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

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