Monday, February 24, 2014

Reflections on the Atonement

TEMPERLEY, Argentina -- Hola hola hola! How is my wonderful family doing this beautiful sunny (or maybe snowy for you) Monday? I hope this email finds you all doing well with big smiles on your faces. Life is So good... no? Yep. Life is good! 

This week was good. A little tricky at times, but good. We found a few new investigators and are praying that they can start progressing. It’s interesting to be a missionary because you can’t rely on yourself for anything. You have to rely on others for EVERYTHING! It’s been a learning experience for me for sure. We have to rely on Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost to teach and find, we have to rely on the people we find that they will choose to come unto Christ and progress and then we have to rely on the ward to befriend these people. 

Long story short... I have learned that in the church -- in the gospel -- we are not alone. We always are working in unity and helping one another. We can’t think just about ourselves. Nope, we need to serve and help others. That is how we are going to make it back to the Celestial Kingdom, together. :) 

The Atonement was on my mind a lot this week as well. 

First off, wow, how blessed are we to have the Atonement!! Priceless! Hermana Calderon and I have been working with lots of people and all of them are completely different! We have a less-active with schizophrenia, an investigator with a crazy family, members who have health or marriage problems, and of course, people whose hearts are so hard they can't even receive our message right now. Everyone is different but EVERYONE can and needs to use the Atonement. 

My whole life, I have learned about the Atonement and how important it is. And yes, it is important, but I don’t think I really understood how important it is until I came on my mission. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! We need to take advantage and use it daily. 

I read this morning in Alma 7:11-13. He died and suffered for all of us so we can be happy and learn to become like him. This week I have increased my understanding of the Atonement, and I am so grateful for my big brother, who died for me. 

What a blessing. I feel blessed to be a missionary who gets to share the message of the Atonement with these people here in Argentina. 

I really saw the Atonement in action this weekend, when the elders had a baptism of four people! It was amazing to see these families change and come unto Christ. If I were to show you a picture of these people I am sure almost all of us would think, ¨hmmm... really? Are they ready?¨ 

And that’s where the Holy Ghost and the Atonement come in. 

God knows who is ready -- not me or my companion or anyone else. It was amazing to see these people take out all their piercings and change into white and enter the waters of baptism. The Spirit was so strong I can’t even do it justice by describing it. Happy day we have four new members in Banfield 1!  We are also on the search to bring more to the fold :) My favorite part!! Well, I hope you have a wonderful week!

Exitos y cuidense!! Te amo! 

Con amor,

Hermana Newman :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Faith in God's timing

TEMPERLEY, Argentina — Hola, mi familia!!!

Como estan? Todo bien? I hope all is well and you have big smiles on your faces. Guess what? I sure love you! I was thinking about you today, and man, I am blessed with the best family ever! :) Thanks for being so awesome and such great examples to me. 

This week was great. A little hard but good nonetheless. We did lots of street contacting and had lots of people to visit this week. Seriously, we had our agendas full for the week. We were stoked! But a lot of the appointments fell through or the people needed to reschedule.

The missionaries made Arabic empanadas on Preparation Day
But don’t worry, I didn’t let something like that get me down. No way, no how! :) Still working as hard as ever to find those people who the Lord has prepared.

One thing that I forget sometimes is that Hermana Calderon is still pretty new in the mission. She got a little down this week. She asked me why I was so happy and she felt so sad. I had to think about it for a minute. Yes, things are hard. No, things hardly ever go the way I think they should. But one thing I have learned is that God knows what needs to be done and He is going to help me do it!

It has taken me time to really understand the Lord's hand in it all, but I sure have a strong testimony of it now. He is there every step of the way! Brittany once told me something that I love and think about all the time. She said, ¨Sara, Heavenly Father knows what He is doing better than we do. If he wants you to walk around in the heat for hours and hours with no ¨success," do it! Do everything He asks because there is always a reason."

Guess who Hna Newman ran into? Hna Crotzer!
I have pondered a lot on that this week. Whether I understand it or not, If I am doing what I am asked and being obedient, I am helping move the Lord's work forward. It reminded me of a scripture in 1 Nephi: 
"But behold I said unto them that: as the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us."
Nephi didn’t know why or how he was going to get the plates from Laban, but he did it anyway. If we do what the Lord asks, I know that it will always work out for the best. Even when we don’t understand it... That’s when faith comes in. Faith overpowers fear every time!! :) 

Well, family, I think I have rambled on enough this week. I want to send some pictures, too, so I will let you go. Remember who you are and whom you represent. God loves you and so do I! 

Have a wonderful week. Give it all you got! Love ya tons and tons!


-Hermana Newman

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nursing and missionary work

TEMPERLEY, Argentina — Hola mi famila querida! :)

Hello and happy Monday again. I hope you are all doing super great. I heard the good news about Natalie and her mission call. Wahoo congrats cousin! Yeah 3 Newmans Spanish speaking right now. That’s pretty cool!!

This week seemed forever and a day long, but short at the same time. I don’t understand time. But hey, all is well, so it doesn’t matter.  This week was super interesting because everyone was stressed about transfers. I have never had to think about transfers before, because in Maryland, I stayed in the same area. But here I have to think about them now. But... good news... I am staying here in Banfield 1 with Hermana Calderon! I am very excited because we have a lot of work still left to do here together.

This week was great and filled with miracles. We had some visitors (Sister Missionaries) come stay with us for a couple days because they live on the coast, but it is like 6 hours away from where we have transfers. Anyways, long story short, we had to divide the area between us 4 and do splits for two days. It was great, but a little bit stressful all at the same time. The best part was we were able to find some new people to teach and some of our other investigators started progressing, felt the Spirit and are on date to be baptized :) It's fun working with other missionaries, too, because you can learn new ways to teach or explain things. 

Sara's district in Argentina

I love my calling! It is so great to be a missionary and a nurse.

Funny story about nursing: I get lots of calls and so I get to help lots of missionaries every day. Sometimes in Castellano and sometimes in English, depending on who the missionary is. My favorite calls are from the elders because they are just so funny. 

Anyways, an elder called and first thing I hear is, ¨Hi hermana, do you speak English?" Why yes, yes I do, elder. They are always relieved to find that part out. I knew he had a question, but he was avoiding it, so finally I just asked him what he needed. 

I heard him sigh and say, "Well, it's a little embarrassing." 

Then, in the background, I hear an elder yell ¨Oh come on elder! She is a nurse, she can handle it just tell her!¨ 

I seriously about died laughing. Oh I love my life. So great, so fun! Hee hee good old elders. I had lots of stories that are funny this week, but me with my good brain forgot them! :( I need to figure out how to get my brain and memory working better because it is awful!

The work here is great. There are people who don’t want anything to do with us. and then some who are really excited to talk to us and learn more. It’s hard when people don’t want to listen. It breaks my heart when people yell at us, throw rocks and tell us they don’t want to listen, but all I can do is keep on working and pray for these people to soften their hearts so they can be ready for what God has in store for them. 

I love reading in the scriptures about the sons of Mosiah and the things they went through as missionaries. Before my mission, I thought I understood, but being a missionary now I can definitely understand. They were the best missionaries ever no matter what trials came to them. They were hard working, selfless, Christlike, truly full of desire to bring people unto Christ. That is something I am working on daily. One day I want to be a missionary like Alma, Amulek or the sons of Mosiah. :) Yep... new goal of mine! 

Well family, sorry this email is a little short this week, but I can't think of much to write. I hope you all are doing well. My prayers are with you. I love this Gospel. I know it is true and it is truer and truer every day. Have a good one and go tear it up!


Hermana Newman :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baptism and daily bread

TEMPERLEY, Argentina — Hola familia, Feliz Febrero!!
Can you believe it is already February? I can't! Craziness! I always say this but it is true... time is just flying. Transfers are next week already. Wow.

Hermana Calderon and I are hoping to stay together one more transfer at least in this area, but you never know. I will update you on that next week.

This week has been great. We just got done bowling with our district. Way fun! I haven’t been bowling in forever, and of all places I got to go in Buenos Aires!

We are at a different cyber again today in another city because of the activity and unfortunately, they won't read my camera card, so I can’t send pictures. Bummer, because I have some I wanted to send.

Especially because... Evelyn was baptized and confirmed this weekend! Wahooo!

Everything went well and it very nice.I am having a hard time describing it in English ... in Castellano, easy... it was muy lindo!! (very cute).

I love baptisms. They are wonderful. Always something crazy, but you can always feel the Spirit. My first baptism with Jennifer was crazy because nobody showed up until like 5 minutes till.

This time, people came on time, but we almost flooded the church. Ha-ha no joke.

We went running at the church that morning so we could turn on the water to start filling. My companion said it would be fine to leave and come back after we had showered and gotten ready. I thought, "Ok it should be fine. In Maryland it took 2.5 hours to fill." Ha Wrong-o! Here, the fonts are much smaller. We got to the church and I opened the door to see how the font was. Bahhhh! Water to the very top. I had to quick take off my shoes and go a little ways in to start draining the font. Oh dear. Good times :) Got to love being a missionary!

But yes, everything went well and she was happy as can be.

What a blessing it is to be baptized. I can’t remember a ton about my baptism to be honest, but I can remember how happy I felt. That’s how I feel every time I see my investigators go into the waters of baptism. We have some other investigators that we are working with. Right now, a few of them are being stinkers and not progressing, but we are praying that they will kick it into gear soon.

One of my favorite parts of this week was just seeing the Gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. There were many times, but I can remember in particular two times where the Spirit led us somewhere we needed to be at the right moment.

First, we were walking around deciding where to go and who to visit, because our plans and backup plans fell through. Hermana Calderon and I both thought maybe we could visit a potential investigator nearby. We were almost to her house when a sweet little old lady said, ¨How are you doing? Who are you girls?"

We explained that we were missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we had a message to share with her. She invited us to sit down and share it with her right then and there in front of her bakery. We shared a short message about the Restoration and she invited us to come back in the following week.

My favorite part was just before we left she said, ¨Thank you hermanas. I was feeling really sad and was praying for someone to help me feel better. You are an answer to my prayers. I know that God sent you over here today."

Yes. Yes m'am!! We are here for a reason! I can’t even describe how I felt. What a wonderful experience. I love that we can be put in the right place at the right time.

Next was right after that visit, we decided to visit a less active member: Hermana Galvez. Such a sweetheart. We began talking (also about the Restoration) when we heard a knock at the door. Her neighbor had come over to visit. So we invited her to sit down and talk with us. We talked about families, prophets, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, apostasy, all of it. At the very end, we told her that she could know all of this was true by reading the Book of Mormon and praying to Heavenly Father to know for herself. Right as I was about to mention the Holy Ghost she said, ¨I feel something in my chest. I feel peace and happy. I don’t know what it is but I like it. ¨ I just gave her my big ol´cheesy Hermana Newman grin and explained that it was the Spirit testifying to her.

I feel like I am not doing a very good job at telling my stories or expressing myself today. Sorry. I hope you can understand what I am trying to say. Everything is going well here in Argentina. We have had some rainy coolish weather for a few days, which has been quite lovely. Working hard and trying to bring more people unto Christ.

How are you all doing? I hope sooo great. I miss you all and love you even more. Hope you know it!

Before I go I want to share a little video with you.

I had the opportunity to share and translate this for some people in my ward yesterday because it is not available in Castellano. I love it! Such a great message and reminder of the small things we need to be doing daily. Just like we need to eat, we need spiritual nourishment as well. It's a process, for sure, but I know that if we do the small things EVERY DAY and make them our priorities, we can and will be blessed and will become closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior.

Remember who you are, who you represent. Go out and give it all you got! Have a wonderful week.

Love ya - Chau!
-Hermana Newman