Monday, June 24, 2013

Opening Doors: Doing Whatever It Takes

COLUMBIA, Md. — Maryland is great but holy cow, can you say hot?!? This whole week has been high 80's almost 90's and high humidity. I was talking to a mail lady and was asking her how her day was. She said good and she was enjoying the weather. I said oh man, I am not used to it yet. She told me I better enjoy it while it lasts.  Apparently, its going start getting into the 90's and 100's with high humidity the rest of the summer. I am doing fine amazingly with the heat but wow, it is a different type of hot than Utah that is for sure. In fact, I am sweating just sitting here typing this to you.

So, what is new with you family? What are you all up to? I hope summer is great and you are having fun and smiling lots. 

This week was quite a busy week, but weirdly enough, one of the harder weeks with not very many lessons. Funny thing about Hispanic people, they usually don’t answer the door, even though you can hear them or see them. It’s quite a regular thing here and every time it happens, I want to give them a big smile and say I HAVE WHAT YOU NEED!

This week, Hermana Brown and I developed a new game plan for the door. We stand there smiling and waving, so when they look through the peep whole they see how nice we are and they have to answer the door. Oh dear, the things you do as missionaries. Let me tell you a little about my week here:

Hermana Brown got her Visa!! Bahhhhhh! So excited for her! They wanted her to leave tomorrow morning but President convinced them to let her stay 3 more weeks since she is training.

Do you know what that means? Either,  A-) I am going to be training a new Spanish sister next transfer, or B-) I am going to be switched with the other sisters in an English area.  Crazy. I don’t know what the plans are yet, but I will let you know when I know more. Hermana Brown heads to Salta Argentina on July 15! :)

Learning How to Eat a Mango
I am pretty sure I wrote to you about the Rivera family earlier. The mom, Alma, is a less active and her daughters are nonmembers. Her daughters were on date to be baptized on my birthday (how cool would that be).  But sadly, they are off date now because they are not coming to church. They like the messages and they understand a lot, but they are just not understanding the changes they need to make in life and why church is so important.  That is a common thing with a lot of people we visit. They are living the Gospel, minus the going to church part. No Bueno! 

But, on a happy note, we got to teach just Alma this week and we definitely "won her heart." She opened up to us a lot. We had a great lesson with her about the Book of Mormon and prayers. The Spirit was definitely present and she could feel it. It was really neat to see her smile and talk about the Gospel. She doesn’t remember a lot because she went less active when she was 11. But we are working with her and her daughters a lot. They have a lot of potential! I would be so happy to see them baptized and dressed all in white.

We are also teaching Alma English, which is interesting. It is fun, but I never realized how hard English is to explain. English is weird! We were trying to tell her how to say estoy emocionada in English (I am excited!) but she couldn’t pronounce excited until we wrote it out phonetically in Spanish (exaithed). Then she got it!  It's going to be an adventure for us all, and a great learning experience. She is also helping me with my Spanish, which is great.
This is for My Dad
Spanish is going well. Some days are better than others, of course. Some days, I let fear get in my way, which is not good, but the days I just try and use the Spirit and open my mouth, my Spanish is good and I can communicate. That is what I am working on now: trusting and speaking the language and not being afraid. The people are really nice and love to help and correct you. They love it when they see white girls speaking Spanish — its great!

Our mission is focusing on bringing a lot of less active members back along with new investigators. We have a lot of people in our branch that are less active and so a big focus is on them, so right now we only have a few investigators. The work is definitely moving forward! It breaks my heart to see people who had the Gospel, and then just walk away from it. I have seen it so many times this week, and it makes me want to cry. That is why we are looking for real growth and conversion, not just testimonies.

Not everyone wants to hear our message, but that is okay. God expects us to share it anyways, until we find those who are prepared to receive it. I know he is preparing people because I have already met some of them. I know he is preparing them here for me in Maryland as well as in Buenos Aires. The Lord's timing is amazing!!!!

We had a missionary broadcast yesterday, which was great. There are 70,000+ missionaries out right now! Can you believe it? Missionaries are definitely needed, that is for sure. As more are coming out, the Lord is preparing more people.  The Gospel is spreading and reaching many people all over the world. It is amazing to think about. 


The broadcast really focused on unity of members and missionaries. Members are truly how this work gets to people, the missionaries are just tools to help! I know that the members in our branch are the reason we have people to teach. Make sure you are helping the missionaries in your area. The Lord expects all of us to be missionaries. We were predestined for this work! 

As part of Abraham’s seed, we are called to the work! Make sure you are doing it! Invite people to activities, or over for dinner or whatever means you need to do. Make sure you are being a servant of the Lord even if you aren’t called as a full time missionary. I know you can do it and I want to hear how it goes for you all. Alma 8:31-32 (Use the spirit, God will direct you!- We are all missionaries called to this work! Don’t forget)

I can't express how much I love this Gospel and missionary work! It is blessing my life, and many people here in Maryland. God's plan is perfect and He wants all of us to know it and follow the plan. This week I want to commit each of you to choose someone (less active or non member) and do missionary work! Serve them, love them, teach them, whatever takes. Will you do it?  Make sure to tell me about the miracles you see. I know if you ask God for miracles and watch for them, you will see them!

Have a wonderful week! I love you so much! :) You are amazing and such good examples to me! Keep smiling, do what is right. Life is good!

-Hermana Newman

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Language of the Spirit

COLUMBIA, Md. — I keep telling myself that I am going to keep getting better at this whole email thing, but to be honest I don’t think I will ever be good at it because my brain can’t think as fast as I type. This is a stressful hour on the internet ;) I love it because I get to hear from you all.

CONGRATS to Brittany and Sammy for passing the NCLEX! What an accomplishment you smarties. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Ok my week: What a week. The weather is crazy here! We have had to come in twice this week for storms. One for a tornado warning and one for a hurricane-type thing, which was kind of cool. No damage here, just ridiculous weather mostly. 

I have had a lot of new experiences this week. I played soccer in a skirt with some kids, which was fun. Everyone asks me my nationality, which makes me chuckle. The most common reply I get is, where in South America are you from? hmmm... Try Utah! They can't believe it still.

We get fed a lot here. The branch loves having sisters. There is only one problem; Latinos feed you SO much food. I am afraid I am going to be una gordita when I get home. The food is very tasty but it is the worst when we get fed two dinners. Because you cannot say no to food in the Hispanic culture, they are really offended. I have had several men hit on me this week, which is gross and awkward. 

No thank you, MISSIONARY,  HELLO! ;)

This week was great. Had a lot of ups and downs. Sunday was probably my hardest day. It was my first week in the Spanish Branch. I didn’t understand a thing, but, on a positive note, five of our less active members came to church :)  I also found out that Hermana Brown and I are the new Gospel Principles teachers... yep in Spanish. Pray for me. My Spanish isn’t horrible but it definitely needs some work.

I never cease to be amazed with the Lord and the miracles he gives me every day. Somehow, I am able to teach people and help people daily — in Spanish — and it makes sense. 

I like what President Monson says, something like, "We all have one language in common. The languageof the Spirit." How true that is! I have noticed if I see everyone like Christ does, and love them with Christlike love, they are able to feel the Spirit, and it doesn’t matter how good or bad my Spanish is. God is watching out for the missionaries, for sure. He wants the Gospel to move forward. It is such a great opportunity and an honor to be one of his servants right now. How blessed we are to have the Gospel.

Sorry this is kind of a lame email but we went into Baltimore today, and I don’t have much time to write. I love you all! Keep doing what you are doing. Find people in your area who need the gospel. Missionaries NEED the members! Give them help please

Love you long time

-Hermana Newman

Monday, June 10, 2013

My 8:55 Miracle

COLUMBIA, Md. — Yep, made it through my first week in Baltimore :) I can hardly believe I am actually out in the field now. Seems so weird, but I absolutely love it.

Before I give you the details about Maryland, let me first say Thank you, Dad! You are a lifesaver for calling the mission home and telling president we were coming on Monday. They had no idea! We would have been stuck at the airport if you didn’t call so thanks again.

My area is called Columbia, Maryland. Our area is pretty big because it covers the whole stake. I like it, but it is hard because we have a limited amount of miles and no bikes. All the other missionaries have bikes to ride but we don’t since we are visa waiters. My companion is also a visa waiter. Her name is Hermana Brown. She is waiting for her visa for the Argentina Salta mission. She has only been here six weeks, but she is my trainer. She is great and we get along really well.

What's for lunch? Beans and green beans!

Do you want to hear the craziest thing ever?!? Hermana Newman and Hermana Brown are the first Spanish Sister missionaries in the Maryland Baltimore Mission EVER! What an honor! The Lord expects a lot out of us, but I know that we can do it! It’s kind of hard because we are both really new, the only Spanish sisters and we are white washing (being in a new area without either companion having previously been there). Welcome to the mission field Hermana Newman :) It is great though!

Really love it, no complaints here. The East Coast is great! WAY different than the West Coast, but I am getting used to it. I am definitely not in Utah anymore though.

Rain in Maryland. Wet and hot!

There are a lot of things to tell you and my brain is trying to work a mile a minute. I am in the Columbia Maryland 3rd Spanish Branch. It is a wide area, but it is fun and I already love the Latino people. They are so kind and LOVE having sisters. They always have elders, so to have sisters in the area is their favorite thing ever.

We get dinner almost every night, which is nice, and it tastes amazing. Hispanic people sure know how to cook! I better get in all the Hispanic food before I head to Argentina, because I hear the food there is more Italian. 

Anyway, I am being well taken care of. A lot of the members think I am Mexican and are surprised when I tell them I am from Utah and am just learning Spanish. Hahah! I love the looks on their faces when I tell them I am English and Swedish. Good times!  

I can't think of what else to tell you besides an awesome story. So that is what I will end with, I suppose until next week.

Miracles do happen. I have seen them a lot in the MTC and out here in Maryland. We had one on the 8th. I like to call it my 8:55 Miracle. :) 

It was a hard day. We didn’t get out of the apartment until around 1:30 because of all of our studies which include: Personal, companion, Preach My Gospel, language study and then 12 week training. Once we were out and driving and walking around, we were not having a lot of luck. Everywhere we went, it seemed like no one was home or they weren’t interested. A few times we knocked on some less-active member's doors. We could hear them inside, but they didn’t come. They ignored us. We could tell they were by the door looking out at us and then didn’t open the door. That is hard! It is hard to share the gospel with people that don’t want to listen. My companion was getting a little down and you could tell it was taking a toll on her. But, of course me being me, I kept smiling and being optimistic. I would crack a few jokes here and there and let her know it was going to be all right.

We were able to talk with some English people and give some cards. It was a great day to talk with people, but nobody seemed interested. We eventually got to meet with a less-active and talk with her a bit, teach a lesson and make a return appointment. We still had 30 minutes left until it was time to head home. We were in the parking lot and my companion asked me what I thought we should do for the last 30ish minutes. I wasn’t sure so I said... lets go do some service! We walked around looking for people. It was 8:55 and we walked up to our car to get the stuff we needed in the apartment. We were talking a little bit and a car pulled up behind us. A woman got out of the car and was getting stuff out of her trunk. Without hesitation we were over there offering help.

She initially said no she was fine, but I told her I would be happy to help and we grabbed her cooler and some bags. We took it up to her apartment. She smiled and asked us to come inside to visit with her. I was amazed and so excited. We began talking, and it turns out she is a very religious person. 

Long story short, we were able to talk with her and set up a return appointment. The cool thing is she lives in our apartment complex. Her name is Ada, she is a nurse and loves life because God is in her life and helps her. It was a tender mercy to me that we got to meet her and teach her a little bit. The miracle was that as we were about to leave she told us she was from Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish. When she said that, I was so thrilled and had the chills. The thing is, Hermana Brown and I are only allowed to teach Spanish people. Yes, This was my miracle at 8:55. Ada is ready for the Gospel and the Lord’s timing is perfect! 

There are no coincidences, and I know that we were supposed to meet her. I learned a good lesson about trust and faith that night: If you trust in the Lord and have faith, he will bring miracles. Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles. I was able to witness a miracle 5 minutes before the day was over. How great this Gospel is! I love it! I love being a missionary!

My time is up, but I hope you all know I love you. Have a wonderful week!

Te Amo

-Hermana Newman :)