like 2 times and she has been progressing as well so she should be getting baptized this weekend. I also did a couple interviews for the other Elders here in Tierra Amarilla and she should be baptizing as well so here we should be having a couple of baptisms!

But yeah thats crazy that the flight plan is already here! Now you know exactly when I´m getting home. Its crazy how fast the time has been flying by. I never thought I would get to this point lol. But now I feel like the time is just passing by really slow but when we get to the date I know it will feel like it flew by really fast. But I´m definitely excited as well!

No but we didnt do anything too special for pday today. Just another normal day of just hanging out and going to Copiapo. Right now we´re in Francisco´s house just chilling, I´m using his computer to write. But yeah just another normal day of just hanging out not doing anything too special.. Pdays are kinda boring because there isn´t a ton to do here in Tierra Amarilla or Copiapo. Just go around downtown to see what they have or just hang out with members or whatever. But I only have like 3 more Pdays after this one haha.

Well I hope that you guys have a great week! Have a great Thanksgiving!! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

The only photos that I have from the baptism of this weekend... I didn´t take any photos because I thought that someone was taking pics with the camera of my comp and the person that was suppose to take pics didnt take any pics...... So this is the only one that I got. But Priscilas baptism!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

week #98 -- Press on in the work -- tierra amarilla


This last week actually went by real well. Now that we are baptizing with 2 asistence just to be the test for the mission we have actually been doing well. Here as as zone we have actually been doing a little bad but in our sector we´ve been doing good! As a zone we only have 1 baptism this month. This weekend we have one baptism coming up of Pricila which is going to be good. She has been going to all the activities and has gone to church twice now. She is really cool and has progressed really well! We have also been working with a lot of other people as well to try and get them to come to church. Yesterday we had 5 investigators in church which was cool. A lot of them were new and was the first time that they came to church so hopefully they´ll come next week and want to get baptized as well. We are also still working with David. We are thinking to bring President this week to come and talk to him and hype him up! We´re going to have interviews with President on Thursday so he´ll be around and wants to visit some investigators that have been stuck progressing. So we´re going to try and set something up with him on Thursday to talk with President! We also had like 22 people compromited to come to church on Sunday but actually a lot of them fell and didn´t come through. We even had a couple that we went ourt early and woke up and said that they were going to come but didn´t show up... But we just going to keep working with them and help them come to church and see the importance to come to church. There are always some type of excuse for not coming to church on Sunday... Elia is now working legit 24/7 watching over a old lady... She doesn´t even have time to go to her our house.. Lame... So hopefully some type of miracle can happen this week!

The zone that I´m in is pretty cool. The missionaries here are really cool. I´m with a lot of missionaries from old zones when I was their zone leader. Now being just senior comp its weird not being their zone leader anymore lol. But they are all really cool. There are a lot of missionaries that say that its cool to see me die in the mission and stuff like that. Definitely miss being zone leader as well because there is always stuff to do as a zone leader but now I dont have all that much responsibility. At night now I dont have anything to do. My comp has been teaching me guitar so I know a couple songs now and have been learning lol. But the zone leaders where I´m at are pretty good. Elder Critchfield and Elder Thomas. They are good leaders! I was also in their zone before as well when I was in Antofagasta like a year ago we were in the same zone the 3 of us. Good missionaries!

Looks like there wasnt all that much snow up there lol. That sucks. It´s still really early in the season. But when I get back home there should be some good snow up there! I´m stoked! Should be some fun!

Thats good that you guys had a good church yesterday! We sometimes have to give talks and stuff like that. Every week I have the lesson of Gospel Principles which is fun. I actually like giving that class. But there are still a lot of callings open here. There are actually a lot of members here that dont have callings which should have callings. Its kinda weird. But there isn´t like any priesthood at all. Our branch president is from another sector because there isn´t anyone else that can be branch president. Our attendance is normally like 60-70 depending on the week. That one week when we had 90 asistence was a miracle haha. We didn´t even fit in the church for all that many people. There wasn´t any more chairs so we were in back just standing the whole sacrament meeting lol. All the people that like rotate every other Sunday just showed up that Sunday which was cool. So the church building is a lot smaller than other normal buildings because its only a branch as well. Definitely going to be weird singing hymns again in English. One gets accustomed to singing Spanish hymns all the time. There are quite a few songs where I dont even need to hymn book anymore as well.

Well other than that just working hard to find as many people that I can that the Lord is preparing!! Love you guys a ton and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Newkirk

Pic from this week. I dont have any other pics from this week but we played some soccer today as a zone and had a bbq. It was fun. Got a little burned and now I´m pretty tired but it was a good zone activity! The whole zone isn´t in the pic but those who were there at the end. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

week #97 - Staying in Tierra Amarilla for last transfer

Hola como esta? Como fue su semana? Espero que todo bien!

Mi semana fue buena! Íbamos a tener un bautismo esta semana pero se cayo justo ultimo minuto. La hermana que se iba a bautizar se llama Elia. Todo estaba bien toda la semana. Paso su entrevista, compartimos todos las lecciones y todo. Pero justo el día Viernes ella nos llamo en la noche diciendo que en su trabajo se cambio su turno y que tenìa que trabajar todo el fin de semana. Mas chanta! El trabajo aquí en Chile es mucho. Las personas trabajan caleta! Asì que ella no se bautizo este semana pero esperamos que esta semana se bautiza si es que no trabaja. También estamos trabajando con el David todavía. También tenemos esperanza que el se bautiza pronto. El esta mucho mas abierto ahora y somos buen amigos. El quiere venir a los Estados Unidos y visitarme así que si un Chileno viene a visitarnos no se preocupe le invitè. También ayer en la iglesia tuvimos 4 investigadores nuevos en la capilla que fue bacan. Una mujer joven que se llama Pricila que encontramos esta semana fue a la iglesia con nosotros, ella es bacan y esta progresando rápido. Ella tiene fecha para la próxima semana. Ahora en la zona nosotros tenemos que tener 2 asistencias para poder bautizar así que ahora las personas tiene que asistir 2 veces a la iglesia para que se pueden bautizar. Presidente esta tratando de probar como le va y nuestro zona es la prueba para ver como le va con 2 asistencias. Pero todo esta bien en la obra aquí en Tierra Amarilla. Vamos a seguir trabajando no mas!

Well hopefully you were able to understand a little bit of that. But everything is going well here in the work! We`re still here this transfer with Elder Riquez. So it should be a good final transfer working here with him. Sounds like we`re going to have a good time up there on the mountain! I`m stoked! Probably be going up like everyday lol! 

Well honestly other than that things are going really well. Honestly doesn't even feel like I`m heading into the last transfer. It will probably start hitting me like the last week or something like that but honestly it just feels like normal. Feels like I have little time in the mission, so things feel and are going good. Just going to keep working hard to find all the people that the Lord is preparing for us!

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

Elder Newkirk

Halloween! We found Donald Trump here in Chile haha!

There was a Halloween party at mamtias house, they made gravestones for all the Elders lol.

Pic with the zone!

Monday, October 30, 2017

week #96 - baptism of Aida

Hey!! Happy 17th Hailey!!!! Have a great day!!

This week actually went pretty well! Aida got baptized!! We definitely had a miracle as well! She has been ready for her baptism and everything but this weekend her family went to another city and she didn't want to get baptized without her family present in the baptism... But we put a little pressure on the family to get here Saturday earlier than planned so that she could get baptized. Well they got here Saturday afternoon and she got baptized!! It was actually a really good baptism because we had the "Open Church" activity in our branch this Saturday as well so there were already a lot of members there! It was a good baptism. Also the other Elders here had 2 baptisms as well so we were all able to baptize together this weekend! We are still working with David as well. We haven't really been able to see him ths week he has been pretty busy. But I did play a little bit of ping pong with him and his friends when we found them. It was pretty fun. I beat them all like 3 rounds which was fun haha. But we are good friends and everything with David but he`s a little different. In the sense that his faith isn`t that big but we`re trying to help him prepare and everything to get baptized. He didn't come to church yesterday either. We actually had quite a few people promise to come to church this Sunday but we only had 1 investigator in church. A lady called Elia. She was the one who came to the general conference a few weeks ago. She finally had time to come to church. She is really cool but whats hard is that she works all the time and hardly has any time. If she had more time to share with us she definitely would be a member already. Stupid work here! Takes peoples lives! But we still have a couple sold investigators that we have found in the week but we just have to find them and teach them more and get them to come to church!  Other than that everything's going well here in Tierra Amarilla with my comp and everything! I`m pretty sure we wont have any transfers this week, but you never know. Transfers are always crazy!

A lot of people here for the summer just go to the beach and pretty much just camp out there. Others will also take vacations and everything to like southern Chile and all that. But just depends. But summer here doesn't like officially start until like December so we still have like another month of school and everything. But even more crazy now finishing school with all the tests and homework and everything. The educational system here is a lot different! It`s a lot of studying!

Also this week we had a urgent skype video call with our mission president. He made us the promise that we can baptize weekly now. Before as a mission he always said that we can baptize monthly and now he told us weekly! I`ve always talked with him and asked why he hasn't just told missionaries why not weekly because it is definitely possible to baptize every week. But he always said that the Lord still hasn`t told him that. So I guess that Lord told him now! Now we going to do everything to baptize weekly! Right when I`m finishing as well he gives us the promise of being able to baptize weekly haha!

But just another good solid week of just working hard! I dont think we`ll have any transfers this week. I`ll probably just stay here with Elder Riquez to finish things out! But you never know transfers are always crazy and sometimes things happen that you never thought so we`ll see but I`m almost positive that nothing is going to happen! Yeah, but hope you guys have a great week! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

Pics: Photos of Aida`s Baptism!!!

Photo with the boys! Francisco and Matias. They are a couple members from here in Tierra Amarilla. Francisco actually got baptized in Utah last year when he went down there to visit his cousin who is a member in Utah to visit the states. And while he was there he got baptized. They are both really cool, they usually come out with us a lot. We hang out a lot with them as well. Last Pday we went around Copiapo with them and then afterwards we made food. Heres the pic!

Monday, October 23, 2017

week #95 baptism for Maruja


This week was pretty solid! We had a baptism this week! Maruja got baptized this week! Nicole pulled the same thing this week as well so I think we are just going to drop her...... Anda a laar(lavar)... But yeah Marujas baptism was really good. A lot of members already know her and everything so a lot of members came to the baptism! Pretty much all her family are members active in the church and now it was her time to get baptized in the church! Also Aida was super good to get baptized this weekend but she was really busy with a ton of stuff and couldn`t make it so we are planning her baptism this weekend! We also have a youth that came to church this Sunday. His name is David and is 17. His sister is a convert whos like 19 who actually got baptized secretly in the church without her parents knowing because they wouldnt have supported her. But her brother came to church and we have started to share with him more because before he shared a lot with missionaries as well. But he is really cool and likes the church as well but we have to go to get to know the parents more as well to see if they`ll let him get baptized or not. But that happenes a lot here. Find a really cool youth that progresses a ton but their parents wont let them get baptized. The same is passing with the other Elders here in Tierra Amarilla, they have a chick coming to church and all the activities and everything but her mom doesnt give her permission to get baptized....lame.

Other than that this week has actually been pretty slow. Not a ton happened this week. Seems like no one was home and there was like no one in the streets either. All the kids are entering into the last downhill of school and all that here before summer vacations. Also there was like a huge stop of school here for like a month and a half without classes so the kids are making up all that time now with a ton of homework and school on Saturday as well. So seems like the whole city is pretty much dead which kinda sucks. A little slow the work here but we are just going to keep working hard. The Lord always puts people in our way that are ready to receive the Gospel in their lives!

Looks like you had some fun at the concert that you went too! I feel like if I dont go a day here in Chile without smelling marijuana then it feels like I`m not in Chile. So I definitely feel you there haha.

Yeah still have 2 more weeks in this transfer and then we head into the last one. Its a weird feeling because I never thought that I would honestly get to this point but the time has just been going fast and I cant believe it. I still feel like I`m just starting the mission and am still learning things every day! Its a weird feeling, I want to get back home to just get back into life but I also want to stay here and be a missionary! Its weird but the best thing to do is just to accept it and turn the chapter when the time comes!

Other than that things are going well here in Tierra Amarilla! Love you guys a ton! Hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Newkirk

A few photos from the baptism from this weekend! 
I found on the camera that it has a time lapse feature so I used it from our trip from Copiapo to Tierra Amarilla which turned out kinda cool!

Monday, October 16, 2017

week #94 -- Tierra Amarilla still working hard!

Hey! Happy Birthday tomorrow Dad!! Hope you have a great day!! Going for 50 right? just like mom haha

My weekend was definitely pretty crazy. The week actually went really well. On Tuesday I went out in my sector working with one of the zone leaders, Elder Critchfield. We found a ton of people and did a lot of good work that day with him. Then the rest of the week was just working. Then we get to Friday when the fun starts happening. So last email I mentioned Nicole a girl that we`ve been teaching and went to church last week right. Well she progressed a ton! She stopped smoking and stopped a lot of things and was super ready to get baptized. She had her interview with Elder Critchfield as well and passed and everything was good! Then we get to Friday, we went to go pass by her house in the night to pass her the baptism tunic and everything, we get there and there is dude in her house. After the lesson and everything we were thinking who that would be and stuff like that and he said that he got there to live there in the house so we got scared and were thinking that it was her boyfriend or something like that. So we passed by Saturday morning to double check everything to make sure she was all good(same day as the baptism). We found out that the guy is her daughters dad...... She said that they dont have any relationship at all anymore and they are also in different rooms sleeping and everything but we still had to find what was going on and if she could even get baptized because that still is like living together without being married because they obviously had a relationship before. So we called all our leaders and everyone until we got to mission president to see if she could still be baptized or not. He told us to call him in an hour after thinking about the situation. So we got to ok to baptize her if there wasn`t any relation and they were pretty much just living as friends and everything. So we went a told her and everything was good again for the baptism. Then like 1 hour before the baptism she  sent us a text message saying that she couldn`t make it to the baptism because something happened to her nephew and had to go and see him fast... So we talked with her and branch president and everything and planned the baptism for Sunday morning before the sacrament meeting at 9am and everything was back to being good. So Sunday we got up really early at 6am to go to the church and fill up the font and everything. Then it got to like 8:30 and she wasn`t answering her phone or anything so we felt like we needed to go her house to see what was up. We went booking over to her house and the daughters dad answered the door half asleep saying that she left really early in the morning because the daughter was sick... So she ended up not getting baptized. I honestly think that she was up there in her house yesterday morning but we still havent gone to visit her so we really dont know whats up... Pretty stressful and kinda sucked but still we good and just going to keep working hard here with animo!

We also have a couple of other investigators that are really good that can also get baptized this weekend. Aida has been doing good and stopped smoking for a little bit now so if she doesnt smoke this week she could get baptized. Also we have a lady called Maruja who is a mom of a ton of members and everything. Like she whole family are members active in the church, she even has a granddaughter in Utah studying. But she has never been baptized. Well she got cancer looks like... So now she also wants to get baptized finally. Sometimes strong things have to happens in peoples lives to change them. So we`re also going to be working with her this week so that she can get baptized. Also we had a girl come to church this Sunday as well, Yasiara! She is really cool but we honestly haven`t taught her a lot or met her parents that well so we have to go and see whats up as well with her. Shes really cool and got a long really well with all the young women in church. We also have a couple other people that didn`t end up going to church yesterday like normal but we`re going to keep working with them to help them go to church and get baptized!

Yeah on Monday it was a good hike. We got pretty high up there! But yeah those dogs just followed us up the mountain lol. A couple of them were members dogs just following them. But yeah pretty much in every city here in northern Chile there are just a ton of dogs. But today for Pday we played soccer like normal as a zone and watched Shrek lol. Shrek is one of movies that are approved to watch as a zone so we watched that today. I honestly dont know why Shrek is on the list but it was good haha. Long time since I`ve seen it! A little different in Spanish as well!

That would definltey be cool to work on fireworks sometime as well! Would be cool to see them from right under!

Hope you guys have a great week! Also have a great birthday tomorrow Dad!! Hope you have a great day! Also have fun at your metal concert! Love you guys a ton!

Elder Newkirk

Monday, October 9, 2017

week #93 -- working in Tierra Amarilla

Hola como tai po? Feliz Cumpleaños Mama! Espero que ha tenido un gran día!!

Esta semana fue buena! Mucho caminando en el sol, esta haciendo mucho mas calor cada dia! Pero estamos bien trabajando aquí en la viña del Señor! Solamente tratando de traer almas a Cristo en este tiempo que me queda! Well so things have been going well with the investigators as well! We are teaching someone who is called MariaJose. Her boyfriend is a member of the Church less active and has been listening to the missionaries for like a month now. She´s 17 but she is really cool and we´re trying to get her baptized. She pretty much has everything and has gone to church as well but now just says that she wants to feel an answer and a desire to get baptized. So we´re just going to keep working with her to help her out because I know that she has already gotten an answer and everything but we´re going to just help her out to enter into the waters of baptism. Sometimes agency sucks lol! The missionaries here have also been working with another investigator for a while who is an old lady who's been going to church but she has to stop smoking so that she can get baptized, her name is Aida. She is actually really close to stop smoking she has gone from smoking boxes a day to like 1 or 2 a day and she has also gone a couple days without smoking so she is really close as well. We also have another investigator who went to church yesterday with us who is a single mother who has 3 little kids who just got here to Tierra Amarilla from southern Chile who lives in a Toma. She is really really good and really receptive and everything. She also just has to stop smoking and she´ll also be ready to be baptized because she has been progressing really fast because it was just a contact that we did in the street with her but she is really cool, her name is Nicole. We have also been sharing with a lot of other people who are also really cool but still haven't gone to church and havent been progressing as much as the other but we are going to keep working with them to help them to progress more as well! Sunday morning we had a lot of people committed to come to church and we got out in the street at like 8:00-8:30ish to go out and pass by all the people who said they were going to church to wake them up and help them come to church. A lot of people fell..... But that's normal and happens all the time. There are a lot of people that say yes, yes ,yes but when it actually comes down to it......Different story... But other than that things are going good down here. I´m having some fun here just working hard till the end!

Conferences and interviews with President went really well! In my interview President was asking me about some of my plans and all that after the mission! Gave me just a little bit of advice, I bet he´ll give a lot more when I get to the end, but it was some good advice and told me not to worry about it. Also told me that I was one of the best missionaries that he´s had in the mission which was cool and that the Lord was pleased with the work that I was doing. Also gave me a shoutout in the conference that we had with all the missionaries from the south part of the mission! Definitely a good feeling to know that I´m working hard and doing a good job! but it was a good conference and learned a couple things but not anything too big or different.

Also yesterday Tierra Amarilla had the highest attendance that I think that they have ever had. We broke like 90 people that came to church. We literally ran out of seats to sit on and we were just standing up in the back of the sacrament meeting lol. Also had to bless the water 2 times because we ran out as well. The branch here in progressing a lot and a lot more people are coming to church. So the work here in actually going really well and we are working well with the branch and the members!

Yeah to train a new missionary there is a program that the church has which is called the first 12 weeks which is just like a little book that we study from to train the new missionary coming into the mission field. Other than that it is just an example like you were saying and just helping them accustom to missionary life and everything. But Elder Riquez is already a good missionary so there isn´t a lot of training to do lol.

Today we got up and went on a hike here also with the branch with a couple of people that came with us. It was actually a pretty good hike. I´ll send some pictures! Tierra Amarilla is just a little town the is just surrounded by mountains so there are a lot of hikes here that we could do. But it was pretty fun!

Looks like you guys also had a fun time down there in Boise!! Too bad for Dalton´s team but next game they´ve got it for sure! I bet Dalton is just like a machine out there playing football. I´ll have to go watch one of his games sometime as well! And geez you guys are rich just buying a new car! Looks like the Lord is definitely blessing you guys! Don´t fall into pride there lol😉 But that will be a good car to go up snowboarding this year! Hopefully we´ll be able to get out to the mountain a lot! I´m stoked!! but looks like things are going well and you guys had a great weekend! Have fun getting back into the normal schedule this week!! Love you guys a ton! Have a great week!!!

Elder Newkirk

Monday, October 2, 2017

week#92 - working hard in Tierra Amarilla

Hey whats up?

First week here in Tierra Amarilla has been pretty good! Its quite a small town but it is a lot of fun. Definitely the most green part that I have been in. Our house is out back of our Mamita who gives us lunch which is like in a forest. Its actually pretty cool. I`ll have to take a video and send it to you guys. But everything's going well here with my new comp. He`s not super newbie because he`s been out already for one transfer but I came here to finish his training. But things are going really well with him. He is actually really cool, also teaches really well! He is also really funny, I`m having a lot of fun with him. We have also been working real hard in Tierra Amarilla. There are actually quite a few solid investigators here that we are working with. We should be seeing some baptisms here real soon! Definitely a lot different not being a Zone Leader anymore either. It`s now just way to chill and I really dont have to worry about anything else just my sector and my comp. I actually kinda miss being Zone Leader is was a lot of fun and I learned a ton. But now we just have to worry about the sector and get out there and work hard!

Conference was also really good this weekend. A lot of good talks! I really liked the talks from President Uchtdorf about our pathway back to our Heavenly Father. Elder Holland about perfection. Elder Callister with pure fire about the Book of Mormon. But I think my favorite out of them all was Elder Rasband`s talk about Gods plan for us and how he makes the moves for us on the chess board and that there is no coincidence in life. I definitely am going to have to print out some of those talks and also listen to them to study them out because there were a lot of great talks this conference. But Sunday morning I didn`t really listen to all that well because I was pretty sick. Saturday night after Priesthood session a member took us out to eat completos and I think I ate a bad completo and was throwing up Sunday morning. But in the afternoon I was feeling better and today I`m back to normal. But yeah stupid completos, soo good but sometimes risky lol.

But yeah everything's going good. I don't have all that many photos to send this week. One with my new comp here in the cyber. Also I found one of my converts from Tal Tal. Remember Yerack??? He`s here in Copiapo studing now and still going strong in the church!! It was really cool to be able to see him in the conference! But I`ll try to get some more pics for this next week. Today we are also going to play soccer with President with the 2 zones together. Also have interviews again with him today and zone conferences with President tomorrow. So that should be fun! But yeah that's about it! Love you guys a ton! Hope you have a great week in Boise!! Send me pics too!

Elder Newkirk

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

week #91 - New transfer. Last sector of the mission - To Tierra Amarilla

Hola! Buena entonces hubo cambios! Estoy ahora en Copiapo en un pueblito que se llama Tierra Amarilla. Viaje ayer todo el día como 11 horas en el bus, fue divertido jaja. Pero bueno ahora estamos aquí en el sector. Vengo aquí para terminar el entrenamiento de Elder Riquez de Chile. El es super bueno y estoy animado para estar aquí con el. Pero ya no soy lider de zona y ahora voy en mi ultimo sector para morir en paz. Estoy super animado para trabajar duro aquí y puro bautizar no mas a todos! Fue un cambio un poco raro pero esta bien! Voy a extrañar Calama, de hecho no querría irme de ahí pero donde el Señor manda me voy. Deje algunos investigadores super bakanes. También hay bautismos ahí este semana con Raymi y también con las Columbinas(hay un fotos con ellas). Raymi es de la República Dominicana. Espero ver fotos del bautismo de ellos ahì en Calama! También logramos la meta ahí justo cuando me fue también. Justo logramos 16 bautismos como zona y ahora van a poder viajar a San Pedro que es un pueblo cerca de Calama pero muy turística. Chuta, esperaba ir por allá! Pero todo esta bien aquì!

Well other than that not too much happened this week that happened. Just a lot of runnning around like normal as zone leader. But now I`m not going to have to worry about that all that much. I`ll just be able to chill here in my sector with Elder Riquez and work hard! I`m actually really excited for these last couple transfers and I`m just going to keep working hard and doing all I can here in Tierra Amarilla. I hope that you guys were also able to understand the first paragraph as well. But yeah other than that I made it here safe and everything is good here. Next week I`ll have some more information about the sector and all that. I just got here last night. But so far so good.

But yeah all the photos this week are pretty much just goodbyes with some members and a couple investigatores as well also a couple of other pics. But yeah not all that much to write about this week.

Hope you guys have a great week and learn a lot from the conference this weekend! Watch all the sessions!! Love you guys a ton!! Nos vemos hasta la próxima!

Elder Newkirk