Monday, September 30, 2013

video
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