Monday, March 31, 2014

A Gospel of Progression

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta- #30

Hello family!!! 

Haha yesss mothers day is getting close!!! kind of...hahah but its weird how its already been like 3 months since we talked last!!! weird!!! haha 

Bobby's going to go work in nor cal?? hahah! Yeah, but Bobby can't go see Emily in Temple Square now because she's leaving April 2nd to California, Fresno mission for 3 months!!! Crazy!!! hahaha!

You guys should talk more about how your doing! How are you guys doing? Is life good down in good ol Encinitas? Oh, and I think definetely the better choice is to have Oliver go to the school where all his LDS friends are going because in middle school is when all the little kids start gettin into the baaaddd stuff haha.  So it would definitely be better.

This week has been good!! My companion goes home in 7 days and he's getting married june 21st hahah his gf already set the temple date and already bought all the furniture and already bought the plane tickets for their honeymoon to the Bahamas!  Hahaha!! you can imagine how happy my companion is right now hahaah!  And dont get me wrong, he loves to make fun of how I have 16 months left hahah But whatever, I'll probably do that to my companion when I'm leaving in a week.  Wow, his life's probably going to be horrible!!! hahaha!!  But we are still working hard!! 

Transfers are this next week, I think that I will stay here in the same sector because my companion's leaving and I'll be senior companion but I'm not sure!! anything can happen!! I hope I do because we should be having a lot of baptisms this next transfer!!!  We have been having a hard time getting our investigators to get baptized because it's super hard for them to keep the commandments, like not drinking tea and we have to make sure their heart is really changed before baptism.  Becuase it's not just about baptizing the person and done they're saved.  They have to be truly repented with a broken heart and they have to be willing to make the covenant that they will follow Christ forever.  I could baptize my investigators right now because they have the requirements but I want to make sure that they will stay active and are actually truly repented before they do it.  Becuase if they get baptized and go inactive it would've been better for them if they never would have been baptized.  The problem in chile is the activity because so many people just get baptized because its cool hahaha!!  I dont know, but I think they'll be able to get baptized this next change!!! 

I never realized how much bigger role the Gospel takes in my life before the mission.  I have realized that the gospel is a gospel of progression.  It's a gospel of progressing and progressing with the help of the grace of Christ and we will finally end up having the same attributes as Him and finally be worthy to enter into the celestial kingdom when we can be perfected in Christ through repentence and we can be comfortable in the presence of God.  I like the talk by Brad Wilcox called ¨his Grace is Sufficient¨ It's so amazing, and it says that some people think that God is going to assign us according to our deeds our glory that we go to.  But we will know perfectly when we get there.  If we are not perfected in Christ and we present ourselves before God, we won't be the ones begging to stay in the celestial kingdom with God, he will be begging us to stay but we will be like "Get me the heckkkkk out of here."  That is so true!!!! I'm so far away from becoming like Christ but it's a perfecting process!!! I hope that all of you can remember that the Gospel is about always progressing and becoming more and more like Christ.  

I love you All!!!!!
Elder Nate Dirkmaat
Hang Loose Bro.  This is in Curimon, on the road we have to walk to get to one of our investigators hahah!!

Me and my companion Hahah

Me and DIEGO hahah the guy I taught the Law of Chastity to.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Everyone Wants Happiness!

Sector- San Filipe
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #29

Thanks dad for the words of wisdom!!! You always have good things to say!! hahaah wow!! that sucks you had fix allll that stuff on your car!!! You need to have a car justttt for off roading and just fix it up super bad and have a normal car haha so you can just destroy it!! hahah  But glad to know you guys are doing well and still shreddin it up in CA hahah!!   Im still out here in San Felipe Preachin the Gospel!! haha 

We had a pretty funny experience this week!! So we were knocking doors and this drunk guy comes walking by and I just started to talk to him cuz he was so out of it and I could say whatever I wanted to him and he asked me where I was from.  And I was like im a Gringo from united states! and he came up into my face and was like did you say your gringo? I HATE GRINGOs and he got all mad and just started like yelling all these swear words at me right in my face, and then he was like can I give you some advise? and he stuck out his hand so I took it and he pulled me in and put me in a headlock and gave me like 3 kisses on the neck and let go hahahahahah EW it was soooo horrible!!!! I washed my neck like 3 times after that!! but the worst part was that there were people walking by too!!!!  hahahah but its a good moment to remember!!! there's a lot of people like that here in Chile that just absolutely hate us and yell, "its the CIA" as we walk by!!! hahah 

But we´re still having success here in san Felipe!  This past week we have been focussing on reactivating a lot of people and we have been quite successful!!! We had 6 inactive members in church this Sunday and that was super sweet because Its usually really hard for the Chileans to make it to work!! haha but theres one inactive family that we have been working really hard to bring them back to church and they FINALLY went this week!  They have two kids that are 10 and 9 that havent been baptized yet... so I hope that they can keep going to church so that the father can baptize his two kids!!  

But this week for me was also a really happy and good week because I was really able to see what God has done for me and all that he has blessed me with in my life.  And I was just so grateful for everything.  And happy about choosing to go on the mission.  The mission was super hard for me at the beginning and I had some pretty difficult times where I just wanted to go home and give up haha but I feel like I have overcome that and learned a lot of lessons.  I've learned that as we sacrifice to be obedient to what God wants for us he will bless us 100x more than we can imagine.  Because God knows us perfectly and He knows our feelings and our thoughts and our everything and He knows when it hurts to be here on the mission and He knows when its hard for us, but when we keep pushing forward with faith in God I have learned that God ALWAYS blesses us.  And some people think of going on the mission as going to repay God for all the good that He's done for us and everything, but they will soon realize that its impossible to repay God.  Because He will bless them with more things than they can imagine for going on the mission.  I'm grateful for what I've been blessed with and I can see my happiness from living the Gospel everyday grow.  And when we as members of the Church have this happiness its what makes people want what we have.  Because that is what everyone wants is happiness.  And as missionaries we need to have that happiness and show that happiness we have to our investigators and show how much we want them to have this happiness.  And when they see that happiness they are going to want these things.  And that's what God has blessed me with. So go out and be happy!!! woooooo!! And in the hard times push through and always know that God never breaks his promises.  

I love you Guys!!! I hope you guys have a great week!!!
Elder Nate Dirkmaat 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Faith in God!

Sector- San Filipe
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #28

Mommmy!!!! and Daddy!!! hahaha, I don't have a whole lot of time because we went to Santiago this p-day to pick up my companions passport!! hah, but alright here it goes.  Sounds like you guys had a spectacular week! that'd be swweet if you could send me those Mark Abernathy CD'S!!!  Haha, and Dad what you said about us saying I know these things are true and everything and how its hard to be able to say that because its not like we can see God and stuff but I read this book this week during my personal study and its called Lectures On Faith by Joseph Smith.  It used to be in the Doctrine and Covenants but they took it out in like the 70's because they decided it was too deep doctrine haha, I don't know.  But that book explains what Faith is and what power we have when we truly have real faith in God.  It explains it so so so good and it made me realize how powerful the faith that we have is. It was through the faith that God and Jesus Christ have that they can do ALL the miracles they are able to do. And it is through the faith that we have that we do ANY action.  All action comes through faith in something.  And I swear you will learn so much about how powerful faith is if you read that book. It's only like 80 pages long and it breaks it up and shows how important faith in God is so important as the base principle of salvation. READ IT!!! hahah

This week was really cool!!! We are teaching this couple and they are so so so good!! The couple that has a kid and they're like 19 years old.  This week we taught them the Law of Chastity. We knew it was going to be a hard one because they're 19 and already have a kid but we taught it all and after they were all unsure. They really want to get baptized and really want to change their lives but at this moment they were like, that's a lot to ask. They were like, I have no idea if we can get married right now because we're so young and we don't have very much money at all.  But I felt the strongest impression to share my testimony on the law of Chastity.  I shared about how my experience of keeping the law of chastity has blessed my relationship that I have with Emily so much.  And that through keeping it we have such a stronger love. I shared that personal experience only because I felt like I needed to and they both really felt the spirit and were able to understand the blessings that they could have if they obey the law of chastity.   I told them that when they put their relationship in the hands of God and trusted in God to help them, if they kept his commandments they would grow in their love and their family would be so much happier because I have been able to experience that.  Leaving home and Emily was the hardest thing for me ever but now that I'm here growing.  I can see the blessings it's brought to every aspect of my life.  I knew like nothing about the Gospel before and I knew nothing about how it made someone happy.  I always just did the things. But now I see the blessings that I have from putting God's commandments first.  And putting mine and Emily's relationship in the hands of God has been the best decision that we have made.  Because we can both see how this is already blessing our relationship and how it will in the future. I have grown to be so much more grateful for my family and grown to trust in God.  I DID NOT know how to trust in God before.  But I really can trust in God now because I KNOW that He blesses us.  Especially when we make sacrifices.  He knows us perfectly and he knows the sacrifices we all make.  He promises us 100x more blessings in heaven when we make these sacrifices.  I have learned so much, and to be able to testify and share those things with someone so that they could have the happiness of keeping the commandments was so amazing. They came to church again and they hope to get married really soon!!! I can already see how much happier they are as a couple from deciding to change the way they were living before. 
That was the coolest experience of my week and a great testimony of how I learned!!! And Mom, I know I always complain to you about how hard it is. It's because it's hard and there's those weeks where its SO hard!!! But the blessings are so much more!!!  I am dying like 50% of the time on the mish!!!  But It's through the trials and hardships we grow so I'll just have to deal with it hahaah!!

Id like to say something I've learned about the mission:

I would not give up the experiences I have had and will have for a million dollars
But I would not pay a cent to do it again.  

Hahahahaha, that's what I think about the mission.

I love you Guys! 

Dad I love your ramblings!! They're good!!
BTW I'm so glad Ollie is learning how to surf because that's the ONLY way he´ll get anywhere in life..hahah

I love you BYEEEE!!!
Elder Nate Dirkmaat

Monday, March 10, 2014

Listen to the Spirit!

Sector- San Filipe
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta- #27

Hahah, Dad that book sounds sick!!! Its called the Rise of Superman? You should send me that book!! I want to read It! That's sick how you can teach the deacons quorum relating it to things they like.
This week has been so hard and challenging!! It has been so hot and I've been discouraged this week at times and so happy at times!! the missions weird and it maks you feel like your bipolar!! However we did have so many miracles this week!! So we were in this small town called Curimon and we were just doing contacts and stuff like 6 weeks ago, and we just decided to go walk to this area where there were hardly any houses there were houses like every 100 yards or so.  And this woman is just walking by so I decide to contact her and she tells us that she was baptized like 5 years ago but hasn't gone to church for like 3 years. So we set up an appointment to go back like 2 days later but she lives like 30 min walk down a dirt road to nowhere so we didnt have time the other day to go by. And then 6 weeks pass by and I just always remember that contact and just get promptings that we should go visit her but we always have so many people to visit and it would be so far out of the way. But then finally this week I told my companion I always have promptings we should go visit her so we walk allllllll the way out there and get to her house and she lets us in. We have a super good lesson with her!  And we found out that she left going to church because one of the sisters used to be super mean to her and would say that she couldn't come to church unless she wore a skirt, and she didn't have a skirt. But the lesson was super good and we committed her to going to church again. She showed up on Sunday!!! WOOO!!! that's super rare because its so hard to get people to go to church on Sunday!!!! we have like 15 investigators that we teach and commit and maybe like 3 of them go if we're lucky!!!!!   She showed up and saw all her friends again and is super happy to be at church!!!  I learned that I really should follow those promptings form the spirit!! 

Oh, and something funny this week, we started teaching this homeless guy. he's like a super intelligent guy and stuff but he's stuck on the streets because of bad mistakes. I contacted him once and he told me he wants to change. So we always teach him and stuff and he loves it! We gave him a white shirt to go to church and we also gave him blankets and stuff because at night it gets cold now. He's started to stop drinking alcohol too. But we have to bring him to church so we go wake him up every morning on Sunday to bring him to church. And we always have to find him somewhere in the plaza. But yesterday we went to wake him up and I walk up to him and I yell in his face like despiertete!!! hahaha and The guy looks up and it was a different homeless guy and he starts getting alll mad!!!! 

That's what has happened this week. The work is going good. I hope you guys are all good too!!! I love you guys have a great week!!!!

Elder Nate Dirkmaat

Monday, March 3, 2014

Become Truly Converted

Sector- San Filipe, Chile
Companero- Elder Wiseman
Carta #26

haha sickkk!!  Dad seems like he is 10 times cooler now because now he goes and buys Ollie airsoft guns and he admits to repenting for buying a Prius hahahaha!!  WOW, its a miracle!!!!  Its all about them big trucks!!!  hahah thats sick that in your class you used a bunch of surf vids to teach the gospel haha!!  Thats how you get to the heart of the young men in San Diego.  I wish we could do that here!!! that'd be sick!!  And no, I have the same companion from Utah!! He's cool! He goes home in 5 weeks!!!  And he's getting married 2 months after he gets home! Wow fast!!  

This week was a really good week for us because I really feel like we helped our investigators become so much closer to baptism!! We had a Seventy come and talk to us, he's the president of the missionary department.  He came and gave a really good speach about what our purpose really is as missionaries.  He talked a lot about how missionaries a lot of times (at least here in Chile) baptize people after they're done with all the lessons but really they are not ready for baptism.  They are just focused on getting them baptized as fast as they can. But its our job as missionaries to keep the people in the church and to help them come unto repentence.  And that is really our main purpose is to help the people come unto repentence and want to follow Christ for the rest of their lives.  If they are not committed to following christ for the rest of their lives and not committed to trying to becoming as much like christ as they possibly can then they are not ready for baptism.  He emphasized this a lot because in chile there are SO many inactives.  There are technically more than 1000 people that our baptized just in our ward and 130 go to church and are active.  It is a huge problem with the people going inactive here in chile.  So I have made it a goal not to try to get as many baptisms as I can but to really have my converts stay in the church and have them really prepared to take on this super sacred covenant!!! Its not about just baptizing because if they get baptized and they become inactive, the scriptures say it would have been better if they would have never know me.  So it would be better for them not to baptize them if theyre not ready!! haah thats what I learned this week about the work!! I am trying to be the best missionary I can becuase its a short time out here and I have a lotttttt left!!! haahah And now that Ive seen how important it is to try to have all the attributes of christ, Ive been trying to compare what I can improve, and wooooowwww Im pretty bad!!! but Im working on it! hahah We had a family come to church this sunday they have three kids and theyre super good!! ITs so hard to get people to church here so when they showed up we were super excited!! We hope to be able to baptize them the 16th!!! We have a lot of investigators preparing for baptism and I realllyyy hope they can progress!!! 

We are working a lot in this small town called Curimon outside of San Felipe and we have to take a taxi there everyday but almost alll our investigators are there.  The weather is FINALLY starting to get a little bit colder!! here is supposed to be soooo cold in the winter so I hope I stay here until the winter so that I can see the snow!!! On our P day next week I think we might be going to this place called portillo and its like a ski resort.  ITs super beautiful Ive seen pictures so that will be sweet!!! I hope that alll of you are doing well! I miss you all! i only have a girls mission left to go!!!!!!

I love you all!!!

Elder Nate Dirkmaat