Friday, December 27, 2013

Lost in the Countryside

Sector- San Filipe
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #16

Hey family!! Wow so many people are going on missions so weird how were all serving missions!! Its encouraging also to know that all my friends can be serving missions too so that I dont have to miss anything at home!! haha Where is Ty going!? You never told me that? And did you tell me that Heidi is going to salt lake Temple square? Bobby told me that!!! But sounds like you guys are having a blast at home with Bobby haha. Bobby told me that he surfs with Beau and Chandler and Kelsay and he told me that Beau and Chandler are wayyy better than him hahah, Wow he must be realllllyyy bad then...hahah just kidding! I'm jealous I don't get to surf..but everyone's got to do their time on the mission haha

This week has been pretty fun, a few fun things have happened... We have not found anyone to teach in such a long time and we only have like 6 investigators so we do contacts and knocking doors seriously almost the whole day long in the 105 degrees and its so hard sometimes!! Im literally dripping in sweat the whole day long. And at night I sleep with no covers and a fan in my face!! haha But there was one cool experience that we had; we were coming back from doing a baptismal interview in a different city like 30 mins away and in between the cities is like little small villages that have hardly any houses and two of these villages are called Rinconada and Curimon, they're both in our sector. We have only been to these places once before, so we were coming back and I was just dozing off and my companion just taps me on the shoulder and tells me that we should get off and go try to find a family that we taught, that one time before so we get off and were in the middle of nowhere and my companion tells me I dont know if this is exactly the right station to get off, but he said that he got a spiritual promting to get off and visit the family, so we're just walking down some random road in the country and we dont know where we are and all there is are farms and we turn a corner expecting to see the village rinconada and there's just the same road that goes on for like 2 miles and then turns. We're like uhhh okay lets walk and see where this goes so we walk for like 30 mins and get to the part where it turns and we see the village like another mile away so we make our way over there. We get to the city finally and we find out that we're in a different one of the small villages haha called rinconada but the investigators live in curimon, so we would have to walk for like 3 more miles, and we were like nooo so we decided to just try to find a taxi to take us back... But we were in the middle of nowhere! So we keep walking for a little praying to find some way to get back without having to walk the whole way back and we find a bus station finally. There's two women sitting there and they're waiting for the bus too and we talk to them and they were super interested in the church and we set an appointment and stuff!! We'll see if they get baptized!! If so then our long journey would be worth it!!! haha. We finally got back to san felipe at like 9:50, right before we have to be in our house haha. It was crazy... In the country its wayyy prettier than in the city!! It was cool, the mountains were like right next to us but i didnt have my camera and I was so mad hahah. But it was cool to see that we could find those two people in the middle of nowhere!! We're going to teach them every Tuesday because we have to take a taxi alll the way out there to get to them!!

For the Skype I'm going to be on my account and we're going to be on at 3 here in Chile so you guys should get on then and you need to call me!! I think that the time difference is 5 hours but Im not sure!!! But yeah, just call me at my account!!  I'm excited to talk to you guys!!!!

I love you Guys!! Have a great week!!!!!
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #15

Hahah sounds like you guys are having a good week!!!! And Sounds like Dad is pretty committed to getting ripped!!! Haha I can't help not eating healthy, if we don't eat everything on the plate then the members get mad!! Like really, one of the missionaries didn't and the bishop talked to him about it!! But its all good because my companion and I actually work out in the morning and while riding bikes we try to burn fat there too hahah.

Bikes, Wooooo! 


I hope that you guys are excited for Christmas! Here they celebrate everything on the 24th so were allowed to have another Pday the 24th but on Christmas we get to Skype with you guys and then its a normal day...I hope we´ll actually be able to find people that day!!! 

Yeah, this sector is probably the best sector I'm going to get because the ward here actually has a good amount of people in it. It has like 125 people attend every Sunday and the others have like 40 and this ward actually has a whole bishopric and a ward mission leader that has served a mission so this ward is really good!! And the activities in this ward are really good! We have to sing in this Christmas thing for the stake on Friday, like 5 missionaries and I'm horrible at singing so I hope it goes well!! Haha 

Is Bobby having fun working at Sun Diego? he's so lucky he got a job there its so hard to get a job there!! However, this week has been really hot! We're actually entering into the summer now and I just happen to be in the hottest place in Chile!!! I sweat so much and I have such bad tan lines from the shirt and my watch hahah its also hard because no one leaves there houses from 1 pm until 5 pm haha so its hard to do contacts and stuff.  Those hours are always the hardest but we just have to stay strong through those hours!!  After that everyone is out on the street because no one has air conditioning! 

Our view from the apartment 

My companion. Brazilians are crazy hahaha
He always tries to wrestle me but I always destroy him....hhaha

Here's the story for this week; so the stake president here invited us to a family home evening with a family that are friends of his and have been wanting to learn about the gospel for a long time. So we went and we show up to the house of the family that were going to teach and it was weird because we've been teaching everyone in their houses that are super crammed and have like 2 bedrooms but we show up at this guys house and he has like 9 cars and his house is Huge in the countryside and I'm just like super intimidated at first because he's super important.  At the beginning we just took a tour and he was showing us all of his stuff that he has like his cars and backyard and stuff and I was like what are we going to teach this family!!! And then we started FHE and we say the prayer and then they have like 3 servants that come out and start serving us food and drinks and stuff and its all super formal and I was super intimidated hahah.  But then once we started teaching the restoration they had so many good questions and they understood perfectly! Then the stake president bore his testimony and they want to get baptized, the whole family!!!! Wooo that will be good!!! haha  

Oh Yeah, we had another baptism too!!! 

The rest of this week has just been normal, its weird because there are some days where I can talk Spanish really well and then others where I just mess up all the time haha!  But I'm improving and I'm probably going to have a hard time talking English when I Skype you guys because I haven't talked English in so long!!!
For the Skype I will probably Skype you guys at like 3 or 3:15 my time (I have no Idea what time that is in California) haha! I will be at a members house sooo yeah, I think you guys have to call me and Ill be on my profile on Skype I think!!

Playing Soccer, woooo!! 

Love you Guys!!!
Have a great week!!!
Love Elder Dirkmaat!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Homeless Girl, Bikes, & Exploding Pens

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #14

Story of the week, Haha, Sooo we were in the church at an activity and then after the activity we left to do contacts on the street because this week our contacts we only did like 90 when were supposed to do 150 and we were trying to do a bunch hahah but then were walking down the sidewalk and there's this homeless girl walking the opposite direction and she stops us...she has nooo teeth in her mouth and she is just like the most messed up girl iv'e seen she has like 2 toes missing and her skin is like blistered all over and she has a KID and shes like can you guys spare me 500 pesos to buy milk for my kid and stuff and she's like I know you guys are servants of God and what would God do and stuff but we're not allowed to give money and then she's like I can't feed my kid because I got breast cancer and I couldn't treat it...and then out of nowhere she just whips out her breast from her shirt and its all scarred and like discolored and its just the most disgusting thing I've ever seen!!! And we just were like AHH! yeah, sorry we have to go!!! And I literally almost puked!! Im scarred for life, it was the most disgusting thing EVER!!!!!! IT WAS DISGUSTING hahahha Hah yeah, that's the story for this week!!!!!  Oh, one more story. We were riding in the street on bikes and my companion was in front of me and he was looking at his planner when the light turned red and he ran straight into the back of the car and his face like hit the window hahahah it was the funniest thing ever to see haha

Hey looks like you guys had a fun time at the Christmas concert and looks like Christmas is fun back there!! The place that I'm in is known as the hottest city in Chile haha.  And I'm here in the dead center of the summer! Its so hot every day!! Its horrible, we need to stop for water like every hour! And I have the worst tan lines..I look like a dumb missionary now hahah. But the mountains here are sooo huge and when its sunset they're so beautiful I'm glad that this place I'm in actually is beautiful hahah. This week was so hard and we did almost nothing this week because we had so many meetings and things to do for this ward activity that we did this week where we had to do a skit on family history haha.  My companion is district leader so we had to travel like 30 mins to a city called Los Andes and back like 3 times to baptismal interviews so that took away our time too so we didn't get any new investigators this week but we will be having a baptism this next Sunday for a girl named Joselyn so that will be cool... It seems like the people that I have baptized have been the easiest ever because they just accept everything about the gospel right away haha.  Like the word of wisdom and law of chastity they just accept right away and I'm so surprised..But Then again I've only been out for like 3 months hah. 

The Spanish is definitely coming along, I can understand almost everything now unless the person is super ghetto cuz they use so so much slang I can't understand haha.  But I can understand everything I read in Spanish now except for some things in the Book of Mormon because they use like not normal words but I'm coming along in the Book of Mormon. It feels so much better now to be able to actually contribute to the lessons and actually feel like i am helping the people haha. The heat is killer but soon enough it will be like 0 degrees so I'll try to enjoy it!! 

I'll be able to Skype you guys on the computer!  There's a super super nice cyber cafe here so we'll be able to Skype! I have no idea the details yet..Wow, Creed and Reagan are leaving!! Woo, wish them good luck!! I hope that Creed can learn Spanish fast cuz its so hard at first!!! Thank you for sending the package.. I actually need garments because the freaking laundry lady lost like 4 pairs of mine!! And then also my pen exploded in my pocket from the heat so it destroyed another pair and now I'm left with a very limited amount which really sucks hahah so you should send me some!! Thanks for the E mails!! I cant wait to talk to you guys on Christmas!! It sucks being away from home on Christmas so that will make it better!!!

I love you guys!!!
Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, December 2, 2013

Temples & Transfers!!

Sector- San Filipe
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #13


Thanks for the updates on everything sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving!! Haha We forgot it was thanksgiving and I didn't even remember until the next day!! Woooooo were so celebrative hahah Haha And your thanksgiving surf sesh sounds sickkk Ill be back there soon showing all of you up haha I hope that Oliver is still learning!! I expect him to be better than me!! Haha 

So I got changed today but we still have time to Email so that's sweet I got changed to a place called San Felipe! Its farther than Los Andes and is a small country town in the Andes Mountains!! Its beautiful!! The Andes are hugeeee! But I just got here like an hour ago so I didn't take any pictures yet!! Haha I will though its the farthest north we can get from Santiago in our mission and its like 3 hours from Santiago so I slept for like 3 hours on the bus and that was amazing because I haven't had a nap in forever!! So my new companion is named Elder De Castro and he's from Brasil and only speaks Portuguese and Spanish so I'll not be using English very much at all this next transfer!! When I was asked to say a prayer in English by one of the investigators I already couldn't do it!1 I was thinking in Spanish and translating directly to English and that just doesn't work! haha So I hope that I don't forget English too much that I'm awkward when I talk!! 

This last week has been good, we were going to have a baptism this Sunday but then I got transferred so I'm not able to be there! Their names are Katherine and Jared and Jared has been inactive for like 15 years and Katherine is not a member. They are getting married in like 3 days and then getting baptized Sunday!!! Woo! Hahah But I wont be there..But we took Emilio and Tomas (Other Investigators getting baptized in two weeks) to see the temple too and taught them about temples and about the importance of temples! This is probably my favorite lesson to teach because this truly is the goal we want to get to! We don't want to just be baptized, we want to get to the temple and to be sealed to our family for time and all eternity. Baptism is the beginning! Its not the End and I think that teaching about the temple is probably the most important lesson!! It's the most important thing we do and its everyone's goal! It was good teaching about that because Emilio has a girlfriend and is now considering trying to bring her to the church so that he can have the blessings of being married for eternity. 

 I learned in the bible dictionary this week that the word Condemned means: To be stuck in a state and not be able to move forward. And Without a temple marriage we cannot receive the fullness of glory and the fullness of all the blessings that God has for us, yes we can live in the celestial kingdom but we cannot receive the fullness of blessings and we are stuck. Temple marriage is important!! Haha its the most important thing and we shouldn't just want our investigators to get baptized we should get them to the temple!! Haha 

I hope that you guys are having a good week! And I hope that you guys had a great time with everyone for Bobby's homecoming!! Thank you mommm! Oh, I get to Skype you guys soon! I hope your excited!!! Woooo! Cuz I could care less.. hahah Just kidding I'm excited!
I love you guys!!!!
Have a great week!!!

Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, November 25, 2013

1st Baptism!

Sector- Villa Primavera, Santiago
Companero- Elder Perdue
Letter #12

Haha wowww why do you put Big tires on the car when I leave!? Wow that's so lowww... haha Oh and I know why the car is so broken probably because I used to take it into the sand dunes in Rexburg and jump it like 20 feet hahah Well that sucks that you guys have to fix all that stuff..have fun!!

Haha Bobby's homecoming looks so cool!! He looks like a skinny twig!! Haha and he looks like hes super happy to be home!! I wish I could be there!! I miss the beach and surfing sooo much its a good thing that I don't have a beach around or I'd probably just go cuz its so stinking hot here! And Dad sounds like you're getting pretty shredded in the cross-fit classes!! Thats sweet!! I hope that I can keep my shape up on my mission its not easy when they give you 9 pounds of food for lunch!! Haha 

Oh yeah and It's changes this next week so I don't know if I'll get changed or stay in my sector!! And If I get changed I won't be able to Email next week! But this week was good! I had my first baptism and she was super happy to be baptized!! She wanted it so bad and I seriously think that it was the easiest baptism we could get because our first lesson she told us she wanted to be baptized!! Haha So I dont really feel like we did anything at all!! But this week was good because Im starting to get used to the mission life..I know it took a while for me but I'm starting to get used to walking and i'm starting to learn the lessons a lot better and this week my companion is the district leader so he did intercambios, I have no idea what they're called in English. But its when he goes to the other sector with another missionary in our district. And one of the days he left me in our sector because he had to do baptismal interviews. He left me to work with a member who had just been baptized like a year ago so I had to teach like 3 lessons just on my own basically because the member did not know very much. And it was really really hard but I did it and I was surprised that I could do it because I had never taught a lesson without my trainer speaking 80% of the time!! But it was good, I taught these two investigators named Exil and Abel from Peru. They are so ready for baptism, they told me that they've been looking for a church for a long time and Exil said that none of the other churches could bring this spirit to her and that she knew this church is different than the others. I taught about families in the lesson that we had with Exil and Abel and my trainer wasn't there and when I bore my testimony that the gospel blesses families so much and that I know through the gospel we can have a much happier family when we focus our home on love and the Gospel, our family can be so blessed from it. She started balling because thats what she is most worried about is her family because she loves her family so much and wants happiness for them. So that was pretty cool and I think were going to invite them to be baptized the next time we teach them. But yeah were teaching a lot of people and should have a lot of baptisms this week.  That was the highlight of my week that story!! I hope that you guys have a good week! 

I love you guys!!!
Love Elder Dirkmaat

P.S in the Christmas package that I think you're going to send me, I don't know if you still love me enough to get me anything for Christmas, but if you send me something you should put in it a book called "7 highly effective habits of a missionary"! Cuz I heard its good, oh and an electric toothbrush, oh and 90 dollars hah kidding...

I love you guys!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spreading the Good Word!

Area- Villa Primavera, Santiago
Companion- Elder Perdue
Letter #11

Hahahah Hi!!!

AH Bobby's home!! Wow it seems like he was gone since I was like 5 years old!!! Hahah I hope you enjoy having Bobby home and I hope he likes the new car that I got in place of the dumb Tracker! He better be stoked because I put a lot of work into that car!!! Haha  And Lets be honest Dad... tell me how much Bobby sucks at surfing now haha just kidding. But if it was my choice I'd skip the dumb homecoming and go surfing in Mexico!! Way better! What are you guys thinking??

Yeah, I read the E-mail from last week thank you!! Emily liked it a lot too she told me!! It sucked knowing that Bobby came home on Wednesday and me not being able to be there!! But this week we worked hard and knocked doors and got 12 new investigators!! Wow! We have a lot of lessons to teach this week and we have a lot of work to do to prepare for those lessons! Haha I'm trying to think of what happened last week and there was just so much stuff that I cant remember a specific thing that happened!! Haha But one thing was kinda horrible this week is that we taught the first lesson to two families that we thought were going to be perfect and for sure get baptized!! We taught them the first lesson and then the next day watched the restoration with them and I thought I could feel the spirit really strong while watching it and the first vision and stuff! And then after the movie, ( this is what happened with both the families) We asked them what they thought and what they liked and stuff and they just started talking about how they liked it and felt good but that they have their religion and that as long as our religion and their religion that they already practicing both believe in God and Jesus Christ then we are fine. And then we started talking about authority and how the church has the authority through the restoration and no other church has the authority, but then they'd just not take that into account or something and just argue that as long as we both believe in god then we're fine and both saved. So that was a bummer!! I wish I could have changed their minds but if we would have kept talking we know that the spirit wasn't going to be there because they just weren't prepared I guess. But We found a really good couple who actually just walked up to us while we were standing outside the church and asked if they could learn about our church. They're from Peru so their Spanish is so much easier to understand, Chilean Spanish is so horrible hahah But we taught the first lesson to them and committed them to read the Book of Mormon and they said they would and they're just golden because they said they've been searching for the truth and they don't see the differences between religions if we all believe in god and Jesus Christ. But we explained it to them and they believed us and loved it!! So we will probably commit them to being baptized.

I'm happy that Bobby's finally home and you guys get to spend time with him! It sounds like he's happy to be home too!!! Have a great week!! I love you guys!!!!

Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, November 11, 2013

4 New Investigators!!!

Area- Villa Primavera, Santiago
Companion- Elder Perdue
Letter #10

So Bobby is coming home on Wednesday!? Wowww I wish I could see him! Haha that's crazy hes coming home! Finally!! It seems like Bobby has been gone for like 5 years!! Hahah But that's good for him!!

This week was pretty good we had a day where we were just tracting and we got into the houses of Four people and taught four people the first lessons!! Hahah thaat never happens!! And so we got 4 new investigators in one day!! That never happens either! Haha  

I had two cool experiences this week, there was one when we were teaching an old lady who is 78 years old and we had just come across her from a reference from another person we had talked to. She let us in and started telling us about her life and her life is horrible!! It absolutely is horrible!! She lives in the smallest house ever and there's hardly room to sit and there was not enough chairs for all of us! And to work she makes salads and sells them on the side of the road and makes her living from selling salads that she puts into plastic bags. Haha she has a big tub of salad in her backyard. And to set up her stand in the morning she starts making her salads at 2 a.m every morning and gets her stand out there at 7 a.m to start selling and works until 6 and then sleeps and does it over again every day!! but the weird thing was the whole time she was talking about how much the lord blesses her life all the time and how much the lord has provided for her and all this stuff and she was talking about how much faith that she has in the lord and I was like wow how do you say that? It was amazing to me! But then we taught the first lesson to her and afterwards she asked us can I get baptized into your church? And we were like of course!! Hahah that was the easiest thing I've ever done hah But its cool how she can be so happy in her small circumstances. 

 The second experience is we were knocking doors at like 9:30pm and we were about to finish because we had to be back at like 10 to our apt so I was about to go back and then I was like I should knock one more door, then I was like no there's not a enough time and then I just decided to do it because it would take like 3 mins anyways haha but I knocked it and I talked to the guy and we said hello how are you?  My name is Elder Dirkmaat and I'm a missionary and he said here, come in!!! hahah I was like what! That never happens. So then I called my companion over and we went in and found out that he's a member but has been inactive for twenty years so we taught him about the importance of going to church and stuff and now hes coming to church with us! Wow, after twenty years and all he wanted was an invite!! 

The thing that sucks about Chile is that we have like 3 investigators who want to get baptized so bad but they can't because they're not married and their husbands don't want to get married here. It's weird here in Chile, people don't like to get married and almost every house we go into even if they have like 4 kids and are 65 years old they're still not married so I hope that we can teach some of our investigators the importance of marriage!! 

 I hope you guys have a good week and I hope that you enjoy Bobby being home because I wont!! haha But thanks for the Email.-...

I love you guys!! Thanks for the pictures of the beach!! I miss the beach!!!

Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mission is Opposite of Easy

Area- Villa Primavera, Santiago
Companion- Elder Perdue
Letter #9

District 4 Missionaries!

Hey family,

Thanks for the motivational emails!! They really help!! Thanks mom for sending that package I finally got it on Tuesday!! And now I eat Nutella everyday!!! hahah. Don't worry I've only gained 3 pounds on my mission!!! haha. I hope that its from getting taller and not fat though! 

Thanks for the Email and your experiences in the temple! That was motivating to hear that my relationships will be strengthened because of the mission because that's one of the things that I worry about most hah.  So just for all the people that think that the mission is going to be Easy its the opposite of easy! No day is easy, every day is hard!! That's what makes us grow I guess. This is the hardest thing that I've ever done and its so hard to stay positive sometimes because the way of life that we live here on the mission definitely does not fit my way of life haha. I am all about having fun and all about doing everything to have fun. The mission has made me a lot more serious about life hah, but I still hope that I can keep the fun in the mission. Its hard sometimes but I try haha. 

I hope that you guys have a good week!! Here in Chile Halloween is funny because they do the trick or treat except they say it in Spanish obviously, but if you don't have any candy they actually throw eggs at your house so the next morning there was a bunch of eggs all over the houses where the people weren't home or the people that didn't participate haha and there's a lot of people here that are against Halloween for some reason like evil spirits and stuff, they're dumb hahah. But It was just a normal day for us on Halloween, we were able to do a bunch of contacts because every one was out!! 

Oh yeah, and there was an earthquake!! A 6.6 on the Richter Scale!! But Chileans are used to it and never freak out because there's earthquakes like every month here haha. But like 3 years ago there was a huge one that killed like 2000 people!! hahah, hope that doesn't happen while I'm here!! 

Well, Elder Holland is coming to talk to the Santiago missions next week! That's pretty cool!! I'm excited because Elder Holland is an Amazing speaker! Haha. Oh yeah, and also I had to give my first talk in Spanish this week! It was pretty hard!! But I managed to do it!! Yes mom, my Spanish is improving and I'm starting to understand a lot more!! 

I hope that you guys are excited for Bobby to come home in like 2 weeks! I'm jealous that I wont be there to go surfing with you guys!!! I hope that you guys have a good week this week!!! Thank you for the Emails they're great!!! I wasn't able to see the Halloween pictures though!!!

I love you family!!!
Have a good week!
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Letter in Spanish

If you speak Spanish you can read most of it, but the last part is written in English!  Mail takes a while to get here!  Nate wrote this letter while in the MTC on October 8th and we got it on November 2nd!

Monday, October 28, 2013

In the Field!

Area- Villa Primavera, Santiago
Companion- Elder Perdue
Letter #8

Hi family!!!

Thank you for the motivational Emails they're really good because the field right now is seriously the hardest thing ever!! Its so hard but I hope that I can get used to it. I've just been trying to keep positive and try to be happy. It works sometimes haha playing soccer today for p day was good. Thanks for the support though because there were times that I literally wanted to go home so bad last week. Its so hard and I hope that it gets easier for me! But the field is so so so much different than the MTC and its hard! The MTC was a different kind of hard. haha by the end of the MTC I was able to understand everything that the teachers were saying because they would only talk in Spanish and I was able to understand everything! But I realized how slow and clearly they would talk for us gringos in the MTC because once I got out here I cannot understand hardly anything because they use so much slang and they slur there words and they sound weird when they're talking so during lessons and stuff I cant reply to their comments because I have no idea what they said. Its hard but I will start catching on soon. 

My Teacher and surfer buddies ha ha

Me and Miller

My area right now is probably the most ghetto place I've been in my life haha the apartment that we stay in is also probably the most disgusting thing I've stayed in ever but I get used to it. Taking a shower suckss because I cant even stand up straight in the shower haha Its weird how like ghetto it is but apparently this isn't that poor for Chile and I don't know what I will say when I go to an area that they actually consider poor. In our area there's a gang called the Fletes and they love to yell cuss words in English as we walk by and they like to yell dumb things haha they're so annoying and they're everywhere. There's a place in our area called the Triangle of Death because it is the most ghetto part with the most Fletes and its so sketchy walking through there at night but I'm sure nothing will happen because the Lord is on our side haha. I can hear a gunshot go off like every 30 mins haha but my trainer said that its normal and nothings ever happened to him. 

What my area looks like, mostly!

My trainer is cool and has been out for 15 months and says that it was the fastest 15 months of his life haha but somehow I don't believe people when they say that because I don't feel like its been the fastest two months of my life. But whatever haha hes much better than my MTC companion, he can joke sometimes but most of the time we're working all day long, all day longgggg. But I 'll get used to that part too. Oh yeah, and the food that the members give is all kinda weird like Bro. gammet said haha.  But I love to buy the completos on the street and I love to buy the empenadas on the street because those are delicious haha. 

My surfer buddy from Cali haha

I hope that this next week can be better and I hope that I can keep my head up because last week was the hardest week ever and every time I would think about going back I would want to so bad!!! But this next week will better.  Thanks for the motivational emails though and have a good Halloween!!! I will tooo (not) haha. We don't do anything for Halloween. But have fun!!! And send pictures. 

Love you guys!!
Have a good week!!!

Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaching Real People!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- Elder Harrison
Letter #7

Yeah, I haven't received your package yet only two letters from Emily and actually I received a letter from Remy the other day!! Hahah Tell him thanks!! Woo Oliver got the priesthood!! hahah wow it feels like he's still super super young!! Thats crazy!!! Bobby gets home in like 2 weeks!! Isn't that crazy!! It feels like he's been gone for foreverrrrr!! Hahah 

This week was actually really different and I actually have something to say this week because on the last week they actually let us teach real investigators and go into the street and go contacting!!! We got to go on splits with the real missionaries for a day and that was pretty cool!! It was super nerve racking because the Chileans speak so stinkin fasttt!! And they never pronounce their S sound and its really reallyyy hard to understand!!! But we got to teach this old lady who could not hear anything at all and we had to yell everything we said so that she could hear us and even when we were yelling she wouldn't hear us sometimes! But we taught her about the Book of Mormon and stuff and that was good! 

But the best part of my week was when we taught this guy who is evangelical and he had been taking lessons from the missionaries for like 1 year and then when we went over he asked for a priesthood blessing because he had gotten hurt the week before.  My companion is all Latino and doesn't speak any english but apparently trusted my spanish and he said that I would be able to give him the priesthood blessing! I was so nervous because my spanish is not thatttttt good to give a super stinking good blessing!! And I was so scared and I was like are you sure!? haha, but once I put my hands on his head the gift of tongues works because its the first blessing I've ever given and it was amazing!! And I could pretty much feel the power going through my hands!!! It was the best part of my week1!! It was really nerve racking but that gave me a lottt of confidence to know that with the priesthood we can do a lot more than we think!! 

Oh, and then on the bus ride home from the proselyting excursion I was in the bus and I handed out a restoration pamphlet to someone who was walking on the sidewalk haha people here in Chile are so much nicer than people in America. People here will actually listen to what you have to say before blowing you off and almost everyone takes a pamphlet from you haha. Then another time we went contacting and I gave a way a Book of Mormon to a girl who's like 40.  She thinks all churches are true so my companion and I gave her Moroni 10 to read and pray about and then gave her the number for the missionaries in her area and told her to call them.  When we walked by again she was praying!! It was cool! 

Getting out of the MTC makes everything better! I leave for the field on Thursday!! And I'm so excited to get out of this place and start doing real work!!! Its still going to be stinking hard but it will be so much more worth it because we are doing real work!! I'm way more excited this week because we finally got to leave the MTC for a few hours!! 

Bobby Emailed me and told me some cool stuff about him and Sara hahah. I'm excited for them! and I bet that you guys are excited for Bobby to get home!! I wish I could be there! 

I hope you guys had a good week this week!! I'll tell you what my area is when I get in the field because I get to Email you guys for like 10 mins when I arrive! 

I love you guys!!!!
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keepin' My Head Up!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- Elder Harrison
Letter #6

Thank you for the motivational emails!! I really need them!! The mission gets really lonely sometimes and emailing is always the best time of the week!! Hahah This week has just been like every other week here in the MTC!! I get to leave in a week from tomorrow because they're keeping us two extra days because my Mission President is going to be in Argentina!! AH! I don't think I could survive two more days here!! hahah But I'll keep my head up!! 

I'm so jealous that you guys get to see Bobby when he gets home!! You're so lucky!! I want to see him so bad!! The hardest thing about the mission for me is when I think about two years and how long that is, it gets really overwhelming especially because it has only been a month since I've been gone, I am trying to think about it less!! I think the thing that I miss the most except for family and Emily obviously is music!! Its so horrible only listening to church music hahah but I'll get over that soon hopefully!!! 

I had a better week this week though, Elder Harrison and I are definitely getting better at teaching our lessons!!! We are getting so good at it we are starting to be able to split the lessons almost 50/50 now that he can at least say some stuff in Spanish!! Hahah I'm kind of nervous to leave the MTC and go to the field but also so excited to get out of here and finally teach a real person for the first time!! I know that I will be so much happier when I get into the field and start doing the real work, teaching investigators and getting to know their way of life so much better!! Haha 

Here in Chile they are playing the qualifying games for the world cup and just last night Chile beat Ecuador and qualified! The city was going crazy! It sounded like everyone in the city was honking their horns that night and there were fireworks going off until like three in the morning!! That's the best thing about these countries is how much they love soccer and go so crazy over it!! I can't wait for the world cup though, that will be crazy!!! We have so many Brazilians and Chileans here that are so excited for it. 
The MTC has actually helped me a lot with my Spanish though, I can understand almost everything that people say to me in Spanish and I can say a lot of stuff too, it just takes me forever to think of what to say because of all the new grammar rules and stuff but that will come naturally!!! I am so excited to get in the field and meet my new companion!!! And get to teach real people. I hope its as good as everyone says it is out there!! 

You know what you guys should send me is the P90X workouts printout things so that I don't get fat and out of shape here in Chile hahah because I don't want to come home all uglhy!! hahah you guys should definitely send me those! 

I still haven't got any of your letters or packages yet because it takes like 5 weeks for them to get here!!!! 
I hope you guys have a good week and I hope that Ollie enjoys being a deacon and getting the priesthood!!!!

I love you guys!!!!
love, Elder Dirkmaat

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

After Trial's Come Blessings!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- Elder Harrison
Letter #5

Hey family!!!

General conference week was wayyyy better than the other weeks!!!! We finally got a little break for two days!!! One of the talks that I liked the most was Elder Holland's at Priesthood when he talked about the disabled people and having perfect bodies in heaven. I thought of Grandpa Simpson when he was talking about this and how happy he is in heaven. General conference is so so different when you actually pay attention to it haha and you actually have questions that you want answered haha.  At home I never really paid attention to general conference that much!!!  I also liked Monson's talk when he talked about how his wife has died and that it has been really hard for him and that missing her wouldn't even suffice what he feels. Then he went on to talk about how all of us have trials and that when you put all your faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father that all they want is your happiness then you know everything will work out. And after the trials come the blessings. like the MTC, Its been the hardest thing ever and its been really really boring sometimes but its a trial I'm trying to work out and I know I'll be blessed for it in the field!! 

Emily- yes, I've gained 15 pounds already hahah
Just kidding only 5 pounds

Me and my roommates hahah Middle one's a little crazy

I've been discouraged lately in the MTC because of stuff but this week has gotten better and I've started to study the scriptures for my own personal study and started to pray more and I've felt the spirit more often. I miss you guys so much! Oliver probably went to his first priesthood session and I wasn't there!! that's weird how he is already old enough to do that!!! And Bobby gets home so soon and I wont get to see him!!! I hope that he writes me when he's home!!! Oh yeah, and my strict companion's name is elder Harrison.  I'm probably going to be moved to an all Latino district this week because they take the people in each class that know enough Spanish and move them to the Latino district so hopefully I'm good enough.  I'll get a new companion!

I have a lot of friends in my district though! Elder Miller, and Elder Briem are really cool. Elder Briem is from Ventura and surfs a lot so we talk about how much we miss surfing and shredding and stuff, he also has a girlfriend so we can relate on how we miss our girlfriends too hahah its nice to have someone to relate to!! And elder Miller is cool also, he's from Provo, plays basketball, and he's 6 '5 so he's really stinkin' tall. 

Me and Elder Miller!! He's stinkin' tall

Elder Gonzalez, crazy Chilean haha

Elder Lundskog!!! Corrine's cousin!! hahah crazy

 I get out of the MTC in two weeks!! Holy cow, I hope that it comes fast!! And I hope that the field is ten times better!!! Well, thanks for the words of encouragement Dad, I needed them and thanks for the emails and pictures. I couldn't really see the videos though!! It might be blocked. hahah 

Uhhhhh Just people near where I'm living hahah they're cool

I love you guys!!! Have a great week!!!!
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Half Way Done With the MTC!!!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- Elder Crazy Guy
Letter #4

Hey Family!!!!

Sorry I didn't Email Tuesday!!! They always make our P-days different days!!!! Well this week has been pretty much the same as every other week in the MTC. Finalllyyyy half way done with the MTC I can't wait to get out of here and get into the real world!!!! 

No, we don't have real investigators our teachers use investigators from their missions and we teach them!! I am getting much better at teaching and I have learned most of the gospel terms in Spanish so it is now getting easier!! My companion is still horrible at Spanish and can't pronounce but I am trying to help him!! I try to let him have some parts in the gospel lessons. I guess our companionship works well with the lessons because if you ask him about something in the scriptures then he knows where it is almost immediately, its crazy and then I'm good at Spanish and that's about all I'm good at hahah, just kidding. 

Definitely the best part of the MTC, here they call it the CCM, is the fact that I get to play with all the Latinos in soccer everyday haha, its so fun because I get to play with all the people who actually know how to play!! The Latinos here are definitely the coolest people to hang out with and they help me with my Spanish so much hahah. While were playing soccer the GRINGOS always go over to the grass and play Ultimate Frisbee haha, such losers... 

My friend Elder Diaz and  my teacher

 The MTC is helping me with my teaching skills and my Spanish skills so much but I seriously can't wait to get out of this spiritual JAIL hahah. I can't wait to get out and start teaching real investigators!! We have committed like 2 of our fake investigators to baptism and that was good but its just not the same!! I am enjoying my mission and I'm glad I'm on my mission a lot of spiritual experiences have happened. My favorite scripture of the week is D&C 75:1-4 because it is what encouraged me one day when I was feeling down and encouraged me that this is what the lord wants me to do and encouraged me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing and it is the greatest work on the face of the earth. 

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I who speak even by the voice of my Spirit, even Alpha and Omega, your Lord and your God—
2 Hearken, O ye who have given your names to go forth to proclaim my gospel, and to prune my vineyard.
3 Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might—
4 Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you.  

I love you guys so much!!! OLLIE HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You're a deacon and you get the priesthood wow!!!!! You know what's been making me really sad this last week? Is the fact that Bobby is coming home in like 4 weeks and I don't get to see him. It really really stinks. But I'll last!!! Hope you guys had a good week!!! Seems like you did!!! I love you guys!! I didn't get your package yet!!! I hope I do soon!!!!

LOVE you guys!!!!
Elder Dirkmaat

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Baptism, Spanish & 5 Goals SCORE!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- Elder Crazy One ??
Letter #3

Hey Family!!!

So this week has been kind of eventful I guess, for being in the boring MTC!! Haha and yes you can send videos I will probably be able to watch them!! 

View from my room

Colombian roommate

Well this week was also super hard, trust me the MTC is not fun, don't expect the MTC to be any fun hahah but I am learning a lot!! I am pretty good at Spanish now and we have 4 investigators that we teach and all the lessons are in Spanish!! ! I already committed one of my investigators to baptism in an all Spanish lesson so that's pretty good huh!? My companion does not know a lick of Spanish so I have to teach the lesson every time and he maybe pitches in his testimony hahah but he's getting better. Ever since my companion became the district leader you have no idea how strict he's become. If I lean back in my chair he will literally tell me to stop until I do it. I'm like dude you don't have that much power over me. Then, I started playing Josh Groban and he made me turn it off because it's not official LDS music!!!! AHHHH I swear the lord is trying to challenge me buttttt I am trying to love him!! Its hard but I will!!! He is a crazy one!!! 

That's our relationship!!

The mall we shop in

But I am way better at Spanish now and I was even talking to the lady when I was getting my haircut!! And since everyone in my district doesn't know how to say all the hair cutting vocab, we all just said "Como David Beckham" (Like David Beckham) because that's what the other missionaries said to do and it worked hahah! 

So the besttt most fun part of my week was when we played a street soccer game, gringos vs Latinos, and it was like Brazilians and Chileans vs us gringos hahah.  There was me and another guy and one other girl that knew how to play on our team. But obviously we destroyed the Latinos BOO YAH We beat them 8 to 4 and I scored five goals on them hahah.  They were so mad but after that the Latinos definitely have more respect hahaha.  But yeah, it was also Chilean Independence week and they party all week and at night the music was so loud all week it was so hard to fall asleep!! They also get so crazy that there were riots started and there were people lighting buses on fire. Haha they say it happens every year so its not unusual  haha. 

Brazilian roommate, his name is Mariano...My companion is very strict..Brazilian is freaking sweet though

Well yeah, that's basically all, the MTC is so hard and we sit on our butts and eat except for the hour of exercise in the morning and the food is okayyy but super unhealthy so i'm kind of getting sick but other than that its great for learning how to be a missionary and I can feel the spirit in my lessons and I am getting so much better at Spanish!! Hope you guys are having fun without me!! 

Love you guys!!!
Elder Dirkmaat
WHAT????  Weed is legal here!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Going to Get So FAT!!

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- ??
Letter #2


Hi!! This is my first E mail and it has definitely been the hardest week of my whole entire life. Seriously, so so so hard but learning so much. We are in the classroom for seriously, 13 hours a day with only a break to eat. I feel like I am going to get so FAT Haha. But seriously, I feel so out of shape already I cant imagine six weeks sitting in a room for 13 hours a day!! We get 40 mins of workout time at 7 a.m and we play soccer but that is not nearly enough time to keep me sane!! I never thought the MTC would be so hard though, seriously I cant explain how much they expect you to learn so fast!! I already have a background in Spanish and other people are struggling so much more than me!! They don't talk in English here at all!! I feel so far away from home!! But it is definitely helping my Spanish! I love the spirit here and all the missionaries going out for the same purpose but it is so hard I hope it will get easier these next weeks!! 

My district is cool and we manage to have some fun with all the classes and I have some good friends already!!! They are cool and I like to eat lunch and hang out with them for the 30 mins we have each day when were not in class haha.  My companion however is sooooo crazy. I have no idea why he is so crazy!!! Seriously always studying, most goody goody I've ever met in my entire life but he's spiritual. I like him sometimes but if I stop studying for like 1 min during the day, not even kidding, he will say, Elder.....why are you not studying.  Its really hard but I am trying to love him!! Also, the Brazilian kids here are so funny!! They speak a little bit of English and they always talk to me!! I know like 4 Brazilian missionaries who are, not even kidding, engaged. They proposed to their girlfriends before they left. Hahah its what they do in their culture its funny!! 

District 4 Missionaries!

Santiago is a beautiful city though!! with all the mountains towering over the huge buildings and actually it is really modern!! It is HUGE!! I haven't got to see much because I have only been outside this whole week for like a total of 5 hours this whole entire week but it is beautiful what I can see out my window!! The MTC is on the Santiago temple grounds and it is a very pretty temple!! I like the MTC because of the spirit and so much learning its great!! However so hard but it will all be worth it!!! 

Why don't you guys e mail me next time!!! Haha just kidding I didn't know my p day was going to be Monday, they said it was going to be Tuesday!! Its so hard but worth it and I feel the spirit everyday!! Once I get the language down better it should be much easier and I will try to deal with my companion!! Ill try to send pictures right now if I can figure it out!! 

I love you guys!! I need e mails because they encourage me, soooo you better send me an e mail next time!!! Probably Sunday night would be best!!! I love you guys!!!

Elder Dirkmaat

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1st Day

Area- Santiago, Chile MTC
Companion- ??
Letter #1


I am here safe. I am so tired and they're already putting us in classes. I'm really lost but things will get better! My P-day will be on Tuesday! I love you guys I'm a bit lost right now but hopefully things will get better.

Love you guys!


J.R.R. Tolkien
“Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

 Nate met a travel buddy, Elder Sanchez, from Escondido. He will be serving in the Santiago South Mission