Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hello Family! 

Hope that you are all doing very well! I can't believe that I am almost 5 months into my mission! Crazy how fast time has gone! My 2nd transfer in the field is finished and I am now starting my third. I am staying in Iquique. I am staying here with Elder Tymczyszyn.   I am happy to stay here and enjoy this wonderful sector.  It really is a great place to be and I love it here. There are many people here who are waiting to receive the gospel. 

The baptism on Saturday was great. It started an hour late because of some problems.  I baptized Leninka and everything went really well. It was great to get pictures of her and Mary together and to see the change that has occurred in them over the last 2 months. It is really incredible to see how much happiness the gospel brings to people and how the savior can change our nature. 

This week we really saw the blessings of the priesthood unfold. We were blessed with many opportunities this to use the priesthood. What a great experience it was. Wednesday we were teaching Leninka about the restoration. Mary was also there and their friend Graciela. They have a friend who lives on the floor above us who joined us for the lesson. They are so excited every time that we come and can hardly wait until we arrive to teach and be with them.  We watched the restoration and then towards the end I had directed the focus towards the friend Graciela. I helped her recognize the spirit and then committed her to pray and know for herself. Mary had been sick with a fever and was not feeling very good at all and then as we were leaving I felt impressed to ask Mary if she wanted a blessing. She said please and so then we gave a blessing to her to that she could be healed. Then Graciela asked if we could give a blessing to her son who had also been very sick. So we then gave him a blessing. The next day when we saw them and Mary was healed and felt amazing and the son by the end of the night was completely healed. It was so cool. We were also blessed this week to have 2 other opportunities to bless children of less actives who asked for blessing. Both of those 2 kids were healed as well. It was awesome. I know the priesthood of God is real. I testify that miracles happen everyday. 

This week I had some wonderful food. Mmmm it was soooo good. One day a part member family took us to a Chinese restaurant! It was great! Wasn't quite shanghai express from Marlton NJ but it was great! So good to have a mix of food from the usual down here. Also we ate with a member family one day and the fixed us a Venezuelan dish. It was also very tasty. The best part was fried bananas. So have you ever seen the bananas that are huge?  Well they cut those into long slices and then they fried it. Mmmm it was goood. It was like Tucanos a bit when they fry the bananas but in strips. As far as meals we have been trying to eat with members everyday of the week so that we can spend time with them. Lots of rice, sometimes chicken, and on occasion beans. Look up Churassco you'll see the classic Chilean meat.

I keep forgetting to tell you this, but there is a hermana in our zone from Paraguay. When she first came here I asked if she knew an elder Newman. She said she did some years ago. She is 31 years old and was a doctor, but she said she knew an elder Newman in Paraguay. So it might have been Tyler. Her name is Hermana Nuñez. Ask Tyler if he remembers this family. 

We have been working with some new investigators that we found this week. We are trying to make November a big month. It seems like looking at the front of everything the months have so much potential with baptisms and then things fall through, investigators don't progress and then we only end up with 1 or 2 baptisms. I am trying to figure out how we can become closer and keep these investigators we have worked so hard to find. 

Time passes so fast out here. I know that the church is true. We see miracles every week and the spirit guides us frequently throughout the day. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today who holds and exercises priesthood keys. We just need to remember that God has a plan for each of us. And as we strive to do our best, to keep the commandments, to study and pray and do what we need to do, he will put us where we need to be, when we need to be there. Have a great week family! I love and miss you all!

Elder Newman

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hello Family! 

Sounds like lots of sports and more sports and sports have been going on lately. Haha I'm sure dad is in heaven watching the Yankees play every night! Everyone here refers to me as a Yankee being from the states,its funny. Pass a happy birthday to the grandpas and have fun at Sadie's Alyssa!  

Monday in the afternoon we had interviews with president Bruce. While others were being interviewed I got to talk to sister Bruce and get to know her a little bit better. They are so nice and the interview went really well. He was able to give me some great advice and counsel that really helped me. Later that day we went and did a family home evening with a less active family. I talked to them about the importance of keeping the commandments and that we will receive many blessings for the things we do to follow the Lord. In 2nd Nephi 4 Lehi blesses his posterity and I explained to them that they being the seed of Lehi still have a right to receive these blessings. It went really well and then they fed us some food afterwards. We had a classic Chilean meal. Bread, butter, soda and they had a little dessert cake thing. It is pretty sad what these people live in. Occasionally there are some who live in some nice places but it is a completely different world down here. There are bugs everywhere in some peoples houses. the lady where we used to eat lunch at had cockroaches who would roam around in her cupboards, mom I am certain that you would die down here. At first it made me sick but you get adjusted to this after a little while. 

The weather is starting to warm up a little bit more with time. I hardly ever wear my jacket anymore, only when it is windy. I have heard the summer is absolutely brutal here so I am just trying to prepare myself for the worst. We always joke here about how the culture here is very laid back. The dogs in the street are lazy  we joke about how the pigeons in the street are lazy too. There are dogs who just sit in the street all day long dogs will just be laying down and will bark at us sometimes but won't even move a muscle because they are so fat or are just tired. Haha stores here don't open till 10 or 11 in the morning usually and they close around 8 or 9. Today is some holiday and so everything is closed we are in a members house right now because all of the cibers are closed. There are a lot of holidays here. 

The work here is progressing really well. At times it is frustrating being a junior companion because we have so much potential with the ward and members but I have to follow my companion and his lead. We have the baptism of Leninka this Saturday. We pushed José's baptism back to the 27 so we can prepare him more. Currently we have 6 or so progressing investigators, yesterday we brought 7 investigators to church and 5 less actives. I broke my record of investigators at church. We are teaching this woman who is probably 55 or 60 who reminds me of Grandma Glenda. She is such a sweet lady, she said she was going to make me an apple pie for our next appointment so i was pretty stoked about that. We found a sweet apartment complex lot that we have been contacting lately and we have been finding some people who are ready. It reminds me of Jason when he said they'd go to the trailer parks, we are going to some of these old run down apartment places and are finding great people. We have plenty of work to do here in this area, and we have so many people to visit teach and that need to be baptized. We just do not have enough time. We are going to use the priests this week for divisions. 

So here is a funny story, the other day we were teaching a girl whose mom had been baptized when she was 8 and we found them the other day. But we were talking to them and then we invited them to church and they asked a question about wearing pants to church. They said that they had heard that Jesus said in the bible that you cant wear pants to church. Haha we have heard this odd rumor like 2 times now and assured them that if they just come to church that they will receive blessings. We explain that no where in the bible does it say this and that pants were invented like 40 years ago. Haha we taught an Evangelical lady one time in the church and she tried to convince us that our religion was wrong and that our church was bad because she has seen people walk into our church with jeans on and that Jesus said in the bible to not wear jeans to church. Haha absurd some of the things people come up with! 

Pdays are different for every companion. When i was with elder smith we usually played soccer or something every week but elder tymczyszyn said that president Bruce said not to have zone activities because then we are tired for the rest of the week?? Sometimes i don't know if that is true, but I have to follow his lead. Anyways our zone has activities like last week they went and played Frisbee on the beach but we didn't go because elder tym didn't want to. Transfers are this next week. Crazy to think another transfer has come and gone so quickly. I want to stay in this sector because I love this ward, but at the same point I would love to start a new sector and with a new companion. Who knows what will happen I will most likely stay here. Anyways I hope that you are all doing very well. I am growing a deeper love for the people here in Chile as time continues and I love waking up every morning knowing that I have a message that can change someones live forever, and that we get to do it everyday. 


Elder Newman
Hello Family! 

What a wonderful weekend it was with general conference!! Wow what an incredible conference! Every talk was absolutely incredible! This was probably the best session of conference I have ever watched! Maybe its just cause I´m in the mission field but it was absolutely incredible! Missionaries at 18?? I knew this was coming! Would have loved it a year earlier but everything has its time and season! Girls at 19 too? It was so sweet when president Monson was talking about it and then said these changes are taking place now effective immediately. I wonder how much this will increase the numbers of the mission. Chileans have been able to leave at 18 for the last 6-9 months and so Chile was one of the places where 18 year olds where tested. Crazy, with time i could be training an 18 year old young in. Haha crazzyy!!  Like you said mom there were so many wonderful talks about true discipleship and following the savior. Elder Bednars talk was incredible about conversion vs. testimony. Elder Nelsons about ask the missionaries! Ha! I loved that! There were so many wonderful messages and it truly was a wonderful conference! The sessions went by so fast! 

These last 2 days have felt like a half day! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves up in Utah! No i did not feel the earthquake last night. Haha I probably slept through it. There have been many times when elders have come in and out of our pension during the middle of the night and I have just completely slept through everything. The other thing is that our pension is right on the coast so we don't really feel stuff where we are at. Haha kinda scary huh. We are definitely in the danger zone as far as tsunami. I´ll try not to scare ya mom!!! The flees are gone from my bed I think. My bites have been disappearing so that is good. I probably need to up my consumption of protein, fruit and vegetables. All they eat here is bread, avocados, soup, churassco which is like a fatty steak that is transparently thin, and some lettuce with lemon sauce on it. Ha ha i need to eat some more bananas and fruits too. 

This week was not quite what we hoped for but we are still pursuing forward. Last Monday night we went to a family home evening with some less actives we are working with and a investigator. The lesson was based of the movie only a stone cutter about John Moyle. I got excited as I told the people there that he lived in my hometown beautiful Alpine Utah. They were all excited. The following day I decided to implement a technique that the bishop had taught our ward. He said that a stake president had taught him to carry a pencil and paper with him wherever he went and when he recognized a prompting of the spirit to write it down and then at the end of each day he could look back and remember how the spirit had guided him that day.

Something that I have noticed lately is how the spirit has been guiding me to talk to certain people. Walking down the street we contacted a lady and she seemed like a potential investigator but while we were talking I felt prompted to ask her for a reference if she knew anyone that could use our message. She talked about her mom and we wrote it down. Last night we taught the mom after the last session of conference and the lesson went really well. At first when we went to contact her she seemed a little hesitant but then the spirit guided me to continue talking and with persuasion and the spirit she decided to let us in. I felt the spirit as I told her about in reality how our message is centered on Jesus Christ and his gospel and how it could help her life. I believe the spirit bore witness to her as i talked to her and then she decided to let us in. We then taught her about the Restoration and she was pretty knowledgeable about the bible compared to most Chileans. Most Chileans say they know about the bible but in reality they know little or nothing. Another example of this was thursday I was on Splits with Elder Spolemann our district leader. As we were walking down the street a man passed us and i just kind of felt my mind/body just stop and i felt talk to that man. I went back and began talking to him. He said that lately he had been reading in the bible and had been thinking about religion and Joseph smith and other religions had come across his mind. He said that he was wondering about the truth. He has a family who lives in a city next to ours but he is moving to Iquique in January. He said he would love to have the missionaries come by. Coincidence?! I think not haha! It really is an incredible feeling though to have the spirit direct you to certain people and to learn of their personal interest in the gospel. 

Mary our recent convert is incredible. She is doing so great! She went visiting teaching last week with a member in the ward and went around and visited less actives! She told me that her son in Bolivia is going to get baptized in December and that her daughter is still taking the lessons. What joy it brings me to see lives changes and families unite in the gospel! Leninka her friend is ready to be baptized. We have taught her all of the lessons and I am just helping her build a solid testimony on the Book of Mormon. I know that if i can keep my investigators and converts solid on the book of Mormon and converted unto its teachings or unto the savior as demonstrated yesterday by Elder Bednar they will never fall away. Alma 23:6. 

We have two baptismal dates for the 20th of October. Leninka and José. José is the husband of the less active. We are really trying to help his progress and prepare for his baptism. This last week we saw him with his cousin as he went to the supermarket and had a cigarette in his mouth. We were pretty bummed but this week we are going to give him a little palito charla franca haha.  

Last night we met with the ward mission leader and created some plans for this ward. We are going to go with the youth on divisions/exchanges probably 2 times a week. We want to prepare these priests for missions and we also have so much work to do in this sector that we don't have enough time to cover everything. We have been praying and fasting for this sector so that we can find those who are prepared to receive and hear our message. We have faith that this week we will find great investigators to teach. 

Conference was absolutely incredible! I loved it so much! We had a gringo room with all of the Americans where we were able to watch it in English! Oh how blessed it was to hear that beautiful language with the Mormon tabernacle choir! Conference seemed to absolutely fly by! It was incredible! Elder Hollands talk! WOW. So powerful! I hope you all enjoyed your wonderful conference weekend! I love being a missionary! I love sharing this message with people! I love this work! There is so much to learn and apply as we strive more to be like our savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives. As we strive to become more converted to the gospel we will fill that heavenly father is pleased with our lives. I hope that you are all well. Keep up the great work.The field is white and ready to harvest! If ye have desires to serve then ye are called to the work! There is a work that each of us can do, no matter what calling we hold. As we seek the guidance of the spirit, we can help our Father in Heavens Children wherever we may be. Pray for opportunities to serve those around us, to lift one anothers burdens and to know what we can do to help build the kingdom of God here on earth. 

Much Love, 

Elder Newman

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello Family!!!  Here´s how my week went! 

Monday night we got on the bus at about 5 pm and then headed back to Iquique. We were on the second floor of the bus on the front row! Haha it was crazy because there are these big windows and it felt like we were going on a roller coaster or something. As we drove I was just amazed about how there is absolutely nothing out here. Nothing but mountains of dirt and sand. I thought about the people who first colonized this place and I cant imagine what their first thoughts were. I like to joke about this being the desolation referred to in the Book of Mormon.
I arrived back to Iquique at 9 pm and then headed back to the apartment.

Tuesday morning we went to district meeting and then the zone leaders had talked about presidents goal for our zone. As a zone we had set the goal to baptize 12 but then president told the zone leaders that he wanted them to baptize 13. We had 2 baptismal dates planned for this Saturday but we needed to find someone else.  We had thought about the kids Benjamin and Jeremy that we have been working with. We said it could be possible to baptize them but we needed more time to teach and prepare them. The next day as a zone we were going to fast to see what we could do to reach this goal of baptisms. After that we went to a cita with hermano flores. He is the man that is going to baptize his daughter Javiera. The girl that we have been working with. He had received his interview from the bishop and had been cleared to baptize his daughter. He said that he is having struggles with his wife because his wife does not believe in the church anymore but his life is much better. Later that day we met up with Elder Zufelt a zone leader and he wanted to come with us to visit these two potential baptisms here in our sector. So we went with him to go visit Benjamin and Jeremy and he talked with them. After the lesson with Elder Zufelt he said that if we could finish teaching the lessons with them by the end of the week that we could baptize them. We finished the night with teaching Javiera her last lesson about tithing and then the family fed us hamburgers! Haha the mom wanted to make me something american and so they had made us hamburgers. It was nothing like home but it was still good!

Wednesday was our word of wisdom day. We went to go teach our Bolivian friend Leninka about the word of wisdom. She knew that this lesson was coming and she has had a problem with cigarettes. But her friend Mary (who we baptized the week before) is a great support to her. She said that she would stop smoking and that she would live the word of wisdom. She gave us her box of cigarettes and then we left it at that. It is incredible how the Lord blesses people when they really strive to follow him. To have been smoking for years and then as she tries to live the gospel she is able to just drop it like that with the help of the Lord. To finish that night we went to teach our other baptismal date Carlos. He was going to be baptized that Saturday and we reviewed the baptismal questions with him. We determined that he was struggling with the Word of Wisdom and with drinking tea. We retaught and reemphasized the importance of this divine law and then he took us to his kitchen and gave us all of his black tea. We left with two big boxes of tea and a box of cigarettes that night. We had great success that day with helping people leave their addictions and follow the Lord. To bury their weapons of war like in Alma 24 and to follow the Lord, make a covenant and never return. 

Thursday the district leader came with me in our sector to go complete the baptismal interviews for Javiera and Carlos. They both passed and were set to be baptized that coming Saturday. 

Friday was incredible we went to teach an investigator who is the mother of a less active. She accepted our message very well and then we invited her to pray. When we had come back the next day to visit her she had received her answer that it was true! I love having the confidence in our message and absolute knowledge that if someone prays to God to ask if our message is true and if they ask with faith in Christ, real intent, they will receive an answer!

Later that night we went to go work with a less active family. The wife has been a member for most of her life and the husband is not a member. They have a 4 year old son and live in a small apartment. They are in their late 20's and their names are Andrea & Jose. We have been working with Andrea and she has been coming back to church and the husband has started to come too. The husband has met different sets of missionaries for the last 8 years!! We had taught him a lesson about 2 weeks ago and then lately we have been focusing to get him to pray and actually ask. Friday when we talked to him he said that he had prayed and felt the presence of God a feeling in his heart. We were amazed! Incredible! He has been meeting with missionaries for 8 years and now he finally receives his answer! It is incredible how time and other experiences can prepare people to receive certain answers and things to their questions. So we ended up setting a baptismal date with him for the 20th of October and the family is super excited. 

Saturday was a bummer. We get a call from one of the youth telling us that Javiera had talked to him on facebook saying that she was not getting baptized anymore. We were so confused. We go over to the house to see what the deal is and we go to talk to the mom and she is not good. The mom is just crying and we try to figure out the situation. Basically she is convinced the church isn't true and that she is not going to let her daughter get baptized into a church that she "knows isn't true". It was a bad situation, later the little daughter came in and was screaming and crying and then the dad came up to try to help the situation and it was a disaster.  Later when we went to go pick up Benjamin and Jeremy for their baptism their mom  said that the kids needed more time. So we went from baptizing 4 to baptizing 1 in a matter of 6 hours. It was really a bummer and we were pretty bummed that we had lost these 3 souls. However we baptized Carlos and it was a great service.  

Although that we lost these baptismal dates, we will work to get them back! There is so much work to do in this sector and not enough time do to it! We are going to work really hard to use the ward more to go on divisions and things with a few priests in the ward.

I know that my savior lives. In times of craziness and outright disasters he will always be there! When we struggle we just need to remember that in the end all will be okay! Be of Good Cheer he told his disciples. I love this work, it is so fun to see peoples lives change for the better! Have a great week! 


Elder Newman