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