Monday, December 30, 2013

¡Feliz año!‏

Well, Christmas went better than I'd expected. On Christmas Eve, we were allowed to watch "Rise of the Guardians" and "Monsters BYU" I mean "Monsters University." While I was watching the first, I was paying a little bit more attention to the animation than the movie itself, and I was thinking, "Oh, I gotta be a part of this!" Later, during Monsters, I couldn't help but notice how good everything looked there as well. Pixar's animation has improved greatly. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to talk about the animation afterwards, just the movies. Lame.

I'm pretty sure my decision to be an animator can't be changed anymore. It hasn't been changed in over a year, so that's a pretty good sign.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Skype call, Mom! About the pencils, I FINALLY FOUND THEM! A little expensive, yes, but probably cheaper than sending them in mail. By that, I mean if you want to send me more pencils, you can - I have 6B, 4B, 2B, HB, 2H, 4H, and 6H. So if it's not any of those pencils, I will more than gladly accept them.

Anyways... the pueblo was absolutely dead on Christmas and the 26, too. There was nobody in the streets, and it took us forever to find a taxi to take us back home at night. So I'm expecting New Year's to be pretty much the same. And it helps to know that the stuff in the journal was forgettable - it means I probably didn't miss anything. I hope y'all enjoyed your time with Jacob - I'm  sure he's realized, just like I did, just how valuable the time with the family is and how rare it becomes after we reach that point in life.

Anyways, about the things I've been doing recently.

Last night, was pretty good.

We'd had an appointment with a less active family in a small town a little far from Atlacomulco. We got into the Taxi, and the guy tried to help us find their street, but in the end, we couldn't find it. going off of what someone else had said, he dropped us off at an elementary school. As Elder Riveros and I began to try to figure out how to get to their house, the taxista backed up and signalled for us to come over.

"I was curious of where it was, so then I went looking for it and found it. Hop in! I'll take you over there." So he did and he dropped us off at the street. We found her apartment, knocked the door, got in, and then the family gathered together.

Then we taught the lesson to the less active family. Being the first time we'd found them (the sister was very nice in guiding us to her house - no trickery nor any of that! She also didn't turn us away, say she didn't want anythign to do with the church, didn't say she was still Catholic, and all sorts of other helpful things), Elder Riveros and I decided to teach them lesson one. so, we did.

At first, I felt like we'd been rushing it - or perhaps better said, messing it up. We briefly explained the first three principles, then explained the earthly ministry of the Savior a little bit more detailed. We then reched the Great Apostasy, and we spent more time on it than normal, explaining how God had known it was to happen and how things had been corrupted and changed and that the reformers tried to fix it all up, but without the guidance of God, they only managed to cause more confusion, especially in the United States. We then threw in a short video of the Restoration.

The video itself was very powerful, but even more powerful were the questions we made afterwards.

We asked the Mother how she'd felt, and told us that the part about the Great Apostasy really impacted her. She hadn't remembered all the details nor that all that stuff had happened - nor that God wasn't surprised about the Apostasy at all, and that even in the old testament they'd known it was going to happen. I was surprised - I thought we'd spent too long explaining that.

We then asked her older daughter how she'd felt during the video. She said that she'd felt like she was in Joseph Smith's position - she too, was very confused about religion. She wasn't sure which was the truth, since her father is from one relgion and her relatives on her Mom's side are from another. I could tell that she was seriously confused and concerned about the subject. I quickly opened to Moroni 10:3-5 (for those of you who might not know what it says there, you can find it online at lds.org) and read her the verses. I then bore my testimony, that I know that God will answer our questions about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, because I too have done so. I've asked God as well to receive my own personal witness if the Book of Mormon is the truth, and he has told me unmistakably "Yes." I then promised to each and every person in that room that they too can know - they just need to kneel and pray to God and ask him if it really is true. I then felt the Spirit touch me, and I felt my own conviction in my testimony. It was fantastic.

We then noticed it was almost 9:00, so we wrapped things up and headed out. As we were walking to find a taxi to take us back to Atlacomulco, a taxi stopped nearby. The driver was the same driver that had taken us over to that part of town, so we hopped in. Since it was the third time we'd crossed paths, I contacted him (something I should've done the first time we crossed paths). I'm positive God has something planned for him, otherwise we would't have found him not just twice, but three times.

Anyways, I've got to go, but I'm not saying goodbye - I'm just waiting until the next time! (Something one of our investigators always says.)

Thanks for all your support,

Elder Newman

Monday, December 23, 2013

I Was Going to Send Something...

... a video of me, my companion, and one of the Elders in my District playing-singing "O Holy Night" at the Christmas conference we had on my Birthday, but then G-Mail was like "BOO YOU! IT EXCEEDS 25 MB!"

I then promptly responded "OK" because that was the only option available to me.

The reason why it's so special is because I was playing the violin. Not Lindsey Sterling level, but more like "20-year-old that practiced about 3 days after not playing the violin for about 5 years more or less" level. Which is actually semi-decent - good enough that the missionaries were shouting "AGAIN!"

That all came about because I told the President in my interview with him that I would like to play a special number with my companion in the Ward, then he asked if I could play, I said yes, and then I asked if we could play in the conference, he said yes and gave me permission to play during the week. I then arranged with one of the members in the ward to let me borrow his violin - which is amazing that anyone in the ward even has a violin. We got it tuned up, I practiced, and then I played only 3-ish sour notes in the performance! So that was fun. I really enjoyed being able to perform with the violin again, and if we have time, I'm going to go play it again today. And on Christmas. And every P-Day while I'm still in Atlacomulco. Really, it was a miracle that the song came out as well as it did.

Anyways, because I can't give you the video, here's a cool little Christmas card I drew today:

I can't cursive. But yeah, there's a ton of symbolism in the Star of Christmas.

Well... That's about it for this week. Tomorrow we get to watch movies with the rest of the missionaries - Monsters University, I've been told, and another one which I'm not sure about. So that'll be really weird to watch while as a Missionary.

Yeah, and about that Christmas package...

The postal system got into it, regardless of the double last name and "lic." that Dad always throws on there. Next step: throw on pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe. You can find it online.

BUT DO NOT FEAR NOT ALL WAS LOST! I got my journal (they ripped out the note that you'd written in it...), the CD, the mini Book of Mormon, and I think that's all there was. The drawing supplies - gone. And if you sent a mini PME that's gone too. (Family photo album was also stolen.)

BUT THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE HEAVENSONG IS A FANTASTIC ALBUM! :D I'd just like to know what the note said...

Well, that's about it. Thanks for all your support, prayers, and other things you may or may not do for me.

¡Que cada uno de ustedes tengan una gran Navidad! (May each of you have a great Christmas!)

Elder Newman

P.S. Proof I played the violin:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well That Was Fun

Small towns that we visit frequently: 2, really. Acambay and Santiago Acutzilapan. They're both about 40 minutes away from Atlacomulco, and there are other pueblos that we visit on occasion. Well, Santiago Acutzilapan we don't visit that much, really. We spend most of our time in Atlaco and Acambay. 


Typical day:

6:30 wake up, do exercise, chower, make breakfast.
8:00 Personal study. Right now, I spend half an hour reading Preach my Gospel and the other half hour reading the Book of Mormon.
9:00 Companioniship study. We study things that we feel we can improve on as a companionship, share what we learned, and read the missionary manual. We also plan lessons and important things.
10:00 Language study. I help my companion learn English while I try to find something new about Spanish. Kinda hard.
10:30 Out to work. We typically don't have any appointments in the morning, so this is when we go look for where people live, draw in the downtown, and get other necessary tasks done.
2:00 is when we eat for an hour. Lately it's been caldo de pollo. Getting kinda tired of it, but that's okay.
Then it's the afternoon, when we typically have all our appointments and all the visits that are fixed.
During the whole day, whenever we're on buses and taxis going from one place to another, we try to contact the driver or the passengers to try and get some more investigators. During the day, we visit everyone, from members to less active members to investigators.
9:00 we go home, plan, and get ready for bed, and by
10:30, I like to be in bed, trying to sleep.

And that's my day!

Also, I might be able to play the vioplin today, if we've got time (I sure hope so).

Anyways, Acambay is doing... okay. The family home evenings are helping, but the people's Catholic roots go suuuuuper deep. When the members first moved to Acambay, in fact, the people there caused a lot of problems for them just for not being Catholic. Pretty scary stuff, in fact, but it's calmed down quite a bit - the Lord blessed them a ton with their agriculture, and now the people go to them to buy some things. One family grows tomatoes there, something all the locals had said was impossible. They got a little bit of respect for that. So yeah, I'm thinking it may be a couple months.

Anyways, in regards to things out here, we've got a baptism planned for the same day when we've got a special Christmas conference and my BIRTHDAY! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D His name's Mario; he's about 80 or something like that. He loves everything about the Church, and he's trying to get his family members to join in on the fun, too!

I've got less than a week left of being a teenager! ...FINALLY. Man, that was tough, but hey, on to the next level, right? How much harder can level 20 be than level 19? Or 13? (Watch me eat my words - also, for those who don't know, I complete on the 20th)(Lol spanish)

But now I don't have time I just wanted to share the good news and now I bid y'all farewell

Farewell

Elder Newman

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dec. 9, 2013

Interesting thing... I'm starting to feel the "cold" of México. And I don't like that, because up in Idaho, y'all would be wearing shorts in this weather, as the members give it hard to me for not putting on a cold-weather coat and I'm like "THIS ISN'T COLD C'MON PEOPLE!" and then I'm like, "Fine, I'll put on my coat BUT ONLY SO YOU'LL STOP PLANCHING (bugging) ME." So then I started putting on my light coat and now the members are saying I need to cover my mouth so the cold air doesn't do me any damage.

NAH BRO. IF I CAN'T SEE MY BREATH, I DON'T NEED TO THINK ABOUT PUTTING ON ANYTHING LIKE THAT. *le sigh*

Anyways, in other news, I got two packages last week! The one with the Ensign and the Christmas package. And I loved them both! Continue to love, in fact. The gummy worms, however, didn't even last an hour and I'm striving to save the Reese's for Christmas. Let's see how long I hold up. Also, I absolutely love the CD. It sounds amazing, and I can't wait to make those Peanut Butter Cookies.

I saw the Christmas Devotional - how beautiful it was! I loved the parts where Elder Nelson was surrounded by the children and they were singing. An investigator we had there, named Mario, was enchanted by the broadcast as well. I love all the people we're working with out here in Atlaco - they're all so kind and loving, and they all have a strong testimony. Mario's going to get baptized soon, and he's already planning on bringing all his family to church as well.

We're beginning to see a lot of work in a pueblo called Acambay, so I'm happy for that. Elder Riveros and I have a goal of seeing a Branch put in over there, but in order to do that, we need to break the false tradition of nobody ever beeing baptized in that Pueblo - all the members over there were baptized in other parts of the country  - or the United States. But that's okay - we've got everything set up to see the growth of the Lord's kingdom over there, and we're setting up even more!

Thanks for all your support, love, and care! Enjoy that magical white powder for me! I miss the stuff!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Interesting Week‏

On Friday night, I was feeling really sick - couldn't get to sleep, nor any kind of rest, and my stomach was killing me. I asked my companion for a priesthood blessing. During the blessing, my stomach started twisting and turning, and I knew I was going to throw up. I thought to myself, "Do I try to wait for the blessing to end or do I just interrupt it?" I think about it for three seconds, then I realize that either I'm going to have to interrupt it or I'm going to spew all over my companion. Deciding to take the less messy route, I shout "HURRY UP HURRY UP HURRY UP!" reach for the bucket....(some content removed--a little too much information!). That was the start of a long night.

The next day, I finally get to sleep then wake up (after having thrown up a second time...), and we head over to the Doctor's office (after several attempts to call her). She gives me a shot right above the hip, and then demands that I stay in the house all day. I then learn a very important lesson: sleeping is very important when sick, and doing work is key to happiness. It's like the local soccer coach told his team on Friday: No work is needed for temporary pleasure, whereas for longlasting joy, we need to work for it.

And kicking and breaking glass feels awesome. Long story. We had permission. (They got locked out of their apartment, and after getting permission from the landlord, kicked the glass window in.)

Also, the Book of Mormon has such beautiful language in it! That's one thing I've learned recently. As Elder Riveros said, sometimes it looks and sounds a little bit like poetry. So true.  I'm just going to share two scriptures with you now, that I think display just how beautiful the language in the Book of Mormon is. I'm only going to type one of them, however. First is 2 Nephi 25:26. Second is Alma 30:44: "...All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which do move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." I just LOVE that verse!

Also, doc says I might have a wearing away of cartilage in my knees, which would explain why they've been hurting for the past X months. I wanted to get a more detailed analysis though, just to make sure that's what's going on. Who knows, though.

With a burning in the stomach from disease and a burning in the heart from testimony,

Elder Newman

Monday, November 25, 2013

Elder R: Se va. Yo: Me quedo‏...

...By which I mean "Elder R served a great mission and that Elder Ri... is going to be great by which I mean already is great," so that's what's up.

With Elder R gone, I began to think a lot about time, and how scarce a resource it really is. This doesn't last forever; time must be used in the best possible way to help out the most people possible. However, we shouldn't value time over people - something else that I learned last night. So yeah... who can be sad when one's doing the work of Salvation? It's fantastic! I love it! 

Yesterday, we had stake conference. And it was super powerful - the presiding authority, Elder Montoya, shared a story of when he saved his son from falling, then pulled that into the Atonement when the Savior cried, "Abba, Father!" then shared what James E. Talmage wrote about the physical cause of the Savior's death - a broken heart. Later, the choir, which was fantastic and accompanied by a violinist, sand "Abide with me, 'tis eventide." I threw the tears back, but they were threatening to come out because I felt the Spirit incredibly strongly. The closing prayer was fantastic as well. It was just an all around good day.

My newest companion is Elder Riveros, a Peruano. Meaning, he's from Peru. He can play the piano like a boss; we also have a lot in common. I'm super excited to work with him... and improve my Spanish accent with him as well. :D

Well, I've got a lot of other people to write, so this is going to have to be it. Sorry! Also, about dropbox, I already have a profile but I haven't asked President about it yet. Also, mail rarely makes it out here, so it'll be a while before I get all the packages. I'll prolly get them all at once.}

Well, be thankful for things and eat an extra pound of mashed potatoes for me! ...They're so uncommon out here... *sadface*

Thanks again for all your support, time, and e'mails!

Monday, November 11, 2013

11/11/13


We're going to see a baptism this week! A great brother with a lot of faith is going to be baptized this Friday. It's been a pretty long journey for him, but he's super excited about it. All we've got to do is make sure Satan doesn't have his way with him and he'll be cleansed from his sins in no time flat.

Also, we get to have a special Zone conference with Elder de Hoyos on Thursday, so I'm really excited for that. I'm gonna learn tons.

Well, that's it for this week. Thanks, everyone, for your support and prayers!

Monday, November 4, 2013

11/4/13

So Elder Ross and I are walking down the street at night to talk with one of our super chosen investigators. We walk past a dark driveway, and this insane chihuahua runs out at me, all yappin' and barking and whatnot. I'm just thinking, "Oh, great. Ignore it, and if it tries to attack me more, I'll-"

My thoughts are interrupted by four more Chihuahuas bolting out to the support of their zergling I mean chihuahua friend. At this point, I'm thinking, "OH NO WHY THIS IS BAD" and I pull off my backpack, swing it around, and start dancing-running around so the chihuahuas don't get their possibly rabid teeth on my heels. Swinging, running-dancing, and shouting, I eventually drive off the enemy player's zerg rush I mean attack and Elder Ross and I laugh on the way home.

Next time it happens, I'm shouting "COME AT ME, BRO!"

(I asked him about his first Day of the Dead holiday...) My Día de los Muertos was... quite unlike any of Dad´s, I imagine. Why? Simple - it was JUST LIKE HALLOWEEN. Just trick'or'treating lasted for... two? Three days? Yeah... so it wasn't really all that different for me. Maybe in the smaller pueblos it's a little more insane or interesting or something like that. So... yeah. Not much happened in regards to that.

In other things, however, a lot did happen this week! We had a zone conference, and President asked me to share what Elder Ross and I have been doing to find new people to teach, and as a result, the Bishop, who was also present, found out about it (drawing to get people to ask us"what's up?"). Then, during a very powerful testimony meeting, the Bishop bore his about the work of salvation, and shared about how he felt about Elder Ross leaving so soon and about my drawing ability. Soon after, everyone asked me about my drawings, and I gladly shared my own little gospel art library, composed of Christ coming to the Americas, Moses crossing the Red Sea, Mary in Front of the Empty Tomb, the Liahona, and the Armor of God.


10/28/13

The primary program was yesterday. It was really good, because it talked about the restoration, plan of salvation, the gospel, and it had some nice music. We managed to bring 5 people to church for the second time, and they're all fantastic. They want everything, and none of them want to miss church anymore.

And then while we were waiting for a family to bring us food, I was playing the piano.


And then the girl with the book in her hands (cropped out) takes her turn and completely destroys me at playing the thing. I mean, it doesn't take much, since I've never really focused on doing it over the past... what, 9, 10 years? ...I still like the photo, however.

But then other things happened.

By which I mean we've finally did the Fall Back thing down here in Southern Southern California - I mean Mexico (because really, sometimes I'm walking around and I feel like I'm back in SoCal) - so last night, at 8:00, it felt like we should've been heading back to the house but we still had an hour left. That was tiring.

And then that same morning, I'd woken up at 4:30, thinking it was 5:30, telling myself, "Yeah, I've got another hour of sleep. Thank goodness for time change." Then the alarm clock goes of at 5:30, us thinking it's 6:30 because the cell phone doesn't automatically change time. I go check the clock, thinking, "Hey, why don't I feel so rejuvinated like I thought I should?" Turns out, we still have another hour of sleep. I prove it to Elder Ross, and then we both fall asleep for another hour.

Ah, it was so nice.

Something that I'm looking forward to is when I finish the Book of Mormon - I'm about halfway through again, but what I wanted to do next time, is take a green pen and bracket in every reference to the Lord and count it up. Sometimes I want to start doing it right now, but I think it'd be more rewarding to do it later. So yeah, I'm excited for that.

The people in Atlaco are really nice. It was actually cold enough here some nights that I put on my jacket and gloves, and one night I slept with my hoodie. So that was a lot of fun. As for the surrounding pueblos, we usually travel to at least one each day. The furthest we've had to ride in bus so far is one hour, and that's the furthest pueblo we actually have work in out here. There are others that are further, but there's not even so much as a reference for anyone over there. So that's interesting.

FROM

Elder Newman, that crazy guy down south or up north depending on where you are

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/13



My lunch on Tuesday and Moses crossing the Red Sea. And yes, those are grasshoppers. They actually tasted pretty good, especially with some nice green salsa and meat.
Well, this week, I met the oldest brother of the Hnos. (Hermanos) Uribe from Naucalli (because there were two out there that lived down the street), and when that was established, we talked a lot about everyone that I've met in the Uribes.
So that was good.

Anyways, y'all are probably wondering what's up out here in the pueblos! To be honest, not much! But it does remind me a whole lot more of the other places I've lived, like Jenks or Meridian. Why? Because, at night when it's clear, I can see stars. I can look across the valley and see other pueblos in the distance, with a decent black space in between each one. Sometimes it's a little harder to understand the Spanish, but it's just another accent that I'll get used to.

DF reminded me of southern California. Atlaco's just beautiful, as are all the pueblos that we go to. We ride a lot more busses and taxis than in any of my previous areas, the house is about as nice as the one in Culturas, and there's still a lot to do. Since it's Elder Ross's last transfer, we're going to do a lot of sightseeing on P-Days and grabbing souvenirs. So that's going to be fun. Thankfully, he's not a trunky. That'd just make it miserable. He's just as alive as ever, and he, being in his last month, has tons of good advice, i.e. what makes a good district or zone leader, how to do things, and he's making sure I get the confidence of the ward and that I know the area.

Tell Brother Faber and the Bishop I said hi, please, and that I congratulate Andrew on his accomplishment! It's not really getting me cold at night out here - although the other day, Elder Ross and I thought we saw a little snow flurry while it was raining.

It wasn't really snow,
But it seemed to be, 
Frozen water coming down at me!
Lol, popcorn. But anyways, it was just rain that moved like snow. It's actually been raining a lot out here recently, but I like that. Cools things down.

So, about those drawings.
President Whitehead told me and my companion to do something with them. That something is going to the downtown part of the pueblos every day at the same time and same place and drawing for half an hour while my companion contacts some people. He more or less promised miracles. So we're basically getting everything else figured out as to how and when we want to do that.
You'll be hearing stories.
Well, that's about it. I think.
Well, thanks for all your support and love, and all that other great stuff that people think is cool and whatnot!
Elder Newman

Monday, October 14, 2013

10/14/13--"What's This?"

Fresh air? Buildings not plastered together? Clear skies? Burning sun? Taxis with a teal checker pattern? Several hours in bus? WHAT CAN IT ALL MEAN?

Well, it must mean that I have finally reached the pueblos (villages/towns/not cities) in the mission with the area of Atlacamulco! ...Still a mouthful for me, but one day I'll get it! So far, everything's great! The house is nice, I'm already out of transport money, and, well, I'm super excited to be out here! Although with the area being so big, and with my companion's back not being broken (long story), I'll need to get back to work at walking fast again. So more leg pains, but it's all good!

What else

Well, in my little farewelling to everyone in Culturas, Fernando, the Man of the Hamburgers, decided to give me not just one, but two free hamburgers last night. So that was delicious.

Also, I really love the busses down here - they're like super cool ground planes with in'ride movies (no I didn't watch), in'ride lunches, and all that delicious stuff.

And recliner chairs. That was nice, too. SO NICE.

Well, I'm still in the opposite situation as you, Dad - I just got another American companion, making it 1 Mexican, 4 Americans. He's Elder Ross, from Spanish Fork, Utah. It's his last change, so, as we say in the mission, I'll be "killing" him. <buahahahaha>  and it's his last change in the field. Also, I'm finally out in the pueblos!

BYU really is a great campus. I absolutely love the community, and the wards there are great as well.

But anyways, I don't really have many stories to share from the last week - we spent a lot of time looking for people and running around trying to get everything in order with some people. As well as trying to finish off the change with a blast - which we did.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand... yeah. For once I have extra time.

Weird.

Well, thanks, y'all! I love ya'll as a missionary does and I hope I don't get sunburnt!

DE

Elder Hombrenuevo I mean Newman

Monday, October 7, 2013

10/07/13

So yesterday, Elder McKinley's reporting the numbers and we're in the one dry place we can find (because it was raining). Then, some youths decide, "Hey, there are some güeros over there. LET'S HIT THEM WITH ROCKS!" So they start throwing some rocks that they find at as. At first, I see them and they try hiding, but they can't hit us. Clearly frustrated, they decide to blow their cover and start throwing more rocks at us. They never hit us, and they're trying for a good couple minutes. When my comp is done, we then go and talk about it a bit. In the end, we decide it's Samuel the Lamanite meets MC Hammer - CAN'T TOUCH THIS! (Insert tune right here) It was a nice little tender mercy from the Lord after a rough day of little to no success.

Also, my ship that I drew last week is now in the possession of the Mission President's wife because she absolutely loved it. And then I had to draw 14 more. It was... well, we can say fun. But now the President also knows about my talent and appreciates it, so that's all fun! I love knowing that I could help!
Sounds like things have been going pretty well up there in Idaho. Lots of little things happening to make big things happen. We were able to go to the last three sessions of General Conference, but not the first two. In order to go to the first two, we had to bring investigators - which we weren't able to do. So, as a natural response, we ran around for a total of four hours searching those people that might've been willing to come with us to listen to the voice of the Lord - unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone we'd committed to come nor anyone that was available for any session that day. So, naturally, I fall a little bit under the excitement weather and then I went "woe is me" mode.

And then I went to the Priesthood Session, and President Uchtdorf spoke straight at me, answering and more or less resolving every single time I'd ever felt down on myself. I can't wait to get the written copy of that talk. I absolutely love that man - he's a wonderful servant of the Lord. Just as you are, and as Dad is, and as my companion is. Me? I'm just trying my best.

And then I spent extra time on a drawing today, so that felt really good and lifted up my spirits. I have more to say about that in another e'mail though, to give others more to read.

Well, thanks for everything, Mom! We've got really no investigators right now, but it's all good - we've got plans to find more people to teach.

well, g2g. No more time. LAter!

Monday, September 30, 2013

9/30/13

I've recently figured out a way to use my talent of drawing to help people out during lessons. Which is nice, because while my companion's explaining a principle, I can draw what it is in correlation with whatever we're talking about.

Or, the Misioneras Capacitadoras (Mission Trainers) can learn of my drawing, get me some really nice paper and colored pencils, and then ask me to draw them a flagship they're going to show to all the leaders in the mission for the council they have today (Hence the attachment). Got it done in about half an hour or so. Ten minutes were spent waiting for the pen ink to dry. Another two were used erasing the pencil marks that I traced over.
I really enjoy being able to draw to help, but I also love it when a less active member that's returning says that she's there to stay active. It feels really nice, especially when you can feel the emotion she's saying it with.

And yes, the English is intentional.

Well, that's about it. I haven't gotten sick recently, I had mashed potatoes three times this week.

Well, I'm having a great time here, so... that's about it.

Thanks for all your support, and I'll just sit here eating KFC from time to time and blueberry muffins from Starbucks (30 pesos each. SO WORTH IT) and searching for more souls to help out.

Lovingly like a missionary loves,

Elder Newman

Monday, September 23, 2013

9/23/13

SO I GAVE MY FIRST MISSION TALK YESTERDAY AND IT ONLY TOOK ME SEVEN MONTHS

I had about an hour to prepare it, so that was fun. I was sick, too. So, while I was taking the Sacrament, I said a quick prayer to give me the health I needed to be able to give the talk and to give it well. And what do you know? IT WORKED! I was well enough to give the talk, and then right after, I began dying again. 

It's interesting, really, how you and your companion get sick at the exact same time and then you also get the same impressions and then you eat costco muffins.

And then you talk for like... two hours about the state of the Ward. And then Darth Vader.

Yes it's relevant.


Monday, September 16, 2013

9/16/13

Anyways, I've got less time today because I had to fill out a questionaire... or however that's spelled. We get American Sisters next change - evidently, it's something that they've been preparing for quite some time now.

In terms of how I've been doing, things have been going great! Except Mexican Independence Day is awful. Because nobody wanted to let us in, if they were even home. NOBODY was home, not even the people that said they'd be home. So basically, we got very little work done. Thankfully, there was one person we could talk with so that we weren't wandering around the area doing nothing productive. So that was good.

As for the hurricane... well, I just heard Veracruz got hit, and we were getting the storms as a result of it. And yes, my gear is holding up quite fine. The thing I've been hearing more than anything about was the war in Syria or something like that? I dunno, neither me nor Elder McKinley know anything about it. Just that there was something going on there or something and the US wanted to get involved?

Recently, I've been focusing on truly learning Preach My Gospel and I read the Book of Abraham, which, to my surprise, I'd never done before. Apart from Abraham's tone in the book, which I love, the doctrine held inside is awesome, and I love how it explains a lot and clarifies some things about Abram's history in Genesis. It's cool.

As for experiences, we've been working on getting less active members to come back to Church, and we managed to get one back on Sunday! It was kinda hard, since yesterday was Noche Mexicana and today is Independence Day here. It seems like everyone celebrates it on the 15th though in the city, which is weird. Also, have you heard anyone use the future subjunctive in regular speech? I don't think so, but I just want to make sure.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Enjoying the Work

Yesterday we had a pretty interesting experience. While my compa and I were hunting down an apartment for some of the sister missionaries in our district, we came across a drunk guy (and for once, the drunk guy's not the focus of the story). As we're trying to see if he's got a deal for us or not, one of our old investigators who we lost contact with ran up to us and shooed the drunk away (she already knew him and he wasn't helping us at all so it was all good). As we chatted with her, we found out that she'd run away from her aunt because her aunt is absolutely crazy. She told us she didn't know where she was going to sleep that night, and Elder M and I had the exact same thought about who we could take her to. We took her to the house, and there, the family immediately accepted her, but she was slightly reluctant to accept. After a chat (where I used the story of Alma and Amulek's first meeting to help) she eventually decided to stay there while she waited to get things set up with one of her friends.

As I looked back on the situation, everything looked like the Lord put us, the sister missionaries, our investigator, that drunk, and a whole lot of other people in the right places, situations, and times at the the exact right moment not just once, but many times as well. I couldn't help but think of a masterpiece grandfather clock, with all the cogs and gears moving in unison and harmony to keep the clock moving, ticking, and working to fulfill its purpose. It was an experience that brought Small and Simple Things to life for me yet again. I must say, Alma 36:6-7 may well be my favorite scripture now.

Well, I still got to write everyone else, so I'll leave you with that. I'm super excited to get back to work soon, because I absolutely love the work now. There are still some times when I'm less than excited, but then I remember experiences like that, and it makes me want to work some more to find one of those events again. It's kinda like computer programming, but that's a subject for another time.

Monday, September 2, 2013

UNEVENTFUL WEEK THING‏

Nothing much happened. I had no money (do now) helped some people, taught some things, unoccupied mornings, absolutely booked afternoons. My companion and I also found a lot of old cassettes from the 80s and early 90s.

Let's see... in terms of my week... what happened that is actually shareable? Well, my companion and I are together for another change (six weeks) here in C, so that's going to be pretty sweet. Also, I shout in my sleep, which can keep my companion awake sometimes (I woke him up three times one night... poor guy). I already feel sorry for my future wife. She'll definitely need some earplugs.

What else do I have...? Well, our investigator got confirmed on Sunday, and we've been working with someone that spent five years in prison for a crime he didn't even commit. He's had a really rough life, but he's super eager to get baptized and super humble. He's a really nice guy, and I'm glad I get to stay here to watch his progress - which is kinda like being a parent, getting joy from watching people - in the case of a parent, their kids - grow up and make the right decisions.

I finished Jesus the Christ a while back - like a week or two ago. I really love that book - teaches us so much about the Lord and what his point of view might have been and what he was like on the Earth and nowadays. I really appreciate the doctrine it holds within as well, and among all the other nice truths and explanations within.

As for J, it sounds like he might be going on a lot more dates (I hope) or something like that. (Here he's referring to the news that J's college church congregation has 120 gals to 40 guys.) That ratio is almost the opposite of my YSA wards - in my Fall Ward, we had barely more guys than we did girls, so some of the people didn't have any opportunities to home teach the girls. I'm glad Jesse and I did - so many fun times while home teaching (checking in on other congregation members on a monthly basis). I really enjoy working for the Lord; it always makes me feel like I've accomplished something and I almost always come out knowing something more or with a more fortified testimony. Or at least a fun memory.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/26/13

Changes come next week (meaning he'll mostly likely move to a different area to work)... but my companion and I are pretty sure where I'll be assigned (as one of the assistants called and asked my compa if I'm any good with computers. He replied "he studied Computer Science at college"). Well.

(First version of following story) Anyways, about this week. It was pretty good, especially since we found a miracle that got baptized on Sunday! We were going to look for her friend's brother in law, and we went to where we thought they lived (they don't live there anymore, but they're looking for an apartment with the ward boundaries). We got to the house where we found a less active member, and then her friend was there, she wasn't baptized but desperately wanted to be (she had all the lessons about twice, and couldn't get baptized until now - first because of her grandparents, then because she wasn't married and her husband didn't want to get married, and then she dumped him about two months ago so now she got baptized)! And that's how that went.

Also, on Thursday and Saturday, the Lord showed us his sense of humor - on Thursday, we didn't eat until 8 at night, but on Saturday, everyone was giving us food. We ate a lot. It was quite funny, actually. We got Puebla-style filled peppers - they're quite delicious.

Well, I don't have much time today, as we're going to buy a lot of ties today, and one of the members is going to help take us there. I'm quite excited.

As for my rain equipment... well, I use my replacement umbrella ('cause I lost my really cool one on a bus a couple months ago) and that's about it. I love it when people ask if I'm cold, because it really isn't all that cold when they think it is.

...I'm returning home in the middle of Winter. Fun. I get the Focus when I get home, right? :D

(Second version of above story) Anyways, we had a miracle on Friday! Last week, someone brought their husband who just got released from prison (or so we hear) and isn't a member to Church. So, what we did was plan to visit him, and Friday came around with him as one of our plans. We had two choices as to where to go - a house of the members, to whom he was related and found him in most often, or the house where we never found him in but the Church records said he lived in. We chose the second option - clearly a spiritual guidance, as while we didn't find him, we did find his wife's sister's friend there, who'd always wanted to get baptized but couldn't (she had no choice) until now. So, on Sunday, we baptized her! She said she needed the peace that she knew having all her sins cleaned off would bring. She had to postpone it by a couple hours, but nevertheless, she was dead set on the Baptism. It was quite amazing.

(Later that day, in another email...)
We found her on Friday looking for someone else due to whisperings of the Spirit. And then she got baptised at 7:00 yesterday.

I also bought 12 ties today for 300 pesos, and they're pretty good quality.

It is amazing here.

(To those that got an e'mail way earlier today, we only used 50 minutes of our hour and then we came back and now I've got two minutes but I don't type all that fast okay yes I do but not enough time to tell a story kthxbye)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/19/13

REAL QUICK ABOUT THE MASS E'MAIL: I haven't had much time to do that over the last two weeks, but seeing as there were three great developments, I'll at least send some pictures.

So, about the week. It was the busiest one we've had in a while - we got 20 lessons taught in one day (the last one we taught was at like... 9:15 at night; we didn't really get a new investigator out of it though), and on Tuesday we had to get new insoles for my companion (as he has flat feet, as we recently discovered). I also finally finished Jesus the Christ - such a great book. But now, I'm going back to focusing on the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel and Church magazines (if you could send me the August Ensign, that'd be absolutely fantastic - Ensigns have more articles than Liahonas [international version of the Ensign], and I absolutely loved the Liahona for this month and would like my own copy).

Basically, the thing I'm focusing on is becoming a better teacher so as to further the Work of Salvation.

We had a Zone Conference (meeting of missionary companionships from many areas) the last week. Basically, the big theme was not doing Missionary Work, but the Work of Salvation, meaning working with Members, making it more likely for the people that we baptize will stay active in the church, and so on. That includes waiting until the Saturday after their second assistance to Church to baptize the investigators. The Work of Salvation basically means searching for and making converts, not just baptizing. It was a really good conference on Thursday... which was also the day we got the insoles.

...We hardly got anything done that day, but as President said, "If we're doing the Work of Salvation, we're not wasting time."

So, that's about what I've got for this week. We don't really have any investigators right now - we kinda dropped a lot of them. But that's okay - there's always someone waiting.

P.S. I make my own breakfast and cena (dinner). The comida (lunch) is usually provided by the members. And yes, I eat well :D


Well, we got three baptisms and three confirmations this week! (Insert Mega Smiley Face here). Just the confusing thing is... we haven't really brought ANYONE to Church since the change  began. And now it's week five. For those that don't know, going to Church at least twice is a requisite for baptism. These three had already gone a ton of times - but they mostly came because their Dad/husband was already a member. So... I have no idea how that works, other than miracles. OH WELL!

Also this week was quite exhausting. And I don't have much time left so my parents will put more details on the blog (you got homework now, Mom and Dad).

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Updates

(Written by editor)

Elder N didn't send a mass email this week, so we've copied and pasted several sections of the emails he wrote to his family. There are several links to the talks and book he references (in purple). You also get a sense for some of the things a typical missionary is doing during the week.

(In response to a question about how they find people to teach...)
Typically, we find people to teach through references and short street contacting periods or door contacting periods. We can't plan tracting (going door-to-door in search of people who might be interested in the message) in this mission, so we're always on the search for someone. In our small area about the size of T Ward and the old L G ward and a little bit more(approximately five square miles), we estimate that there are about 25,000 people in our area, because there are only really about 25 to 50 houses in the area and the rest of it are apartment buildings. 


You should probably ask J and M and Mom about my strange exploits over the week - moving the Sister Missionaries, carrying a mattress down five flights of stairs, etc. We did a lot of service, and it was great. 

I won't be going to the temple until the end of the Mission, but that's okay. ...Who am I kidding I really want to go to the temple. I miss going. That, and I read a story of a Hindu lady going to the temple today in the May Ensign - Elder Cook's talk about peace. I really enjoyed it, especially since I'd just finished reading the chapter in Jesus the Christ (by James E. Talmage) about the betrayal, Last Supper, and the beginning of the Atonement. The two together helped me learn about peace - something that'll be quite useful.

I also got the letters from everyone last Tuesday - it was quite delicious. I loved everyone's notes - especially M C's (Hi I here that theres a volcano near you hope your having fun - some of the original grammar and spelling kept) (Editor's note: M is a 7-year-old girl in my Primary class who wrote a letter to Joseph during our class last month--cutie-pie!). And the talk about hope by President Uchtdorf was incredible, too. I spent an entire hour studying that one day.

Also, I'm hunting down some Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Tazos right now - the current series is based off of Cartoon Network shows. Oddly enough, the Powerpuff Girl Tazos are quite bawssome(boss+awesome....according to the experts here). ...Weird.

Anyways, last week was quite weird. With all the stuff we had to do we barely had time to work in our area, so we didn't get much teaching done.

Unfortunately, that also means spiritual experiences were at a low this week. :( Although we did see about four baptisms yesterday, which was nice ('cause everyone we had committed to Church either flaked out or was no longer able to go and the schedules of a family we were going to baptise just didn't work out at all). Either way, yesterday was interesting, being tin the Church for about 11 hours and only leaving for food for like... half an hour or so.

But yeah, that was my week.

Thank you so much for supporting J while he is away. Wishing everyone well!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

BAPTISMS‏

(From 7/29/13 email)

Last night we taught three drunk guys in the street. They each came to us in line - as one left, the other came. We had two members with us, so that was... interesting.

Also... well, I'm practically out of time for the week. Just that Elder M now figures, along with Elder V, that I'll be married two months after the mission.

Frankly... I still figure it's impossible. (Editor's note: he's right...it's impossible, because I won't let him ;) )

Well, I'm pretty much out of time now, so I'll leave you with a "do work, do right, and do it well" or something like that. Someone prolly already said it.

Alright!

Elder N
funtimes

Week Something or Another: Already Co-Equal‏



(From 7/22/13 email)

So, changes happened today! Elder E left this area, and now I'm with Elder M. Also, I'm no longer Junior companion - we're co-equals. Not entirely sure what that means.

But that's okay, 'cause we're going to baptise five people this week! We were going to baptise 3 yesterday, but one of them never showed up (sixth week in a row), and the other two... well, one of them wasn't feeling well (and I think she might've had some doubts still, about Joseph Smith - but she's accepting him a lot more now, which means she's also accepting the Savior a lot more) and she wanted to do it at the same time as her son, so they postponed for a week. They still want to get baptised though, and they're really good, too - what other investigator offers to feed the missionaries before they're even baptised?

The other two are both named R. And both of them went out of town... BUT WE STILL ARE GOING TO BAPTISE FIVE THIS WEEK!

Also... well, that's about it in terms of people we're working with. With the help of the Lord and the Spirit, we'll also be able to baptise three or four more this week as well. If that is to happen, though, there will need to be at least one trip to T.

Also about the son of the sister I mentioned. He loves Minecraft (kinda unfortunate for me. I miss that game), and knows how well I draw. So, to help motivate him (interview, in specific), I offer drawings. Of Minecraft, Despicable Me 2, or things like that. THE DRAWINGS HELP! :D I love being able to use my talents to help out.

Anyways, I got other e-mails to write, so I'll see y'all later.

Love,

Elder N

P.S. I should've turned on flash. OH WELL:

WEEK 21: ATTACHMENTS‏

(From 7/8/13 email)


Turns out, President W was on a first name basis with Elder Holland (but then he became Elder Holland and wanted to show the proper respect). And he's hilarious.















This pic is of terribly translated things I found in T (the place where we marry people; long story that I'll forget someday but that's okay it's not that great).

So that's all I got time for. Exceeeeeeeept... IDK. That's about it. I think I'm allergic to cats now, so that's new. No idea when that happened.

Also yeah. I don't know; not really much new happened this week.

Except we brought an amazing family to church and the brother of the mom, a guy who we (not me, C) baptized a month ago and gives us free hamburgers on occasion gave his testimony during the meeting. That's all for this week, 'cause now I'm out of time.

LATER!

Week 20: No, I Need to Two-Up you.‏

(From 7/1/13 email)

"You just need to one-up me, don't you?" asked Elder E.

"No, I need to two-up you," I replied.
---
"What a tanning-bed jerk!" - Elder E
---
You all know about the Mexican Novelas, right? (Editor's note: they're the same thing as our soap operas.) Sometimes, when we're ordering foods, the people are watching them. We then follow up by insulting the actors, the characters, and the rain falling out of holes in an off-screen bucket. We've said a lot of funny things during these short periods.

Anyways, pic this week:
Ripped shirt.



YUP. Things are going good here.

Go on a mission, give your missionaries references, and be sure to be nice to that little raccoon eating your lunch right now.

LATER, Y'ALL!

Elder  N

(Really) Week 19: My Saturday Breakfast‏

(From 6/24/13 email)

Look at this deliciousness:


Pancakes. With peanut butter. With syrup. It was so delicious. Thank you Mom for sending me the peanut butter.

Anyways, this week I'm telling you about food. Why? Because people like giving us food. We have a recent convert with a burger stand. He makes us burgers. We also have an investigator that makes plátanos fritos. Basically, fry a sliced banana, throw strawberry jelly on it, chocolate sprinkles, some creams, caramel, and an occasional deep-fried banana, and you've got one delicious desert. They're right next to each other, too.

But anyways, there's more. President V has reached the end of his service, and that means President W (a friend of Dad's Uncle R) is arriving. Changes are coming!

Well, what else have I got? ...I still don't miss hills. Found that out last week.

I also drew a monster. He's called ebenezer and it must always be written like that. ebenezer ruins everything. you'll find out what he looks like next week.

Something that I find funny is when it rains. It cools down quite a bit here, and whenever we meet some locals around here while it's raining, they see me and Elder E in our short sleeve shirts and they almost always ask, "¿No tienen frio?" meaning, "Aren't you cold?"

No. No we aren't. They're freezing their faces off, wearing these thick and heavy coats (or at least a sweater), and we're thinking, "This is perfect! Why can't it be like this all day and all night?" Well, I can't read Elder E's mind... yet... but I know I'm thinking it. I love the rainy season.

Well, that's about all I think. Pancakes, hamburgers, fried bananas, ebenezer, and freezing locals and melting Americans. And a new President that will come. Pretty good week.

I also drank at least 5.5 liters of apple soda this week. One 3 liter bottle and one 2.5 liter bottle that I can get refilled for like... 10 pesos or something.

I should probably stop before I get diabetes.

And also I talk in my sleep.


And also not really that was all.

Elder N

No not really. HI!