Saturday, June 28, 2014

Long Story Short: THINGS HAPPENED.‏

That's what I've been saying to my Financial Secretary Replacement recently. There is a lot of stuff that happened within the past few weeks that have gotten arranged and are still continuing, and sometimes, it's somewhat sensitive information and sometimes it's a TL;DR (too long; didn't read) kind of deal, and sometimes, it's a "Well it's already been arranged and I don't really want to remember that, so... long story short, Things Happened."

And that is how it happened.

For our meal today, we went to someone's "house" - more like vacation resort.

That's just the pool. You can't see: the tennis court, the nearby AMERICA, and the "Am I really in Mexico?" across the street. It feels like Utah or Southern California over there.

As for me... what have I been up to? WHY, THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION. I've been training the missionary that's going to replace me as financial secretary. As such, I've been kinda bored, since in the offices, there are only two things to do: computer work and busy work. And since I've been training the guy, having him do both, if there's no computer available I've got very little to do.

Like spinning around in a chair. Or reading talks (which I like to do, but I can't sit and read for hours on end still). Or doodling. Or any number of non-productive tasks or short-lived productive tasks because I do them so fast. I've got to figure out something better to do.

Anyways, if everything goes according to plan, I should be leaving the offices a week from Monday and going to the state of Michoacan, to the branch of Maravatio. Probably. But, if there's anything I've learned by being in the offices, it's that things rarely go exactly as according to plan and that A LOT can happen in a mission in just a day, and especially in a week. A missionary can arrive, a missionary can leave, and if either of those two things happen, I could have a lot more time in the offices than I'm expecting.

Nevertheless, life is good and I'm really enjoying myself - or at least, learning how to be happier.

Thank you for all your support, direct, indirect, subconscious, or otherwise.


Elder Newman

Saturday, June 21, 2014


As the members of my District in the MTC will attest, I've been pining for a good match of racquetball for a very, very long time. Well, on Sunday (Happy late Father's Day everyone), I overheard a really nice member that works for Intel down here in Mexico talking about his apartment place, and about how they had stuff and a racquetball court. I only heard that last part. So, we talked with him, and then they pretty much signed up to let us play racquetball with their equipment in the court. It was incredibly fun, and a good way to excersize and relax and get out my frustrations. After about half an hour, I got a nice amount of skill back, and I left there saying, "WOW. WHY DIDN'T I KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER?"

(Sorry, no pics - didn't get that done). But here's some ridiculousness:

This is at 9:00 pm, right outside the offices.

Of course, it was the same at 10:00 pm and almost 11:00 pm. That's the one reason I don't want to live in the city.

Well, I also finished the Book of Mormon and started it again, and it's a fantastic and true book and all of you need to read it more. Probably.


Elder Newman

Saturday, June 14, 2014

These are Some Pretty Cool Pictures‏

​That was when we got soaked by walking in the rain. The streets were literally rivers. This was actually from a while ago.

This is from this week:

​I actually look like a secretary in this picture! And that was a crazy day. I will always remember that this was a crazy day because I had to bring my breakfast to the offices (as you can see by the peanut butter and jelly in the background and my sloppy desk - oh wait, that last part is normal...) I helped take President Whitehead's daughter to the airport, called Salt Lake City to talk about the problem we were having with IMOS and the missionary cards, and so on and so forth that day. And more!

And then today I made a true Mexico style quesadilla: tortilla, prepared the meat, everything!

​And it tasted really good, too, with good cheese, ¡chorizo [sausage], lechuga [lettuce], salsa verde que pica un poco [mildly spicy green salsa], y una tortilla de maíz bien [good corn tortilla] 

¿Ya soy mexicano? Pues, no, pero casí he llegado a este punto. Aunque yo sea güero. [Am I Mexican? Well, no, but I've gotten to this point. Even though I am a white guy.]

I'll just probably have to go find cheap shirts and whatnot around here soon - pants, rather. It'll probably be better than having to go get them sewed up and refitted - almost every pair of jeans I have now has at least a small hole in it or another, and my shirts... well, those are doing fine. It's the pants that I need more of.

Anyways, what else is new? Laura's baptism was fantastic - Elder Christensen, one of the assistants, and I did a trio singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" with the first, fourth, and fifth verses, starting the fifth  a capella or however it's spelled. Supposedly, we did a very good job. So I guess I'll be joining the choir someday... you win. [Mom's only been trying to talk him into it for many years.]

Thanks for all your support!


Elder Newman

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Evidently, That Costs Money‏

Elder Christensen and I decided to go see the Castle of Chapultepec today. There are some wonderful sights out there - like these:

​No idea who that weird kid is in that last one.

But yes, we were thinking, "Oh cool! Free, super-famous museum like the Smithsonian!"

Nope. That costs money.

Also, I've been wondering - why can't they make auto-fitting pants? I've lost 40 pounds here in the mission; none of my pants fit me anymore. I think I'm the only secretary in the past who knows how long that's lost weight - and I barely even do any push-ups in the mornings! And my shirts are huge, too. Everything I have (except for my new suit, my 15-month-old--but-still-running-strong shoes, and my 15-month-old-and-also-still-running-strong socks) is too big for me.

I kinda feel like that's one of those "first world issues" kind of problems.

That and I think I have only 2 or 3 pairs of jeans that don't have holes in them. Large, gaping holes, that is. All of them are slightly broken. That means I've lost count of how many pants I've ripped. It's more than 10.

Anyways, we've got a baptism planned tomorrow - her name is Laura - the one with whom we had the super amazing spiritual Restoration lesson so much time ago. One of the assistants told me that she bore her testimony for ten minutes, talking about Joseph Smith and the commandments and so on and so forth before he could even begin the interview. She's amazing - and I'm so glad she's taking this step, at long last. Does that mean our work here is done? ¡Para nada! (Not in the slightest!)

There're more people we've got to find, more brothers and sisters drifting in the world with a need to come to Christ. They need this light, we've got to find them, we've got to help them know that they need this light, and help them reach forth and take a hold to it. And then, when all is said and done, they bring others to the light, and in the end, they live as an eternal family in the kingdom of God.

That's pretty much what our job is out here.

I love the mission, I really do. I can't imagine where I'd be or what I'd be doing without it. I've learned so much; I wouldn't return to the beginning of the mission if I had to forget all I've learned. If I could remember it and return to the beginning... well, what am I waiting for? Sadly, that's not an option. Probably because timey-wimey wibbly wobbly stuff would break.

Well, I'm almost out of time, and hope that this email finds all of you well and happy!

Elder Newman