Monday, February 25, 2013

Dear Family, 

This past week was very busy with end of transfers and with the end of the month. I cannot believe that another transfer has come and gone so quickly. It honestly seems about 2 weeks ago that I was picking up Elder Stratford. We are doing very well up here in Arica and are excited for the potential that this next transfer holds. I will stay here with Elder Statford as District Leader for this next transfer. I believe this will be my last transfer here in Arica

This week I had to do so many interviews. As a zone we had 16 baptisms this last week and I did 9 of the interviews. It took a lot of time and traveling all over Arica but we were able to get all of them done. It was a big sacrifice as we were not able to work as much in our sector but i know that the Lord will bless us for our sacrifice. 

Elder Stratford is doing a lot better. His leg is pretty much back to normal. There is a tiny mark left on his leg, but the rest looks really good. He told me that he has felt that the blisters are coming back a little bit so we are taking extra precaution to clean and watch his feet. Ha-ha  I guess I will need to be like the savior and serve my companion and wash his stinky feet. Elder Stratford is of good spirits and is doing a lot better. 

Zone Conference this last week was wonderful. It is such a blessing to be in the presence of President and Sister Bruce. Truly they are called of God and have done such a great work here in Chile. It makes me sad that they will leave us July 1st as I love them so very much. President announced that our new mission president will be President Craig L Dalton. Apparently he has been serving in the Area Presidency in Argentina. I will be very sad to say goodbye to the Bruce´s, However on the bright side, I will be able to get to know another great man called of God. I know the Lord has a plan for all things. 

Adela and her daughter Tirsa are doing very well. This past week we put fechas with them for the 9th of March. They accepted the fechas and we are working with them so that we can secure them more and help them progress towards baptism. Adelas two other kids of 20 years old and 16 years old get home this week. The 20 year old son Nahum told his mom that he really liked that we come to the house and wants to share more when he gets back. It is nice that the Familia Iriarte lives right next to them so they can also be really supportive to this family. But the problem is that on Sunday, Adela told us that she was going to go to the evangelical church to take out her name and tell them that they wont be coming back, She wasn't able to come to church yesterday which was a real bummer. Satan is going to try and do anything he can to keep Adela and her daughter from progressing this week but we are just going to work twice as hard with them so we can get the spirit into their lives so that they can keep progressing. We need all your prayers and help for Adela and her daughter and two other kids. 

We received a wonderful blessing from the Lord the other day. So that reference that I talked about last Sunday, we went to go pass by on Thursday and I ended up finding the Mom and the son together. They are going to Iquique for a week but will be here next week. The boy is 9 years old and wants to get baptized, and the mom is less active and wants to reactivate. We were talking with them and everything is going to work out very well. He was going to get baptized last summer with other missionaries but the missionaries left and lost contact and then the kid left for a little bit. But he has now returned and is ready to be baptized. We talked with him about the 9th of March and we will talk more with Him when he gets back next week. 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and letters and everything. This month as a zone, we broke the record of baptisms in a month in Arica. We baptized 26 people this month of February. We are all extremely happy and are working hard. Elder Martin our Zone Leader left Saturday night. He lives in Cedar Hills and went to Lone Peak. Maybe you can find where his church is and go see Him. His name is Michael Martin. Elder Sunderland left about 40 minutes ago to Copiapo. We will be getting another Latino in the pension. His name is Elder Bernal  his trainer was actually Elder Smith too. He is from Colombia. 

I am glad to hear that you are all doing so well. I love you all so very much. As I continue as a missionary my appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, and I can begin to see the affect that it has had in my life more and more as I grow on my mission. As we rely on Him throughout our lives, He will make us strong in the face of adversity. I have come to learn patience and reliance upon the Lord continually trusting in Him. I love you all. Have a great week. 

Elder Newman

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hello My Sweet Family,

I hope that you all enjoyed the cabin trip. I didn't even think that it was presidents day weekend until my companion told me this weekend. I am sure that you all just had a blast, more than a cool time and that the new snowmobiles were a hoot. Hopefully the snow was good that you didn't all freeze up there.

Although the week was short, we accomplished exactly what we wanted to as we saw some wonderful blessings and results. I thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts about us down here in Arica. Elder Stratford's leg has gotten so much better and looks almost normal. After medications and many prayers on his behalf he is now doing much better so I thank you for all of your prayers for him! He is in good spirits and is excited to be able to work again this week.

The challenge of this week was getting people who could work with me, and stay with elder Stratford. It was very frustrating as I called many youth who tell me on Sundays that they would love to go out and work with us but then when I call them they bailed out on me. There was a couple of days that I couldn't go out and work plainly because I couldn't find anyone to come out and work with me. But the Lord blessed us anyways and we were so very happy.

Friday night I was able to go out with our Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Irriarte and it went so very well. His son Jean, who is waiting for his mission call, stayed with elder Startford while we were able to go do some work. Hermano Irriarte is just on fire right now and it is such a blessing to have a ward mission leader who is willing to help us. In Iquique we never really had one who helped us and it is so great to be able to have a ward mission leader who can help us with things during the week.

We first visited a Grandma lady who lived in the Pukarani sector, but then moved into our sector about 3 weeks ago, but has continued going to pukarani. I received the reference from our mamita (where we eat lunch) and she told me to talk to her about going to our ward because it his much closer to her house. This grandma Hna Itza has a granddaughter who wants to get baptized and a daughter who was never baptized but went to church. We visited her and she expressed her worries about leaving her old ward with her calling in the nursery and things, but it was perfect because right now in our ward we have a need for this calling, It was also perfect because Hno Irriarte had this same experience with changing from one ward to the ward in zapahuira, which was such a blessing. By the time that we left we had accomplished what we had wanted as she and her daughter told us they would come to a family home evening at the bishops house on Monday and that then she would begin to assist our ward beginning that next week. Everything worked out absolutely perfect.

After that we passed by Adela and her daughter. They had gone to the ward Family Home Evening on Tuesday night and apparently they really enjoyed it. Adela explained more of her dream that she really had just asked and prayed if that this was the way that she was supposed to continue. She received the dream and she said that in her dream she had prepared her kids and then had walked to the church and then walked up to the doors and just as she was about to walk in she had woken up. She told us that she knows now that this is what she was supposed to do. It was such a blessing and I was very excited. As I looked over to the wall on my right, and Adela has a 2013 calendar and the months of January and February were showing and there was a picture with a scripture. The picture was a field of wheat all ready to be harvested, and the scripture below the picture is John 4:35

"behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

After that we taught the restoration, It went so very well, Hno Irriarte is actually their next door neighbor, and so everything has just worked out perfectly. By the end we finished the lesson and she and her daughter who has 20 years both committed to come to church. The mom came up to me after and gave me a side hug and it just seemed like she was so excited. I know the Lord has prepared this woman and her family to finally receive the gospel. 

Saturday we couldn't get out to work because no one would come. I wanted to pass by Adela to remind her about Church because her phone was turned off. I tried to call Jean, (son of Hno Irriarte) but he would not answer her phone. It was getting late and by this time jean had not answered and i had called 6 times. They don't have minutes so they cant call me back.  Finally I had the thought to say a prayer. I prayed with my companion to have the lord send his spirit to prompt someone to check the cell phone and have it so we could complete this necessary task. About 5 minutes later, the thought came to my mind to call again, I called, 3rd ring Jean picked up, He told me he was sleeping but he had just barely woke up and then thought about his phone upstairs and then saw that we had been calling. Such a blessing, He went over and reminded his next door neighbor about church, and completed the important task. 

May i remind you that getting people to church here in Chile is the hardest thing about our mission. If we can get our investigators to church  the likelihood of them getting baptized is 70%. Sunday morning we got ready, took a bus to go pass by the house of Hno Irriarte and Adela to pick them up to go to church. As we knocked Adela´s door, no one was there, we then knocked familia irriartes and they weren´t there either. We hoped that the families were in church. We walk over to the church, and then the anticipation and worries if our investigators are there or not. As we put on our suit jackets walk in the chapel, like walking into game day on the football field, Ii look at these members I haven't seen in almost 2 weeks andI was just so happy. I look in middle back and see Adela with her daughter and her baby right next to the familia Irriarte. We were so stoked and about to go run a victory lap around the church. As I was walking to the back another Sister told me that she has a reference for me of a Boy who has 11 years old who will be here in a couple weeks who wants to get baptized. Blessings are falling left and right from the skies! The sacrament meeting was so reverent, which was such a huge blessing, because usually there are kids in our ward who are stinking crazy. But it was so peaceful and quiet and reverent. Such a blessing for us. 

Family, I thank you so much for your prayers and concerns. I love you all so much. I am so happy to have received these wonderful blessings. The district is starting on fire. Together as a district we had 14 people in church, and every companionship is doing very well and we are receiving many blessings. The unity is better in our district and we are doing very well. I hope that you are all doing well in your callings and I hope that we can always remember to put the Lord very first in our lives. I know that as we continue with our daily habits of scripture study, prayers, and serving in his kingdom that we will be blessed and strengthened to continue on and make lasting differences in the lives of the people that we serve, and doing this will bring us profound joy. Have such a great week, 


Elder Newman

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Wow what a crazy week this last week was. We survived the Clinca Arica and we are finally free. It feels so good to be in the fresh dry air of Arica again.  I am glad that I can start this week normal and get back to work with the investigators we have. The Lord has taken care of our investigators while we have been in the clinica so that has been wonderful. 

Monday night as we were coming back from the centro Elder Stratford had lost his wallet in the taxi. So we went straight to the collectivo office to inform them that his wallet had been lost, then i went and took him to the terminal to leave to Antofagasta for his new missionary conference with the president. A youth from the ward had come with me to drop off Elder Stratford at the terminal and then we went back to the sector and worked. We did a full out exchange with the youth who is preparing for his mission. His name is Jean and he is waiting for his mission call this week or next week. He is the son of our Ward mission Leader and he is a great kid. His dad Is also a wonderful member who reactivated in the fall and is becoming fully converted to the gospel and the work. It is great to have a Ward mission Leader who is excited and willing to help us with the work here in Arica. 

Tuesday I was with Jean all day. We finished the day at a Family Home Evening tradition that we have created with the ward while we are in Summertime. Every organization of the church takes a turn in planning and creating a noche de hogar. We have activities a message and food and it has been great for our ward with the recent converts and investigators to come to an activity where they feel comfortable and where they can create friendships quickly.

Wednesday morning we went to the terminal to pick up elder Stratford and when we got there he did not look so good. When we got there I could tell something was wrong and he had told me that he had a fever and that he felt a pain in his leg up by his hip flexer. So we went to the pension and he rested the morning and woke up and said that he felt better, and then he took some ibuprofen and then put some cream on his leg and then we kept working. The next morning he woke up and he said that he did not feel good again but he kept working. The other Elders from the pension left to the stake center to do planning with the zone but I stayed in the pension. I started to plan by myself and then I had a feeling that I had better go check on my companion and so then I went in and he had just woken up and I noticed that he looked like his fever had gone up, so i went and grabbed my thermometer and it was up to 103 and then he got out of bed and then as we were walking to the kitchen I noticed his leg! Yikes it did not look good. We knew something was up. Immediately we took action by calling and trying to get a hold of the mission doctor, I gave him a blessing, and then we went to the clinica arica. We knew that it was one of two things, that either it was a skin infection or it was a blot clot in his leg. But his leg was super swollen and it was red all over. After a long time and many tests the doctors told us that it was a skin infection from the blisters on his feet.  Elder Stratford would need to be hospitalized for some days. So Elder Stratford was in the hospital receiving antibiotics though IV since Thrusday. It was a very long 5 days and we so glad to be out of that clinic. 

Elder Martin the zone leader took a turn for me one night so that was a huge blessing. I was able to sleep in a normal bed, and throughout the whole process our mamita brought us food, and clothes and all of the things that we needed. Elder Stratford will have to rest in the pension for the next week without working while taking some pills. I am going to work with Jean and some other youth in the ward while Elder Stratford stays in the pension with another youth or priesthood holder from the ward. 

Sunday night while I was calling for numbers the hermanas who share the ward with us told me that they had some good news for me and to call them back a bit later. I later called them back and then they told me that they ran into one of our investigators and the hermanas had explained that we had been in the hospital but they went into the house with our investigators and they began to share a quick message. Our investigator Adela told them that she had met with missionaries before but had never felt like praying to ask if what they shared was true. But then she said that the other day she felt like she needed to pray and ask about the truth. She then told them that in her dream the next day she had a dream that She was getting ready and all of her kids ready to go to church, and that they were walking to our church! She recognized it that it was an answer to her prayers. I was so happy to receive that information from the Hermanas on Sunday night after a long 4 days in the hospital. It definitely lifted my spirits and I am excited to work with Adela and her family this week. 

While I was in the Hospital I had a lot of free time on my hands and I was able to study the book of Mormon a lot. I read all of Mosiah and I was able to study the profound impact that leaders have had in the Book of Mormon and on their society whether for good or for bad. The gospel leaders of the book of Mormon had such a profound impact not only on their generations, but those that would follow. As I studied in Mosiah these last few days, I was able to analyze the many leaders that came out of those chapters. Mosiah, King Benjamin, Mosiah, Zenif, Noah, Limhi, Alma, Amaron; all of these men were leaders in the Book of Mormon. Mosiah Chapter 2 I was amazed by all of the Christlike attributes that jumped out of the page of King Benjamin to me. Truly this man was a man of God, he strengthened the land of Zarahemla and prepared it for the future generations of people that would come to that city. The Lord led all of his people to Zarahemla! The mulekites, Alma and his people, Limhi and his people were all led to Zarahemla and the church spread like wildfire! On the other hand I noticed the leaders like Zeniff and king noah who seldom or never remembered the Lord and their people paid the consequences. I hope that we can all remember the impact that each of us can have in the lives of other people  We must never forget that our example and the work that we will do, will not only affect the people that we teach, but rather for generations and generations to come! That is the blessing of the gospel. I love you all so much and am continually grateful for your prayers in mine and my companions behalf. I know that this work is true. Have such a great week!

Elder Newman

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hola familia como estan? Todo bien?

I hope that everything is all going well up there in the winter wonderland. Crazy to think that you are all freezing up there and I am down here burning hot. It is great to hear that you are all doing so well. Congratulations Alyssa with taking 4th at state! That is so awesome! I am so happy for you congratulations. From the look of the pictures it looks like there is so much snow. I hope that you are all enjoying this winter time of season up there!

This week definitely had its ups and downs. As far as being a district leader I have really been trying to get this district going. There were new missionaries that came in every companionship and so it just completely changed the chemistry that we had as a district and zone. We have been striving to work with these missionaries so that we can begin to see the fruits come again. Learning to work with certain people is very important. To know what we can do to motivate people to achieve their true potential as servants of the Lord. We are expecting big things from our zone this month. Elder Martin our zone leader leaves this month and so he wants to finish real hard so we are trying to break the record for baptisms in a month as a zone. The record is 22 and the goal they put was 23 I believe. On Monday night we did a sector attack with the hermanas in costanera. They were really struggling in their sector as for 2 consecutive weeks. We did a sector attack and found a few new investigators for them and then later this week they received a miracle as they received a reference of someone who wants to get baptized. I went on exchanges that night with Elder Sunderland and it was good to see him and check up on how he was doing. I tried to help him then later that night we together found a couple new investigators. 

In our sector we have been dedicating ourselves to just finding finding finding. That is all we can really do to open up this sector and start it from scratch. We were close to having a baptism this past Saturday but the kid that we were going to baptize is going to the interior and he wont be returning until next year. He wanted to get baptized but the timing and things did not work out. It was kind of a bummer and I really wanted to see our first baptism together as a companionship but i know that they will come as we continue working super hard. We have had to cut some of our investigators who were not progressing but at the end of week we found some bright new investigators. Saturday we wanted to find some new investigators and so then I suggested to my companion that we should go to a certain spot and just start touching some doors. About the fourth door we find 2 girls and they let us in and we start teaching them and their little sister in their little patio. We begin to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them and then I had asked them a question I cant really remember what it was but then the friend began to tell me that before in her life she used to pray and things but as she grew older she stopped but the night before we came she and her friend together prayed for the first time in a long time asking forgiveness for some of things that they had done and they wanted to be clean. Hahaha how cool! They told us they would go to church the next morning, when we went to go get them the next morning, they didn't answer and I assume that they were sleeping. So that was definitely a bummer. However we are going to keep working with them this week and put a baptismal fecha by the end of this week. 

We are also working with a few other families. One of them being a less active family who has a daughter that is not baptized. Elder Stratford is doing very well and is progressing every day. He is great about working and is doing very well. We get along great and have a great time together. 

Thank you for all of your support and prayers and concerns. This week I have received many answers to my prayers and I know that the Lord is in charge as I continue to strive to help these people in the land of Chile. As I continue to read and study the Book of Mormon I am amazed how much more I feel like this book relates to me as I am here in Chile. I really feel connected to this book more as I feel like I can connect with the prophets of the Book of Mormon as they describe the love they had for the people and how they prayed that their seed could one day receive the truth again. Have such a great week. 

Elder Newman