Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We had a wonderful week this week with much success. This was probably one of the best weeks I have had in the mission! So thank you for your prayers and concern! Last week was tough but that just meant that this week could be better!

Monday last week after email I cut elder smiths hair with some clippers that I had bought and I will probably cut my own hair today! The funny part was that the numbers are a bit different here than in the states and so he said use a 5 and so we went for it and it took it way short haha it was bad but then we fixed it so that was a good learning experience! It was a great purchase at the zofri which is like this mall thing where you can get stuff for cheap.

Later that day we taught Gonzalo and prepared him more for his baptism. Tuesday we went to a less active family and showed a video from president Uchtdorf about true repentance and then talked about it with the family. The main guy Aaron said that he was so grateful for us because we come and teach with the spirit and he said that he wants to go to the temple to receive his endowments and so he is going to meet with the bishop. He has been at church the last 3 weeks so we are thinking that we have pretty much reactivated him. We are very excited and eventually we will teach and baptize his daughter and wife.

Wednesday we found some amazing investigators. We had a feeling that we again needed to go back up to 18 de septiembre a street in our sector and so we went. We started contacting doors and within 3 doors we found a woman named Gabriella. She said that she had been baptized in the Evangelical church when she was younger but she wouldn't let anyone try and put their hands on her head for the holy ghost because she believed that no one had the authority to do so. We then testified that we had the authority and that she would need to be baptized again and then we said a prayer with her. After the prayer and we had finished she went on with her own prayer and thanked God for sending us to her door. She was very happy and we set a return appointment to go teach her the restoration. It was great. Later that day we were contacting doors again and we finished a street and Elder Smith asked what we should do. Immediately I had a thought pop into my head that we needed to go visit a member named Katy whose work was close by. So we went and when we got there she had tears in her eyes and was having a rough time. We tried to comfort her and then I left her a Mormon message and then we left. It is incredible how the spirit leads us! The Lord is aware of each of us and our needs and has a plan for each of us.

Thursday was good not a lot happened except there was a Tsunami practice drill haha that was crazy.

Friday morning at 2 am we got up to get ready for our Zone Conference up in Arica! Our bust left at 4 am and then we had a 4 hour bus ride up to Arica. Once we got there we walked to a stake center and then waited for President and Sister Bruce to get there with the Assistants. It was so fun to see all of my good buddies from the MTC like Elder Mccusker and Congleton and Van pelt.  President Bruce got up and promised us that our questions would be answered that day and they definitely were. President and Sister Bruce are incredible. Sister Bruce talked about the importance of planning and how we always need to be better planners. She gave us ways that we can be better planners and then talked about how we are going to be better. It was absolutely perfect because Elder Smith and I the day before were talking about how we needed to improve our planning even more.

Then President spoke and talked about how every week of his life since his mission on Saturday mornings at 5:30 am he has planned out his week. He talked about how planning is one of the things we have to do become successful. Later he talked about the comparison of Ammon and Aaron how they were both very successful but their success came at different times. He talked about many other things and also talked about how those who are born into the covenant have the right to have a testimony compared to someone who didn´t know the church. But those of us who are born into the covenant still doubt and have fears and so we still have to pray, fast, study the scriptures like in Alma 17:2. 

We took a break and then ate lunch. We had some good tacos type food with some brownies. Mmmmm they were good. We got pictures with our zone and president and sister Bruce after that and then we finsihed up with some workshops. There were 3. First we talked more about planning and sister Bruce created a form for the mission to help make our planning more effective. And the other two were about these new forms that the church created. They are forms that are used in ward council with the missionaries and bishop to help recent converts and less actives take things step by step until they get to the temple. It is amazing we were so stoked about them! We have already begun implementing them into our sector. After that we finished with Presidents final remarks and then finished up. I met Emily´s friend from Riverton he is super nice and a good kid. After the zone conference we had a few hours to relax in Arica becuase our bus didn't leave till 7. So we went to the centro and there was a McDonald's! It was unreal! So i got two ice creams and ate them both and they were actually surprisingly good.

Eventually we got back on the bus and took the 4 hour bus ride back to Iquique. During the ride Elder Smith and I planned more and then I read. We got back to Iquique around 12:30 and went straight to bed. We were exhausted. 

Saturday we got up and went to the church to fill up the font for Gonzalo´s baptism. During the day we taught lessons where we could and prepared for the baptism. The baptism was super great! Gonzalo was prepared and his daughters came up from Antofagasta for the service. One of them bore her testimony and she did a wonderful job. I´ll attach pictures of Gonzalo. Sunday morning we went to church and had our less actives there and then Gonzalo and 3 other investigators. We were super excited. Gonzalo was confirmed and he is going to be a great member of our ward. There is this new family from Bolivia who has like 10 people in their family so we are going to stop by their place this week. Later that day we had to go on splits with some of the young men in the ward because Elder Smith and I had so much to do. I was at ward council while he was with a member teaching and giving a blessing. Later we taught a Family Home Evening lesson. We taught about the importance of missionary work and they absolutely loved it. We had about 30 people show up and many shared experiences including Gonzalo! Gonzalo came and we didn't even tell him about it so that was very exciting. We had people come up and grab pass along cards and phamplets and there was actually a non member there who came with a friend and then one of the members started teaching her directly after. It was great.

Our ward has grown so much since we have been here and we are excited for the work that is happening here in Lynch in Iquique. Hope you all are having a great week. This week I have learned much and am grateful for the blessings that I have been given. I love this gospel and the work that I have been given the opportunity to do! The work is starting to really get rolling now that we have got our feet on the ground. Have such a great week! I love you all! I know our Savior Lives.

Elder Newman

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hello family!

Hope you all are doing very well.  

This week was great, we worked our tails off, and good results came! Last monday when we were on exchanges I went with Elder Spoleman, he is on the other side of Iquique. We taught some less actives and a few members. The people are a bit nicer out side of the main downtown centro.

Tuesday we taught some new investigators and found this golden Investigator but then we found out he lives in alto hospisico which is a city on the hill just to the west of iquique. So we passed that reference over to them and we felt bad that He couldn´t be ours. We are teaching this guy gonzalo, on Tuesday night we taught Him the gospel of Jesus Christ and then set a baptisimal date with Him and He is going to be baptized this saturday! So we are so excited for that. He has been great with all of his committments and everything and he is getting really excited.

Thursday was a great day we had some incredible things happen. We taught a less active family and then were deciding what to do. I was trying to decide and then felt like we should stay up by the border of our sector and contact this specific street. Within the first few doors we knocked on that street we found two bolivians and we taught them the first lessson. It went very well. As we finished the lesson she asked if she could say a quick prayer. She prayed to God and thanked him for bringing this message to her and then she talked about her son who had passed away. As we continued talking to her she said that today was a special day because it was the birthday of her son who had passed away. She said that she normally never lets people in the house but that today was a special day. We taught her a bit about the plan of salvation after and then left. It was a great experience and a great blessing to understand and recognize how the Lord prepares the hearts of the people and how we were lead where we needed to go exactly when we needed to be there!

Thursday night i gave Elder Smith a blessing because he has been battling a cold and cough. Friday morning we were contacting and then found someone who spoke english. Haha she wanted to have us teach her in english so that is what we did. It was so weird teaching in English. Speaking of the language this week has gotten even better as far as langague. I am understanding more and more as I continue to strive to get better and progress. 

Friday night we went to another baptismal service in our zone and gonzalo came with us. Saturday we found 5 new investigators and then we got committments from some of our less actives to come to church.

Sunday we had Stake conference that morning and unfortunately only 1 of our investigators came. that is the hardest thing about the mission here is getting our investigators to church. We always eat lunch at members houses after church and we went with the Bishop after that to help him. Our bishop is great, the biggest thing we are trying to do is just structure the church like it is supposed to be.
Things are going wel here in Iquique! We are so excited for our baptism this week and cannot wait for that. We are having a white night so the whole zone will be doing our baptisms together. Have a great week family! I love and miss you all.

Elder Newman

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hello family!

As far as this week it went really well! We had some great success and we were happy as we got all of the standards for the mission for our key indicators which is like all the work we do. Ask Nate and Jason about key indicators and standards they explain more about them ha-ha. But we worked our tails off and the Lord is blessing our efforts.
Monday we had mini zone conference and the office came with president and displayed the vision of the month with the Olympics. We are doing our best to save souls and to be the best that we can be. We taught a family home evening lesson Monday night with some of the families in the ward and we are trying to teach and strengthen each of them.

Tuesday night we were contacting and knocking doors and we were at a street corner and were stopped there and we were trying to decide where to go. We then decided to go down the street and Elder Smith felt like we should stop for a second because there some guys that he might thought were following us but they passed by and then we were at this door and we decided to start there. We were knocking and then no one came then Elder smith saw a lady carrying grocery bags and he offered to carry hers and it turns out we were right in front of her house knocking on her door. She let us in and we had a great first lesson and she liked the message very much

On Wednesdays we have now started to teach an English class to increase our potential investigator pool and we had a few come on Wednesday. As news continues to get out, it will increase.

Thursday I went on splits with Elder Russell over in their sector (area) called Bilbao. The district leader went with Elder smith and we were so worried because it was just us two, who had barely been in Chile for a week and we were going to go contacting and teach lessons. They live right in front of this huge sand dune I feel like I´m in the Sahara but then our pension is right on the ocean at the same time it’s a very odd place and combination. Anyway here is elder Russell and I a duo of two newb who can barely understand Chilean we first went to teach this guy and his wife who were referenced by a member to talk about Christ and to strengthen their faith. However the member did not inform the missionaries this. So we go in back for the second lesson and they just blasted us about how this wasn’t what they expected and just rejected everything we told them. They are very strong catholic and wouldn´t set up a return appointment

After that we were feeling a bit down but we kept going. Then we went to this guy named hector and he spoke so incredibly fast and mumbled off his Chilean that Elder Russell and I could not understand a single word he was saying. Literally he would go off for like 10 minutes straight talking and elder Russell and I looked at each other in complete la la land and had no idea what do to. Ha-ha his questions went from aliens to repentance and it was nuts. But I felt like we needed to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ and then at the end I felt impressed to ask him to be baptized. I had no idea what I was doing but I did and he accepted. It was a rollercoaster of a lesson because this guy was crazy but it ended well. After that we went and contacted that was great practice. We taught a lesson to this girl and her kid on her front porch and then after that we went to go do some service for a family in the ward. We moved tables and boxes of things because there were preparing to move. They gave us a bunch of bread to eat, which is soo good, yet it is very fattening (3 amigos) hahaha.

Friday morning I met back up with elder smith and we did a sector attack in Bilbao. Which is where all the elders and hermanas in the whole zone go to one area and try to get a bunch of references and lessons to boost the sector. Bilbao is a new sector so we did that. This area is very rich compared to other parts so elder smith and I had a tough time getting into some people’s houses. If I got a nickel for how many times I’ve heard soy catolica (I’m catholic) I’d be rich ha-ha. But it’s great; we are getting into more and more houses every day. Teaching is improving and we are getting more effective every day. Our bishop in our ward is amazing and Friday night we went and met with him about the mission plan. When we met with him he told us exactly who could be used for member support for each one of investigators and that was huge for us. Saturday we passed by and went and contacted a bunch of references. Saturday night we taught this guy named Nicolas who is a less active member. He had some bad experiences with members and bishops and what they have said to him. Members can destroy the work, it is awful. Some of the people who serve in callings can be so dang prideful that it absolutely destroys the work that we try to do. But when we went he had this feast for us. Elder Smith and I had already been given food from some other lessons and so we were already full and this guy had a serious full table full of cheese, pepperoni, cookies, bread, peaches and cream, and all sorts of stuff. We had to eat as much as I could. I thought of Jason while eating all of the beef and cheese. mmmm it was good. But we taught him about why it’s important that we endure to the end, this guy is a great person and has read so many books about the church. The problem was that one elder told him how the church really functions in North America and Utah with all of the programs and now it’s hurt his view because the church structure is so different and weak down here. After we talked about enduring to the end then I talked about the blessings of the temple and how he needs to go and receive his endowments. This guy is single and like 60 years old and could be a great support to the ward.
Sunday was great we had 3 investigators at church and 2 recent converts and then 7 less actives. It was great and we were all excited for the good week we had. Rosario our Bolivian investigator came and we set a baptismal date with her for the 25th of this month. We also taught this guy named gonzalo last night who had questions about our church, his wife left him for a past bishop of the church.  But we taught him about the churches central position about families and about how the atonement can heal him. He wants to be a strong member of the church; he even said he wants to be a bishop. Kind of odd but if he´s doing it for the right reasons to help others and be a good person then we will take it if he is committed. Last night we taught this lady named Pamela and she knows that everything we have taught is true and I am thinking that she will be baptized eventually too. She has a boy and he´s 9 years old. She loves the book of Mormon and we will meet with her 2-3 times this week and hopefully set a baptismal date with her. 

Our apartment is pretty good. It was gross at the beginning but we have cleaned it up like crazy. I´ll attach some pictures. The food is pretty good. A lot of rice, greasy meat, chicken and sometimes a good fish. The bread is great and it is really tasty. Ha-ha I try not to eat too much of it because it is so fattening. They drink so much stinking soda here it’s crazy. I carry water with me everywhere because I don’t want to rot my teeth out with soda. Ha-ha there are many people who are missing teach probably because they just rotted out. Elder smith is great. We work hard together.  We walk all over the place. If you can look online the borders of our sector are downtown Iquique from Rem. El Morro to 18 de September and then from Jose m Carrera to Esmeralda. Those are the borders of the street of our sector. I have no idea how much we walk but it’s a lot. We have a court next to our apartment so we are going to buy a cheap basketball and start playing in the mornings. It takes us about 10 minutes to walk to our church so it is pretty close. I hope all is well at home. Thank you for the email. I am doing well and love this work. Truly there are miracles that happen every day. Today Elder Smith and I are going on exchanges because some of the other elders in the zone are having a tough time so we have to go help them and so I’ll be in a different part of Iquique just for tonight. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I glad to be serving him down in Chile. This work is tough, but I love it. Have a great week. Continue to press forward with faith in Christ, although I may be weak, through Him we can be made strong. 2 cor 12 9-10 and Alma 26; 12. His grace is sufficient for all of us. We just need to trust him. Love you all.

Elder Newman

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hola familia! Que Tal? Bueno I made it to Chile safe and sound. 2 nights ago on the plane while we were going to Santiago there were a bunch of high school students who were on the plane and Elder Packard and I first just started talking to them and then they asked us what we do and what we teach and there was this one girl who was very receptive. We taught her and this other guy the first 3 lessons and gave her a book of Mormon and then we prayed with her on the plane. It was an incredible experience. She said she was going to read and was probably going to contact the missionaries in her area. After we landed in Antofagasta we were picked up by President Bruce and some of the assistants. We have this big bus that we use to transport all of the missionaries. Let me just tell ya that this place in next to the moon. Ha-ha this place is crazy. There are dogs, everywhere. Just a billion stray dogs running around everywhere it is nuts. There is graffiti everywhere and just about no plants. But we went to the institute in Antofagasta next to one of the churches and there are gates and all sorts of stuff around it it’s crazy! But anyways once we got there we had an orientation with President Bruce, ate some food and then had a quick 3-4 min interview with President Bruce. After that we waited and waited till all had been interviewed. Along with our group of 11 there are like 6 more natives that met up with us in Santiago. After that we got some American dominos pizza. Probably the last for a while, but it was good. After that we had the exciting scary time of waiting to hear who our trainer would be and where we would be driving. The mission boundaries are insanely huge. President Bruce compared Antofagasta to cedar city. Then having the furthest south area vallenar compared to san Diego, and then comparing Arica to Boise. So basically the distance of our mission boundaries compare to San Diego driving to Boise. If you were called to Arica that is a 12 hour bus ride north. However I have been assigned to serve with Elder Smith. He is from Cottonwood Heights and went to Skyline high school. He went to the University of Utah for a year and seems like a way good kid. He graduated in 2010 and has been here for 1 year. He seems like he will be a great trainer. He seems like he is an obedient missionary and I am so excited to get to work. We are serving in an Area called Iquique. It is 6-7 hours north of Antofagasta and our apartment is like right on the beach. It is a complete hole in the wall ha-ha but its great. Ha-ha its pretty grose but what can ya do. I will clean it up pretty good. Last night we took our bus ride on these double Decker charter buses to get up here. We got here around 2 am I was so tired. It has been insane to get here and to have travelled here. The Spanish here is insane. My trainer tells me I have really good Spanish but it will take me a bit to pick it up here. They mumble crap and speak so fast it is insane. I could pretty much understand anything but a Chilean. But this is crazy. Anyways I got to go but I am safe and doing well! Our preparation day will be on Monday so I will write again then. Have a great week I love you all!

Elder Newman