Monday, January 27, 2014

If God told you to climb a hill...

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #21

What Up Family, 

That camp-out you guys went on looks siickk! haha...  Wow dad...  I'm so disappointed in you...  you choose to go to the gym over surfing where has your head gone?! haha just kidding!  But yeah, my Companions sick, he plays football (huh gay) hahah but he's super funny and he speaks Spanish with the perfect accent because his mom is from Chile and he lived in Chile for 2 years when he was 8, haha!!  So I'm learning alll the slang from him because sometimes they say stuff still that I have nooo idea what they're talking about and its always the slang haaha!!   He is on the verge of going home from his mission too...  I  wonder why I always get all the people that are about to go home?  It's good though because I can learn so much from their experience and I can learn the best ways to work and the most effective ways so that's the good part!!  I definitely have learned from him how to not just do contacts or just make the goal for the day but when you do a contact truly trying to help the person and truly trying to tell them that this gospel will bring happiness then you are more successful... hahah!!  Last week we got into a home every 5 contacts!! Such a good ratio"!!! hahah The mission basically is teaching me to be a salesman... Haha!

This week was good too!  Not as successful as last week but still good!!  This week we put 3 people with dates to be baptized and two of them went to church and that was such a miracle for us because here it is so so hard to get the people to go to church.   One of the people is named Diego and he has 17 years.  He is on the verge of being a pro soccer player for the cities team...  He practices with them and he is still one of their substitutes but still, he's only 17 so I'm sure that he's going to be super good! haha   We played with him and he plays goalie, he's pretty stinkin good! He gets so so serious when he plays! haha its funny like every Chilean does.  He's super cool!  We brought him to church and he loved it because we introduced him to all the youth and they were super good at befriending him so he's going to mutual and stuff... When we teach him we have to teach him much different than all the other people because he's a teenager and they get bored so easily so it was funny when we were talking about faith-  we said, look if God told you that you need to go climb that hill right there would you do it? And he was like yeah and we asked why and then he said well, because God said I should do it and then we explained yeah, that's an act of faith you do because God commands you to do it... and then we were like you don't know what's on top of the hill, you don't know whats waiting for you on top of the hill, but when you get there there's a fat party and its sickk there's like 90 chicillas and its sick and he started cracking up and he's like yeah now I understand hahah!!  So that's the kind of lessons we have to do with him.  But he's super good at praying and stuff, I'm sure he's going to get baptized and then I hope that he can go on a mission that would be sick!

Yeah the work keeps moving forward the gospel is being preached to the world here in Chile...  Its crazy for the Peruvians here because there's a huge conflict between Chile and Peru because Peru is trying to take their land so everyone thinks that a war is gonna start and stuff haha!!  That wouldn't be good! but that's what's going on here in Chile!!!   

Me & my companion!

I'm glad you guys had a good week!!! I hope you have another one!

Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, January 20, 2014

Success!! Trust in The Lord

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #20

Hey family! 

Thank you for the email and the pics of Sophies Birthday party!!! I hope that it was super fun!!  What, its that hot in San Diego right now!?  Thats so amazing!!  If the waves are good too...  then thats just paradise!!  hahah!  Yeah, Dad I'm definitely not going to live anywhere else but San Diego, that would suck!!  But I'll probably just have like 6 houses so whatever ;) Hahah Just Kidding!  Wow, you bought a year membership in Crossfit!!  You better be shredded when I get back!! hahah!  its against the rules to go to the gym here but I do my workouts!  Sounds like Bobby's having fun at BYU I tooo.  So guess what?  I heard that Utah Valley University, right next to BYU got a D1 soccer team!  That would be sooo sick to play for them...  I might want to try and walk on haha that would be sweet!! 

Sick Sheep!

My Companion, Elder Wiseman

Me :)

This week was pretty cool, we worked REALLY hard this week because it was my first week out of training and I stayed in the sector so I had to lead the sector because my companion knows nothing about the sector.  So the first day we go out and try to go visit as many investigators as we can and we find out that they are all leaving for vacations this week and that they won't be here for a week so I was thinking... what are we going to do this week if our investigators are all gone!?  Do contacts all day everyday!?  And I was all nervous but then the next day when we had hardly any appointments I was praying so hard the whole day that we would be able to find the people we needed to and that we would be able to find new people.  And GUESS WHAT?  That day was the most successful day of my mission!!  We found 6 new people that day!  We entered in 6 different houses!!  I was so happy!!  And I was so grateful that Heavenly Father could bless us with these people because we had faith that we could find new people.  And just this whole entire week has been really really good because we have been finding so many new people this whole entire week!  This week is the most success that I have had in a week and its all because I didn't doubt myself and I didn't doubt that God would show us the people we need to teach.  And we did our part and worked hard and found alll these new people! 
We couldn't have found all these new people if we didn't learn how to listen to the spirit and always be praying for the opportunity to find people.  So many times this week I had been praying and then I felt like I needed to knock a certain door and we entered.  The most valuable thing that I learned this week was how to trust God and how to follow the promptings of the spirit!  Because sometimes we dont know how to discern if it is a prompting or just a thought from yourself and this week I have really learned how!  If the prompting is good and compels you to do good, its probably from God and you should definitely follow it! 

At the beginning of my mission I used to write home and tell you how hard it is all the time but now its getting better because I am seeing the things that I have learned and the blessings that I'm gaining.  And The language is so much easier now. haha!  And I know that the mission will continue to be hard, but when we pass through hard things we get that much better, just like how you grow a muscle you have to break it down to grow.  I have grown so much because the mission has given me challenges that I have'nt had before.  Im not saying the missions all easy now, its still hard to be out here when its 100 degrees butttt I can see the good its doing for me and for everyone.  I know that this mission will be good for me and for my future family and for the rest of my life! haha!!   I hope that you guys have a good week! 

Sick Sunset!

Futbol con Los niƱos

Jared's Eagle project looks siiickkk tell jared to Email me! I wanna talk to that kidd haha!!!

I love you family!!!
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Can Change Lives!!!

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #19

Hey Family!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOPHIA!!!!! WOOOO!!! Your ten!!! woooo your in the double digits!!!! hahaha youre so so big now!!! haha   I hope that you have fun at your birthday party!!! Hahah 

When I was in Idaho I saw the new ivy for the guys, the apartments are so so nice and Bobby is staying in those? WOOOWW he's so spoiled hahah   Is he having fun with the cold? It's probably so cold there! 

There were transfers this week but I'm staying in my sector wooo!!! Im so glad I get to stay because we have bikes and the country is so so much better than Santiago and we have so many investigators that should be getting baptized soon!!  My new companion is from Utah! (South Jordan) Wooo big surprise!! haha but he's cool... he has like 21 months in the mission haha   I always get put with people that have so much time in the mission...  My companion went home today and it was kind of sad!  Hes the best companion I've had and we had so much fun together!  I've decided that Brazilians are the best haha! they're always so funny.  It's crazy, he's been in this sector for 7 months and at his goodbye they played  a video of all the pics of him.  The ward really loves him so so much and when he said goodbye to everyone, everyone was crying so much!  It was crazy!!  The ward is so grateful for everything that he has done for the ward!!  And his converts that were there bore testimony about what he did for them and I was really able to see the blessings that he has brought to their lives and the changes that this work can bring to everyone!  I decided that I want to work hard so that I can change lives just as much as he did and that when I go I can have people say that I've made a change in their lives!! 

This week was good! We have been teaching a family of three and they all went to church for like 20 mins on Sunday so that's good!!!  I hope that they can progress! The hardest thing for everyone for some reason is that they can NEVER commit to go to church and this family already did once so that's good!!!
But the most important thing that I learned this week is how much  missionary work can impact the lives of others.  Because I was able to see how grateful the members and the converts were for my companion  I never fully realized how much  I can change lives while on the mission and it has made me want to work harder so that I can find those people that I can make an impact...  because sometimes in the mission it feels like your just going through the motions and when your investigators aren't progressing you feel like you're doing absolutely nothing.  But when you can see the rare person that makes it to baptism and makes it to the temple you really can see how much it was worth it, even if you don't bring very many, as long as you worked your hardest God will be happy with you.  And I feel like at times people care so much about the numbers because they want to be zone leaders and district leaders and assistants but when you stop caring about the numbers and start working because you know the blessings that will come to the lives of the people and start working for their needs your going to make changes that last forever and your not going to just baptize people that are going to be inactive after you leave. And when you start to love and care about their needs your numbers will automatically go up... that's what I learned this week!  

I hope that you guys are having a good week!!! And I hope that Oliver and Sophie are doing good! Ollie hasnt written me! hahah, love you guys!!!!!

Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, January 6, 2014

Golden Miracle

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #18

Hi family!!!  Im glad that you guys had fun in the new year!! And that's cool that Bobby's up at school right now!!  Its probably so so cold but that kind of sounds good to me because its burning hot here always!! Haha but Bobby will love it haha!  Thats cool to find out that Sara's in Argentina now!!  Finally!!! hahah   I heard that the Spanish there is so much different but Im sure that she is just fine because she's pretty smart!! 

So this week has been good...  we´ve still been working really hard even though my companion goes home in 6 days now.  He's all excited about getting married in April and everything haha!  This week has been more successful than the other weeks because our prayers have been answered finally and we´ve found so many new people to teach!  We found one family that is going to get baptized, I just know it because they're literally gold!!!  It was such a miracle that we found this family!  We were tracting like a normal day and we were knocking on doors and then we just decide to knock on this random door ( he has like no neighbors) and he opens the door and he starts speaking English to me!! And I'm like what the heck!?  I tried doing a contact in English but I totally blew it because I'm so used to talking about the gospel in Spanish haha!  I didn't really have to do much because after we introduced ourselves he was just like yeah come in!!   And that never happens! haha and were like oookay!  When we got in his wife and grandaughter were there and we found out that the missionaries used to live in their house and that missionaries lived in their house for like 20 years!!  And that's how the guy learned his English, because theres so many gringo missionaries haha!  They have a Book of Mormon and they love the church so much and told us that they wish that every kid could be Mormon and the world would be so much better because they have seen how good the missionaries are.  So that really impressed them and they already know so much about the church because I'm sure that the missionaries that used to live there taught a lot!!   We werent even teaching we were just having a normal conversation and the grandaughter starrted talking about how she just turned 8 and that she wants to get baptized haha!!!  and the grandpa started talking about how he has been thinking about getting baptized too but he has a few doubts...  We're going to go visit him at 8pm and talk to him. But he loves the church we just need to clear a few things up like the history of the church or something! But its amazing because all of them are so interested, the grandpa, grandma and grandaughter!!   Its a miracle that we found them and that the grandpa had been thinking about how he needs to get baptized and everything!! 

When we go through the hard parts and the afflictions and persevere trusting in the lord, the lord will bless us more than we can imagine! And sometimes I feel like the mission is so hard for me and so difficult to do for two years but I know that Heavenly Father knows that I need this experience and he knows what will be good for me better than I do!! So that is how I stay happy in the mission, because I know that the blessings will come for me and for the people that I teach!! I love the scripture in D&C 75? I forgot, but it talks about how we are little kids in gods eyes and that he knows what's good for us and when we pass through tribulations faithfully we will blessed 100 fold. So that's how I stay happy!!!   Im glad to be helping the people and to be learning so much about the gospel!!   And I know that I'll receive so many blessings for it!!! And My family will be blessed forever! 

We climbed a mountain while we were tracting!

The new year was pretty interesting!  There were people out in the street making noise until like 6 a.m and it was so hard to sleep and I was so tired the next day! haha   The chileans were allll asleep the next day until like 6 in the night and there was literally no one in the streets and we had no appointments!!  It was pretty horrible!!! hahah   But me and my companion made dinner for ourselves because we had to go home early to avoid all the chaos in the street haha!!
I love you family!!! have a great week!!! 
Love, Elder Dirkmaat

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Strength Through Priesthood Blessings & Happy 2014 WOOO!!

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder De Castro
Carta #17

Talking to you guys on Christmas was sweet and to finally get to see Bobby over Skype after two years was cool! He looks exactly the same as he did when he left! haha   I'm glad that you guys had a fun Christmas and that Oliver got his surfboard.. I hope he SHREDS when I get home!! hahah, were all gonna shredddd! hahah   Christmas on the mission was fun!! I didn't expect it to be anything good at all but the family we ate with was really good for celebrating with!! haha   They watched the Christmas movie like we always do and read the verses in the bible..hahah   Christmas is a little bit different here in Chile and it doesn't really make sense..  On Christmas eve they celebrate and they open ALL their presents at 12 midnight and they don't celebrate at all on Christmas day... and Santa Claus comes while everyone's eating dinner hahah weird!!!  But Christmas was good, they gave us shirts and stuff and we cheered up a guys day that was sitting in the plaza looking at the lights by himself and was missing his family haha!  We invited him to church... and he didnt go... Wow what a Surprise!!!! hahah   My Christmas was good because I got your package right on the day!! And I loved it with the letters from Grandma S. and Grandma Cheri and Grandpa..andddd I also got 6 letters from Emily so that was a great present too haha!!

 The family we had Christmas with!

 They gave us shirts! I know we look like retards!

The Christmas tree in the middle of the square

Christmas with our Zone

This week has been good! We have started to have so much more success in finding people.  We have gotten like 6 new investigators this week after praying everyday to find SOMEONE... And it worked!!! So we have people to teach now!!  My companion leaves in like 12 days, so hes super excited about leaving and its making me jealous at times but Ill get over it haha!!  

 This is what our sector looks like!!

My coolest experience that I had this week was that we got to give a blessing for someone in the hospital and it was super super gnarly because it was like an emergency case. The Stake President called us while we were teaching someone so we had to stop teaching and we rode to the hospital.  We got there and the guy who needed the blessing was in the surgery room because they were getting ready to operate or something.  I have no idea what they were going to do with him, but he had something wrong with his brain and his lungs and was in like a coma or something.. I didn't really understand that well because I don't know Spanish that well to know the medical stuff hahah but something like that...  And we show up to the hospital and his whole family is out in the halls crying and like his aunts, uncles, and cousins and everything... and then the nurses come up to us and are like alright I have to ask if the two of you can pass so she did and we both passed and we got in.  We had to wash our hands and there were two people waiting for us to put the robes on to stay clean our whatever and the masks and it was just super intense... then we walk in the room and all the medical people are going crazy and doing stuff but then they all stop and wait for us...haha I was sooo nervous so we both said a prayer to have the spirit and I blessed the oil and then my companion did the blessing and it was sooo good! I felt the spirit so much and when you give blessings its the coolest thing because you can seriously feel it going through your hands... like my hand hurt after that!!! hahah, no just kidding, not that gnarly haha but it was cool and my companion said that he knows he's going to be alright.. so we´ll see.  I know he will be!!! But that was just a super nerve racking experience because all the medics acted like they didn't have time for us and everything but the spirit was so strong as we gave the blessing and It was really good!! The priesthood is such a blessing and it blesses the lives of others!!  I'm so glad that we can help people with the priesthood that we have!!! 

Thank you for your Email it was good!! I hope that you guys have a good week this week!!!!
Love you Guys!!!!
Elder Dirkmaat

This year went by sooo fast!!!!!!

Nuestro amigo Fabian!

Nuestro amigo Victor!  He is our most recent convert!

Our other friend Danillo, he does splits with us like everyday because he loves working with us because we're just that fun to work with so we have allll our lessons with a member its sweet!!