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

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