Monday, March 25, 2013

Week Eight: Three Baptisms!

Hey, everyone! They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'm going to bombard you all with them.

Baptisms (results of Sister Missionary work), bashed up knees, the area (on the outskirts of M City), and a nasty sunburn that I got Thursday and has yet to go away. It's almost gone, however.

Things here have been a roller coaster of emotion. It seems that every hour brings a new emotion - happiness, sadness, or, as is most common, exhaustion. I'm going to right now exhort anyone who has yet to go on a mission to start physically preparing themselves to do so. There are two directions in my area: Uphill and Uphill, but only later.

The people seem nice enough, and so far my money has been spent on two things: water and transportation (thank goodness for buses). I can only send one e-mail a week as well, and if you're receiving this as a forwarded e-mail, it's because I wanted to send some personal things to my parents (as is the case with this email).

My first companion is a native, and the language is coming along pretty well. Occasionally I can't understand, or on other occasions, I can't find the words, but otherwise, I feel pretty good about it. The area is called N.

Also, I live in a casita that we need to go through a thin alleyway to get to. So that's fun. We also don't get gas, so no hot water (by normal means) or anything to cook with. Except a microwave.

Also, we do pouch mail here, meaning I get mail once a week. You'll have to send it to the Mission Office.

Well, that's all I got. Later! 

Friday, March 15, 2013


...and by carrier, I mean to say my travel plans. Here we are:
1. Arrive at Travel Office by 3 A.M. on Monday.
2. Catch 6:00 a.m. flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.
3. Arrive at 9:45 their time; wait about 2 hours for next flight.
4. Fly in to Mexico City Juarez International at around 1:35 p.m. their time.
And that's about it. So I went to the consolate on Wednesday. That was pretty fun - we met someone who was a convert in India, went on a mission there (almost was burned alive during that time, but that's all I know about that), and was sealed in the Hong Kong Temple, and is going to the LDSBC up here to learn dentistry and get his family over here while he's in school. He was a really cool guy. We also later talked for about 45 minutes with a guy that served in Argentina in Spanish (some English parts, but otherwise, entirely Spanish. And I understood him [almost] perfectly!)
In addition to those really cool people we met, it turns out that someone was hit by a train ahead of us, causing us to get delayed (due to previous events, we were already late to our next train). So what they have us do is wait for some amount of time, and then we get loaded onto a bus (where we met the Indian guy) to get to the next tram station. We get on the tram and then ride the train back to Provo, where the MTC picks us up. We were supposed to get back at 6:30-ish, but we didn't return until 8:30 - and we still hadn't had dinner yet. Elder Hamm said that the real world was terrifying - but I have to disagree. (I really want to get into the field - good thing I'm leaving Monday!). The trip was good for a myriad of reasons, among which were good Spanish practice and meeting real people.
The various photos are of various things. One of them's my District, the other's one of the district and one of our teachers, and other things, including your weekly Banana Art.

So, family, I'm sending you a package. It includes various things, most notably some Spanish things (including a Santa Biblia and study things) as well as a lot of drawings. I think you'll enjoy them all.
Speaking of packages, I've received a lot - I've gotten some from Grandma DeeAnne, Grandpa and Grandma Newman, and from the family. I appreciate all of them! (Although I'm drowning in sweets and cookies halp)
So, really quick last thing. Remember Jacob 7:26? The part where it says "and it seemed unto us that our [time in the MTC] passed away as if it were a dream" or something like that part? Yeah, those are my exact sentiments right now.
Well, I'm running out of time, and my P-Days will be on Monday now, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to not expect anything from me next week. At least, not in letter form.
Called to serve Him, Heavenly King of Glory. Chosen 'ere to witness for His name. Glad of heart, His holy name confessing, praises unto him I bring!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elder Newman Touches Down in Mexico City

"He arrived in perfect condition." This is what Pres. Villarreal said in the email he sent with a picture...what a relief!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week Five: Almost Done!‏


My, how the tables have turned... my companion is now sick. Not nearly as bad as I was, but he's pretty bad in the mornings, so that's not good. But before I get going, let me show y'all my banana art of the week:
I did have something better made, but I forgot that I had my camera on me, so I didn't take a picture of it. Shame, too - that one was a true masterpiece. And here's my last picture: my medicine shelf:
And then I finished off that bottle of cough syrup and had to get another one - of course, according to my luck, I only needed to use it about three times before I figured I didn't need it any more. Although it really did help - thank goodness for modern medicine.

Speaking of which, here's my Wish List, Mom and Dad:
- The MoTab's 100th anniversary collection (It has a huge 100 on the front - they used to have it in the bookstore, but I haven't seen it since I saw it that one time that I never mentioned.)
- Shoeshine kit. I can't find mine.
- More of that daytime/nighttime cold stuff. My companion's been using mine, to I'm running low.
Anyways, back to events of the week. I got my Spanish scriptures and hymnal engraved, so that's good, and on top of that, my companion (Elder Hamm, in case y'all don't remember) and Elder Gerber (in my district) are going to get their visas today. I, on the other hand, know nothing of my visa, so there appear to be good odds that I might get reassigned.
The Spanish is going very well - I think I've got the subjunctive mood down, so now it's mostly getting the pronunciation absolutely correct (my rr's, I think, are coming along pretty well).
That's about all I've got for now. One more week and I'm out of here, off to (hopefully) Mexico City or somewhere else within the United States.
Elder Newman

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Week Four Has Passed...

Fri 3/01/13 

...and to be honest, it was awful. Not because of the classes, but rather what was going on inside me. To make a long story short: I more or less caught bronchitis (the doctors here never said that, but I saw one of them write the word down in his notes, and the medicine they gave me was more or less designed for bronchitis). I spent $27 on medicine alone this week.
So on Monday, my companion and I went over to the health clinic and the doc gave me some benzonate or benzonatate or something like that (an overdose could put me into a coma :D). After the first dose, I was absolutely wiped - I was sitting in the computer labs more or less figuratively dead - so we did an exchange and I went back to the dorm for the rest of the night.
By the time Wednesday rolls around, not only have I been bedridden since Monday, but it's pretty clear that my medicine isn't helping me in the slightest - and to makes things worse, my cough was getting more violent - but I also missed a devotional by M. Russell Ballard (of course - the one week I don't show up to choir with my companion and an Apostle shows up). That aside, I don't even know how many times my companion said I sounded like death - and to be honest, I'm surprised he was able to get to sleep with how often and bad I was coughing. I did wake him up in the middle of the night once, however.
So Thursday rolls around, and I'm still coughing up lungs. I get dressed (because at this point, I'm like "These meds don't work doc give me something better"), go to the health clinic, more or less go through the same process, and then I'm given three meds that cost me a grand total of $27. Thank goodness the price never goes higher than $10 here. So I take those meds, and then I begin feeling a lot better - it may well be that I'll be ready to go to class tonight. That would be wonderful - I miss class, and evidently one of my teachers thinks I'm legitimately dead. I could be wrong, however.
Also Mom, here is a picture I think you were looking for (it's the only picture I've got - I was sick all week):
As per your request, I said hi to Sister Rex. Although to be honest, it was her that said hi to me because she heard someone call out my name and then mental train and then this happened and now I'm writing an e-mail and now you know my entire week. That and I broke one of the buttons on my suit coat - and the top button, which is the important button. So now I need to find myself a toothpick so I can get that done so I can wear a suit coat properly and yay.
Honestly though, that's all I've got.

Okay maybe not. Here's more banana art.

Also Spanish scriptures in a scripture case.
Honestly though, that's it. I've got nothing else.

Week Three and Pictures

Fri 2/22/13

This was actually me on the second night. Already seems like a long time ago to me.

This is my District - my companion is the one on the right. Temple Walks on Sundays are chaotic, but still fun nonetheless. Also, the Temple's cafeteria is amazing.

This is the culmination of things that I've learned here at the MTC: Banana Art. This is the third version; I didn't have a camera for the first two. They only get more amazing.

This is a new character that I made. I just wanted to show my bros this one because I thought they'd enjoy it.

Anyways, on to the news. My Spanish has been coming along pretty well, and I'm used to the food again. Our first "Investigator" has unveiled himself to be one of our teachers (someone told me at the beginning of the MTC stay what was going on, so I knew all along), and he's turned out to be one of my favorites. I've also learned a fair amount of teaching investigators, and thank goodness the Lord is helping us, because I've got a long way to go. Despite this, I'm ready and eager to get down to Mexico - I really hope my visa comes in on time.
I've also been sick this week. Sore throat, runny nose, aches... it hasn't been fun, but it's been getting better. For the most part.
So yeah... that's about all I've got, aside from the pictures and whatnot. The weeks are very similar; the schedule's always the same.
One of the Sisters in my district reminded me that got a haircut today. Also, I'm still in the Choir, albeit against my will. That's pretty much the only time I don't like the "be with your companion 24/7," but hey, it guarantees me a seat in the Tuesday night devotionals, so I can't complain too much.
Hope to hear from y'all soon (preferably through Dear Elder 'cause I get to read your replies sooner and it makes me happy and it gives me your addresses)!
-Elder Newman

Week Two

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 11:28:01 -0700
Subject: Week Two
I got so many e-mails over the past week that I only have 12 minutes to write this. Not that that's a bad thing, but that's still a lot of e-mails to read (especially since because some of them, when I replied to them, autofowarded to me).  
A lot has happened over the past week, and "Missionary Time" is definitely beginning to take effect. It reminds me of that scripture in Jacob 7 that I read last night but won't type out because I'm running out of time (Dad, when this gets forwarded, can you put that in somewhere? Thanks Jacob 7:26..."...and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."). I've also learned more over the past week than I have in the past year regarding missionary work. Okay, that might be a lie, but I've learned a load of stuff. Also, when it comes to Spanish, I think I've got all the tenses down except for the past Subjunctive. I learn that one, strengthen my knowledge about those, and then everything's good as gold.
In terms of updates, my district of 10 is amazing as always and I look forward to learning more with them - I just wish that the Spanish lessons would cover stuff that's actually new to me. Oh well - I've still got to learn words, so I guess I can look at those. We were also able to go to the Temple today, as well as eat in the Cafeteria there. And let me just say that the food there was DELICIOUS. I wish I could go everyday for everything that they've got there.  Also, the district is loaded with inside jokes. Speaking of which, I was also able to make a successful Avatar: the Last Airbender reference today - Fire Nation, attack, themesong, that little bit.
P-Days are amazing; I just wish I could send y'all pictures of stuff here. I also wish that I had more than half an hour to mess around with e-mail. Half an hour is not long enough for me to type in Spanish  and all these other things that I've got to do. Honestly, there's so much going on that I can't even keep it all in my Journal - of course, that might also be because I only get about half an hour to write in that, too.
Alright, I've got less than five minutes left and another email to read. I can't wait to get down to Mexico and begin preaching the Gospel - I'm no too worried about the language, just whether or not I'll be able to know what the Investigators need to hear (which is more or less what we're learning in my classes right now). Also, speaking of classes, I'll need to send the schedule in the mail sometime.
Gotta go because time is short,
Elder Newman
 P.S. I like receieving things through Dear Elder the best because it means I get it either the same day you write it or the day after you write it. GRACIAS KEYBOARD SMASH INITIATED aopsdfiapsdo fuahp[sdfah8 sdfpauiofaisdf aSDOFJER(P ifj'EFIJ