Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dear Family,

I think this has been one of the fastest months of my life. I honestly can´t explain how fast the time goes. I looked back at the calendar and realized that it was the 24th of July last week. Ha-ha I hoped that it went well for you all. I hope that you all enjoy the rest of your summer as you get prepared to enter into school again. Alyssa´s senior year??!! It can’t be! That is super crazy.

This week went so fast. It got super cold in the beginning of the week and then got warm by the end. The weather here is like Utah in the sense that it can be really nice one day and then freezing cold the next. But it has been nice.

On Tuesday it was our last district meetings with the zone for the transfer. At the end we all got together and we had a testimony meeting. It was really powerful, especially because we have to missionaries that were finishing their missions. Elder Pope and Hermana Candia.  You will see on the picture card that will get to the house soon.

Throughout the week we had worked with Alina and her family. The husband got back from his work turn and was in the house for 7 days. He was a member of the church but they had a child that passed away being a few months old and I believe that they just kind of inactivated when that happened. The dad over time changed religions. Anyways we have faced a little opposition with the father. He has given permission that his kids can join the church but has just caused a few issues. They weren’t able to come to church yesterday. But we have an appt with them tonight and we will see how they are doing. The boys were reading the Book of Mormon last week and were doing really well.

This week we will have Family Home evenings with some of the references that we have been working for. We are super excited to be able to work with these families. One of them we got to know this last week. The friend (Karen) of the Sister Andrea in the ward was sick and we went and gave her a blessing. The next day she was 100% better.

While we were there giving the blessing we and the member came to find out that Karen´s husband is a member of the church. He was baptized when he was a youth. So we are really excited for this family. The member family also has some next door neighbors that we have the family home evening with this Thursday. We are pumped.

Things are really kicking here now. The work is doing so well. Our ward council is now functioning and the members are now contributing and working. Yesterday we had 105 people at church; all of the efforts from the 6 missionaries are paying off. When I got here the attendance was like 70. The zone is also doing really well and is starting to catch this new vision and are implementing it and we are already seeing so many blessings.

This Thursday we go down to Antofagasta for the leadership council meeting. They are always really good meetings. I always learn a lot and leave really motivated and excited for the work. It is also fun to see all of my buddies from the mission and to eat lunch and just have a good time.

I am doing really well and am really excited for this next upcoming transfer with Elder McCusker. We were sure that they were going to transfer one of us and we ended up staying together one more transfer! Originally we were only going to be together for 1-2 transfers but it’s going to be 3! It will be the longest I have ever stayed with one companion.

I am glad to hear that you are all doing well and are enjoying your summer! I love each one of you and am grateful for the people that you are. I am thinking that this week or next week you will be getting a visit from elder pope. I know he is excited to pass by. He is a great missionary and a great example to many of us here in MCA. Have a great week. I love the work.

Elder Newman

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013


Seems like you all had a great week with trek. Hearing of your experiences makes me happy. I am so happy that you had a great experience and the things that you felt and everything. Trek was so awesome when I went I just loved it.

I am so happy for Leianne. That is so great. When is she getting married? I am glad to hear that you are all doing well. Crazy to think that your summer is going to be winding up soon. It is starting to get warmer up here in Calama we had some beautiful days this week. I love it here in calama, honestly when i first got here i thought this place wasn't pretty at all. I would hear Elder McCusker say things like elder those mountains are so pretty or look at that those clouds. I kinda thought he had gone kinda crazy. But i have come to find the beauty of gods creations. Calama is a beautiful place! I have learned to open my eyes, and really see what there is before us and find beauty in everything. Now Everyday i look up and see the mountains, or look at the blue sky and think wow, that's beautiful. I am so glad to have come here :)

We had a great week. We have had a few issues with missionaries being sick and things but now it is pretty much taken care of. During the week we found the family of Sister Alina. We were able to teach a quick lesson and set an appt. for another time. On Saturday night we went there and taught a quick lesson and invited them to church. The great part is that they already have 2 active cousins who go to church. So the kids came to church and the cousins took them all over, and introduced them to other people and made friends in there quorums etc. It is so wonderful when that happens because it helps us so much as missionaries. 

The mom couldn't come yesterday but she said that she is definitely going to come the next week. We also taught them again last night. We had a family home evening with them. Ha ha we played don't eat Pete. It was awesome. Elder McCusker actually had the game too and he had a laminated one. All of the kids loved it and they were having a great time. Actually the night before when we were there we met her neighbor and invited her to the FHE and she came and brought her 3 kids. I made pancakes while Elder Mccusker was playing the game with the kids.

After we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We set baptismal dates for the 10 of August. We are really excited and the kids loved church.  The mom is so great. She also has a great desire to reactivate.

Our interviews went super well. Elder McCusker and I were in the church all day long. We got there around 11:30 to prepare the church and we left at about 7:00pm. Ha ha president Dalton talked to us for about 3 hours about the vision and what we are going to do here to continue to baptize, baptize more, and do it better. The assistants also gave us a training and Elder McCusker and I were the last to be interviewed. The interview was really simple. He just asked about me, and my family, and then we just talked about the his vision and I just let him know how on board I was with everything and that I am 100% with what he is doing.

As I was sitting in my interview, I kinda had a revelation come to me as one of the reasons why Elder McCusker and I were put in this difficult sector. At times we got frustrated because it was so different and we couldn't be as successful from the way that we had been working before. It is so that we learned how to work with members, get references, and baptize more and better through them. 

We have learned how to work even better with the members, and I know that the Lord helped put us a step ahead so that we can help the rest of the mission catch the vision because we have already had experience doing it.

That was one of the things President Dalton asked me to do. As we left the interviews and were walking, I said to elder Mccusker, "Elder I know one of the reasons why we were put in this sector"  and I explained to him what happened. He then said "Elder, i had the exact same thing happen to me while I was in my interview." It was cool. I love President Dalton. He is really a great man. I am so excited to be able to learn from him and continue to improve as a servant of the Lord.

Yesterday we had a big stake meeting with all of the ward councils and we had a training and then the stake explained the goals that they have for the work and it was awesome. There was a great attendance and there is a new energy and excitement for the work. The work is truly hastening. 

President Dalton is going to do great things. I can feel it. We are going to see great results, and better growth here in the north of Chile.

I am glad to hear that you are doing so well. I hope you know how much i love you all. I am sorry that i am not very good about getting personal letters out. We are just consumed in this work. I really love it. I feel like great things are going to happen in these next 10 months. 10 months. Sheesh I don't like saying that. I know that our Savior lives and loves us. I hope that each of us can really "Open up our eyes" and see the beauty and wonderful blessings that encircle us each and everyday. I testify that as we do so, we will truly walk with joy, and be able to really minimize our worldly worries, and we will be humbled as we are grateful for the many wonderful blessings our Heavenly Father bestows upon us each day. I love you all. Keep a smile on your face what ever ya do.

Elder Newman

July 15, 2013


I am sure that you are having a great time at trek! I am also sure
that you will have sore bodies ha ha. The weeks just go way to fast.
Ha ha it seems like a day and then i am here writing you again. It is
amazing to me how fast the time has gone. Elder Smith (my trainer)
called me today from the airport from the assistants phone to say
goodbye to me. It was pretty weird. I am pretty sure that he will come
by the house, also Elder Pope has said that he will come by the house
to say hi to you.

This past week was great. We saw some wonderful blessings and some
miracles. We had the elders from Tocopilla up with us that last
weekend. Tocopilla is a little town between anto and iquique, but they
correspond to our zone. So they came up for the BBQ that we had last
weekend and came for district meetings and stuff. They left on Tuesday
afternoon after our district meetings. One of the Elders is from
Logan. He had a girlfriend that i went to school with, he met her at
Utah state. His name is Elder Cazier. He is a big kid and is a great

Sebastain and Alicia and their family stopped progressing. It is
really sad when you work so much with people and they have felt the
spirit and know and recognize that everything is true, but because of
personal things going on they don't accept it or  think don't have time
for it. We were kinda bummed about them, but that is how it is being a

We have been working a lot with the ward member list. We had almost
passed by every house looking to see if people still lived there to
see if we could find a less active family or something like that. 

The other day we were working with the list and then we knock a house and
then a teenager comes out and says that his mom isn't there but we can
come by tomorrow. So then we come back that next day and then we meet
the mom. We start to talk with her and she says that she is a member
of the church. But has been inactive for quite some time. She says
that she has 3 kids that need to be baptize and that she really needs
help. She begins to talk about how her husband and son have
depression. She said that is has been so hard for her to have to
support both her husband and her son. She has been really struggling,
and her son has been really struggling and hasn't really left his room
for a few weeks and is really down and he isn't going to school right
now. She was really emotional. But she said that the missionaries
always come when she needs help and when she needs it the most.

I think that we will be just the people to be able to help this family.
I am so grateful for the purposes of the Lord and that he sends his
prepared servants in the precise time to help those in need. We weren't
able to meet with them, because the husband is a little difficult, and
she told us to come by another time. But we were really happy that we
were able to find some new people, and to be able to come to help
someone who was really in need.

The other day Elder Silvester called me from Arica. It was really good
to talk to him. He called and wanted to say sorry if he ever made
things difficult in Antofagasta when we were together, but he also
wanted to thank me for all of the things that he learned from me and
that i helped him progress as a missionary. Ha ha he told me if he ever
is faced with a situation and doesn't know what to do, he says to
himself "what would elder Newman do?" He is doing well, and i I was so
happy to hear from him. All of the prayers and efforts and fasts payed
off. He is doing really well in Arica. I am so grateful for the help
of the Lord in each and every aspect.

We have received some references from the members of the ward, and
things are starting to pick up momentum here in the ward. We have a
great assistant at our English class, and we also received 1
reference from it. This week we have interviews with President Dalton.
So i am real excited to be able to get to know him better.

I love being here in Calama, Chile. I love this work so much. There is
nothing in this world that brings us such joy, as we have charity,
forget about ourselves, and lose ourselves in this great cause. I hope
that each of us can look beyond our own needs, our own challenges and
look out to those who need a helping hand, and make a difference in
their lives. I testify that the Savior lives, and that he will guide
us by the hand to those who we can help. As we give our hearts to him,
he will help us, guide us, and refine us little by little until we
become who we need to become.


Elder Newman

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Well this last week flew by as well as the rest of the weeks. The transfer is already half way over. It is pretty hard to believe. Tuesday morning we got up real early and then headed to Antofagasta. We met President and Sister Dalton. They are definitely a lot different than the Bruces, but they are really great people. I am sure it will take a bit to get used to them. But we had a great conference with all of the mission leadership.

President started out by asking about what it is that makes us so successful up here in the north of Chile. Many people said different things but It basically came down to the fact that we have a vision and that we are focused on what we do. We breathe it, we eat it, we sleep it.

President Dalton comes with the vision to baptize. He wants to raise baptisms up to 200 people per month. Last month we got 162. He said that the only way we are going to be able to baptize 200 people monthly is by working better together with the wards and members. He came from the transition about the missionary and member work and he comes with that same vision here for the north of Chile.

I am excited to see what we can do as a mission and see what growth can happen as we work in a different way. Sister Dalton speaks a little Spanish and she actually expressed a few things in Spanish. President Dalton was the secretary of the area of Chile before coming here. But then the area Chile became apart of the south american area. But while he worked as secretary he developed many relationships with the stake presidents here in our mission.

While we were sitting there listening and taking notes I really felt impressed and knew that this man is the man for the job here in MCA. He definitely is not as competitive as president Bruce is, he is very humble. But i am really excited to be able to learn from him and work with him. 

While we were in Antofagasta after the conference I went over to the museum where mariluz works and we went and gave her a hymnbook. She is doing really well and is active and paying here tithing. She was pretty busy but it was great to see her. She told us that she wanted to see us again when she had a bit more time so that we could talk. 

During the week Elder McCusker and I have been working with some members. We got some great references this past week and we are going to do family home evening nights with the references.

We have also started our English classes and we have a decent amount of people coming. On Friday night we had about 8 or so. And it is only the 3rd time. 

Alicia and Sebastian have been super busy. We haven't been able to meet with them a lot. But we did get in for a few minutes this week with Sebastian and we read the book of Mormon with him from 3rd Nephi 11. We talked a little bit about everything and he commented how he would just love to be like the people there who saw what they saw and felt what they felt.

We talked a little about the spirit and then I had the thought to ask him to ask his wife about how she has felt with us and especially one lesson that we have had with her. He responded that they had talked about it and then he also told us that various times when we have come that he has felt the spirit.

They want answers to their prayers. Sebastian hadn't prayed, but when we had talked to Alicia the other day at the door we had asked her if she had prayed and she said she did, and she said that God answers back. We know that she received another confirmation, but her little girl has been sick all week so we haven't been able to sit down with her. It is so sad because this is such a great family who has felt and recognized the spirit, received answers, yet their work and little things keep them from progressing. We hope that everything will work out. 

The fourth of July was great here! It was on our day of planning and we printed out the star spangled banner and then sung that as a zone ha ha it was awesome. Elder Pope and i played the piano. the hermanas made us little treats and we bought some little candies for the zone. Then for lunch, we went to the best american thing that was here. KFC! Ha ha KFC is in the mall and we went there with most of the zone to eat lunch. We had a good time. 

As far as transfers go. We still have till the end of this month. I am not sure exactly what will happen. In the beginning it was possible that I would stay here and that elder Mccusker would leave. But there are rumors that I may leave to go to alto Hopsicio to go up there. So I am not really sure what will happen. I really love Calama. I have found beauty throughout the ugly. My feet are starting to hurt a little bit. Just like the bones on the pad right before the toes start. We have just been walking a lot in this sector. I will probably buy like a foot pad from the store or something. 

Anyway we are doing really well up here. I am really enjoying my mission, having such a great time. I have been working a little bit on expressing gratitude. There is a great talk that i found that talks about gratitude from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It is wonderful. As I express feelings of gratitude through out the day to my Heavenly Father, my happiness increases and i feel the love of god for his children and for me. I know that this is something that we can each work on.

We forget of the many wonderful things that surround us everyday that are such a blessing. If we can open our eyes, look outside of the ordinary day. We will find joy and enjoy each day. I am learning to do just that. I love this work. I love each one of you and pray for your welfare. I testify that the savior lives, that God loves each and everyone of us.

We had a great activity today with a BBQ and soccer. it was awesome.  

Elder Newman

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1,2013


We had a great week as a mission this past week. History was made!!!!

This week was super busy. Elder McCusker and I were all over Calama trying to help other sectors finish up the work that we needed to do to finish for the end of the month and to complete our goal.

Tuesday we had our district meetings, we had another inspirational meeting with the zone to finish up June. It went really well. The zone left very motivated and excited. We saw many miracles throughout the week and we ended up baptizing 19 here in Calama.

As for the mission we broke the following records in Chile. Baptisms in a week, in a month, and in the first 6 months. We finished up with 161 baptisms this week and 689 in these first 6 months. We are so happy we completed and passed our goals! :) 

I know that President Bruce is really happy. That man has done great work here in the north or Chile. Not only here in the cities, but in the lives of every missionary that has passed through this mission. He left on Friday. We talked to him on Thursday on the phone a little bit. He said that he was so proud of us and that President Dalton is going to expect a lot out of Elder McCusker and I.

I am so grateful to have come to this mission and to have had the privilege to serve here among such greatness. By the end of the week Elder McCusker and I were so tired. Running all over the place getting up at 4 am to go fill baptismal fonts, etc. Many many sacrifices, however sacrifice is what brings the blessing of heaven. 

We have started cooking for ourselves now. I have been making some pretty good food. I am going to make some more taco soup, burgers and pastas and stuff like that. We are possibly going to change apartments. There is an apartment that a member in our ward has that is much closer to our area so we don't have to walk for so long to just get to our sector. We will see what happens. The weather has gotten pretty cold during the night. 

Last night we met with the stake president and talked a lot about how we want the work to hasten here in calama and what we can do both as members and missionaries to unite and help improve the work in every aspect. It was a great meeting and i believe that it was a meeting that was inspired that will help the work a lot here in calama.

President Dalton got here on Friday. However tomorrow we have our mission leadership meeting and so we will be travelling down to Antofagasta tomorrow to be able to meet with all of the zone leaders and him. I have heard that he is great! I am excited to be able to get to know him and to be able to learn from him and work with him. 

I am doing really well! We weren't able to work a lot in our sector this week  because of all the other things that we had to do! But we had a great week! We are still working with both families and are hoping/praying that they will receive answers so that they can take a step forward in the right direction. 

I am super excited to get to meet President Dalton! I hope that you are all enjoying your summer!

Elder Newman