Monday, January 27, 2014

Mountains to Climb

TEMPERLEY, Argentina — Well, hello, lovely people. How are you? I am doing just fabulous! Life is so great and I am so blessed to be here. It has been a great week with lots of work, miracles, craziness — the whole shebang.

First off, thank you, whoever prayed for cooler weather. I quite enjoyed it. I got to wear my hair down for 3 whole days! That is a miracle in and of itself. Me and Hermana Calderon are doing great and working hard. This week we had exchanges again. I was super nervous because she left me here in my area alone. No big deal, right? Well to all of you, I would just like to say that I do not have a GPS here. But all went well. Know what is better than a GPS? The Holy Ghost! Yep, got to all of our appointments and meetings and everything and with good timing AND using buses. Woah!

Hermana Newman and Hermana Calderon

I still don’t know my area super duper well, but I can at least get around without Hermana Calderon. This week she is going to teach me a little more about the roads and how they are sequenced here (They are a little random to be honest).

I want to share a little miracle we had yesterday evening. We were looking for an old investigator when we accidentally found Dario. No accident there: always part of God's plan. Anyways, he told us he didn’t know who we were looking for, but he had probably moved. So we told him we were representatives of Jesus Christ and were here to share a message with him. We asked him when would be a good time to come back and share the message with him. 

He looked at us and said, "Do you have time now?" 

After we came out of shock, we immediately said, "Yes, of course we have time."

Hermana Newman in front of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple

 He invited us in and we started to talk about his family and beliefs in God. He has a very interesting life story. His parents died when he was seven. He was the only survivor of the car accident. I can’t even imagine his feelings. But what I do know is that the message I have to share can help him with any struggle or challenge. 

The meeting went well and he invited us back on Tuesday. Yes, I am aware this may seem a little miracle. But can I just tell you how grateful I am for little miracles like this everyday? They make the difference in everything! Heavenly Father knows exactly what to do and where we need to be as missionaries and members. I feel sooo blessed to be a missionary and an instrument in the Lords hands. (Alma 29:9)

"The Mountain of the Lord" in Argentina

Okay, I gotta get going but I want to share one more thing with you. My new theme song :) Funny story, I found this song because of two Mexican Elders. They were listening to it in their car (pensi√≥neros have a car). It made me laugh because 1- they are boys and 2- they can't even understand the lyrics, but guess it doesn’t matter :) The message is the same and the Spirit can be felt. Go look it up if you want. It's awesome.

Life can be a blessing.
Life can be... lovely.
Don’t wanna miss it.
So take a deep breath
and see that you can smile
and make it through anything.
You really gotta mean it. Don’t pretend.
It all depends on how you see it.
There could be a storm outside but
inside I’m full of sunshine.
I know that it won’t be easy,
but I wanna be strong so give me.

Mountains to climb. Give me rivers to cross.
Give me
something that ́s gonna make me better than I was.
Give me
mountains to climb.
‘Cuz I know that is takin’ me higher
than I’ve ever been before.
Give me
mountains to climb.
Give me
mountains to climb.

Life can be amazing.
Life can take your breath away ev ‘ry day and
though it can be an upward climb
we can love ev ‘ry minute if we lift our eyes.
I know that it won’t be easy,
but it’s makin’ me strong so give me.

Oh, oh, it’s takin’ me higher
than I’ve ever been before.

Give me mountains to climb.

Have a wonderful week! Remember who you are and that God loves you! Guess what?!?! Me too! Love ya like crazy! Tear it up this week okay!? Go do something to help in the Lords work!

Con Amor,

Hermana Newman :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lessons in Argentine Culture

TEMPERLEY, Argentina - Hey family!!! HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Sorry for the mix-up on days but this week we had the wonderful opportunity to go to the temple here in Buenos Aires!!!! :) WOOOOO! We went to  the temple today and it was amazing to say the least. I haven’t been to the temple in nine months and I have missed it a lot. I just felt so happy the whole time and still cant stop grinning. I am at a different cyber today and it wont read my card so unfortunately no photos until next week. This week has been great as always.

Our ward really wants to strengthen the missionary work so we have decided to have classes and activities every week. At 6pm every Saturday we have classes of English and piano. Elder Agusto teaches piano and guess who teaches English.... yep me (ha the only person who can speak English in the ward).  We have only had one class so far but it went really well! I taught the alphabet, numbers and personal pronouns. It is fun to hear the people speak English. Their voices totally change. The activity went well and we had a great turnout. We played ¨voley¨ and futbol. bahaha never felt so “white girl” in my life. I need to work on my futbol skills for sure! Someday I will be good. lol It was  a great experience though and a lot of investigators, members and less actives came.

Mom asked me about siestas, food and a few other things here in Argentina.  
Yes, there are siestas during the day around 2-5 pm. It makes things interesting to say the least. The stores close down and everyone goes home to nap. So lucky us as missionaries we get to go wake everyone up fom their naps lol. Not everyone naps but a lot do.

The food is good. I like it pretty well. Everything is cold including rice, potatoes, veggies, because it is so hot here. I like it but I think I am going to love winter also.  I love the sun and all but I am  a winter type of girl! hee hee  

Our pension is pretty nice and I feel spoiled everyday. In Buenos Aires the lights and water get cut a lot because there are so many people needing electricity and water so they choose sections to cut for a bit. Interesting no? We have only been cut a few times but there are some missionaries who have gone a week without light and water. Good thing the church teaches us to be prepared and we have water in storage :)

The houses are waaaay different of course. Everyone has bars on the windows and fences. To ¨knock¨ on the door, we clap. haha seriously. Imagine me just chilling clapping my hands away... yep that is me. Alot of people don’t have bells and the door is too far away so we clap to get their attention. I love Argentina! Learning new things daily!!!

We have a baptism next week! :) Not Hinda, still working with the smoking with her but another investigator, Evelyn. She is solid. She is from a part member family. She is 9 years old and super duper smart, seriously. Working with part member families is great because she has the support of the ward and her family. She and her family are recent converts of about six months. I am really excited for her and the decision she is making, especially at such a young age. This week I have truly come to understand what it means to ¨become as a little child¨  SO important!! Working with Evelyn has made me realize it even more. Children are very Christ like, innocent and very smart and FULL of faith. That’s what I love the most... Evelyn’s faith. She is willing to put her faith to the test and ask her Heavenly Father if it’s right or wrong.

Well I wish I could share some photos because I have lots this week but unfortunately I can’t. Have a great week and enjoy. Smile and laugh lots for me! Remember who you are and whom you represent!!!

Con amor,

Hermana Newman :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Basketball and bugs

TEMPERLEY, Argentina — This week like many others has just flown by. I cannot even believe it. Argentina is as great as ever. Hot and sunny but sooooo good! I have had quite a few adventures this week and lots of hard work so I am nothing but smiles! :)

Let me start by just telling you a few of my adventures.

- I went on exchanges this week. Very fun! Two white girls in a new area makes for quite the adventure, let me just tell you. But luckily, it's not just two white girls — two white girls and the Holy Ghost is all ya need. We were able to talk to lots of people and get some new investigators. Whooo! It wasn’t my area, but it was great!

- Bugs love me! Mosquitoes galore, of course... what’s new. But my newest adventure... attack of the cockroach. Ewwww. (Juli you might squeal haha) I was drying off after my shower when I felt something weird on my face. SUPRISE- yep cockroach. I about died. I was surprised I didn’t scream just a silent panic attack. Good times.

Hermana Newman with the bishop's daughter

 - I got to play ¨basket¨ this week! I was so excited. I haven’t been able to play basketball in ages. It was lots of fun. One of the Elders looked at me and said, ¨Hermana Newman, you played basketball in high school didn’t you?" I laughed and smiled. Nope... Just with the Elders Quorum every Wednesday night. Thank you Bishop Frandsen and Elders Quorum.

- Rain here is crazy! I think I better go buy me some boots. The streets looked like a river and then it was super muddy. No complaints here. I’ve always loved playing in the mud.

- Lots of nurse calls this week. Bah!! I love being a missionary and I love being the nurse. Good times. Keeps me on my feet.

- We went to Capital Federal this week... yep Buenos Aires! Crazy. It was fun to go, but WOW... can you say big city? I would love to go back and visit one day, but I am pretty sure I am still the same old small town Hermana Newman. It was quite the adventure to get there as it almost took 3 hours on the colectivos. (buses) 

- I am absolutely positive there were more stories but my little brain has forgotten them. Sorry. Next week I will write my adventures down. I have at least one adventure every day. Livin' the life here in Temperley.

This week was great, like I said. We were able to visit with lots of people. My favorite part of the week was on Saturday. We had an open house for the church, since it was just rededicated. It was AMAZING! We invited everyone and their dog to come, and it was a pretty good turn out. (The picture I sent was of the ward members who came out to support the activity) It was like a little mini visitors center, but at the church. Each room had different information for the different auxiliaries. Hermana Calderon and I had the job of a little tour/mini discussion. There were three boards that had pictures on them, front and back. I don’t know if you can imagine that or not. Anyways, it was basically the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, families and temples. We got to tell people about all of it in a mini tour. It was kinda fun, I felt like a visitor center sister. Those sisters are awesome, let me just tell you! It takes some skill! 

The ward after its open house.

But yes, great turn out. We even got some referrals and new investigators. The Spirit was strong and I could not just help but smile big as ever. I love activities like this!

Then on Sunday, one of our investigators came to church again and she has a baptismal date for the 25 of this month! So excited for her. She is almost ready. Just gotta get her to stop smoking. 

Sara, Hermana Calderon and their "abuelita" investigator

 I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It changes people’s lives everyday — including mine. Heavenly Father sure is helping me change into the person he needs me to be! 

Life is good... oh so good! Thanks for all of your support and prayers. I love you all sooo much. Have a fabulous week. Keep it up, work hard!

Love ya long time,

-Hermana Newman

Monday, January 6, 2014

Suck it up Hermana Newman! No Pity Party. You are a Missionary.

Editors Note: Hermana Newman loves to throw Spanish around as if everyone reading this blog speaks Spanish! Where indicated, I have provided English Translations.. Silly Hermana Newman)

Mi Querido Familia!! (My Dear Family)
HOLA!!! So, I found out that I actually am not in Banfield. That is the name of my area. Ha! My area is pretty big like in Maryland. But I live in Temperley, Argentina. Fun fact: Heavenly Father loves me so much! I keep telling my companion that I want snow. She always says, give that dream up. Well, I didn’t get my snow. But I got rain... COLD rain. It was cooler for 2 whole days! Wahooo! My companion pulled out her long sleeve shirt. haha I was dying laughing. It wasnt cold at all, just a nice breeze. But today we are back in the oven! :) Woo!

This week was great. We had the rededication of the chapel. It is beautiful! I forgot this week, but next week I will try to take pictures. It is small but so pretty and just perfect for our little ward here in Banfield. We even had an investigator come to church on Sunday! This week has been great but a little hard at the same time. Last week we talked to a ton of people, got new investigators and were on fire. This week was great, but it was harder to talk to people because of vacations and a lot of people wouldn’t let us in. All I can do is smile and laugh and say oh well. Next week will be better and all I can do is do what Heavenly Father wants me to do. If that means sweat a lot and walk many miles that I will do it, no problem! :) 
Our Bathroom: A Toilet and Bedet, What more could you want!

 I had a little moment of weakness this week. I hate to admit it, but I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I was thinking to myself, ¨wow, it is hot. I can understand Castellano but it is harder for me to speak it. Why won’t anyone listen to me? How the heck am I supposed to be a nurse in Spanish? (I could go on but you get the picture)

Good thing my little pity party didn’t last too long. Only a few minutes later I was speed slapped by the spirit.  I was sitting in personal study, reading an article from the Liahona. When suddenly the spirit said, ¨Hermana Newman, suck it up girl! You have so much you are blessed with. You have the biggest blessing in the world... the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your job is to go share it with the people here in Argentina. You might have some struggles and hard times, but the people without the gospel are far worse off than you. Get to work!¨ yep. Pity party, over! Its game time! I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the simple reminders I get each and every day. 
Blood Sausage: Not good. I put it in my mouth, but spit it out when my companion wasn't looking. Gross.
Later that day I had another wonderful experience with the spirit. We went to visit a less active. I love less active work! Anyway, this particular member has not been to church in 7 years. Her husband was the bishop but she has some issues with the people in the ward. Anyways, I was excited to teach her. But little did I know she was going to be the teacher and I was the student. To be honest, I can’t even remember what scripture I shared with her. All I remember is what she said to me. She said that when I am In the church, ¨no puedo y no se son malas palabras.¨( I cant or I don’t know any bad words  ) It reminded me of Alma 26:12. If we trust in the Lord and have faith we can do all things and He will give us strength. Entonces...(And then) I Hermana Newman can do anything with the Lord! Bring on the heat, Bring on the walking! Bring it all! Soy misionera de la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias! soy una representante de el. Mi mensaje es presioso y de gran valor. Con el todo es posible! :) (I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I am a representative of him. My message is precious and of great value. With him all  is possible)
The family I spent New Year's with. They had air conditioning!
Well, I think I have blabbed enough for this week. I hope you know how much I love you. You are in my prayers daily. Keep working hard. Remember you are all missionaries too. Lets get the Lords work moving forward! Have a fabulous week!
Te quiero muchisimo! (I love you a whole bunch)
con amor, (With love)

Hermana Newman :)