Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Family,

This past week was nuts! The time has gone by so fast. But it was a great week and i am happy with the blessings that we saw. We did an exchange in the beginning of the week with some missionaries from Antofagasta, and then we spent the rest of the time working in our own area and preparing for the zone conference.


Thursday morning we got up really early and then we left to head to the south of the mission. We did 3 different conferences in the south. There were in Chañaral, Copiapó and Vallenar. President asked Elder Pinto and I to share something similar to what we shared in the leadership council. My companion talked some more about the doctrine of Christ and I talked about the importance of goals and planning to help us have success and baptize.  My favorite conference that we had was in copiapó. While we were in each of the zones we worked with the zone leaders that night and then left the next morning to get to the next city for the zone conference. We left on Saturday night from Vallenar in a bus so that we could get to church here in Antofagasta.

We have a family that we are teaching from Columbia, it was a referral that we received from a member. They are so great, we taught the daughter last week with a couple of members and then today the entire family went to church. The parents and then the two children, the little girl is 16 and the other boy is 8. We knew that the whole family was going to go to church and so that is why we took a bus all night long to get here. We arrived here around 8:00 this morning. We were super excited to see this family at church, they loved it and had a bunch of questions. We have an appointment with them tonight. We are stoked! We want to set some baptismal dates for the future.

Anyways great things are happening down here in MCA. When the prophet gave the announcement about the hastening the work of salvation, most of the missionaries had to change the form of the way they are working. Many were not working with members and we saw a decrease in numbers for a little bit, however now things are rising again and great things are happening. Sacrament meeting attendance has increased immensely. Baptisms are rising and the church is growing here. The unity between the wards and the missionaries is great and together the work is hastening.

This last week while studying in the scriptures i found something interesting. Ammon in Alma 26 asks his brothers a question after having completed their missions.

 1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?

 3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

He asks his brothers if they have observed the greatest blessing that they themselves have received while serving among the lamanites. There are a few things i learned from this scripture.

1. One of the greatest blessing that we receive while serving the Lord is the change that is wrought within us. As we serve with all of our heart, our nature is changed, and we are changed to become more like the Savior. And having this change brings great joy. Many times we think of the blessings that we receive from service in the kingdom as temporal blessings, or blessings in the family, yet we do not frequently notice the change that is wrought within us. 

2. The change that happens over time as we serve in the kingdom of God is subtle. It is like trying to watch a plant grow. It is not something that we notice day by day but yet over a process of time. It is something that we have to carefully observe and notice. That is why ammon had said to his brethren; Can ye tell? 

Anyways i love you all and pray for you. I am so grateful for your great examples to me of dedicated service in the Kingdom of God. I know that our Savior lives. He is mindful of us, he is pulling with us. He went about inviting everyone to "Be of Good Cheer", for he has overcome the world. Have a great week. 

Elder Newman 



 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Family,

Thanksgiving looked great! I can only imagine all of the yummy food
that you all ate. I am sure that you were stuffed. Ha ha Keira is
looking good up on that horse. The picture reminds me a lot of a
little boy that age who was also on a horse that looked similar. (Me
and Bo) But I am glad that you guys enjoyed your thanksgiving week.
Hope that you don't freeze up there. I imagine it is starting to get
pretty cold.

This week was great. On Monday Tuesday and Wednesday we were in
Calama. We were able to work with them for two days. I worked with
Elder McCusker the second day and his companion on the first. It was
great we had a great exchange. We found some great new investigators
and it was fun to be able to work with Elder McCusker again. On
Wednesday morning we went to one of Elder Villarroel´s old sector to
visit some of his converts and then we left that afternoon. It was a
great few days back up in Calama. That is a special place for me. It
is like it is sacred to me. So many wonderful experiences and people
remain there.

Thursday we had thanksgiving. Ha ha it was awesome! We actually had a
thanksgiving dinner. We went to the mission home and with the Dalton's,
The senior couple and the elders from the office, and a few elders
from Antofagasta. I was surprised by how great it actually was for not
being in the states. There was turkey, funeral potatoes, jello, yams,
stuffing, gravy, small little bread rolls. fruit salad, and mashed
potatoes. Wow it was awesome for our circumstances! It was really good
to be with some of the missionaries and have our own little
thanksgiving and to be with our own "little missionary family". After
that there was a missionary who go homes this transfer but left a
couple days early and we had his little farewell testimony meeting
after with president and sister Dalton.

We have been preparing for transfers all week long. This next week is
going to be very busy. We have to drop off the missionaries who are
going home, pick up the new missionaries, we have mission leadership
council and then prepare for our zone conferences for this whole next
month. Basically the whole month we are going to be travelling the
mission doing zone conferences. It will be an adventure! While we stop
in certain cities for zone conferences we will work with missionaries
with the extra time that we have.  I am super excited for this next
transfer it is going to be great. My companion is going to be Elder
Pinto. He is from Argentina and is a stud missionary. I am stoked to
have him as my companion and I am excited to learn from him and work
with him.

Anyways hope you enjoyed the photos from our P-day today. It was a
blast! Cool to go see some of the cool things that are here in Antofagasta. Anyways I love you all and am grateful for your example in my lives. I am excited for this Christmas season and to reflect more about the savior and what we can give him.

Elder Newman

Monday, November 25, 2013

Family, 

This week we spent up in Iquique. It was super weird to return back to a city that I haven't been to for 1 year. It was great and as I walked through the streets it seemed like all of the memories i had there were like a dream. We arrived in the late afternoon on Monday and that night we were able to visit a few people. We passed by a few converts and at the end of the night we passed by the Bernal Diaz family. They were a family that we worked with and helped them in the process of reactivation and the daughter was baptized. They actually moved to a different area and live in a different ward so we had to take a taxi to get there. But it was so great to see them. They are still super active and are doing great. He has a great job now, they live in a great apartment, and just recently had a baby boy. They both have callings in their ward as well. It brought me such a joy to see them how they were and to see the change for good that they have gone through. I couldn't stop smiling. They are trying to prepare to go to the temple with their two daughters and their new son. The first daughter is named Monserat and she is 10 now. But she is the one that was baptized and the one that learned how to read by the Book of Mormon. The other daughter is Camila and she just barely turned 8 and this next week the dad is going to baptize her. It was a special experience. 

The day after that I worked in my very first area in the mission. Lynch. It was great and I had a great exchange with one of the missionaries that lived with us in Calama. The day after that we worked in another area in Iquique with a different set of zone leaders. I worked with a missionary who is from my group of missionaries from the MTC. On Thursday we had to take a bus to a city that is up the dirt mountain a little bit. It is called Alto Hospicio. I was able to work with Elder Christianson. He is from Provo and went to Timpview high school. He has been here for just over a year and he is a fantastic missionary. He is one of those missionaries who just "gets it". I had a blast working with him and he is one of my close buddies in the mission. 

We left yesterday afternoon and then got back to Antofagasta last night. Anyways i had a great time working with the missionaries this week and it is always super great to get out and to see what we can improve on and the success that we are having. This week we are going to work with Calama and i will see Elder McCusker. Then we will come back and help with transfers. we are already in to the last week of the transfer. I don't know how the time has flow by so fast this transfer. 

But I hope that you have a great thanksgiving week. I have really seen the importance of gratitude and the change that it has had in my life as a missionary and as a son of God. I hope that each of you will sit down for a bit this week and reflect on the many blessings and the goodness and greatness of our God. Here are a few things that I will list. I am grateful for a family who supports me and loves me. I am grateful for the plan of salvation and that we as a family can live together forever. I am grateful for the priesthood and its keys and inspired leaders who have blessed my life. I am grateful for my companion and the many things that he teaches me. I am grateful for these people who surround me, and the love that the Savior gives me for them. I am grateful for the priesthood and the saving ordinances that are performed by it. I am grateful for a Savior who knows me, understands me, and loves me. I am grateful for His Atonement, and the blessings that it gives me to be sanctified from sin and become like Him. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who always watches over us and takes care of us. I know that gratitude is a virtue of Godliness and by doing so  will help us come closer and align ourselves to the Lord`s will. I want all of you to know that I love you and am grateful for the impact you have had in my life. Have a great week! 

Elder Newman

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Family, 

Another super busy week. Monday I was able to see Elder McCusker!!!!. He came down with a missionary that has been having some back problems so that the mission doctor could see him.

We went to TGI Fridays with all the other elders for lunch. We had a great time. Later that afternoon we left to the south of the mission to be able to work with there  We arrived to Chañaral that night and then slept there and that next day we worked with them.

That next morning we spent some time helping some missionaries who are struggling a little bit the best lesson that we had was to a youth that just submitted his mission papers. He was inactive But some missionaries about 5 months ago were able to help him reactivate. The young man wanted us to explain how to use preach my gospel and so we got there and we began to talk and teach a little bit about preach my gospel. However while we were teaching I could tell that something wasn't just right.

We finished the introduction from preach my gospel and I started to ask him some questions about why he wanted to serve a mission and if there were changes that he had to make in his life. We turned to Enos and shared about how Enos also had a change of heart and felt the power of the Atonement and then love for those who surrounded him. The young man began to say that he had felt this before, but he hasn't felt it for quite a while and that lately he had been doubting his testimony and if he even wanted to do this and many other doubts he was having. 

We had found his need. We then turned to 2 Nephi and talked about opposition and how we face it especially before great things are about to happen. As we continued to teach a strong spirit filled the room and his countenance  changed. We returned back to Enos. The spirit was powerful. As we continued to talk he said that he was again feeling the spirit and love for others and that he knew that this was what he needed to do. It was a powerful lesson. I am so grateful for the spirit that led us in the direction and helped us recognize what this young man needed. The rest of the night we taught some progressing investigators who are preparing towards baptism. It was a great exchange. 

The next day we went took a bus to Copiapo and it was awesome. It is super green there!!!! There are 2 zones there so we stayed there for 2 days. I also had some great exchanges there. The last day we were in Vallenar which is the city furthest south in the mission. It is even more green there than Copiapo. But overall through the week we had some great exchanges. I was able to observe and see how things are in different zones and notice some of the necessities and things to improve upon. 

This week we have 2 general authorities coming to the mission. We have Elder Soares from the presidency of the seventy and then Elder Ceballos from the presidency of the area south america south. They are going to be here to interview an area authority and so while they are here they are going to speak to some of the missionaries. Only the zones from Antofagasta and Calama are going to be able to attend because the mission boundaries are so large. But I am super excited to be able to hear from these special witnesses of the savior and to be able to hear what counsel they will give to the mission. 

I hope that each one of you is well. Life is great!!. There are many things that pass by us each day that are waiting to be noticed that will increase our gratitude and our joy.

Our happiness in life isn't determined by the big events, but the small opportunities each day to laugh, smile and express gratitude. We just have to work each day to recognize them. I love you each one of you. You are all so important in my life. Keep working hard and doing your best.   

Elder Newman

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Family, 

The week went super fast. We were super busy but I loved it.

Monday morning we left to go to Arica and we were on the bus for about 12 hours and then arrived that night at 10pm.

Tuesday morning we went to the district meeting of one of the zones and then that night we worked with the zone leaders. I worked with elder Hart. He went to Davis high school and he played football up there. He is a great guy and a great missionary. We had a great exchange and we were able to participate in various ways

One thing that I have started to do with the missionaries is before we start the exchange I teach them about a principle from preach my gospel. Something that we are really trying to implement into the mission. While working we looked for opportunities to apply what we had talked about and we also worked in various parts of the work

There are 3 zones in Arica and we worked with them on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and then Friday we returned to Antofagasta.

The best exchange I had was on Thursday. We had some great teaching experiences and specifically in one lesson the spirit was powerful. We were teaching a man whose family are members of the church, but he is not a member. We had a great lesson with him as we finished the lesson about the plan of salvation and eternal families. He accepted to be baptized, and we could see tears of joy coming down his face. I felt so much love for this man and his family and I wanted to help them in anyway possible. As we left he was asking us with excitement when we could return, and if we could return tomorrow. It is awesome to see the spirit work in the lives of the people and for them to desire to have that same feeling more in their own lives. 

It was great to get out and work with the missionaries. I felt like I was back in my own groove again. I had a great time doing intercambios and I also had a lot of time on a bus to get to know my companion better.

During the week we had about an hour and a half break before leaving to the other sector. Elder Villarroel said that we could go and visit some of my converts. So we went to the first in Arica. His name is Jorge. He was baptized in January. He lives with some family friends who were less active. We walked over to the house and there were some dogs that were new in the front porch. I thought to myself that they had probably moved to the south of Chile because that is where they were from.

I knocked on the door and no one came to answer. I then knocked the neighbors door to find out if they knew anything about this family or if someone had recently moved in. The neighbor told me that there was a new family that moved in about 4 months ago and I was a little bummed to hear that,  knowing that I probably wouldn't see this family again. I went back to the first house to knock again and suddenly I hear "Elder!", I turn around and I see the Mom of the family in her car with her two kids. I was so happy to see them and they were really happy to see me. They said that they had moved to another ward in Arica and that they thought i had already finished my mission and returned home. I was shocked of how she knew to drive pass by her old house and she said I was driving up the street next to our house and then looked down the old street to where we lived and saw the missionaries knocking the door and then I flipped around and saw that it was you. I was so happy and grateful to Heavenly Father for letting this experience happen and putting me and her in the right place at the right time. We were able to exchange information. It was definitely one of those tender mercies. 

While working this last week with Arica I had such a great experience. I felt so much love for these people. Stronger than I have ever before. I feel like the spirit had increased my capacities to be able to be a more effective tool in the Lords hands.

I love this work so much. Life is great and I am enjoying every minute. This next week we are going to the south to work with 4 zones in the south. Chañaral, Copiapo, Atacama and Vallenar. 

Love you all 

Elder Newman

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Family, 

Glad that you all had a great week.  Cant believe that October is already ending. Well this week was super fast and super busy. But a great week doing different things. I got here to Antofagasta on Monday.

Monday I spent the day helping with what i could and then that night I applied for my international drivers license. It was really easy and it came in like 3 days. They send it from the United States. I got it yesterday in the mail and I was able to drive today. It felt weird for the first few minutes ha ha I felt like I was being disobedient or something.  It was like riding a bike, it came back in a second. We had to drop off a missionary and his parents at the airport. It was a good time. 

This week has been pretty weird being in the office. Especially the first couple of days. I felt really strange not being outside all day long looking for investigators or planning lessons and things. But I am feeling more used to it now.

We planned out our transfer the other day and then reviewed the schedule with president yesterday. On Monday we are leaving to Arica.  We get on a 12 hour bus ride.  We will go work with the zone leaders up there. There are three zones, we will return back on Friday, and then the week after that we will work with the zones in the south of the mission. I am really excited to be able to work with the zone leaders and really apply what we have been talking about and help them see it first hand. 

Thursday the new missionaries arrived to the mission. We picked up a group of 15 missionaries. It was really fun to see the energy and excitement they have to be able to go out and do the work of the Lord.

One of the missionaries named elder tippets is from Logan Utah. These missionaries went to the Mexico MTC. When he saw me he came up to me and said, Elder Newman! Sister Jones said "Tell elder Newman hi for us when you get to Antofagasta". I guess brother and sister Jones are now serving in the branch presidency in Mexico! How cool is that. It was awesome to hear that they are serving down there and to hear that they still remembered me. They were so great, I really loved them as my Branch President in Provo MTC.  It was crazy to see all of these missionaries. It truly feels like that was such a very short time ago that was me arriving to the MCA. Time has flashed before my eyes. 

Yesterday we spent most of the day with president and the other office elders planning a few things for this transfer. Elder Villarroel and I had a long meeting with president and sister Dalton talking about things that we are going to do as a mission and things that can do to improve. There is a senior couple who got to the mission a couple weeks ago. They are awesome. They are Elder and Sister Garrison. They are so great and super nice and funny and it is enjoyable to be around them. Today is our preparation day and we spent the morning deep cleaning the apartment and then we had a BBQ. 

Life is great. I am loving every minute of every day!!!!  I am really excited for these upcoming months and the experiences I will have and the things that I will learn. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have been given to serve and to learn.

This is the Lord´s work. There are many who are prepared to receive the gospel. As we are prayerful and look for opportunities the Lord will put people in our place and give us opportunities to share the gospel and introduce them to the plan of happiness.

As we face choices in our lives we can make one decision. To win or to lose. Every difficulty, every trial, every sorrow, or unjust thing, disappointment, temptation or any opposition we have the opportunity to decide apply the gospel of Jesus Christ, win, and be happy and become more like him, or follow the instincts of the natural man and lose and be unhappy.

I love you all and I hope that  you are well and are continuing to progress and make a conscious effort "to try a little harder to be a little better."  Thank you for your examples to me. 

Elder Newman































Monday, October 21, 2013

Family, 

This week was a blur. Super busy and hectic. But life is great! Happy Birthday to Grandpa Newman and Grandpa Huntington! I have always thought it is so cool how they have the same birthday. What great grandpas I have. 

To be honest I cant really remember this week. It was a blur. Haha but I will try to do my best. 

During the week I practice the piano with the extra time that i had for the interviews and then for stake conference. It went really well. I have been so blessed to improve my skills while I have been here as a missionary.

We had to drop some missionaries off who had finished and were heading home on Wednesday. We had 3 from the zone that finished their missions. That Wednesday night we were working and then preparing for our English class and President Dalton called us with some questions about the zone and some areas and things. He ended up telling my companion our transfers. I am going to Antofagasta again. My companion is a Chilean. His name is Elder Villaroel. He is awesome, and he has 2 transfers left. I am excited to learn a lot from him and learn from his experiences. I am super excited! We are going to have a blast working together and we are going to work our tails off.  I am going to be travelling a lot doing exchanges with the zone leaders and then going with President and Sister Dalton for zone conferences and stuff. It will be great! We will plan with President Dalton, teach at the leadership councils. Stuff like that. It will be an adventure!  

He is with Elder Burnett right now but he will get here later this afternoon and then tomorrow will make a plan for this whole next transfer as to what we are going to do. We are going to be travelling a lot on the Bus. But i am excited for the adventure.

Elder McCusker is going to stay in Calama for one more transfer and he is going to switch wards to a ward named Rio Loa and the sisters that were there came to central norte. He is really excited to be able to open up a new sector and to be able to work with a ward and to have so many resources. It had been difficult with the challenges that we faced in our last ward with 6 missionaries in our ward and with the small area and amount of members that we had. We had to be creative. But he is going to be the only companionship of missionaries in that ward and he will be able to work with many people in that ward. 

We had our interviews on Saturday. It went really well. President is awesome and I am super excited for the work that lays ahead. He talked to me a lot about what i would be doing and what he expected in me. He told me that he and the Lord have a lot of confidence in me. 

Yesterday and this morning we said goodbye to a lot of the people that we have worked with. I am going to miss a lot of these people. We have had so many great experiences in calama. I have truly learned so much since i have come to this great city and i am so grateful that i was given this opportunity to come to Calama and have all of these wonderful experiences. 

It was interesting one of the experiences that i have had. About a week and a half ago I found myself praying to really see missionaries as who they can become and the potential that they have. This is something i am still striving to work at and strive and I pray that the Lord will help me and bring this to pass. 

There are many around us that we serve, and that serve us. Our Heavenly Father knows our true potential, as servants and children of God. Imagine if we could only have a portion of what he sees and the love that we can develop and devotion to helping each of those around us reach their potential and continue to follow the savior. I know that as we strive to see people as they can become, instead of seeing their current faults and weaknesses, that the Lord will bless us to work miracles and help those around us do great things.

Also as we look to study the gifts of the spirit, and seek for what our own gifts are, the Lord will help us identify them and will help us develop them, for our own benefit, but more importantly for the benefit of his children so we can become more effective tools in his hands.

I love you all. I am excited to serve these missionaries, and to work with them. I know the Savior lives and loves each one of us. I ponder about the infinite love and hope that he has in each one of us. He has hope in every single person that we see, that they can one day become like him and enter into the kingdom of His Father. 

I hope you have a great week. Onward and Upward. 

Elder Newman



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Family, 

Wow it looks like Boston was a blast! No comment about the Boston hoodies. Haha dad I am proud of you. It sounds like your Yankee shirt brought a little bit of the curse of the bambino back into Fenway haha. Haha just kidding but i am glad that you guys had a great time, Fenway Park looks really cool. I definitely want to go there someday to check it out. I am sure that you all had a great time spending time together and getting to see the grand kids. Crazy to think that i still haven't met some of them. 

Well another great week come and gone. On Tuesday of this week we had our zone training meeting for Calama. It went really well and the missionaries left pumped to go work. The boards went well ha ha there were a couple hard ones in the batch, last time was better but in the end everyone broke their board. In the meeting we talked about several thing but one of the things that i really tried to help them understand was the importance of love and Charity. I love doing things like this. I love working with a group of people and striving to motivate and inspire them to do their best and achieve their potential. It is truly one of my passions. On Thursday we got up early that morning and we took a 2.5 hour bus ride to Tocopilla to do the meeting there. It also went really well, and we stayed there till the next day doing exchanges. We had some great exchanges and the elders and sisters are doing great work in Tocopilla. A new branch president just got called there and he is a awesome. The work is really going to kick up and I know that with time president Dalton wants to open up another branch down there and then create a district. 

Friday night we had a Family Home Evening with Alina and her family. She brought over a friend of her son and his mom and we ended up watching Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration. The movie was powerful and it was a great night. The investigators names are Ingrid and Joseph. They came to church yesterday and loved it. We had a great day in church yesterday. The ward attendance jumped up to 112 and as 3 companionship's in the ward we had 10 people there. It was awesome the Lord is blessing us so very much and the zone is also doing incredibly well. 

Last night we met with the Stake President and he asked me to play the piano for stake conference this weekend. We also may do a musical number Elder McCusker, Elder Wegner, and I. Anyways this is the last week of the transfer. Ha ha alright this time we are quite certain that one of us will be leaving. I believe that it will be Elder Mccusker. We have interviews on Saturday, and then that night they will call us for transfers. It will be sad to not be with Elder McCusker but that is life. 

I am doing awesome and am loving every minute. We are doing great up here in Calama and I hope that each one of you are doing well. Have a great week!!

Elder Newman

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Family, 

What a incredible weekend. There is nothing that is like General conference. I am glad that you all enjoyed it and had a great time. Every talk was inspired and i received great instruction. 

This week was super busy and went super fast as always. Thursday we went to our mission leadership meeting. It went well and Elder McCusker and i left there with some great plans for our zone training meeting this week. We are super excited for the things that we have planned. 

Yep we are going to bust some boards. We are stoked and it is going to be even better than last time. Haha sometimes I just have to get energy out.  I am not out there cracking some helmets on the football field.  I am real excited. 

General conference was incredible. There were so many talks that I loved and that really gave me great direction. I received many answers to my questions. Elder Hollands talk was incredible. It really is so true. Sometimes we think that general authorities just have their lives perfect and hardly pass through difficult things. But it is quite the opposite. It was powerful to hear his testimony of the Atonement and how it helped him overcome his struggle with depression. President Uchtdorf talk in priesthood session was also great, along with president Eyering. the focus on missionary work was incredible. 

Family. I am so terribly sorry but I don't have a lot of time. But I love you all so much and hope that each one of you are doing well. I hope that each of us can apply the things that we learned this past weekend and act on the promptings that we received. 

Have a great week. 

Love,
Elder Newman 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Family, 

I am glad to hear that you all had a great week and that each of you are doing well. Happy Birthday Mom! I hope that you guys have some great cake and have a great time together. You guys are still young and hip! Crazy to see the snow on those mountains already. I swear we were just in winter? It is getting hotter and hotter every day here. Ha ha but we are doing great. 

On Tuesday we had a zone conference. It was great. It was super special and super spiritual, one of the assistants said that he hadn't felt the spirit so strong in any other zone in the mission and Sister Dalton could barely talk. We really do have great missionaries in our zone, and the Lord has blessed us with His spirit. We received some great instruction from President Dalton and we are really striving to work on families and focus on finding families. He told us not to have fear of the "leon en el sillon" (the lion in the chair). Referring to that many missionaries pass by the fathers and go straight for the wives and the children because the fathers may be more difficult. We need to saddle up, get courage and work with the fathers, and as we do so we will see miracles. Just like what has happened with Juan. So we are doing really well and we are working to pray and find families. I know that we will see miracles soon as we continue for this search. 

Our English classes have been going super well. We have received so many references from doing them. It is incredible the results that we have seen. We are so glad that we stuck with it. In the beginning we had 2 to 4 people that would come and it was that way for about 3 weeks and we asked ourselves if it was worth it. However we stuck with it and now it is incredible and we have seen amazing results. The other day while we were advertising for the class we had a few inactive members come up to us and told us that they wanted to reactivate and also this older woman came up to my companion and said that a number of years ago she had received the missionary lessons from sister missionaries and was about to get baptized but that week  of her baptism her husband took her to Antofagasta because he didn't want her to get baptized and then when she got back the missionaries had been transferred and she lost contact. She said that while she was in the centro she felt the need to come talk to us and she couldn't ignore the feeling. She lives in our area and we are hoping to meet with her this week. She is awesome we are super pumped. 

Enrique got interviewed and will receive the priesthood the week after conference. We are stoked for him. Also the mom of the girls (kattya, karla, and kiara they were baptized like a month ago). But she is reactivating and doing better and becoming stronger and stronger. The litlte girls are reading their Book of Mormons and are doing great. 

We are super excited for general conference this weekend. We have been trying to prepare ourselves every day and i have been pondering about questions i have and answers and direction i would like to receive. We are like little kids on Christmas morning we are super excited for conference. 

I have been having some great personal studies these last few days. In Preach My Gospel chapter 3 and in lesson 2 on the plan of salvation there are some chapters it says that we should study in the Book of Mormon that teaches a lot about the plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It has been amazing the things that the spirit has taught me and the blessings that i have received as i have studied it. This morning i finished up Moroni 7. I would say that is one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon. I believe that Moroni 7:48 was the scripture i chose for the missionary plaque It talks about charity. I thought I understood it, but i have come to understand the scripture even at a deeper level while being a missionary. 

Charity is everything as disciples of Jesus Christ. Just like it says if we have not charity we are nothing. Charity is what helps us focus on others and their eternal welfare and it is what helps us serve with the correct motivation.  However just like Moroni says at the end of the chapter in verse 48. "Therefore" or in other words, knowing this about the importance of charity and how it weighs in our eternal salvation, we must pray unto the father will all energy of heart that we may be filled with this love. It is something we have to work every day to obtain. The Lord gives this love to his true disciples, those who really want to follow and serve Him. As as we obtain this love, and serve as the savior would, we become the sons of God, and obtain the hope of the celestial kingdom, and eventually we become like the savior and we learn to know him, and when he appears, we will know Him, for we shall see Him as He is, and we will have the hope of being purified as he is pure. 

I love the Book of Mormon. I hope that each of you are reading and studying it each day. Its power changes lives and ours if we allow it. I love you all and hope that you have a great week. 

Love, 

Elder Newman

Monday, September 23, 2013



Fa
mily,

It is hard for me to believe that we are entering the last week of September. I really cant even count the time. I am always mixed up because here the seasons are opposite, time goes by so fast, and with the combination of the two it makes the time almost non existent. 

This week was the celebration of the independence of Chile. It is huge. Its bigger than Christmas here. When we went through the store last week to buy our food, it is crazy because the store was packed full of people buying alcohol and tons of meat for their BBQ that they do. Ha ha but the challenging part was that for the people calama isn't the most attractive vacationing spot so a lot of people left and traveled out of town for the holiday. The difficult part was almost all of the people that we teach left out of town, And those who are in town are all partying the whole week long with bbq´s everyday and so the people don't really like to receive us, so it made the week super interesting. We were creative and did everything that we could to be efficient and find success. The Lord blessed us even through the difficulties of the week.

With Alina and her family we discovered during the week that her and her husband Juan are not married. However Juan in the last little bit has talked about getting married with Alina and they have plans to do so soon. Juan wants to get sealed with his wife and family in the temple!! This has been the biggest and most incredible miracle i have seen during the course of my mission. This is a man who when we first met him told us that whoever was Mormon he did not get a long with. And now the spirit has changed this mans life! It is incredible. His heart has been softened and he now is coming to church, smiling, participating in classes, always making sure his family comes to church, to make sure they keep their commitments, and told us he wants his two younger sons Javier(13) and José (8) to prepare to serve missions.

Elder McCusker and I were dumbstruck. We were in complete awe. He told us this the other night, it was Javier´s birthday and they wanted us to come over for some cake. He 
is a completely different person and i cant even describe how incredible the change in this man has been. He came yesterday with Alina and the sons and they stayed for all of church and they all loved it. In sacrament meeting there was a talk about the temple and eternal marriage and he loved it. I could see Javier look up to his parents and smile and nudge them when they talked about sealing in the temple. They talked with the stake president for a while too, Javier is such a stud he is reading the book of Mormon all of the time and is preparing for a mission.

When we left the house that Saturday night after the cake and talking with them, I reflected a bit on the miracles that had happened and the greatness and goodness of God. I teared up a little bit and just felt like crying as i have seen the changes in this family in the last 4 months. I wish you could meet them. It is incredible. The Love that our Savior has for each of us is immense, and i have seen it so much in this family who has changed so much. Elder McCusker and I have told them that when the time comes when they go to the temple as a family that we will return and be there. Incredible.

We received a reference from this same family. One of Alina´s neighbors and José´s friends wants to receive the lessons and start coming to church and be baptized. They are so awesome we saw them in the street this last week and they are so prepared. We will meet with them this week. 

Enrique is great. Ha-ha yesterday he showed up in this awesome suit he bought himself. We are guessing that he bought it in the flee market. But we were so pumped ha-ha he is such a stud. 

During the week it was difficult to work here in Calama. There was a huge convention for all of the YSA of the north of Chile, and our stake hosted it. So there was around 200 YSA at our church and they were here for the whole week. So at times the leaders needed our help so we helped occasionally throughout the week. It was great because we gained more confidence in the members. I also saw some youth from the other areas i have served it was great. 

Amid the difficulties of this week the Lord still blessed us so very much. I am amazed at the mercy and love God shows unto each one of us and the Love that He has for each one of his children. There is nothing better than to see lives change as people start to follow the savior, make necessary changes, and have the spirit take over and change their life. It is the greatest payback that we receive as missionaries. I am doing so great and i hope that each one of you are doing well. I am loving the work and I would not be anywhere else.

I have been studying these last few days about the Savior in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and it has been an incredible experience. I know He lives, I know that he knows and loves each one of us. 

I have got some great pictures and videos coming for ya soon! I will send my SD card soon. Haha the other night i performed surgery on the wart on my knee and removed it haha it was awesome we have the funniest video you will all die laughing.I love you all. Have a great week. 

Elder Newman


Wednesday, September 18, 2013



Family, 

Dad happy 50th bday. Wow crazy 50 years old. Where does the time go. The party looked awesome! Lots of good food and cake and Tillamook ice cream. mmmm. Elder Mccusker and I reflected on this the other day.. I said "is´t it so nice at home you can just go over to the pantry and there is always food there.." Ha ha all of that food looks good. Anyways seems like you are all doing well. I don't have a lot of time today so i will try to be as fast as i can. 

We had our zone training meetings this week. It went super well. This is where Elder McCusker and I train the zone on everything that we were taught at the mission leadership council meetings. It went super well and our zone is doing so awesome. We are being super blessed and the missionaries are working hard. It has been fun to see the progress of the zone and to see all of the success that each sector has been having. Although our sector has been difficult at times, it has been a blast to see the rest of the zone receiving many blessings and doing great things. 

Elder McCusker had the idea of advertising our English classes. So we went to the centro and we set up a table and put out our printed invitations and pass a long cards and pamphlets and other things. We did that this week when we had time that we couldn't feel. We went twice and it was incredibly successful. We saw great feedback. There were many people that came up to us, and we only handed out the invitations to the interested people. We ended up handing out around 100. Our class on Wednesday went super well. We had some new people come. One of them became a new investigator for the other elders in our ward and he came to church on Sunday. Another who received the invitation also talked with the missionaries from another sector and went to Church on Sunday too. It has been fun to see the results come. We are going to do it again this week because there are many people in our ward who are out of town because this week is their independence week celebration. 

We went to Tocopilla on Thursday to do their training and it also went super well. I did exchanges with some of the elders, I went with Elder Cazier from Logan and Elder Adams from st. George. They are great missionaries and we had a great time. We were blessed with great success and it was fun. They set 3 baptismal dates. I just taught them principles of teaching and how do improve on things and then they implemented it in the lessons and did a great job. It was a blast to work with missionaries I love doing exchanges because I get to work one on one with missionaries, teach them how to improve, watch them set their own goals and see the improvement while we work together. We had a great time together and I had a blast. 

Anyway we are doing really well. I am doing great. I hope that each one of you are doing well. I love you all so much. 

Elder Newman

Monday, September 9, 2013

Family, 

Crazy to hear about you week and everything that happened. That is so awesome for Leianne I am so happy for her. Seems like it was so great! Happy Birthday Keira!! 3 years old!! Holy smokes you're growing up!! Don't grow up too fast!! Happy Birthday Dad on Sunday!! 50!! Wow. Half way there! Ha ha i hope that you enjoy your birthday! 

Not a whole lot to tell about this week. I don't know where it went and how it went by so fast. There was a death in the ward, one of the older men in the ward passed away. Last week he had a diabetic coma and then we went and gave him a blessing and he overcame that, but then they discovered that he had cancer and there was little that they could do. So he passed away and then they needed help with a few things. I helped with the piano. They sang Be Still My Soul but with the Spanish lyrics and so they needed my help. But the problem was that we were going to be in Antofagasta for the day of the funeral for the leadership council. So I ended up recording the song on the piano and then they used it for the musical number. 

I have been playing the piano more and have been striving to improve. Yesterday I played in sacrament meeting. I am really working or sight reading and i have really gotten better and have been blessed so much it has been fun to see my improvement. I will practice if we ever have a spare second before or after a district meeting or when there is time. 

Thursday we went to Antofagasta for the leadership council. We talked a lot about the goals that we wanted to set as a mission, and the whole mission did a fast last week seeking inspiration as to what the Lord wants us to accomplish by the end of President Dalton´s 3 years here in Chile. These are a few of the goals that were put. 

- Double Baptisms to 240 per month
- Double Church Attendance to 11,000 in the north of Chile

-Teach in a way that those we teach can be baptized, reactivated and prepare for the ordinances of the temple. And eventually have 4,000 people with current temple recommends. 

-One of the side goals that is something we want to see in the future is a temple built in Antofagasta. While i was in Antofagasta someone had told me that the church has already bought land but they just need more people paying tithing and more people with Current Temple Recommends. 

Those are a few of the goals that we talked about in the council. It was great. Oh mom so you know i did get my package with the contacts in them. I was super happy Thanks so much! 

The highlight of the week happened yesterday. So a few weeks ago Javier and José the sons of Sister Alina were baptized. They have been coming every week and are doing very well. The dad is also a member. And the very first time we met him he said that anyone that is Mormon he doesn't get a long with. He was against the church. But the miracle happened at the baptismal service of his kids. When he entered he was still hard and unkind, but when he left he was happy smiling and changed. The spirit touched his heart, and since that baptism miracles have been happening in this family. We went to the house last week and he was there and just talking with us and sister Alina about the bible and other discussions and it was great. 

Yesterday at church, he showed up with his family!! It was crazy! The gospel principles class was on the atonement and it was so awesome. The teacher did a great job, and he left that class saying how much he loved that class and he told me as he left that he hadn't been to church in a very long time, but he really liked it today. He said that he needs to keep his kids going in the church and progressing, and he wants to help and convince his other child who is almost 17 to be baptized. Javier receives the priesthood in 2 weeks because the dad works in the mine so he wont be back for 2 weeks so we are going to wait till that time. But he said that he is going to come again in 2 weeks. Elder McCusker and i were flying on cloud 9. I almost started tearing up. Miracles. The Lord is working miracles in that family. Sister Alina is so happy. We are excited for what lays ahead. We have a Family home evening with them tonight. 

Anyways we are doing super well. Today are transfers so we have some missionaries to send and to pick up. It is getting hot up here in Calama. The sun is hot, yes mom i am putting on sunscreen ha ha. Last night we left the window open the whole night and almost the whole night i slept on top of the covers in shorts and a t shirt. It felt perfect. Anyways this week we have to train the zone on the council that we had and we will also go to Tocopilla to train them. This transfer they put 2 sister missionaries in Tocopilla so now there are 6 missionaries! The work is Hastening! I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Newman




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Family, 

Good to hear from you all and to hear that you are all doing well. I hope that you are all enjoying your labor day and having a good time having a nice BBQ with some burgers and garden fresh tomatoes. This last week I bought this thing called a mammoth burger. It was hugggggeee. It was almost like a half pound burger patty and I ate it for lunch. Then I ate another one that was just a bit smaller. Then that night I ate another. We calculated that just from those burgers I got 90 grams of protein that day haha. They were pretty good. But I lacked some nice garden vegetables with my burger. Tell Leianne congratulations at her wedding! Did they make a cardboard cutout for Mitch? I have no idea where they would get a cardboard cutout big enough to replicate Mitch. They would need to get one of Ray Lewis (Middle Linebacker for Ravens) hahaha. But I hope that you all have a great time. 

Another week flew by. The time is some element that is completely against me and my companion. But it is all good we are making the most of every second we had. We just got done with a zone activity. We had a BBQ with some chorizo and bread and then a type of beef. It was really good. We had the elders from tocopilla come up and then today we played some soccer and ate some good food. It has been getting really bright here in the morning. By 6:45 the sun is already coming over the peaks of the dirt mountains. And you know me by the time it shows any light I am already up. So lately i have been waking up at like 6:30 and cant go back to sleep. This morning we went and played basketball for a little bit and threw the pigskin a little bit. I was replaying some of the routes i ran and the completions I had in some of our games. Yes i went back to the glory days for a bit haha I brought out the uncle Rico in me from the movie Napoleon Dynamite for a min... If they woulda put me in, we coulda taken state, etc hahahaha. 

The week went super fast. We are entering into the last week of the transfer. I was kinda a bummed thinking that Elder McCusker was going to leave this next week because we have had such a good time together and have seen so many miracles together. We really strive so hard to be better everyday and live worthy of the spirit and we have seen miracles. But anyways President Dalton had called my comp on Saturday talking about some missionaries and things and then they finished the call and then immediately president calls back and says "Elder you and Elder Newman have been together for a while right?" Elder MccCusker said yeah ha ha like 4.5 months. And then president said "Well i am looking here at the computer and it says here that you have been together for 3 transfers and the natural man while i look at the computer is telling me to split you apart but i don't want to, so elder how do you feel about that?" Haha elder mccusker was so happy and said president we could serve together till the end of our missions and i would be completely fine with it, elder Newman is like my brother! Haha so anyways we are staying one more transfer together here in calama! We are super excited. 

We created a sweet ward mission plan with the bishop during the week with the other missionaries and the work is just accelerating. We are super happy. We organized it so that the family history center will be open right after our English classes on Wednesdays so we will be able to bring our investigators, less actives and other people after the classes. Our English classes are going super well. We were walking in the street and we contacted someone and we invited them to our English class and then she came that night. Mornings are difficult here in our sector and Wednesday morning we weren't really sure what we were going to do. So we were sitting there and then we decided that we should pray and find out. So we prayed separately and we both received the revelation that we were supposed to go and print off some flyer's for our English class and go around the city and put them in buildings and stuff. So we went to this little store that is by the church that has a little advertisement wall, and then we went to some clinics and other places and we received great feedback. We had so many people say that they were super happy and excited to hear that we were doing English classes and that they would come. So that morning became super effective. 

Javier and Jose were confirmed yesterday and it was awesome. Javier is such a stud. He is 13 years old and Alina his mom told us that she went in one time late to see what he was doing, and she told him that he needed to go to bed and he told his mom yeah mom just a little bit, and she walks in on him reading the book of mormon. He is already in Mosiah 20 or so. The kid is such a stud he wants to be a missionary. He was interviewed yesterday to receive the aaronic priesthood this next Sunday. His mom was also interviewed which is a huge step. They have really become firm and. Alina is just awesome. She is sharing the gospel with all of her neighbors and advertising our English classes. 

Enrique is also doing really well. We are just trying to find him a job. But he is doing very well and is also preparing to receive the Melchizedek priesthood this next week. The little girls are also doing well. We taught them about the temple this past week and they want to prepare to go. Also Kattya yesterday shared her testimony in testimony meeting. It was awesome! We were super pumped!

Anyways we had another great week! We are trying to find some solid progressing investigators right now and we are working a lot with our converts. Kattya and Karla brought one of their friends to mutual and the friend told her mom that she wanted to be a member of the church. It was awesome. So we are really seeing so many blessings and fruits of our labors, and we are really excited for the future things that will come. With using family history as a resource to find great people and to continue with our English classes and working with the members. I love you all so much and am grateful for all of the support and prayers. It has been a blast as we have seen the blessings of the spirit in the role of conversion in the lives of the recent converts. I hope that you all have a great week.

Love, 

Elder Newman