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

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