Monday, June 30, 2014

God Has Blessed Me

Sector- Lo Campino, Quilicura
Companero- Elder Zapata
Letter #42

Hi Family!!!

It's my Birthday this week!!! hahah  And IDK if I'll get the package from you guys but I hope!!!! haha   But I got an amazinggg package from Emily's parents this week with all kinds of food and cards!!! It was HUGE!!! haha so at least I got something for my B-Day!!!!  I took a tonnnn of pictures this week, but I couldn't upload any of them because these computers are sooo dumb sometimes but I will be able to send them eventually!!!

That camp-out you guys went on is amazing!! I miss backpacking, those backpacking trips are some of the best memories that I have from young men!! I miss them and I hope I can be a young mens leader some day to take the kids on SICK camp-outs haha!!   Its going to be weird not being at home for my birthday or for the 4th of July, because nobody even cares about the 4th of July here!!! It sucks...haha!  It sucked this week, Chile lost against Brasil...But they SHOULD have won because Brasil SUCKS hahaha just kidding but everyone was SOOO mad haha and seriously everyone was crying.  It's ridiculous how crazy they are about soccer here. That's one of the best things about Chile. If we were crazy like that about soccer the US would be pretty dang good at soccer but nobody cares hahah!!   I hope the united states can win, and if not HOLLAND!! All of our ancestors!! hahah

This week was super good! we climbed a hill called Cerro San Cristobal today and it was huggeee..and you could see alll of Santiago from the top and we took the sickesttt pictures!!! but I couldn't upload them so I'll send them next week. We are still working super hard to find new investigators in our sector.  When I got here they had 2 that weren't progressing so we have just been looking and looking and looking. We didn't find anyone that good this week, but we're working with a family from Bolivia and the father isn't a member but the mother is and they went to church together the past two Sundays so we are working with him, and we hope that he can get baptized soon!!!  And yes, mom I always find such good people and we teach and teach and teach them, and then I get transferred, and no we cant go see the baptisms in our old sectors, our mission president doesn't let us, but we got a new mission president this week so maybe that will change!! 

This week we have been praying and praying to find people who are prepared and ready to hear the gospel and to be able to be the answer to someones prayer. It has been so difficult and we haven't found anyone yet but I think that God may be trying our faith and that we will find a ton of people this week!! we will see but I just have to have faith that the sector will improve and we will be able to have success. 
This week I  have been thinking about how much God has blessed me throughout the mission with everything and I have started to really feel grateful for everything He has done for me on the mission because it has been so hard at times. And I know that it would have been impossible to keep going if God hadn't given me comfort and peace that everything would be alright.  I'm also able to see how much growth I've been able to go through on the mission and I know that as we make sacrifices for God He blesses us with so much more. And I know that as we pass through problems and challenges we really really are going through a growth process and sometimes it sucks... but the blessings always always come. Its amazing how God works and he always blesses. In his own time. It's such a miracle and as I look back I see Gods hand in everything important in my life. It's amazing to look at and it grows my testimony so much!!! I really feel so grateful for the mission because it prepares us so well to know that serving God and giving everything to Gods will is the BEST thing that we can do in this life. Because it is the ONLY intelligent thing we can do. 
I Love you Family!!! I hope that you have a great week!!! And think about me on my birthday!!! haah

Love you guys!!!
Elder Nate Dirkmaat

Monday, June 23, 2014

Live the Gospel in Your Family

Sector- Lo Campino, Quilicura
Companero- Elder Zapata
Carta #41

Wow Mom and Dad thank you for the amazinggg emails!! Dad, thank you for the amazing advise always!!! It's so true that Everyone has their own situation and it is so important to think about the future and prepare for what really comes in the future!!! The really important thing is the family. And these missions are preparing us so much for our families. It has taught us the importance of the Gospel in our lives. And really the best place to live the gospel is in your family. Not in the church but when you apply the principles of the gospel in your family and in your everyday life is when we experience the full joy of the gospel. The full joy of the gospel is being sealed in the temple with your family.  We had a Seventy come last week who told us the mission is so important to prepare us to be fathers and husbands. And Dad thank you for all the advise. Wow now that I'm older I'm finally finding out that you are a really wise man!!! hahahah just kidding, always knew you were!!! 

So crazy that Ollie's graduated 6th grade!! and that Beau and Dallas got their mission calls!!! CRAZY!!!!!!! thats super sick!!!! Brazil is crazy right now because of the world cup!!!  And mexico would be pretty dang sick too!!!

My companions kinda weird...hahaha he's from Argentina, his name is elder Zapata and he doesn't really know much about the mission, he has five months in the mission. It's hard being in a new sector the first time as comp senior. And I don't know anything of the sector and neither does he.  Our numbers were horrrribble but we found a family of 6 and they were married!!!! You never find that!!!!! Everyone just lives with their girlfriends here!!!! it was a miracle!! because we were looking for people allll day. WE were knocking doors alll day and we couldn't find anyone. then at the end of the day I said, alright well not this last door, we got invited in and its a family of 6!!! and the spirit was super strong in the lesson!!! The miracles come after we are tried.  I feel like God was trying my faith and then gave me the blessings of the work we put in trying to find people!

But everythings fine!!! my companions boring, he's not like Elder Wiseman or Elder De Castro hahah! they were sickkk.  It's SUPERRR crazy here in Chile because Chile has won both their games for the world cup and they are going crazy in the streets!  A lot of people have died from partying too crazy haha and every time there's a game we have to be in the house the whole day... so crazyyyy!!!!!!! But Chile's gonna win if the United States doesn't!!! USA is good this year!!! but if not Holland is gonna win!!!!! YEAH hahah

This week will be better.  First time as senior companion but I'll try my hardest, thank you for alll the support and the amazing emails!!!! you guys are so amazing!!! the family is so important!! I think about you guys alll the time!! maybe not as much as Emily but still ;) hahahah

I love you alllll!!!
Love Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Sector!

Sector- Lo Campino, Quilicura
Companero- Elder Zapata
Carta #40

This last week in Bauco was good!  I did intercambios with Wes and it was super fun!! He fell on his bike hahaha it was super funny. And he got to know allll of my investigators and he loved it!! It was so weird serving as missionaries with my cousin!! haha But we worked hard and it was definately cool to be able to do in my mission. It was sad saying bye, but I know that this sector will have some people that I will become friends with too, so that really comforts me.

Me and Wes!!!  
We did an intercambio this week! it was swweeet!!

My companions name is Elder Zapata from Argentina. He looks cool!! Idk, I don't really know him!  And I'm back in Santiago after 7 months away from Santiago and now we don't have bikes!! ah that sucks haha my legs are gonna kill me!!!!!!!

My sector is called Lo Campino in Quilicura. It will be good. They had like no investigators when I got here so its going to be a lot of looking for new people. That sucks but it will be a good experience!!!

Lo Campino, Quilicura

Fathers day looked super cool!!! I wish I was there or could have at least called dad!!!hahah  Tell him happy fathers day one day late!!!! He's the best dad ever and always, always gives the bestttt advise!!!! And he is the best example!!! Tell him happy fathers day from his best son ;) hahaha I love you guys!!! Thanks for all the pictures! I'll start sending pictures so much more now!!!!

Saying bye to investigators. haha
The family Escarez

Me and Deborah a recent convert
Oliver's future wife hahah she thought Ollie was cute... 
shes 12! hahah
Love You,
Elder Nate Dirkmaat

Monday, June 9, 2014

Work Harder and Serve More to Love it More!

Sector- Batuco, Chile
Companero- Elder Pereira
Carta #39

Wow!!! Looks like your anniversary was fun!! Wow, 23 years together!? Wowwww you guys are soooooo old!! hahah I'm trying to send pictures right now!!! I hope they work!! The problem is that these computers suck and they take like 30 mins to upload pictures! So annoying!!! That's crazy you found that snake in the garage!! haha, It looks pretty big!! 
This week was good!! I had some good changes happen this week! This week I've tried to work harder and serve harder because last week I was having a hard time trying to love the mission so I decided to work harder and serve more to be able to love it more. And it really worked!! I can say that as we knocked more doors, and as we were out in the rain allllll night freezing our butts off, when we were able to teach someone the gospel, I was able to love that person more and show them that I wanted the best for them by bringing them the gospel. That's what the people need. They need to know that you, as a missionary really want the best for them and maybe they will open up and listen because you are so sincere in what you want for them!! And that is the key to get them to open their hearts. Its super hard to get someone to know you want the best for them, but when the spirit is there it will testify of that, and as missionaries we can do anything if the spirit is there in the lessons. I love that, and that's what we try to do every lesson. Because we really can't teach if we don't have the spirit!!! 
This week was really successful as we started to work harder and to focus more on what we could do for the sector.  We put 6 people with baptismal dates and they are all within the next month so I hope that I can stay in this sector to see their baptisms. And see the change in their life. I know that as we work in the mission it helps us to love it.  Because if were not working, we're not here for the right reasons. I hope that I can keep working hard my whole mission to be able to use the time wisely. I'm almost at 10 months already!! It goes by fast and I hope I can do everything I was sent here to do!!!!!

I have no cool stories this week haah, I don't know why, but we didn't have anything cool happen this week, except for the 6 baptismal dates. Which was a miracle!!!!

I love you family!!!
I'll write you a longer one next time!! I have to send pics!!!!!!

Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, June 2, 2014

Look for God in Your Life!

Sector- Batuco, Chile
Companero- Elder Perira
Carta #38

Wow, looks like you guys had another good week!!  Always surfing!! haha that's good...that's how life should be lived...

What is bobbys internship for? Investing or what? that's cool though that he has work again! And yeah, Dad I got your email! Thank you!! it was good and it totally makes sense. Thank you!!

This week was pretty good!! We had an amazing experience when we were teaching that couple. They want to get baptized but like I already said, no one here in Chile is married and they can't get baptized until they get married. And we went to find the next date they could get married because here in Chile sometimes you have to wait like 4 months, but we found one on the 7th of August!! that was a miracle!!! And we committed them to that date!! They are super nervous because they don't have any money and the dad has been out of work for a really long time!"! but the second miracle was that he found work and started to work this week!! Its' so cool how God helps us in our righteous purposes. They have so much faith knowing so little about the Gospel. They've only received like 2 of the lessons but they are already willing to turn their lives around and get married and make sacrifices to follow God. The dad actually was in prison for a year and left a little while ago. And has told us that he really wants to change his life. In prison he read the whole Bible and studied it everyday and since then he's wanted to get baptized and turn his life around. And we met him, and he decided to follow what we were saying and felt the spirit and has trusted in that!! that is a lot of faith.
Because sometimes we get spiritual confirmations but still it's so hard for us to trust in those confirmations. Because Satan tries to trick us, but we should all be like him and follow what the spirit tells us to do and follow god! 
The mission is still hard and everything but I love seeing the miracles!! It shows Gods hand in everything and I hope to keep seeing miracles once I get home. 
I hope that you guys always see what God does in your life because that's how we can be happy even when everything's not all perfect and we have problems. We can be grateful for what God has already done in our lives! That is what I need to work on more in the mission, because sometimes I'm just sooo over it and want to go home and stop having to follow dumb rules that I don't understand but I need to look past that and see whats really important. So I hope that I will be better at that when I get back!

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