Monday, July 23, 2012

Hi family!

I hope you all had a great week! It has been a great week here in the MTC! It is crazy to think that I only have 1 week left here! Time just flies by so fast! Maybe not for you all but on the mission it’s screaming fast.  I can’t believe you sold the truck! When I got the letter I was distraught! Ha-ha so so so sad... :(  Monday during our workout time in the Gym I did some single leg RDLs (it’s a type of workout) and my legs were so sore for the rest of the week. For about 3 days I was hobbling around like a grandpa, I could barely pick up my legs it was funny.

Monday night we taught our final lesson with our Mario investigator. It was great and Hermano Hallsted helped us realize how much we have learned over the last little while and it is incredible how blessed we have been from the Lord as we seek to prepare to build the kingdom in Chile.

Tuesday was an incredible day, Tuesday morning we were playing softball,, I play Centerfield, and I made a sick diving catch that morning ha-ha it was awesome I was sprinting in to home plate and leaped and caught it and it was funny everyone was going nuts so that was a good way to start of the day.

That night we had a fireside by Vaughn J Featherstone an Emeritus General Authority and it was awesome. The spirit was strong and he talked about many different things. Attitude, work, dreams, and revelation. I received some wonderful promptings from the spirit that I needed at the time that were great. He also talked about how we are tested before great things will happen so that the Lord can test our faithfulness. I know this is true. That night while we were at the Residence hall Elder Nolan who is one of the newest elders in the zone came up to me and asked if he could talk to me for a minute. He said he had been having a really hard time with the language and was starting to get very scared because he was going to the Peru MTC in a week. He asked if I could give him a blessing. I said of course and so I took him into my room and gave him a blessing. It was crazy because usually I would be pretty nervous but I was completely calm going into the blessing. I sat him down just asked his name and then gave him a blessing. It was an incredible experience. The spirit guided my words and the spirit filled the room. After I finished he had tears in his eyes and came up and gave me a big hug. He's a great kid. It was a blessing from the Lord as I was completely calm, and act like the savior and try to implement Christ like Leadership. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to serve others and I am trying to do the best that I can for the Lord.  It was awesome.

After that I was getting ready for bed and I hear all of these people across the hall cheering and yelling and I was wondering what the commotion was. I go over to see and this massive Polynesian was arm wrestling people. I just sat there to watch for a minute and then all of the Spanish speaking natives started pointing to me and where like you! You! You turn!  I was like no no no and they pushed me up there to arm wrestle this guy. Let me try to paint a picture of this man. He has to be like 6"4 like 325 pounds. A beast! Ha-ha so I get up there and we put our arms on the ironing board and we begin. I think he underestimated me. Ha-ha we had a great battle and while we were going and giving everything we got all of the natives were like "American!" American!! in my mind I was thinking "for my country"!! Hahaha it was stinking funnny. After about 50 seconds my wrist was about to break and I lost. He came up and gave me a big hug and all of the natives tried to explain to me that I had given him the best challenge

Fast forward a few days and then I saw him in the hall way and I tried to ask him where he was from. I heard him mumble out Tahiti and I was like nooooo way. I asked him if he knew an Elder Hannemann and he said yes! yes! He took me to his room and grabbed his camera and then proceeded to show me 4 pictures of him and Elder Hannemannn. I tried to explain to him that Elder Hannemann was one of my best friends so I took him to my room and grabbed my photo album and then showed him the pictures I have with Kyle. He got all excited and told me that his family would feed Elder Hahnemann often. It was the coolest thing. We got pictures with each other the other night and I plan to arm wrestle him one more time before I leave with all of my elders cheering me on so I can get some support. Ha-ha it honestly was the coolest experience to hear that he was just with one of my best friends clear across the other side of the world. His name is Elder Pihatarioe. If you see Howard, Mindy or Micah make sure you tell them it was so cool. He is going to serve his mission in Montreal, Canada French speaking. I also tried to tell him that one of my teammates Austin Heder is there.

This week I have been striving to have more Faith. That is the christlike attribute I have been working on and it is incredible what you thought you knew about certain principles and then you realize how much more you really need to learn. It was great to study and work on that this week. With faith I have also tried to have a great attitude with everything that happens. Attitude is everything! There may be times when things don't go our way or the way that we planned but we need to decide to have a good attitude, be happy and trust in the Lord! He knows what is best for us and as we do everything we can to align our will with his he will bless us incredibly! Yesterday we had a great devotional by Stephen B. Allen the head director of the Missionary department. He related the song come come ye saints to missionary work and it was a very powerful spiritual experience. We listened to the Motab sing it and then we all sung it together a few times and analyzed the lyrics. Hymns are powerful with great messages packed into them. I remember President Gotttfredson advised me one time when I was younger to grab an old hymnbook and tear out a song each day and study it and look at the lyrics. Sunday night I got a picture with all of the BYU guys so that was fun to see all of them.

We got a couple emails today from our mission explaining all the details and everything about what we are supposed to do. I love this work. There is nothing that brings me such joy! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and am doing everything I can to better represents him and share his restored gospel! Bless you all. All is well. Godspeed.


Elder Newman

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hi family! I hope you are all doing very well. This week was incredible! Probably one of the best weeks I have had here at the MTC.

So Monday we got to clean the temple and we cleaned like a trillion lockers but it was awesome! It was amazing how detailed and clean they were supposed to be. Ha-ha while we were being instructed on what we were to do the head guy asked if their mother had every given them a toothpick to clean something and I proudly raised my hand ha-ha I was the only one in the room that raised my hand.

Monday night we had class with Hermano Hallsted and had to teach our investigator Mario. Mario has been the toughest investigator we have faced. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was incredible. The spirit was so strong the whole lesson and we could see his progression as we went through the lesson. The last like 2 minutes of the lesson I had this strong impression in my heart that I needed to ask him if he would be baptized and he accepted. It was so amazing and we were so excited. It is incredible what can happen when we listen to and follow the promptings of the spirit

Tuesday we taught some other elders in the Zone and had some great progression with them.  This past week we learned subjunctive form in Spanish, so we have been trying to implement that into our lessons. We conducted a baptismal interview for our investigator Jose and I got to conduct one for the other elders so that was good practice to have to go through the questions and things in Spanish. I got the pictures from the fire on Tuesday. I can’t believe how much burnt. That is so sad.

Wednesday was probably the best day of the week so far. For service that Wednesday morning Elder Van Pelt and I cleaned the drinking fountains and we got to clean the Elevator and we got to ride in it! Woo!! Ha-ha you appreciate the little things in life as a missionary. Ha-ha we take so much for granted because we don't realize what we have.

Wednesday night we had to go to the TRC and teach Gabriel. Gabriel is our investigator from Santiago. He started off with telling us that he found out his Dad had lung cancer and is probably going to die soon. He talked to us of how much he loved his dad. We started from there into the first lesson and taught him about the Restoration. The spirit was incredibly strong especially as I described the first vision to him in Joseph Smith's words. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost and it was such a powerful experience. He has such a wonderful relationship with God and is an incredible man. At the end of the lesson I had feelings to ask him if he knew our message was true. He said that he wanted to believe that they were, I then asked him if he knew that they were would he be baptized. He immediately replied yes and it was incredible. We really understand the importance now of asking investigators to be baptized after the first and second lesson because it helps them make goals and work towards something. After we prayed he asked us how we were so good at Spanish for only being here 6 weeks and I told him that is was through the power of God and through the Holy Ghost. I told him that miracles happen when we are performing the work of the Lord. After the lesson he came up and gave us big hugs and it finished off to be incredible. It was such an amazing day on Wednesday.

Friday we had a new investigator His name is Freddy and is from Peru. We taught him the first lesson and the whole time he was trying to prove us wrong and then we invited him to read the book of Mormonhe said that he was sure it couldn’t be the word of God and that he would talked to his pastor about it to see if it was true. I didn't know where to go with the lesson and then I looked down at the ground and felt like I was helpless, then the spirit filled my soul and I looked up at Freddy. I then bore a powerful firm testimony of the truthfulness of the book of Mormon and that I knew it was true with all of my heart, and that the only way he could know was from God. Not from his pastor, or by anyone else.It was an incredible experience as well and the spirit burned within my soul as I stood up for the Book of Mormon and testified him of its truth.
Saturday morning we taught Gabriel again and we set a baptismal date for the 28th of July.

Sunday was great. We had lots of meetings and we started our responsibilities as Zone Leaders. We had a wonderful priesthood lesson about enduring to the end from Brother Jones and President Brown came in and talked to us about the Doctrine of Christ. I am starting to realize how important and how much we really do have to learn about the Doctrine of Christ. It is fundamental in everything we do, our purpose, lessons, district lessons, sacrament talks, priesthood meetings and so many other places. I love our Branch Presidency they are wonderful men. I love this work and the blessings it has already brought me. Although I am weak I can be made strong in Christ. 2 cor 12:9-10. Have a wonderful week family! I love you all so much and I can’t wait to talk to you in 2 weeks from today. Onward and Upward!


Elder Newman

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hello Family!

I hope you are all doing well

Tuesday we had gym in the morning and we played softball the past few days because the gym was closed because of the mission presidents being here. It’s basically the next sandlot. We play basketball in the mornings and baseball in the afternoons depending on when our gym time is.

We are excited to get to play on the 4th of July. There is supposed to be a talent show thing and I believe that we also get to watch the fireworks from the stadium. We are pretty pumped for that.  Also sister brown, wife of the mtc president came up to Elder Van Pelt randomly on Tuesday and asked him if he would be willing to help with the program but she didn’t tell him why. We are wondering if it’s because he is almost 7 feet tall but who knows.

Tuesday we had a lot of personal and language study time so that was good to prepare for our investigators. The work with Jose has gone really well, he is preparing for his baptism which is a week from this Saturday and his "wedding" is on Saturday too. Our other investigator Mario has been so hard, but we were finally able to get him to pray and we are excited for our next lesson with him tonight on the Plan of Salvation. Tuesday night was going to be the big devotional because it was the last day for all of the mission presidents and general authorities to be here. As we sat down and waited for a bit we look to the doors and then comes in Elder Andersen, Elder Christofferson, Elder Cook, Elder Bednar, Elder Nelson, Elder Oaks, Elder Perry, Elder Holland, Elder Scott, and Elder Ballard and also all of their wives, then you had all the mission presidents, and then many other seventies in the building too. It was unbelievable. Elder Perry spoke and he talked about the wonderful effects the gospel has on families and had some statistics with it from the Pew research center that did those studies across America. I believe that there was an article about it in the Deseret News awhile ago. Anyways it was a great talk and I thought about how the gospel has blessed our families’ life and the impact it has had on my own. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the blessings we receive from it.

We taught Jose that night and he told us his wife wanted to be baptized too. We were stoked about that. On Wednesday our Zone Leaders left, Elder Hirai and Elder Pinnock. They were great missionaries and we miss them. We had service on Wednesday and mopped the floors and stairs. In class we worked a lot of how to receive revelation from the Book of Mormon and how to teach that to our investigators. It was great and we found some great teaching skills we can implement into our lessons.
At lunch that day I saw Megan Jackson’s parents again and got a picture with them, it sounds like you got the picture. I also got a package from Leianne full of snicker doodles so that was real nice of her. Everyone in the Zone loved them and we ate them all in a day.

Thursday we taught Mario (hemano Hallstead) and for this teaching experience I was only able to ask questions. It was difficult but it helped me grow so much as I learned how to focus on the spirit more and focus on asking inspired questions. Also on Thursday during my language study I was able to read the book of Mormon in Spanish and it is awesome because I can understand a lot of what it is saying now so that's great. It is really amazing how much the spirit is a part of this work; literally without the spirit I can do nothing. There was one part of a lesson where we didn’t quite have the spirit with us and I could barely speak. It was an incredible humbling experience to realize how much we need it in every aspect of missionaries. Because without it we shall not teach.

Thursday it was way Smokey, we have heard that there are tons of fires going on. There was literally ash blowing in the wind from the fires. It was crazy. There were little tiny white pieces of ash all over the MTC.

This week I have gained a few pounds. I am at 211 right now so I really haven't gotten fat so that a good thing :) Ha-ha we try and work out whenever we have time to and I try to stay in shape the best I can. The food is still pretty good, I mean... It's not home but it gets the job done. There are some meals that we are hitting for the 3rd round and they're starting to get to us but I look forward to Wednesdays and Sundays for Ice cream! Whoo!! I also eat the salads and fruits and try to stay healthy. It is easy to get fat and gain weight in here with the stuff they put in front of your face ha-ha but it’s good.

On Saturday we had our weekly planning session and we found out that we are going to be teaching a lot more. We are picking up two new investigators this week and also a new guy in the TRC. He is a native and we treat him as a real investigator. Some of these are members and some aren’t they just look for natives who can play the role of an actor. Hahaha we are a bit nervous for this guy because he is from Chile and apparently likes to bashear (Jason and Nate I know that's not a real verb duh) (bible bash) as we called it. We also are going to teach 3 more companionship in the zone so right now we are moving up to around 20 lessons a week. Which is nothing compared to the field but it is a lot for us right now. We are excited though. We also made goals for door approaches and language and all sorts of good stuff. The language is coming along very well.  Everything is progressing along very well and we are excited to continue to grow and prepare while in the MTC. Sunday was a great day as well. Sunday morning Elder Van Pelt and I were pulled out of studying and were told by Brother Jones that we have been called as Zone Leaders in training. So that is going to keep us very busy, and with all of the new teaching and other goals we have made there is never enough time

We had MTC mission conference and President Brown talked about how we need to discover our purpose as missionaries and study the actual purpose. It was great. Elder Van Pelt and I blessed the sacrament and we also bore our testimonies. Sunday night we had a fireside and this man named Ted Gibbons performed an act on Willard Richards, a close friend of the prophet Joseph Smith. It was very good and we were reminded about the many men who sacrificed everything for the Gospel. It was great. After we went to watch the Joseph Smith movie.

This morning we went and worked out and we also found out that we have been selected to go clean the temple next week so we are excited about that. It should be a great experience. I hope you all are doing well; I love you all so much! I think about you often! I love this gospel and I know it’s true. I can't wait to share this wonderful message with the people of Chile! Onward and Upward!

Elder Newman